Laughter is the best medicine

The title says it all. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Below you will see a few pictures showing childrens writing. I love how funny and inventive children are and how they simply say things as they are rather than masking what they’re really feeling. 

Sit back, relax and have a read of the pictures below. I hope they brighten up your day.

Klax Galerie

Another Berlin post…

Every time I go abroad and experience other cultures and their way of viewing children, I hate England just that little bit more.

Whilst in Berlin I visted the Klax Galerie. A little art gallery situated in central Berlin that displays children’s art work. I believe the art work comes from the children of the Klax School and varies in terms of age, ability and size. The gallery itself is not particularly large but is home to a large array of paintings and small sculptures.

 

The art work itself wasn’t outstanding. It wasn’t as if they were displaying work from the next Monet but what they were doing was displaying the average art work of children. Something I have never seen before. Yes, parents display their children’s paintings on kitchen cupboards or hide them away in folders in the loft and schools put the good pieces of art on the walls to show what the class have been up to but that is nothing compared to having your art work in a public gallery for members of the public to go and look at. I think it is a brilliant concept that allows for children to have a sense of pride and proudness of themselves. Seeing their artwork in a frame on a wall of an art gallery must boost a child’s self esteem greatly.

What’s more is that some of the pieces of art were actually being sold in the gallery. The picture of the frog above was one of these pieces which I believe was available for around 400 euros. By pricing the art at a high price shows that the work and effort the child has put into that piece of art was appreciated.

All I can say is well done Berlin, please continue to boost children’s self esteem and well being.

Disposable society

I went to a museum in Berlin, Germany a couple of weeks ago that was dedicated to the history of children and youths living in Germany. Whilst walking through the museum many exhibits caught my eye but nothing stood out to me more than this wooden scooter and hula hoop. It got me thinking.

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Although the scooter and hula hoop above look nothing special it was explained how these were the only toys the poor children of Berlin had many years ago. The houses were so overcrowded that they were unable to use them inside which meant the only time children were allowed to play was outside. A complete contrast to today where children are rarely seen playing outside. The children in a large family shared these two toys. No doubt these were their pride and joy, the most important things in their life. However, looking at them know they don’t seem like much. They are just pieces of wood nailed together after all.

These two toys probably created more joy and happiness than all of the hundreds and thousands of toys children have today. We live in a disposable society where if something breaks it gets replaced immediately with a newer better model. Children nowadays have so many toys to choose from and play with that they probably aren’t even aware what’s at the bottom of the toy box. Rewind a few years and one toy was all children had and all they needed. It provided them with enough joy and happiness to last a last time. It’s sad how this is no longer the case and how every child ‘needs’ cupboards and boxes full of toys.

So, here is a mission for all you parents out there. Make a change and don’t buy any new toys for your child for a month. Can you do it? Maybe the toys at the bottom off the toybox will be rediscovered.

What a joke

Politics is never something I have been particularly interested in or something that I followed on a day to day basis. I believe the reason for this was a lack of education in politics. At school, politics was never something that was discussed. My school did not offer Politics as an A level subject and therefore to this day all that I know is from my dad and from reading newspapers.

This vote has however felt different. As I’m sure many of you are aware Britain faced the decision of either remaining in the European Union or leaving. Like many of my friends, I actually took an interest in this vote as I felt that it would directly impact my future. I am therefore horrified how the majority of people of Britain have voted to leave the EU. A decision I feel will have nothing but negatives effects on my generation and younger generations. Children born today will grow up in a completely different country to which their parents have experienced.

Nigel Farage originally stated how the money we save from not being a member of the EU would be placed into our NHS fund. He has however withdrawn this promise just this morning. Our Prime Minister David Cameron has recently resigned and a likely candidate for the new PM is Boris Johnson, ex London major. Trade into the UK will also suffer and it is likely that the cost of living will increase drastically. UK farmers received money from the EU but of course this will be stopped leaving the farming industry in despair. As a 20 year old I should be focusing on university and thinking about what job I want to do, but rather I am worried about what the future of my country may hold.

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What upsets me most is that it appears as though it is the older generation that have voted to leave the EU. They will live less years with the decision and therefore will not truly see the benefits/drawbacks of what is to come. The younger generation on the other hand, even with little political education, saw sense within the lies we were being told and voted to remain. What angers me further is that those who are younger than 18 are unable to vote when in reality they are the ones that will be effected most by this decision. I’m not saying children should be given the vote but I feel that they should be given more of a say on a decision that will significantly impact their futures.

It amazes me how manipulative politicians are and how easily people can be brain washed into thinking something is correct even when it’s blatantly just lies. I just hope that I am proved wrong and that leaving the EU is in fact a decision that will benefit my generation. Although I am doubtful, I hope the future is stable.

The 6 c’s of physical activity

I’m currently working as an intern on a research project regarding physical activity with children aged 0 – 5. The researchers, Dr Kristy Howells and Dr Catherine Meehan have been working hard to come up with a list of the 6 areas they believe are of importance when children are taking part in physical activity.

The 6 c’s are listed below:

  1. Control
  2. Coordination
  3. Confidence
  4. Concentration
  5. Competence
  6. Challenge

We are using an online questionnaire to collect data in regards to how physical activity is currently viewed in schools. The results from this will then be analysed and used to produce a set of guidelines for practitioners to follow in order to improve the levels of physical activity in schools and other settings.

The National Curriculum in the UK states that children should complete sustained physical activity and the NHS guidelines 2013 proposed at least 180 minutes of physical activity a day for young children. This is something many settings are falling short on which is why we feel that something needs to be done.

I spent the first week of my internship focused on conducting a literature review of the 6 c’s. 15, 000 words later it was clear that there was a lot of research out there. However, there was more research for some of the 6c’s in comparison to the others. My general findings were that research tended to focus on older children aged 6+ as well as little focus being placed on research into confidence, concentration and competence.

If you yourself are a practitioner or work with children in a school or activity setting then please get in touch as I would love to hear your views.

Below is a link to the online questionnaire which takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to fill in:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1B3R4KxVcVjXQkyp6B5G1Sbl9Y0Trx_6pHTk9vOmsQmc/viewform

Also, why not follow us on our Twitter page:

@Heldresearch1

 

 

 

 

A photograph is worth a thousand words

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I’ve always been interested in photography but have a slight love/hate relationship with it.

On one hand I feel that capturing moments via photograph is wonderful as you’ll forever have that picture to remember that moment by.

However, why do we really need the photo? Surely just living in the moment is the best way to remember it. You remember how you felt rather than looking back at a photo posted on Facebook.

But, what happens if our memories become distorted or a major brain trauma leads to retrograde amnesia or anterograde amnesia? What if you were so overwhelmed by the emotions you were feeling at that exact moment that the only way you can possibly remember it is through a picture?

Take the picture above for example, it shows an army woman returning home, she sees her daughter for the first time in many months perhaps even years. To me, taking a picture at this moment was  the right choice as it shows nothing but love, compassion and happiness.  The family will treasure this photo forever and will be able to look back and remember this moment of pure bliss.

Although, not all children are as lucky. Not all children have families to go back to. Not all children have hope and something to look forward to. For some, there is no happiness in their futures.

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As I’m sure you are aware there is disaster in the world. The world in which we live is full of good yet we tend to focus on the bad.

Photographs can be used to show this. Whilst we in the Western world live in relatively good conditions, it’s often hard for us to imagine what life is like for others who are less fortunate than ourselves. This picture above captures the struggles some children have to go through on a daily basis. Pure and utter poverty. Its a hard picture to look at but I feel that it is important for us to realise that bad things are happening and that there are people out there struggling to survive.

So, my advice to you is yes, sometimes moments needed to be captured by camera but other moments are best left to enjoy with your eyes.