It was amazing to be back in a museum, mask and sanitiser at the ready!
I was excited to fall down a rabbit hole of my own in to the wonderful world Lewis Carroll created.
Something I didn’t know is that Lewis Carroll isn’t his real name. I don’t know how this little nugget of information passed by me but he actually translated his first and middle names into Latin and then switched them over. It made me wonder what my pen name might be, Kathryn is just Catherine so I am now Lord Elizabeth aka Dominus Suspendisse!
The most amazing thing I got from the exhibition is that Lewis Carroll or rather Charles Lutwidge Dobson was that his stories he told inspired art, music, theatre, fashion, film decade after decade!
More to books…
Who is your favourite character in Alice in Wonderland?
At the end of Portobello Road, the street was shut off for filming. At the time I was working not far from there and my Dad came to visit. (Before lockdown obviously)
Being bold and brave, my Dad asked the security men what they were filming, to be told it was a baked bean commercial, to which I think he was pretty happy with.
When the filming wrapped up, I had to nip into the laundrettes that had been shut for the filming. The lovely gentlemen that worked in there then told me it was, you guessed it, CRUELLA.
So I had to take my Dad back to the scene of the baked bean commercial!
The film is a 12a which means you can take younger children to it. While it’s not scary as such, there is violence and death themes running through but then those themes run in Lion King too? It’s a very clever movie with twists so I suppose it’s down to the child. I think upper key stage 2 would love it.
Wow! That’s all I can say. Wow! Well, I’m going to say more than that but I think Cruella has moved into the spot of my new favourite movie. But the thing is, I always believe that books are better than movies so here we are.
There really is #moretobooks than Reading and clearly, there is #moretocruella!
What also was magnificent was I paid £18 for VIP tickets and my old haunt, Burnley Reel Cinema, where both my Dad and I got orange juice, water, pop, Kit Kat’s, popcorn AND ICE CREAM. I’m pretty sure it would have cost more than £18 for all that, never mind the cinema tickets. So I suppose, get it while it’s hot!?
It’s so good to be getting out and doing things, abiding by Covid rules. I am inspired by doing things, and I can’t wait for next weeks blog on Alice and Wonderland, just you wait!
If you go down to the gardens today, you’re in for a big surprise. There are no bears, but Beano is having a birthday party.
I do feel like there’s more to books than reading, but there is also more to reading than books. The National Curriculum states that children should read a wide variety of reading material, so recipe books, newspapers, leaflets, websites and COMICS!
I also find that comic magazines and annuals support our children who are reluctant readers.
I even like books with no words as the child can use their own vocabulary to tell you what is happening. These types of books/magazines can help your child develop an imagination which helps in small world play.
Encourage word play and design by drawing the “sound” words as how they might look, like the word ‘pop’ in a balloon (with a pin nearby) or ‘crash’ with a dust cloud around. Here is where clip art comes in handy if they are on the computer.
If you do get to go to Kew Gardens, there is a trail of lots of fun things to see and do.
This is not Beano, but might get your little ones excited to do some purposeful screen time with their own toys, a Malaysian photographer has used forced perspective to make it look like he is interacting with his superhero miniature figures.
I always get inspiration from activities that I do with the children in my Nanny job. As you know, we haven’t really been going anywhere due to lockdown. So as I live in Wimbledon and I frequent the common often, I had thought about doing a quick blog on the loveable Wombles.
Then it snowed!
More to books…
(Photo taken from: books.google.co.uk)
I am missing libraries and book shops, so my go to website is world of books.com. It’s a second hand website with good quality books.
There is a mural of the Wombles in Wimbledon centre, across from the station.
Why not share the Wombles with your little ones during lockdown?
A sad part of lockdown is the litter being left behind, especially overflowing bins and coffee cups discarded. Perhaps litter picking isn’t advisable in these times, but we can encourage our little ones to take their litter home and be good examples, as children really are our future!
I know we can’t go to the zoo. I had members tickets for the Monday that Lockdown 3.0 was announced. It was a lot of fun! It was socially distanced and we wore masks. I’m so grateful we got a tiny bit of normality before everything was shut again.
If we can’t go to the zoo, why not bring the zoo to you? Go through the teddies and organise them into zoo animals and non- zoo animals with your child. Hide them around your house and visit the “zoo”
With every animal you “see”, make a fact card. Depending on your child’s age, maybe they can research using books or the internet. I know I’m all about books, but any form of reading counts. If you don’t have a book on that animal, using different forms of literature is still reading. If they can, use it as a writing opportunity too.
Why not do some artwork from the animals in your zoo?
More to books…
Nb I took these photos of the books on my birthday in December…the shops and cafes were shut on Monday.
Don’t forget books can be fiction and non- fiction, use magazines and the internet!
Also, you could watch Andy’s animal adventure, set in a zoo! Or even Our Planet by David Attenborough, I find even little ones are mesmerised by these.
Show me your pictures with your little one’s favourite soft toy or drawing or a zoo animal!
I can’t say enough how amazing cooking with children is. Home schooling is better when it’s an experience. Not only does this combat all the senses but it targets several subjects in one.
Speaking of things they need to know how to do, my 14 year old nanny child had never used a tin opener until I taught her! I know some have ring pulls these days…I always think of apocalyptic movies when the people need to open cans!!
I once nannied three children after school while I was a teacher and the 11 year old and I were making pancakes. The father came home and was in shock that she was at the hob…I really believe it’s our job to show them how to do all this safely at any age…
Using a scales to measure the sugar helps them put their maths into practice.
This is where creativity may take over. I believe baking is as much an art as it is a science. The end product is their bit of creation which tastes so much more satisfying.
Glaze with egg! It’s like painting. Your really littlies can get involved!
Also, it’s a moment to reflect on the good and bad things. What went well? What could you improve on? Make it again a few months down the line.
More to books…
Books don’t have to be just for children. In baking, you’ll be supporting them. Any book is a reading opportunity.
Junior Bake off is also a great way to inspire your children to try and bake more. I love their resilience when something goes wrong. They can bake better than me!
What are your favourite recipes to do with your little ones?
Today’s blog is shining the star on a bilingual author who is seeking to support those children growing up in two cultures. I have been lucky enough to interview her about her book and her journey.
How did the book come about? Rewind to over 2 years ago I was in a coffee shop in Spain doing some writing for a non fiction book I’d been working on for a while. Writing has always been a passion of mine but for a good while I hit writer’s block. While I was daydreaming, I spotted some children running around, they were speaking in Spanish then one of the mothers spoke to her daughter in English. That’s when it hit me, why don’t I write a children’s book about growing up with different cultures where children from different backgrounds can relate and base it on my own experience? I always wanted to write about it and show people the advantages of growing up bilingual and spending my summer holidays in a magical village in Spain. So that’s what I did, I made a plan and got writing. I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it!
What do you think children learn from your book? Children that speak 2 different languages or come from different backgrounds can learn to be proud of their heritage and know at times it can be difficult switching from the two. In this book it’s aimed at children who speak Spanish and English. Children who speak one language can learn that being different is ok. It’s better to be kind and help others feel good about themselves. Afterall, kindness always wins. I’m in the process of publishing the English version only.
And a little about your journey? So I finished the book and had doubts. I knew being a children’s author was very competitive but it didn’t stop me from sending over my manuscript to literary agents. One by one I received replies saying it wasn’t the sort of thing they were looking for. This set me back and made me think maybe my writing wasn’t good enough. So I forgot about it. 2 years later the pandemic hit and I was on furlough from work then later made redundant. This gave me a lot of time to think and rekindle with my writing. My friend’s sister is an illustrator so I hired her to do the drawings. I was overjoyed with her illustrations so I really believed my story could work. I began the process of publishing it on amazon and so happy I did. So far I’ve had really good feedback especially from Spanish parents who live in the UK who are teaching their children Spanish. It really has blown up! I’m already thinking about the next children’s book to write, watch this space.
Merry Christmas my lovelies. If you’re lucky enough to be with loved ones this Christmas, give them an extra squeeze and a little hug from me too. (Only if they are in your bubble, obviously)
I’m stuck in tier four on my own and genuinely have started talking to the spiders in my house, they are both called Bob.
So here is a gingerbread blog about Christmas, and how to make it educational, if you want to.
So, because food shops are allowed to be open, if you can get yourself down to IKEA, they have sets to fill a little time. They also sell a decor-kit and baking glue making the process a lot easier. Morrison’s usually do snowmen/Christmas tree sets complete with coloured icing and sweets.
Or of course, you could make your own gingerbread. Encourage your child to look at the recipe book. Reading different forms of writing is in the National Curriculum and no matter the age they can enjoy Recipe Books. For our youngest learners, they can look at the pictures, maybe identify some letters and sounds and as they get older, maybe they can identify some words or short phrases. For our oldest learners can follow the instructions for themselves.
For the baking, you can also differentiate it accordingly. I would measure out the ingredients for our littlest learners in bowls and put them in the order they need to go in, or tell them which is next, up to supporting them to measure for themselves. All children can be part of the baking process, even if it’s practising cracking an egg or talking about the changes that happen when you mix two or more ingredients. It’s a great time to explore describing words/adjectives with them.
When decorating the gingerbread, you can also relate it to learning patterns and colours or just let them run wild with creativity!
“There’s More to Books than Reading- how to help your child bring stories to life” follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum sharing books and activities for your child to learn all subjects at home, in your garden (even in the cold and rain) or park.
This is the perfect book for Lockdown life.
As some of you may know, I was set to speak at London Olympia for the Childcare and Education Expo. It obviously didn’t go ahead. I had expedited 300 books ready for the event.
So I would like to offer a signed copy for £10 plus P&P, via PayPal, ready for Christmas.
If you know any parents with young children, or nannies with under 7s, this is the perfect book for them in our new lockdown world.