This is the first of hopefully the first of many collaborative blog posts with some other awesome mummys and what better topic to kick it off with than Ocean Rescue. This is a hot issue at the moment and a brilliant thing to teach your kids about at a young age so you can help to take steps to improve our oceans and their wildlife.
Teaching children doesn't mean you need to stand at a blackboard, or for those too young to remember those, a SMART board. We are lucky to be parents with the internet at our fingertips and can bring a whole new world of creativity to our home at the click of a button. With the help of the amazing Rachel from Reading with Teddy and Reu, I've pulled together a Pinterest board full of fishy fun to expand the mind of your little one without them having a clue you are teaching them important life lessons.
I just found out you can split your Pinterest boards into sections so this seemed like the perfect time to pretend I've been using this feature for years and slip it into a blog post seamlessly - think I've nailed it.
Art is a great way to teach kids as you can chat about your subject while you’re crafting and then you can display the finished product in the house somewhere to spark further conversations throughout the year. You can also act out character scenarios with the fish in your art, for example “I’m Bob the fish and I’m swimming around….oh no, I’ve got my head stuck in a plastic bag, what can I do?”, then you can discuss how it’s horrible that Bob got stuck and what can we do to help that not happen.
My daughter has a great fishing set that her Nana gave her for the bath and she loves to catch the fish with the fishing rods. It’s games like this that you can take to a new level and instead of catching the fish to eat, you can talk about an oil spill, how we need to save the fish from it and then give them a good clean, taking the fleeting opportunity to cleaning your child at the same time.
Sensory play is great way to introduce young children to new ideas before you can have a conversation with them but there’s also great sensory play ideas that even adults would love. I’ve tried to get a good mix of activities for different age ranges so don’t rule this one out just because you think your child is too old. The ice ones are especially brilliant as you can show children that as the ice melts, the animals have less room for their homes and eventually there will be nowhere for them to live.
This guide from Persil gives you a great list of things you can talk through on the effects of global warming and things kids can do to help make a change.
I love a good kids book. Our shelves are full of fun adventures but when it comes to underwater tales I realised we were a bit lacking so I roped in the fab Rachel, owner of Reading with Teddy and Reu. This section is a blog takeover and please feel free to contact Rach directly with more story questions to see what books she can offer (she’s fab at matching teaching moments with books)
"I run Reading with Teddy and Reu, as an Usborne Books at Home Organiser, as well as being mum to two fantastic, funny, exhausting boys, Teddy and Reuben. Books and reading are my passion and working for Usborne allows me to share this with you! I have put together a few ‘Under the Sea’ recommendations that will kick start your little one’s love for our oceans."
Find her on Facebook and Instagram, and please get in touch for more information or to place an order.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/readingwithteddy
Rachael's book choices:
Slide and see under the sea
This lovely board book is a fantastic first introduction to the creatures of the sea. Engaging and interactive, this series is designed for very young children with vivid colours and sliding panels. Brilliant for developing motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination and suitable from birth, a favourite of my own little Reu!
Peep Inside The Sea
A new addition to the Peep inside range, this book takes your little one on a journey through a coral reef and a sunken ship, from the sea shore to the deep ocean, lifting flaps and peeping though cut outs. Ideal for your inquisitive toddler.
Under the Sea
The Usborne Beginners series are a wonderful introduction to our oceans, full of enough facts to satisfy any pre-schooler. (Teddy is a particular fan of this series). Perfect to read together from age 4 or for older children to read on their own with vivid, full colour illustrations and photographs on every page, accompanied by short, informative text.
First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans
This fact-packed hardback encyclopaedia is a great introduction to the wonders of the sea with easy-to- read text and superb photographs.Subjects include coral reefs, whales and dolphins, undersea exploration and environmental threats. This title also includes an amazing selection of internet links to exciting websites, including a virtual tour of the seabed and downloadable images of weird and wonderful sea creatures, and a spectacular under sea volcano. Suitable for Key Stage 1, age 5 plus.
TV Programmes / Videos
There’s no escaping it, even though we don’t have an iPad, my daughter knows what one is and I’m a TV addict myself so as much as we do many different activities each day, TV is definitely part of our daily routine. There are some great programmes to watch on TV and YouTube but please watch these by yourself first and make sure they are age appropriate for your child, as with all animal wildlife programmes, there may be images children/adults might find disturbing.
Thanks for taking the time to read and hope you and your little ones have many awesome ocean adventures!