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October 2021
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December 2021

I love the lead up to Christmas. One way to make this season more meaningful to our children is to involve them in practical hands-on ways. Children can be involved in decorating, baking, choosing or making gifts for others, writing cards and of course wrapping! We decided to try some child-made Christmas wrapping paper. I love these ideas as they make the gifts look and feel extra special and show that we've given some extra care and thought into the wrapping. We tried as much as possible to use craft materials we already have at home. With some of these... Read more →

Following yesterdays post about beach learning, I wanted to share some of the wonderful and creative learning materials regarding the seaside and ocean on Etsy. Letterbox Sea Beach Beachcomber Box - a collection of natural items from the beach. This would be fantastic for hands-on learning if you don't have access to the coastline. Sea Creature Wooden Imaginative Play Blocks - blocks for open-ended play featuring beautiful watercolour illustrations. By the Sea Notebook - for journaling or sketching. Narwhal Rubber Stamp - usually I like more realistic stamps but I know my narwhal loving preschooler would adore this! Watercolor Seashells... Read more →

This term we decided not to return to our Forest School class. Instead, we are trying a little of our own Beach School. One or two (or three) mornings a week we make our way to the beach to explore, have fun and learn a little. The beach provides an ideal learning environment for children who can learn in-situ, hands-on and be able to run and jump and generally make as much noise as they like. It makes sense to choose one or two regular spots to visit each week so the children can observe the changes in the environment... Read more →

Do your children like playing and exploring with a measuring tape? I recently introduced some measuring activities to my preschooler and found the activities that included a measuring tape were the most popular. Note that we used a children's measuring tape. Please check your measuring tape carefully before giving it to a child, at this age I would only provide a children's measuring tape or use a soft fabric style measuring tape. Metal measuring tapes can be sharp and can retract quickly and aren't suitable for young children. Our measuring tape is from The Lovevery Problem Solver Play Kit. Learning... Read more →

Here in Australia, it's National Frog ID week! 🐸 During this week citizens are encouraged to record frog calls using the FrogID app, as a measurement of frog health and distribution around the nation. It aims to monitor frog distributions over time, helping us to understand how frogs and their ecosystems are responding to a changing planet. Participating in National Frog ID week is a great way to teach Environmental Stewardship. We started by downloading the FrogID app and taking a walk to our local nature reserve. Unfortunately, we did not hear any frogs but we were able to read... Read more →

We've used modelling beeswax many times before but we've always used Stockmar Modeling Beeswax. Stockmar Modeling Beeswax can be expensive and I wanted to try a natural alternative. I decided to try some homemade Modeling Beeswax. Working with Modeling Beeswax is a good activity to develop muscles in the fingers and hands. It can be calming and the children can work on their sculpting skills. Modeling Beeswax is firm and can be warmed by the child's hands which may help to develop perseverance and patience. When cooled it retains its shape so the sculptures can be used on a nature... Read more →

My preschooler recently transitioned from mostly using the Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Knife to mostly using the 'big kids knife', the Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife (AU here). The Opinel knife is much sharper than the Kuhn Rikon knife so we needed to go over our safety rules. Our knife safety rules include: Sharp knives are stored out of reach of young children. We keep our Opinel knife with our adult knives, our child has to ask to use it. Children only use knives under 100% adult supervision. There is no walking off or turning away. We encourage children to hold... Read more →

This term my preschooler started taking an online music class which is guided by the Suzuki approach. It's completely different to the music classes I've taken with my children before. The classes have dramatically improved my child's musical vocabulary. Towards the end of the class, the teachers read or sing a couple of books to the children. The classes have inspired me to start a small collection of music-related books to read at home. Initially, I selected books about the Orchestra! First Book About the Orchestra by Sally Taplin. This is relatively short at ten pages but it has nine... Read more →

Following my recent article about the Read It, Build It, Write It Chalkboard, I wanted to share some ideas for practising CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words if your child isn't ready for writing with a pencil or chalk. Above we are using CVC puzzles. We started using these at three years with very simple words that my child was already familiar with. There are lots of CVC puzzles available, we've even borrowed some from our local toy library. The CVC puzzles we like the most are the Big Box of Little Word Puzzles, these have photographic images and are really clear. All... Read more →

Do your children use chopsticks? Our 4 year old loves to use chopsticks but he tends to hold them like tongs. So I've been looking for children's chopsticks or chopstick helpers that will teach him how to correctly hold the chopsticks. Let me know if you have any advice!!! I recently watched a video of a Japanese toddler using chopsticks at 2yrs (so I know it can be done), using chopsticks can help the child to feel included if the adults and older children are using chopsticks and they can also help develop fine motor skills. We decided to try... Read more →

Over the weekend we visited a different Toy Library (still within our Local Government Area). It's much larger than our usual Toy Library so it was fun to see more toy options! Our Toy Library has a range of toys for children from birth to around 12 years. It includes puppets, dress-ups, ride-on toys, outdoor toys, construction toys and a huge amount of educational toys, puzzles and board games. ❀️ I love the concept of the Toy Library and wish it was available in every Council area. It has the real potential to expose children to new learning opportunities and... Read more →