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Where is the Green Sheep?

4 reasons you should add Where is the Green Sheep to your bookshelf.

(If you haven’t already!)

1. It’s just plain fun to read.

The sing song repetition of the story is delightful to little ears. It gives language a musical quality and the pattern of the sentences makes it easy for tiny kiddos to predict the language and remember what happens next. This sort of predicting and repetitive language is how your little love will learn sentence structure. A child’s receptive language is much stronger than their expressive language, that is they are able to receive the information they are hearing much earlier than they are able to use that language themselves. The more often you expose them to sentence structures and phrases, the sooner they learn to use them. (This is why it’s totally ok to read the same book over and over again!)

2. Simplicity

Where is the Green Sheep uses simple, toddler friendly language. It is vocal they are familiar with and a sentence structure you can help them practice in their every day life.

“Where is the blue block?”

“Here is the blue block!”

“Where is your drink bottle?”

“Here is your drink bottle!”

model language

3. Colour

We meet the red sheep and the blue sheep straight away, and can see the purple and yellow sheep joining the red sheep for birthday cake at the end of the story. The illustrations use bold colours that make it easy for little people to identify. Can you see the red train? The yellow car? What colour is her surfboard? What colour is the star. Questions like these are a great way of letting your little person practice their talking and sentence structures. For the tiniest babes, you asking and answering the question is a wonderful way to model language for your child. (Honestly – no matter how teeny tiny they are!)

helps reinforce colour

4. Opposites

For tiny kiddos, you can explicitly tell them, “Up and down are opposites”. For older kiddos you can ask them questions like “What is the opposite of up?”, or, “Can you think of an opposite for thin?”. Broaden this conversation into opposites that aren’t in the book, too. What is the opposite of big, tall, etc.

reinforces opposites

You can find more books to add to your bookshelf and activities for kiddos HERE.

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Autumn 17 – The Dad Tee

When I was a tiny kiddo my dad had this amazing sorbet yellow not-quite-jumper, not-quite-shirt pullover. It was a short sleeve and fleecy and I thought it was the most amazing piece of clothing anyone had ever owned.

I have memories and photographic proof of this shirt/jumper/pullover that span about a decade.

I remember him rolling up the garage door to find his 30th surprise birthday party that mum had organised for him. He’s wearing it in a photo in front of the car they bought when I was a tiny little bug. There’s a photo of him and my brother wearing matching ones when we were little kiddos. He wore it over things when it was cold and by itself when it was hot.

When we choose well, the clothes we wear do more than last a long time and clothe us, they hold our memories too.

Berry Coral

At The Smallest Tribe our clothes are made to last, designed to mix and match and intended to be passed down through siblings, cousins and friends. They’re the clothes that will be in photos of the big occasions, holidays at the beach and trips to the snow. Scroll through the photos on your phone and they are there in the every day moments too; grocery shopping, play dates, baby cinos.

The Dad Tee is a nod to these photographic memories and a way for me to share a little piece of my childhood with your family.

On a practical level, the Dad Tee is a trans-seasonal piece, designed to be worn all year round. Slightly oversized to be loose and flowy on those last lingering hot summer days, and to be worn over tees as the weather starts to turn cool.

As with everything here at the Tribe, it’s also a sustainable and environmentally sound choice. Made from remnants of last years Summer Confetti Jumpers which themselves utilised dead stock organic cotton fabric – fabric that would otherwise have ended up in land fill.

It’ll be available in 4 colour ways but is super limited in stock. Those who are on the list will get first dibs on Wednesday night. A secret password will be emailed to you allowing you to purchase yours ahead of time. The remaining tees will be available Thursday Feb 23rd.

Berry Coral

The Dad Tee Organic cotton Australian made Berry Coral

Berry Mint

The Dad Tee Organic cotton Australian made Berry Mint

Coral Mint

The Dad Tee Organic cotton Australian made Coral Mint

Coral Berry

The Dad Tee Organic cotton Australian made Coral Berry

To make sure you get the tee you want, leave your email below. 💕

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Lists for tiny kiddos

I can’t stress enough how much I believe the best thing you can do for your kiddos is to just let them be little. Let them play, let them explore, let them investigate and let them take their time. The less grown ups intervene, the better. Sometimes though, those energetic little bodies need to be gently guided into a more time/place sensitive activity, or maybe they need some help calming themselves back down after a particularly rowdy game. For times like these I love lists or repeated actions/steps. 

Shopping Lists

Need to go grocery shopping with an incredibly energetic toddler? Give them their own list of item(s) they’re responsible for. Make it something that they use, something they’ll value (aids in their ability to remember) and something that’s towards the last aisles you’ll visit (hopefully keeps them engaged longer!). As they get older, increase the list size to two or three things, you can even encourage them to ‘write’ their own list. They can draw the picture of the items they’re responsible for, and older pre school kids might even attempt their own writing. Trust your kiddo with a kid sized trolley? (Let’s be real, sometimes this is a great idea, other times it’s the worst idea you’ve ever had.) Let them push their own trolley of items around. Will it take longer? Absolutely, but hopefully by keeping your kiddo engaged it will pay off in a peaceful shopping trip.

Treasure Hunts

Make a Treasure Hunt in the backyard. In this heat you can do it in their room, in the kitchen, anywhere! Can you find something red? Can you see a circle? Can you bring me a leaf, rock, stick, ball, car?

Helper Hunts

Use this same concept and get them helping around the house, after all, being a member of the family means helping the family. Get them to help you with jobs like putting away the washing. Can you show me were your undies go? Can you put daddy’s clothes on our bed? Can you put the tea towels away in the drawer? You’ll be surprised at how capable they are of helping with these jobs, even when very young.

Packing up

Has their exuberance and energetic play left their room or the lounge room completely covered in toys? While it’s important to encourage them to help clean up the mess they made, no matter how young, if it feels overwhelming for you to look at, imagine how it must feel to a tiny toddler or pre schooler! Turn it into a game. “Let’s find all the blocks and put them in the tub.” “Now let’s get all the cars!” “Can you help me find all the puzzle pieces.” Make it easy and achievable for them and join in to demonstrate what it looks like to pack up, not get distracted by the first 2 things you pick up and start playing again..!

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Drawing and scribbling

Drawing scribbling and mark making are an early and important step in a child’s writing development. It helps develop strength in tiny little hands and engages muscles important for developing fine motor skills. It allows them to communicate ideas and to practice seeing themselves as writers.

Give your child opportunities to experience drawing and scribbling with different utensils and on different surfaces. This allows them to feel the different amounts of force and control needed. A piece of chunky chalk on concrete will feel different to drawing on a white board.

Letting your little one experience mark making horizontally at a table and vertically at an easel is an important strength building exercise. Mark making at these two different levels will require different strength and muscles to be used. There are lots of different easels available and most have some combination of chalk board and white board as well as a cupholders for painting. Let your little love scribble and draw using as many of these surfaces and options as possible.

A word of caution; I speak from experience when I say there will be a time in your tiny one’s life where setting up a lovely art station somewhere in their room or the house will be appropriate. There will also be a time when every single writing utensil will need to be placed high out of reach from your budding artist. If they are still to young to differentiate between “White board Ok, walls not ok”, please learn from my mistake and lock that stuff away. We still have the ‘artworks’ on our hallway and bedroom wall. Oh, and the ‘race track’ in the brick work in the lounge room…

Some writing utensils to add to your supplies:

 

CHUNKY CHALK

Crayola’s sidewalk chalk has a nice texture and bright colours

magna doodle

great for experimenting with different mark making using either the stylus or the magnets to make thin and thick marks.

crayons

Micador’s Early Start Softies are made from beeswax and feature a tri grip which helps older kiddos develop a correct pencil grip. (It’s important not to force this pencil grip too early, they need to move through the stages and different types of grips and develop strength in their arms.)

pencils

Micador’s Early Start Jumbo pencils are smooth to write with and a chunky size

felt tip pens

Micador’s Colour Fun markers are great, they last well, have lovely colours and have a nice sturdy tip that little hands can’t squash

Aquadoodle drawing mat

mess free drawing and scribbling! Fill the pen with water and the designs drawn on the mat fade as they dry. I loved using this mat with my tiny kiddos for how easy it was to use and pack away.

grasp crayons

A fisted or closed hand grasp is the first way you’ll notice your little one drawing and scribbling. They hold the pencil or crayon in a closed fist and move their entire arm to make marks. At this early stage, Faber Castell’s Grasp crayons are ideal.

Like everything else your little love learns to do in their crucial early years, pencil grips evolve and develop. It’s important to let them experiment in each stage and not rush them. They’ll get there in their own time, they always do! <3 

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