Exploring Skin Colour Diversity for Kids

Exploring Skin Colour Diversity for Kids

Within our family alone we have a spectrum of skin colours and ethnicities. Cameron has started to ask about it and other differences. I thought I would share some of the lovely ways I’ve found to explore this topic!

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Aside from the obvious reasons to teach diversity and celebrate differences. I love that these activities are inclusive and simple.

With free paint chip cards, you can match skin tones as well as create cute puppets to role play with. This would be lovely for many ages.

 

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This tutorial explains how to use natural spices like tumeric, cocoa, cinnamon, etc to colour handmade playdough for skin colour exploration and play.

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Speaking of playdough, I love these multicultural playdough mats for an extra creative extension via Picklebums.

 

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Celebrating skin colours with paint is another lovely idea that is hands on and fun.

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My favourite store for educational resources, Modern Teaching Aids, has the best multicultural creative resources for diversity exploration.

Note: This isn’t sponsored, I just love their range and had to share!

Creative Diversity ExplorationPeople Paint | Skin Tones Pencils
Dough People Colours | Felt People
Human Paper Shapes | Washable Multicultural Markers

These would all be incredible for multicultural and diversity related provocations and activities. I love that many of them could be played with afterwards or decorate something for imaginative role play.

Have you explored different ethnicities or diversity recently?

Come like my Racheous Lovable Learning Facebook page for more ideas and share in the Lovable Learning community!

Lovely Early Reader Books

Lovely Early Reader Bookscontains affiliate/sponsored links

Beautiful early reader books with stunning illustrations and meaningful text are hard to come by. I’m excited to show you this set of lovely books for early readers.

These early reader books provide really unique early reading content that is visually stimulating and genuinely respects the intelligence of young learners.

 

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“We believe that children deserve reading material as rich as their imagination”

I love that unlike many typical early readers, the language is not limited to phonetics. The text in the books starts at single words per page and progresses from short phrases to full sentences forming a story.

They fit very well with the Montessori method of learning with their realistic topics and imagery. You can read more about choosing Montessori appropriate books for children here.

all box covers

The Home Grown Books range features four sets:

  • The Environmental Set – 7 titles: Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Habitats, In My Garden, Landscapes
  • The Adventuring Set – 7 titles: Submarine, Flying, What Comes Next?, A Place to Live, A Collection of Characters, Maps, Let’s Play a Game
  • The City & Country Set – 8 titles: Finger Painting, How to Make a Fort, Make Me a Pirate, My Walk, Night Light, Please Don’t Touch, Sledding, Strawberry Pie
  • The Play Set – 9 titles: A Day Out, Planet, Bake It, Band, Dress-up, One Sock Puppet, Garden, Animals, Instruments

We have The Environmental Set and I truly adore the minimalist nature of the books and the engaging pictures. Cameron was instantly drawn to the text and could tell there was something special about these books.

In My Garden

seeds in a pail

water in a can

a bird in an apple tree

a garden in my window

- Parts of the ‘In My Garden’ from The Environmental Set by Home Grown Books

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One of the best things about these books is that they actually inspire activity.

From simple science experiments to meditation, you can provoke analytical thinking and project work with the guided resources. Each book finishes with tips or ideas to expand on learning and exploring the topic of the book. They range in complexity and involvement. It makes the books that much more valuable for the reader and parent!

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Home Grown Books have just released a new toddler series, which is a series of board books made of 100% recycled paperboard, for little ones who aren’t quite reading yet! They look just as striking and would be a gorgeous gift too.

Be sure to check out Home Grown Books Parent Resource Page with free resources that help parents support their little readers through things like picture walks and phonics cues with resources and videos.

You can also find Home Grown Books here: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

Upcycled Robots

Upcycled Robots | Racheous - Lovable Learning

Another super simple activity that we really enjoyed with our co-op group:  Upcycled robots!

We simply set out:

  • recyclables – boxes, bottles, lids, cups, caps
  • tapes
  • glues
  • stickers
  • craft sticks and pom poms

We talked about making a robot and before we could finish they were collecting what they wanted for their perfect robot!

upcycled robots co-op

It was beautiful to watch their concentration and seeing them help each other hold items still, peel tape and find exactly the right piece for their robot.

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Love that proud little face!

It certainly wasn’t about creating the best robot or even something that looked like a robot. It was an open creative process so we had such an awesome variety of ‘robots’ and the kids loved having limitless possibilities!

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Many of the kids played with their robots for days afterwards. Cameron explained that you can put things in his to charge them and that the buttons do different things. It was so brilliant to watch his imagination soar!

Some have painted there’s or decorated them. I haven’t offered it to Cam yet as he is still playing with it days later and doesn’t seem to need to extend on it in any way at the moment.

I also love this robot provocation with pictures and recyclables:

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If you loved this idea, follow me on Facebook for more! If you have done or do similar, share in my Lovable Learning community where we share lovely learning experiences and our passion for learning with children!

The Mostly Connected Parent

The Mostly Connected Parent

 

I know what feels right for me in parenting. I know that I want connection and that respect works both ways. I know that punishing a child isn’t the way to help them learn about the world around them. And that praising them unnecessarily isn’t helpful in the long run either.

Yet I’ve find, more often than I would like, that I’m fighting with habits and conditioning.

More often than not modern gentle parents have been raised by parents who were more authoritarian, given the time they were bought up. So we have an internal conflict of what we feel is right versus what crops up in those heated moments.

So many of the issues surrounding parenting and children is centered around respect. Or moreso, a lack thereof. Children often aren’t fully viewed as people worthy of connection and respect.

So when I’m respecting my child’s needs, giving them choices, helping them with transitions, understanding that they need me, helping them deal with big emotions, and not rewarding/punishing them as a means to get them to ‘obey’… I’m viewed as naive or crazy.

 

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But, I’m right to question this.

You’re right to challenge the norm and consider the road less taken.

Cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling that you get when confronted by something new that makes sense but challenges you. Pushing past that discomfort is hard, but I am so freaking glad I did (and will continue to) time and time again.

I personally am not quick to anger. When faced with strong emotions from a toddler or a defiant four year old, my instinct is sometimes to make it all better. This is just as unhelpful as a temper. I can be borderline permissive and have to consciously be mindful of my choices and their implications.

This is particularly true when parenting in public around those who parent differently. It’s like I turn into another mama sometimes.

Earlier on in my parenting journey, I struggled with what felt right versus what everyone else was doing. I was new to parenting, maybe they knew better? Maybe the thought that children could be respected and firm boundaries could be enforced without punishment (physical or emotional) was too idealistic?

Either way, I made some regrettable decisions in an attempt to conform. I tried punishing Cameron a few times as a toddler despite it leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Not to mention the fact that it never worked and only made us more upset and affected our connection.

I tried to conform because it seemed easier than doing something that very few others were doing around me.

Yet it never sat well with me, and thankfully I gave up pretty readily. However, it’s still taken years to sit comfortably enough to not care about judgment.

I’m not saying that my parenting is right. Or that I know what is best. I’m simply saying this:

Don’t conform for the mere fact that you feel alone in your decision. Don’t conform because everyone else is doing it. Don’t conform because it’s easier than defending differences.

I promise you that trusting your instincts – whatever they may be – will feel better in the long run.

These instincts are the one’s that may be separate from your upbringing and you just know are right. But that initial leap to ignore the ever-present thoughts of ‘mainstream parents’ is hard. Because sometimes they’re close to home. Sometimes they’re from a concerned spouse or a close relative, even a bunch of well-meaning friends.

Every parent wants to do the best by their child/ren. Every parent doesn’t want to do something that could be potentially damaging to their child/ren. So the doubt can creep in if you hear enough of the same thing.

But I promise you that you’re not going to regret connecting with your children. You’re not going to regret taking that deep breath and meeting big emotions with compassion and guidance.

Parenting consciously and disciplining gently can be hard. Not only because of working against those habits and conditioning, but because we have our own emotions to contend with. It’s all a learning curve and your children don’t need perfection.

Your children need you. They need their caring parent who takes the time to respect them and to acknowledge their feelings. They need someone who tries to be mindful and who recognises their mistakes.

They just need you. Imperfectly perfect, learning alongside them and helping them to understand the world around them.

 

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If you loved this, be sure to follow me on Facebook and leave me a comment!

 

Further reading you may love:

(particularly the top two)

A Love Letter to Mindful Parents of Little Ones – inspiring words from a mindful parent whose children are now teens.

Respectful Parenting – It’s Weird, But It Works!

How to Use Positive Parenting – tips for gentle discipline and boundaries.

An Alternative to Authoritarian vs Permissive Parenting Styles – a straight-forward brilliant short piece on parenting, respect and discipline.

How Children Learn to Behave Without Punishment.

Simple Bubbling Lava Lamp Experiment

Simple Bubbling Lava Lamp Experiment

All you will need:

  • A clear cup or bottle
  • Water coloured with food colouring
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fizzing tablets (alka seltzer)

How to:

  1. Pour in the water and add colour (a great contrasting colour is dark blue!)
  2. Pour the vegetable oil in (50% or more oil). The oil and water will separate! Notice how the oil does not and will not colour.
  3. Break a seltzer tablet in half and drop the half tablet in – watch the bubbly fun begin!
  4. To keep the effect going, just add another tablet piece.
  5. For even more of a lava lamp effect, use on the light table or shine a torch under the cup/bottle!