What you need to know

Mindfulness, friendship and some story time videos

We Connect - Family and Children blog

Mindfulness for Children

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! As life opens up again, we can feel the fatigue from Metro Melbourne’s long lockdown and this can have an ongoing effect on the wellbeing of children and their caretakers. Finding ways to enjoy being together and fully present can help to alleviate some of that stress and focus your attention on each other.

Check out the Australian Childhood Foundation to Mindful Walking for tips on how to focus on the task at hand, clear your mind and practise being mindfully present together.

Great for both your mind and body—Victoria Walks has wonderful walking trails and other outdoor activities in the Moonee Valley area. Enjoy exploring new places with your child.

Friendship

Children’s Week (24 Oct – 1 Nov) reminds us that children’s connection to each other, and the world around them, is central to their wellbeing. Excited and eager children returned to face-to-face learning in our kindergarten and Early Learning programs. They readily adapted to the ongoing Covid-safe way of participating in the programs, enjoying being with each other, expanding their friendships and recognising how much they missed the educators and group.

Children’s adaptability is supported by consistency within the programs, knowing what to expect and when to expect it, familiarly in the environments, the resources and the people. Children’s capacity for adapting to change helps them to adjust quickly. Just as they will when they transition into another room, join in the play of other children, and soon transition to school from kindergarten.

Next week we will share some of the ways children are adjusting, reconnecting and learning about friendship and what it means to them.

Children transitioning to primary school in 2021

Children attending four-year-old kindergarten this year have certainly had a different experience to most. Despite their attendance being hampered by restrictions relating to Covid-19, there have been many opportunities to learn and connect through the Learning from Home program and online contact with educators—plus young children learn best through play!

Most children will be ready for school despite this year’s challenges. Missed days due to Covid-19 will not be seen as a reason for families to apply for a second year of funded kindergarten. If you have other concerns regarding your child, please speak to your kindergarten teacher.

Instead of the regular excursion to the primary school, Foundation (Prep) teachers will visit the kindergarten groups at their centres this term. They will meet the children, see the programs in practice and gain insight into how the children are being supported to participate and learn at their best.

Download this fact sheet for more information about children transitioning to school in 2021, or see The Department of Education and Training website.

Please feel free to speak to your child’s kindergarten teacher for any information about transitioning to school.

Moonee Valley Libraries Story Time

Baby Rhyme Time Episode 25 Libby and her doll baby share some closeness with songs and games. Interacting this way with your young babies helps to develop eye contact, anticipation to see what is happening next as well as lots of language and action. These skills help children to develop social and emotional skills from a very young age and will continue to develop with them when learning how to interact with others. They are also the basis for friendship and feeling connected to others in their world.

Toddler Time Episode 25 Maria reads Baz and Benz by Heidi McKinnon (Allen and Unwin), a story about testing the strength of friendship, and sings eight nursery rhymes including a very funny version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

Preschool Storytime Episode 22 Lots of stories and rhymes about monkeys as Paul prompts children to think and respond to what comes next. Finding opportunities for children to predict and show their knowledge is a great pre-literacy strategy for pre-readers and writers.

Follow the Moonee Valley libraries Facebook page.

Moonee Valley City Council offers many free online programs you can register for and access at your leisure. There is a great variety for all age groups so look for something that grabs your attention and give it a try!

Stay safe, stay well

MV Early Years Team