Creativity, My creations

Why do we need magical worlds

After reading an article or two I have started to think about the importance of magic in our lives and how magical worlds in books can help us to cope with every day activities.

When we are aware of magical worlds we can remember back to how a character coped when faced with mountain trolls, what the character did when they really just wanted to go home or how they felt when faced with a place that was completely different to the one they knew.

Magical worlds aren’t only in longer novels, they can also be found in picture books and both types of magical worlds are just as wonderful as each other.

Inside these magical worlds are strong characters, whether they be frightening or relatable – many have to ‘toughen up’ in order to cope with the dangers and differences they have to experience every day.

Experiencing others daily lives is important to not only to build empathy but to also build a greater understanding of ourselves. I’m sure if you sit down and think about it, there are always characters in books that spring to your mind at different occasions.

Magical worlds spark ideas, they arouse different feelings and the inspire us to think beyond our daily lives – they help us to wonder what life could be like if something out of the ordinary happens.

 

So what magical books are you going to read today?

Continue reading “Why do we need magical worlds”

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animals, Creativity, gifted education, literacy, loveozya, My creations, Parent tips, Teacher tips and resources

The lengths some bears go to

Bollo had had enough.

Every book he read was boring.

His friends told him to try picture books.

BORING!

His little boy told him to try books based on facts

BORING!

His grandma suggested he try audio books

OH HIS EARS!

But that was until he was accidentally locked in the library.

The lights went out, the door clicked shut and the place went quiet.

Bollo looked around but there was no one in sight, no one that is until the books started watching him.

One by one he noticed aliens googling their eyes at him, monsters waving their furry hands and a Mopoke hooting at him.

He crept closer to each book and noticed the shimmer on some covers, the sparkle on the pages and the magic smell.

He hesitantly moved his hand over shelves of picture books, rows of audio books and reams of graphic novels.

He heard stories rumble from within books on low shelves, fact reciting from books on high shelves and constant mumbling from magazines on the back shelf.

With a dash of colour here and there, Bollo found books that were beyond boring. He found books that would transport him to another time, books that would teach him things he never knew possible and books that would give him ideas on how he could change the world.

And so when the lights came back on and a friendly hand picked him up, Bollo thought  that  just perhaps, books were not so boring.

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Book review, My creations, Parent tips, Teacher tips and resources

Educational services

Please contact me if you would like any of the following paid educational services

 

– Written teacher notes linked to the Australian curriculum for novel studies.

– Talks for parents and teachers about Gifted education.

– Lesson plans and units of work related to picture books, junior and young adult fiction , science and sustainability.

I can be contacted by email at nes.ryan@bigpond.com

Please see my About me tab to see my experience in the field of education.

Books with current issues, eco living, Environmental books, My creations, nature play, Parent tips, picture books, Picture books that address current issues, plastic free July, recipes, refugees, Teacher tips and resources

It’s our world

How do we raise our children to be more environmentally conscious children?



How we do we raise them so that they are not caught up in the world of consumption, acting for the Instagram followers or having a total disregard for tomorrow?

In the western world where convenience is key it seems to our survival we, the adults, need to change our ways and show our children that convenience isn’t always the best way forward.

Raising environmentally aware children is paramount. This doesn’t just mean awareness of the natural world, it also means awareness of how our actions impact other people’s lives.

But how do we do this when convenience is right there to make our lives easier when many of us work full time, need to keep a tight budget or want to relax rather than clean, cook or sew?

We can do this – one step at a time. And that one step at  a time should be together with our children and on display to them.

How can you slowly move from a life of convenience to an eco-conscious life?

– Go to the library and borrow some of the books I have reviewed. By educating your children about the world around them they are more likely to make changes. Try Feathers by Phil Cummings

– Eat more fruit and vegetables from a coop, markets or fresh delivery. Vegetables and Fruits have little or no packaging and have less of an impact on the environment that plastic wrapped things. Try a Patch from Scratch by Megan Forward

– Try baking your own biscuits, cakes and bread. I’ve just started making my own sourdough and it is a lot easier than what I thought! I’ll share my recipe some day soon. Try this delicious recipe Coconut carrot cake

– Get outside into the natural world every day. It might just be the park and that’s fine. We need to teach our children about these spaces that allow us to slow down. Try Last tree in the city

– If your children are old enough watch the news but if not there are plenty of books out there that explain these issues in a much more gentle way. Try Illegal by Eoin Colfer, Phasmid by Rohan Cleve, The Hairy Nosed Wombats find a new home by Jackie French

– And most importantly be a part of your community. Check out the Crop swap groups, local community gardens, markets, second hand stores, food delivery groups and repair cafes. Being part of your community will help you to move away from a life of convenience. Try The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba

Is there a change you need to make? Perhaps a book will inspire that change – ask me and I can help!

 

eco living, My creations, Parent tips

Hush

We have read Possum Magic by Mem Fox many many times but at the moment it is taking on a little bit more meaning.


We have a resident possum and her baby living in our cubby house. Even though this may sound cute, the reasons they are there are heartbreaking.

– The mother has huge gashes on her body either from a fellow possum fighting for a tree or from a cat – and there are way too many cats who roam our neighbourhood at night.

– They have not been able to find a new tree due to the many trees that have been cut down in our area due to recent development.

– Our chickens are not very welcoming pets and they did not like the possum and her baby living in their coop.

We tried to build a possum box but she just didn’t move to it. We placed it at the right height, put fruit, old fur and poo in it but she just found the pretend oven in the cubby house more inviting.

We hope that her mother has some invisibility tips for young hush as I am just not sure how well they will go with so many cats around.

Australia – we need to take more ownership of these so called pets. If you have a cat please lock it up at night, place a bell and collar around it’s neck (even if it is chipped) and provide stimulation for it at home. Check out the PETA website – they are against cruelty to animals and even they suggest keeping your cat indoors – that says a lot to me.

I’m drafting up several letters to send to councillors and I am going to be pushing this issue. If they can rid the national park near us of foxes, surely they can bring in tougher laws for cats.

Think about Hush.

animals, Creativity, My creations

The lost teddy

Last night was our first night without a dear member of our family.


The cuddly, ever present, ever listening, soft blue furred bear named Bollo.

This bear was delivered with a bunch of flowers when my son was born – and I can’t even remember who sent them. But from about one year of age, our son fell in love with him.

His soft fur.

His light blue colouring.

His gentle eyes.

His cuddly body.

Bollo is an adventurous bear and he has been everywhere with us. He has been left behind twice – once at a park (luckily my parent’s were driving through and found him) and then last night.

When we left him at the park our son cried most of the way home – but luckily he was found, photographed, washed and then returned the following day.

But last night was a lot more traumatic, being older he really noticed the missing warmth. Our son cried himself to sleep – we offered cuddles but he said we didn’t have the lovely soft blue fur of Bollo. He woke up three times in the night crying, only soothing words, cuddles and music helped settle him – not the usual snuggle from Bollo.

Teddy bears, blankets and loved toys are so important to little children. They are a loving creature that is alive. The teddy experiences their hopes, joys, fears and adventures. The teddy bear soothes them when they are scared or upset. The teddy bear dances in front of a camera and does those crazy things that the child might not have the confidence to do.

We love Bollo just as much as we love our daughter’s loved teddy called Marty. Marty now sits on the shelf and occasionally comes up to play but I think he might be in need to being hidden away for the future.

Does your child have a Teddy Bear?

How do you think this bear helps your child?

Bollo was found the next day – at daycare and a feast was in order.

This bear just loves Honey toast, snow peas, capsicum and chocolate cake.

Book review, Books with current issues, My creations, Parent tips, picture books, Teacher tips and resources

Escape to everywhere

Have you ever read a book and wished that you could escape to that magical land? Perhaps you wished that your cupboard opened up to a secret land where you could meet animals that could talk, eat sweet biscuits with new friends and watch magic spells come to life with the flick on a wrist.

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Have you ever met a character in a book that you wanted to spend more time with so you could find out more about them, hang out with them and go on some of their adventures or perhaps learn some new skills from them?

Maybe your way of escaping is to learn new knowledge, perhaps you escape by becoming engrossed in new facts, pondering about hypothesis and exploring a new scientific or mathematical concept?

Reading allows us to escape. Reading slows our bodies down and gives us time to absorb what is going on inside us. Studies show that when we sit down and read we breath more deeply, our heart rate slows and our body has time to heal and absorb more nutrients from our day (must be why that hot cup of tea and healthy treat is a must when reading)

If we have the skills to escape through a story or through knowledge we can move away from the fast pace life of social media, fast paced computer  games and action packed news.

So not only during book week should we take the time to escape, we should take the time to escape everyday. We should be teaching our children the art of escaping through books.

Which book will you be reading tonight so you can escape?

eco living, My creations, Parent tips, plastic free July

And sometimes you forget

Every day I try to be the most environmentally friendly person I can be and every day I hope that I am inspiring my children to also be friendly to the world they live in. 

But sometime life and convenience gets in the way.

Today, on the way home from a weekend away my husband wanted a coffee for the long drive ahead-and the keep cup was buried somewhere underneath our luggage. 

He could have done without but sometimes after sleepless nights with young children a coffee is a necessity! 

So rather than feeling Eco-guilty and beating myself up about it,  I can choose to recycle the lid and reuse the non-recyclable coffee cup. 

So here are some cups full of soil and seed! We know these cups are going to last a while so they can easily live in the garden and withstand heat, cold and water. 

Teach your children to care about the word they live in but don’t let them fear the world. Educate them so they are empowered to make the right decisions and if they have to take the option which isn’t ideal, teach them what they can do. 

We don’t want to burden our children with fear. We want to give them knowledge and tools to live an informed life. 

And remember -books are a great way to help with this education! Check out my list of books that link to sustainability. 

L

eco living, My creations, Parent tips

Down the drain

I’m talking the talk so I’d better walk the walk.

I’ve read and blogged about many books that inspire us to take better care of our rivers, lakes and oceans and the creatures within.

So here is a recipe to make your own toilet bombs.

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Simply pop them in the bowl, scrub whilst they fizz and your bowl will not only be clean but will also smell lovely!

  •  1 cup of bicarbonate soda
  •   1/4 cup of citric acid
  •  3 tablespoons of castile soap.
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil. (feel free to change these oils around as you please)

Mix dry ingredients then add wet ingredients.

Push into ice cube moulds and let set for 3 hours.

The mixture may fizz and rise a bit in the moulds so just press down until it settles down.

Enjoy the smell!!

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My creations, Teacher tips and resources

Little Green Riding Hood

I needed to find a short script that I could use in my writing group and I wanted to focus it on fractured fairytales and sustainability.

I couldn’t find one so I have written one myself!

 

Here is the start… (If you would like more please see my teachers pay teachers site)

 

Little green riding hood.

 

Puppet enters

 

Green hood: Hmmm, I’m so lost, my google maps ap has crashed again. (She looks worried and walks back and forth)

I know that is a gum tree and gum trees are often near water so if I follow the river I might find my way to Grandma’s hut. (Little green walks towards the river looking worried)

 

Big Bad Cat: Well hello there little one. (jumps out)

 

Green: AARGHHHH (she jumps in fright)

 

BBC: Now don’t be scared, I’m just a cat. (let’s out a big burp)
GH: whaaaaatt??? Did you just burp?

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Different-Kids-Different-Lessons

 

So all in all it is a simple story which allows students to experience puppetry. They learn how to read a script and in turn can create their own.

Students also link into the sustainability outcome in the Australian curriculum through learning about the plight of native animals due to feral animals hunting them for food and for fun.

More needs to be done by local councils to stop the spread of feral animals – mostly cats into the Australian bush. Laws are in place but are not strongly implemted. There are too many cats out roaming at night time doing as they please.

We need to lobby the local council to implement heavier penalties for single and once off offences.