Month: December 2013

Happy Christmas


The table is being set for the Hub Christmas Dinner, the Christmas tree lights are lit, it’ll soon be time for us to go our separate ways for the holiday break. There’s just time to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a fantastic 2014.


IMG_3471 IMG_3473

We thought we’d share some of our favourite festive stuff!

The annual news, unintentional comedy moment:

(We can’t wait for this years)

The Christmas films

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.”

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

“Wherever You find love, it feels like Christmas”

The Christmas Markets and City Decorations

The Music (good, bad, cheesy, we don’t mind!)

The Little Things:

A Festive Short film, ” And Yet So Far”parts of which were filmed here at the Hub!

And Yet So Far from Cathy Butler on Vimeo.

Happy Christmas to all, God bless us, everyone!



Swipe Festival: Digital Storytelling/Blogging

What is a blog?

“A blog is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary. It is a place to express yourself to the world. A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be. For our purposes we’ll say that a blog is your own website that you are going to update on an ongoing basis.”

Read more:

Blogs can be very short…

“Pumpkin on the Lego”

or long…

“The Scenic Route”

or informative…

Pangur Ban

or…(my personal favourite)

The Ram

It doesn’t matter, the main objective of this is for readers and site visitors to get an overall sense of what is going on at The Learning Hub, everyone visiting the homepage can see what it is like from a range of perspectives, and that they are kept up to date on events and goings on.



WordPress is what I use for writing and also the host site for The Learning Hub. It works pretty much the same as any word processor and auto saves as you go (which is handy as I accidentally closed all windows, but this piece was there awaiting me on my return). Though I’d still recommend saving before you quit/close WordPress.


Inserting images and video is very easy, just click the add media button on top and upload away. You can insert images anywhere on the post and easily move them. Hyperlinks are also useful. Any word can become a link to an image/site and so on. Just highlight the word and press the link button.


All writings are private until you decide to publish it, you can also preview what the post will look like before you send it out into the world, which is nice.

Blogs can be linked automatically to Twitter and Facebook which works well, getting the words out there. You can set keywords or the equivalent of hashtags for each blog, these are important as it gives a greater possibility of reaching the people we want to reach and makes them easier to find, or even stumble upon.

Get writing!



Fun at Art Hub!

Art Hub is run every Monday and Wednesday by our wonderful art teacher, Lisa Watters.

The Learning Hub Limericks Art Hub did an amazing project on the Eradication of Poverty which spanned over six weeks. The young people who were involved in the project learned about poverty in Ireland and internationally.The group discussed this topic and and created beautiful paintings which represented how poverty would feel for them.

These postcards were sent around Limerick City to create awareness of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty which fell on the 17th of October. A special thanks to the student volunteers from the School of Art and Design, LIT and the Department of Social Protection who has funded this project.
Here are some examples of their fantastic and inspirational work! 🙂
poverty project. poverty project

senior art hub charcoal images

The junior art hub has been working on a project called “when i grow up” and as you can see they all have great futures ahead of them!

junior art hub (1)

Below you can see the junior art hub who have been preparing for the holidays by creating these lovely christmas trees.

art junior xmas trees

All the little artists having a great time!

And here is one of their super clay creations!

Art Hub Senior Clay Figure

There is plenty of opportunity for the young people involved in art hub here at the Learning Hub Limerick to try out many different ways to be creative!

Tech stuff: Ipads and Tablets

A quick guide for parents on electronic tablets this Christmas,
from The Staff at the Learning Hub Limerick
Here’s a range of available tablets to buy this Christmas. As we are totally unbiased here at the Hub we wanted to share the great deals on the many products out there.
NABI 2 7″ Tablet – 8 GB
An easy to use Android Tablet, it’s built for kids, so it is rugged, it has protective case included, it can take a knock or two, it’s a bit heavy for carrying around compared to others, but that probably a good thing for kids, we wouldn’t want anything too flimsy or fragile.
It comes with some really good pre installed apps, some of which are quite useful for parents themselves so this one isn’t just for the kids.
It’s fast and powerful, it can play games, watch films and all the good stuff. One reviewer said their two year old “kicked it across the room”and it still worked fine.
Ports Included: headphone, Sd card, hdmi, micro usb
It also has a camera.
PowerCity/Smyths – €179

Google Nexus 7 – 16GB

Up to date, modern, easy to update, slick design, and sturdy. It’s quite advanced. Probably one for older kids/teenagers, and it won’t be out of date any time soon with plenty of updates available.

It has a good, long lasting battery, and is getting very good reviews.


Littlewoods Ireland – €219

Nook HD (Barnes and Noble)

Only available online. Not being made any more & content/apps limited, especially for us here in Ireland so may be a bit of a gamble as it’s likely new content will not be made available. This should drive the price down though so keep an eye on it.  Otherwise it has got good reviews, you can create multiple profiles on it and create a profile for kids, so it is easy to control access and what content is available.

Littlewoods Ireland – 8GB – €109

16GB – €139


Not sure if we need to go into details, love them or hate them they have the market cornered to the extend that all tablets and e-readers are generally called iPads, regardless of brand. Here’s the current prices anyway:

Currys/Argos – iPad Mini 16GB – €299

Currys – iPad 2 16GB – €389

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

A reliable brand, a ” budget friendly” tablet so no unnecessary trim or features, probably biggest rival to apple, and it will have all the features and apps one could need. It’s easy to use and fast and powerful. It’s light and quite small meaning it’s very portable. However, this means it is not the most durable or tough tablet out there but protective cases can always be added.

Includes a good camera, not huge quality photography but fine for quick and fun snaps.

There is an Sd Card port for extra space which is a good plus.


Smyths –  €174 (Currently on Offer)

Currys – €179

Leap Pad

A good for Juniors, it is more of introductory tablet for ages 2-7, games and apps can  be downloaded that are more challenging and advanced. It’s a nice educational tool for younger kids, and it is easy to personalise. It runs on batterys so best to buy rechargable batteries. It can also be plugged in so it can still be used at home or school when the batteries are being charged.


Smyths – €80

Ultra Model with Wifi €124

(On offer)

Find More information Here:


Today we got a chance to observe some of the kickboxing that goes on here at the Learning Hub. The kickboxing is co-ordinated by Paul O’Brien and runs frequently throughout the week.

Paul, the kick-boxing extroardinare.

Paul, the kick-boxing extroardinare.

They started off with some warm-up exercises and stretches to get the body moving and the blood pumping, they then form into lines and practice some punch formations and kick techniques on some of us volunteers, who are holding pads up for them (you would be surprised at the power some of them have considering they’re so small).

Warming up.

Warming up.

We thought it was great to see activities such as kickboxing going on here at the hub, as exercise is an integral part of keeping young kids healthy. Not only does kickboxing keep your body and your heart in great condition, it also provides away to vent any built up stress and aggression in a friendly group environment, which we feel is an underrated benefit to a young persons mental health. The kids always have great fun at the Kickboxing Club with their friends and there’s lots of shouts and laughter.

Some of our volunteers teaching a junior class.

Some of our volunteers teaching a junior class.

Here is a humorous short video we made showing the kickboxing club as an epic movie trailer, its intense!

Music to our ears!

Every Monday and Tuesday from three to six o’ clock, children from near and far visit the Hub to participate in “Music Hub”. The children’s age varies from junior infants to third year. Participants have an amazing opportunity to experience valuable musical knowledge and skills. The hub selects unique and smashingly talented tutors to guide them into the wonderful world of sound! The Hubs very own musical leader James, with the help of his bopping team, encourages the “little rockers” in their exceptional way to broaden their musical horizons. Every week the kids get the opportunity to learn and play various instruments such as; the guitar, ukulele, piano, drums, bongos, hip hop beats and their own vocals.


James and his little rockers!  Soon they will be “Rockin’ all over the world!!”


A piece of equipment the children use


Three of our devoted tutors, James, Andrew (first left) for whom Music Hub is “a lovely experience” and Patrick (in the middle) who does not only look like a king, but is also called ‘the King of Ukulele’ by the kids . “I love it, love it, love it, love it! I thinks its amazing!” Patrick shouted when asked how does he find this whole experience. As you can see, the tutors love it and the children have  amazing fun playing the instruments and singing along with them!

Music Hub is an unique musical experience that awakes children’s imagination and helps explore their talents!