World Book Day

I’ve always enjoyed reading and it’s something I’ve always wanted S to enjoy too. It builds your vocabulary, improves your conversational skills and of course has the ability to transport you to another world (depending on what you’re reading). It also builds your imagination and I’d like to believe makes you a better writer (gets those creative juices going!).

When I was a child I read to my hearts content. First it was books like Mr. Pink Whistle and all the Enid Blyton books. As I approached 11-13, it was Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps and any of the RL Stein books. From 13-20 I loved Sidney Sheldon, Marian Keyes, Sheila O’Flanagan, Cathy Kelly and Cecilia Ahern (I went to school in Dublin, that might explain it). Since then I’ll read anything that catches my fancy. Self help (Mitch Albom, Deepak Chopra and Brian Weiss), page turners (Jodi Picoult, Dan Brown, Chetan Bhagat) and then easy to read feel good books which could be by any author.

I started reading to S every night from the age of 6 months. He may not have understood it but he liked looking at the pictures and now he can hold a book the right way and loves flicking through the pages and pointing to the things he knows. His favourite is The Gruffalo. In honour of world book day, his nursery asked the parents to dress the kids up as their favourite characters. His class did it yesterday and S went in Gruffalo theme.

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The teacher at his nursery also tells me he loves Maisy. We do have one Maisy book at home but we’re off to the library this weekend to get some more.

What book are you reading at the moment? I just started Philomena by Martin Sixsmith.

PEKiP – Prager Eltern Kind Programm

When S was 6 months old, I decided I needed to get out there and do things with/for him. I picked up on the fact that he was a fast learner and so eager to do things but I guess as a first time mom I was unsure how to encourage him to reach the milestones he was so eager to get to. I looked into a few classes and came across PEKiP.

PEKiP focuses on supporting babies and their parents in their first year. The instructors use play and move motivation techniques to get the babies to find themselves – their torso, their arms, their legs. Before babies are on the move, they spend the class nappy-less. This allows them freedom of movement without having a nappy constraining them.

We did the classes for 9 weeks and absolutely loved it. I saw huge differences in S. Funnily, not always in the class. We’d go to class on a Wednesday and so often he wouldn’t do what he was being encouraged to and I’d never push him. But by the Friday at home, he’d start doing it. Whether it was crawling, pulling himself up or cruising.

There are many people who feel PEKiP pushes your child to do things that they may not be ready for but I’d like to disagree. Having watched many babies of different levels in the class, I came to realise that children will do what they want when they want and as long as you’re not physically forcing them to do something but just showing them their capabilities, they’ll do it when they are ready.

Anne, the teacher in Hong Kong, may come across as “tough” but you can see she loves children and has a keen eye when it comes to their development. I was trying to help S do something once when she said to me “You’re doing too much for him”. So I let go and he was actually able to do it himself. Often, in trying to “help” our children, we end up holding them back.

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Learning how to crawl (above).

You can find out more about PEKiP here.

And one of the best things about PEKiP: Anne only takes babies who come with their parents and she actually encourages the dads to come along too. In Hong Kong where kids are sent to most classes with a nanny, this was a refreshing change.