Little Bear’s Spring

Little Bear has just woken up from his long winter sleep. But when he pokes his head out of the den, the world around him is vast, white and silent. The only thing he sees is a smooth little stone, just as alone in the snowy wilderness as he is. He nestles it in tight to his fur and off they go in search of friends. Let’s explore this Story Sack……

Little Bear's Spring Cover and Characters
Little Bear’s Spring Cover and Characters
Little Bear's Spring Wolves and Wolf Figure
Little Bear’s Spring Wolves and Wolf Figure
Little Bear and Chick
Little Bear and Chick
Little Bear's Spring Rabbits and Rabbit Figures
Little Bear’s Spring Rabbits and Rabbit Figures

Little Bear’s Spring is a lyrical story about friendship, with a gentle introduction to spring and what happens to the natural world when the seasons change. Written by star picture book author Elli Woollard and illustrated by Briony May Smith, whose artwork brings a sun-dappled springtime landscape to life with breathtaking beauty.

Create this Story Sack:

Little Bear’s Spring

Little Bear

Wolf

Chick

Rabbit (ears down)

Rabbit (ears up)

 

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Science Books by Usborne

As an Usborne books organiser perhaps I am biased, but I personally think that Usborne produce the most fantastic introductory science books on the market. Their illustrations are inviting, their text engaging and their format exciting to young readers. In addition, Usborne books are web-linked to specially selected, trusted websites that allow you to further expand on the topics that interest you the most.

Here are a few of my personal Yes Bebe favourites:

Questions and Answers about scienceLift-the-Flap Questions & Answers about Science
Suitable for: 5+
Price: £9.99

Over 60 flaps answer common childhood questions about science, covering topics ranging from gravity to the weather and human bodies. Lift-the-Flap books are always a hit in this house – and while I still have to read the content aloud, the kids are much more invested in the answers when they get to lift the flaps themselves!

Look Inside ScienceLook Inside Science
Suitable for: 5+
£9.99

This book includes all the lift-the-flap benefits mentioned above and more, combining flaps-within-flaps and sliders with fun experiments to try at home. The Look Inside books are a must in my house, as I can so rarely answer all my children’s questions about their bodies, nature, space, our world…

science things to make and do50 Science Things to Make and Do
Suitable for: 6+
Price: £5.99

A must for home-educators, this hands-on approach to science takes learning out of books and into the wider world, through experiments and activities that make science fun! Following the clear step-by-step instructions and make use of the simple scientific explanations to inspire your young scientists to greatness!

Science Scribble BookThe Usborne STEM Science Scibble Book
Suitable for: 7+
Price: £9.99

I love how Usborne books put the emphasis on the learners rather than the book, and these scribble books are brilliant examples of this. All you need is your pencil case to explore the the physics behind forces and turbines, the human body and skeletons, animal migration, and more.

Also look out for: The Usborne STEM Engineering Scribble Book – for budding engineers and Lift-the-Flap Engineering.

100 things to know about science100 Things to Know About Science
Suitable for: 8+
Price: £9.99

If you – or your kids – are fond of infographics, this is the best introduction to science topics you could buy. Fascinating and inspiring for kids and grown-ups alike, find out about topics ranging from black holes to magnetic poles – and 98 other science topics too!

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Ada Lovelace – ‘Entrantress of Number’

Image result for ada lovelaceWhat do you know about Ada Lovelace?

That she was the daughter of poet Lord Byron?

That she was the world’s first computer programmer?

That she died tragically young aged just 36?

It’s no surprise that Augusta Ada Lovelace would do brilliant things. She was the child of a talented mathematician and logician, Mary Caroline Milbanke and famous Romantic poet, Lord Byron, described as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’.

Although she lived a life of many privileges and had access to prominent academics and the upper echelons of society Ada didn’t always have the happiest of lives. She barely knew her Father and her Mother was also absent often. Poor Ada also had a life filled with ill health including paralysis caused by Measles.

You could say that these times of enforced rest gave Ada the time to become the great thinker she was. She sued the time to study flight and she devised and designed a flying machine, a great engineering feat for a child. Her Mother encouraged her studies in the hope that she could persuade Ada to be more like her and less like her scandalous Father.

Image result for difference engine by charles babbageAs a young woman she was introduced by her friend and tutor Mary Somerville, herself a brilliant scientist, polymath and early Suffragist, to Charles Babbage, a great inventor, who was working hard on his ‘Difference Engine’, a large calculator. The creativity, logic and mathematics involved completely inspired Ada and she began to work with Babbage.

Together they worked on the ‘Analytic Engine’ and explored the capabilities of this machine. Ada was one of few people who fully understood the complexities of the machine and she made long, complex Notes on the subject including, famously, her ideas for how the calculator could be programmed for uses other than pure calculation. Her free thinking mind allowed her to write the first algorithm. Writing that “The Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.”

Historian Doron Swade writes

‘Ada saw something that Babbage in some sense failed to see. In Babbage’s world his engines were bound by number…What Lovelace saw—what Ada Byron saw—was that number could represent entities other than quantity. So once you had a machine for manipulating numbers, if those numbers represented other things, letters, musical notes, then the machine could manipulate symbols of which number was one instance, according to rules. It is this fundamental transition from a machine which is a number cruncher to a machine for manipulating symbols according to rules that is the fundamental transition from calculation to computation—to general-purpose computation—and looking back from the present high ground of modern computing, if we are looking and sifting history for that transition, then that transition was made explicitly by Ada in that 1843 paper.’

There is some argument as to whether a lot of what was published in her name was actually her own work, giving more credit to Babbage as the actual author of the programmes. However, it is agreed that Ada was the one who identified the scope and potential that computers would have centuries later. There were so few women working in academic fields at this time her achievements are remarkable.

At Yes Bebe we love to celebrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and as the ‘Enchantress of Number’ Ada Lovelace exemplifies this!

Today on International Women’s Day you can join us in celebrating Ada.

Enjoy 20% off any Bumgenius Lovelace print nappy with the code LOVELACE: http://yesbe.be/M33c6

Inspire your children with the story of Ada, LOVELACE also gets you 20% off this beautifully illustrated              book: http://yesbe.be/CT5J8

(While stocks last)

SumBlox Sample PackSpark a love for Mathematics with a Sumblox sample pack: http://yesbe.be/Dw1aU

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Hold Them Close

Hold Them Close – Big Feelings

Shockingly, there were 6,188 suicides in the UK in 2015. Men aged between 40-44 had the highest rate of suicides and female suicides were recorded as the highest in a decade in England. Male suicides are around 3 times higher than female in the UK (statistics from Samaritans 2017 report). Horrifyingly, 1 in 10 children have a clinically diagnosable mental health condition (Children’s Society, 2008).

Grapat Nins of the Forest big feelings

As a mum, the mental health and wellbeing of my little one, terrifies me. It feels like an invisible danger that could take hold of our little ones and steal them away, without us knowing. It’s a disease that we can’t see, we can only feel the impact that it has upon the ones we love. Mental health conditions do not discriminate, they can affect any one of us. Some people may be genetically predisposed or circumstances in life can impact on our mental health, but it is a personal struggle, unique to the individual. However, it doesn’t need to be a journey that someone travels alone – family, friends, health professionals and organisations can all be sources of support. It’s important we act now to help our children to recognise how they are feeling, learn coping mechanisms and know how to access support.

 

When teaching in the early years, before having my little one, three things were incredibly important to me to develop in my classroom. Firstly, a safe and secure environment where children felt comfortable to share their feelings and confident that they would be heard and listened to. Good modelling by adults within the setting to help children to understand emotions and develop strategies to overcome challenges. Secondly, the language to be able to express themselves – emotional literacy – to be able to recognise and say how they are feeling. Opportunity to role play situations and solutions, play feelings games, experiment with different expressions in a safe environment. Lastly, helping to develop strategies to be able to support children to help themselves when feelings get too big and to ensure children know who they can turn to for support when they feel overwhelmed.

big feelinsg playing with nins

Now a Mum to my almost two year old, my three important beliefs as a teacher are exactly what I do at home. A loving, sharing and caring environment where the language of emotions is used and encouraged and together we develop strategies to help boost our mental health and our ability to cope with challenges faced.

 

So, as parents, guardians, family and friends what can you do to help support the mental health of the children you love?

 

  • Let your little one know it is OK to show their emotions – yes even the boys! I do think that there is still a divide in what we think is socially acceptable for boys and girls when it comes to emotions – could that have any reflection in the suicide statistics?
  • Give your little one the language to express themselves. Use words to describe emotions and feelings for yourself, them and others.
  • Narrate to help them understand. I can see that you are angry because x took your toy. I can see you are upset…. etc. This emotions puzzle can help.Emotions Learning Puzzle big feelings
  • Calm spot – have a quiet spot where they can go to calm down. I don’t mean the ‘naughty spot’. I mean an area with cushions and blankets and soft toys that they can snuggle with and feel safe.
  • Relaxing toys – toys that support mindfulness. Toys that help role play such as dolls/ figures and houses.

    big feelings
    Hape All Seasons House – Fully Furnished
  • Hugs. Hugs. Then some more hugs! One way to have your baby/ little one close is to use a sling or carrier.lsing baby carrier feelings
  • Show your emotions to help them understand. Children know. Hiding emotions teaches them that they should hide theirs. Now I’m not saying if you are really angry that it’s appropriate to shout and throw things – I’m saying that your little one will know you are angry, so letting them know you’re angry and why (if appropriate) and what you’re going to do to help calm yourself down is teaching them how to cope with anger in future and that it’s OK to feel angry. I remember my Mum crying when our beloved, family cat died and telling me that she was upset because he was part of our family. I understood, I was upset and she taught me it was OK to show how I was feeling.
  • Certain situations can be helped by exploring them before hand through roleplay, stories and games such as the arrival of a new baby and a hospital visit for example.

My New Baby [NEW EXPERIENCES] book big feelings

Get further support from –

  • Samaritans – Call 116 123 – Email jo@samaritans.org
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for men – 0800 58 58 58 – they also have a webchat facility
  • Papyrus – for people under 35 – Call 0800 068 41 41 – Text 07786209697
  • Childline – for children and young people under 19 – Call 0800 1111 – the number doesn’t show up on your phone bill
  • The silver Line – for older people – Call 0800 4 70 80 90
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Raising book lovers – some tips

book shelf reading

Have you seen the new Books category on the Yes Bebe website yet?

Surely every parent – Mr Wormwood aside perhaps – wants their child to grow up loving books? Most of us start reading to our children when they are very young – still babies, or even still in the womb. We have favourite children’s books from our own childhoods that we want to share, and build memories around new favourites as our children grow up. Books are magical for parents and children alike, and quite capable of creating lifelong bonds between parents, grandparents, siblings – families.

But there are also many obstacles to reading that can derail all our best intentions as our children grow up. Here are some tips I’ve found useful for helping us all to raise book-loving children.

Tip 1: Perseverance.

Some children simply don’t have the attention span to sit through a story. I know my twins struggled through most of their toddler and preschool years with this. But I ploughed on regardless, reading aloud even while they wandered off, fidgeted, fiddled and even fought! The day finally arrived that they sat still through whole books. This summer, at 5-and-a-half year’s old, we have moved on to short chapter books, and they sit mesmerised while my husband reads to them every night.

Likewise, researchers are beginning to recognise the importance of continuing to read with our children, even after they are old enough to read by themselves. Older children continue to learn how to pronounce words and how to use context to decipher them if we continue to read longer, more difficult books with them. You can take turns to read with them if you prefer, but shared reading past school age is a great way to help your children become lifelong book lovers!

book reading creatimber

Tip 2: MAKE time.

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, it can seem impossible to find the time to read together. It’s so easy to get caught up in every day chores that run into bedtime and realise we’ve got through the whole day without finding time to read with our kids. By making time to read – and making it clear that you are making the effort to MAKE time – you are telling your children that reading is important. You are also telling them that they are important to you, which is equally important!

Tip 3: its not just about bedtime.

A bedtime story is a brilliant place to start reading with kids. It sets them a lifelong pattern of reading before bed, which is doubly important now that our lives are spent staring into our devices. Did you know that the blue light thrown out by devices actually disrupts sleep, and that you will sleep far better if you spend at least 30 minutes before bed device free? You’ll sleep even better if your devices are in a separate room and so can’t disrupt your natural sleep patterns whenever they flash…

But it’s important to also read with your kids at other times. Next time your child announces they are bored, suggest that they look at a book with you rather than switching on the TV or tablet. Next time you go out to a restaurant, take a book to read while you are waiting for your food to arrive rather than relying on your phone. Next time they ask you a question, suggest you look for the answer together – in a book. Reading is not only about stories, and literacy is not just about reading for pleasure. Make sure your child has access to a range of age appropriate factual books that they can consult as well as fiction options.

Tip 4:  Lead (or read) by example

How often do your kids see you reading? Do you consult books for recipes? Do you make time to read yourself? Evidence suggests that children who see their parents read for pleasure are more likely to grow up reading for pleasure themselves. A more literate home will generate more literate children – and literacy can be as simple as looking up words in the dictionary, hand-writing shopping lists on a notepad and having a bookshelf full of well-loved, well-read books. Simply put, parents who want their children to grow up to love books, need to demonstrate their own love of reading.

Bonus tip: kids will be kids

book, story sack reading

If, like me, you love books, it can be tempting to want to look after them, to keep them pristine. And children do need to learn to respect books, with simple rules like not writing or drawing on book pages set out from the start. But it is also important that your kids can get hands-on with books. Let your kids PLAY with books; incorporate them into play scenes and story sacks and accept that they will get chewed, ripped, possibly lost… Book nooks, likewise, are great, but integrating books into life in general is even better!

If there is a book you really love from your own childhood, or that was a treasured gift from a friend or relative, keep it out of reach and read it with your child. But if your child loves A Squash and a Squeeze, The Dinosaur or Eggs for Benedict, make sure those favourite books are available and accessible from an early age. If you really want to make sure you have a copy of Moon for your child to hand on to their own kids, buy a second copy to keep on a high shelf!

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