A belated February finds post for you! Below I have included some fun kid related products, posts and podcasts that I think you might like! If you have any finds you would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments.
You may just be having kids home for a longer school holiday period than expected with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, so these products will help educate and entertain!
Crocodile Hop Mat – Roll the cubes to make your way across this colour, shape and number creek by landing on the rocks and logs. Be the first to get to the other side and win.
Here are some posts from the blog that you might find useful to help with the kids learning:
- Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
- Teaching Number Recognition To Preschoolers And Numeracy Resources For Parents
- Teaching Counting On With Monopoly
- In what order should the alphabet and sounds be taught?
- LEGO and Literacy
- 3 simple phonics tips for parents
- Helping beginning readers
A couple of podcasts on kid-related topics:
- Everything you’d ever want to know about raising a good human with Stephen Cowan, M.D. – I really enjoyed this podcast and this quote from Stephen Cowan, M.D.: “Child development is not a race. It’s a journey, it is a story that’s being told. It has ins and outs and plots.”
- Optimising kid admin – Life Admin Life Hacks is a great Australian podcast and this episode is full of excellent tips on how to get all the kid admin under control.
Squiggle Kids: drawing with kids workshops
The Melbourne team behind the baby + me book for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters have a new initiative!
Debbie Isaac (paediatric occupational therapist, mum of three and drawing enthusiast) and Lauren Gardiner (children’s author and also mum of three) have started an initiative called “Squiggle Kids”, which aims to inspire parents, carers and educators to draw with children. The team are running workshops and developing materials that give parents the knowledge and skills to engage and extend children in drawing activities, including helping parents to select tools, materials and activities to suit the child’s interests and developmental stage and to help them overcome common problems.
Research points to the importance of drawing for child development and school readiness (drawing is a precursor to writing and literacy as it develops the fine motor, visual and working memory skills required to write). It’s also a creative and expressive outlet for children. Furthermore, when done with a responsive and engaged adult, shared drawing activities can be a bonding experience and provide an opportunity for further learning about the world (colours, shapes etc).
However, Debbie and Lauren believe that parents and early learning institutions may not be encouraging drawing activities with pre-school children commensurate with its importance, particularly in the context of our busy lives, the rise of screens and the preference for other forms of play (eg physical activity). They also acknowledge that it’s not always easy to engage all children in drawing – Lauren’s experience drawing with one of her children early on was a difficult one, with most drawing activities ending quickly with a scribble and a scrunch (or rip!). While Kindergartens include shared reading time as part of the structured part of a kinder day, drawing is often an optional-only activity.
For more see www.memobooks.com.au/squigglekids/.
There are two Squiggle Kids events in Melbourne on the near horizon, as follows:
Play Learn Grow with Drawing Workshop Series at Escape Hatch Books
A series of three hands-on and fun sessions for parents and children. Includes a song, a story and a hands-on drawing activity. Activity ideas and tools will be demonstrated for parents during the session and Q&A will be encouraged. A take-home bag of goodies will help the fun and the learning continue at home!
Who: for parents and children 2+
When: 10.30-11.30am Friday 24 April, 1 May and 8 May
Where: Escape Hatch Books, 9 Strathalbyn Street, Melbourne
Learning to Draw and Drawing to Learn Workshop at Little Creatures Play Space and Party Venue
An adult-only workshop with a focus on research and developmental milestones as well as strategies and ideas for extending children as well as engaging reluctant or disinterested children. Activity ideas and tools will be demonstrated in a hands-on activity. A take-home bag of goodies will kick start drawing at home.
Who: for parents of children 0-6
When: 7.30-9pm Tuesday 2 June
Where: Little Creatures Play Space and Party Venue
Tix: email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive notice of when tickets become available
What have you enjoyed reading or listening to lately?
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