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Out and about

There are many different activities that you can do at the beach and talking to your child about what they would like to do will help you to decide what type of beach you will go to.

The beach can be a very relaxing and restful place where you can talk, read, build sandcastles and lie on the sand. It can also be very active and involve going for long walks, running, playing or swimming.

The bell has rung, the bag is packed. Open the door and off goes the pack.

It is the end of the school or kindy day and time to go home. How will you get home? Do you travel home the same way every day or do you sometimes walk? If you walk do you travel the same way as you would in the car or is there a shortcut?

Do you have a regular routine when you get home? Are there jobs to do? Or does a long day mean you are both hungry and food comes first before any jobs?

Before we go inside we need to check the letterbox for mail.

Is there a park with a pond near where you live? Are there ducks at the pond? Next time you visit take some duck food with you to feed the ducks.

It’s a sunny day. Let’s go and feed the ducks down at the pond. I wonder how many ducks will be there today.

Talk about the location of the pond. Is it in the middle of the park? Or is it on the edge of the park next to the car park?

We are going to the park with the pond in the middle. We will park the car on the road next to the entrance and then walk to the pond.

Quick, get ready. It’s time to go.

Leaving the house and getting into the car can involve a lot of talking and planning. Where will everyone sit? Are there special seats for different people in the car? Does where you sit change if there are more or less people in the car?

We’re going to school. We have to fit four of us in the car. All of the bags will need to go in the boot.

Your seat is in the back behind the driver’s seat. You have your own special seat to sit in.

Look, up in the sky - what can you see?

Take some time to encourage your child to stop and look up while you are out walking or lying on the grass.

Talk about what you see. Clouds are always changing. Sometimes they are white, sometimes shades of grey.

There are lots of clouds today. Are they big, fluffy clouds or long thin ones? What colour are they?

You can also talk about why the clouds are different colours or about how they are moving.

We went to visit the city one day and caught a tram along the way. What do you think we noticed that day?

Lots of different noises – car horns tooting, trucks reversing, clocks chiming, people talking, water rushing and tram bells sounding.

Lots of shiny windows – different shaped ones, reflective ones, open ones, ones with writing and ones you can see through.

Lots of signs – traffic signs, pedestrian signs, advertising, stop signs and shop signs.

Lots of people moving – quickly, slowly, riding, driving, holding hands and carrying bags.

It’s time to go off to the shops and do the shopping. Have you checked that they’re open? How could you find out?

We need to buy pita, hummus and stuffed vine leaves. I am not sure what time the shop opens. I might ring and see if they are open yet.

Explain to your child that shops have opening and closing hours and they can all be different. Some shops will open very early in the morning. Other shops are only open later in the day.

The supermarket market is open 7 days a week and starts trading at 7 in the morning.

I went to visit the city one day and spied North Terrace along the way. What else do you think I spied that day?

I spied with my little eye lots of different statues – tall ones, short ones, ones with people, some with horses and one person sitting.

I spied with my little eye lots of buildings – ones to live in, some to shop in, ones to read in, some to look in, one with paintings and one with dinosaurs.

Babies love to be outside. There is so much for them to experience all year around.

In spring you could show your baby flowers growing in gardens or parks. Talk with them about the colours, the size and the smell of the flowers. Brush their fingers in the petals. Listen to their babble and respond to it.

Look how pretty this rose is. It has soft, pink petals. It smells beautiful.

Is it a plane, is it a bird, is it Superman? No, it’s a jumbo jet bringing families home!

Often when you are outside or travelling around with your child they will notice a plane in the sky. When they do, talk to them about what they can see.

Can you see the plane flying in front of the cloud? Do you think it is a big plane or a small one?

That is a very big plane. How many engines can you see on it?

Next time you are travelling in the car or going for a walk with your child, point out the different traffic signs. Why are they there? What do they tell you to do?

There are traffic lights outside the school. They tell us to slow down and drive at 25km.

As you notice the different signs try and sort or group them into ones that are the same.

Those are crossing lights. They help pedestrians to safely cross the road.

If you are going on a bus, train or tram look up the timetables with your child before you go. Talk about how you are going to get there. Will it be on the bus, on a tram or by train?

Show your child that each bus or train has its own timetable.

Which number bus are we catching? The 224 or the 225?

What time do we need to get there? How long will it take? What time do we leave home?

You might use a paper timetable, look at a timetable online or use the timetable at the bus, train or tram stop.

While you are waiting for the lift to come talk to your child about the number of the floor that you want to travel to.

Is it a high number or a low number?

Is it a number above the ground floor which means the lift will travel up or is the floor below ground level and so will go down?

Talk about how the buttons have symbols on them that will provide directions and instructions. The buttons may have numbers on them or arrows or letters.

What do the different symbols mean?

There are many different ways you can travel to a place. You could go by bus, train or tram. Next time you are travelling by public transport with your child take some time to talk about the different things that you notice around you.

Talk with your child about what you see inside the vehicle compared to outside. Inside there will be lots of different people to notice compared to outside. Point out to your child the different shapes and sizes of the people or what they are wearing.

Can you see the short man with the blue hat?

Are you wondering what your family can do this weekend? You could visit the Botanic Gardens.

Before you go to the gardens talk to your child about the different things you can do and see there.

Explain that the garden is divided into different sections and each section tells a story of different types of plants and where they can be found. Explain to your child that the plants are grouped into ones that are the same. Some of the plants will be in special houses because they need hot weather to grow.

Are you wondering what your family can do this weekend or during the holidays? You could visit an art gallery.

Before you go to the art gallery talk to your child about the different things you will see.

Explain that there are lots of different paintings, sculptures, statues and artworks from many different cultures. The art is grouped in different rooms or galleries and you can work out where to go and what to see by following a map.

“Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick . . .
So she rang for the doctor to come quick, quick, quick.”

Sometimes children can become ill very quickly and there is a quick rush to the doctor or the hospital. Other times it will be a planned visit – maybe for a check-up. When it is a planned visit you can talk to your child about what will happen at the doctor. Talk to them about the different people they will see at the surgery. Will there be a doctor, a nurse and other patients?

We went walking and what did we see?
Windows - round ones, long ones, narrow ones, patterned ones and ones with writing.

We went walking and what did we hear?
Noises - birds chirping, bees buzzing, car horns tooting, people laughing, crossings beeping and lifts dinging.

We went walking and what did we feel?
Textures - rough and lumpy ones, smooth and slippery ones, sharp and prickly ones, soft and squishy ones.

Have you ever noticed the number of different textures around us?

The rug on the bed can feel soft and cuddly, the new wool jumper might be hard and scratchy and the window after the rain could be cold and slippery.

Next time you are out or moving around the house talk to your child about how things feel.

As you help your child dress you can talk about how the clothing feels. You could try exploring the different textures of food at breakfast time.

Your leggings feel bumpy! I think it is because they are ribbed.

Every day the weather is different and this will effect what we can do and wear. Talk to your child about the different ways that you can find out about the weather. You could listen to the weather forecast the night before on the radio, watch it on the news on the TV or read the predicted weather forecast in the paper. Looking at the predicted weather the day before will help plan what you will be able to do for the day and what to wear. You may choose to find out about the weather on the day.

Next time you are planning to go somewhere with your child talk to them about what time you need to be there. Explain that activities have a start time. You can show them how this is usually represented - with numbers written as a time.

The movie starts at 2pm so we will need to leave home at 1pm to be there in time.

Look and see if there are different start times for the event. Can you pick from one of many different times or does the event only happen once?

Next time you are out and about shopping with your child ask them to help you look for a spot to park the car. Will you try and find a spot in the car park or look for a park out on the street?

Talk to your child about how long you will be at the shops. Are there time restrictions that change where you park and how long you’ll stay?

We’re going to see a movie and have lunch. We will be at the shopping centre for more than 2 hours so we have to find an all-day park.