S TO M P R OA R ACT LIKE A LION Exercise in disguise
PLUNKET SAYS :
How to help your child get their zzzs
“READ TO ME ”
Bringing books to life
Why children need to learn
RESILIENCE FRIDAY NIGHT = FAMILY NIGHT
please take one
15 ways to make it happen AUT UMN 2018
Kia ora t a tou!
COVER IMAGE: KARYN FLETT PHOTOGRAPHY, WAYNE WRIGHT IMAGE: TRACIE HEASMAN
he first 1,000 days of a child’s life are now accepted as the most critical in determining whether that child develops into a happy, healthy adult, or leads a more difficult life. As CEO of BestStart Educare, with 19,000 families attending our early childhood centres, that’s a fact that deeply impacts me. I feel a weight of responsibility to do the best I can by our children and parents, because the care and education we provide will contribute toward each child’s outcomes as adults. As parents, grandparents, whanau, teachers, and friends, we can do some simple things to make a positive difference: Read and talk with your child (even if they’re too young to understand or talk back). Support your child in a safe environment to explore, hear, see, feel, and touch, to help make sense of the world
around them. Be with them, hold them, cuddle them. Give your child good, nutritious food. Support your child to understand their feelings and build a sense of empathy for others. Especially until the age of two, try to have little to no screen time. My wife Chloe and I want better outcomes for every child, which is why the Wright Family Foundation, which owns BestStart, developed and funded the “Love Grows Brains” clips you see on TV. This is why we are so committed to funding research, too. Research shows there are programmes which, when made available from the age of three, can positively affect children who are likely to lead difficult lives. As a trial in 20 of our centres, we are applying this research along with professional learning, supporting our teachers who work in these centres. We expect to make a positive difference to their learning and consequently positive life direction into adulthood – watch this space.
BestStart CEO and Founder
ISSUE 4 Small talk 6 Read to me 8 Help! My child won't sleep! 9 5 tips for parents of under-5s 10 Make Friday night family night 11 School skills: Self-help 12 Lunchbox idea: Rainbow sushi balls 13 Animal exercise 14 Ask the expert: Resilience 15 Free things you can do with your child ABOUT US BestStart is New Zealand’s largest private early childhood provider. Over 19,000 families are enrolled annually in BestStart centres around New Zealand. Bright Start magazine aims to better connect our parents, teachers, families, and communities. PUBLISHER Produced by New Zealand Contract Publishing Ltd on behalf of BestStart PO Box 276-177 Manukau, Auckland 2241 P: (09) 250 2651 M: 027 555 8585 E: email@example.com BEST-START.ORG facebook.com/BestStartEducare linkedin.com/company/beststart Bright Start is published four times a year. Total circulation: 55,000 copies per issue. ISBN 2537-7388 (print) ISSN 2537-7396 (online)
BESTSTART IS A STAR SPONSOR OF PLUNKET
Reading to your child is a simple yet important way you can make a positive difference in their life right from the time they are born. It's a wonderful way to show love.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed and statements made in Bright Start are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Bright Start, on behalf of itself and its authors, asserts copyright on all material appearing in Bright Start and none of it shall be reproduced, wholly or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves all rights in respect of all material received and accepted for publication. Bright Start reserves the right to edit or abridge all material, solicited or otherwise, accepted for publication.
News, advice, and stuff children (and parents) will love. W H AT M A K E S A H A PP Y WOR K I NG M U M? A happy working mum feels competent in interacting with her child and experiences a sense of freedom and choice in her actions, while having a warm and affectionate relationship with her baby. She is also not too hard on herself about how she is faring as a mother, says Katrijn Brenning of the University of Ghent in Belgium, who led research that investigated what affects a working mother's sense of wellbeing. Brenning believes that in their interaction with their children, mothers should seek out experiences that also help to satisfy their own daily psychological needs. Mothers should not be too hard on themselves about how they are faring as a mother, search for activities with their baby that they enjoy, and create opportunities to spend with their offspring in a warm and affectionate way. The positive influence and energy this creates could be beneficial in that it allows mothers to interact with their child in a more sensitive, patient, and positive fashion.
BOOK CORNER Maisy Goes to the Bookshop, by Lucy Cousins (Walker Books RRP$16.99)
FACT If you read to your child 15 minutes a day, by age five, it adds up to 27,375 minutes, or 456 hours, or over 19 days!
Maisy goes to the bookshop to buy a new book, and she also wants to get one as a present for her friend Tallulah. The bookshop shelves are packed full of amazing books! The shopkeeper is very helpful, too. Maisy finds her friends Charley, Cyril and Eddie inside. Everyone has so much fun choosing the books they love and imagining all sorts of wild and wonderful things! They share in story time together and even get to eat a tasty snack at the cafe. This colourful book celebrates the joys of reading and the importance of bookshops. It's more fun with Maisy! Visit her amazing website maisyfun.com for activities, newsletters, games, and more.
WE HAVE 10 COPIES OF MAISY GOES TO THE BOOKSHOP TO GIVE AWAY! TO ENTER, EMAIL BRIGHTSTART@BEST-START.ORG. COMPETITION CLOSES 31 MAY 2018.
PA R E N T T O PA R E N T “Our children’s first experience with trusting another is with us. Their relationship with us will become the bedrock on which they build all future relationships. We should never take that lightly. Being given someone’s heart is a precious gift. Be sure to handle it thoughtfully and to care for it tenderly.” ~Bridgett Miller
SHORT S How did you help someone today?
How did someone help you today?
Conversation starters for the car ride home
Who did something funny today?
If the question, “So, what did you do today?” only gets you a grunt or an “I don’t know!” in reply, try asking your children some of these questions on the car ride home instead.
When were you brave today?
When were you kind today?
What made you feel happy today?
FA M I L Y M E A L S = H A P P I E R C H I L D R E N
Children who routinely eat their meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits, a new study from the Université de Montréal shows. It looked at children who had been followed by researchers since they were five months old as part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. When the family meal environment quality was better at age six, higher levels of general fitness and lower levels of soft-drink consumption were observed at age 10. These children also seemed to have more social skills, as they were less likely to self-report being physically aggressive, oppositional, or delinquent at age 10.
Mini Shots is a starter tennis programme offered by Tennis Monsters for children aged three to five. Mini Shots gives children basic and simple skills of balance, coordination, and movement, as well as more specific ball and racquet skills such as swing patterns. It’s a fun, easy course that uses interactive gamebased group learning in a welcoming, friendly environment. Children use modified smaller racquets and slower, larger, lowcompression tennis balls for easier contact.
MEANWHILE, TRY THIS AT HOME: To help your child develop hand-eye coordination using tennis skills, use a balloon and a small paddle, swingball racquet, or just bare hands. Throw the balloon up into the air, and when it slowly drifts down, encourage your child to make contact with the balloon using the racquet or their hands. Balloons are a great tool as they’re big and move slowly, making it easier for small children to make easy contact and develop spatial awareness. You can also use balloons for serving patterns, swing patterns, and footwork movement – all simple steps towards developing basic tennis skills.
CHECK OUT TENNISMONSTERS.COM UNDER JUNIOR TENNIS
We love Just Great Design’s gorgeous Kiwiana-themed products. Check out these Crayons in Maori and English (RRP$12.95), Alphabet Kiwi Flash Cards (26 educational flash cards each featuring a clever kiwi with an associated word, RRP$16.50), and Kiwiana Number Matching Cards (themed card pairs numbered 1 through 12 with the English and Maori language, RRP$16.50) – perfect for little learners. For stockist details, head to justgreatdesign.com or check out your local gift store. We have 10 sets to win! To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Competition closes 31 May 2018.
READ to ME Reading to your child is one of the key ways to help your child’s brain develop in the early years. Here’s why it’s so important to read books to them, right from the start.
eading is at the centre of education, and parents and caregivers who read to their children play a vital part in laying the foundation for their children to love books and reading. Babies are born with about 200 billion active brain cells and, given the right kind of stimulation, each of these individual brain cells is capable of making up to 20,000 connections between them. These connections are the result of the stimulation that children receive in their early years, and they form the basis for children’s future learning. As parents and carers talk, read, sing, and play with their children, the links between brain cells become stronger, and new links are formed. Regularly reading to your children in particular has a hugely positive effect on the brain.
BOO KS BUIL D B RAIN S
Bringing books to life A loving connection
Reading with loving, caring parents or caregivers helps children to grow in self-confidence. The simple act of sitting down on the sofa to read a story, or cuddling up in bed with a book at night, helps increase children’s self-esteem and maturity, exposing them to a wide range of problem-solving techniques and sparking their curiosity about people, places, and things. Reading with your child builds a strong bond that improves the relationship between parents and children, giving you the chance to explore and think creatively together. If you take the time to treat reading as an enjoyable, exciting time together, by the time your child goes to school and learns to read, they will think of reading as a wonderful adventure, not something to be dreaded or treated as bothersome homework.
Reading aloud is magical From the time they are newborns, children want to be held closely and spoken to in a loving, soothing manner. Reading aloud is another form of communication with your children. As your children grow, the time spent reading aloud to them becomes even more special as it will give both of you a calm, focused opportuity to spend time together, and strengthen your bond. Don't be afraid to have fun with different voices and sound effects, and if your child interrupts the story to ask questions or make comments, as that's all part of the learning and reading process and shows they're thinking critically and engaging with the story.
Encourage your child to think of some alternative versions of their favourite story – this is a great way to encourage creativity. For instance: What starts out as a bear hunt could become an African safari, or the Big Bad Wolf might turn out to simply need a friend and he moves in with the Three Little Pigs!
Your child will love acting out their favourite story, whether walking in the park, in the garden, or even around the house. Children love to pretend and when you join in, it gets even more exciting!
Things you will need:
• A favourite story or nursery rhyme • Any props, such as dress-ups (optional)
How to do it
Read a story/rhyme together and discuss which characters you each want to be. Perhaps there are other family and friends who would also like to join in. Consider the props you might want to bring this story alive, eg dress-ups or kitchen utensils such as bowls and spoons. Consider creating caves and homes with blankets and cushions – you may even like to close the curtains and use a torch to create a spooky atmosphere! Put some enthusiasm into your storytelling or rhyme and discuss what is happening within the story. There are so many stories and rhymes that can be acted out, such as: • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury • A Summery Saturday Morning, by Margaret Mahy • The Three Billy Goats Gruff • The Three Little Pigs • Miss Polly Had a Dolly • Five Little Speckled Frogs • The Incy-Wincy Spider
What learning is occurring?
• Language – an opportunity to learn new words • Helps create a love of books • E ncourages an understanding of the world – both real and imagined • Encourages empathy and understanding • Taking turns, negotiation, social skills
EXTRACTED FROM BRIGHT IDEAS FOR YOUNG MINDS: 70 STEP-BY-STEP ACTIVITIES TO DO AT HOME WITH YOUR CHILD (MARY EGAN PUBLISHING $39.99)
H E LP!
Around eight months, children often become attached to an object such as blanket, toy, or a piece of their mother’s clothing. Others may suck their fingers or thumb. This can help them calm down and relax. Aim not to have soft toys or other objects in the cot; however, if they do become attached to something, it is important to check that the object is safe. Soft toys should not be too small or have pieces that can be pulled off that can cause choking, or too large that could cause suffocation. Also avoid having too many toys in bed; use one soft toy at the most if they need one to settle.
My child won’ t sleep! Sleep is the number-one challenge parents face in the early years. Karen Magrath, Plunket National Advisor, has some advice.
leep – or lack of it – is commonly cited as the biggest challenge of parenthood, particularly in the first few years. Children differ in their sleep patterns and also in the amount of sleep they need during the day and night, and your child’s stage of development will also affect their sleep. A relaxed, regular bedtime routine will help your child to settle and sleep well at night so you can rest and relax more during these intense early years. We all know that lack of sleep is stressful for parents. At PlunketLine, we often get calls from the sleep-deprived parents of sleepless children! Here are some common-sense tips about sleep patterns and expectations.
Settle, petal Try to settle your child into bed awake or drowsy. By falling asleep in their own bed, they learn that bed is a familiar place. If they wake during sleep, they may settle back to sleep on their own.
Quiet and calm Treat night-waking in a quiet, gentle, and efficient manner with no talking, singing, or playing. Keep lighting low and move around your child's room as silently as possible. 8 BrightStart
Keep it natural Blankets should be made of natural fibres such as cotton and wool as they breathe and allow your child to keep an even temperature, while artificial fibres such as mink blankets do not. Check that blankets and clothing cannot strangle or suffocate by making sure there are no ribbons and ties, and that they cannot cover their face with them.
Can’t stand it By the age of six to 10 months, children typically try to pull themselves up to stand, and often do this in their cot. It can then take them a while to lie down and go to sleep. If they become upset, you may need to settle them back down gently and calmly.
Under the weather
Your child’s sleep patterns may be unsettled when they are unwell, teething, or away from home; at these times they may need extra cuddles and care. When your child is well or at home again, try to settle back to their normal routine. If your child has been having extra feeds when away or unwell, try to settle Close to you For without these feeds and Separation anxiety MORE get them back into their becomes more common HELP normal routine as soon as between six and 12 months. they are well again. This may make them more difficult to settle, as they If you are unhappy or want to be with you. Sleep someday struggling with Finally, there is not always your child’s sleep an easy answer to sleep Tummy time pattern, ask your problems, and what From around six to 12 Plunket nurse works for others may not months, children can roll or PlunketLine necessarily be the answer onto their tummies, and (0800 933 922), for your family. If all else some choose to sleep on for suggestions that may help. fails, try and enjoy the their fronts. To protect extra hours that you spend them at this wriggly stage with your child during the of development, it continues night, and remember that eventually to be really important for their cot they will sleep through the night! to have no pillows, toys, or loose covers so they are free and safe when they move about. While the risk of cot BESTSTART IS A STAR SPONSOR OF death is reduced by this age, consider PLUNKET AND A PROUD SUPPORTER discussing cot safety with your Plunket OF THE PLUNKET 1000 DAYS TO Nurse or PlunketLine. RAISE A BUNDLE CAMPAIGN.
Here are five quick tips for parents of children under five – to make you a more switched-on parent in just a few minutes.
1 UNDER-5S for parents of
hand on the spot
5-MINUTE PAREN T IN G
If you’re out and about and you need your child to wait by the car while you unload groceries or get a younger sibling out of a car seat, how can you keep them from wandering off or, worse, running into the road? Here’s where “the spot” comes in superhandy: Tell your child to stand by the car and place their hand on a particular spot. It can be the door handle (kerb side), or the petrol cap cover, or another designated safe space, but the key is that they can’t take their hand off of the spot until you tell them it’s safe to do so. You can even get special stickers to put on your car for this purpose. Then make this a regular occurrence every time you are out with your child – get them to put their hand on the spot as soon as they are out of the car and safely off the road, and soon it’ll become a habit.
sleeps make sense
Children don’t understand the concept of time, but they do understand “sleeps”. If you’re planning to go somewhere, or there’s an event coming up, tell them how many “sleeps” it is until the date occurs. “We’re going to Grandma’s house in two sleeps” makes more sense to a child than “We’re going to Grandma’s house on Saturday.” Plus, the concept of “sleeps” can help encourage your child to actually go to bed – because they need to sleep in order for the event to happen. (Just don’t start this too far away from the actual event – a month of “sleeps” is a much more difficult concept to grasp than, say, five.)
table trouble You’re at a play date with your child, and the other parent has just served tea when your child announces, “I don’t like this food! It looks disgusting!” What’s a parent to do? First, excuse yourself and your child and go into another room for a little chat. Tell your child that she hurt the hostess’s feelings and ask her if there is something else she could say instead. Let her think of a way to improve the situation, even if it’s just apologising for being rude. Reassure her you’ll make her food when you get home, but for now, she’s a guest and it’s her job to be kind. Then ask her if she’s ready to go back to the table and be polite. Having this conversation away from the “scene of the crime” will help de-escalate the situation and give your child an opportunity to think instead of becoming defensive.
When visitors come to your house, do your children barely look up from their tablets or toys to say hello? It’s important to acknowledge guests when they come to your home, whether they’re family members, friends, or just the neighbour popping by to borrow a cup of sugar. To get children to focus on guests and not on themselves, talk to them ahead of time about some tools for being good hosts. Perhaps a star chart for getting your child to remember to say hello to a guest, or ask your children to look and see what colour each guests’ eyes are, and say you’ll quiz them later. This will encourage them to make eye contact with guests, and if your child is shy, it’s a good way to give them something to focus on. Children should also be responsible for making their home welcoming to visitors, and soon they’ll do it naturally and without prompting.
Young children may find it challenging to learn to dress themselves, particularly putting on their outerwear. Here are two nifty tricks to help them put on their coats more easily. The first trick is called the Flip Trick. Have your child lay the coat on the floor with the inside facing up. Get them to stand facing the coat, with their feet at the top (where the collar or hood are). Then, have them bend down and slip their arms into the sleeves. Next, have them flip the coat up over their head as they stand up. The second trick is called the Hood First Trick. If your child's coat has a hood, make sure their coat is unzipped, and have them put the hood on their head. Then, get them to reach one arm back and slip their arm into the armhole. Have them use the sleeved hand to pull the opposite side of the coat towards their front, then have them slip their other arm into the sleeve. Zips and buttons may take more practise, but being able to put their own coat on is a great first step!
Y A D I R F NIGHT
family night! 10 BrightStart
Start a new tradition in your house and get the whole family together for quality time. Here's how to make Friday night family night.
HANG ING OUT W ITH K IDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Children love seeing movies of themselves when they were younger, and they also love seeing movies of their parents pre-children! Break out your wedding DVD, pregnancy scan videos, baby videos, birthday party recordings, and anything else you have, and prepare to blow your childrens’ minds.
BREAKFAST FOR DINNER Microwave some popcorn, bring blankets and pillows into the lounge, put on your pyjamas, and snuggle up together as a family to watch a child-friendly movie.
Unsweetened yoghurt and fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, cereal, and wholegrain toast are possibly more tasty when they’re eaten for dinner, so tell your children it’s breakfast time and watch them giggle with glee when you serve up their favourite morning meal.
Take movie night one step further by letting the whole family sleep in the lounge! Bring air mattresses, cushions, and sleeping bags to the lounge floor and set up a slumber party for the adults and children to snuggle up together.
Let the children choose the menu, and cook dinner together – from something simple like burritos or wraps with a healthy filling, to something that requires a bit more skill, like spaghetti bolognaise.
TAKE A WALK
When the weather’s nice, take a stroll together as a family. Pop the littlest into the pram and let the older children bring scooters or bikes and meander around the neighbourhood. Say hi to other parents and children you see – you may make new friends!
Children find the past fascinating, so invite a grandparent or older friend, or someone who has had an interesting life, over to talk to your children about what life was like when they were little. What did they eat for meals, what did they wear, what was school like, what were their favourite games – children will want to know all sorts of fascinating facts.
Make up a simple scavenger hunt of things your children can find either at home or at the local park. Split into teams (one adult with each child or group of children) and see who can find the most items within an allotted time frame (15 minutes is usually good). Have children take a photo with their parents’ phone of each item – a green leaf, a black bug, a white flower – as proof.
DR ESS -UPS FOR DINNER HAVE EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY DRESS UP IN A COSTUME, AND THEN GO OUT TO DINNER ALL DRESSED UP AND IN CHARACTER. MAKE SURE TO TAKE PHOTOS!
Pile into the car with some blankets and warm jackets and head out after dark for a spot of stargazing. Or go along to your local airport and watch the planes leaving and landing – both are calm activities that will help your children to feel relaxed and sleepy.
Each Friday night, make a point to travel to a new and different playground near your home. Check out the equipment, play together, and then afterward, ask your child what they liked best and keep track of it in a special notebook.
Set up an obstacle course in your backyard with things like chairs, hula hoops, jump ropes, wooden boards, balls, cones, and play equipment. See who can go through the fastest, backwards, with one eye closed, etc.
Put on your children’s favourite tunes and have a little disco right in your lounge! Give everyone a paper-towel tube to use as a microphone and encourage karaoke, too.
Break out the board games and have a family game night! Let each person choose one game and have a marathon – try to pick games that everyone can play, or form teams with one parent and one or more children.
FISH -A N D - CH IP F R IDAY FISH AND CHIPS IS A PRETTY CHEAP FEED, AND ONE THAT ALL CHILDREN LOVE AFTER YOU PICK UP THE CHILDREN, STOP FOR FISH AND CHIPS AND TAKE YOUR PICNIC TO THE LOCAL PARK, BEACH, OR PLAYGROUND. IF IT’S TOO CHILLY OR RAINY OUTSIDE, HAVE A PICNIC ON THE FLOOR OF THE LOUNGE. BrightStart 11
L U N CH BOX I DEA
b i a h l s ls u s
These sushi balls are soooo cute, and they are also insanely perfect for munching when on the go. They’re also really good in lunchboxes.
MAKES: 16 PREP TIME: 10 MINS COOK TIME: 30 MINS THIS IS AN EDITED EXTRACT FROM BLISS BITES, BY KATE BRADLEY, PUBLISHED BY HARDIE GRANT BOOKS (RRP$19.99) AND IS AVAILABLE IN STORES NATIONALLY. PHOTOGRAPHER © ELISA WATSON. 12 BrightStart
You WILL NEED • 440g (2 cups) sushi rice • 7 nori sheets, torn • 2½ tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra for coating (optional) • 100g firm or pressed tofu, chopped • 3 0g (½ cup) chopped shiitake, oyster, or brown mushrooms • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger • 1 teaspoon coconut oil • 2 teaspoons tamari • OTHER FILLINGS: Finely chopped avocado, carrot, cucumber, red capsicum, red cabbage, spring onions • Pickled ginger and tamari, to serve (optional) 1. Place the rice in a sieve then rinse it until the water runs clear. Place in a saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) water then bring to a simmer over medium/ high heat. Cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low, then cook for 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat then stand, covered, until the rice has cooled to room temperature. 2. Place the torn nori into a small food processor or bullet blender and process until a fine powder forms. Stir the nori and sesame seeds through the rice. Set aside. 3. Cook the tofu, mushrooms, and ginger with the coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened. Add the tamari and cook for another 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat. 4. Take about 90g (1⁄³ cup) of the rice at a time and lay it out on your hand, pressing it evenly to form a disc about 5.5cm across. Place about 1 teaspoon of your choice of filling ingredients in the middle of the disc, then use your hand to bring the rice over the filling, enclosing it to form a sealed ball. 5. Roll each ball in additional sesame seeds if you like, then serve with pickled ginger and tamari if desired. Pop these in the fridge until serving; they’re best eaten within two days.
F ITNESS IN DISGUISE
Pretend you’re visiting the zoo, and for each animal you see, imitate their movements. Try doing each for a count of five or 10, and mix it up by encouraging your child to choose their favourite animal to mimic too.
Here’s an easy way to encourage your child to exercise and have fun at the same time. FLAMINGO
Stand with your feet on the floor and tuck your hands under your arms. Slowly lift one leg up and tuck it behind the other leg. Try to balance on one foot for a count of five. Then switch to the other foot.
Hold one arm out in front of you with your palm up. Place the other hand on top of it, forming your crocodile’s mouth. Open and shut your arms, snapping like a crocodile.
Start by standing up with your feet hip-width apart. Lean forward until your hands are touching the floor, then walk on your hands and feet, keeping your bottom up in the air.
Hold a stuffed toy or doll in front of you like a joey. Jump straight up and down, pretending you have a tail to help you spring higher and higher.
Sit on the floor and lean back with your hands behind you. Lift your bottom off the floor and walk on your feet and hands like a crab.
Gallop around like a horse, holding your hands in front of you as though you’re holding onto reins.
Kneel on the floor, then straighten your arms in front of you and lock your elbows. Walk forward on your hands, dragging your legs and toes behind you like a seal. Swing your body from side to side!
GORILLA Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then bend from your waist and hang your arms in front of you. Walk slowly forward, swinging your arms from side to side like a gorilla.
FROG Squat on the floor like a frog, and put your hands on the floor in front of your knees. Hop up and down, touching your hands to the floor every time you go down.
ELEPHANT Stand with your arms in front of you, then bend forward from your waist. Clasp your hands together to make an elephant trunk. Swing it from side to side as high as you can.
Hold your hands up high like a giraffe’s neck, then spread your legs hip distance apart and walk forward like a giraffe.
Crawl on your hands and knees, opening your mouth really wide and roaring as loud as you can.
TIGER Hold each of your hands up like a tiger’s paw. Walk slowly in place, moving your arms forward like a tiger’s claws. Make sure to growl like a tiger too!
MONKEY Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold your arms up at your shoulders. Drop your elbows so your hands are hanging down. Wave your hands back and forth and run in place.
Penguin Stand up straight with your legs together, and put your arms straight down next to your sides. Wiggle your hands but keep your arms locked next to your sides. Walk forward, but keep your legs stuck together, so you have to waddle like a penguin! BrightStart 13
T ELL ME MORE
Ask the exper t:
RESILIENCE What is resilience? Resilience is the skill or mental strength that helps us to cope with change and stress. Resilience helps us to face issues head-on rather than fall apart or get overwhelmed. We know that people who have resilience are able to learn from challenges and changes and, at times, come out stronger. Resilience is something we continue to learn throughout our lives, so knowing and understanding how we can support our children with this is a vital role of a parent and educator.
While all children have the capacity for resilience, it’s a skill that needs to be worked on throughout their whole lives. And parents are the most important people to help children build resilience. Michela Homer, a BestStart Regional Professional Services Manager, shares her expertise.
How can children How do early under five learn it ? learning centres Why is it impor tant provide a suppor tive for young children environment for to learn and display building resilience? resilience? Research tells us that children who learn and display resilience tend to be healthier, happier in their relationships with others, more successful in their lifelong learning, and less likely to get depressed. With benefits like these, it's well worth putting in the effort with your children from a very young age.
Under-fives are at a perfect age for you to start them on the path to building resilience. As parents and educators, the most important thing we can do to nurture this process is to build caring, meaningful, and engaging relationships with children. By knowing that they have these valued relationships, they’re safe to learn how to control their bodies, emotions, behaviours, and feelings. When we show empathy for children when they’re struggling to control their emotions, they learn that they can trust us and that we still care for them even when they feel overwhelmed. The whole experience can then become a positive learning experience for them.
People who respond to hardships and challenges with resilience: Have better health • Live longer • Are happier with their lives • Have better relationships • Are less likely to get depressed • Are more successful in school and at work 14 BrightStart
It's important for teachers at early learning centres to develop and nurture consisent strategies which support children. Educators should look for teachable moments to engage children, getting down to their level when they’re talking to them, and taking time to help children to express their emotions and feelings in a positive, constructive way. At your child's early learning centre, they should have ready access to a range of resources to help children role-play and learn about resilience. This could be through puppets or books, for example. Most of all, your child's teachers will demonstrate a genuine care and respect for your child and will ensure that they spend quality time engaging with your child. Talk to your child's teacher about how they are helping children to build resilience and what you can do at home to support this learning.
EXTRACTED FROM BRIGHT IDEAS FOR YOUNG MINDS: FREE THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR CHILD (MARY EGAN PUBLISHING $39.99)
THE MARKET Do you have a market near you? Markets can be vibrant, bustling places. Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes together. A country drive
Pack a picnic lunch and rug and take them with you out to the country. Look for animals and other natural landmarks.
A bush walk
There are plenty of short bush walks suitable for small children. Do your research first.
The nature reserve
Try birdwatching and searching for particular plants and trees. As your child grows they could take their scooter or bike (if permitted).
Free t hings
YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR CHILD Tree climbing
Most children love to climb and enjoy a different perspective on the world.
THE ART GALLERY Start your child off young, go to the gallery and enjoy looking at the artwork.
THE AIRPORT Watch the planes come in and take off â€“ noisy and magnificent to watch! Talk about the different countries planes are travelling to.
Published on Feb 23, 2018