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Hockey!!

Posted on 13th August, 2012 by Admin

It’s true, the Olympics is actually over. Now all those people who’ve been staying up till all hours watching events and then calling in sick to work the next day will have to get up off the couch and actually get on with their lives … Our Smallsports champions have really thrown themselves into and enjoyed our Olympics unit and come away with so much knowledge, skill and confidence in a variety of sports and particularly track and field type events.

Now we move onto a great unit that is full of fun activities, games and plenty of setting-the-stage skills that introduce the sport of hockey. Whether its through “walking the dog” with your noodle and tennis ball (dribbling), counting the rocket down for take-off (hitting), or avoiding the sleeping bear (field and player position awareness) children are building hockey abilities and confidence into their growing collection.

At Smallsports we are really enjoying seeing the children’s growth as each unit unfolds over the year, and loving the way kids are so excited to be outdoors and active. Why not make a plan to play outside with our own families sometime this week too!

 

1.Picture – http://www.google.com.au/imgres?hl=en&biw=1256&bih=1026&tbm=isch&tbnid=ljQ6mm0ueOK4YM:&imgrefurl=http://www.vectorjunky.com/cute-field-hockey-kids


PUSHING ON

Posted on 6th August, 2012 by Admin

 

ECARE1000 Kite-Bike-Hike

A bunch of people I know completed an amazing trek over the last couple of weeks. Entitled E-Care 1000, the aim was “To Be the First Team to Ever Successfully cycle the Cape York road, Kite Surf from Australia to PNG, to complete the Kokoda Track from Kokoda to Owers Corner – ending what is truly a MEGA TRIATHLON” (1.)  Amazing!! For me, it is basically impossible to imagine succeeding on a 700 km bike ride, 200 km kite surf and 100km hike – and that’s without even taking into account scary things like crossing the Torres Strait with who-knows-what creatures swimming just below, chafe and blisters, huge amounts of dust, nasty bugs and plenty of discomfort.

And yet, there’s only one way to answer that ever present question – do I have what it takes? Like the many Olympian athletes who’ve been inspiring us on tv, and like the adventurers who undertook the E-Care 1000 we all face challenges. The question is, will we pull back or push on? Maybe its as simple as cleaning the house, cooking a meal, completing a project at work or pushing cheerfully through winter coughs and colds. The thing is, if we can learn perseverance in the little things, we will certainly have more hope of pushing on with life’s larger missions.

Why not take a moment and pick one thing to push on with today?

1. http://www.5thelementexpeditions.com/events/expedition-x-files/ecare1000-kite-bike-hike/


Let the games begin!

Posted on 30th July, 2012 by Admin

Yes, the games have begun!! As a family we’ve enjoyed watching some of the Olympics over the last few days and being inspired by all the hopes, dreams and efforts that people have put in. Sports aside, even the creativity and detail put into the opening ceremony is seriously impressive!

Chatting with the little ones at Smallsports this morning, it was exciting to see their faces light up as they told me about how they’d seen some of the the Olympics over the weekend. It’s so cool to see them making connections – the flags, the medals, the huge range of sports – and seeing how the relays, long jump, javelin etc from Smallsports fit in the bigger picture. There’s nothing like the joy of seeing a child begin to dream, and you never know where those dreams may take you. A perfect example here above, the first Australian gold of this year’s games coming from the “surprise” win of our Australian women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team. (2)

I love that we can set up the next generation believing that they too can be champions, and have them start early taking on every challenge with confidence. After all, you never know unless you have a go!!

 

1. Top picture – http://content4.video.news.com.au/NDM_-_Herald_Sun/109/853/goldensuprise_290712.jpg

2. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/london-olympics/australia-wins-first-gold-of-london-games-in-freestyle-relay/story-fn9dheyx-1226437729838 

 

 


New Community Classes Timetable!

Posted on 28th July, 2012 by Bryn Jones

Smallsports Education Australia – Early Childhood Health & Physical Education

We are happy to say we have an extra 4 Classes in this Quarter’s Community Timetable!

Click Community Class Timetable as at 29-7-12 to download!

All classes are either free or at low cost to parents!

All children aged between 2 – 5 years of age are welcome!

 


Bundles of joy

Posted on 23rd July, 2012 by Admin

In honour of this historical week, in which I officially become the mother of two teenagers, it seemed only appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the joys of parenting. After a couple of  years practice with our daughter, we now launch into new territory when the first of our two boys turns 13 on Thursday.

Looking at the gorgeous blanket-wrapped bundle of cuteness all those years ago we couldn’t have pictured in our wildest imagination our life as it is now. Instead of a snuggly baby, smiles and tickles we find ourselves in a parallel reality involving school, sport, friends and all kinds of adventures. Our son is now a lot taller than me and can run WAY faster than I can (as evidenced by his participation at state level cross country race over the weekend). He comes in very handy for carrying heavy items, reaching high shelves and opening jars for his dear old Mum. Of course, we always have to make sure we feed him before we go out the door to anywhere so that he doesn’t eat all our friends out of house and home!!

Parenting is definitely a ride, and here are a few quotes I found that made me smile:

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories. (John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester)

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. (Clarence Day)

Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them. (P. J. O’Rourke)

The truth is that parents are not really interested in justice. They just want quiet. (Bill Cosby)

Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going. (Phyllis Diller)

 

Taking a nostalgic moment to reminisce, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be a parent and can honestly say that even though at times it can be a tough road the joys definitely outweigh the challenges. Savour the journey I say!!

 

1.Top photo – https://mundabor.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/free-baby-samples.jpg


The countdown is on!!

Posted on 16th July, 2012 by Admin

Giant Olympic Rings unveiled on Tower Bridge   1.

 11 DAYS AND COUNTING …

As we can see here, London-town is decking itself out in it’s best finery ready to welcome athletes and ensure that the 2012 London Olympic games is a celebration of sporting endeavour to be remembered for many years.

The Flame is carried by Dame Ellen MacArthur   2.

The Olympic torch is on day 58 of its 70 day relay covering both inner city, historical sites and picturesque English countryside. Pictured here, Olympic gold medalist former sprinter Michael Johnson holds the Olympic Flame at Stonehenge, at the beginning of Day 55 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

If you take a moment to think on it, you’ll be as amazed and impressed as I am at the level of detail, organisation and preparation that is put into an event like the Olympics. And the reward? Well, for one city and nation there’s the opportunity to showcase your greatness to the world (and make LOTS of money!!). For the athletes involved, its all about achieving personal goals and the honour of representing your homeland. And for the general run-of-the-millers at home there’s no denying its pretty inspirational to watch some events and see what natural talent and monumental amounts of hard work can achieve.

If you ask me, the Olympics is a great quality time and conversation starter handed on a platter to us as families. Watch a snippet with the little ones and talk about things like the importance of following our dreams, the sky is the limit, you’ll never know unless you have a go … You’ll be astounded at the delightful conversations and learning times that can come from this.

At Smallsports we’ve been buzzing – its so exciting to try new things and its great to see the kids enthusiastically having a go at shot put, relays, long jump and other events. We’ve loved looking at examples of medals and even having our own pretend medal ceremonies (admittedly its much easier to get a Smallsports medal – all you have to do is “listen to the teacher and be kind to your friends”.) Why not ask your child to show you some of the things they’ve learned, chat about the Olympics together and let’s enjoy the chance to build confidence and hope into our own families about the bright future in front of them!!

 

1. http://www.london2012.com/mm/Photo/photos/General/01/25/78/03/1257803_M05.jpg

2.  http://www.london2012.com/mm/Photo/TorchRelay/General/01/25/86/66/1258666_M01.jpg

 


Go for Gold!!

Posted on 9th July, 2012 by Admin

  1.

19 days to go!! The countdown is on for the 2012 London Olympics. At Smallsports we are taking a good look at the Olympics and finding out all kinds of interesting things, like: what is the Olympics (no mean feat since most of us weren’t born yet for the last Olympics), what kinds of events there, what does it mean to represent your country, what is a medal and how do you get one? We’re really getting into the Olympic spirit with programs focussing on the Olympics as a whole and a variety of Olympic sports. Children are really enjoying the opportunity to try new things such as shot put, long jump, triple jump, javelin and relay – all Smallsports style of course!! Using our much loved bees and bears story scenarios and modified version of each sport kids are learning new sports as well as teamwork, sportsmanship, communication and more.

Mary Lou Retton definitely knows what it means to put in your all and represent your country with pride. Mary Lou is a gymnast and the first female from outside Eastern Europe to win gold in the all-round category. As we know, the Olympics is considered a pinnacle of succes and as Mary Lou said “For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.” 2.  And we, too, are learning to give it a go, test ourselves, and dream of winning awards too, whether they be medals for our school sports, academic achievements or maybe even the Olympics one day!

3.

Over these next weeks let’s take the opportunity to chat with our kids about the Olympics, support our nation (whether it be the good old Aussie green and gold, or our home nation for those of us who are ring-ins), help our kids to realise that we really can dream big dreams – and when we add plenty of  determination and hard work we can achieve those dreams too!!

 4.

 

1. london‑olympic‑logo.gif; globalsolutions.org

2. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/olympics.html#84yeZEMe42651Gul.99; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Lou_Retton

3. olympics‑medals.jpgthematrixfiles.net

4. aus‑oly‑team‑uniform.jpg; thepunch.com.au


Let’s Play!!

Posted on 2nd July, 2012 by Admin

1.

Kids love to play. As adults, we tend to think we need to spend our time on “more important things”. However it has become crystal clear that play, while innocent, carefree and without agenda, is a crucial building block for learning, academic success, emotional stability and much more. Early childhood education across the board recognises the importance of play. The recent Australian National Early Years Learning Framework utilises ‘learning through play’ as key in achieving the framework fundamentals of being, belonging and becoming: “Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine …Play provides a supportive environment … play can promote positive dispositions towards learning … play enables them to simply enjoy being.”2.

There is plenty of concern lately about the detrimental results on society due to a generation of children raised to live indoors, in the company of computer, playstation etc. “Children are disappearing from the outdoors at a rate that would make them top of any conservationist’s list of endangered species if they were any other member of the animal kingdom. Contact with nature maybe as important to children as good nutrition and adequate sleep.”  4.  This is one of the reasons for the simple, yet crucial, purpose and approach of Smallsports – We want kids to love sport. We want children to have healthy development in every aspect of their lives and pride ourselves on providing a program that is physically, socially and cognitively stimulating.

President of the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play and professor at Hofstra University, Dr. Rhonda Clements, says, “It is important to maintain a healthy sense of play throughout childhood and into adulthood. Our complex society requires clear thinkers, playful attitudes, humor and creativity for complex problem solving.” 5. Evidence continues to mount about the value of play on individuals in every area of their lives, and therefore on society at every level.

So, in short, Let’s Play!!!

 6.

1. http://www.google.com.au/imgres?num=10&hl=en&biw=1627&bih=979&tbm=isch&tbnid=xnIOYA2EIdflQM:&imgrefurl=http://beckdiefenbach.com/blog/%3Fp%3D1285&docid=yNOH8Jjol15BlM&imgurl=http://beckdiefenbach.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/0620-weather-02.jpg&w=800&h=581&ei=Q_7wT8uhJe-ciAevyaCKDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=372&sig=107702289734559929175&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=145&tbnw=192&start=0&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0,i:101&tx=83&ty=71

2. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Earlychildhood/Policy_Agenda/Quality/Documents/Final%20EYLF%20Framework%20Report%20-%20WEB.pdf

3. Childcare Information Exchange–www.childcareexchange.com. April 2006

4. http://www.treehugger.com/culture/25-of-british-children-dont-play-outside.html

5. http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=591

6. http://www.google.com.au/imgres?start=131&num=10&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1627&bih=979&addh=36&tbm=isch&tbnid=J5mRfeQi9M-nCM:&imgrefurl=http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/&docid=1bjzFpxDVHDvnM&imgurl=http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/media/image/a/9/Young_Children_Playing_in_the_Sand.jpg&w=400&h=340&ei=xfzwT5S5NO6TiAf9oPGCDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=555&vpy=420&dur=2&hovh=207&hovw=244&tx=104&ty=121&sig=107702289734559929175&page=4&tbnh=149&tbnw=175&ndsp=44&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:131,i:164


Chill out …

Posted on 25th June, 2012 by Admin

         2.       3.

Well, its school holiday season once again – and a great time to take a moment to think about the pace of our modern lives. This week we’ll take a moment on the benefits of rest and relaxation and ways in which we can make sure to allow for these in our usually crammed schedules.

Did you know that allowing for appropriate amounts of quality rest and relaxation (which sadly doesn’t include starting at the tv or playing on computer or xbox for hours) has major health benefits and has even been identified in some studies as adding to our lifetime? 4. The trick is to understand and arrange to allow for rest and sleep in a variety of ways in our schedules. While we don’t all have the ability to take large amounts of time off work, we can be creative with the time constraints we have so that we avoid that common trap of going through life at top speed and coming crashing to a screaming halt when our bodies just can’t take it any more. This might include a variety of options such a short power-naps during the day, a quiet day each weekend and well planned holiday rest time.

Here are just a few of the benefits we can look forward to enjoying:

Reduced stress levels
Increased energy and stamina
Reduced risk of heart disease
Improved cognitive and reflex performance
Better mood and emotional state
Improved alertness
Renewed motivation
Greater capacity to learn
Clearer thinking and acuity  5.

Check out a few articles below which have great information and tips on arranging our lifestyles to allow for great rest and if you’re anything like me it’s definitely worth taking a few moments of thought and planning about how to make adjustments to exchange the good old ‘crash and burn’ for a positive, productive and maintainable schedule.

 

1. http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/baby/caring-for-baby/your-babys-changing-sleep-habits-20120521-1z0du.html
2. http://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/blog/baby-sleep/are-you-struggling-to-make-your-child-sleep-at-night/
3. http://blog.erikamasondds.com/2010/07/sleep-apnea-in-children-linked-to-poor-academic-performance/
4. http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/powernap.htm
5. http://podtime.co.uk/benefits_of_rest.html
6. http://voices.yahoo.com/make-sunday-day-rest-health-benefits-a-2574383.html
7. http://suite101.com/article/health-benefits-of-rest-a51767

 

 


Soak up the sunshine!

Posted on 18th June, 2012 by Admin

 1.

Yes winter is truly upon us. Serious rugging-up with cozy warm jackets and scarves has definitely become the order of the day in so many places. And, if you’re fortunate enough to live in Queensland, we can definitely feel the winter bite in the air in the evenings and mornings, even if our mid-day is still as balmy as other people’s mid-summer. Many of us seem to have made that natural seasonal  switch away from hopping from tree to tree in search of shade and are now wanting to head outdoors and really soak up the sun.

In between homework, cooking dinner, sending unwilling boys off to clean their muddy knees in the shower etc, I do occasionally catch snippets of the news, though as you can imagine this approach to the news is not usually productive of a particularly clear understanding of current events. Having heard bits lately about the apparently large number of Australians found to be vitamin D deficient, I thought I’d have a little read to see what all the fuss is about. The good news is its all pretty simple for even the most distracted parent mind to understand (exhibit 1, yours truly!), and also I am encouraged to hear that even though vitamin D deficiency does definitely lead to problems, particularly in the area of bone health, its simple and easy to find out where you’re at and make any changes as needed.

Basically for those of us lucky enough to inhabit Queensland its really just that good old balancing act as always – maximum vitamin D vs minimum skin damage/cancer. In short, enjoy the fresh air, play outside with your kids on these golden clear winter days but certainly there’s no need to throw out the baby with the bath water – the good old “slip slop slap” we learned when we were kids still works a treat. I’ve noted a few great articles from Australian publications for anyone who wants to take a moment to read up.

1. http://themescompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/6402.jpg

2. http://www.cancer.org.au/cancersmartlifestyle/sunsmart/vitaminD.htm

3. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/vitamin_d.html

4. http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/33/4/103/6