I’m a big fan of local author/illustrator Peter Carnavas. Like myself, Peter is a primary school teacher so he knows what makes a great picture book. With New Frontier behind him, Carnavas has been bringing out book after fabulous book. Continue reading
This week thousands of Aussie kids across the country heard the fabulous story Feathers For Phoebe by award winning author/illustrator Rod Clement. National Simultaneous Storytime has become an annual event, and one that is warmly embraced by librarians, early years educators, parents and children alike. My two year old and I enjoyed the activities and reading at our local library. Continue reading
It’s such a simple piece of equipment: two ropes, five bits of wood, and a ring at the top to hold it all together. But this unassuming rope ladder has provided the kids with wonderful physical and cognitive challenges, and loads of fun!
There is quite a lot of skill involved in climbing a rope ladder. Where do you put your hands? Where do you put your feet? Where do you look? How do you get to the next rung? Hands up first, or feet up first? Pull with your arms, or push with your legs? Reach. Stretch. Balance. Persevere. Keep your centre of gravity. Remember what worked. Do it again. Fall off. Don’t do it again! Embrace small victories. Celebrate reaching the top. Work out how to get back down.
I encourage the kids to climb in safe and appropriate ways. They are allowed to climb trees, climb the rock wall and climb the rope ladder. Those are appropriate things to climb. They are not allowed to climb on the deck balustrading, or on the house – that would be unsafe and inappropriate. The only rule we really have is, “If you can get up, you can get down.” That means I don’t help the kids to climb higher than they are independently able. This is important. We shouldn’t push children to do things their bodies and minds aren’t ready to tackle. Doing so can in fact be dangerous. Allowing them to try, try again also encourages persistence, which is vital for success in life.
It takes effort, but my daughter can reach the top. She has to think about what her body is doing, and regroup after each rung, but she gets there. She also loves to use the ladder as a swing, and feel the wind in her hair. At 2, my son can climb to the second rung. As you can see in the photos, the rungs are a good distance apart, and he’s not a very big kid! We give him as much praise for reaching that second rung as we do for our daughter reaching the top. He works hard to get there and is proud of his effort. He also likes to swing on the bottom rung, and has taken a few spectacular tumbles! Falling down is all part of the learning process.
Do you encourage your kids to climb?
Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
And he’s always gone too long
Any time he goes away… Continue reading
Patterns are fascinating. From simple to intricate, patterns are found in the world all around us. There are also patterns in literacy, science, technology, music, art, and of course numeracy. Being able to identify the repeating segment of a pattern, and predict what will come next is an important skill. Continue reading
Giggle and Hoot continue to go from strength to strength as the lovable co-hosts of ABC4Kids. I’ve had the opportunity both to interview Jimmy Giggle (James Rees) and meet him backstage. He really does deserve the attention he receives from kids across the country. Late last year I watched him give the same genuine grin and hug to the 367th child waiting in line as he did for the first child in line. He obviously loves what he does.
The latest offering from Giggle and Hoot is a DVD compilation of giggle-icious music. Sing-along to new Giggle and Hoot songs and enjoy well known tunes like Hoot’s Lullaby. On the DVD, Giggle and Hoot also present episodes or songs from some of my ABC favourites. There’s a fantastic Playschool episode on Making Music, a Wiggle and Learn episode called ‘Beach, Beach, Sandy Beach,’ songs from Justine Clarke, The Wiggles and more! It’s a great compilation DVD for weekends, school holidays or rainy afternoons with toddlers!
You can pick up a copy in ABC Stores or online for $19.99 or enter below to win one of FOUR copies! To enter, simply leave a comment sharing something that makes your child giggle! (Aussie residents only, one entry per person, comp closes 6pm Sunday 8th May, 4 winners chosen at random.)
* I received a copy of Giggle-icious Music courtesy of Roadshow.