National Families Week is held every year between 15 and 21 May. Its aim is to celebrate families in all their diversity and it is also an acknowledgement of the vital role families play in Australian society. The enduring theme is ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’. In other words, community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing. Cockburn Libraries participate annually by presenting Family themed Storytime sessions during this week. 

Image sourced at pixabay.

Books

Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM

How to Build the Perfect Cubby House

written and illustrated by Heath McKenzie

This newly released title is available just in time to celebrate National Families Week. It is a fun and funny story about the importance of family and togetherness, and always having a plan! Ollie’s cubby house reeaaaally needs some work! So Ollie and his dad start working on their big DIY project, to build the Perfect Cubby House! Everyone has some great ideas, and pretty soon the whole family is involved. You might be inspired to build your own cubby together. It can be as simple as making one from a large cardboard box or placing a blanket over a table or some chairs. 

Tricky’s Bad Day

written and illustrated by Alison Lester

Shortlisted for the CBCA 2019 Book of the Year: Early Childhood

This is a warm and funny story portraying the mess and muddle of family life. Tricky’s woes include spilled milk, bumping his head, buttons that won’t do up, an itchy jumper and a little sister who spoils his game. A reminder that small problems can seem like big problems in a child’s world. Fortunately Tricky’s dad comes to the rescue and what looks set to be a bad day turns into a really good day thanks to some quality time spent outdoors. The rhyme and rhythm throughout the story make it great for reading aloud. Alison Lester is a popular Australian children’s author who has two of her picture books shortlisted for this year’s Book of the Year: Early Childhood.

Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM
Cover Image for REPLACE WITH TITLE OF ITEM

Every Family is Different

written by Maureen Eppen, illustrated by Veronica Rooke

Who is in your family? Is it small or large? Do you have pets? Do your grandparents live with you? Are you an only child or do you have siblings? Perhaps you have a step brother or half sister? Maybe you have a step parent or a foster carer or two dads? In today’s society families are diverse and this diversity is celebrated and clearly illustrated in this inclusive picture book. Written with empathy, this book will help young children understand that there are many kinds of families, some of which are very different to their own. Understanding this will help children learn acceptance and tolerance toward families of all kinds. Maureen Eppen is a West Australian writer and this is her first children’s picture book.

Rhymes

My Family

This is mama, kind and dear
(point to thumb)
This is papa, standing near
(point to pointer finger)
This is brother, see how tall!
(point to middle finger)
This is sister, not so tall
(point to ring finger)
This is baby, sweet and small
(point to pinky finger)
This is the family, one and all!
(wiggle all fingers)

Image sourced at pixabay.

Where is Family?

(Tune: Where is Thumbkin?)

Where is Mummy?
Where is Mummy?
Here I am, here I am.
How are you this morning?
Very well, I thank you.
Run away, run away.

Where is Daddy? …

Where is Sister? …

Where is Brother? …

Where is Baby? …

Crafty Idea

There are more than a dozen colouring-in sheets on the National Families Week website Activities page. I chose the one with a family of three fish for the craft below.

You will need:

  • A4 white card stock
  • Crayons
  • Plastic or paper straw
  • Curling ribbon 
  • One hole punch
  • Scissors

Method:

  • Copy colour-in onto white card.
  • Colour in using crayons.
  • Cut out each fish.
  • Using a one hole punch put holes in the top and bottom of each fish. No hole is needed at the base of the third fish.
  • Thread curling ribbon through each hole to join the fish together.
  • Tie curling ribbon from the top fish around the drinking straw.

Did You Know?

Supported by the Australian Government, Raising Children Network is a complete Australian resource for parenting newborns to teenagers. Parents can access tools, support and resources as their children grow and develop. Up-to-date, research based information on topics such as child development, behaviour, nutrition, play and learning, connecting and communicating, education, sleep and safety are readily available.