Archive | July, 2012

Olympic activities

31 Jul

I have started working in a Kindergarten for one year  (full time maternity relief). So I thought I had better get into the Olympics in a big way!!! I love the opportunity to have a ‘chat on the mat’ with chilren and see what they know already! I am always so amazed at how much  Kindergarten  children know! I think we sometimes underestimate them! I was asking a group of children what they would like to do when they have finished school and they have become adults. Quite a few children said they thought they would like to be teachers, a few said they would like to be ballet dancers and one boy said he was going to go into the army. When I asked if he would like to be an officer, he said he was going to be on the bad side of the army!!!! Because he really liked baddies!!!! I am looking forward to hearing what they know, so I will keep you posted! I thought I would add some ideas I have sourced. I always find it so helpful when someone else has gone and looked for all the neat things you can do and put them all in one place!!!

1. Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

2. Red Ted’s Art blog

These are great to use. I have enlarged them from A4 to A3 and I am using one to show the children all the different sporting events. I have made a set of two for children to play concentration or  a snap game.

3. Faithful Provisions

I love the idea of planning meals from all of the different countries represented in the games!

4. I can teach my child has wonderful ideas!

5.  Cheerio’s and Lattes

I found this site today and I love it! Especially the article about teachable moments!

I felt to include the next two stories as so much of the Olympics are about overcoming difficulties and adversity and striving for a goal and purpose. I came across the story of Wilma Rudolph some time ago and I believe it is so vital for children to learn about persistence.

6. Wilma Rudolph 

NAME: Wilma Glodean Rudolph 

BIRTHDATE: June 23, 1940 

BIRTHPLACE: Clarksville, Tennessee 

EDUCATION: At first, Wilma was tutored at home by her family because she was crippled. She first began school at the age of seven. In 1947, the schools of the Southern states were segregated — black students and white students had to attend separate schools. Even though blacks had to pay the same taxes as whites, the schools for black students were usually poorly funded, so they were less likely to have adequate books, teachers, classrooms, or equipment. 

In junior high, Wilma followed her older sister Yolanda’s example and joined the basketball team. The coach, Clinton Gray, didn’t put her in a single game for three years. Finally, in her sophomore year, she became the starting guard. During the state basketball tournament, she was spotted by Ed Temple, the coach for the famous Tigerbells, the women’s track team at Tennessee State University. Because Burt High School didn’t have the funding for a track team, coach Temple invited Wilma to Tennessee State for a summer sports camp. 

After graduating from high school, Wilma received a full scholarship to Tennessee State. Because of all the celebrity she received from her track career, she took a year off from her studies to make appearances and compete in international track events. She returned and received a Bachelor’s degree in education, graduating in 1963. 

FAMILY BACKGROUND: Wilma Rudolph was born into a large family — she was the 20th of 22 children! Her parents, Ed and Blanche Rudolph, were honest, hardworking people, but were very poor. Mr. Rudolph worked as a railroad porter and handyman. Mrs. Rudolph did cooking, laundry and housecleaning for wealthy white families. 

In 1940 millions of Americans were poor — our of work and homeless because of the Great Depression. The Rudolphs managed to make ends meet by doing things like making the girls’ dresses out of flour sacks. 

Wilma was born prematurely and weighed only 4.5 pounds. Again, because of racial segregation, she and her mother were not permitted to be cared for at the local hospital. It was for whites only. There was only one black doctor in Clarksville, and the Rudolph’s budget was tight, so Wilma’s mother spent the next several years nursing Wilma through one illness after another: measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox and double pneumonia. But, she had to be taken to the doctor when it was discovered that her left leg and foot were becoming weak and deformed. She was told she had polio, a crippling disease that had no cure. The doctor told Mrs. Rudolph that Wilma would never walk. But Mrs. Rudolph would not give up on Wilma. She found out that she could be treated at Meharry Hospital, the black medical college of Fisk University in Nashville. Even though it was 50 miles away, Wilma’s mother took her there twice a week for two years, until she was able to walk with the aid of a metal leg brace. Then the doctors taught Mrs. Rudolph how to do the physical therapy exercises at home. All of her brothers and sisters helped too, and they did everything to encourage her to be strong and work hard at getting well. Finally, by age 12, she could walk normally, without the crutches, brace, or corrective shoes. It was then that she decided to become an athlete. 

In 1963, Wilma married her high school sweetheart, Robert Eldridge, with whom she had four children: Yolanda (1958), Djuanna (1964), Robert Jr. (1965), and Xurry (1971). They later divorced. 

DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Wilma Rudolph’s life is a story of achieving against the odds. Her first accomplishments were to stay alive and get well! 

In high school, she became a basketball star first, who set state records for scoring and led her team to a state championship. Then she became a track star, going to her first Olympic Games in 1956 at the age of 16. She won a bronze medal in the 4×4 relay. 

On September 7th, 1960, in Rome, Wilma became the first American woman to win 3 gold medals in the Olympics. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. 

This achievement led her to become one of the most celebrated female athletes of all time. In addition, her celebrity caused gender barriers to be broken in previously all-male track and field events. 

7. Team Hoyt

This is hard to watch…….as the tears will most certainly flow, but it needs to be seen by all..


Nature activities for children: Rocks!

14 Jul

Recently I was watching a group of children playing in some slow flowing rapids. Some were sitting on the rocks watching as the water tumbled over the rocks, others were skimming little stones across the water and a few were gathering rocks and using them to create homes for animals.

As I watched I noticed that they were engrossed in this world of make believe and I started thinking how I used to play when I was younger. If I was outside I didn’t need entertaining or lots of commercial toys. I was happy gathering sticks and stones, making fairy houses and playing with my friends.

I started looking closely at the tiny stones in this river.   Some were smooth, others slightly jagged and some were varied in colour.

I played around with the rocks and created some different ideas with them. As I pottered around with the objects I was thinking that this activity would lend itself to enhancing  fine motor development.

Counting 1-5!

Nature Ant! I found some sticks that were segmented, so they worked perfectly for the legs! As you can see I used a thick white wood glue to attach the various pieces.

Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy!

Math measuring!

Lady in a jeweled dress!

I thought about how I would incorporate these ideas into the classroom. I could  discuss with the children  the different stones, their colours, similarities, differences, shape and texture. We could talk about the photographs and why rocks are smooth and how nature fashions them through the constant flow of the water.  Photographs of   the area were the stones had been found would help children have a point of reference. Changing the photos from A4 to A3 allows the photos to be displayed in a corner of the classroom. I would then add the stones,  bark, sticks, twigs and black card for children to come and choose items to create a naturescape. A gallery walk would be a great way for children to view other children’s ideas and share their own creations.

Children’s book reviews

9 Jul

I thought I would add some children’s book reviews I have been privileged to write for The Book Chook

This one is my most recent review.

1. Home in the Cave by Janet Halfmann

I loved the opportunity to write this review as I was able to chat to the author!(via email)

2.  Wanted: The Perfect Pet by Fiona Roberton

3. Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne

To say that I have become totally addicted to children’s literature is an understatement! As I am with young children all week I delight in finding new, fun and engaging books for children to enjoy. The advent of affordable online companies such as and The Book Depository have made it possible for my addiction to grow and grow!! I have a study filled with books and as I share them with children I am always delighted with their response! I know this is the digital age and our classrooms and teaching methods as always absolutely need to adapt and engage children in an ever changing world, but I believe books will always remain! In my humble opinion when you sit with children and bring them into that magical world of the story there is nothing quite like it!

I am hoping for more opportunities to write reviews. I will keep you posted!

Best Blogs!

9 Jul

I was thinking today about the amazing blogs I follow. There are some truly talented people out there in Blog world! So incredibly gifted and the best part is that they share their ideas with everyone!

1.I have been following Crayons and Milk and really if I just put up the photos of her amazing creations they speak for themselves!


2. Counting Coconuts is another blog I love. I appreciate the great ideas on this blog and as I am about to embark on a full time Kindergarten (maternity leave) job I am looking forward to implementing some of the activities


3. My Small potatoes is amazing  I am in awe of the author’s talent!


4. The Artful Parent is a great  place to stop for resources and ideas!


5. No time for flashcards is seriously huge!


6. Sun Hats and Wellie boots is simply delightful

The name is so inviting!


Children’s activities nut shells!

7 Jul

I was looking at Red Ted’s Art blog and I found these wonderful walnut babies so I made some of my own, as you do!

And then I started searching around for some more nutshell art! I found all of these at The Crafty Crow

Domestic Candy had some great ideas

Flossie Teacake had some adorable ideas!

The Magic onions had a lovely idea

These creations are truly amazing!


I love all of these ideas! I find when I start looking at these amazing ideas, some creativity is sparked inside of me and off I go, to the market, buy some shells and start imagining!

My creation!

I started with some pipe cleaners and a wooden bead with a hole in it. I created a little stick figure man and glued and threaded the bead for a ‘head’.

I then glued the walnut ‘hat’ on the bead and cut some clothes for my construction man!

With the pants I wrapped the felt around the legs and hot glued them together at the back (after much burning of hot glue on my fingers!). I then cut the top and threaded the man through the hole (if I had any brains at all I would have done that BEFORE I put the hat on!). I glued the excess material with a pleat and more hot glue!

This activity is definitely one an adult should do but the children could  make the clothes!