Aboriginal activities with Kindergarten children 2

18 May

I decided to add another post relating to the previous one that I did as I had a new class of Kindergarten children. I have to admit I was hoping that their interest would go towards looking at different ways people live and celebrating and learning about the first people on the land. I prefer to read stories and see if the  children run with the ideas rather than setting up a ‘theme’. I have over the last few years really become very determined to ensure that the classroom life develops from the children.

So I was delighted as this group of Kindergarten children became fascinated with how other people live.

We had started using floor books so this project was added for the children so that we could look back and remember when!









Teacher Resources and classroom fun 2

16 May

I decided on a part 2 for this post about resources and classroom fun!

I thought I would share my overcrowded resource room! I have a very kind husband who keeps saying, “You can never have enough resources!” The large wooden numbers came from Typo. I have used them so often over the course of my time in the classroom. They are great for Kindergarten as we used them to show how many people in a group. So the first photo would be of the zero, the second photo would be one child holding the number 1, then another child joins in and they use the 2 and then another photo and so on…

The wooden flowers and Christmas trees come from Bunnings outdoor centres.

The basket at the top on the left hand side is one I keep for toys for story props that I collect from Charity stores. I will be back soon…………………….


Teacher resources and classroom fun

15 May

Having started blogging again, I am now keen to create more posts. I am so grateful to educators around the globe who consistently share their lesson plans, ideas, strategies, things that worked things that didn’t. I feel I need to throw my cap into the ring and share some ideas that I feel were enjoyed by children, I observed from their language that  they were learning and  from the parents  confirmation as they could see that their  children were happy and enjoying learning.

I thought I would share some of the resources I have used and also where I purchased them! I often find wonderful ideas or resources on blogs only to discover the item shown is not easily available. That is fine as well as I love people’s ideas and creativity!

1. A teacher friend found these in Ikea. At the moment they cost $0.99c! Amazing! In the catalougue they are called Tolsby.

After I raved about them, my Husband went and purchased 60! He said he thought 26 could be used for alphabet games! Some could be used for photos of the children. Some for activities on table tops! Sometimes I wonder about him! He is a Principal in a High School. How does he know this stuff??












The Pre Primary children in the class absolutely loved setting up a shop in the classroom. I found lots of loose change as I prefer to give children money as this is what they see being used everyday in their home and school life. I printed some photos of food and added prices. But I think that it would have been better if the children created the signs themselves! The little patty pans are so cheap in $2 shops. The basket had large and small pom poms. Oh yes I forgot I also purchased a market stall at Ikea for $15.








I really love the way the signs have been put up! All higgeldy pigeldy!  Perfect just how I love it!!!












I will come back tomorrow and keep going with this post………….

Here I am again!

This amazingly and beautifully crafted Rabbit is from http://mrsparrow.com.au/

My daughter in law purchased this for me for Mother’s day, knowing that I love toys for story props!
























The penguin  was  from the same shop. It has a sweet story attached to it!

Years ago I met a lady who had a baby girl and a four year old boy. It was quite by accident as her car had a flat tyre and she had had to stop outside our house and of course we helped her out. We got to chatting and tea was served and as I was doing a Child Care course at the time and I tentatively asked her if she felt comfortable with me observing her baby for an assignment. She said yes! She told me her son had an imaginary friend called Domta Domta! He apparently lived in a tree!

Well………………..years down the track 2012, I was working in a school, in Kindergarten ( maternity relief ) and one of the children sat down on a chair and I said, “oh, no you just sat on Domta Domta”. The children looked at me as if I had gone quite mad! And then from then on they continued with the imaginary friend and would say to me, “Poor Domta Domta, missed out on morning tea”. I decided to see what would happen if  i asked them if they would like to meet Domta Domta! They agreed and I brought in this penguin. They looked a bit surprised and some of them said, “We didn’t think Domta Domta would look like that!” I found a tin pirate suitcase with some wonderful resources inside  from The Paddy’s Market in Sydney (http://www.paddysmarkets.com.au/).

I am off to take a photo of the suitcase! I took out the little wooden sword and replaced it with a little book. I told the children that Domta Domta liked to record his adventures as in his spare time he was a pirate! The children loved Domta Domta and created their own adventures for him.



Teacher/Parent Help books

14 May

I have been reading some excellent books lately. Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina.

What a wonderful book! Filled with research, stories of from the author, and practical parenting tips and strategies.  I so wish I had this book when we raised our two boys!

Great for teachers as it covers development from 0-5.  I purchased the updated and expanded edition as there were some new chapters added. Enjoy!





Brain Rules book image

Aboriginal/Indigenous activities : You me : our place

13 May

Here I am back again! Finally

I have been doing a lot of relief teaching.

So two things I noticed

1. 20,000 people have looked at my ramblings! So a big thank you!

2. Most of the inquiries were about indigenous activities for children, and to be honest these are the very same things I look for myself!

So I was delighted to come across this wonderful book You me : Our place

Such a wonderful book written by Leonie Norrington and illustrated by Dee Huxley

I have yet to have the joy of sharing this book with children but I decided to add some online activities I found and then add my own experiences as a later date!

1. http://www.globalwords.edu.au/units/Indigenous_JPY3_4_html/pop01.html

2. http://www.leonienorrington.com/ This is lovely as you get to learn about the author and what inspires her!

3. http://www.thebookchook.com/2009/01/book-review-you-and-me-our-place.html a lovely review written by Susan Stephenson

I look forward to adding my own ideas soon!

you me our place 1

Getting back to blogging!

19 Dec

I am so glad the year has finished with Kindy and yet so sad at the same time! I have loved so many aspects of my year with my 18 little darlings! But now I need some time to regroup, clean my poor house, spend time with my family and get back to blogging!

One of my favourite ideas we introduced was the well used and loved ‘pet to take home’ idea! When I was in Sydney I found a lovely Gromit plush toy and he quickly became the class darling! He was loved, washed, loved some more and there have even been tears when it is time for a child to bring him back to class! Over a huge discussion it was decided that he would HAVE to go to Pre Primary so that everyone could see him next year!

Here he is in our  apartment in Melbourne! I have a lovely, long suffering husband who  was very kind about our extra traveler! Actually if the truth be known he was stuffed in my day bag as we walked around Melbourne and shopped and it was my husband that reminded me to bring him  out for photos! What a pair we must have looked, sitting Gromit on the big purse in Central Melbourne! The things you do when you are a teacher! Lucky my husband is a principal and has seen everything!


Child’s play

15 Feb

We have well and truly started our Kindergarten year! The children have been at school for two weeks and we have done so much already. I have been observing the children as they play and have watched as they drew ideas from each other, creating wonderful imaginative worlds. One particular boy loves everything to do with sea creatures. So much so that when I asked him what he would like to be when he grew up he said, “a sea monster!” I was thinking how important it is to wait and see the things that captivate children and run with that!

We started by looking at sea creatures on clips on the internet and then I found our supply of sea creatures. The children decided they needed a sea so we hunted around for blue fabric and shiny blue material. I had purchased some blue dance shiny material, so that was hung up to create a space for the children to fun with their ideas. A spare plastic clam shell and an old blue sea doona and the children were off and running!


The imagination space has grown and developed over the last few days  with puppet shows. We added some fiction books about sea creatures and placed some cushions in the corner for the children to discover new creatures that live in the sea. Next week we plan on adding pens and paper for children to draw their own sea creatures.  Sparklebox have a set of sea creature flashcards which we plan on adding to the space. I will keep you posted as the play develops!

Well… the play has moved outside and we have filled water trolleys with water of course! We added some fish to the water and some fishing lines. It always amazes me how different children are in their play. One boy was pushing the fish through the water saying, “this is my banana fish” another boy said, ” no I think it is a Parana fish and it is going to shred you to pieces!”

It is fascinating to see where play goes with children. I am so convinced that if you follow children’s lead the play becomes so rich and meaningful! As the days have progressed there has been talk about mythical creatures such as the Kraken! One little boy loves talking about this creature and  the other day he was saying that these creatures crush pirate ships…. Very soon after this a passion for all things pirates developed with quite a few of the other children. Girls and boys alike. They started making maps in the writing corner and going off and searching for treasure. I raised the legs on two of our tables, took off whatever I had put there!! and covered the table with some brown cloth (yes, the versatile cloth from our cave last term!).  I found some old jewellery from the dress ups (some the children had discovered already). I put some pirate signs around. I think I found them on Teacher’s pet. They are very authentic, with calligraphic  lettering and signs with crinkly edges (which were a nightmare to cut!). As the children came in to school they spotted the space and dived under! They have started making their own signs, asking me to write things  like “beware of the pirates” . They stuck their signs all over the doors! It looks great!   We made some “ye old pirate map paper’ with the old tea bag trick and they were off and running.  I will try and hunt down the signs I found and add them to this post.I will add some photos as well.



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