.For all you parents out there looking for books on sharks for you sharking loving children This is a guest post from Lucy Atkinson mom of four year old sharing some children's books on sharks.
What is it with children and sharks? They love them! My little one has memorised about 50 separate shark species and hasn’t even started school yet! We felt fairly challenged when the theme first came about but after nearly 2 years of parenting a shark-mad child, I have a fairly impressive Shark themed library. Here are my favourites:
The Shark in the Dark By Peter Bently I want to start off by saying that I simply adore this book, as does my little one, we first discovered it in the local library but have since invested in a copy and many a night ends with the big hungry shark in the dark.
The length is what I would call a perfect bedtime story for a little one, sometimes he picks books shorter than this one and I feel as if I have cheated him out of story time and press him to pick another but the Shark in the Dark is the right length for an efficient bedtime routine whilst leaving room for the ‘just one more book?’ routine that often happens in our house. It’s a rhymer, which I also love, it gives bedtime a rhythm and if you’re an amateur ventriloquist or impersonator, there are loads of opportunities for showing off your skills with funny voices.
The story follows the scary hungry shark who emerges from the dark to find his lunch, but instead is met by something which appears to be much scarier with the moral of ‘together we are stronger’ and the ending is nice and uplifting and positive. I think we first enjoyed the Shark in the Dark when my little one was two, but I would say the book could be perfect reading for shark lovers up to 10 for a bedtime story. It’s also a nice early readers book, with plenty of interesting words which will provide a challenge whilst expanding read vocabulary nicely.
There’s a Shark in the Park!By Nick Sharratt There’s a Shark in the Park is a great book for younger children, following a pattern with just a few changed factors and the same verse between on each page. The book follows Timothy Pope as he tries out his new telescope in the park and sees various things close up which appear to be a sharks dorsal fin. All the little ones in our family are familiar with the story now and when the book comes out the children recite the verse off along with me, and often without me, all eager to be the first to shout ‘There’s a shark in the park!’
The story is one of those shorter, cheated-out-of-story-time books that you’ll want to follow on with a second book if you’re anything like me, however, I don’t mind it being a bedtime favourite as I like the pronunciation practise the little ones get from the verses. I do also recall one of the pre-school teachers harping on about how good repetition is for early years development.
The pages have a telescope hole to allow the reader to see why Timothy thought he had seen a shark which is a nice introduction into perspective and the idea that things are not always what they seem. Timothy eventually leaves the park with his telescope having found no sharks, turning his back on something that is almost definitely a shark which the children absolutely love, this book is a must have for all your shark loving little people!
What’s More Scary than a Scary Shark By Paul Bright Another one of our golden oldies, we acquired this book in a set of Little Tiger Books a friend bought as a Christening gift for little one and it has truly been a gift that has kept on giving. The set itself was brilliant although unfortunately, I have discovered that it is no longer in stock anywhere, so you might just have to take my word for it. However, being an owner of 20+ Little Tiger Press books has made me a fan! This book might receive a bit of a mixed reception based on some of the language and terms used, I shall elaborate onto the why shortly.
The story follows Scary Shark talking to Lobster, who tolerates Shark as he is too tough to be eaten, Shark spots a new female shark in town and asks Lobster for help seducing the newcomer. Shark goes through trying various things to impress Sadie but fails each time, leading to him demanding Lobster think of something better. The banter between Shark and Lobster is sharp with Shark being called a ‘great toothy gob’ at one point amongst other things, hence slightly controversial. I personally found that it worked in the context and I wasn’t too worried about the little one naming his peers ‘toothy gobs’ as it felt rather shark specific.
In the end, Shark and Sadie swim off together after Sharks singing (backed by a choir of angelfish) serenades Sadie who is just as taken with Shark as she seems to be with him. It’s a bizarre story really without many good morale examples so if you’re conscientious about the effects of what your children read it’s maybe one to skip. I’ve included it because all morals aside, we love it, like when we read Tabby McTat, we have made up our own little tune and we sing along with Shark in the book. I give him a bit of a classical feel which always brings out the giggles and really, I suppose sharks aren’t meant to be the most moral or kind of creatures, so maybe it’s just realistic.
There’s a Shark in the BathBy Sarah McIntyreThis book is our most recent addition to the shark library and is one that has received a very good reception, in fact, I have read it twice just this week! The story follows Darcie as she finds a shark fin in the bath that Dad forgot to let out. She lets Dad know who doesn’t take her seriously, suggesting that Darcie go fish it out, which she does. Out pop Papa, Mama and Baby Shark who are quite eager to make Darcie into their next meal. Darcie thinks on her feet and distracts the sharks by creating games out of brushing teeth, washing their hair and wrapping themselves up in toilet roll.
The end result is great, it keeps the little ones giggling as the sharks play along and enjoy Darcie’s games and I like that Darcie is a bold and brave character who seems totally unphased by the three hungry sharks who keep suggesting it is dinner time. The book ends with Darcie’s Dad coming to see what is taking so long, threatening trouble if there is any mess, which spooks the sharks. Darcie promises to let them go if they help her clean up, which they do and hop back down the plug hole just in time for Dad to come in to the ‘spick and spanny’ (when you know – you’ll know) bathroom to collect Darcie for breakfast.
The book is nicely illustrated which gives the book a lot of its character, it’s probably not the easiest book for young readers to practise with as the structure is a little mad and the fonts jump a little all over the place. That said, for a bedtime book it’s a nice light hearted giggler with plenty of opportunity for the silly voices that kids love. There’s a little twist at the end of the book too, I won’t give it away, but I’ll say it is understood better by older children who will no doubt roll their eyes and
I was asked to share with my readers a contest to enter for children in kindergarten to fifth grade to showcase their talent in art and writing.
There are great prizes to win check out www.education.com/contests/
A big welcome to Paballo Rampa, she is here today to answer some questions about writing children’s book. Anyone out there looking for words of wisdom in getting your books written check out this interview.
1. What encouragement helped you with writing your book? My niece who was 2 years old at the time was the inspiration for the book. I loved (well I still do) her personality and wanted to immortalize her so I kept writing.
2. Did you face any challenges long the way? Before publishing "Tumi Goes to the Park", I had been writing and illustrating children's books myself as I could not find the right illustrator and designer to partner with.
3. What children’s books are you favorite and why? The first books my parents bought for me as a tot were from the Winnie-the-Pooh series. I thoroughly enjoyed them and learned key fundamentals about friendship.
4. What advice would you give aspiring writers? Believe in yourself and keep writing.
I was tired of seeing how the characters of little girls were portrayed in children's books. I hardly ever came across really confident, brave and feisty characters.
Looking to find out more about Paballo here is a link to her book
"Tumi goes to the Park": http://bookdash.org/tumi-goes-park-nyambura-kariuki-hannah-shone-paballo-rampa/
Barnaby Bunny's Basket
There once was a bunny named Barnaby,Who lived on a hill so high. Easter Day was his favorite time,And pretty Easter eggs he loved to dye.
Barnaby Bunny Basket held:
1. blue egg
Than delivered the easter baskets, as fast as his legs could fly. And all the girls and boys though Barnaby Bunny, was really a very special guy!
I made this story board and gave five children an egg and each time we read this story the children got a change to put the color egg we would call out into the basket attached to the bunny. The children had such fun reading the story and putting the eggs in the basket. There are to ways you can do this one is to put a magnetic strip on the back of each egg and have each child put an egg in the basket or you can have them but them in his basket like I did with a plastic sandwich bag I taped down. Let me know if you use the story I always love feedback.
Today I am sharing a post with you on children playing with mud from phoenix-support.com.au/ This is a great article if you want to the value of playing has in mud. parents have asked me what the value of play has at school, as when they sit down for dinner and ask what did you do at school children will say 'play".
A few years ago, this photo would have made me squeamish. Mud. Yuck. Now, I’m an educator advocating for this kind of messy play. In fact, when I sat together with this little man, smooshing mud and splashing in our puddle, I was just as muddy as he. We were learning, exploring and making memories together. Consider your own childhood memories of play and adventure. Where were you? What were you doing? I bet you weren’t doing a peg puzzle at a table in a small room. You were most likely outdoors, and loving it. So here I am, covered in mud, loving this messy moment and even planning for the next time we might get down on the ground and dirty outdoors.
Herein lies my problem. I’ve noticed many other early education environments and educators do not allow this sort of play and I’m wondering why. What happened to early education in this country before the Early Years Learning Framework asked us to reflect upon everything, even those things that have always been done that way?
Why does it seem that muddy play was outlawed?
Why are some educators still resisting children’s natural gravitation to this sort of play?
Are we afraid of the mess?
Are we afraid of what parents think?
There is no longer any argument around the fact that outside play is vital for child development. Guess what? Nature-deficit is actually a thing! There is even evidence to show that playing in the dirt or mud is beneficial for a child’s immune system. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation in their down to earth article (pun intended), The Dirt on Dirt (2012), cite Dr. Joel Weinstock, director of gastroenterology from Boston, who says, “Children raised in an ultraclean environment are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.” The article goes on to argue that getting messy outside benefits the heart, skin, immune system, mental health, and mood, so, for the health of it, and the fun of it, children should be outdoors, barefoot, playing in the dirt.
In addition to the health benefits of exposing children to the natural environment, the sensory and developmental benefits are indisputable. Mud in all its glory has infinite learning possibilities. We know that open-ended materials and natural sensory stimulation allows for endless exploration and engages children in lengthy involved play. We know that given a child led pedagogy and a puddle, children will naturally gravitate there given the opportunity. We are aware of good practices such as the Reggio approach which suggests that we value the environment as the third teacher. Our curriculum decisions are now guided by the Early Years Learning Framework which asks us to create opportunities for children to connect with their natural world and environment. How can we do this from a sterile, air-conditioned room with smooth clean surfaces? Mud play seems common sense now doesn’t it?
If children in your early education setting are not “allowed” to play in the mud, get dirty or run in the warm summer rain, I would like to invite you, my fellow educators to reflect on your knowledge and experience. We, the reflective practitioner, gather expert knowledge of early education and care as we learn, explore and reflect on our practices within an approved learning framework and a quality standard founded in solid theory and research. It is our duty to educate our families on contemporary learning practices and the benefits, and learning objectives of messy play.
As for me, I am going to continue to get mud between my toes and giggle with a child as he revels in the delight and simplicity of mud. I will continue to grow and change as an educator but authentic, natural learning environments and evidence-based practice will always guide my pedagogy and practice.
Author: Ashleigh Smith Contributor: Sandi Phoenix
I am a little late in posting this celebration of a great children's book author Dr Seuss's birthday. In his honor I would like to do a survey on what your favorite books are. Here are mine
1. Go Dog Go
2.Horton Hears a Who
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
4. I can Lick 30 Tigers Today
5. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
6. Green Eggs And Ham
7. The Cat In The Hat
8.The Cat In The Hat Comes Back
9. Hop On Pop
What are some of your favorites and do you share the love of his books with your children?
I saw this article from Rebecca Karr, Co-founder at beetbox and had to share it with all you teachers looking to create a happy classroom.
Happy Classroom Teaching is tough! That’s why we’ve created 3 easy tips to give you and your students a break. A happy classroom = an effective learning environment. Pass this along to your fellow educators, and help spread the joy of learning!
BE PREPAREDIf you’re aiming for a smooth day of learning, it’s important to be as prepared as possible. This means going beyond simply lesson planning. One of the most difficult tasks an educator will face is figuring out how long a lesson or an activity might take. Often times, we overestimate, and are left with extra time and busy bodies. While some students might have breezed through, others might take more time to nail down concepts. Help yourself by having “busy baskets” that finished students can wander off to, and work with independently while you close out the activity. They can contain sensory bottles, puzzles, tracing, or weaving cards and thread, etc. Beetbox is a perfect educational tool to have on deck for situations like these - either for guided learning or independent exploration.
BE FLEXIBLEHappy is the teacher that is flexible! It’s easy to get bent out of shape when things in your classroom don’t go according to plan. Instead of fighting to keep your original plan, it’s sometimes best to give your students the best learning experience possible by changing things up. For example, if you had a seated activity planned, and children are struggling to stay on task, accept it and move on by introducing a more hands on or sensory activity to reset. In doing so, you’ll not only give them a break, but yourself one too. Natural materials are an easy way to get a child back on track. Activities like watering a plant, sowing a seed, and anything involving the 5 senses are a great idea. Beetbox is filled with sensory immersive projects. Because we send everything you need, you’ll never be without a hands on activity to have as your plan B.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGEIt might sound cliche, but smiling is contagious! You’d be surprised how quickly the overall vibe of your classroom will change, just be smiling while speaking. Social cues like eye contact, or getting down to a child’s level for a face to face conversation make all the difference in keeping a child’s attention, and it’s also a great way to be sure they can actually hear you and are listening to your message. If you notice the environment in your classroom seems tense or anxious, stop for a silly dance break, or carve out a few minutes to do something everyone will find fun. Planting, cooking, or anything to do with food can bring a class together. Beetbox teaches STEAM concepts through the exploration of food, and the seed to table cycle. Pause to conduct a delicious taste test, or enjoy planting some seeds with your children. You want to see more information on Beetbox go to www.getbeetbox.com/
Everything You Need to Know About Newborn Sleep Safety
February 13, 2019
So many new (and old) parents have questions about newborn sleep safety. They are constantly trying to figure out the best and safest places for their new baby to sleep.
Should they co-sleep? Should they share a room? Is a bassinette better than a crib? How long should they swaddle their baby? How do they prevent that scary sudden infant death syndrome? What kind of surface is best for baby to sleep on? And so on…
All of these are excellent questions and are common discussions that I have with my patients every day.
Not only is it important to create a sleep-friendly environment that will help your newborn fall asleep fast and stay asleep, but it’s also important that it is done in the safest way possible.
And with so many seemingly great options out there, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right one for you and your baby.
So, in this post, we’ll explore and discuss some of the best and safest sleep practices for your newborn and cover some pretty cool new innovations that will help your baby to sleep peacefully at night and help you to sleep better knowing that they are in a safe space.
What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDs?
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room…. Many people have heard of the term SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but few have a good idea of what it really is.
And quite frankly, that’s because we as a medical community are not quite sure what it is either, or at least what causes it.
According to SIDS.org, sudden infant death syndrome is “the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation…” And is a condition that is generally associated with sleep.
As the definition implies, the cause of death is unknown, but what we do know is that practicing safe sleep habits for newborns has drastically reduced the incidence of SIDS (by more than 50%!).
So, what are those safe sleep practices you ask? Keep reading below to find out .
To Co-Sleep or Not to Co-Sleep, That is the Question!
Many parents love the idea of snuggling to sleep with their little ones and having them within arm’s reach while they sleep. But many parents have also been counseled NOT to do this.
So the question is, is it okay to co-sleep????
And the answer is YES!….. But not in the way you might think (sorry).
The type of co-sleeping that is okay is sleeping in the same room (not bed) with your newborn.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends that parents share a bedroom with their infants for at least the first 6 months of their lives, which has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
So Why Not Share The Same Bed?
That is a good question and the reason is that infants are at increased risk of things like suffocation, falling off the bed, getting smothered and, you guessed it, sudden infant death syndrome when they share the same bed as their parents.
This, however, does not mean that you can’t keep your newborn close to you and even within arms reach while you sleep.
There are several doctor approved safe sleep spaces for your newborn that will still allow them to be close by for those middle of the night feeds, diaper changes and snuggle sessions.
But before we get into the best places for your baby to sleep, let’s cover some general newborn sleep safety tips
Golden Rules of Newborn Sleep Safety
Rule #1: Always put your baby on their back to sleep, this has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Rule #2: Be sure to clear the bed of any blankets, stuffed animals, pillows or other soft and plushy things as these can be suffocation hazards.
Rule #3: Make sure your baby’s sleep surface is nice and firm. You should avoid soft plushy mattresses or allowing your baby to fall asleep on soft surfaces such as the sofa or armchair.
Best (and Safest) Places For Your Baby To Sleep
So there are many options out there for places for your little one to sleep, but all are not created equal.
And there are some options that are safer than others. Here, we’ll cover some of the doctor recommended and parent approved places for baby to sleep.
The Bedside Bassinet
Always a great option! Bassinets are small cradles that act as portable sleep spaces for babies that are easily accessible with shallow mattresses and low sidings.
Bedside bassinets also called beside sleepers, are bassinets that come with equipment that allows you to attach the bassinette to your bed.
This gives you the best of both worlds! You have your baby right at your fingertips while also maintaining a safe sleep environment.
This is a classic and a great safe option for baby to sleep in. Cribs have been around since the beginning of time (well maybe not quite). But since then have undergone major upgrades in terms of safety.
So, while those antique cribs that have been passed down from generation to generation might be great and hold a lot of sentimental value, just make sure they check the boxes on the safety checklist.
Things to look out for to ensure your crib is safe:
Make sure mattress is firm and tight fitting
Ensure the crib has proper support with no loose or ill-fitting screws
The slats on the crib should have no more than 2 3/8 inches of space in between to prevent your baby from getting trapped in between the slats
Try to avoid cribs with drop siding
Also, be sure not to use crib bumpers as they increase the risk of suffocation.
The Pack N Play
This seems to be a favorite with many of my families and is a super convenient place for baby to sleep.
It’s a large bassinette that’s portable and works double duty as somewhere for your baby sleep and play!
Many of them also come with modifications such as bassinet inserts or changing table inserts, really giving you options for maximal utilization of the space.
And if you’re looking for a safe and cost-effective place to lay your little one to sleep, this is definitely the way to go, generally coming in at about ¼ to ½ the price of your average crib.
Now, this is the Mercedes Benz of baby sleepers (with the price tag to match).
If you haven’t heard of the Snoo, it is the magical baby bassinet that literally responds to your baby’s cries and gently rocks them back to sleep.
This bassinet reportedly responds to your baby’s cry but producing a white noise sound and rocks them at different speeds based on how upset they are.
If that isn’t cool enough, it also comes with an app that lets you see what’s happening with your baby and lets you control the functions.
And it comes with an attached swaddle that keeps your baby nice and securely positioned in the middle of the bassinette.
Pretty cool right?
No one sleep space in this post is better than the other. Choose the one that works best for you and your newborn.
What matters most is that you follow the safe sleep recommendations for your newborn to ensure many nights of peaceful and safe sleep.
This is post is being shared from Angela Holliday-Bell
Looking for some good home do it yourself tips check out https://theoldsummershome.com/diy-mop-broom-holder/ I found some great tips to try at theoldsummershome.com check it out and let me know what you think.
Valentine’s Day is coming and I thought I would introduce you to a fun
learning activity. Parents are always looking for ways to help their
children to secede in school. Education.com is where this
comes from it is a site for parents and teachers to use check it out
and let me know what you think. Here is a sample for you to share
with your children, I don't usually have downloads but this came from
a safe site. Fall in love with this word tracer worksheet for
Valentine's Day! Find more at www.education.com/resources/ela/
Hi I am Marcie Kenny the women behind this blog. No I am not a mother but I am a sister in a family of nine my number is seven in this crowd. I am also known as aunt Marcie to 18 and great aunt to 10.