Website Background

February 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm (Kazu.tv)

The setting for the Kazu Website is a magical garden. It will inspire the imagination of the young children. They also learn about how things grow while navigating around the site. Young children love to play outside, so it is a familar setting. Although not meant to replace playing outside, the website will keep them entertained on rainy days when they can’t go outside.

Children will navigate from one page to another by moving up & down the beanstalk. The beanstalk idea is taken from the fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, which is fun and entertaining while also teaching them a lesson. The Kazus live in a house on the beanstalk.

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Felt

February 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm (Kazu.tv)

Scanned in felt for background is perfect for making the site look child friendly. Felt is a soft fabric, like a teddy bear. Texture appeals to sense of touch. Change from all the vector graphics seen is sites for kids. Felt will also be used for characters.

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Puppet Characters

February 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm (Kazu.tv)

1. As one of the show features the Kazu characters, the characters themselves could be  puppets. This would make them more familure to the children. They could get to know the characters in the show & it would allow for their personalities to be more developed

Puppet making techniques

http://www.101handpuppets.com/

2. DANCING BEAR HAND PUPPET

3. Goldilocks

4. Animal hand puppets

http://www.robinsfyi.com/fun/hobbies/crafts/handpuppets.htm

How to Make Sock Puppets

http://www.daniellesplace.com/HTML/puppets.html

Tutorials for making these puppets can be found by following the links to the websites beside the images

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Toys

February 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm (Kazu.tv)

Educational toys for children – teach them about shapes , patterns, numbers, letters, animals and music. All very brightly coloured with simple patterns and blocks of colour

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Toys & Learning

February 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm (Kazu.tv)

Article; Educational Benefits of Providing Toys To Children

Kids love toys. If you have any doubts about that, just take a child into a toy store. She will probably find a number of things that she feels she just can’t live without.

Toys are more than just fun and games for kids. Most toys provide at least some opportunity for children to learn. The best toys engage a child’s senses, spark their imaginations and encourage them to interact with others.

Babies and Toys
Rattles: Babies are eager to learn about the world around them, and they have much to learn. Every new shape, color, texture, taste and sound is a learning experience for them. Giving your baby toys that are safe and stimulating will help him discover his senses.

Rattles and toys that make music are favorites of infants. Toys with contrasting colors are fascinating to babies and stimulate their developing vision. As they grow, infants can use toys to explore object permanence and cause and effect relationships. They also need objects such as blocks to help them build motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Toys for Toddlers
Blocks: Toddlers can play with a wider variety of toys than they did when they were smaller. They might still enjoy some of the toys they played with as babies, and that’s fine. The same blocks they played with a year or two ago can provide them with new and different educational opportunities as their knowledge expands. But they also need toys that are designed with kids their age in mind.

Shape sorters are great for toddlers. They teach them how to match similar items and provide parents the opportunity to teach them the names of the shapes. Lego blocks provide an opportunity to learn more about colors and symmetry while they develop their motor skills.
Toys for Preschool and School-Aged Children

Alphabet Puzzles When children reach preschool age, it’s time to start learning about letters, numbers and language skills. There are lots of toys that encourage this type of learning, from simple alphabet puzzles to high-tech electronic gadgets. These can give your child a head start by introducing her to the things she will be learning in school.

Learning laptop for kidsKids who are in school can supplement their learning with fun and educational toys. Giving them the opportunity to have fun while practicing the things they are learning in school will increase their retention of those things. And when your child finds an educational toy she really likes, she will be more likely to play with it, reinforcing the things she has learned.

Children can learn a lot from playing. When you give your child educational toys and play with them with her, it gives her a chance to bond with you, learn, and have fun at the same time. And making education enjoyable will help your child retain the things she learns and develop a positive attitude toward learning.

http://www.vineyardesigns.com/moms/educational_toys/benefits.shtml

-this articles shows the benefit of toys for children & how they learn from using different objects. As they are playing, they don’t realise they are learning which is exactly the aims of Kazu

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Articles on Teaching Children

February 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm (Kazu.tv)

To better understand the target audience I looked at some articles on education for preschoolers and their ability to learn. As I want the audience to learn without realising it’s important to understand how they learn & how to conceal it & make it fun for them

(Extracts from Babies are Smarter Than Adults)

About fifty years ago, a prominent brain specialist discovered the astounding fact that a baby did NOT have to learn spoken language first in order to learn to read. This neurologist, unfortunately deceased at age forty-two, asked reading experts in publishing to construct a system of large crayoned capital letters upon sheets of paper or white cardboard sheets. There was a vocabulary of about 300 words and then phrases like GET DADDY’S SLIPPERS, etc.

The neurologist had a nine months old daughter, and he subjected her to viewing the cards and then precipitating her into the indicated actions. After a period of six weeks or so, he found that he could hold up the card ,say,’ get Daddy’s slippers’ and she would crawl a short space and secure the slippers. She did not appear to have spoken language except in a minor way.
This system was translated into a set of materials published by a Chicago publishing house which already was preparing mathematics, music, and other materials for the very young, babies from 18 months to five year olds.

Thirty-seven years later, a national television network followed up on the story of babies reading and asked WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT 9 MONTHS OLD WHO COULD READ 300 WORDS, BUT WHO DID NOT YET HAVE SPOKEN LANGUAGE?

The network discovered that the female, now thirty-eight years old, was President of a college in California.

In ALL of our levels of education, we should be aware of the extraordinary learning potential of very young babies. Our neurologic statistics indicate that the most active receptor ages run from birth to age eight

http://www.helium.com/items/951951-childrens-ability-to-learn-language

(Article: Sensory, Intellectual and Motor stimulus needed for a child to learn language)

Every child is born with an ear to learn the language that he is most exposed to at birth. Though, by the age of 3, the child already has a repertoire of words, modulations and intonations, there are many things he still has to learn: He has to master the art of speaking; he has to enrich his vocabulary; he has to develop precision in the pronunciation of words and learn to use the right word to convey what he means; he has to know how sentences are structured using words; and he has to master orthographic complications such as writing, reading and punctuation.

In the quest for mastering the language, all the child needs is “help” from the environment sensory, intellectual and motor stimulus.

Sensory, Intellectual and Motor stimulus

Sensory stimulus:
A child, in the initial stages, is a sensory explorer. His gateways to language are his senses. An active activation to his senses is the best form of sensory stimulus to help language acquisition.

(a) Exposure: It is only from hearing people speak that children get the idea of speaking’. They begin to understand that bigger people make sounds that affect other things. Speaking makes things happen. When this realization dawns on them, it speeds up their language development. Adults can aid the language acquisition process by keeping children around adult conversations and talking to them in an unaffected manner, encouraging them when they indicate signs of wanting to express themselves, providing “talk” time and reducing exposure to TV.

(b) Tune the child to sounds: The adult can help the child understand that language consists of words, words consists of sounds and sounds consists of syllables. By helping the child break down a word to its sound notations and syllables, the adult helps the child tune himself to the components of sounds and therefore the words. This help can be provided in the form of designing phonetic exercises which teach the child about the groups of sounds, how sounds can be made, how the lips, teeth and tongue shape the mouth in different ways to create different types of sounds in a language.

( c) Provoke an association: The biggest help that the adults can provide the child is to provoke an association between his senses and sound. When the child uses his senses such as touch, ears, sight and smell to understand objects, the adults must use the relevant words with the child so the child can form an association in his  memory between what he senses and what the related word sounds like. The adult designing various sensorial activities and introducing words and expressions in a timely matter will provoke a strong association and help greatly in the building of language.

Intellectual Stimulus:

When the child realizes the importance and impact of sound, he is ready to embrace the intellectual qualities of sound. One of the key goals in the area of providing intellectual help to the child is ensuring that the right word-association is made. It pays to back-check with the child by producing the word and asking the child to evoke a particular activity. This helps to check if the right word connection has been made.

Motor Stimulus:

Motor activity actually completes the circle of understanding. It represents the action based on the understanding of the language. It can be considered as the ultimate test of language comprehension. Motor activity in language development, takes the form of actions based on the spoken word or graphic expression (writing). While the first one invariably is based on the power of association acquired during the sensory and intellectual stimulus, writing is a conscious and voluntary expression that requires translation of the symbols taken in during the sensory and intellectual phases into concrete motor activity.

Help for taking action based on language, can be provided by repeating the action and the word, thus reinforcing the association and by consciously describing the action so that more nuances are added to the word association thus making for a more enriched language.

Various tactile material so as to help understand the extent of pressure required for writing, investing in helping the child with drawing various designs as designs are the forerunners to writing and helping build muscular memory for the alphabets would be good exercises to encourage motor activity.

Give all these three forms of stimuli and sit back and wait for the language explosion in the child.

http://www.helium.com/items/1108781-how-children-learn-to-speak-how-adults-can-help-children-learn-to-speak

– This article shows how sensory appeal is vital to learning. Along with repetition, sounds and copying actions they see adults do. These will be vital to designing my website and content for the site. A voice-over could say the word on the button when the child rollsover the button. This will help them learn.

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Character Creation

February 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm (Kazu.tv)

Sketches for characters. The Kazu characters have to look very cute and eye-catching to appeal to this young audience. Simple shapes will work best & will fit in with the rest of the site. Each character could be the same type of character e.g. a sheep with different accessories or there could be a cast of different animals. Big eyes make them cuter.

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Wireframes

February 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm (Kazu.tv)

Initial wireframes for the Kazu website. Logo & navigation will be beside each other to teach them that they are able to click the logo to get back to the homepage. Navigation will have a focus on icons/imagery. These will be simple shapes to appeal more to the young target audience. There will be one main background image with floating panels in front, so that the background can be seen between the boxes. This will split up the different sections to make it simpler for kids. Backgrounds may be different on each page. Sub nav will also focus on imagery. Proposed pages are home, games, art, shows & characters/cast/kazu

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Logo Flash Cards

February 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm (Kazu.tv)

Further development lead to the idea that the blocks could be simplified into very basic shapes. Also resemble flash cards that teachers use to help teach children new words/letters etc. This deffinalty gets across both the fun and education elements of Kazu. While also keeping with the simple, fun, bright, funky shapes. Red and orange are still used to encourage learning, both they are balanced out with the other fun colours & not quite so obvious.The corners of the rectangles are rounded to make them more child friendly.

The .tv has the tv inside a circle. The circle is a symbol of endless possibilities. It’s also a fun simple shape that these young children will be used to seeing.

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Logo Blocks

February 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm (Kazu.tv)

1. Instead of having foam like shapes, why not have actuall shapes. Children are always playing with building blocks. They are fun for children, but they don’t realise they are learning while playing – spelling out words. This is exactly what Kazu aims to do, teach the children without being too obvious that they are learning.

2. Developing blocks logo. Layout – the blocks on to of each other could be a little difficult for the children to read, needs to be very clear and simple. Tried refining the blocks to make them look more 3D and professional. Experimented with different colours. Decided to place the blocks side by side to make it easier to read. Went for a different approach – let the imagery show the educational aspect to parents while having fun shapes for children. The multi-coloured logo would be more eye catching and it would show more of the entertainment aspect of the website.

3 & 4. Initial ideas for tv spots for Kazu.

5. After some thought, realised that the logo I created too closely resembled the Smyths toystore logo. Decided to re-think the logo to create it’s own unique identity.

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