Issues 1: March 2001
Book now for Easter School Holiday Workshops. For NEW TIMETABLE click on school holidays on the right.
Enrol for Letterland and School Readiness Term 2

Easter is fast approaching, if you don’t want to give the kids chocolate, we have great alternatives:

Mega Blocks Dragon Eggs for $18.95.

Easter bunny and ducky hand puppets for $12.95.

Easter bunny plush toys for $10.

Dragon plasma eggs for $9.

Floating putty for $2.


Welcome to our very first
e-newlsetter! Every month we will bring up to date information on:

• Parenting issues and articles.

• Kids cooking and craft activities to try at home.

• What’s going on in Cronulla.

• Our classes and School Holiday workshops.

• Easter Workshops

This Easter we have new and exciting school holiday workshops. They run three times a day and we have enough varied activities to suit all primary school children from fairy wands and bubble bath making to the human body, blood and guts! All workshops are $20 and include activities, snacks and drinks.
Remember to please wear clothes that can get messy.

Bookings can be made in store or with credit card over the phone. Please click on the link at the side of this page to see the timetable.

Helping Your Child Learn to Read

Learn to Read

The responsibility of parents to develop a love and efficiency of reading in their children can be overwhelming. Every child learns to read at their own individual pace and in a different way. It is easy to become competitive and want your child reading as early as possible, though children are not expected to read until they are at school. Schools have the main responsibility to teach children to read and write. However, there is a lot that parents can do to encourage the learning at home.

Before beginning school, the best thing is for children to form a love of reading. This can be achieved by giving children their own little books, and you reading aloud to them on a regular basis. Then comes time for the phonics. Children often learn to sing the alphabet, but must also learn what sound that letter makes and what it looks like. Parents could use the time before children go to school to read to them, teach them rhymes, play word games, point out letter-sound relationships, and practice the alphabet at home. This knowledge will give your child a head start on then decoding words. The worldwide Letterland program that features Annie Apple, Bouncy Ben, Clever Cat… is a fantastic way to develop children’s phonemic understanding coupled with art and craft and singing.

There has been a long ideological battle between two methods of teaching reading, the whole language approach and the phonics approach. The most effective way to teach children how to read is to link the letter to a sound and use this knowledge to ‘sound out’ a word and break the code of reading. However, this cannot be used in isolation as there are many words in the English language that cannot be ‘sounded out’. It is then that the whole language approach has to be introduced.

Once your children start school, parents can encourage and continue to help their children by listening to them as they read for themselves. As any parent who has gone through this stage will know, listening to your child learning to read involves great patience. If a child does not like to read traditional books, play word games, or look somewhere else for reading material. It will also help if you talk to your child’s teacher and understand how they are teaching reading.

English is particularly hard language to learn to read and write. Children spend their first years learning that the letter ‘c’ makes a ‘c’ sound in cake, but then they discover that it makes ‘sss’ in circle and ‘ch’ in chips. To avoid confusion, explain early on that letters sometimes change the sound they make in words.

The December 2005 inquiry into Teaching Literacy found that up to 20 percent of Australian adults have “very poor” literacy skills. One in ten students in year 5 is failing to meet the minimum national benchmarks for reading. Being a fluent reader and writer helps your child in so many ways. Be sure that your child is assessed regularly at school and never be afraid to ask for help. If parents and schools work together, reading should be an enjoyable ride into the child’s favourite fantasy world, or their way of finding that special piece of information. Happy reading!

Tina Tower
Letterland classes are held for 2-5 year olds
Learn to read and Reading Recovery for children 4 to 12 years

Kids cooking

Alphabet Cookies

Alphabet Cookies are great to fun to make and eat. They can also have educational value. Children can make their name with cookies and words. You can hand roll your letters or use playdough cutters to cut the dough.

What you need:
¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
sprinkle of salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
flour for dusting

Step One:  Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius
Step Two: Melt the butter in a microwave
Step Three: Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl and mix. Set aside.
Step Four: Use a wooden spoon to stir the corn syrup and vanilla
into the melted butter until smooth. Add the egg yolk and mix well.
Step Five: Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Blend well. Keeping the dough in the bowl, use your hands to knead and squeeze the dough. It might be crumbly at first, but knead it until it is smooth.
Step Six: Lightly dust your work table with flour. Roll pieces if dough into 1 centimetre thick ropes and bend them into alphabet shapes.
Step Seven: Place the cookies at least 2½ centimetres apart on baking trays lined with baking paper.
Step Eight: Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet before painting with Alphabet Icing.

Alphabet Icing

What you need:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or a little more if needed)
½ tablespoon lemon juice
Assorted food colourings

Step One: Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl.
Step Two: Stir in the milk and lemon juice until smooth. Add a few more drops of milk to thin, if needed.
Step Three: Pour into small dishes and tint with food colourings as you like!
Step Four: Use a small brush to paint the icing onto the cooled cookies.
Step Five: Let icing dry to harden.

This recipe is from Kitchen for Kids by Jennifer Low.
Kitchen for Kids is available from REACH for $29.95

The fantastic Djeco range has just arrived on our shelves. It definitely fits our ‘play with purpose’. With great quality puzzles for 2 – 5 years, beautiful blocks and a huge range of brightly coloured educational toys, this range is a must see.

We are now taking enrollments for Term 2

There are three different programs that we run Letterland and School Readiness Classes for 2 – 5 year olds.

These classes are great for children who are learning their alphabet and love craft, singing and dancing. Also if your child is starting school next year our school readiness class is a great intensive program to ensure that your child has all the skills ready for big school.

On Saturday mornings we are now running Kids Cooking classes for 5 – 10 year olds. They will learn all basic skills in cooking and learn a different recipe each week. One week will be something sweet, the next will be a meal that they can cook for the family at home to give Mum a break.

We are also running Science classes where in the term children will cover biology, chemistry, physics and magnets. They will do a different experiment each week and learn the principles behind it. Great for the curious kids!

We are also taking enrollments for tutoring. If you have a year 3 or 5 child who needs to get ready for the Basic Skills testing, we can help with this. We also specialize in reading and children who are struggling. REACH tutoring takes a different approach to learning, incorporating fun and games to help make it more interesting and enjoyable.






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