Sunday, 29 July 2012

I love books

I wish I had more time to do this.

But since I seem to be doing this 5-6 days a week...
Well, not actually sitting on books 
but hours of book related library busy-ness:
My play time is much much less.

I am very happy. I love love my job.
But I think I need one of these fairy thingies... 
to do some housework and grocery shopping.

I am in children's literature mode. Probably why I was drawn to those whimsical images...
Next project is Book Week. Our theme - Champions: Royal and Rotten!
This will give us lots of scope to include lots of Princesses and Pirates. With dressing up included!

Y Cate

Thursday, 26 July 2012

treading this way ...

This image is a a fairly apt representation of how I'm feeling about my life at the moment.
Not the smoothest path, nevertheless beautiful.
Can't quite see the end - and how I love to know what's going to happen! - but this period of my life is surrounded by beauty.

My life is filled with fabulous friends, vibrant colleagues, loving and supportive family, a terrific job - perhaps you remember I was particularly wanting that back here, and I'm feeling especially grateful. It seems to be panning out nicely. Now where's some wood to knock on?!

Y Cate

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A beautiful collection of rubbish

Interests, collections, fads... Call them what you want, kids love it. They all have something they like to collect or become an expert in. We have been through Star Wars, Mighty Beanz and recently Trashies which was lightning fast phase, but loved no less passionately. Mr Treechange was particularly glad when Trashies passed, seeing no point at all in spending hard earned money literally on rubbish. I even suspect he helped the passing of that collection phase, bringing home Ninjago.

I love learning about what kids are into. Ask a child what they like to collect and their face lights up. A child who may be behind in spelling or not yet able to ride a bike forgets all those things when they are able to show you they are an expert in something. I use kids interests areas to my benefit all the time. I ask my son to tell me all about who his favorite footy player is while he unpacks the dishwasher. Or a while ago after a nasty fall from a tree Master Treechange had 7 stitches (yes, how retro a fall from a tree! Not an inury from the Wii) and I distracted him by talking all about the latest movie he had watched and was into.

Apart from distraction, interest areas can be great for helping children learn. I have previously blogged about using Tigger to help children learn about when is the right time to bounce for a child who may a little "bouncy" (see, isn't that better than saying hyperactive!). This works well with anything a child is interested in and can relate to. Boys love cars. Using the speed of a car as an analogy for when to calm down or when to do some alerting activities, can be really useful. Talking to a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine about what makes a Really Useful Engine can be a completely different conversation than if you were to lecture about hand washing. This works for teenagers too. It's very hard to get a teenager away from the mobile or lap top, but if they do make eye contact with you don't blow your chance with a lecture about getting ready for school in the morning. Talk to them about how it must be hard to feel like a vampire and be nocturnal, and what could they do to be more like a werewolf who can cope during the day (Twlight fans will get it).

Maybe if Aeriel's dad had taken an interest in her collection instead of banning her from talking to humans things would have gone a little differently. She was just a
                                  Bright young woman,
                                  Sick of swimming,
                                  Ready to stand tall....

What are your kids into at the moment? I'd love to hear how you have made your children's interests work for you.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

to baby with love x

A craft book review YCate

To Baby with Love
35 gorgeous gifts to make for babies and toddlers
by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

One of the major perks of my job is the hundreds of beautiful books that pass through my hands. 
"To Baby with Love" is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

I want to make nearly EVERYTHING from this book. Mostly though it's a toss up between the yo-yo nursery decoration, the plump wise owl door stop or the wash cloths bound with vintage fabric.

Hope your day is filled with some beauty therapy too x 

Y Cate

p.s. If you HAVE to have it - find it here.
Otherwise visit your local library Y

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cloud dreaming

“This is how Piglet and Pooh came to be lying on their backs, looking at the sky. And from this angle they were finally able to see some clouds coming into view.”

I love Tigger’s enthusiasm, even if he does knock everyone over. It’s funny how just the one word of describing him as “enthusiastic” changes how I see him. Imagine if I called him “hyperactive” or “inconsiderate”.

I think the way we describe children’s behaviour is really important. Not only does it help in the relationship with the child to see them more positively, but it gives an understanding of the cause of the behaviour as well as the way to change the behaviour. How do you stop Tigger from bouncing? You can’t, but you do listen out for the boing noise!

I think using the Tigger analogy can be helpful for children to understand their own behaviour. You can brainstorm with your Tigger all the ways to stop a Tigger from bouncing and knocking people over. You might come up with the idea that Tigger needs to learn the right time and place to Bounce. Who he could bounce around - Little Roo loves to bounce, but not Rabbit. Giving children strategies for when they feel bouncy can be useful in helping them to calm. One strategy to stop bouncing is weighted therapy. Having something heavy on a child’s lap or even shoulders, like a heat pack, or heavy book can be very calming and centring. Another useful strategy for children who fidget with their fingers or chew their nails is talking about their “busy fingers” and giving their fingers something to do like play with blu-tac, magnets or rocks in their pocket. I bet Tigger would love some blu-tac to fidget with while he waited for the next appropriate time to bounce!

Not all kids are into characters from the 100 Acre Woods, so while it is a good starting point, explore character’s from your own children’s area of interest. Next time I will talk more about analogies. How would you describe your child? McQueen? Belle? Po? 

A recipe for the school holidays to make with the kids, while you talk about Tigger and how to help him with his bouncy- Honey Joys are so easy to make I think even Tigger could manage to make these for his friend Pooh Bear.