KKids-Christmas

It’s the most beautiful time of the year.

Christmas brings family and friends together. it helps us appreciate the love in our lives we can often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings. May this holiday season sparkle and shine, may all of your wishes and dreams come true, and may you feel this happiness all year round.

Nursery-RhymesNursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes offer oral support to children and aid in their development of hearing awareness. They are part of children’s pre-literacy skills, being an important pillar in their cognitive development. Their value to children’s language and learning foundation cannot be underestimated.


Learning nursery rhymes helps children develop: phonemic awareness, memory and articulation, it helps children’s understanding of concepts: painting pictures in children’s heads, social routines, and Listening skills.


The activity it simple: Revisit your old favourite nursery rhymes, learn new ones! Use them to transition between activities or read nursery rhyme books at bedtime.

 

Waste Free Gift-Wrapping Tips

Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and during the festive season, Australians use 150,000km of it… here’s how you can keep it waste-free under your tree.


Let’s start with how you secure your wrapping because sticky tape isn’t reusable. Try ribbon, twine or a peg.
To the right are a few options you can easily try at home. Firstly, wrapping in newspaper and twine is surprisingly sophisticated.

Fabric wraps and tea-towels create beautiful reusable wrapping. Why not simply use some of the totes/reusable bags you almost certainly have lying around at home. And finally, one of my favourites, bits and pieces you have at home or better yet children’s artwork they’re happing to part with or give to family and friends.

Waste-Free-Gift-Wrapping-Tips

5 Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Kids

This time of year, we’re frequently reminded to give thanks for the good things in our lives. But when decorations come down and school starts back up, the prompts to practice gratitude fade away. So how can parents encourage kids to recognize goodness year-round?


This article is written by Maryam Abdullah, Ph.D. She is the Parenting Program Director of the Greater Good Science Centre. She is a developmental psychologist with expertise in parent-child relationships and children’s development of prosocial behaviours.


1. DISCOVER WHAT GRATITUDE MEANS TO YOU
Gratitude can be a difficult concept for adults to grasp — let alone little ones. Maryam says gratitude is really about recognising goodness outside of ourselves. Goodness can be big things, like happiness, love, family, and health. It can also be small things, like hugs, green lights, and ice cream. It’s up to you to decide the goodness you want to recognise. Once you understand how gratitude aligns with your own values, you can start talking about it with your kids.


2. SHARE HOW GOODNESS MAKES YOU FEEL
Practicing gratitude doesn’t always have to be a formal act of recognition. It can be as simple or easy as thanking your child for a hug or kiss. 


Practice-Gratitude-With-Your-Kids


3. ASK YOUR KIDS ABOUT THEIR GRATITUDE
Kids aren’t always great at describing their feelings. Maryam recommends sparking conversations based on four parts that make up the gratitude experience. What we NOTICE in our lives for which we can be grateful. How we THINK about why we have been given those things. How we FEEL about the things we have been given. What we DO to express appreciation in turn. Asking Notice-Think-Feel-Do questions is a simple way to scaffold your child’s understanding or perception of something that’s good in their life.


4. ENCOURAGE YOUR KIDS TO DOCUMENT THEIR GRATITUDE
Try a Gratitude Journal: Recognising goodness in writing can be a ritual in the morning when they wake up or in the evening as a reflection about how the day went. Photo Essays: If writing isn’t the right activity for your child, they could take pictures of things that they’re grateful for and build up a library of photos of the good things and gifts in their lives.


5. PRACTICE TURNING GRATITUDE INTO A HABIT
Each time you demonstrate and talk about gratitude with your kids, you’re helping them build valuable skills for their emotional toolbox.


Bradley, Cailyn. (2020). 5 Ways to Practice Gratitude with Your Kids. Retrieved from www.kiwico.com/blog/2020/11/19/5-ways-to-practice-gratitude-with-your-kids/

 

Health & Safety: Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Babies and children need to be watched carefully during hot weather carefully because they are at a higher risk of becoming unwell than adults.


Things to remember


+ Babies and children overheat and dehydrate quickly in hot weather
+ Breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby more often in hot weather
+ Offer older babies and children extra drinks in hot weather, the best drink is water
+ Dress babies and children in cool clothing and protect them from the sun with hats and sunscreen
+ Never leave children in the car, not even for a moment


How does hot weather affect my baby or child? Hot weather can affect your baby or child because their bodies cannot adjust to changes in temperature as well as adults. Babies and children sweat less, reducing their bodies’ ability to cool down, and they generate more heat during exercise than adults. They are at risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. Heat can also make existing illnesses worse.


Keep your baby and child healthy in hot weather Follow these tips to keep your baby and child healthy in hot weather. If your child is sick (fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, or even a mild cold), they need extra attention to ensure they remain well hydrated and don’t overheat. See your doctor if your child is unwell.

 

Heat-Exhaustion-Heat-Stroke


Drinking enough fluids: Offer drinks or breastfeeds frequently. A good indicator that a baby is getting enough fluids is if it has six to eight pale wet nappies in a 24-hour period. Offer young children water as their main drink throughout the day. Fruit juice, fruit-based drinks and fizzy drinks are not recommended. Older children often forget to drink because they are busy playing. Encourage your older child to drink regularly.


Keep Cool: Dress in cool clothes. Ensure sleeping environments are cool and there is good fresh air circulation. When out and about try and spend the hottest part of the day inside. If you go out in the sun stay in the shade when possible, where a wide brim hat and loose clothing. Use small amounts of 30+ Sunscreen on skin which cannot be covered. On hot days, take breaks out of the heat and drink plenty of fluids.


Cars: Never leave babies, children or pets alone in a car, not even for a moment. Babies and children can overheat very quickly in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can be 30-40°C hotter than outside the car. Most of the temperature increase occurs within five minutes of closing the car and having the windows down 5 cm causes only a very slight decrease in temperature.


Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness and what to do for your baby or child:


Heat exhaustion: Signs and symptoms – Looking unwell and more irritable than usual, Pale and clammy skin, Sleepy and floppy, Fewer wet nappies than usual, Dark urine (normal is light straw colour), Refusing to drink (babies may feel uncomfortable to have skin contact when breastfeeding – try a towel on skin), Intense thirst (but as the baby gets weaker, he/she may drink less), Dry skin, mouth and eyes (no tears when crying), Soft spot on baby’s head (fontanelle) may be lower than usual.


Heat stroke: Signs and symptoms – (All the signs of heat exhaustion as above plus): Rising body temperature, Red, hot and dry skin, Rapid breathing, Vomiting, Confusion, Coma (not responding when touched or called)
Read this article in full and find out how to respond to your child’s symptoms here: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/babies-children-hot-weather.aspx

Christmas Favourite – Strawberry Swirl Icy “North” Poles

PREP 15 min | FREEZE 4 hrs. | SERVES 10

Strawberry-Swirly

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups vanilla or Greek yoghurt
  • 10 x 80ml icy pole moulds
 

Method

  1. Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor with the maple syrup and process until smooth.
  2. Spoon a small amount of the strawberry puree into the moulds, follow with a small amount of the yoghurt. Continue to layer the strawberry puree and the yoghurt until you have almost filled each of the moulds. –
  3. Place a skewer into the mould and gently mix to create the swirls, alternatively you can leave as layers. –
  4. Place the sticks, using food grade paddle pop sticks if your moulds don’t contain sticks, gently into the centre of each of the icy poles then place into the freezer for 4 hours, or until completely frozen.
  5. Storage: keep the icy poles in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy the them gently run the ice pole moulds under warm water until you can gently release the icy pole. 

Recipe and Image from One Handed Cooks – Find 11 other Christmas recipes via the link here 

Strawberry-Swirly

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups vanilla or Greek yoghurt
  • 10 x 80ml icy pole moulds
 

Method

  1. Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor with the maple syrup and process until smooth.
  2. Spoon a small amount of the strawberry puree into the moulds, follow with a small amount of the yoghurt. Continue to layer the strawberry puree and the yoghurt until you have almost filled each of the moulds. –
  3. Place a skewer into the mould and gently mix to create the swirls, alternatively you can leave as layers. –
  4. Place the sticks, using food grade paddle pop sticks if your moulds don’t contain sticks, gently into the centre of each of the icy poles then place into the freezer for 4 hours, or until completely frozen.
  5. Storage: keep the icy poles in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy the them gently run the ice pole moulds under warm water until you can gently release the icy pole. 

Recipe and Image from One Handed Cooks – Find 11 other Christmas recipes via the link here 

Thriving and on track

As the days get longer and the summer season gets into full swing, it’s time to check in with our Kaleidoscope Kids Mums and Dads to let them know what’s on the go. Here’s some great information and news you can certainly use while things keep heating up!

Thriving and On Track, Right here at Kaleidoscope Kids

Our Mums and Dads want the best for their kids, and making sure their children hit their developmental milestones for speech, movement, behaviour, and socialisation are always important. That being said, children grow and develop at different rates, as no two kids are the same; some can be miles ahead in some areas even while lagging behind in others. That’s why we’re proud to announce that Kaleidoscope Kids is partnering with Head Start Queensland to make the Thriving and On Track (TOTs) program available to all our kids.

Perfect for children aged 2.5 to 3.5 years, helping to identify and support any kids that need that extra little boost when it comes to their early childhood development. This free program offers Mums and Dads a great snapshot of their own child’s level of speech, movement, behaviour, and socialisation and then offering substantial extra help from Head Start Queensland Speech Pathologists or Occupational Therapists if needed. It’s a great way to ensure your kid has the tools he or she needs to lead a happy, healthy life! If you’re interested in the TOTs program, talk to your Kaleidoscope Kids educator today for more information

Play Time is All About Variety

Speaking of your developing child, let’s talk about another important topic: playtime. There are no two ways about it: kids love to play. It’s a great thing, too, because play does more than just keep children happy – the benefits that active play provides to developing children is both multifaceted and well-known. In fact, there’s loads of research into just how play is beneficial for kids’ health, and we believe strongly in these benefits!

Kids Playtime

When it comes to providing play opportunities for our kids, we focus on approaches that foster as much variety as possible. This is because different types of play support different types of development! Working on putting puzzles together stimulates memory, problem-solving, and fine motor control just as dress-up fosters creativity and social interaction. Meanwhile, even a good old-fashioned game of footy will help build strong bones and muscles! So rest assured that here at Kaleidoscope Kids, we provide a variety of play opportunities for all our kids every day, rain or shine!

Changes, Growth, and Transitioning to New School Environments

Mums and Dads know how quickly their kids can grow. It seems like every few weeks they’ve outgrown all their clothes and you’re stuck buying a whole new wardrobe! Those aren’t the only changes you’ve got to weather, though – as kids grow up, they face having to adapt to situations that can be positively earth-shaking to a developing mind and body. One of these is transitioning to a new school. Rest assured that we have a unique perspective on what it can be like! That’s why here at Kaleidoscope Kids we’re dedicated to making these types of transitions as positive as possible, both for our kids and our Mums and Dads.

Feelings of fear and anxiety can live right next to anticipation and excitement, and it’s entirely natural for both you and your kids to be experiencing feelings that are a mixed bag. This is as true when it comes to transitioning out of kindy to a primary school as well. That’s why at Kaleidoscope Kids we make sure to provide kids, as well as their Mums and Dads, the skills and experiences to acclimate to new and possibly scary environments. Whether your kid is just coming in or is preparing to move on, we’ll make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.

New School Environments

Keeping Safe in the Car This Summer

Warmer weather always brings out the desire to go for a nice, long drive, either with the windows down and the wind flowing or the air con up and running when things really heat up. It’s great to go for a drive with the kids (especially when they take a nice, long nap in the back!) but it’s important for Mums and Dads to keep safety in mind this summer when motoring about with the family. That’s why Kaleidoscope Kids is dedicated to supporting Queensland’s Look Before You Lock campaign, raising awareness about the dangers of leaving little ones unattended in your car.

Keep Safe in Car

Even a few minutes in the sun is enough for the interior of a vehicle to reach intolerable temperatures. Kids don’t tolerate heat anywhere as well as adults, and that’s why it’s so important to never leave a little one unattended, even if it’s for what you feel is just a moment. Car safety goes even further than that, though; when you’ve got precious cargo in the seat behind you, it suddenly becomes much more important to drive carefully and courteously. Entering and exiting car parks can be especially fraught, especially on busy days, so always take a little extra time if needed. That might be a bit of an ask for harried Mums and Dads, but the safety of our kids is just that important!

Satisfy Your Kids’ Hunger With This Great Recipe

It just wouldn’t be a newsletter without offering a little help to harried Mums and Dads looking for ways to keep their kids fed. This time, we’ve got a great recipe that your kids just won’t be able to get enough of! With a total prep and cook time of just 30 minutes and a mild level of spice, these chicken enchiladas are sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

Ingredients
· 1 chopped small onion
· 500 g chicken mince
· 1 coarsely grated zucchini
· 1 coarsely grated carrot
· 1 Old El Paso Enchilada Kit
· 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
· 1/2 cup light sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180◦C conventional (160◦C fan forced). Heat a
    little oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add onion and
    cook until soft.
  • Add chicken mince, stirring with a wooden
    spoon to break up any lumps, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in
    zucchini and ¾ of the Enchilada Sauce, reserving remaining
    sauce for topping. Reduce heat and simmer for a further 2
    minutes.
  • For warm and soft Tortillas follow on pack instructions.
  • Place 2 large spoons of mince mixture into centre of each
    Tortilla, top with a sprinkle of cheese and fold over to create a
    tube.
  • Place folded side up in a lightly greased oven proof dish.
    Repeat with remaining filling, cheese and tortillas. Top with
    sour cream & drizzle reserved Enchilada Sauce over.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Enjoy with a fresh
    side salad.

Happy, Healthy Kids Have a Great Future

That’s it for this edition of Kaleidoscope Kids News You Can Use! We look forward to working with all our Mums and Dads as the Summer progresses in helping our kids get the enrichment they need to grow, flourish, and lead happy, healthy lives.

As always, speak to your children’s educator if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Cheers!

Happy Healthy Kids

Logan Central

Things are abuzz with activity this spring at Kaleidoscope Kids! Our early learning centres are just bursting with fun, educational, and memorable activities that your kids will just love. And don’t worry, Mums and Dads – we’ve got plenty of important and interesting information and support for you, too!

Weekly Games with Nabei Indigenous Education

It’s never too early for kids to explore positive aspects of diversity. That’s why we’ve partnered with Nabei Indigenous Education in order to help our kids understand, appreciate, and respect the Indigenous cultures around us. Each week, Nabei comes out to each of our centres and treats kids with fun Indigenous and Indigenous-inspired games and activities, helping to create a new generation that can understand our shared history and progress towards reconciliation. You won’t find this sort of multicultural education and entertainment opportunity anywhere else!

Nabei-Indigenous-Games

Even More Fun With Happy Feet Fitness

Happy Feet Fitness

We’re all about play-based learning here at Kaleidoscope Kids, and that’s why we’re pleased to announce that Happy Feet Fitness attends the Logan Central service on Fridays to help children learn, laugh, and grow together. Happy Feet focuses on teaching the fun of movement and dance, the creativity of music, and the joy of active play. With new and exciting interactive themed adventures every week, Happy Feet’s classes are designed with expression, participation, and social interaction in mind. Happy Feet will have your kids up on their own feet and having a grand time to be sure!

Upcoming Centre Events & Our Kindergarten Program

Our kindergarten program is in full swing here at Kaleidoscope Kids! Our curriculum is based around the concept that all children should experience learning that is engaging and that builds success for life, and we do so through building feelings of belonging, being, and becoming in our kids so that they can recognise where and with whom they belong, valuing the ‘here and now’ in their lives, and acknowledging the rapid and significant learning and development that kids undergo at this age. To support these goals each of our three centres have loads of upcoming events planned, such as fundraising and incursions, so check with your centre for more specific information!

Important Updates from the Child Health Service

The health and safety of all our kids is quite obviously a priority, especially in the current post-COVID 19 landscape. That’s why we pay close attention to the Child Health Service, ensuring that we pass along any and all important information to our Mums and Dads so that you can stay in the loop. Right now, visitation restrictions are still in place for all Children’s Health Queensland facilities to help curb the spread of coronavirus, but clinics are still readily available for families during the pandemic and are even offering socially distant alternatives such as virtual telehealth consultations over the phone or even videoconferencing.

Popular Family Recipes

Our kids love the balanced, nutritious food on our menu, but some recipes have become a favourite. For Mums and Dads that want to capture some of that magic at home when the kids are clamouring for their next meal, here are two of the most popular recipes we have; inspired by our delicious menu items, they’ve been chosen not just for their delicious flavour but also for their nutritional content, their ease of preparation, and the easily-sourced ingredients. We’re all about helping you make dinner and snack time easy and fun!

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

Easily put together with just 40 minutes of prep time, this no-bake recipe yields delicious little balls of flavour made from pureed carrot and rolled oats, seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, and dates, and then rolled in desiccated coconut for a touch of all-natural sweetness. These delicious, nutritious little balls of yum are best served when fresh within three days, but if you make a big batch, you can pop them in the freezer and they’ll keep for up to a month! Source Recipe >

Chicken and Cheese Pasta Bake

Chicken Pasta Bake

Tired of chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese? We’ll bet your kids are too That’s why this chicken and cheese pasta bake recipe is such a winner! This easy, family-friendly dish requires the meat of a pre-cooked barbecue chicken, rigatoni pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spinach, and a bit of garlic and onion, all prepared separately and then combined and baked in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The result is a warm, cheesy, hearty meal packed with flavour that your kids will love! Source Recipe >

Information on Child Care Subsidy Changes

Just as how Kaleidoscope Care looks after our kids, we look after our Mums and Dads too in order to ensure you’ve got the information you need, when you need it, about every aspect of early childhood care. That’s why we keep you abreast of any changes to the Child Care Subsidy, offer reminders about Centrelink payments and updating information, and keep you in constant contact with excellent resources such as the Family Update Facebook page, run by Services Australia.

Even More Support

We’re family here at Kaleidoscope Kids, and that means we stick together in good times as well as not-so-great ones. We’re fully dedicated to providing support and resources to our families in need that are facing struggles, and this was even before the coronavirus pandemic; today, with so many of us facing even more complex and challenging struggles, it’s become even more important to provide this support wherever we can.

Whether it’s putting Mums and Dads in touch with Mission Australia to help provide them the extra security, care, and support needed in tough times, helping direct families to local food banks in the Brisbane area, or even just letting you know about community events that are happening in the local area for families, such as puppet shows or storytime at your local library, we’ve got the details you need to keep your kids happy and healthy when not here with us.

Mission Australia

Don’t you worry, Mums and Dads – at Kaleidoscope Kids, we’ve got your back!