Hello Friend! I’m super happy to be posting today as part of the Playful Learning World Tour! Welcome to those of you visiting A Happy Adventure as part of the tour.
My girls and I are in the midst of a three month long adventure in Shekou, China which is a completely different world from our home in New Zealand. We are living with my parents who live in Shekou, teaching at an international school here.
We’ve been in China for four weeks now, and I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the differences between our lives here and our lives in New Zealand.
- In New Zealand we live in a free-standing home on the outskirts of Auckland. Our home is surrounded by bush with the beach a four-minute drive away. Our home in Shekou is on the eighth floor of a twenty-floor apartment building. We are surrounded by more than high-rises than I’ve ever seen in my life!
- In New Zealand we have to drive everywhere by car. In China we don’t have a car. We use public transport: a subway system and buses to get everywhere.
- In New Zealand it’s winter at the moment. In China it’s summer. Ava tells me though that the summers are quite different. “Because Summer in China is much hotter and it rains heaps more! When it rains in China the water feels like bath water!” (because it’s warm!)
I asked Ava about the similarities and differences in the way she played at home and the way she plays in China:
“In China it is so hot we don’t play outside for a really long time. We have scooters that help us get to where we want to go very quickly. It’s very fun going on our scooters. In New Zealand we play outside and in the summer time when it’s raining we go and play in the rain.”
Playful Learning: Starting a Writer’s Notebook
Ava (who is currently in year one) is having a full term away from school. To keep up with Ava’s literacy skills, we are reading together daily and she is writing lots of letters home to friends and family.
Another suggestion her teacher gave us was to keep a travel journal of our trip. I love this idea as I know it will be such a wonderful memento for her to look back on in years to come.
Before we left for China, I was delighted to find that as part of the Playful Learning Ecademy, Mariah Bruehl had released the Starting a Writer’s Notebook eLesson. In the eLesson description, Mariah writes,
“I strongly believe that children need to have writing lives outside of school. They need to feel the satisfaction that comes from digging deeper within themselves, looking at the world a bit more closely, and getting their ideas down on paper—without judgement or critique… .The writing activities in this eLesson are meant to help young authors develop their sense of voice and enthusiasm for writing. Children will learn how to see themselves as authors and to see the world through the eyes of a writer. “
Our experience using the Writer’s Notebook eLesson has been so awesome. The content is thorough, interesting and engaging. There is a separate section for parents, videos for students and plenty of printables to get started.
Ava has been taking loads of photos throughout our trip. She’s been collecting ticket stubs, brochures, maps and postcards to stick in too. She has a huge supply of stuff to use in her journal. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. Othertimes she just lacks a little motivation.
This is when the eLesson proves so valuable, there are a number of video prompts (presented by kids) that she can use to organise her ideas and thoughts. Each video has a corresponding sweet printable that she can use in her journal.
I love too, that this is an eLesson that we will be able to use well after our travels are over – a tool to use to spark enthusiasm for writing about life.
About the Playful Learning Tour:
Mariah Bruehl of Playful Learning, put together this fun world tour to take children and their families on a learning adventure around the world in 30 days. The goal is to help children build leadership skills, awaken creativity, and inspire a love of discovery while meeting new friends from all over the globe.
You can Join in the Playful Tour and enter to win your own scholarship to access all the Playful Learning eLessons! Inspired by this project, collecting stories and images of play from around the world, you can submit a photo of your child at play and share their answers to the questions below. Upload your entry to our community gallery by August 30th and 5 scholarship winners will be announced on the Playful Learning blog on August 31st.
- Where do you live?
- What season is it there now?
- What is your favorite way to play?
- What do you like most about learning with friends?
- Can you tell us something special or different about where you live or games you play?
Mariah is also generously offering a free eLesson to readers. Because she feels so strongly that every family in the world should have access to the Power of Put-Ups eLesson. By using the discount code WORLDPEACE during the registration process you will receive a 100% discount. .
Follow the Playful Learning Tour:
- August 1st: Playful Tour Kick Off
- August 2nd: Oh My Handmade, Canada http://ohmyhandmade.com/blog/
- August 5th: My Organized Chaos, Japan http://www.my-organized-chaos.com/
- August 6th: Childhood 101, Australia http://childhood101.com
- August 7th: Mindful Parenting, Australia http://www.mindfulparentingmag.com
- August 8th: Picklebums, Australia http://picklebums.com/
- August 9th: TrashN2Tees, USA http://trashn2tees.blogspot.ca/
- August 12th: Simple Kids, USA http://simplekids.net/
- August 13th: Mee A Bee, Japan http://www.meeabee.com
- August 14th: A Happy Adventure, NZ/China http://www.ahappyadventure.com/
- August 15th: Story of Mum, UK http://storyofmum.com/
- August 16th: Poppy Haus, USA http://www.poppyhaus.com/
- August 19th: Kid World Citizen, USA http://kidworldcitizen.org/
- August 20th: Salsa Pie, USA http://salsapie.blogspot.ca
- August 21st: Everything Mom & Baby, Canada www.everythingmomandbaby.com/
- August 22nd: Simple As That, USA http://www.simpleasthatblog.com/
- An Everyday Story, Australia http://www.aneverydaystory.com
- August 23rd: Made By Joey, Canada http://madebyjoey.blogspot.com
- August 26th: Growing Up Herbal, USA http://www.growingupherbal.com/
- August 27th: All Done Monkey, USA http://alldonemonkey.com/
- August 28th: Thirteen Red Shoes, Australia http://www.thirteenredshoes.blogspot.com.au
- August 29th: The Tiny Twig, USA/Africa http://www.thetinytwig.com/
- August 30th: Swoon, USA http://www.swoonstudio.blogspot.com
I hope you and your children have loads of fun following the rest of the tour…