If at first you don’t succeed..

Circa 1982 – laughing it off when learning to do one of my favourite things still – roller skating!

Although a lovely sentiment, not many of us like the idea of failing or not getting things right the first time!

I am confident that most people could go back to a place in their history and find a moment where they were comforted by friends, families, teachers or some other important person they trust to help them through a perceived failure.

One prominent time in my life was when I was at Uni, as a un Undergraduate studying for my Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies

at the time I felt my world was crumbling down around me.

Fear gripped me as, like a much loved character in the popular American tv show ‘90210’ – life seemed to be imitating art as at the same time I felt like the ‘Donna Martin’ of my peer group.


If you don’t know the reference I will say that the only similarity there was in real life as opposed to teen fiction is that I was not at risk of not graduating with my friends because I got busted for underage drinking – but instead like the show,

my friends were right behind me and supporting me with humour and candour by drawing the link between fantasy and reality and their unwavering support through this particular challenge in my young life.


I had failed a foundation subject that underpinned the majority of my degree and could not advance in my studies without passing it.

I felt the devastation and panic set in as there were associated financial and emotional ramifications with this particular bump in the road.

My friends would be graduating and I would not, instead I would be forced to watch them begin their post graduate lives without me.

That was definitely a defining moment in which I was yet to learn the many benefits that I gained in having to repeat that subject…….

It’s Not Apples That Keep the Doctor Away

Whilst apples are considered a fruit sent from the heavens (that have been said to have kept the doctor away) they are only a small part of what will combat the stress and ill health teachers may experience, especially on their holiday break.

Originally the saying was quoted by a Welsh woman in the 19th Century to have been ‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Given that context it made perfect sense to put trust into the hands of a doctor as their word was seen as the only authority of the day.

With modern living and the rise of stress and overwhelming expectations overflowing it makes sense to consider a range of foods in our diet to help combat this and provide the health and nutrition that our bodies need to function well.

Many doctors are supportive of complimentary therapies that can work in conjunction with a healthy diet of fresh food and exercise to keep sickness at bay.

Understanding and treating symptoms associated with stress are becoming paramount as workloads overflow and an unhealthy tolerance for burning the candle at both ends seems to become normal for many teachers simply trying to stay afloat between holiday breaks.

Everything in life requires balance to maintain equilibrium and natural order. This must include taking care of ourselves as adults who are continuously modelling a picture of health and wellbeing in both mind and body for children.

As a leading teacher for both children and my adult colleagues it is a must for me to remember this as I want to have a healthy impact and influence upon myself and others to help promote vitality and longevity in both sides of my life and theirs.

Starting younger in life can only help to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our planet and future generations who deserve to live in a world that is also vibrant and whole to keep the cycle going.

I urge teachers to practice the same care they would use with every child in their care not to rely on one way to fuel their minds and bodies before they enter any learning environment for the benefit of themselves and those they intend to serve and teach.


We are starting to wrap up the year with the children in a variety of ways to celebrate and acknowledge how far we have all come over the past year.

It is always a time for mixed emotions as we really see and hear how much the children have grown socially, emotionally and physically.

I was in the unusual position of teaching many of the children in the group for a second consecutive year as I followed them up to their four year old group.

This makes saying ‘Goodbye’ a little sweeter and I hope they know what that has meant to me to have the privilege of being part of their lives for twice as long as usual…

When all the toys have been packed away and the last of the party food enjoyed it will be time for a well earned break for us all!

This year was not at all as I expected it to be, but to be honest whenever is that the case for anyone…

There were

Tough days, rough days,

Run out of puff days,

Sad days, sleepy days –

I have had enough days…

Sparkly days, silly days

Remember to play days

Surprising days, uplifting days

Sun through the clouds days

Goodbyes, tears

Confusion, hurt

Hellos, hugs, love and

Brushing off dirt….

All made for an interesting year one almost behind

2019 – you’ve been one of a kind….xo

3 Reasons Children benefit from playing with dolls throughout their childhood.

Which one would you choose?

I have been part of an engaging discussion recently in which we were talking about children’s play, and more specifically play with dolls.

There are many more than 3 reasons why children benefit from playing with dolls and that it should not stop because school starts.

Doll play helps children to learn nurturing skills such as recognising empathy towards others. By considering routines such as feeding and sleeping it allows a child to learn that every individual has specific needs and wants beyond their own.

Playing with dolls can increase language and communication skills and develops children’s imagination and creativity. Assuming the roles of both ‘baby’ and ‘parent’ children work out the intricacies and nuances of communication ; and perhaps most importantly that it is a two way exchange.

Role play also invites opportunities for learning about personal self regulation and comfort. Playing with dolls in the years beyond preschool may encourage children to work out some of the ‘issues’ they may be facing in the class room or school yard without the fear of confrontation or rejection in safety, so that when they do return to they may feel more empowered to manage those relationships with more ease.

It may not be a doll in particular that children play with, but any toy that helps them to feel secure and connected to themselves. The familiarity of toys can allow children to feel that they have a friend who will always support them, whilst they learn to give this to themselves as they emotionally mature, and may continue to develop in their relationships with others.

Why is play and creativity considered to be juvenile?

A couple of times recently I have heard play referred to as juvenile and/or childish, which to me brings up a slightly negative connotation; now that is not how I think it should be though.

I recall that a cutting remark as a child is to be called a baby, which as a primary aged school child is one of the highest insults you could give or get….

Why is something SO valuable to human development portrayed as something small or insignificant?

I would like to challenge this notion because


Without play, there would not be invention, discovery or problem solving – nor the magical connections that are made between people, young or old when they happen..

blue jeans
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