Plates

Its important to think about others plates. We’re not all the same and even if their plate is the same as yours they may not be able to cope the same way you do. Be kind.

Engrossed

I couldn’t think of a better fitting word to describe this picture than ‘engrossed’. The world is a crazy, scary, unknown place at the moment and although social media has been a genuine gift to many people throughout this time it can also be a real hinderence. It is totally normal to be feeling a little on edge currently due to the works being a shambles but sometimes flicking through Instagram and seeing people’s “exciting” lives can suddenly make you feel worthless. This is just a quick note to say Instagram isn’t real. People post their best moments through filtered, edited, ideal versions of themselves. Yes, you may look at posts and think “wow, their life is so much better than mine” but I urge you to focus on you and do what makes you happy. Life isn’t exciting at the moment but we’re all in the same position. We just need to find joy in our days and make the most of this situation.

Glittery children

I saw this and found it particularly interesting and very true. I have spent the past year working in Children’s A&E and wow, what an experience it has been. Having worked through the pandemic in the NHS I feel that I have the right to have an opinion on the aspect of children and covid. During the first wave we saw almost no children testing positive for coronavirus. Yes, back in March we weren’t really swabbing them but in general, children came in with general viral illnesses rather than covid. They were well and they got sent home. However, as time has gone and 2020 progressed it was evident that children were being affected in other ways. There was a drastic increase in the number of children arriving into the department with rashes, red eyes, being diagnosed with diabetes (?) and displaying covid symptoms. The past month in particular was tough. More children than ever were coming through the doors with positive covid swabs as well as parents attending with them with positive tests also. The thing is, a LOT of children get viral illnesses this time of year anyway but more and more children are getting postive covid tests everyday, MOST of whom are asymptomatic. So yes, children in general are usually fine when they have covid, a little grouchy, fevers, coughs etc but a LOT are asymptomatic and very much like GLITTER. I urge you to think twice about how you are currently living your life. If you’ve got children then please please please do what you can and don’t visit elderly relatives, mix with multiple households or send them to school (unless you are a key worker). I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and lockdown 3.0 seems to be even harder than that previous 2 but if we do our best now then hopefully life can resume sooner. Rant over.

Anything for you

Children’s stories

The more you read

Fuel your brain

Reading. Reading is so important in so many ways for child development. It not only aids in language development but also in cognitive development and in so many other areas too. Pick up a book and read it to your child. You really are feeding their brains!

When I grow up

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I am an avid musical theatre fan and love nothing more than a trip to see a musical. I know you shouldn’t have favourites but for the past 5 years Matilda the Musical has been my number 1. I have seen the show 4 times at the Cambridge theatre in London (soon to be 5) as well as the performance on the TV programme “Surprise, Surprise” and numerous times at West End Live. There’s a sort of magic in the show that I feel applies to all ages, the story is beautifully written by Roald Dahl and adapted well by Dennis Kelly but most of all the music has so much meaning behind it, something I feel many modern musicals lack nowadays. Each song is so pure and clever and expresses so much emotion. You will laugh and cry and no doubt you’ll want to go back and see it again!

One song I like in particular is entitled “When I grow Up” written by Tim Minchin.

Please find below a YouTube video of the song being performed:

The song highlights children’s desire to grow up and become adults. We constantly tell children that they are a “big girl” and that “you’re so grown up” which perhaps encourages children to grow up too fast. The song however shows what children think it means to be a grown up for example, being tall, smart, eating sweets whenever you want, going to bed late and being brave and strong. It’s interesting to see what children think adulthood is really like and how exciting the concept of growing up appears to them. Maybe we should take a step back and enjoy adulthood. Sometimes the stresses of everyday life take over and stop us from enjoying our freedom to do what we want, eat what we want and go to bed late every night. So, my advice to you is to remember that children have some great ideas so listen to them more and enjoy being an adult because when you were a child it’s all you ever dreamed of.

Lyrics to When I grow up:

When I grow up
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
that I need to reach to climb the trees
you get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up
I will be smart enough to answer all
the questions that you need to know
the answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up
I will eat sweets every day
on the way to work and I
will go to bed late every night!

And I will wake up
when the sun comes up and I
will watch cartoons until my eyes go square

and I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up!

When I grow up!

When I grow up, when I grow up
(When I grow up)
I will be strong enough to carry all
the heavy things you have to haul
around with you when you’re a grown-up!

And when I grow up, when I grow up
(When I grow up)
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
that you have to fight beneath the bed
each night to be a grown-up!

And when I grow up
(When I grow up)
I will have treats every day.
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
that mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
when the sun comes up and I
will spend all day just lying in the sun
and I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown-up!

When I grow up!

When I grow up. I will be brave enough to fight the creatures that you have to fight beneath the bed each night to be a grown-up.
(When I grow up)

Learning from pictures in infancy

Today I  was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Dr Jeanne Shinskey from Royal Holloway, University of London.

The lecture spoke mainly of Shinskey’s research into object permanence in babies and the symbolic value of pictures and objects. She spoke of how familiarity processing is more common in younger children as their speed of processing is slower than that of older children. Most research focuses on object to real life transfer however, she looked into picture to object transfer. The 7.5 month old babies were shown either a black and white picture or a coloured picture of an object. They were then shown the real life object they had seen in the picture as well as a distractor (another) object. It was noted what object the baby went to grab first. There were two conditions in this experiment. One of which where the objects were shown to the baby and then put in to two clear plastic boxes so that the baby could see both objects and the other where the objects were placed into two boxes where the child could not see the objects. Findings suggested that colour had no impact upon the babies object preference however, changes were noted in the two conditions. In the condition where the baby could see the objects in the clear boxes the babies preferred the novelty object, the object they had not seen a picture of previously. In the hidden box condition however, the babies showed a preference for the object they had seen a picture of. This is perhaps an idea that could be researched in further detail to see why this is the case. Why is it that when the babies can see they objects they prefer novelty, yet when they can’t they prefer familiarity?

Shinskey also spoke about Picture Iconicty. Something I was not familiar of before the lecture. She used the example of childrens books and whether real life pictures or cartoon picture books were more beneficial to young children under the age of 1 in terms of learning. She found that at 15 months real life pictures in child picture books lead to more learning. Furthermore, manipulative features in books actually detract away from learning. She looked at pop up vs non pop up books in particular and found that children learnt more from non pop up books than they did pop up books. Books with flaps are also a challenge and hinder word learning. For babies and young children it is difficult to touch, look AND listen which is why pop up books/flap books are a challenge for young children. A point i had never previously thought about but makes complete sense. However, does the flap effect disappear over time? Young children tend to enjoy reading and re – reading books so as time progresses are they actually learning from picture books as the flaps and pop ups almost become ignored and irrelevant. Perhaps they’re not as bad for the child as previously suggested also, getting children reading, whatever the book may be is never a bad thing!

 

The pleasure in writing

In this day and age it’s common to see children texting their friends, tweeting their followers on Twitter or spending time writing status update on Facebook. However, have you ever considered how much time the children of the 21st Century spend with a pen in hand actually writing on a piece of paper?

Well, the BBC have produced an article which speaks of this exactly. They have found that a quarter of all pupils write only for school. This is a shocking statistic. It saddens me how such few children write outside of the school setting. Perhaps technology really is taking over. The children of the 21st century seem ¬†happy texting and typing but don’t seem so keep on actual physical writing. The real question is will putting pen to paper ever be something that fades out entirely? Will typing on a keyboard replace hold importance over the pen?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

(I personally feel that writing is something that should be enjoyed in any shape or form, for fun, for pleasure, for school and in the home. Children should be provided with the opportunity to express themselves through their writing and should have access to writing equipment).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-37850743