Year-Round Learning: The Best Ways To Keep Learning All Summer Long

We know how hard it is to keep kids learning and entertained over the summer. And, we know that learning is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when people hear the word “summer”, but we want to challenge that. Year-round learning is both fun and highly beneficial.

Here are some of the greatest benefits of learning during the summer:

  • Helps individuals stay motivated
  • Assists in avoiding bordem
  • Grants opportunities to gain confidence
    • Ability to learn on a flexible schedule

These products are perfect to keep kids learning, while having fun this summer:

Geo Creatures:

Inspire problem-solving in a fun and engaging way with Geo Creatures. Geo Creatures are fun, colorful shapes that allow kids the opportunity to make some of their favorite animals in their habitats by matching the angles of the shapes to the dimensions of the creature on the habitat card.


Super Topplers:

Super Topplers will become kids’ new best friends this summer, while simultaneously teaching them how to sort, count, and even create chain reactions! These cute, colorful, Topplers come with 18 domino cards to keep kids innovating all summer long.


Tubes and Connectors:

These tubes fit perfectly into the connectors to allow young ones to build the creation of their dreams. The kit includes a play guide with 18 cards to help gradually increase the difficulty of each build, therefore enhancing engineering and fine motor skills. Or, kids can start building without the cards to help further their open-ended creativity and understanding of how structures work together to support one another. The possibilities are endless!


Felt Architect:

These soft, felt pieces fit wonderfully together to give kids the opportunity to build the world of their dreams. With this, kids can become architects and develop free thinking. Imagination doesn’t have to take time off just because school does!


We hope we have helped you see the value of continued learning throughout the summer. With these tools on hand, kids can continue to grow into their best selves all year long.

MESH – What is MESH & Why is it Important?

First things first: What is MESH?

MESH stands for mental, emotional, and social health, and is a term coined by ThinkFun in collaboration with Deborah Gilboa, M.D. in 2022. According to meshhelps.org, there are 8 MESH skills that are critical for young learners development. These skills are:

  1. Self-regulation
  2. Problem
  3. Conflict resolution
  4. Communication strategies
  5. Adaptation
  6. Cognition
  7. Self-advocacy
  8. Perseverance

So, why is MESH important?

MESH addresses multiple aspects of well-being including mental health, emotional intelligence, social skills, and physical health. This comprehensive approach ensures that young people receive support in all areas necessary for their overall health and happiness.

By focusing on mental, emotional, social, and health development, MESH programs can help prevent issues such as anxiety, depression, social isolation, and physical health problems. Additionally, these programs can provide interventions and support for young people who are already experiencing challenges in these areas.

MESH aim to build resilience, equipping young people with the skills and resources they need to cope with stress, adversity, and setbacks. By fostering resilience, MESH helps develop the ability to bounce back from difficult situations and thrive in the face of challenges.

This holistic approach increases self-awareness and self-care practices that are vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Through activities such as mindfulness, self-reflection, and stress management techniques, children learn to understand their own emotions, needs, and boundaries, and to take proactive steps to prioritize their well-being.


Here are some of our favorite products that promote MESH:

Make-a-Mandala Paper

With our Make-a-Mandala Paper, people both young and old can tap into their creativity, concentration, and exploration.

This Zen-ful craft promotes mindfulness through the creation of art. Create beautiful geometric patterns as you follow simple line designs. Once you’ve mastered the easy patterns, move to our more challenging designs to create more elaborate patterns. Easy to learn, a lifetime to master!

Fabulous Family Portrait Stencils

With our Fabulous Family Portrait Stencils kids can tap into their emotional, social, and artistic skills!

Kids can trace a family grouping and then color each person in—giving them facial expressions and clothing that represents each person.

We hope that we have helped you to see why being mindful of mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) is so important for young learners. It is never too early to begin developing a healthy and holistic view on life, through both learning and taking care of oneself!

Growth Mindset Lesson Plan

You might be wondering what a growth mindset is, so let’s start by defining it. A growth mindset is the believe that we can improve our abilities through effort, practice, and learning from mistakes. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset which is the believe that our abilities are set in stone.

So why is having a growth mindset important?

Having a growth mindset is vital to development because it allows us to view challenges as a growing opportunity, rather than as an unclimbable mountain. When we approach issues with a growth mindset, we are more likely to achieve goals and try new things that may be difficult or unfamiliar to us. These situations help foster perseverance, problem-solving skills, and a stronger work ethic.

A growth mindset is something that is learned, and therefore, must first be taught. Teaching children this practice from a young age is a great way to help them navigate the coming challenges in their lives, and will also help them to better resolve social issues. Take a look at a few of our products we recommend for exploring growth mindsets.

Roylco Laminated Speech Bubbles:

Our Laminated Speech Bubbles allow children to write how they think someone would respond to a certain situation with a growth mindset vs. with a fixed mindset. This is a great tool to visually show kids how having a fixed mindset often leads to more frustration and limitations, while having a growth mindset leads to greater positivity and success.

Roylco Stand-Up Self Portraits:

Using the Stand-Up Self Portraits, children are able to express what they imagine someone with a fixed mindset looking like (facial expression, what they would say, etc.) and someone with a growth mindset. This allows parents and teachers the opportunity to ask children questions of why they think someone with that specific mindset would think and feel that way, which leads to greater conversation of the benefits of having a growth mindset.

See the Growth Mindset Lesson Plan for greater detail on how to most effectively utilize these tools, Laminated Speech Bubbles and Stand-Up Self Portraits, as a method of teaching young learners the importance of adopting a growth mindset.

We hope you too see the importance of both adults and children putting into practice a growth mindset. It is never too early to learn to effectively overcome challenges and expand your mind to the possibilities in front of you!

The Importance of Calm Down Corners

First things first: What are calm down corners?

We’re glad you asked! Calm down corners are a space that help kids learn to understand, control, and regulate their feelings in a safe and familiar environment.

Many of us do not think about the fact that controlling our emotions is something we once had to learn and practice. We are all aware though that this is a valuable skill throughout every stage of life, which is why it is such an important thing to guide your kids through starting from a young age.

For the best calm down corner, you will want to create a comfortable space in a quiet room, and as you may have guessed, a corner is often best. Making the space comfortable and familiar will help the child feel safe and will also help them to engage in activities that allow them to calm down and understand what it is that they are feeling. You can do this by filling the area with things such as books, comfortable seating such as a bean bag, crafts, and toys!

Why are they important?

They provide a designated, safe area where children can go when they feel overwhelmed, anxious, or upset. Having a physical space designated for calming down can help children feel secure and supported. Calm down corners also teach children self-regulation skills by giving them the opportunity to identify their emotions and choose healthy coping strategies to manage them. When children learn to recognize their feelings and regulate their reactions, they develop important emotional intelligence skills that benefit them throughout life. Providing children with a designated space to calm down empowers them to take control of their emotions and behavior. Instead of reacting impulsively to strong emotions, children learn to pause, self-soothe, and make more thoughtful choices about how to respond.


Tools to help increase your child’s mindfulness include:

Mindfulness Tracers

Our Mindfulness Tracers are inspired by nature, body, and mind and help bring mindfulness and art together to create the perfect meditative exercise for calm down corners! Trace the design to help center yourself and de-stress, and then follow it up with decorating the design to create a beautiful piece of art.

Emotion Tokens

Foster your child’s emotional intelligence with our Emotion Tokens that allow kids to explore what they’re feeling in the form of art! Use different stencils and colors to better express emotions while also promoting empathy and understanding.

Creating a calm down corner in your home or classroom is an invaluable practice for both you and your child(ren). It is never too early or late to develop emotional intelligence, self-management, and core relational skills. Let’s help our kids become the best versions of themselves one emotional moment at a time!

5 Reasons Why Arts & Crafts Are Crucial For Early Development

Dinosaurs and unicorns are alive. Superheroes and insects work together to fight evil. Yep, you heard that right! Welcome to the world of arts and crafts – a magical world where children can put on their capes of creativity and curiosity, unlocking the secrets of their own potential. Arts and Crafts are the forefront of development and growth in young children. From open-ended creative expression to cognitive enhancement, arts and crafts truly impact young minds more than we might expect. Let’s explore five benefits that arts and crafts unlock.

Fine Motor Skill Development

Painting, drawing, cutting, and pasting may seem like simple, mundane activities, but they play a crucial role in developing fine motor skills. These activities require precise movements and coordination, which help children refine their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. As they work with various art mediums, they strengthen their muscles in their hands and fingers, laying the groundwork for future tasks like writing. Take a look at one of our new products that aids fine motor skill development in a big way:

Imagination and Creativity

One of the most significant benefits of arts and crafts learning is gaining the ability to ignite and nurture imagination from a creative point of view. Whether it’s molding clay into mythical creatures or using craft sticks to tell stories of ancient kings and queens, crafts encourage children to think out of the box and explore their creative abilities. This freedom sets children on a trajectory for future success in creative roles and professions. Here is our recommendation for products that enhance imagination and creativity:

Cognitive Development

Engaging in arts and crafts activities stimulates various cognitive functions in children. As children explore possibilities through color, they engage in a wide range of cognitive processes from selecting hues to blending shades to recalling memories evoked by colors. These cognitive processes are not limited to the realm of colors alone; they extend to activities like building structures with blocks or piecing together puzzles, where children combine spatial reasoning and critical thinking together to bring their ideas to life. Through these immersive experiences, children not only develop their artistic abilities but also strengthen essential cognitive functions, laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning and growth.

 Expression and Communication

Not only do arts and crafts provide children with freedom of creative expression, but they also provide a non-verbal outlet through self-expression. By exploring colors, shapes, and textures, they can convert their feelings, thoughts, and experiences into expressions. This form of artistic expression is especially beneficial for those who may find it hard to communicate their feelings verbally. By engaging in creative activities, children learn to express themselves in alternative ways, fostering emotional intelligence and communication skills. Art can also serve as a calming and therapeutic activity, helping children manage stress and anxiety. The process of creating art allows them to channel their feelings constructively and develop resilience when facing challenging situations.

Social Skills and Collaboration

Learning how to work with others is a crucial developmental skill that will be used throughout a lifetime. In fact, more that 50% of people say their jobs require collaboration with one another and 75% of employees rate team work as being crucial in the workplace. Arts and crafts often involve collaboration and social interaction, whether it’s contributing to a group project or sharing ideas and materials with peers. These interactions teach children key social skills like sharing, voicing your opinion, taking turns, and cooperating towards a common goal. They learn to respect diverse perspectives, communicate effectively, and work as part of a team, which are essential skills for navigating social relationships in the future.

Incorporating arts and crafts at an early age is more than just a recreational activity – it’s a powerful tool for holistic development. From honing in on fine motor skills and cognitive development to gaining emotional intelligence and social competence, the benefits are far-reaching and long-lasting. By providing opportunities for creative expression and exploration, we empower children to unlock their full potential and become confident and independent individuals. Let’s nurture their creativity, one masterpiece at a time!

Why STEAM Toys Matter

We’ve got the secret that all parents are looking for. STEAM toys. No, not toys that produce steam, but the acronym STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). Parents are wanting them, and educators are pushing them. In a world now dominated by social media and gruesome video games, the yearn for real hands-on learning toys has become a must-have for parents, and rightfully so. These toys, designed to engage children in the five category disciplines listed above, are gaining major recognition for their profound impact on fine motor skill and cognitive development at every age. Let’s explore the importance of fostering STEAM toys into play.

Numbers, please!:

Yes, we get it. Where’s the truth without numbers? Our good friends over at The Toy Association have put together a fabulous White Page STEAM Toy summary with all the stats parents need to hop on the STEAM train. We’ll just summarize a few of those facts here:

  • 67% of parents believe that STEM/STEAM toys are the best way to push science, technology, engineering, and math skills in their child(ren).
  • 82% of parents acknowledge they look for ways to encourage learning in their child’s play
  • Screen time for children averages 3 ½ hours per day.
  • 9 out of 10 parents believe it’s important for their child(ren) to foster STEM/STEAM skills for further development.

All data gathered from The Toy Association, 2019.

Encourage a Love for Learning:

Out with the old and in with the new – STEAM toys turn learning into a fun and engaging trial-and-error adventure. They also encourage open-ended play – a valuable criterion that teaches every way to play is the right way. By merging play with education, children view learning as enjoyable with a yearn for further exploration.  Children are naturally curious, and STEAM toys harness that curiosity and ignite a passion for knowledge.

Develop Must-Have Critical Thinking Skills:

Critical thinking skills are the core of our everyday activities and successes. STEAM toys challenge children to solve problems, make decisions, and think from a creative point of view (just like every skill requirement listed on a college application or a job listing). Whether constructing a building made from early engineering blocks or testing out different color combinations in an art project, introducing analytical thinking and problem-solving skills at a young age is crucial for future development.

Learning There’s No I in Team:

Teamwork projects are the forefront of every class or work project – we function in teams. Many STEAM toys are designed to encourage collaboration and learning how to understand other points of view, which can be difficult at a young age. Working on a project together also teaches valuable social skills that can be masked by social media usage. Learning teamwork, social, and problem-solving skills?

To wrap it all up, STEAM toys are much more than playthings – they are the catalysts for a love of learning and exploration. By introducing STEAM early on, we empower young children to become revolutionized critical thinkers, collaborators, and innovators. So, what are you waiting for? Hop on the STEAM toy train today! As we say at Roylco, let’s build tomorrow’s generation together.