By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

DIY Advent Calendar

Monday, 28 November 2011

“What Is Love?”

Via We Heart It

Christmas is the time for spreading the love- so why not have your kids tell you, or write down for the older ones, what love is to them. It can be a nice way to teach your children gratitude for the love around them and teach them how they can show love to their family and friends. If nothing else it is bound to give you precious words you will want to quote at their 21st. 
Here are some examples of children's answers to the question: "what is love?"
“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” - Chrissy, age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” - Terri, age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” - Danny, age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.” - Emily, age 8
“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” - Bobby, age 7
“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,” - Nikka, age 6
“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.” - Noelle, age 7
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.” - Tommy, age 6
“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.” - Cindy, age 8
“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.” - Clare, age 6
“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.” - Elaine, age 5
“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.” - Chris, age 7
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.” - Mary Ann, age 4
“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.” - Lauren, age 4
“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” - Rebecca, age 8
“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” - Karen, age 7
“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” - Jessica, age 8

Friday, 25 November 2011

Let the Christmas Countdown Begin

Free printable Christmas Memory Game 
from the Family Fun website.

With one month until Christmas and many schools wrapping up this week, most kids are chomping at the bit to get into the Christmas spirit. With this cute FREE holiday memory game you can help build your little ones memory skills while they get their Santa and candy cane fill without having to break into their piggy banks, leaving more money to buy presents for Mum and Dad. 

Monday, 21 November 2011


"There are soooooo many things to do with an empty box, the options are almost endless.  We happened to have a huge one and it went from a house, to a cave, to a cave of stars.  Its a simple concept, really - but oh so fun!!!

All you need is a box, a paint brush, a knife, and a strand of Christmas lights.  I took a paint brush (the size of the ones you get with watercolors), and poked holes in the top of the box.  Then I pushed the Christmas lights through, and we had STARS!!  We gazed up at the stars together, talking about their colors and about real stars - and even read books in our "cave of stars".  It was a wonderful adventure!!  - AK"

To add some additional language activities try using;
- in the cave
- out of the cave
- look up
- under the stars

- blue star
- red star
- green star

- how many stars can you see?

- crawling
- sitting
- lying down
- hiding
- sleeping
- looking
- wishing

I hope you all have fun with this magical idea

love, Lauren

Toddler Fun - Colour in a Bag

"For the youngest kids, art is really about the tactility of the materials, what they feel like," says Abbey Hendrickson, a former educator at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. We can't think of a more tactile experience than squeezing and pressing designs into these sealed bags of colored cornstarch. For an interesting light-table effect, tape a bag to a low window and let your child use his fingers to draw patterns while the sun shines through.
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Food coloring
  • 2 gallon-size ziplock bags
  • Duct tape
  1. Over medium heat, combine the cornstarch, sugar, and water in a saucepan, stirring continuously.
  2. Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove the pan from the heat and stir for another minute or so until it thickens to a pudding like consistency. Let it cool for 30 minutes.
  3. Spoon the mixture into two bowls, stir a few drops of food coloring into each (we used red and yellow), then divide the colors between the ziplock bags. Seal the bags with duct tape and let your child mix and mash the colors (they'll keep for up to a week).

How to Raise Girls Who Love Their Looks - by Carla Molina

Do you want the girls in your life to grow up feeling smart and beautiful? Carla Molina discusses here how to give uplifting compliments that encourage your children to value all of their many wonderful attributes, including their appearance.
" let’s compliment girls on their looks in magical and amazing and unexpected ways. Let’s give them a little something to slip into their back pocket so when the icky days of adolescence arrive, full of pimples and hormones and gorgeous girls without pimples or bad hair days (but plenty of hormones), they can hold on tight to words that make them feel sparkly and beautiful. (note: they’ll hold in this back pocket lots of compliments, not just ones about their looks…ones about comedic timing, engaging storytelling, a knack for fixing cars, being an attentive listener…).
So how exactly does one compliment a little girl without being too surfacey? Be creative, full of imagination and connect them to something greater than themselves. Wha-what? What am I talking about? Here, some examples:
  • My oldest daughter has brown eyes and I tell her they’re the color of the earth, rich and full of life and possibility.
  • Other days I tell her they remind me of yummy chocolate which always makes her giggle. Chocolate is a source of joy for her.
  • Our youngest’s eyes are the color of where the sky meets the sea at dusk. I tell her they are just like her grandma’s & like her uncle’s.
  • When I brush their hair and pull it away from their faces, I tell them it’s as strong as a rope like (gasp) Rapunzel and it’s all because they nourish their bodies with the right foods.
Complimenting a little girl on the things we find beautiful on the outside does not have to be shallow.
  • Make the nature connection.
  • Make her feel honored to carry on a unique family trait.
  • Get silly. Make it fun.
  • Focus beauty on the importance of a healthy & strong body. Hooray for fruits & veggies! Hooray for exercise! "

How to Talk to Little Girls - by Lisa Bloom

This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat.
Jump over to this thought provoking article by Lisa Bloom where she discusses how to encourage the girls in your life to be proud of their brain not just their appearance.

love, Lauren

Friday, 18 November 2011

Alphabet Movement Cards

If your little ones thrive on movement and fight against sitting quietly at the table to learn, then these free printable Alphabet Movement Cards  from the wonderful blog The Home Teacher may just save your day (and your sanity).

Each card shows a letter of the alphabet and matches it with a movement for your child to carry out.

Print them out. Laminate them (for long longevity). Bind them together (if  like me you are likely to lose every second card). Get outside to enjoy moving and learning together.

To help your child develop their literacy skills always link the letter with its sound e.g. 
"the letter A says /a/ for apple"


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Rules of Effortless Parenting

via mr & mrs zen habits
There is really only one rule: Love Them. But you already knew that one, so let’s get into details:

1. Teach kids to be self-sufficient. Our kids started by learning how to pick up after themselves (as 1 and 2 year olds), and later learned how to feed themselves breakfast, brush their teeth and shower and dress themselves, wash dishes and clean up in the kitchen, clean their rooms, do laundry, etc. Our jobs as parents became tons easier, but it does take a little patient teaching in the beginning of each skill.

2. Teach older kids to help with the younger kids. If you have multiple kids, this rule is golden. Our teens can help the little kids with anything. That makes our jobs a lot easier, and the older kids learn responsibility.

3. Teach them to solve problems. This is really the main job of unschooling, which is the philosophy we follow as homeschoolers. Our kids don’t learn facts or even skills. They learn to solve problems on their own. If they know how to do this, they can learn any facts or skills they need to solve their problems. Want to learn how to write a computer program? That’s just another problem that you need to learn how to solve. Want to cook Thai food, or write a blog, or start a business, or build something? Problems that you can solve.

4. Show them how to be passionate. The other main thing you teach unschoolers, besides solving their own problems, is how to be passionate about something. If they know this, they will do work they’re passionate about as adults. How do you teach them this? By modeling it yourself. By doing projects with them where you’re passionate about something. Kids learn an amazing amount by watching and mimicking.

5. Play with them outside, and be active. Spending time with your kids is one of the best ways to show them you love them. Playing with them is one of the best ways to spend time with them. Playing outside shows them how to be active and have fun being active. I also stay active on my own, but I make sure they know what I’m doing, why, and how much fun it is. They have a role model who is healthy and fit, and that will help them for the rest of their lives.

6. Don’t overschedule. Most parents schedule too many classes, sports, parties, activities. We give our kids lots of unstructured, unscheduled time. They have to figure out what to do with that time. That’s an important skill to learn. It also means their lives are less stressed out, as are ours, and they learn a slower pace of life.

7. Don’t dote. I’ve seen lots of parents that dote on everything their kids do, who are worried about every little thing their kid might touch or that might cause a fall. Back off, and give them some space. They need attention, but they also need some time alone to explore, to fall and get back up, to scrape their knees, to figure stuff out on their own. Go do something on your own, and leave your kids alone sometimes.

8. Dance. Because life without dance is dull and not worth living. Play loud music. Go crazy.

9. Read with them, and read in front of them. Kids love books, especially if you read them with them. Here are some of my favorites. If you are a reader yourself, and they see that, this will teach them to love reading too. Reading is one of the best loves you can instill in kids.

10. Be inquisitive. Ask questions about everything, and encourage them to do the same. Kids are naturally inquisitive … they can ask a million questions, because everything is new to them. Learn to see the world through their eyes — it’s amazing. Why the hell IS the sky blue? Why do leaves change color? How does a bird fly? These are brilliant questions, and you should explore them with the kids — don’t just give them answers, but show them how to find out.

Friday, 4 November 2011

FREE printable /sh/ & /th/ worksheets

Do your little ones struggle with reading, spelling or saying their digraphs /sh/ or /th/? Why not head over to the treasure chest that is First Grade and Fabulous and download these fun free printable worksheets?
First Grade and Fabulous

Have a look around this wonderful blog while you are there. It is filled to the brim with delightful goodies and learning inspiration.

Lauren x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Coloured Rice

Now I love to eat rice but I often forget how tactile rice is and how great it is for play with kids!  Check out this FUN idea using coloured rice by Chapter forty

As mentioned in the blog above,  you can put it onto trays and blow it, shake it, pour it...the options are endless.  I love how the kids used basic kitchen utensils for the activity.

The author of chapter forty also has an entry on how to make coloured rice click here if you are interested.

Don't forget 'rice clean up' once all other play options have been exhausted!
Vanessa ;)

Free E-book - 101 tips to control chaos

Here is a link to a free e-book collated by "Kleenex Mums" detailing super practical tips by Aussie mums and dads

Just some of the info it includes: 
  • Cooking and menu planning: My menu planning secrets that will get you on the right track for monthly meal plans.
  • Creating and setting routines: How to get the kids involved in routines. Don’t be afraid to assign some chores either!
  • Finding moments for me time: It’s all about the diary – don’t forget to make some time for yourself.
  • Monthly planner: To make everything that little bit easier, we’ve included a monthly planner, perfect for the fridge.
  • 101 tips from real mums and more! A wealth of valuable tips and insights from other Aussie mums.
Get organised & Keep calm,

Alphabet Box

Here is a cool way of teaching and reinforcing what sound each letter of the alphabet makes.  This activity focuses on increasing sound-letter correspondence.

An alphabet box can be easily made with things collected around the house. View this idea at pink & greem mama and chapter forty

As mentioned in the above blog - you can get a box to store all the objects at Kmart.  You then need to print off some letters - its a good idea to print both the capital and small font eg. Aa, Bb, Cc.
Next step is to collect all the objects and have fun putting it all together!  Remember to say the sound that the object starts with eg. 'b' as in 'ball', 'w' as in 'watch'.

'B' objects

'S' objects
Happy Learning!