Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Children's Week is coming up in October

children;s week poster from WA

Children's Week is an annual event celebrated in Australia during October.
This year it will be held from the 19 to the 27th of October.

Children's Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. It is celebrated right around Australia and you can join in.

Activities and events are organized by schools, playgroups, childcare centres, kindergartens, cultural groups, libraries and community groups.

Children's Week Council of Australia Inc

Links to what is happening in each state and territory around Australia

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sydney siders school holiday suggestion

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world's most prestigious wildlife photography exhibition is on display at the Australian Museum with 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking wild landscapes.

The exhibition finishes on 7th October 2013

Get prices
Take a sneak peak to see if it is a good fit for your family

You can also see their extensive school holiday program which includes under 5's.

Basic Learning Disabilities: Symptoms and Advice

Having a child that has learning disabilities can present unique challenges to a parent, but can also provide a way to bond and get closer to your child. Addressing the problem with sensitivity and care can provide your child with the confidence that he or she will need later in life, and will also give them the ability to tackle challenges with far more aplomb.

Identifying Learning Disabilities
Learning disabilities are usually identified and diagnosed relatively late in the child's school career, usually when the child has been in school for two years or more. However, by then a lot of the psychological damage has been done. Most of the warning signs are in place much earlier though, and if parents can notice these then they can employ strategies to handle the disabilities much earlier.

While there is no single sign of a learning disability that unequivocally indicates a learning disability, having difficulty in learning to read can be the clearest warning sign.

Preschool signs and symptoms
  • Problems with word pronunciation
  • Issues with learning colours, shapes, numbers, days of the week and the alphabet
  • Difficulty in fine motor control such as using crayons, pencils or scissors
  • Trouble with following simple instructions or sticking to a routine
  • Difficulty in finding the correct word

Primary school signs and symptoms
  • Unable to make words
  • Misspelling words
  • Frequent reading errors
  • Confusion of basic words when reading
  • Slow to learn new skills

How to Help Your Child
After the learning disability has been diagnosed, it can be intimidating as a parent to help your child deal with it, but it needs to be done with care and sensibility.

The first thing to do is to research the disability. With reading difficulties, the most common disability is dyslexia, so the parent should research the disability in order to understand why and how the child struggles. This helps you to be more understanding and patient when assisting your child. There are a number of literacy resources that can help the parent start understanding how to treat the disability and help their child in their attempts at learning to read.

The most important thing that you can do as a parent is to praise your child often. Children with learning disabilities tend to be good at other things, such as sports or they will be more practically inclined. Praise them when they excel at these activities, and be supportive of them when they struggle.

Also, be open to the idea of counselling. This allows your child to learn how to deal with the frustration of having a learning disability, and increase his or her confidence as well as helping with the development of invaluable social skills.

Extra Help
An instructor who is skilled in helping teach children with reading difficulties will usually work in small groups, and will begin by showing the children how words are made up of tiny sound bits. This can be shown in a number of ways, by having the children clap in sequence to the sounds as the word is slowly pronounced, or moving a marker tab as each sound is made. This engages the children, and shows them how each word is made of a number of bits.

Once this idea is firmly planted in the minds of the children, the instructors will show the children how letters in words stand for the tiny sounds in the speech. This type of teaching is known as "phonics" and helps the child sound out each bit of sound that is written down. Unfortunately, as English has more rules and exceptions, phonics although shown to make massive improvements cannot stand alone in conquering reading disabilities, and it's been shown that this approach favours rote memorization. However, if used in conjunction with getting children interested in reading it can be effective in helping alleviate reading difficulties. Reading/literacy games can help foster teamwork and social skills in children, and will provide the additional benefit of having reading be fun, which in turn will encourage children to read independently and not be forced to do so.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Spring Seed Fun at Centro Box Hill this Spring School Holidays

spring fun with prexhoolers
Spring is the perfect time to get the kids out into the garden and start germinating and planting for the fruitful warmer months. To get their little green thumbs started why not take a trip to Centro Box Hill this school holidays for a free and fun school holiday program that will teach them the basics of planting from seeds and have them potting their own fresh produce to take home.
Running from September 30 – October 4, Vegecation Spring will show children the fun side of growing vegetables and herbs. Kids will be able to attend interactive workshops, plant a seed in their own pot to take home, and enter the spring blooms colouring and decorating competition to win a $200 Big W voucher.
Natalie McKinnon, children’s garden educator from Spit the Pip, will be running twice daily workshops where the children will discover the origins of different seeds, how they grow and how best to nurture them. Through a hands-on activity of seed sorting, the kids will not only learn fun ways to spruce up their gardens at home, but also inspire environmentally friendly habits.
“For kids, growing herbs and vegetables from seed is such an organic, educational experience,” says Natalie from Spit the Pip. “In addition to the practical skills they learn, it also teaches them to be more aware of the origins of everyday food items and encourages an environmentally friendly mindset, especially in children at a young age.”
With so much indoor fun for the kids at Vegecation Spring, this program is not to be missed.  It’s all about rolling up the sleeves and getting those hands dirty, in a good way, something that parents can feel happy about this school holidays.
For more information, please visit the Centro Box Hill website:  03 9843 3900


What: Vegecation Spring - a fun and engaging community school holiday activity
Where: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court)
When30 September – 4 October
What time: 11am to 2pm each day, with 30 minute seed planting workshops: 11.30am and 1pm
Who: Children aged six - 15 and their families
Price: FREE to attend. Every child receives a goodie bag to take home


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Showcase: The Second Annual Festival of Australian Children’s Literature

The Festival celebrates writers, illustrators and publishers connected with Canberra and the ACT who create children’s books.


1 October – 15 November 2013


Various Canberra venues, including the University of Canberra, ACT Writers Centre, Libraries ACT, ALIA House and the National Library of Australia.


Just a sample, from many: Garth Nix, Morris Gleitzman, Jackie French, Nina Rycroft, Nick Bland and Emma Allen.

Funded by the ACT Government's Festival Fund.

Find out more

Monday, September 23, 2013

School holiday performance

Harbour hoopla

Art Gallery of NSW

Join the Etcetera Duo for a free performance filled with comic mime, magic and illusion as they explore iconic scenes of the city of Sydney and a world of colour and light.
Suitable for children of all ages
Performed by Russell Garbutt and Julia Cotton.
Mon to Fri, 1.30 to 2 pm
23 September - 4 October 2013
Find out more.