Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above
One of the difficulties facing many parents during these times of isolation and lockdown is explaining to young children why it is they can’t visit with their friends or even go to school, kindergarten or playgroup. How, too, do you explain to young children why they have to wear masks, or the critical importance of washing hands, and, of course, just what is coronavirus?
Speaking to CMR’s Charles Pakana about this was Nina Kelabora from Banyule Community Health Services’ (BCHS) Early Literacy Unit.
“People are finding that the change of routine [for young children] is really difficult is really difficult at this time. So children are really out of sorts not being able to do the regular things that they’re used to doing,” she said.
We Love Stories
To assist in promoting home learning and teaching for the birth-to-five age group, the Early Learning Unit initiated the We Love Stories program. “Before COVID we were doing a lot of work with playgroups in and around West Heidelberg,” Ms Kelabora said.
With the introduction of social restrictions across Melbourne, the Unit’s team set out to create a repository of online resources to support learning – and the occupying of young children – in the home. “…and looking at how do we talk to children about all these changes that are happening their world.” Ms Kelabora added.
Having created the We Love Stories facebook page in October 2018, the Early Literacy Unit quickly turned to bringing together a raft of digital resources to achieve just that.
“There’s an amazing amount of really incredible digital content that’s being created at the moment,” Ms Kelabora said. “It’s just a matter of sifting through and finding it.”
Times have changed since this journalist was a toddler, and creating a simple mud pie would my toddler culinary fancy. Today, it seems to be all about creating a mud soup, drawing on any number of “ingredients”.
“It’s about getting a bowl and a wooden spoon and heading out into whatever patch of garden you’ve got outside or if you go for a walk around the block, just finding bits of grass and dirt and mixing it together…and of course if you’re the grown up in this situation, you have to taste it,” Ms Kelabora joked (I think/hope).
For more information about how to make mud soup and so many other great ideas to occupy children and assist in their learning: