“It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a child to inspire a village”, Emma Mactaggart
Today we are celebrating ‘International Read to me Day”, this is an international campaign to empower and encourage children to be more proactive in their own literacy by asking the adults surrounding them to read to them and how important it is to be read regularly.
Let’s read every day to our children even when they already know how to read. Let’s share activities that promote literacy and the love of reading.
“No matter what else we tested for the results show that being read to remains an important factor that is not explained away by other factors such as the parents’ education. Children of 4 – 5 years old who are read to 3-4 times a week have reading ages 6 months ahead of children read to once or twice a week. Reading to children nearly every day almost doubles their progress to one year ahead of the group.”
Professor Guyonne Kalb of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research
So what are you going to read to your child today?
“IMLD promotes awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism”. Australia is a multicultural society and as such understands the significance of the diversity of its population. It is celebrated on 21st February.
The Australian government through his Early Learning Language Australia (ELLA) program has already made a step in the right direction. The childcares which have applied will be able to use the app on an iPad.
It is far from being perfect, children learn better with interaction and through play and do not need screen time so young. However, as mentioned previously, it is recognises a gap and it is still some exposure to another language.
This year we have chosen the story of ‘the three little piggies’ which is a favourite of my children. We will read it in their three languages.
Which story have you chosen to read to your little ones today?
Read aloud everyday to your children, even when they are old enough to read by themselves.
A young reader understands better when he is listening to a story than when he is reading.
When you read aloud it is not just about the text inside a book, it is about the time you spend with your child, the emotions you are transmitting, the additional information you are giving, the interaction and exchange you are having.
When your child does not seem to show any interest in the books, show and read to her/him stories on topics he/she likes. It might be pirates, dinosaurs, princesses and fairies, mysteries to solve, animals….
Click on the below link to watch our suggestions to get all children to love books.
Savenger hunts and ‘I spy’ games are among our favourite ways to teach new words to a child while having fun.
It is easy to put organise it just requires a little bit of time.
For our first session of this term we went to Naturescape in Kings Park for a scavenger hunt. I went a few days prior to take pictures and see what the children could collect.
It is the same principle with the “I spy” activity, take a few pictures and add a fun and short comment to make it easy for the children to memorise. You can either do a monolingual version or a bilingual. Since not all the parents do not speak French or Spanish, I tend to produce bilingual worksheets.
Once the pictures are taken, paste them onto a word document and add a comment or in this case I just wrote the names in Spanish next to the pictures.
Then you give the children each a bag and explain that they are little explorers on a mission, they have to find all the items of the list and put them inside the bag.
I like collaborative games rather than competitive, so I encourage them to help each other. You can give them a prize but it is not necessary, they are so happy going on a hunt!
Be mindful of always keeping safety in mind first and do not produce a list too long, you do not want them to lose interest half way through the game.
You can always ask questions about what they have found when you all get together and give them a chance to practise the language they are learning.
Questions such as:
Where did you find this? What is it? Is it heavy or light? Is it big or small? Where does it come from? (a feather from a bird, a leaf from a tree)…. Can you tell me about the colours or the shape? etc…
Click here for a sample of our worksheet so you can get some inspiration and make your own.
Below are the items collected by one of our little explorers.
Never forget that children learn best when they have fun. You can organise and ‘I spy” at home, in your backyard, in your child’s bedroom or toy room. No need to make it really hard.
Children get tired quickly, so keep it short and interesting.
Multicultural children’s book day became a national event in the USA on 27 January 2014 thanks to Valerie Budayr (www.jumpintoabook.com) and Mia Wenjen (www.pragmaticmom.com).
They are both children’s reading and play advocates and presented this day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books. Since then it has received an overwhelming support from authors, publishers, parents, teachers and librarians.
It has since become a multinational event.
Diversity means reading stories from all over the world, introducing other cultures, promote a variety of authors and story tellers, read whenever possible in different languages.
This year’s theme is “Be kind, be a hero”. Be kind to each other. We believe that the more we know about each other’s cultures, the more tolerant and understanding we become, the more likely we are to embrace diversity.
We love the idea and we would like to share a book with you that we think perfectly illustrates diversity in children literature.
“The Barefoot book of Earth tales”
Reading stories and doing craft activities are a great way to introduce other cultures.
This book relates beautiful stories from Australia, Bali, Nigeria, Wales, Kazakhstan, India and the American South West.
There is a craft activity related to the culture after each story. It is also a fun way to locate the countries on the world map.
Children are back to school and this is a great opportunity to reinforce those language skills. Teaching children your language through themes they are interested in or expand their language skills through new topics, ideally subjects that they are studying at school. This way you get to kill two birds with one stone. They will learn new things and get to practice their minority language.
Here are our suggestions in the various languages we carry:
World Atlas + Memory game Cities of the world, match 2 cards with same landmark. One shows read the name of the landmark and the city where it is located and the second card reads the name of the landmark and the country where it is located. Great to introduce geography to young children.
My son is about to start kindergarten and I must admit that I am as excited as he is. He is a big boy now. However, school can be a new environment for many children and as anything new it can be scary. They will have to get use to faces, make new friends.
My son goes to childcare and he is used to dealing with different carers, However, English is his minority language, he is fluent in French and in Spanish and his English is not at the same level of fluency as the other languages. He can understand everything and speaks well for a trilingual child that does not hear a word of English at home.
I figured that if I can get him more familiar with what is expecting him, he could focus more on learning new skills and making new friends.
We have been reading books together and we have been enjoying different stories in different languages.
I put together a few suggestions of books we carry:
Adoro a escola there are so many reasons why little rabbit loves school, nice new friends, nice teachers and so many new things to learn.
A rainha do recreio Magda does not like school. Everything bothers except during the breaks where Magda is the ‘queen’, always ready to organize a game. ” How are we going to get her interested in school? ” wonders her professor. One day, he has a funny idea … that will change everything!
La rentree des animaux Perfect book to get children ready for their first day in school. The parrot is learning the alphabet while the chameleon makes a colourful drawing and the monkey does gymnastics….
Big Nate – Le champion de l’ecole Big Nate is on a roll! Nate’s a big deal in his scout troop . . . until Artur—aka Mr. Perfect—joins up. Now Nate’s stuck in second place. And Artur means business.Will Nate take the grand prize? Or wipe out, big time
Tous a l’école de Trotro The “mini Trotro “, a series of small soft albums to learn shapes, numbers, colors, flowers, music and the alphabet with Trotro !
Les Zazoos – Vive l’ecole (bilingual English) The Zazoo are on holidays and they are bored. Therefore they decide to play school. Toudou the cat is the teacher and suggests many activites to his students.
Rita comienza el colegio Since today is Rita’s first day of school, she needs help packing her bag, and young readers are encouraged to lift this book’s flaps to help Rita find what she needs and use the pull-down shopping lists to test their memories. A backpack with all of Rita’s school supplies is included at the end of this charming first experiences book.
Bear’s school day Discover some activities, such as singing, sticking and even a nap that children will be doing in school. Bear is the teacher so it will be fun.
Zazoo – Wir gehen gerne in die schule (bilingual English) The Zazoo are on holidays and they are bored. Therefore they decide to play school. Toudou the cat is the teacher and suggests many activites to his students.
There are so many ways to introduce a different culture without speaking the language:
Through food, movies, music, games and my favourite ……books.
Have you checked our selection of English only books lately?
They are beautiful and tell stories from around the world.
We even have a World Atlas and its memory card game to learn about the countries’ landmarks and some geography or if you are after fun eco activities we have the perfect book to keep your children busy this summer.
Here is our selection for you, click here for much more.
For a free delivery over $80 purchase use the voucher Xmas. T&Cs apply.