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Edition 08 Dec 2012- Jan 2013

Poutama Newsletter Footsteps turns wasteland into vege garden for local school Contents: Page 2 - What’s happening in the Footsteps whānau? Page 3 - Separation anxiety in babies and pre-schoolers Page 4/5 - Ara Poutama Learning Kete Page 6 - Christmas presents that will last the distance Page 7 - Young children and TV, how much is too much? Page 8 - Ara Poutama, Win a Kids Bike, Closing Notes

At the Footsteps National Conference the team got stuck in and created a 450 square metre vegetable garden for the much deserving Brookfield Primary School. In just 2 hours the team of 80 filled 9 sleeper beds, planted 20 fruit trees, 2 vege patches and painted a 20 metre mural! Find out more on page 2.

Footsteps takes part in the Child Matters ‘Buddy Day’ In the Waikato area some very special characters were taken out and about over the last couple of weeks for the annual Child Matters ‘Buddy Day’. Our Footsteps kaiako in the area got involved, taking cardboard cut-out buddies along with them on their visits and other Charlott e show awesom s travels - to raise awareness of e budd her y child abuse and what adult’s can do to prevent it in our communities. The aim of Buddy Day is to encourage discussion and communication about child abuse using the visual buddies to encourage people to talk about this sensitive topic. This year more than 180 cardboard cut-out buddies were decorated and given names by children from local schools and childcare centres. These buddies went out exploring with their carers in Hamilton, Huntly and Cambridge (one of the Footsteps buddies even came to live in Tauranga for a while!) Buddy Day is a great way to spread the word and keep tamariki safe, so go and get involved next year!

© footsteps education ltd.

Christmas stockings for Strengthening Families Footsteps presented hand-made ‘foot’ Christmas stockings to Elaine from the Gisborne Strengthening Families branch. Elaine works with the many tamariki and whānau who she will be presenting these ‘foot’ stockings to for Christmas. Elaine commented that for many of the families this may be all they receive for Christmas. In 2013 Footsteps will be working in partnership with Strengthening Families to support Grandparents raising Grandchildren in the area. Footsteps would like to wish Strengthening Families, Elaine, and the Gisborne team a safe and happy Christmas. , e Hogan ft, Elain d From Leh Reihana an Sara lliot Donna E

What’s happening in the Footsteps whanau? Kia ora koutou

Kevin’s Corner

We have just completed a fantastic time together at our conference in Tauranga where we reconfirmed our commitment to all tamariki, especially those falling within the vulnerable children category. We are committed to community and wish to continue demonstrating this and evidencing our care by completing meaningful projects like those outlined in this newsletter. Our staff are the most equipped in the sector coupled with an amazing passion to ensure each of our children get the best education. Remember never to tell us the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon It will be an interesting year ahead as we continue to grapple with changing regulations and funding criteria but we will never loose our care for the children and their whānau, caregivers, and the communities we serve. This year will be different and I believe that some of the gains of the foundations we have created will directly benefit you all. Remember to have fun and keep the children at the centre of all you do Meri Kirihimete and have a great 2013! Kevin

Continued... Footsteps turns wasteland into vege garden for local school The Footsteps team gave their all working in the hot sun to create the spectacular garden, while their group of helpers from the Foundation of Youth Development painted a beautiful mural of the schools Maori legend, Taurikara. The school garden project was the launch of the Footsteps Community Outreach Programme, where Footsteps kaiako/teachers will be working in their communities for around 400 volunteer hours every month! Thank you to all of the local organisations who provided sponsorship to help make the project happen.

Papakura Kids Party in the Pa


On Friday the 7th of Decem ber Te Pōtiki celebrated the com ing of Christmas and the end of the year, with a Kid’s Party in the Par k for local families. Despite the flash of rain it was great to see so many par ents, caregivers and whānau com e out with their tamariki. Bouncy castle fun was to be had by those old Tamaiti Shon enough, and there was eve telle enjoys ha n a ving a photo with Sa treasure hunt! Face painting nta Claus as usual was a hit for all and we had some very beautiful butterflies walking around and even a few sup er heroes! The guest of honour ‘Hana Koko’ aka ‘Santa Claus’ arrived later in the morning and he brought along treats to give out to all the tamarik i. Some were not sure of the white bearded man but he was so friendly so most chil dren loved having their photo tak en with him. It was great to see everyone there, and we look forward to our next event ear ly in the new year.

to create a teps mucked in The team at Foots Primary School n for Brookfield vegetable garde

Mandy and Alisha receive the Footsteps Poutama Awards At our Footsteps National Con ference we celebrated and acknowledg ed those who went the extra mile in our org anisation with our Poutama Award. We congratulated Mandy Greer and Alisha Blac kett with the very special Poutama awards for 2012. This year is the first time that we have ever had two winners, a sign that we are spoilt for choice with people who rea lly care.

Kevin gave Ma ndy and Alish a their Poutama Awards

© footsteps education ltd.





Ask our experts - separation anxiety Understanding separation anxiety in babies and pre-schoolers All babies have their own unique and precious personality determined both by genetics and the environment they are born into. Because of this, children react differently to separation from their parents and this reaction can change from one week to the next. What is separation anxiety? Separation anxiety is when a child shows stress or anxiety when they are away from their parents. This could be during a significant separation, for example left for a few hours at an in-home childcare or just a short separation such as going into another room, but out of sight of your child. Separation anxiety often peaks at around 8-9 months of age. This can mean that a child who was previously happy to go to unfamiliar people and happy for you to be out of sight, may suddenly begin to howl in protest. Some children may even get upset about being left with familiar people such as Grandma or Poppa who they have previously been settled with. Separation anxiety is a normal part of infant development. At this young age your child is still developing the concept that people exist when he/she can’t see them. What is it like from my child’s perspective? Depending on your own parenting style and personality you may view this behaviour as frustrating. You may think “why the fuss, I just left the room for a minute?” Remember you are the centre of your child’s world and it can be distressing for them when you go out of sight. When you leave, you know and understand where you are going and how long you will be. An infant doesn’t know either of these because in their mind, you have just gone. Equally many parents find this stage very upsetting and are often on the verge of tears when they see their child’s trembling lip as they are about to head out the door. Children follow our lead so while it is really hard, watch your body language and voice as you are saying goodbye - if you appear anxious or upset this will intensify your child’s anxiety. How do I prepare my child to prevent separation anxiety? A baby that has their needs consistently met with warmth and nurturing is more likely to feel safe and secure so there may be less anxiety around separation. This starts at a very basic level to develop trust and attachment - when a new born has their needs meet by a responsive caregiver they learn, I am hungry, I get fed, I am upset, and I am comforted. While you might not be able to prevent separation anxiety completely, there are strategies you can put in place to help minimise it. • Get your baby used to other environments and other people - simple experiences such as going to the shops or library as well as more formal socialisation such as pre-school playgroups. • When you are at playgroups or friend’s homes, put your baby on the floor to explore rather than always on your lap - this develops their confidence and independence. • When possible have other family members bath baby or

feed baby. If you do all the routines for your child it will become a habit and harder for them to accept another person in this role. • If your child starts to show early distress signs when being held by someone else, if you take them back straight away it reinforces the idea that the person holding them can not be trusted. Instead move next to them and reassure your baby in a soothing voice to show him/her that you trust the person holding them, so they can too. • Play games of peek-a-boo. This age old game develops the idea of you can’t see me, and then you can again, so baby learns even when they can’t see you, you still exist. Through simple play your child is developing an understanding and trust that you will come back. You can stand behind a half open door of the room your child is in and play peek-a-boo from there. • Always verbally prepare your child for separation. It could be a simple “I’m going to the kitchen to get your bottle”, or “Nana will be here soon to look after you”. As your child grows this will become an important part of the separation routine and has the added bonus of developing language skills. • Start off with very short periods of separation. Move to a place where you can see your baby but they can’t see you just for a minute or so and then return. If your baby is in the midst of separation anxiety try going out and leaving your child with a known and trusted adult for just twenty minutes rather than half a day. You can make the time increasingly longer as your child sees and begins to trust that you come back and that they are safe without you. How can I reduce my child’s anxiety at the time of separation? You may do all these things and your child may still be upset when you leave. Then what? • When it is time to say goodbye be loving but quick – don’t drag it out. Hand your baby to your trusted person, give them a kiss and say “Bye bye for now, I will be back at 2 o’clock”. Wave goodbye with a smile and leave. Having the same ritual at each farewell will help your baby with this change. Try your best to appear relaxed! • Write out a timed routine for your caregiver of your child’s usual day so as many aspects are familiar to your child as possible. • If you can, have care in your home so although there is change your child is at home where they feel most secure. • If the childcare is happening at someone else’s place, send along their own blanket and favourite toys. • Some parents even leave their own worn tee shirt or pillow case for their child to cuddle or sleep with. Anxiety around separation may come and go for your child with peaks and lows. When supported through this with calmness, understanding and love your child will come through it with a greater sense of trust, belonging and a growing sense of independence. Jacqueline Taylor (Footsteps Teacher/kaiako, Auckland)


Ara Poutama Learning Kete ion to start using the natural environment and At Footsteps, we have made a conscious decis rces. By using bits and bobs from around the recycled materials to create our learning resou purse ct on the environment and is lighter on the house and of little cost, it has less of an impa y enjo will you know ideas and get creative. We strings. So check out the following resource doing when care take to too. Please remember making them and your tamariki will love them all times. at /ren child these activities and supervise your

Free Learning Resources Online of the neat resources that you Footsteps would like to share with you some ing and development, and can make with your children to encourage learn these crafts as Christmas of have lots of fun! We suggest you make some gifts for family and friends. videos featuring Donna our On our website we have loads of great new ing you how to make great awesome Footsteps kaiako and Steppy, teach fun! learning resources, and how to have Footsteps ing videos at: Check out our online activity sheets and learn urces


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Christmas presents that will last the distance it a gift and then realised Have you ever bought too s wa it or , ild ch r younge was better suited for a ur yo y bu to at wh re of ‘old’ for the child? Not su ce or nephew? Want to nie , ild ch nd own child, gra es t only fun but encourag buy something that is no on too? early childhood educati gift ideas that will suit d an s toy e Here are som interest and encourage a child’s age, hold their learning through play.

Birth - 6 months Textured floor play mat – Floo r play is really important for young babies, giving them the opportunity to stretch and exp eriment with movement. The texture on the mat will appeal to their stage of learning through sensory play. Their hands or feet made into impressions or casts – They will only be this tiny onc e! These are a lovely memory for parents.

6 - 12 months g boxes – Develops the Stacking cubes or postin pe as well as cause and concepts of size and sha effect. t makes a noise or is Anything baby safe tha h en learn primarily throug textured – Young childr g tin ula stim based toys are their senses so sensory ng infant. and interesting to a you ks and textured books boo rd Books – Sturdy boa ies, animals or common with pictures of other bab g. a lifelong love of readin objects are great. Start

12 - 18 months Rocking horse – Extends larg e muscle development. Children like being able to con trol the speed of the rocking themselves. A ride on bike - For your chil d to explore their balance and strengthen their muscles. Paddling pool – Fill with water or sand in summer, or in winter fill with balls or cus hions and books for a cosy space. (Remember to supervise at all times around water). Bath toys – Brings some fun into their bath time routine. Develops pouring skil ls and also imaginative play with boats, mermaids, dolp hins and more.

© footsteps education ltd.

18 months - 2 years Pretend play starts to blossom at this age. Things you buy will last right through to five years old and beyond early childhood. Think of dolls, prams, tea sets, garages and vehicles. If possible look for good quality wooden toys that will last. Play dough and tools – Gets all the fingers in children’s hands moving ready for learning, and is also a good prop for pretend play.

2 – 3 years Costumes - Think of costumes such as fairies, dinosaurs, fire fighters and pro ps such as doctor kits. These are fantastic for enh ancing imaginative play. Pretend play is also won derful for developing language skills. Musical instruments – Explorin g rhythm and setting the foundation for a love of mu sic.

3 - 4 years Threading beads – Extends small muscle development and encourages exploration of pattern and sequence. Dolls house and train sets – Following on from the toddler interest of pretend play, dolls houses and train sets promote creative play and role play. These are great shared play activities for siblings, including mixed aged children.

4 - 5 years Physical equipment - Stilts, skipping ropes, balls and hula hoops extend overall strength and coordination. They also foster confidence and an enjoyment of being active. Art, craft and collage kits – Bring out the little artist in your child, encouraging creativity. Real cooking set for cupcakes – Fabulous for the little helper who always wants to be with you in the kitchen.

as to think about. Watch Well there are a few ide it friends’ places, play your child when you vis toy shop to see what group, childcare, or the d. and keeps them intereste catches their attention g sin oo d passions when ch Follow their interests an wrong. a gift and you can’t go ckland) teps Teacher/kaiako, Au Jacqueline Taylor (Foots


Ask our experts - young children and TV Young children and TV - How much is too much? As a Footsteps early childhood teacher, one of the most frequent discussions I have with families is about their children’s television viewing habits. Often families want to know more about the positives and negatives of television viewing so they can make well informed decisions for their children.

How do I change viewing habits? Over the last ten years young children’s viewing habits have changed. Younger children are viewing more television - the average age children start to watch television is around nine months old. The average amount of time (for children less than three years old) is between one and three hours per day. The television viewing habits that are formed in early childhood seem to persist for a life time.

Does watching TV have an influence on children? The age at which children watch television is significant. A pre-school child that watches television at age three may receive some benefit from a programme that a nine month old child would not. The effects of watching television in under two year old children are more profound than that of children over two years. This is related to development and the fact that under two’s are awake for much less of the day. Therefore one or two hours of television per day takes up a much greater proportion of the child’s awake time. In some studies television watching accounted for around 30% of the child’s awake time, much more than anything else the child did. Young children learn through interactions with people and their environment. A child responding to questions or songs on television is not interacting, as the response from the television carries on regardless of whatever the child does.

What are the effects on play, language, and attention? Children are distracted by television whether or not they are directly viewing it. One study found with the TV turned off, six month olds doubled their focus on their toys. Another study found that under ones who regularly watched two hours of television or more, were six times more likely to have language delays. In this case you could argue the television is taking the place of the child talking and playing directly with adults or other children. Without this vital real experience children’s language may not develop as expected. There are also numerous studies suggesting links between television viewing and attention deficit in late childhood, and the viewing of violent content effecting later childhood aggressive behaviour. Also the fast paced nature of television may also be over stimulating young children’s brains. This often makes

real life seem unexciting and slow in comparison. Children can find it hard to stop watching, slow down, and focus. For every hour that children spend watching TV they are not spending time doing activities that will enhance their development like reading with adults and playing games with friends. Television programmes don’t require children to stay focused on the content for the programme to continue, so children don’t stay focused. This can lead to an inability to maintain concentration in other areas of life.

What is my role as a parent? Parents often feel they are supporting their little ones early childhood education through watching educational television. Studies have suggested that parents perceptions of how much children have learned is different from their child’s actual performance. There was more of a link between how much the parent liked the programme and the perception of how educational the experience was. Television can however be used in a positive way by creating a weekly plan with scheduled viewing. This way you are being selective and limiting your child’s viewing. There are some informative educational programmes that best suit over two’s. These may provide useful information and stimulate thought and discussion. It is also good to sit with your child when they are viewing television, so you can discuss what is happening, share time together and have a cuddle. If your child does not view television they will not be educationally disadvantaged. How much television your child watches is a personal choice. The research on children under two is generally negative concluding that it is not recommended. However, for children aged two and older, a programme plan with a limit on daily viewing time is considered to be the best approach. Our society is changing and over the past decade children have been watching more television for longer periods of time with the effects of this change still being determined. What we are certain of at Footsteps is that pre-school children need interactive physical play, hands on experiences, and direct experiences with the natural world and people. There is never any substitute for quality parent time. Sue Hunter (Footsteps Teacher/kaiako, Palmerston North)


Ara Poutama tings Ngā mihi o te Raumati – Summer Gree and this is a Summer is well and truly here for 2012 au and have whān rate celeb great time of the year to around the right is tmas Chris sun. the loads of fun in a go. reo te corner and it’s the perfect time to give try: Here are some greetings to au – Merry • Meri Kirihimete ki a koe me te whān ly fami your and you to tmas Chris Hou – Merry • Nga mihi o te Kirihimete me Te Tau Year New y Christmas and a happ a Claus? • Kei hea a Hana Kōkō? - Where is Sant Kua hoki a ia! - He’s gone! Christmas • Meri Kirihimete e te whānau – Merry family e here: Listen to these phrases and others onlin x2.html#kiri inde mer/ sum ews/ nz/n www.korero.maori.

very own kiwi Finally here is a Christmas song with our ing teach fun have so day, each flavour added for riki: your tama love On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true gave to me Twelve piupius swinging
 Eleven haka lessons
 Ten juicy fish heads
 Nine sacks of pipis
 Eight plants of puha
 Seven eels a swimming
 Six pois a twirling
 Five – big – fat – pigs!
 Four huhu grubs
 Three flax kits
 Two kumara
 And a pūkeko in a ponga tree!

Win a kid’s bike Footsteps is giving you the chance to win a bike and helmet for your little one - by just sharing your positive experiences of the Footsteps service. To be in to win go online to:, click on the ‘win a bike’ tab and tell us about your positive experiences of Footsteps in a gold star review. Good luck!

Footsteps calendar and end of year gifts

Footsteps family survey

gifts are all dars and end of year The Footsteps calen rs. This year ive tamariki and careg on their way to our r awesome ou of me incorporate so we have decided to lendar to make into the Footsteps ca learning resources se and fun! it more multi-purpo ous height this year are gorge ts Our end of year gif the Footsteps th wi h wt gro tamariki charts, to track our es will love their ow that the little on programme. We kn w into es tching themselv gro height charts and wa big kids!

In the recent months Foo tsteps conducted a survey to find out information abo ut the family circumsta nces of the children that attend our early childhood edu cation service. We did this sur vey to help us access vita l Ministry of Education fun ding, so that we can con tinue to offer tamariki and car egivers our outstanding 1:1 educational suppor t and resources throug h the Footsteps ‘learn’ progra mme. Thank you to eve ryone who took the time to com plete the survey!

Closing Notes try out some of our learning ideas We hope that you have enjoyed reading this edition of Poutama and that you our service or would like to ask a with your tamariki. If you have any ideas for the next edition, comments about question to our learning experts, get in touch at hayley@footsteps Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, The Footsteps whānau

0800 366 878

Poutama Newsletter Dec 2012 - Jan 2013 - edition 08  

Poutama Newsletter is jam packed full of learning ideas, interesting articles and news from Footsteps.

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