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Monday, January 30, 2017

4 Ways to teach young children what to do in an emergency

Emergencies can be scary, even for us adults, so imagine just how scary they are for little kids {especially if you, the adult, are incapacitated at the time}. Nobody ever wants to imagine their children alone and scared when something has gone wrong, but its a fact that some children will unfortunately find themselves in that situation. We as parents often do all we can to avoid accidents and do first aid courses so we know what to do if our children hurt themselves, but what if we are the ones that are hurt and they are the ones who need to help us?

This has been playing on my mind a lot lately, especially with T working shift work and me now being in my third trimester. It's often just bub and me and labour is going to inevitably happen at some point, not to mention there's always the possibility of accidents occurring at any time. If something should happen I don't want her to be freaking out by herself, I'd rather teach her what to do so she can get help asap {both to help me, and also so she isn't alone}.

Over the last week or so I've been gently broaching the subject of when to call an ambulance with bub {with an emphasis on not making it seem scary}. We've spent a lot of time at hospitals and the doctors since I've been pregnant so she understands that Drs help people and make people better, but she hasn't really been exposed to ambulances or the concept of calling 000 {she was taken to hospital in an ambulance when she was younger, but she doesn't remember it}. These are the ways I've been teaching bub what to do in an emergency.


I'm a big believer in using picture books to introduce complex concepts to young children. I didn't really know how to start a conversation about emergencies, but reading the new Toby the Teddy book was a great way to explain different emergency situations to bub and has also lead to lots of other conversations about what to do in an emergency.
Toby the teddy book: Is this an emergency?
BUY NOW | Book Depository

Toby the Teddy is purposely written to facilitate discussions between kindergarden and primary school aged children and their parents and teachers about what situations constitute an emergency and when they need to call an ambulance. Written in collaboration by a primary school teacher and paramedic, the book follows Toby the teddy through a series of scenarios that children may face and explains whether these scenarios are emergencies or not and what Toby should do in each situation. The book starts out with something that every child has most likely experienced, dropping their ice-cream by accident, and then gradually goes through more urgent scenarios such as falling over, an asthma attack and an allergic reaction.

I really like that the book included the asthma situation as I have asthma myself and bub knows that I have special medicine for it, but hasn't seen me have a really bad attack yet. I also like that the book ends with Toby finding his mum unconscious and he has to call the ambulance, because this is the exact situation I'm worried about her being in. The book calmly walks trough the steps Toby needs to take if he had to call an ambulance, which has allowed us to have the same conversation with bub.

The book includes a Notes for Parents and Teachers reference section at the back which provides background behind the book and ways to further discussions on the topic of emergencies after reading the book. There's also a fridge magnet included to write your address on so your kids know the address to tell the 000 operator if they ever need to call {we hadn't taught her our full address yet so its good to show her its on our fridge so she knows where to look if she needs it}.


After reading the book a few times bub's been very interested in talking about ambulances and how ambulance people can help us if we're hurt so we've been incorporating this into other activities as well. Twinkl have a plethora of teaching resources {for both teachers and parents} available to teach children of all ages about people who help us. I browsed through the site and downloaded a few different activities that I knew would appeal to bub.


We've downloaded numerous themed can you find posters from Twinkl so when I saw they had a people who help us can you find poster I knew bub would love it. I laminated it and she's been using her glass pebbles to find all the items on the page. As we play we have conversations about what all the people are doing and how they can help us in different situations.


I also found these pencil control worksheets that teach kids to get people to the correct helpers. There's a few sheets in the set including a sick person who needs a doctor, a fireman that's helping to put out a fire and a robber that gets caught by the police. The great thing is these sheets facilitate discussions about emergencies while she's also working on her pencil grip and pre-writing skills.


There's also numerous different people who help us colouring sheets available from Twinkl, ranging from simple sheets like these ones we downloaded to more complex colouring scenes. These are great to use during quiet time and get kids used to what people who help us look like so they can easily recognise them if needed during an emergency. There are many different sheets available in the sets including police, firemen, ambulance officers as well as doctors, lifeguards, vets, ses workers and numerous other people who have jobs that help others.

Twinkl are also currently creating new resources directly related to the Toby the Teddy book. To be notified of when these will be available click here.

Other non invasive ways to introduce emergencies and people who help us to young children include:

1. Small world play
2. Role play/imaginary play
3. Story stones or other books
4. Tv shows such as Fireman Sam
5. Triple Zero Kids Challenge app.

Since we've started introducing the concept of emergencies with bub she now knows to call zero, zero, zero in an emergency and to ask for an ambulance if we're hurt. She's started conversations with us about when she needs to call the ambulance which has lead to discussions about various different situations, both when she would need to call an ambulance and when she doesn't. We still need to work on certain things, like teaching her our address, but most of all I'm happy she doesn't seem scared of having to call an ambulance, which reassures me that she'd be ok in an emergency.

Do your kids know what to do in an emergency?

Toni x
Disclosure - Some of the Twinkl resources shown in this post may be paid resources, but there are a huge range of free resources available, simply sign up for a free subscription.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mummy Must Have Review | Little Blue Lamb Shoes

Do you have a child with slightly larger feet? Bub's always had long feet with a high bridge {which if she was a boy I guess would be considered a good thing, but as a girl it's just inconvenient to say the least} and it makes finding shoes that fit quite difficult. So difficult in fact that every pair of department store shoes I'd bought before she was born never fit properly and cut into her feet leaving really painful marks, so I gave up on them fairly quickly. 

Thankfully I found Tiptoe & Co online when she was about eight months old. They stock a huge range of quality {mainly leather} kids shoes that also cater for little ones with bigger than average feet. Ever since then I've been a huge fan and her shoe collection has been exclusively from them {when you find something that works stick to it I say}, even T raves about their shoes {which coming from a guy who doesn't care less about shoes or brands is a pretty big compliment}. 

Recently however I had a bit of a freak out moment as bub grew out of most of the sizes stocked by Tiptoe & Co so we made a reluctant trip to local department stores to {try to} find her some new shoes. Oh my god, if you think buying shoes with a toddler is hard, multiply that by about 100 when you have to try on literally every single pair of shoes {that are apparently her size} in order to come away with only one pair of shoes that badly fits her foot. She was over it after about five minutes and we were well and truly over it after ten minutes but we persevered for over half an hour, because well a girl can't be without shoes and a toddler definitely can't. We ended up buying a pair of shoes that didn't fit her that well, but was the best of all the options, because we were desperate. That night I contacted Chelsea from Tiptoe & Co to ask beg her to please, please, please order me in larger sizes of the shoes we already have. Unfortunately she couldn't, but she did have a new shipment of styles that had just arrived and had a few options in bub's size! Hallelujah. Why I didn't think to ask her before we went through the hell of trying on every shoe at the shops I don't know {won't do that next time}.

I think she's pretty happy having shoes that fit properly again. Truth be told when Chelsea suggested the new Little Blue Lamb Hayley Ballet Flats I wasn't entirely convinced they would work, because of that big elastic band across the top. We've never had luck with any shoes that have an elastic band, no matter how thick or thin it is, purely because bub has such a high bridge, so I was sceptical to say the least, but I trusted her advice. Sure enough when they arrived they fit her foot perfectly and with a bit of wiggle room to boot.

These ballet flats are unlike any other shoes bub's had before because they're an all in one slip on shoe rather than a velcro fastening shoe. If you have kids with bigger feet you'll know velcro shoes are the bomb, but I have to say these are pretty awesome too. I think the key is they're made from super light leather microfibre so they're not too tight. I also usually stick to open toed shoes or sandals with cut outs because it gets quite hot up here in Queensland and heat = sweaty feet. However, these ballet flats have a unique antibacterial foam insole with a breathable moisture reduction system that keeps her feet dry, and it really works {thankgod because sweaty feet = stinky feet and aint nobody want that}.

peach toddler ballet flats

When I found out there was also a new leather sandal available in bub's size I couldn't pass it up. I'm a sucker for a pretty pink shoe {because her shoes are all about me, clearly} and I was sold with the velcro strap. The Little Blue Lamb Hazel Sandal is an enclosed sandal with cute pink flower details. It also has little cut outs above the toes and the same antibacterial foam insole with the breathable moisture reduction system to keep little feet aerated and dry while being worn. Apparently these ones are her favourite ones, because they're pink. I love them because they go with almost every one of her outfits, clearly we have way too much pink.

I'm so glad I checked with Chelsea if she had any shoes in bigger sizes, we're now set for another 6 months at least and after that I'm definitely planning on either buying these same styles in bigger sizes or getting some of the other new Little Blue Lamb styles she recently got in stock. There's even a few cool boys styles in grey and neutral colours that I'm thinking would be great for bub. I'm beyond relieved that we won't need to endure another mammoth department store shoe expedition for quite a while. If you have little ones with hard to fit feet you really should do yourself a favour and check out Tiptoe & Co online, Chelsea has such a great range of shoes available and is always happy to help with sizing advice.

Do/did you abhor shoe shopping with toddlers as much as I do?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was provided the Little Blue Lamb shoes mentioned above for the purpose of review {after desperately contacting Chelsea to see if she had any shoes that would fit bub}. All opinions expressed are based on our experience with the shoes. I did not receive payment for this review and have spent a huge amount of $ on Tiptoe & Co shoes over the last 3 years and will no doubt be buying more of the Little Blue Lamb shoes once she grows out of these ones.

Linking with Kylie

Monday, January 16, 2017

Must Have Materials for Sensory Play

If you follow me on Instagram you'll be well aware of my love of sensory play. We're constantly using food items, water, craft bits and pieces, left over packaging and basically anything we can get our hands on for sensory play. There's a plethora of items available for sensory play, you just need to know where to look, so this week I've invited my friend Casey from Little Lifelong Learners, who has many years experience as a teacher and a stay at home mum to two little ones, to share her favourite must have materials for sensory play.


As a teacher and mama, my collection of educational toys and resources is ever growing. I’m actually kind of embarrassed to share images of the play room cupboard because it is overflowing with goodies! It’s hard to resist when there are so many amazing resources for play and learning which are so easily accessed. Today I’m thrilled to be guest posting here at Finding Myself Young and sharing my favourite items for Sensory Play at home with your Little Learners!

Must have items for sensory play