Interview with the Producer of KAZOOPS!

I've got something exciting happening today - a first for Teacher Types! I get to interview the producer of Kazoops, Patrick Egerton. You may have read my post yesterday, explaining the importance of imaginative play and how Kazoops encourages children to use their imaginations to make sense of their worlds (if you haven't read it here), so this is the perfect follow up. We get an insight into how the ideas for the show came about and a snapshot into how it's created. Patrick shares what it's like being a producer, and even some future plans for Kazoops.

Did you know that "Moops" was the original name of the show? But it was already taken, so they experimented with different made up words that could express fun, surprise and wonder! And that's how Kazoops started...


How KAZOOPS Will Encourage Imaginative Play in your Child

One of the fundamental principals of child development I learnt when I was at Uni was that children learn through play. They make sense of their world, act out familiar experiences when playing and use their imaginations to process and solidify their understanding. Just a few examples you may have seen or experienced include home corner play, acting out "mums and dads", feeding dolls, pushing trains along a train track, making animal noises as they play with toys - it's all imaginary play! They are learning while they're playing and using their imaginations. An essential ingredient to a well rounded childhood.

The TV show Kazoops is embracing this philosophy as imagination is the key theme throughout each episode. Targeted to preschoolers, young children will be encouraged to use their own imaginations as they watch, and chances are it will spark some learning through play experiences of their own.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 


When Should Your Child Start School? {Guest Post}

My daughter will be starting school next year! It's such an exciting time for our family and we are really looking forward to it. She'll be four when she starts, turning five in early March. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be ready. Not that I have pushed her to do any of the educational activities you've seen on the blog or Instagram - I really do try to take her lead and follow her interests of when she wants to do writing, drawing, reading, numbers, sensory or imaginary play. As well as being academically ready (in my opinion), her Preschool teachers agree and she is so used to the daily routine of a 7:30 - 4pm day that I think she'll cope with school life really well.

However in my chats with family and friends, it can be a difficult decision to make for March & April babies who will either be 4 turning 5 when they start (making them one of the youngest in their cohort), or 5 turning 6 when they start school. And in many cases you need to have a plan the year prior to decide if they will commence sessional kindergarten or not. A really good piece of advice I heard from a friend (she read it in a book) was to ask yourself; "Will they flourish? Or will they just cope?". Parents often do not regret their choice to wait another year before sending their child, but some who choose to send them 'early' do.

So to help you navigate this big decision and to give you some food for thought, today I welcome Aly from Grow to Know. She's a teacher of the Early Years like me and her website Grow to Know is all about preparing children for school. Aly has some really clear dot points for your to consider to decide if your child really is ready...


Tips for Teaching STEM to Preschoolers

There's been a lot of talk about STEM and STEAM on my blog lately, and for good reason! I've been working with a new small Adelaide based business called STEM Nest who are all about bringing STEM into your everyday life at home - no matter the age of your child! You may remember my post on school aged children's activity kits and I'm so pleased this month to be able to give you an idea of what Karlie from STEM Nest is able to provide to preschoolers (or "Little STEMies"). It's all about hands on learning, exploring materials, sensory play and encouraging our little ones to be little innovators before they've even started school.

Sound like something your little one might like? Read on!

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with STEM Nest. These products were kindly gifted.


Numeracy Activities for Preschoolers

Did you know that there are several aspects to consider when teaching early number concepts to young children? It's not just about how high they can 'rote' count by memory, or writing the numerals (some would argue that is a handwriting skill, not a mathematic skill). It's much more about their understanding of number, grasping what a group of '3' looks like, understanding words such as more or less, and counting a small group of objects using one to one correspondence.

In preparing Miss M for the start of school next year, this week I downloaded some great resources from Teach Starter. Where you'll not only find excellent resources for school aged children - but some fantastic resources for preschoolers as well! Here are 5 of my favourite number activities.

This is a sponsored post as part of my Brand Ambassadorship with Teach Starter. 


Our Top 5 Weekly Activities & Lessons

There are a lot of activities, classes, lessons etc. available to babies, toddlers and preschoolers to keep their days busy before they go off to school full time. From discussions I've had with other parents, sometimes it's hard to know which ones to choose for your child. I think it's important not to be overcommitted and find the balance between keeping busy and giving the kids opportunities to develop a variety of skills but also having enough time to relax and play at home.


5 STEAM Learning Opportunities with Rusty Rivets

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Mumtastic and Nick Jr. 

Every now and then you come across a new kid’s TV show that really impresses. Now, as a teacher I have quite a critical eye when it comes to my kid’s TV viewing, and if they have opportunities to think and learn while they’re watching – I’m happy.

STEAM (an acronym for the subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is huge in schools right now – and Rusty from Nick Jr’s new show Rusty Rivets is quite the little engineer creating all sorts of gadgets and gizmos using a variety of tools and recycled materials. His friend Ruby is always by his side ready for help and work as a team!

So this week we got our thinking caps on and raided the shed to find all sorts of nuts, bolts and bits and pieces that we could use to do some STEAM of our own! Keep reading for a fun activity to do for each learning area (some of course will cover more than one!).


The Perfect Book for Literacy & Numeracy Week

This brainwave came to me the other day and I couldn't wait to write about it and explore the book Uno's Garden with my Year 2 class - as part of Literacy and Numeracy week.

Graeme Base would have to be one of my favourite Australian illustrators (and authors of course but I feel his art work really needed a mention - did you know that original art works from the books sell for up to $50,000???). They detail is absolutely brilliant and the reader gets completed enthralled in the story thanks to the imagery.

Uno's Garden at it's core, is a story about how fragile the environment is, and how society needs to strive to create a balance between creatures, man made structures, and plant life. It uses multiplication concepts to do so, both increasing in numbers, and decreasing - even touching on square numbers. The mythical creatures and plants are so fun and creative!

Literacy and Numeracy week is all about integrating these two learning areas together, and what better way to do that than with books about numbers?

Let me explain Uno's Garden a bit more...

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