This week is the 30th anniversary of Child Protection Week. The theme this year is “Putting Children first”.
Under this year’s theme of ‘Putting children first’ NAPCAN invites all Australians to look at how they can prioritise children in their lives and communities and to engage in National Child Protection Week – as individuals, and as part of families, organisations, communities and society.
Putting children first means prioritising the safety and wellbeing of children. To grow up well, children need to feel safe and loved, have a chance to play and explore, have a say in decisions that affect them, and access to essential things like food, shelter and healthcare.
For children to thrive we need to come together as a community and put children’s needs first during National Child Protection Week and every week.
Moonee Valley City Council is a Child Safe Organisation. Read our commitment to children here.
Watch this short video about talking to your child about body safety and having trusted adults they can tell anything to and be believed.
From your educators!
This week we hearing from Avondale Heights Early Years Centre and Montgomery Park Children’s Centre. The teachers and educators have shared things that you may use to support your child develop skills to transition to school next year. There are also things for your younger child to participate in, whilst they are not attending onsite.
Avondale Heights Early Years Centre
Learning about emotions takes constant practice and reassurance. In early childhood programs, we use many strategies to develop these social skills. Games, songs and visual art are some of the ways these skills are taught. This learning is based on Social Emotional Literacy skills and will help children create a pause between their feelings and actions.
This learning helps children to start to be in control of their feelings, understand that all feelings are OK but some actions are not OK and help them learn to calm themselves when upset. Children who are able to do this most of the time are able to participate in the learning at kindergarten, make and keep friends and learn independence skills. It is an important skill for them to take into four-year-old kindergarten, school and life in general.
Download the Name, feel and show your emotions document for some things to try at home.
What can adults do to help?
When children are showing their feelings, adults can help them name how they feel, show how they feel and sometimes point to where they feel this way in their body
When children get angry or upset try saying “let’s get calm” and breathe with them. When calm, help the child name how they are feeling and talk about what happened (if possible). This work is ongoing, every day at kindergarten and at home. For children to learn about their emotions and begin to control how they act, they need a lot of practice and repeating, with lots of positive support from the adults in their life.
Below are some examples:
Faces show lots of different feelings. With the below emotions matching game, as children practice their matching skills, also talking about the feeling or emotion and what makes them feel this way.
- Try the Emotions Matching game
Drawing faces with paint, chalk drawing outside, on paper, or even with a stick in the dirt. When an adult is participating, encourage children to draw either how they are feeling or a particular emotion.
Some children choose to draw and share their feelings and can sometimes, will draw how others might be feeling.
Using a mirror with young children can help them to learn and understand the different expressions they can make with their face. This can open discussions about how the look on your face can tell someone else how you are feeling.
Here is a self-portrait frame you can download and print to encourage your child to draw a portrait of themselves. Work with them to look in the mirror and identify parts of their body. Encourage them to draw what they see. Here are some of the possible things children may learn from this type of experience:
Self-portrait learning objectives:
- For the children to talk about their facial features and build their self-identity
- For the children to develop their observational and expressive skills
- For the children to move from perceptual knowledge to conceptual knowledge – perceive themselves in a mirror and represent their images using writing, drawing, etc.
Learning to understand how our bodies feel and respond in different situations is a powerful learning tool for children to develop. Mindfulness is something that we can all benefit from. Learning how to be mindful and finding ways to connect to the land through our body and mind, helps to relieve tension and anxiety and be more present with others.
Listen here: ‘Jedda is a 9 year old Wurnundjeri & Kalkadoon girl. Jedda takes you on a journey through country, as she narrates a meditation to assist kids to feel comfortable, safe, grounded and regulated. The backgrounds sounds were recorded at badger creek on her country.’
Montgomery Park Children’s Centre
Science week – Hidden colour experiment (toddler friendly)
What you need
- food colouring
- baking soda
- Small water bottle or pipette or plastic syringe
- cupcake tin
- storage tub to keep things “clean”
- Cover the colour carefully with baking soda, hiding the coloured drops
- Place the cupcake tin in the bottom of a plastic tub
- Fill bottle/pipette/ syringe with vinegar
- Slowly add the vinegar to the baking soda and let the magic begin
- Science – chemical reaction and the scientific method
- Cause and effect
- Grip strength to squeeze the bottle
- Hand-eye coordination
- Talk about and identify colours
For more resources to support learning from home, check out this page on our website.