A Sweet Education with Maynards

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I find it really difficult to engage my child in formal learning activities. Each week Cheeky Chap has a maths test at school which he needs to practice for and he has speech therapy tasks to practice each week, as well as regular reading and there are times when it just feels all too much effort as there can be tears and tantrums over putting the work in. I am not ashamed to admit that we have had to resort to using bribery a star chart, adding the various ‘homework’ activities on to the chart.

Two things are guaranteed to pique Cheeky Chap’s interest; an app, using the iPad or iPhone or sweets. Even better if, somehow, the two can be combined. The people at Maynards have come up with a, quite frankly, GENIUS idea. Sweets that can help you learn with the aid of an interactive app.

I must confess, Cheeky Chap gets a few sweets most days, although we are working on cutting his intake down. I have no idea where he gets his sweet tooth from… *innocent face*. Naturally, when he spotted these on unpacking the weekly food shop, he immediately wanted to try them but I had a plan and no one, especially a little boy who has a tantrum, gets in the way of my plans! To be fair, the brightly coloured packets would tempt anyone to give them a try.

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New sweets prove to be an awesome bribery method. After Cheeky Chap’s initial refusal to sit and do his maths practice, I pulled out a bag of sweets. A small selection of new sweets to try, after completing 10 sums. Done. Easily. Why didn’t I think of that before?

As you can probably imagine from the packet, the sweets come in various shapes. So, the ‘Body Bits’ packet contains teeth, hearts, feet while inside ‘Myths & Monsters’ you will find unicorns, yetis and mermaids and inside ‘Animals’ you will eat penguins, giraffes and hedgehogs. However, that isn’t what is different about these sweets. An app accompanys these sweets and then the fun can begin.

Simply open the app from the App Store and scan the packet, you are asked to select something to discover. You then need to hold your phone out in front of you, being careful to not cover the camera lens and scan your surroundings until a 3D shape appears on the screen, just like magic! A fact relevant to the shape pops up, if you think you know the answer (or want to guess!) you tap the shape and are given multiple choice answers to select from, if you don’t know, shake the phone to move on and find another shape!

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With a handful of sweets from each packet placed on the plate, if we managed to work out the right answer, Cheeky Chap then needed to find the corresponding sweet on the plate.

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Have fun with an app, learn AND eat sweets… GENIUS. Just like I told you. The only trouble with these sweets is that they only come in so-called sharing bags which makes it incredibly difficult to not finish the packet once Cheeky Chap has finished playing the game, not highly conducive to my weight loss mission. Ah well, a little treat now again never hurt anyone.

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A little update: Clearly new sweets do work as bribery; Cheeky Chap finally passed his maths test after six weeks which was number bonds of 10. 

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