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Captain’s Log

This is the second installment of our school holidays blog posts providing you with our recommendations of digital and unplugged ideas for the tamariki to try at home. Today, Mac has taken over the blog...


Stardate. 31.03.2020. Day 6 of Universal Level 4 restrictions Entry: The entire crew of the Starship Karaka has made a valiant attempt at this new “galactic-home-schooling” scheme which has been met with some resistance from the local humanoids. Have been reaching out to other Commanding Officers for alternative options to pacify and engage the locals. Many colleagues within the Tairawhiti Alliance have communicated similar instances within their ranks. It seems that all hope has been lost… [Insert record scratch here] Kia ora whanau!

As we knuckle down for the next 4 weeks I understand that it might seem like a daunting and overbearing task to guide our tamariki through the next month. It may feel like the opening monologue. We talk a lot at Tōnui Collab about perseverance and resilience, but in many ways, equal to this is pace. The following weeks will be a long distance run and not a sprint. We’re playing a long game strategy and it’s important to take the next month day by day! Having said that, to help any families who may be reading this blog, I’d like to share some of my favorite digital and “unplugged” recommendations to help get some fun STEAM learning done in the home. Hope you and your families can find something new and engaging in this list! Enjoy! Toontastic A few years ago, Google purchased this app and released it free on Google Play and the iOS App Store. It’s an animation app which simplistically and easily allows anyone to animate, customize and story/script a plot. Both kids and parents alike will enjoy having a play on Toontastic! Hour of Code Want to get a taste test of what coding is all about? No better place to start than here. It’s self directed learning and better yet, each lesson is only designed to take an hour so you won’t have the kids stuck in front of a screen all day! Lots of support and video tutorials are also available. Everything you need to take your skills to the next level.

Flappy Bird Say whaaaat? Yes. You remember. The ridiculously stupidly horrendously difficult one touch game that swept the world in 2014. Now, if for nothing else… Flappy Bird teaches you (in a very infuriating way) perseverance and resilience (remember that I mentioned these words earlier?) But suffice to say, breaking your own high score (and beating others) is very satisfying. Mahi -> Treats right? Patience patience patience. Remember to repeat that to yourself as you play. And now for some "unplugged" goodness....

Chess One of the oldest and most well played games in history. Chess teaches you strategy, tactics, pattern recognition, and algorithms in one neat package. As you survey the board and figure out your next move, you have to be weary of both attacking and defending against your opponent. This is Computational Thinking at it’s best. If you don’t know how to play, there are plenty of good youtube tutorials out there; if you already know how to play, get out your board, convince one of your family to join you, and get your brain going! Here's my pick of YouTube tutorials

Card games, more specifically - Black Jack Aye?... Yes. Black Jack. Now a disclaimer… I’m not condoning or suggesting that you should find the nearest casino to where you live to play (Good luck with that during our lockdown lol) but the mechanics and basics of Black Jack is a fun way to learn numbers and engage the brain with maths and probability. You only need a deck of cards, at least two players and deal cards to each other while staying under the magic number of 21.Hit me!

Tangrams The ancient chinese puzzle is a great one for pattern recognition, and logic - 7 shapes, one shadow puzzle. Make the shapes fit the shadow. It’s simple but complex enough to engage great brain sweat! You’ll never run out of puzzles either. Tangrams have been around for a few thousand years so there are more puzzles than you can poke a stick at! Cut up some paper, card (or even old icecream lids) and give these tangrams a try!

Paper Airplanes Let’s (literally) take a page out of the book of the life of John Collins - The world’s greatest paper airplane folder! Watch this video which demonstrates how amazing his designs are and the theories and thought processes behind each fold and crease! John also walks you through how to fold his world record breaking paper airplane design. You HAVE to give it a go! Feel like giving one of these a try? We would love if you captured the creativity in action, post it on instagram and tag us @tonuicollab

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