3 reasons to add Brown Bear, Brown Bear to your book collection

Reading to your child every day is vital. Reading helps build their language skills and exposes them to new vocab and sentence structures, as well as new ideas and concepts. Before a child can learn to read or write, they must have good oral language. Mem Fox famously advocates for reading 3 books a day to your little one. It can be the same book three times, it can be three books in one sitting, it can be three books spread across the day.

On the last Tuesday of each month, I’ll be sharing some of my fav early childhood books and highlighting a few of the reasons why I love them from an Early Childhood educator’s point of view.

First up, 3 reasons to add Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to your collection.

  1. The structure of the story is the same on each page. Read this story more than a few times and even the even the tiniest kiddo will start to feel like a reader as they are able to join in with the story. Which leads to number 2. 
  2. As your kiddo gets more familiar with the text they’ll be more confident predicting or remembering which animal comes next. This sort of success allows your little love to gain confidence and positive self esteem as a reader. Instilling a love of reading from a young age is a wonderful gift to give any child. 
  3. There is a strong emphasis on colour recognition in this story with a Brown Bear, Red Bird, Yellow Duck, Blue Horse etc, which is a simple way of introducing and reinforcing colour with tiny kiddos. You can extend this awareness by asking questions like:
  • Can you point to the yellow duck?
  • Can you see something in the room that is the same colour as the duck?
  • Your shirt is red, can you remember which animals was red in our story?

You can find a copy of the board book version, (great for teeny tiny babes!) at Book Depository HERE.

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The Slouch Shorts – Summer 16

The Smallest Tribe Slouch ShortsMeet the Slouch Shorts.

The Smallest Tribe Slouch Shorts

The Slouch Shorts are made in Brisbane from GOTS certified organic French Terry. Designed for active, busy kiddos because we believe kids should spend their days playing.

The softest, silkiest and most practical pair of shorts your little love will own. The Slouch Shorts are unisex in design and feature an above the knee length for active kiddos to go about their busy day of playing.

The waist band features the softest, comfiest elastic possible and has been designed to roll over and sit flat. This intentional design feature means the shorts can be worn longer and also help them stay up on kiddos of the string bean variety.

Our tiny models are wearing the shorts two ways. On the right, Little Miss 3 is wearing size 2 for a slightly more snug fit. On the left, Little Mr 3 is wearing size 3 rolled over at the waistband.

You can shop the Slouch Shorts HERE.

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Meet the Tee Dress

More than just a dress

There’s a few special hidden qualities about the Tee Dress that you can’t see at first glance.

Like all of the current collection, the Tee Dress is made from GOTS certified organic cotton, right here in Australia.

We are always thinking about how your little ones grow and develop.

We want your tiny kiddos feel comfy in their clothes so they can spend their days playing and exploring.

We tread lightly and minimise waste.

Our clothes made by workers who are paid a living wage (not to be confused with a minimum wage!). and who’s rights and quality of life are respected and valued.

All of the garments have a silk screened size and care label printed directly onto it. This makes sure there’s no itchy, scratchy, irritating tags annoying your little one during their day.

The Tee Dress is a length that is not too short, but not too long either. Little legs should be free to roam and the length makes sure no toes or knees get caught in hems while playing.

The roomy fit has just enough ease and flair in the hem to allow for twirling without swathes of fabric waiting to trip up tiny lady kiddos as they climb and play.

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Sensory play activities – TOUCH

The start of your tiny person’s formal education is a long way off, and I strongly believe that the best way you can help prepare your child for school is to simply let them be little. LET THEM PLAY!

However, given a kiddo experiences more brain growth and development in their first 5 years than they will for the rest of their life, there ARE things you can be doing to help support their development now to give them the best start they can have – and I guarantee you’re already doing them.

Check in each Tuesday for new activities or ideas to try and a brief explanation of how they support your child’s development.


Sensory Development is how your child learns via anything they can touch, smell, taste, see and hear. Each time your child is exposed to a new sound, sensation, word, experience, smell, taste, etc, their brain is laying down pathways and connections, trying to make sense of the information that is coming in. The more times they are exposed to these things, the stronger those pathways and connections become.

Three ‘touch’ activities

1. Sand play

In the back yard, at the creek, at the beach. Drive cars and trucks through it and dig in it. Use spoons, shovels, sieves, bowls and buckets to move the sand around. Let them experience how it feels, how it moves, how easy or hard it is to manipulate depending on whether it’s wet or dry.

2. Make a touch and feel book.

Grab some paper and staple it together into a book. On each page glue a different ‘touch’. Older toddlers and children can tell you what they are feeling for you to write underneath the object. You’ve just made their own book for them to read! Some items to put in the touch and feel book include cotton wool balls, scraps of fabric (velvet, corduroy), cellophane, corrugated cardboard, sandpaper, etc.

3. Make a touch and feel bag.

This is a good activity for older pre-school kiddos. Grab a pillow case and poke a familiar object or toy in it. Without letting them see, ask your kiddo put their hands in and describe what they can feel and if they can guess what it is. (This activity also gives them an opportunity to practice their oral language!)

Got some ideas you’d like to share? Email, we’d love to hear them!


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5 activities for toddlers that are quick and easy!

Try these 5 activities for toddlers using what you already have in your kitchen!

activities for toddlers

All of these activities for toddlers promote and encourage the development of fine motor skills and/or strength in tiny hands. Fine motor skills are what you use to manipulate drawing or writing implements, utensils and tools. Even though the start of their school journey is years away, (and I personally believe you should ignore that looming deadline for as long as possible!), encouraging your child to use and develop their fine motor skills is a non intrusive way of helping prepare them. It can be physically uncomfortable, even painful for some little ones, so, as with any new skill your child learns, go slowly and follow their lead.

1. Pasta threading

Does your little one need some quiet, focused time? Let them thread pasta on a piece of string. Rotelle or penne pasta are ideal for this activity, and it’s worth letting tiny hands experience using both. One is long and narrow, the other is short, fat & round. They’ll need to hold each type differently, engaging different muscles. You can also let them thread pasta onto different objects – straws, pipe cleaners even strands of spaghetti. Threading activities like these help promote fine motor skills and threading onto different objects will let them experience the different levels of force or strength required.

2. Use tongs to grab fruit or food from a platter

Make a platter of fruit for morning or afternoon tea and encourage your little one to use tongs to move food from the platter to their own plate. Squeezing the tongs helps build strength in your kiddo’s hands. For a couple of bucks you can grab a pair of mini tongs (much easier for tiny hands to control) next time you’re doing the groceries and add them to your little one’s toy box, cooking set or even their car box. Encourage them to move toys or blocks from one container to another using the tongs. (While we’re talking food and kids, have you seen these gorgeous new bamboo plates from Emondo Kids?)

3. Picking up lentils (or chickpeas or popping corn etc etc!)

Pour a handful of lentils, chick peas or popping corn onto a baking tray and let your little one pick them up and transfer them to a bowl or jar. Encouraging toddlers to pick up small objects like these force them to use their pincer grip and helps promote fine motor skills. (I realise it’s stating the obvious but I feel it would be remiss of me to not point out that kiddos should be supervised while doing any activity that includes small objects that may make their way into little mouths.)

4. Sensory play

Give them a bowl of rice or flour and let them play! Let them run their fingers through it, experience how it feels if you squeeze it or pour it from one hand to the other. You can even combine a few of these activities together and have your little one use mini tongs to pick up dry pasta out of a bowl of flour or rice.

5. Chop up a banana!

Encourage your little one to help prepare their snack by letting them cut up a banana with a butter knife. One quick and easy activity, so many benefits! An activity like this fosters independence, develops positive self esteem, self worth and self reliance, on top of building strength and fine motor skills. It allows your toddler to see themselves as capable and a valued member of the family who has skills and abilities that are useful and appreciated. Extend this activity by letting them try other foods – cooked sweet potato, kiwi fruit, pear, etc, will all have a different texture for them to experience, as well as letting them feel the differing amounts of pressure and strength they’ll need to use.

Here at The Smallest Tribe HQ, we are always thinking about how your little ones grow and develop when designing each collection. We help your tiny kiddos feel comfy in their clothes so they can spend their days playing and exploring. We don’t want them worrying about scratchy tags or hems that try to trip them up. You can find the current collection HERE.

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