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The Whole Child, Issue #043 - Four Seasons
October 10, 2007


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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10 October 2007, Issue #043

1. Hello from Shirley

The other day as I pushed my trolley down an isle in the supermarket, I overheard a mom say this to her preschool child: “Remember what Teacher Nicky says? (Pause) She says, ‘WAIT PATIENTLY’”.

As I walked away, I wondered if this was a once- off incident and just a reminder of something a teacher had taught or if the mom does this often – if she draws on the authority that a teacher has over her child, instead of enforcing her own authority.

The other side of the coin is often seen, when children answer their parents back defiantly and say, “… but my teacher said x, y or z,” as if the teacher’s authority is higher than that of the parent’s.

Perhaps some parents think that a professional educator is better at training children than them – but as my mom once said: God chooses amateurs to parent children!

I think many parents are afraid of being the ‘bad guy’ that has to enforce rules, do training and use punishment when necessary, thinking that their child will reject them.

Quite the opposite is true: when parents take up their authority, set a boundary and lovingly enforce it, then their children feel secure and know that they are loved, cared for and that there are limits. Of course they test the boundaries, but actually they are testing to see if you love them enough to make the effort that it takes to set a limit and police it!

2. What’s New at Shirley’s Preschool Activities?

I have added a page about a theme focusing on the Four Seasons including and easy craft activity to make a Poster of the Seasons

There are also links to other season-related activities such as a Fall Preschool Theme.

If you haven’t yet, read the Halloween page of my site.

As a Christian I don’t believe in celebrating a holiday that makes paganism and witchcraft seem like something fun…and I think it can be really scary for little ones.

To view updated or new pages added to my site, go to INFOPRENEUR and simply share info about something you know and LOVE!

This is the Information Age – join me and become a part of it!

3. Preschool Activities at Home Egroup

Lately, we have discussed some fascinating topics about alternatives to the TV for preschoolers, activities to develop gross motor skills and the benefits of teaching babies and toddlers sign language. If you haven’t yet joined and would like to, send a blank email to

4. Quote

While we're focused on building character in our children, God is focused on building character in us.” (Unknown)

5. Tips

Lately, my two year old has whined and nagged me continuously a few times, while I was busy. To stop him dead in his tracks, I spoke back to him in the same whiny voice and with the same bad body language.
Well, it cracked him up. He couldn’t believe that I could behave that way and he laughed and laughed and laughed each time I used the technique! A quick cure and an opportunity to train him how to ask nicely.

6. Book Reviews

You will find my favourite parenting or teaching books that I recommend at Shirley's Store on my site.

Charlotte Mason said that education is a science of relations - A child needs to be introduced to a wide range of subjects and allowed to make his/her own relations with them. This is the idea behind a ‘generous’ education and the teacher or parent’s role is to help the child to make these relations. It was after reading this, that I realised the purpose of art and music appreciation. I want to expose my children not just to the ideas of great authors, but also to the works of great musicians and artists.

Katy and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew

This is the first in the Katie series that we bought and my kids love all of them. In this adventure, Katie, who regularly visits the art gallery with her grandma, has an adventure and discovers paintings by post-impressionists such as Van Gogh, C,Zanne and Gauguin. Suitable for ages 3-8.

Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt

This is another story based on a true encounter of a young boy and the artist Van Gogh. This moving story gives some biographical info and pictures of famous works of art by Van Gogh. Suitable for ages 4-8

These books would make lovely Christmas or birthday gifts for little ones and they'll read the stories themselves when they are older!

7. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 2-3. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability or alternatively repeat the activities previously suggested for ages 3-5 in the earlier Backissues of The Whole Child publication.

To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. Its a free download.

Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!


1. Gross motor skills

Let your child creep and crawl and imitate different animals eg. Creep slowly like a tortoise, slide like a snake, quickly like a spider.

2. Fine motor skills

Manual Dexterity: Encourage your child to construct horizontal and vertical rows using wooden blocks. Make a row of five blocks and ask her to copy your row. She should also be able to stack about 7 or 8 blocks vertically to make a tower. Later she should manage 10 blocks. Practice this activity regularly to develop sensory motor skills.

3. Visual skills

Spatial Relations: Ask your child to take a toy in her hand and place it behind her back, on her head, under her feet, next to her foot, in front of her, between her feet etc.

4. Auditory skills

Auditory memory: Place a few shapes, toys, cutlery or other small items in a heap on a low table about 5 steps away from your child. Ask her to fetch a specific object, for example, a blue triangle, or a teaspoon. Make the game more difficult by adding more objects to the pile.

5. Mathematical skills

Numerical Relations: Give your child three balls, each of a different size. Let her ask you which one you want. When you answer, ‘the big one, the small one or the medium –sized one’, she must toss you the correct-sized ball. You could repeat this game with blocks or other objects.

6. Language skills

Symbolising & Creativity: Encourage your child to play imaginatively with various objects. For example, water becomes make-believe tea, a box can be an oven or a wagon, a stick can be a sword or a fishing rod etc.

7. Faith-building

With Halloween approaching, think carefully about whether or not you wish to expose your children to the scary costumes that go along with this celebration. If you are a Christian, meditate on these verses and share them with your little ones, if you feel it would be appropriate.

Romans 16:19 "I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil."

1 Corinthians 10:11 "Everything is permissable" - but not everything is constructive.

Romans 12: 2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good pleasing and perfect will."

1 Thessalonians 5:21 "Test everything. Hold on to the good."

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 "Let no one be found among you who ...interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord..."

Many blessings

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