These days, it's so commonplace to see young kids glued to screens for both leisure and learning purposes.
The push to get kids tech-savvy in the education system starts young and the use of technology in the classroom is in full-swing from the moment kids step through the door of primary school and advances from there as they grow. (Even as I write, my toddler is confidently playing an ABC for Kids app on my iPad. No biggie. Just the norm.)
As a mum, I both like technology for kids... and loathe it. Here's why:
While I am all for kids learning with tech and believe it does assist kids immensely in so many ways (to master whatever the task at hand may be), I am also a big advocate for the fading art of penmanship.
Sadly handwriting seems to be less of a skill that is fostered with all of the care it was once granted when we ourselves were growing up. I personally believe it's a sliding consequence of all that modern button pushing and swiping that's happening in its place.
To foster this appreciation of writing, colouring and drawing and the fine motor skills that are inherent in these activities themselves (in an increasingly pen-less world), I like to arm my kids with a decent supply of everything from crayons to pencils, markers and biros in an effort to encourage them to sit, try and master.
No screens. No headphones. Just pens.
Handwriting is a skill for life and children should be practising it as much as possible.
As always with young kids, having the right equipment is an essential to turn an educational experience into a fun one.
My nine year old son has just recently been awarded his pen license at school. After talking about the hope of obtaining one for much of the year, he was proudly the first in his class to receive one and he was over the moon about it!
If you're not familiar with the whole 'pen license' thing - it's an official OK (backed up by a proper wallet-sized card produced by the teacher) that gives your kiddo the go-ahead to use biros in the place of pencils for all their written tasks.
These things are not given out easily. Kids have to really work for them and as a result, there's a great appreciation for the importance of perfect penmanship and the whole licence thing. They're a proper achievement!
Ruben was understandably stoked to go pen shopping at the time of his achievement and has already amassed quite a collection. He was pretty thrilled when I produced a box full of Pilot Frixion pens for him to use, which we were sent with thanks to Pilot. Unlike regular pens, Pilot's Frixion pens are fully erasable, which makes the task of producing neat and correct school work, less bothersome for easily frustrated youngsters.
The pens themselves look very appealing and come in a fab range of colours and styles which kids (and adults) are drawn to. (Ha! Drawn - get it?! - Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Frixion pens have a thermo-sensitive ink that disappears with friction. Mistakes can be removed quickly and easily by rubbing with the eraser built in to each pen. The friction of the rubbing produces enough heat to erase the writing. There is no mess produced from the eraser either.
Kids (and grown-ups) can have a fantastic time with these. Ruben and I have been writing secret messages to one other, erasing those messages and then popping them in the freezer to make the ink re-appear. The extreme cold of the freezer makes the writing return after it has been erased which is pretty dang cool. I like that these pens are so entertaining for kids - and those of us who are yet to grow up. (Note: Never sign a legal document using Frixion pens!)
The Frixion pens come in a whole variety of styles to suit kids, students and adults.
There is the Frixion 3 in 1 which features three popular ink colours (black, blue and red) in the one pen and are priced at $9.95.
Frixion Ball is a gel ink pen available in nine colours, RRP $3.50.
Frixion Clicker is a retractable ball pen available in seven colours and in fine and extra fine point. $4.45.
Frixion Point is an extremely fine point pen for handwriting and craft, RRP $3.50.
Frixion Light is a highlighter that is erasable and comes in 6 colours, RRP $3.05.
Frixion Colors are felt tip markers available in ten colours and are priced at RRP $2.99 each.
Ruben is so excited to have a set of his own Frixion pens now. Apparently they're a current hot item in his classroom at present, with several of his friends already owning a few since he was awarded his license.
Having had a good play around with these items, we think they're pretty innovative and special. They're definitely a positive and clever way to get kids interested in writing and drawing again, with lots of interest factor and less frustration.
You can find Pilot Frixion pens and markers at newsagents, Officeworks and online.
Where do you stand on tech and kids? (Love it or loathe it?)
Do you think handwriting is becoming less of a skill?
Win one of three Pilot Frixion Pencil Cases valued at $40 each!
There are three pen-filled prizes available for three fabulous followers of Six Little Hearts!
Total prize pool $120.
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Giveaway ends 30th June 2016.
Giveaway ends 30th June 2016.
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*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts was gifted the items featured in this post for the purpose of review.
All opinions expressed are my own and genuine.