Category: Diversity

On our bookshelf: Elmer’s Friends by David McKee

Here at Aston Childcare, we love our books!

We have a wide range of books to appeal to all children. Here we are having a closer look at what is on our bookshelf.

I’ve recently been reading Elmer’s Friends to the younger children – aged 22 months, 2 and 4 years old.

It’s a fantastic story about a colourful, patchwork elephant. Elmer’s Friends is a lovely, fun book about how we are all different but worth the same. I think this is a lovely message to give to children and is at the heart of Aston Childcare.

Read more about the author here:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/01/this-much-i-know-david-mckee-elmer-book-illustrator

Buy the book here:

Happy Chinese New Year!

This week we have been looking at Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the dog.

I love the Newsround website for great, simple explanations of celebrations –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/38668427

Here at Aston Childcare, we love a good collage – all that cutting, gluing and sticking is great for the children’s fine motor skills, and sat around the table together is great for their communication & language and personal, social and emotional development.

We have used some beautiful Chinese inspired printed papers with pictures of beautiful lanterns and cherry blossom for our collages this week, have been dressing up in our fantastic traditional Chinese dressing up outfit and made New Year Cards for Mums and Dads.

Gung hay fat choy!

Areas of Learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development (Fine Motor Skills) Literacy and Expressive Arts and Design.

 

Around the world; exploring diversity

Happy New Year!

If you’re anything like me you like a fresh clear calendar for the year ahead and so I wanted to share this particularly fab Multicultural Calendar for 2017 that I recently got which helps children to enjoy art projects and festivals from cultures around the world!

It features 12 different countries ( UK, Ireland China, Australia, Japan, Russia, Canada, India, Israel, Kenya, USA and Mexico). Each month features one country, its flag, a traditionally dressed child, a country outline, instructional art projects, a famous landmark and a child-friendly recipe or game.

Beautifully designed, the calendar pages are illustrated with bright colours and patterns that are unique to each country.

It features holidays and festivals from around the world. There is a world map with dateline & 24 time zones and over 200 stickers!

The target age group is 4+ and whilst my current eldest mindee is just 2.5 I can’t see why we can’t take some of the activities and adapt them for a younger audience. I know for sure that the stickers if nothing else will be popular with my 2.5 year old sticker fans here!

This is a great introductory look at diversity for young ones and an opportunity to get us talking and exploring other countries and communities.

It’s a great resource for a number of the EYFS (early years foundation stage) areas of learning including – Understanding the world, Communication & Language, Literacy and Expressive Arts and Design and I can’t wait to get started with it.

 

 

 

Happy Diwali!

Yesterday as we all know was Armistice Day but it was also Diwali. Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights and will be celebrated this week and beyond by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

The date of Diwali changes each year as the day it is celebrated is calculated according to the position of the moon and the Hindu lunar calendar. This year, Diwali fell on Wednesday November 11.

Diwali is the five day Festival of Lights and is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is one of the most significant festivals in the Indian culture.

The word Diwali means rows of lighted lamps and it is known as the Festival of Lights because houses and shops are decorated with candles and colourful lights. This shows the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

For many Indians, Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and people will start the new business year at Diwali and some will say prayers to the goddess for a prosperous year ahead.

Large firework displays are held which celebrate one of the Diwali legends, Rama and his wife Sita.

The fireworks signify Rama’s return to his kingdom after being exiled for 14 years and defeating king Ravana, when the local people set off their own version of fireworks.

Those celebrating Diwali also light traditional earthenware oil lamps called diyas which are said to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people’s homes, and they’ll leave their windows and doors of their houses open so that she can enter.

People will also create rangoli artwork which are patterns created using coloured rice or powder, with the most popular pattern being the lotus flower as Lakshmi was often pictured either sitting on one or holding a lotus.

During Diwali, families and friends share sweets, dried fruit and gifts, and many give food and goods to those who are less fortunate and in need. It is also a time when people spring-clean and redecorate their homes and wear new clothes.

So as not to duplicate activities my mindees have already done at school and pre-school, we  did some simple colouring in sheets and had a chat about Diwali, what it is and who it’s celebrated by. After lunch, we watched “Let’s celebrate” which explained the story or Diwali.  My school aged mindee was able to tell me what she had learnt at school about Rama and Sita.

Areas of Learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication and Language, Expressive Arts and Design