Hi folks! How are you all enjoying the lovely season of Autumn, when the temperature becomes milder and more pleasant and the—

Wait a minute! I’m “relaxing” in the lounge at 9pm and it’s still 30°C outside. What … the … fudge!

But I’m getting off track. What I was thinking, while in the lounge cranking up the aircon, was “gee I’m glad to be inside the house today” – and that’s when I came up with this blog’s theme: House and Home.  [the link is so tenuous, isn’t it ? Let’s see if it snaps.- Ed.]

Once your little ones have mastered a decent number of individual words and you are confident they understand what these words mean, the next stage in language development (and helping them expand their vocabulary) is linking words together in ‘like’ groups – meaning associating them with other words that all relate to a subject, theme or concept.

Whether you realise it or not, you will have already been doing this with concepts like shapes, learning numbers, colours, etc. Once basic groupings are understood, you can expand them and make them overlap, so they can start to associate a single word with multiple things/meanimgs.

So, for this week we will start with a house. What shape is it? Is the whole thing that shape, or is it made up of smaller things of different shapes? The front door is rectangular and so are the windows, are they the same thing? What about colours? What about things we associate with specific rooms inside the house? What do we find in the kitchen that doesn’t belong in the bedroom? [that half eaten sandwich on a plate that’s somehow ended up under the bed! – Ed.]

So we now know a bit about houses, which are one of many types of buildings. What about your house? Why is it called my home? Different words for seemingly the same thing but with subtly distinct meanings. Added complexity means thinking and learning about language at a deeper level – which is all good for their early development and future literacy.

Let’s take a look at some titles to get us going, starting with the basics: At home / written by Richard Dungworth ; illustrated by Maria Maddocks.

At home_cover

Toddler Touch At Home is a sturdy tabbed board book, all about the fun a busy toddler has at home. Children will enjoy recognising the familiar words and objects in the book, as they lift the flaps and feel the interesting textures on every page.

Moving on to other examples of housing that can still be considered homes: Bear make den / story by Jane Godwin & Michael Wagner ; pictures by Andrew Joyner.

Bear make den
Bear loves to get things done. He can make just about anything! He even builds a wonderful den. But something is missing. What could it be?… From this talented trio comes a warm, playful picture book about what truly makes a home.

If you have a young family and/or are about to move for the first time, here’s a book that might help a youngster understand what’s happening and might get them excited about it if they haven’t warmed up to the idea yet –  I make no promises! Ian is moving / Pauline Oud.

Ian is moving
After packing up his favourite toys and saying goodbye to his old house, Ian finds some fun surprises at his new home.

Let’s sneak in a rhyme or two, just for the fun of it.


Some houses are big,
Some houses are small,
Some houses are wide,
Some houses are tall,
One of them is very best,
And that one is my cozy nest.


A nest is a home for a bird.
(cup hands to form a nest.)

A hive is a home for a bee.
(turn cupped hands over.)

A hole is a home for a rabbit.
(make a hole with hands.)

And a house is a home for me.
(Peaked hands like roof.)

I feel like I’m forgetting something …

OMG!  this Wednesday 16th March, the City of Cockburn is hosting the annual Hello Baby event at Manning Park. It will be as awesome as always and the weather will be nice – so be there or be a flat, four-sided circle!

Don’t forget that, because yours truly will be at the event, this Wednesday’s Success Library Pram Jam will not be on – I will be back for the Thursday (17th Mar) Pram Jam as usual, though. See you there!

Hello Baby DL 2016-page-001

If you’d like to have your say about the new Children and Families Strategic Plan that the City of Cockburn is currently working on we have ONE [It’s technically two but one is just your suburb – Ed.]  question for you to answer to make sure we are taking everyone into account when the new plan is written. We’d love your help!