Mary Poppins

Today I am coming to you with another fabulous book to add to your reading collection!

Mary Poppins, written by P.L.Travers and illustrated by Lauren Child or Mary Poppins illustrated by Julia Sarda.

Mary PoppinsMary Poppins

After seeing the illustrated versions of Harry Potter and falling even more in love with the story because of the stunning pictures, I’ve been keeping my eye out for other childhood favourites that have decided to ‘update’ the original by getting talented artists on board to help bring the story to life.

Mary Poppins    mary poppins

If you don’t know the story line, where have you been?

When the Banks family of Cherry Tree Lane needs a new nanny to take care of their children — Jane, Michael, and twin babies John and Barbara — bossy Mary Poppins appears and “accepts” the position on her own terms. She’s a woman of few words, and insists on order and excellent manners and conduct, but she also leads the children in magical adventures, where they take tea on the ceiling, visit the North Pole, and watch stars get placed in the sky.’  – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/mary-poppins

Having been published in 1934, the book may have somewhat outdated ideas of gender roles and how children should be raised.
However, the story still manages to convey important life lessons through fun and magical ways.
Mary Poppins teaches the mischievous children to value the important things in life : family, friendship and imagination.

The book has been recommended for those aged 8+

Follow on from the book by watching the 1964 Disney movie based on the book.

This fantastical musical that will have you singing along (and humming the songs for days!).
Younger children will appreciated the movie as it is partially animated!
Parents recommend this movie for children aged 4 years +

It makes for a great family movie night!

Encouraging Kindness

Kindness
Image from https://avrnetwork.com/blog/kindness-in-kentville/

Today I thought I would talk to you about kindness.
Encouraging kindness in our children is such a positive thing to do.
Here are some ideas of how to introduce the idea and a few activities to get you started.

What is Kindness? 
First things first. What is kindness? Brainstorm with your little ones. See what they already consider to be kind behaviour.
You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

  • Being friendly
  • Being generous
  • Being considerate of others
  • Being concerned when others are upset or worried
  • Helping others
  • Doing something and not expecting something in return

How to show kindness?
You can then build on your previous list by asking your kids to suggest actions that demonstrate these points you’ve made.

  • Being friendly – Smiling , say good morning
  • Being generous – sharing
  • Being considerate of others – don’t interrupt when others are speaking, hold the door open for someone
  • Being concerned if someone is upset or worried – ask them how they are, sit with someone who is alone
  • Helping others – help someone up if they fall over, help pick up things someone has dropped

Why be kind?
What’s the point in all of this? Why should you be kind to others?
Being kind helps you to make friends.
Bullying gets reduced.
Being kind encourages others to be kind to.
You could brighten someone’s day!
Doing kind things activates the part of the brain that make you feel happy!

Activities 

I quite like the idea of creating a sort of positivity chart to stick on the wall for younger children.
Take the main points from your discussion, form a chart with them, the kids get a sticker at the end of each day for each act of kindness they manage to accomplish.
It is a great way to get the kids to tell you more about school and their friends (sometimes it is like getting blood from a stone asking about their day) as they will be eager to tell you about specific instances.
The kids will be so proud to see the stickers mounting up and discover what a kind person they are!

For older children you could start a positivity journal.
Get a nice notebook or diary. Ask your child at the end of each day to write down an act of kindness they did for someone else and one act of kindness that they received.
This makes for a lovely discussion point before bed.
The journal is also a really nice thing to keep and look back on.

Recommended Reading

Here is a list of 25 children’s books that teach about kindness.

A personal favourite of mine is by author Carol McCloud, an early childhood specialist and educator.
This version is for children under 8 years old.
kindness book
‘Through simple prose and vivid illustrations featuring girls and boys from around the world, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.’ amightygirl.com

And for the kids aged 8+ you have this version.
kindness book

Both books are available on Amazon.

Check out our latest posts for more activity or book suggestions.

The Guinness Book of World Records 2020

Today our recommended reading comes in the form of : The Guinness Book of World Records 2020

Guinness Book of World Records 2020

Let’s be honest, who didn’t have one of these books growing up?

I would spend hours pouring over the weird and wacky records. I would constantly gasp or grimace at the bizarre things people were able to do.

This new edition is packed full of thousands of crazy world records to blow your mind.

It covers 11 chapters : Planet Earth, Animals, Humans, Sports, Recordology, Adventures, Society, Technology and Engineering, Arts and Media, plus a special Robot chapter!

It even has ‘definitely try this at home’ ideas so that your children can attempt to break their own world record!

The Guinness Book of World Records 2020 would make a great addition to your bookshelf!

Find it on Amazon (in English) here.

Don’t forget to check out our other Recommended Reading!