Thursday, 29 January 2015

Why Embracing Our Kids Creativity Is So Important!

I think kids are the most creative beings around and their imagination is bustling with tons of unique and original ideas – you can hear it in the way they express themselves and tell us tales about daily events. Better yet their drawings tell us a lot more about what whimsical adventures are going on up there in their tiny (big) minds. I think poetry and storytelling is a great way to feed their creativity – plus rhyming is fun! Poetry has no rules and so it’s a great way to start your kids off writing. A lot of kids are just not that into reading for fun, what with all the gadgets about now. I think it’s so vital to get kids into thinking that poetry is not only fun but easy! And that drawing a picture or writing a poem a day is as good for them as their 5-a-day. This blog is all about books, words, poetry, reading and the occasional squiggle from some of my mini relatives every now and again.

I was prompted to start up this blog for kids because as the mother of a young black infant male, I know how important it is for me to keep him engaged in reading and writing. Previous studies have shown how a lot of children, specifically from ethnic backgrounds and low income backgrounds read less or don’t get read to at all. I noticed how much reading to my son at bed times significantly helped him improve and progress fast especially with his phonics skills. I think it’s so important to encourage our kids to read, write and draw and to also make it fun for them so it doesn’t become a chore.

If you have a child who is a budding poet or likes to tell a story or two or is artsy in any form, then I hope they’ll enjoy this site.

Each week I will post a short kids poem or story from either me of my six year old son that you can read to your child or use to help fuel your child’s imagination to help get them started on their own stuff!

Feel free to join in and send in comments of your child’s poems or stories. X

Friday, 23 January 2015

Must Read Book For Kids - 2015

 I came across this book and thought it would be a great read for kids. It forces them to capture the beauty in everything they see and to appreciate the world around them. It's a wonderful book that highlights the brilliance of diversity and teaches kids to embrace who they are and what they have. 

There aren't many culturally diverse books out there for kids to get stuck into like this. There have been many talks on how we need to see a rise in diverse and ethnic characters being featured in books and I agree. This book has gotten some really good reviews and so I thought i'd share.
A description of the book is below:

'After church on Sundays, CJ and his nana wait for the bus. It's a familiar routine, but this week CJ is feeling dissatisfied. As they travel to their destination, the boy asks a series of questions: "How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?" "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "How come we always gotta go here after church?" CJ is envious of kids with cars, iPods, and more freedom than he has. With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate about his life: "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire." These gentle admonishments are phrased as questions or observations rather than direct answers so that CJ is able to take ownership of his feelings. After they exit the bus, CJ wonders why this part of town is so run-down, prompting Nana to reply, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner. Robinson's flat, blocky illustrations are simple and well composed, seemingly spare but peppered with tiny, interesting details. Ultimately, their destination is a soup kitchen, and CJ is glad to be there. This is an excellent book that highlights less popular topics such as urban life, volunteerism, and thankfulness, with people of color as the main characters.

You can purchase this book online at Amazon:

Lola Wants To Look Like Mummy

(A show of hands, how many girls have raided their mothers wardrobe just to look as pretty as them? )

Lola loves her mother’s shoes,
they’re pointy and pretty and bubblegum pink.

Lola loves pink;  pink milkshake,
pink cupcakes and pink yogurt –Petits Filous

And even has a clubhouse with the sign ‘Pink Princesses: Exclusively For Pink Lovers Too!’

Lola loves her mother’s lipstick, its red -Ruby Woo,
and so is her mother’s cherry red blush

It reminds her of strawberries and the London red bus.
Oh! And did I forget, red is her favourite colour too!

She loves her mother’s hair,
It has an auburn hue and reminds her of the fallen leaves in autumn.

Lola loves her mother’s jewellery,
It glistens and gleams like the sun far away or even the moon.

She loves her mother’s dress it swings and sways,
like a princess in a glamorous ballroom.

Lola loves her mother’s dressing room,
It has in it all the pretty things that her mother loves to wear.

So she puts on her mother’s pink pointy shoes,
and draws on some red lipstick with great care,
puts on a few glistening bangles,
a stroke of blush,
Then goes to show her mother in a rush!

She skips to the kitchen where her mums making stew and say's 'Mummy look, I look just like you',
Her mother gasps with eyes wide bright
and responds with 'Lola whatever did you do?'

Richards talking school shoes

( I can't tell you how many shoes I've had to buy for my son in the past year!)

Richard’s shoes chit and chatter on his commute to school
They flip and they flop singing all the way to school

Mum says she won’t buy him a new pair
Because he damaged the last old pair

She says he’ll learn his lesson this time round
Because he’ll have wear them all year round

But Richard quite likes he’s talking school shoes
Because all the other boys at school have the same talking school shoes

They use them as brakes on the pedal bikes
And use them for footie once their done on the bikes

They use them as floor scrapers whilst waiting in line
Because they get all fidgety when waiting in line

And though Richards talking shoes are all battered and bruised
They still manage to last the day all tattered and bruised

Thursday, 22 January 2015

All The Colours Of The World

(Our world is so beautiful, it's filled with people of different size, shape & shade - how lucky are we!)

My world has all the colours of the rainbow
smudged altogether in one city.

The fragrance of cumin and turmeric, coco and jerk, ginger and nutmeg too,
umm how I love the smell of diversity.

Our tongues twist and turn to speak the language of truth,
my city is a mix-match of melody tunes.

Some come tall, some come small, some come thin, some come stout

Where I live is a place of zigzags, curly-whirls and swirls.
The wonderful patterns of the world.

The air is hot then it’s cold, arctic and humid,
it’s a concoction of confusion,

still, I love it because the sky is blue then its grey, purple then black
It embraces the colours of you and I.

I love my world because it’s filled with zeal and zest,
and painted with a brush of different strokes.

In all our difference we are still the same,
because our hearts beat the same sweet truth.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Loopy Looms

(Loom Bands here, there and everywhere! For all the parents who have kids that are Loom Band crazy - I feel your pain.)

They’re orange and pink and blue and green,

they’re all over this house I can’t get this place clean!

The kids twist em and loop em and hoop em and hook em,

but they’re all over this house it’s making me scream!

They make great friendship bracelets and necklaces too,

seriously, they’re all over this house even in the ads on the TV screen!

Great time takers and they keep the kids busy, I will agree,

honestly, this house looks like a loom band movie scene.

But when the kids are asleep and I’m left on my own,

I’ll sweep and I’ll sweep put them all in a heap, then chuck em in the bin,

till my house is all clean.

They’ll ask in morning where they’ve all disappeared,

Then I’ll blame it on the elastic band monster and sigh ‘he’s so mean!’

(P.S. The elastic band monster finds Loom Bands especially yummy.)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Ama’s Twisty Hair

(Ama has beautifully coiled afro hair that her mother often packs into two mini mouse puffs at the front and into two separate corkscrew threaded twist at the back (hair threading is a common African plait adopted mostly by Ghanaians). Ama loves her hair like this because none of the other kids have it the same but the kids at school keep playing around with it and messing it up!)

Ama had bouncy coiled hair that puffed up like candy floss,
the back was parted and threaded into two piglet twists.
The kids would yank on them all day, it made her cross,
but she would ignore them the same way and pretend they didn’t exist.

By the time it was home time her hair was a mess,
her mother would sigh and say ‘not again, what happen this time?’
And she would tell the same tale of how the kids were a pest,
and her mother would respond with this rhyme:

You hair is a picture of wonder and vision of curiosity,
the kids are just fascinated by what they see,
you ought to thank God for the sheer quantity.
No matter how messy it is, your hair is still perfect to me!