Wind Down After School

Wind Down After School

By Kate

November 2021
Clixo Fort

The school day is over, now what? Another 3ish hours before dinner and everyone is still reeling off the school day. We’re fortunate that on a couple week days we have after school programs where the kids can be kids, or learn new skills like coding, drawing, or clay pinch pots. It’s amazing the things that are offered these days, back in my day we would play street hockey on a quiet cul-de-sac, or kick ball with the neighborhood kids. Like most parents, I like to reflect on or appreciate the “simpler times”. Keeping it simple in our home means indoor playtime, even if I have to take a deep breath prior to the great mess that follows. 



I can usually gauge how everyone is feeling after school pick-up, sometimes bursting with energy (which calls for a park run), or not too often the tired and quiet side. On the quieter days we usually go straight home to have what we call “crazy imagination time”. Letting the music play in the background seems to put everyone in a good mood. It’s a bonus if I get first pick of the station because everyone seems to like it! 



During playtime we often incorporate a bunch of different toys; for example, my 5-year old made a Clixo fort to keep the “baddies” away from the good guys. The container is still being used for our creations, don’t toss it just yet! I love seeing what their “crazy imagination” comes up with. 

Here are some other fun Clixo creations and ideas I’ve seen

Clixo Spinning Top

Clixo Snowflake

Clixo Bowling Game

Clixo Wearable Hat

Clixo Christmas Ornament

And even if the school day is done, we can use Clixo to encourage STEM learning through hand and eye coordination, concentration and problem solving. I am honest when I say, the amount of focus involved when these pieces come out is impressive to watch. Not to mention high concentration means more quiet time! 



On the flip side, if we do decide to head outdoors we’ll use our Clixo pieces as another level to elevate park play. Being that they’re magnets, it’s easy to hang creations off the playscape. Or, just recently I taught the kids how to play capture the flag. We built a “flag” out of our clixo pieces for each team, and it was a huge hit! 



It’s pleasant to have such imaginative moments and let the kids wind down on their own. I encourage boredom so that everyone can get creative. It’s amazing to see what they come up with, and using these toys as tools to enhance their thinking and creative abilities.





This piece was written by Kate. Kate’s a NYC parent of two young boys, ages 3 and 5 and fur baby, Mr. Biscuits. She lives in the West Village with high school sweetheart and now hubby, Dylan. When not working or managing the school shuffle, Kate is running, cycling, painting, or as her children call it, “sitting in her lounge chair” (aka the couch). She loves a good laugh and literally dances like no one is watching.

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Bath Time Fun

Bath Time Fun

By Kate

November 2021

Hello, sweet cheeks!

If your little ones are like mine and dig bath time, adding in some fun toys promotes a great place to zone out and unwind. Like many parents, I’ve noticed that bath time acts like a sort of Zen Zone; kind of like Mom having a candlelit bath with a glass of wine… does anyone still do that? Anyway, I think it’s what we can all imagine it being like, a place to relax, decompress and for your little ones, act as a creative environment to mindlessly interact with water and toys.



I also don’t think baths have to be before bedtime, I like to fit them in when I think the moment’s right. Like right after school or after visiting the park.  When I notice there’s a change in energy and I want to encourage time to unwind. As the kiddos come down from their daily high I like to send them in the tub. It’s also helpful when I need to cut back on the tv or separate the two boys from arguing. It’s a nice break and change of scenery, sort of like a reset.

Lately we’ve been experimenting with Clixo’s newest Grip and Stick pack. With it, you can stick various pieces to the bathtub wall with suction cups! We like to connect a bunch of pieces and create a Clixo mural. Our favorite activity is giving the spinner piece a good whirl, and watching which way the water flies off. It also acts as a learning experience since it helps to understand cause and effect.  A water playground brought into your very own bathtub. 

And of course nothing beats wrapping up that sweet babe into a cozy soft towel. It gives me a moment to sneak in extra hugs and bonding time while I add the final touches of lotion. So cute and so clean, let the calm in before tomorrow’s storm begins.



Happy splashing!





This piece was written by Kate. Kate’s a NYC parent of two young boys, ages 3 and 5 and fur baby, Mr. Biscuits. She lives in the West Village with high school sweetheart and now hubby, Dylan. When not working or managing the school shuffle, Kate is running, cycling, painting, or as her children call it, “sitting in her lounge chair” (aka the couch). She loves a good laugh and literally dances like no one is watching.

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Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day

By Kate

October 2021

Hello anxiety my dark old friend…

Today marks World Mental Health Day, and for all of us surviving the pandemic we know it has been a true testament to our mental strength, especially for those with children. Does anyone remember the days before the pandemic? Knowing you can comfortably visit an open space to burn off energy after giving your child candy? Not having to avoid eye contact with your neighbor for also having suffered loud yelling and running around inside? As a parent to a now 3-year old and 5-year old, I’ve done what any parent would do for their children, and that is to adapt even during the toughest times. My children were the light in these dark moments and it was my mission to keep them bright and joyful throughout.

If I wasn’t superhuman before, I’m now what I like to call myself “one bad mother.” I want to always be that superhero for my children even if that means talking about some of the scary stuff that’s happening in the world, and admitting that I can be scared too. Keeping the dialogue and answering any unsettling questions in a “friendlier” way was a skill I sharpened during the start of the pandemic. I chose to highlight the fact that we are trying our best to keep ourselves healthy, and our friends and family healthy as well.  I would try to turn things into a positive, for example, we get to see Daddy more now that he’s working from home, we get to play more games together, or give permission to take out every toy in the toy box even if that means the dog will get ahold of them. Less scary and more fun was our new rule to live by. I know children love spending time with their parents, and this was a sweet reminder of something I sometimes often forget.

Clixo Fort

One of the many things I learned during the dark days of quarantine was the new level of boredom and anxiety that set in. Parks got closed, and maybe we should put playdates on hold for a while. Oh my goodness, how are two toddler boys in an 800 sq ft apartment going to blow off steam??  I shortly realized that you know what, it’s okay to be bored, tear the house apart or let out a swear after stepping on a minefield of toys. And like many parents I strive to limit screen time. Some may consider this a form of torture, but I took this as an opportunity to watch my children learn, create and be more independent. I loved the quiet moments sitting on the living room floor where we would play games, do puzzles, make costumes, or build a fort to get lost in.  Afterall, boredom generates creativity.

I’m grateful things are slowly picking up again, after a year of remote learning we’re back in school, I think this is great for our overall mental health. As we take a few steps forward and sometimes a few steps back, I have to remind myself we’ll power through. We’ll reflect on staying positive and I’ll pride myself in being the rock my children need during the good, bad, and ugly. Stay strong and Happy Mental Health, you got this!

This piece was written by Kate. Kate’s a NYC parent of two young boys, ages 3 and 5 and fur baby, Mr. Biscuits. She lives in the West Village with high school sweetheart and now hubby, Dylan. When not working or managing the school shuffle, Kate is running, cycling, painting, or as her children call it, “sitting in her lounge chair” (aka the couch). She loves a good laugh and literally dances like no one is watching.

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Earth Day Activity Ideas For Ages 4+!

Earth Day Activity Ideas For Ages 4+!

By Clixo Team

April 2021

A healthy planet is not just an option – it’s a necessity. Every April 22nd, we celebrate Earth day to raise awareness of our impact on the environment and to understand the importance of preserving the wonderful Earth we, and billions of life, forms call home.



We hope that some of our Earth Day activity ideas for little ones can help inspire an appreciation and respect for the environment. If you have suggestions for other activity ideas please share them with us! We’re all ears!

Idea #1: Sustainable Flowers with Clixo (Difficulty Level: Easy)

There’s no need to buy store-bought flowers when you can design and even wear your own bouquet of flowers!



As an added challenge, try to Google the native plants or flowers from other countries and regions and see if you can recreate your own Clixo version of these. You and your little one may stumble on a species that you’ve never seen or heard of before and learn something new about a different part of the world.

Idea #2: Animal Builds (Difficulty Level: Varies)

Hands down, the most popular Clixo builds have been of animals. Depending on the age of the child, an interesting activity would be to build “evolutions” of different animals – starting with flat 2D versions then transitioning slowly into 3D versions. 3D versions of animals can sometimes be intimidating to immediately jump into. So, starting with the 2D versions is a good way to practice observation skills as well as breaking down the whole animal into distinct body parts. Breaking things down into manageable pieces is a useful skill to practice at any age.



For instance, to make a rabbit build (pictured beside):
– The 2D version can start off on a flat surface with 2 Longy pieces for the floppy ears, 2 wheel pieces for the eyes, 2 Flap pieces for the whiskers, and a 3-dot piece for the mouth.
– The transition from 2D to 3D version of this rabbit can be created using the Ball build as the head and 2 folded Longy pieces for the ears.
– The full 3D version can involve using 10 Quad (X-shape) pieces for to create an oval shaped body and 2 large Flap pieces can be stuck in the front to act as the ears.

Idea #3: Water Builds (Difficulty Level: Medium)

With 70% of the Earth’s surface covered in water, it’s only natural to have a water-based activity! Give your old takeout containers a second life by reusing them in this project. Grab some Clixo pieces, wrap them around the takeout container and use it to create a custom boat that floats (Clixo pieces will sink on their own). This is fun way to talk about the 3 R’s (reuse, reduce, recycle) but also introduce the scientific concept of buoyancy.



Another water-based activity that is suited for younger kids can be to turn Clixo pieces into bubble wands! You can get detailed instructions for that project in this link.

Idea #4: Understanding Life Cycle (Difficulty Level: Advanced)

One of the coolest ways to use Clixo is to integrate them in little stop motion animations that show how things go from one state to another. In this particular example, we are introducing the concept of how a seed can germinate and become a flower. Some other ideas that you can try to incorporate are:
– Using Clixo pieces to explain the water cycle with different shapes as different types of precipitation
– Using Clixo pieces to explain an animal life cycle (eg. egg, tadpole, frog)



Explaining and illustrating life cycles can be an important milestone for little ones as it teaches them how to understand the world around them and how we are all interconnected in this circle of life.

Idea #5: Use Clixo to Re-tell a Story

This activity takes Activity Idea #4 (above) to the next level!

For his Pre-K class, NYC educator Mr. Andy did a Clixo version of the story, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” While reading the story, he used Clixo pieces to build the caterpillar, its food, and later its evolution into a full blown butterfly! Check out the link here to see how he did it.

Stories help children learn about concepts and are central to human cognition and communication. It also helps them develop empathy and cultivate imaginative thinking.

As an added challenge, instead of using Clixo to recreate an existing story, you and your little one can use Clixo to come up with your own characters, story, and adventure!

Sustainability is something we not only believe in, but we also strive to embody this in our company practices. Our pieces are proudly recyclable and our packaging has no plastic elements and is made of eco-friendly bamboo that is biodegradable.



Apart from the materials incorporated in our products, the design of our play system was intentionally designed with an appreciation for nature. Unlike other building toys that are rigid and geometrically shaped, we designed ours to be more fluid and more akin to the naturalistic shapes that are visible in nature. The play system as a whole is also designed to be more efficient and minimalist in the sense that a handful of pieces in a compact stack can yield a multitude of creations in versatile forms that can be hung, curved, looped around, or even worn.



We hope these ideas inspire you to see and celebrate the wonders of our planet in a fun, new way. Let’s help each other to build a better understanding and appreciation for the world around us, and together look for creative solutions to build a better home.

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Easter Activity Ideas!

Clixo Easter Eggs

Easter Activity Ideas!

Tiffany

March 2021

We’re sharing a couple of eggs-citing activity ideas to kick off a “Hoppy Easter” weekend that’s fun for every-bunny! These creative ideas are great for independent play and can also be adapted for group play across different ages (because let’s face it, adults need some play time too)!

Idea #1: Make Easter Eggs

Clixo Easter Eggs

One of the traditional symbols of Easter is the Easter egg, as eggs represent rebirth and new life. You can make your own Clixo egg by:


1. Grab 6 pieces of Quad (the X-shape)
2. Arrange them into a T-shape
3. Connect the ends of the T shape together into a round shape
4. Squish the round shape into an egg shape!
5. You can keep this simple and use this as a decorative piece or take this a step further by hiding these eggs around the house!


Some examples: Snap longy on the egg and hang it on a bathroom hook for a sneaky surprise


Or even stick it on the outside of your car (and don’t worry, Clixo pieces won’t scratch the paint!)

Idea #2: Make An Easter Bucket

Clixo Easter Basket

This is a fun activity that doesn’t require instructions and can really allow your little one’s creativity to shine. All they need to do is grab a handful of pieces and let their hands do the thinking. There’s really no wrong way to Clixo here. They can snap whatever pieces they want together and create their own little masterpiece and personalize it however they want!



Fun fact: The Easter basket pictured above was strong enough to hold 7 eggs!

Idea #3: Make an Easter Bunny

The most iconic symbol of Easter has to be the Easter Bunny and it’s easy to make different Clixo versions of rabbits. Whether you make a 2D version on a magnetic surface like a fridge or a 3D version like in the video clip above, it’s fun to experiment with different shapes and see what you come up with!

Idea #4: Create your own Fascinator/Easter Bonnet/Headpiece

Clixo Fascinator Head Piece Bonnet

Easter bonnets are a traditional hat that is typically worn during Easter services and the Easter parade following it. The bonnet used to have depictions of Easter and spring with bunnies, flowers, etc. though recently, more creative designers have been producing more elaborate designs!



This activity is a great way to show off your (or your little one’s) creativity and sense of style! Take it a step further by holding a mini fashion show at home or doing a little Project Runway competition and seeing which family member can make the coolest hat!

Idea #5: Try a Family Game

Easter Activity Ideas

Beyond bunnies, eggs, and spring, Easter is a time of togetherness and reflection with family regardless of faith. Making fun memories together over Easter brunch is a fun, memorable way to celebrate this holiday. We’re providing links below to two blog entries with games options that can be played in groups across different ages. Some are simple and others are quite silly – but we think that they’re all absolutely wonderful for unleashing your inner child and for making funny new memories together with family, friends, or loved ones!

Games Link 1: Featuring Clixo Bowling and Ring Toss
Games Link 2: Featuring Clixo Shake It Off and Clixo Target Practice

We hope have a “hoppy” Easter celebration and a wonderful spring season filled with new beginnings and fresh ideas!

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Activity Idea – Clixo Games (Part 2)!

Activity Idea – Clixo Games (Part 2)!

By Mr. Andy

February 2021

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: Another set of fun Clixo games that are great to play solo or in groups! Play this with family or friends, young or old(er). 🙂 (In case you missed the first set of game ideas you can access it here).



Games are fantastic for children to partake in. It will help establish understanding of rules and in group settings, it will help kids learn to take turns. These games in particular target gross motor skills and help develop eye hand coordination.

Clixo Shake it off Game

This activity is a fun way to really get the wiggles out! It incorporates full body movements and a dash of high energy silliness.



Step 1: Create a Clixo Ball with 6 Quad Shapes

Step 2: Fit as many tiny items inside as possible.
Note: the items should be able to stay inside the ball but should be able to slide out if moved around. A good item for this would be small plastic figurines, matchbox cars, or Jenga blocks (pictured above)!

Step 3: Once you have a decent amount of items inside, loop a belt or a string into the Clixo ball and tie it around the waist of your shaker.



The goal of the game is to shake the loose items out of your Clixo ball without using your hands! Don’t be afraid to get silly with it!

Clixo Target Practice

Develop (or in a grownup’s case, test) hand-eye coordination with this fun activity.



Step 1: Stack up toilet paper rolls or milk cartons like a pyramid for the pitcher to practice their throwing skills. The target should be elevated using a table, chair, box, or stack of books.

Step 2: Decide how far you want to be from the pyramid. Younger kids can start closer to the pyramid. Adults should demonstrate proper throwing technique if necessary. Once the child has gotten better, you can slowly move further away from the target.



The goal of this game is to knock down the stacked items!

Variations for Older Kids/ Grownups:
(1) Assign the goal of only knocking down the top paper roll or milk carton
(2) Stack the pyramid with items that are not as “tall” as milk cartons or toilet paper rolls. Other suggestions can include Tupperware, which are lower in height and slightly heavier.

Helpful Information for Parents

Gross motor skills are abilities that allow people to do things that involve using the large muscles in the torso, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. Getting your Clixo Builder to move is always great!



The behavioral schemas that may be witnessed during these activities fall under the trajectory schema, studying the movement of an object, or their own body, through the air. The concept they are developing through play would be linear progression, sequences, etc.



It is important for the adult to model good sportsmanship by praising the child’s efforts and celebrating their successes. Show your child how to set up each game and allow them to set up and clean up every time afterwards. This will establish the routines and rules that come along with playing games at home or outdoors.



About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his DonorsChoose projects.



Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂



👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

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Activity Ideas – Math Concepts with Clixo

Activity Ideas – Math Concepts with Clixo

By Clixo Team

January 2021

Clixo x learnwithjoey presents: Exploring math skills and strengthening math concepts with your Clixo pack!

Clixo is a great tool for exploring the world of shapes. Whether it’s building classic shapes or manipulating 2D structures to become 3D masterpieces, Clixo naturally promotes the development of various geometrical concepts.



In addition to geometry, you can also use your Clixo pack to help establish foundational math skills. Strengthening important skills like number sense and conceptual understanding of operations will allow your child to access future, more complex math topics of study. Kids can use their Clixo pieces to visualize and represent numbers and operations in a hands-on way, which will in turn give meaning to important underlying math concepts. This is what math manipulatives are all about, but with Clixo, you can switch up your ordinary math tools. The following activities were created to promote math skills in a fun and purposeful way!

Activities for Ages 4-6
(Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st Grade)

Activity: Make that Shape
Identifying and constructing 2D shapes

Materials:
– Any Clixo Pack!
Shape Task Cards – Download here

How to Play:
1. Pick a shape task card
2. Gather the Clixo pieces needed to create the chosen shape.
(This information is given on each task card)
3. Replicate the shape on the task card
4. Talk about it using the guiding questions provided

Extension:
– Grab a piece of paper and pencil to trace the inside of the shape and have your child label it.
– Have your child create similar shapes using different Clixo pieces.


Here’s what the activity looks like (you can download all the task cards here)

Activity Variation: Circle Challenge!



Sometimes, when you put Clixo pieces together, you may spot a few circles on the inside (see picture below). See how many circles you can make by putting as many of your Clixo pieces together as you can!

Activities for Ages 5-7
(Kindergarten, 1st Grade,2nd Grade)

Activity: Today’s Number
Building understanding and fluency of math facts up to 10+



Materials:
– Clixo Quad Pieces (8 or more)
Today’s Number Board – Download here



Instructions:
1. Choose a number for your child to work on (Let’s pretend you chose 10!)
2. Connect 10 Quads together to make a strip
3. Have your child break the 10 Quad strip into pairs (2 pieces each)
4. Ask: How many Quads are in each part? What’s the total?



Activity Goals
– Improve number sense
-Deepen conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction
– Strengthen math vocabulary: part & total
– Practice writing addition and subtraction equations (or number sentences)



Helpful Notes:
– Once your child masters this activity with smaller numbers, move onto larger numbers
– Check out the suggested prompt slides for some guiding questions.



Extension:
Write and solve story problems that match the number sentences!



See the pictures below for some suggested prompts (Download the Number Board here):

Activities for Ages 7-8
(2nd Grade & 3rd Grade)

Activity: Early Multiplication Drill
Laying a foundation for multiplication!



Materials:
– Any Clixo pack!



How to Run the Drill:
1. Choose one type of Clixo piece to work with at a time.
2. Lay out one piece in front of you
3. Ask the following questions:
– How many groups are there?
– How many circles (magnets) are in each group?
– What’s the total number of circles (magnets)?
4. Lay another piece down next to it. Ask the same questions. Repeat until you are out of pieces.



Notes:
– This drill is meant to strengthen the conceptual ideas behind multiplication
– You can introduce this drill before moving into multiplication (as a precursor) or well into a multiplication unit to strengthen conceptual understanding
– Being able to identify factors as number of groups or group size and products as the total will help ease the transition into division.
– Key vocabulary words: number of groups, group size, total



Here’s what the activity looks like (you can download all the task cards here)

Download the full set of Puzzle task cards here (More patterns available)

About @learnwithjoey: Josephine Koh is an educator who has worked for the NYC public school system for over ten years and in private homes as a learning specialist for over fourteen years. She works with a wide range of students but specializes in helping children who have developmental, behavioral, social/emotional, and cognitive challenges. Through her work both in and out of schools, Josephine has become incredibly passionate about empowering kids and families to grow in creative and healthy ways. She loves sharing tips and designing tools that will allow kids and parents to feel equipped, especially at home! Check out @learnwithjoey for more. 🙂



Clixo x @learnwithjoey is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Josephine Koh (@learnwithjoey) for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂



Looking for more activity ideas?
Click here for other Clixo x learnwithjoey activities
Click here for a different math themed activity by Clixo x Mr. Andy
Click here for our full collection of activity ideas

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Activity Idea – Clixo Games!

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: Fun Clixo games that are great to play solo or in groups! Play this with family or friends, young or old(er). 🙂

Games are fantastic for children to partake in. It will help establish understanding of rules and in group settings, it will help kids learn to take turns. These games in particular target gross motor skills and help develop eye hand coordination.

Bowling may not be a new concept for grown ups but for young kids, this game is engaging and so much fun!

Clixo Bowling
Bowling may not be a new concept for grown ups but for young kids, this game is engaging and so much fun!


Step 1: Line up toilet paper rolls like bowling pins.
* If you have 10 rolls, arrange them in a 4-3-2-1.
* If you have 6 rolls, arrange them in a 3-2-1 formation.

Step 2: Have them roll the Clixo ball to knock down as many pins as they can.
* If your bowler is new to bowling, they can start close to the pins. Once they become more adept at knocking down pins, they can start moving back to make it more challenging. Adults should model bowling technique if child is new to bowling.

Here’s a variation for older kids and for groups:

Content by: Andy Yung, Image by: Kenneth Fremer

A variation on this is to create bowling pins out of Clixo pieces. For added challenge, arrange the pins in a wider formation and compete with family members and friends to see who can knock the pins down.


Clixo Ring Toss
Ring Toss has been a staple in many kids’ playrooms. Here’s a Clixo spin on this classic game!

Step 1: Use your Clixo pieces to create a ring for ring toss. Make sure your ring size is big enough to go over the target (water bottle).

Step 2: Depending on the player’s age, the player can start closer to the target and move further away from the target as they improve.

Step 3: To make the game more challenging, make the ring size smaller, but not too small that it cannot go over the target.

Here’s another variation for older kids and for groups:

Content by: Andy Yung / Video by: Kenneth Fremer

A variation on this is to create targets using Clixo pieces. For added challenge, stand further away from the targets and compete with family and friends to see who is the best at this game.

Helpful Information for Parents

Gross motor skills are abilities that allow people to do things that involve using the large muscles in the torso, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. Getting your Clixo Builder to move is always great!

The behavioral schemas that may be witnessed during these activities fall under the trajectory schema, studying the movement of an object, or their own body, through the air. The concept they are developing through play would be linear progression, sequences, etc.

It is important for the adult to model good sportsmanship by praising the child’s efforts and celebrating their successes. Show your child how to set up each game and allow them to set up and clean up every time afterwards. This will establish the routines and rules that come along with playing games at home or outdoors.

About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his DonorsChoose projects.

Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

Activity Ideas – Toddler Milestones

Clixo x learnwithjoey presents: Promoting cognitive and physical development through the early ages with Clixo! Activities for 2-5 year olds!

Building, stacking, and imaginary play are all activities that help encourage motor and cognitive development. Clixo naturally lends itself well to these milestones but there are additional ways to use your Clixo pack to promote cognitive and physical development through the early ages. The possibilities are truly endless so I hope the following activities will inspire you to discover your own!

Please note: Clixo is recommended for ages 4+. It is important that there is adult supervision for all children under the recommended age.

—- ACTIVITIES FOR AGES 2-3 —-

Skills being reinforced and strengthened by this Cognitive Milestone activity

Activity 1: Find a Match
Using similarities and differences to find a match!

Materials:
– Any Clixo Pack!
Let’s Find a Match! Task Cards – Download here

How to Play:
1. Lay out some or all of your Clixo pieces. Make sure to mix them up!
2. Pick a task card from the deck
3. Describe the image on your card. Ask questions like:
* Which Clixo piece is on the card?
* What does it look like?
4. Find all the pieces that are the same as the one on your card.
Note: Once your child has mastered matching, move into sorting by selecting 2 or more task cards

Tips:
– Make sure to model the activity the first few times
– Start simple with less variety and pieces
– Keywords: same, different, find, match

Here’s what the activity looks like (you can download all the task cards here)

Skills being reinforced and strengthened by this Movement/ Physical Milestone activity

Activity 2: Stringing Beads
Making and stringing beads to strengthen fine motor skills!

Materials:
– Clixo Quad Pieces (8 or more)
– Clixo Two-Dot Pieces (1)
– Yarn / Shoelace (any string will do but make sure it’s on the thicker side)

How to Play:
1. Use the Clixo Quad pieces to make beads (see photo above for easy instructions)
2. Tie one end of the string around the middle of the Twodot pieces as a base to catch the beads
3. Place your twodot base on the floor and start threading the beads onto the string. Count them as you go!
4. Enjoy your masterpiece by taking it for a walk!

Tips:
– You can have your child make the beads or have them already made
– Tying a dull toothpick or cut straw to one end makes threading easier

—- ACTIVITIES FOR AGES 3-4 —-

Skills being reinforced and strengthened by this Cognitive Milestone activity

Activity 3: Puzzles
Fitting pieces together to complete a puzzle!

Materials:
– Any Clixo pack!
Puzzle Task Cards – Download here

How to Play:
1. Pick a puzzle task card
2. Gather the Clixo pieces needed to complete the puzzle. (This information is given on each task card)
3. Replicate the image on the task card by fitting the pieces together. Make sure to use a hard safe (floor / tabletop / fridge door)
4. Talk about it! What does it look like to you?

Here’s what the activity looks like (you can download all the task cards here)

Download the full set of Puzzle task cards here (More patterns available)

—- ACTIVITIES FOR AGES 4-5 —-

Skills being reinforced and strengthened by this Cognitive Milestone activity


Activity 4: Patterns
Learning to build patterns

Materials
– Any Clixo Pack!
Building Patterns Task Cards – Download here

How to Play:
1. Select a pattern card (The AB pattern is the least complex pattern to start with)
2. Have your child build a pattern by iterating the selected pattern a few times
3. Have your child read and describe the pattern to you
4. Once your child has mastered the AB pattern, move onto the more complex patterns: ABC, ABB, AAB, AABB

Tips:
– Children should first know how to recognize and describe patterns before working on copying, building, and extending patterns (Activity #5)

Here’s what the activity looks like ( Download all the task cards here)

You can build patterns by color
You can also build patterns by shape
Level up by combining colors and shapes into different patterns

Activity 5: What Comes Next?
Learning to extend patterns!

Materials:
– Any Clixo Pack!
What Comes Next! Task Cards – Download here

How to Play:
1. Select a pattern card (The AB pattern is the least complex pattern to start with)
2. Have your child say the pattern to you. For example: “Red, blue, red, blue”
3. When the pattern stops, ask:
* What comes next?
* How do you know?

Note: For more practice, feel free to create your own task cards or make a pattern with the actual pieces and ask your child to extend the pattern.

Here’s what the activity looks like (Download the task cards here)

Continue the color pattern
Continue the shape pattern

Tips:
– Children should first know how to recognize and describe patterns before working on copying, building, and extending patterns
– The use of voice inflection can be very helpful when working with patterns.

About @learnwithjoey: Josephine Koh is an educator who has worked for the NYC public school system for over ten years and in private homes as a learning specialist for over fourteen years. She works with a wide range of students but specializes in helping children who have developmental, behavioral, social/emotional, and cognitive challenges. Through her work both in and out of schools, Josephine has become incredibly passionate about empowering kids and families to grow in creative and healthy ways. She loves sharing tips and designing tools that will allow kids and parents to feel equipped, especially at home! Check out @learnwithjoey for more. 🙂

Clixo x @learnwithjoey is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Josephine Koh (@learnwithjoey) for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

Activity Idea – Clixo Run!

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: A fun challenge for budding engineers! Kick-start that STEAM mindset by creating a Rube Goldberg Machine!

A Rube Goldberg Machine is a machine intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way.

Inspire little ones to design and build their own unique, complicated, and fun chain reaction contraption

Here’s an activity that’s fun for kids of all ages: Make a ball go from one end to another using a Clixo run. For this activity, you’ll need a magnetic surface to hold your machine up as the ball goes through.

In the example video, you can see that this Clixo run was stuck to a radiator. However, you can also use other magnetic surfaces such as a refrigerator door, a white board, or even a car door (don’t worry, Clixo magnets will not scratch or dent your car).

Your Clixo Quad pieces may be the superstar in this activity but other pieces will play a supporting role in adjusting or modifying the strength, shape, or overall structure of the contraption.

Make it as simple or as elaborate as you want!

As an example, 3 Quad pieces connected together in a wide tube shape (as seen in the video above) can be a great shape for a ball to run through. All other methods are encouraged and welcomed!

Helpful Information for Parents

This activity is a great way to introduce kids to the “experimental mindset” and show them that iterating and trying new things (even if the first attempt doesn’t always work) is all part of the process. Often, the best way to learn new things is to simply jump in and try. In the beginning, this activity may feel intimidating for little ones, but being able to learn through play is safe, non-threatening, and fun! Every experiment teaches imparts a new piece of information, and each new lesson learned increases your child’s capability to do better and accomplish great things.

About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his DonorsChoose projects.

Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

Activity Idea – Intro to Math

Activity Idea – Intro to Math

By Mr. Andy

October 2020

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: A fun and approachable way to introduce young kids to mathematical concepts! A variation for older kids is included below.



Math is everywhere! This activity is a super friendly way to introduce children to the concept of measurement so when they learn about the standard units, they can easily apply their play experience to real world mathematical concepts!

The standard unit of measurement for length in the imperial system is measured in inches, foot, and yards.



Children see things as taller or shorter, bigger or smaller. To introduce measurement using Clixo, pick any one of the Clixo crew and measure something with it. How many Quads tall are you?



Liam (pictured below), is roughly 15 Quads long! Things may not always be exact. For those instances, use smaller Clixo shapes to get as close to a measurement as possible. If we took an exact measurement of Liam, he may be 15 Quads and 1 Tridot!



Just about anything can become a non-standard unit of measure! So, have fun and get creative with it!

The concept of Estimation using Clixo pieces can also be introduced.



The Common Core Standards include estimation skills for every grade level. It’s important to introduce children to terms that include such words and phrases as about, close, just about, a little more (or less) than, and between. Learning about estimation is important for kids because it enables kids to:



  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.



You can start simply by asking your child “How many Quads do you think will equal the length of your arm?” If they aren’t sure of what to say, the adult can think out loud and model it. This is a great exercise for kids and could also be a fun game for kids.

The concept of Estimation using Clixo pieces can also be introduced.

A Variation for Older Kids:



– Allow older kids to think and calculate in Clixo Measurements.
– Give them the challenge of measuring each Clixo piece in inches
– Ask them to estimate how many connected Quads would equal a foot? a yard?
(Note: this does not have to be exact, 4 connected quads is about 1 ft)



After figuring out how to convert Clixo Measurements to standard units of measurements, we can now have some mathematical fun!

Challenge your Clixo Mathematician with the questions below!

– The average Giraffe height is 17 feet.
– The average Oak Tree height is 70 feet.
– The average train car length is 55 feet.
How many Clixo Quad pieces would a Giraffe, Oak Tree, and Train Car be?

Helpful Information for Parents



Children engaged in play will often exhibit specific behavioral schemas that are consistent across children all over the world during play. One of the first thing you may see your child do with Clixo is taking the similar pieces such as the Quads and connect them together in a long straight line. This may be seen in other toys when they line up their cars or blocks one after the other in a straight line. 



The behavioral schemas that may be witnessed during the initial exploration of Clixo falls under the trajectory schema. The concept they are developing through play would be linear progression, sequences, etc.



For the younger children, this activity is an introduction to non-standard units of measurements that will help develop their understanding of measurements in a stress free, fun, and authentic way. When they do learn the standard units, they will have a familiarity of measurements. For older children, they’ll be using Clixo to further develop mathematical thinking by converting measurement units.



About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his DonorsChoose projects.



Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂



👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

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Activity Idea – Shadow Play

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: THREE activities that invite your child to explore light, shadows, and to get creative with their Clixo masterpieces.

Gather your finest Clixo masterpieces! Whether you’ve created something from the guide book or something new and unique, we’re going to explore what their shadows look like!

Editor’s Personal Note: I’m a full grown adult and I was utterly mesmerized by the shadows

What is a shadow? A shadow is a dark (real-image) area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.

How are shadows created? To cast shadows, you can opt to use natural light or artificial light. You can even ask your little one questions such as: Where does natural light come from? How about artificial light?

You can invite your child to explore shadows with their bodies by having your child block the light source. You can use the sun, flashlight, or lamp. Afterwards, it’s time to create shadows using Clixo. Your Clixo work can be something that’s defined or abstract.

Activity 1: Clixo Shadow Clock: Start by positioning your structure so that it can form a shadow.

If you are using natural light from the sun, this would be a great opportunity to introduce your Clixo shadow explorer to the positions of the sun during various parts of the day. Using cardinal directions to locate the position of the sun during various times of the day will help your child understand where the sun rises in the morning (East) and where the sun sets during the afternoon (West).

The size of the Clixo shadow can also indicate the time of day. If your Clixo shadow doesn’t cast a shadow that seems to greatly favor any particular side, the sun is at its highest point and this typically occurs around noon.

This activity would require your Clixo structure to be left outdoors for an extended period of time. However, you can emulate this activity indoors using a flashlight or a table lamp.

This was Andy’s work. It kinda looks like Yoshi from Super Mario!

Activity 2: Permanent Clixo Shadow: Clixo structures are meant to be deconstructed. Honor your Clixo masterpieces by drawing them and giving them a new lease on life!

Start by propping your Clixo creation up against a light source like a flashlight or a table lamp. Tape a piece of paper down where the shadow of your creation has been cast.

Your little artist may notice that there are some areas where light is able to pass through. This would be a great time to ask why they think that happens. On the piece of paper, they can opt to leave the openings as is, or opt to fill it in completely with a color or a pattern.

After your artist is done tracing the shadow, they can add details that will help immortalize their Clixo structure. Their imagination can fully come into play here. Go wild! Use all sorts of colors and art materials!

An extension on the activity: Your child can also do this activity over again by varying the height of the light source, or changing the position of the structure. This allows them to create a different piece of art with the same materials! It also gives them a valuable opportunity to explore why these shapes have shifted.

Activity 3: Clixo Shadow Puppet Theater: You don’t need TV screens or devices to entertain your child when you’ve got good old fashioned imagination!

Use your Clixo builds to put on a shadow puppet performance. Make characters from your favorite book or show. You can also develop original, new characters with their own personalities.

In a dark room, shine a flashlight against a wall and start performing. This could be a fun activity for groups of kids to exercise their storytelling skills. This would also be a great activity to wind down before bedtime.

Helpful Information for Parents

Shadow play is a great way to capture children’s attention and spark their imagination and creativity. For the younger children, allow them use flashlights to explore light concepts. It is not only fun but they are learning to manipulate the light and shadows.

For our older explorers, allowing them to explore shadows outdoors at different times of day will provide an interesting discussion about how shadows work. Have them make size comparisons of shadows throughout the day. It will make for interesting conversations about the position of the sun. As stated earlier, this would be a great time to introduce cardinal directions such as North, South, East, and West in relations to the sun’s position.

About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his Donors Choose projects.

Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

Activity Idea – Bubbles

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: Clixo Bubbles! Who doesn’t love bubbles? How about BIG bubbles?

Bubbles are simply air wrapped in soap film. Soap film consists of soap and water. In order to make super bubbles that are strong enough to become big and hold, add cornstarch! Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent in liquid-based foods. In this case, we’ll be using it in our bubbles.

Use Clixo to create a cool bubble wand!

Your Clixo set will be very important in helping you create big bubbles. In order to make bubbles, you’ll need a bubble wand. The bigger the opening on the wand the bigger the bubbles. You may also create a wand that can create multiple soap films for multiple bubble fun!

Use your Clixo pieces to snap together a wand that has enclosures that can trap soap films. Longy will serve as a handle to dip your wand into the bubble solution.

Materials needed + Instructions for the Clixo x Mr. Andy Bubble activity

Helpful Information for Parents

Children engaged in play will often exhibit specific behavioral schemas that are consistent across children all over the world during play. In this bubble activity, when mixing the ingredients to make the super bubble, your child may be extremely focused on mixing and mashing the cornstarch into a mush and combining it into the soap and water solution. If they are super engaged during the bubble making process, let them continue mixing! This scheme is called transforming. The concept they are developing through play would be changing the state of the ingredients used.

During the bubble making phase of this activity, allowing your child to help empowers them and builds confidence. Introduce them to the different utensils you’ll need to prep and mix the ingredients. Show them how to use a whisk and measuring cup. Make connections to math by allowing your child to pour and measure the water, dish soap, and cornstarch. These may seem like small steps but they will go a long way in helping young children become independent.

Pro Tip! It is best to blow the bubbles outdoors! Not only for keeping your home soap suds free but the wind will help blow the bubbles really well, especially if you’re using a bubble wand that has created multiple soap films that blows multiple bubbles at once.

For bigger groups of kids: Turn this into a playful contest by challenging each child to create the biggest bubble they can make. Invite them to experiment with the designs of their Clixo bubble wand. For those who are extra cautious (can’t be too careful in these COVID-times), instead of blowing the bubbles with your mouth, you can use a portable, handheld mini-fan to blow the bubbles 🙂

About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his Donors Choose projects.

Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

👨‍🏫 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

A Guide to Competitive Fun with Clixo

A Guide to Competitive Fun with Clixo

By Clixo Team

July 2020

In the past few days, we’ve shared some independent activity ideas and collaborative and cooperative play ideas with Clixo pieces.



Today, we’d like to share two fun suggestions for some competitive play ideas with Clixo.

“Click-tionary” – Write down a list of different nouns on different pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. Break out into different teams. Have one member of the team pull out a piece of paper, take a stack of Clixos, and create whatever is on the list. Teams compete to see who can build and guess the most number of creations within a specified time.



What kids can learn: Parameters like coming up with a specified creation or making something within a given amount of time helps kids think critically and creatively. 

Speed Snapper – This is a twist to the game we mentioned above where everyone can come up with a list of things to build. However, in this version, everyone creates the same thing at the same time, but goes head-to-head to see who can create the most recognizable version of that thing in the fastest time. 



What kids can learn: While speed is the name of the game here, the game also develops critical and creative thinking to break down the invention into its most recognizable elements. It also allows kids to learn from others as they observe similarities and differences in how other kids tackled the same problem.

Click the hyperlinks below to see our other activity ideas / suggestions:
Solo Fun with Clixo
Collaborative Fun with Clixo
Clixo x Mr. Andy
Clixo x learnwithjoey
Full list of activity ideas



Got ideas you want to share? Want to get in on the fun? Follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter and join our invention adventures. 

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