23 June 2009

Child Safety Week

Child Safety Week 2009 - 22nd-28th June is the Child Accident Prevention Trust's (CAPT) flagship community education campaign. It aims to raise awareness of the number of accidents that tragically lead to serious injury or death of children and young people and how to prevent them. The theme for Child Safety Week 2009 is: “Safer together”.

The theme for Child Safety Week 2009 is ‘Safer together’. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, childminder or working in a role that involves caring for children, we all have a part to play, no matter how small. By working together as a family, alongside parents, with community groups or directly with children we can protect children and young people from serious injury and death from preventable accidents.

Accidents are one of the biggest childhood killers in the UK, with five children and young people dying every week. This is four times as many children as are killed by family abuse or neglect, and 12 times as many children as are killed by strangers.

Accidents also put more children in hospital than any other cause. Every week, over 2,000 children and young people are admitted to hospital because of their injuries. Many are left scarred for life or permanently disabled.

Children from less well-off families are particularly vulnerable – they are far more likely to be killed or admitted to hospital with serious injuries than their better-off counterparts.

However, many of these deaths and serious injuries can be prevented - and without wrapping children up in cotton wool. Child Safety Week helps people understand the real risks to children and the simple changes they can make to reduce those risks - so that children and young people can enjoy safer, healthier, more active lives.

At Littlesheep Learning we want all children to stay safe - check out the Staying Healthy, Staying Safe DVD and our range of People who Help Us products.

22 June 2009


This week 22nd-28th June 2009 is Recycle week

Recycle week is an annual event to kick-start new habits that can help us all to all waste less and recycle more. This year, the theme for Recycle Week is 'let's waste less...' encouraging all of us to try something new in an effort to go greener and cut back on the waste we all produce. From recycling more of everyday items like glass and plastic bottles to reusing carrier bags or composting at home, there are lots of opportunities to promote how we can all reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.

"Recycle Week is now in its fifth year and this is the first time we'll be promoting a waste reduction message" said Jane Hall from Recycle Now. "As part of this we're encouraging people to sign up and pledge to either try something new or do more of what we already do".

I've made a pledge why don't you make one too? To help me I've been looking at The Reusable Bag Company for some new bags!

At Littlesheep Learning we reuse as much packaging material as we can and now have a People Who Help Us DVD which explains about rubbish and recycling collection from a child's perspective. In the film Megan, Jamie and the refuse collectors and recyclers, Megan (aged 5) and Jamie (aged 6) follow their rubbish to the landfill site, they help recycle their plastic bags, make compost and find out how their Christmas tree, newspapers, bottles and cans are recycled, then in the at school section, they are recycling in the home corner – and watch the arrival of the 'recycling wagon'.

19 June 2009

Unschooling Conference

With today's news about the Badman report on the monitoring of Home Educated families, this conference seems more important than ever. The first unschooling conference is on 25th July in London and will play host to a number of key speakers.

Organised by educational consultant and home educator, Matt Speno, the London Unschooling Conference has been set up because many believe that unschooling needs a voice and a forum in the UK. The event will take place at The Music Room just off Oxford Street and alongside the lectures there promises to be lots of exciting funshops and activities for children. Expect to meet new friends, find support, discuss ideas and get inspired! This conference is a forum for the exchange and discussion of ideas. A place to mix with other advocates of peaceful parenting and learning in joy and freedom. Presenting Dayna Martin as the key-note speaker – a leading light in the unschooling movement in the USA.

17 June 2009

Award Winning Products

We spend time looking for the very best products to stock at Littlesheep Learning and we are please to announce that one of the films - The Child's Eye View of People Who Help Us - Firefighters DVD featured on the People Who Help Us DVD has been won the Royal Television Society Educational Television Award 2008 in the 0-5 years category.

The judges said
“The winning series is a clever way of looking at careers, through a child's eyes, and it was well shot at child level. It provided lots of jumping off points for a teacher, with cross curricular opportunities, including role play.”

16 June 2009

Get Children Cooking

Picnics can be much more than just soggy sandwiches and convenience foods, Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls said today as he joined a group of primary school children to prepare recipes from a new picnic cookbook for children and parents to use over the summer.

Endorsed by celebrity chef Phil Vickery, the cook book, 'Simple cooking - cold food that tastes great', is the second in the series of free Real Meals recipe books. The cook book features healthy meals and snacks such as rainbow salad, deli wraps, open cheese and onion pie and mighty muffins, which have been designed to help children and their families prepare fun, nutritious and well balanced food for when they are out and about this summer.

If you want to get cooking with your children check out the 'mum owned' PinkFairyCake and Mums who bake for your supplies!

11 June 2009

What's On 4 Little Ones Awards

More than 14,000 votes have been counted and the results of the prestigious What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards 2009 have been revealed! The award programme, which is sponsored by pioneering children’s food company Organix and supported by Prima Baby & Pregnancy magazine, is now in its third year. It aims to celebrate the best pre-school activities across the UK, as voted for by parents, and to highlight the selfless work of all the volunteers who help run groups across the country.

2009 What’s On 4 Little Ones Award Winners
Best National Baby Development Activity
WINNER: Water Babies
RUNNER UPS: Baby Sensory www.babysensory.co.uk, Gymboree www.gymboree-uk.com, RhythmTime www.rhythmtime.net, Sing and Sign www.singandsign.co.uk

Best National Toddler Development Activity
WINNER: Sing and Sign
RUNNER UPS: Gymboree www.gymboree-uk.com, Puddle Ducks Swimming www.puddleducks-swimming.co.uk, RhythmTime www.rhythmtime.net, Water Babies www.waterbabies.co.uk

Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity
WINNER: Gymboree
RUNNER UPS: Jo Jingles www.jojingles.com, Music Bugs www.musicbugs.co.uk, RhythmTime www.rhythmtime.net, Water Babies www.waterbabies.co.uk

Organix Food Hero
WINNER: Kate Sanderson and Jackie Moon of Runner Beans in Birmingham
RUNNER UPS: Debbie and Andrew Keeble of Ellie & Roddy’s healthier children’ssausages www.debbieandandrews.co.uk, Steve Runaround in Dingwell, Ross-shire http://www.runaround.biz

Best New Activity
WINNER: Runner Beans in Birmingham
RUNNER UPS: Dramabuds in South West London and Surrey www.dramabuds.co.uk, Talking Tots www.talkingtots.info, Tiddlers in Liphook, Hampshire www.tiddlers.me

Best Local Activity
WINNER: Runaround in Dingwell, Ross-shire
RUNNER UPS: ChatterboxBabies in Watford www.chatterboxbabies.com, Little Splashers in Coventry and Rugby www.littlesplashers.co.uk,

Most Outstanding Activity or Class Leader
Our judges were especially looking for an activity or class leader thatwent beyond the remit of their activity as well as being passionate aboutwhat they do and why they do it. Nominations from parents were particularly important evidence when judging this award.The standard was so high for this award the judges have awarded a highly commended as well as a winner

WINNER: Julie Maughan of TinyTalk in Cramlington www.tinytalk.co.uk
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Jo Tolley of Waterbabies in Dorset www.waterbabies.co.uk
RUNNER UPS: Sylvia Johnstone of Hulabaloo Kids in Middlesex www.hulabalookids.co.uk, Brain MacNair of Socatots in York and Ripon www.socatots.com, Lynne Maclaughan of Lindy Lou’s in Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire http://www.lindylous.co.uk, Linda Sykes of TinyTalk in Grays, Essex www.tinytalk.co.uk

Most Outstanding Committee Led Pre-School
(nb This award is not associatedwith OFSTED assessment)
WINNER - Sherwood Community Centre Playgroup in Nottingham, wins £200 ofproducts from Mini IQ
RUNNER UPS: Bolton Under 5s Playgroup in Old Basing, Hampshire, Lover and Redlynch Pre-School in Redlynch, Wiltshire

Most Outstanding Baby and Toddler Group
WINNER - Brunton Babies in Tyne and Wear, wins £200 of products from MiniIQ
RUNNER UPS: Belhaven Toddler in Dunbar, East Lothian, Jacobs Well Toddler Group in Guildford

Do you agree with these results? Please comment on this post and tell us about your experiences and don't forget to visit What's on 4 Little Ones to find more even activities.

08 June 2009

Down Syndrome Awareness Week 2009

Once again the time has come for Down's Syndrome Awareness Week (8th - 14th June) - I can't beleive a whole year has passed since we posted about last years when we featured a video made by the Stepping Stones Down Syndrome Support Group (still worth a peek if you've not seen it) and two years since we included Down's Syndrome Awareness Week 2007 on our blog featuring a lovely photo of a friend's little girl.
This year The Down's Syndrome Association's awareness week is entitled: Tell It Right, Start It Right.
This year the charity are campaigning for high quality information to be given to parents after they have received a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down's syndrome. They want the Government to make it law that accurate and up to date information and support is available to parents when they are told their baby has Down's syndrome.
Research from the Down's Syndrome Association and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has revealed huge disparities in the quality of information and support for parents when they are given a pre or postnatal diagnosis of Down's syndrome. Some have excellent and knowledgeable healthcare professionals. Others are given negative, confusing and unhelpful information. They think there should be legislation that ensures consistent and accurate information for people who are given a diagnosis of Down's syndrome or other prenatally and postnatally diagnosed conditions. This has recently become law in the US and you can read their legislation here. In the US it's now law that the following is provided: Up-to-date, evidence-based, written information concerning the range of outcomes for individuals living with the diagnosed condition, including physical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial outcomes as well as contact information regarding support services, including information hotlines specific to Down's syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions, resource centres, national and local peer support groups, and other education and support programmes.
Please take the oppotuinty to Sign the DSA's petition on the Government website to make it law that accurate and up to date information and support is available to parents when they are told their baby has Down's syndrome

01 June 2009

Birthday Competition Winners

We are pleased to announce that the three winners of Littlesheep Learning's birthday competition to win a copy of Going to a Party (the full size version rather than the mini pocket ones usually sold at Littlesheep Learning) are:

Karen for her review of the popular Orchard Toys Game 'Pop to the Shops'. Karen wrote "My children love this game! It takes just about the right amount of time to play (my kids are 4 and 5 years old), and we play it so they do have to pretend that they're in a shop asking for something, so it gives them a bit of confidence with asking for things and money too, and teaches a bit of politeness! That's all on top of obviously getting used to counting up money etc. Fab game, would definitely recommend it. Rating: ***** [5 of 5 Stars!]"

Emma for being a fan on our Facebook fan page.

And @FunkyD for following us on Twitter.

Look out for more competitions coming soon.