The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 106 – 30th May 2011

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

ECCPA Conference (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts), Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, Melbourne August 20-21, 2011


I don’t know whether or not you’ve seen the current movie ‘Babies’. If not, I recommend it because there are lots of lessons in there for us all. It’s only short – I think 1 hour 20 minutes – and has no narration so is almost a silent movie observing babies. You might think this would be as exciting as watching grass grow, but surprisingly it is beguiling and intriguing and absolutely adorable. If you can survive the first five minutes, you’re hooked. David Stratton gave it 3 stars I think, from memory, Margaret Pomeranz gave it 4 stars. It is getting rave reviews worldwide.

Why? Because of the points it makes without saying a darn thing! A documentary created by a French director and producer, it traces the pre-birth, birth and first year or so of four babies from around the globe – Mongolia, Japan, Namibia and the USA. It shows how, despite the enormous cultural, social and material differences of each, these four children are all the same in so many respects. You might think this would be obvious since we are all the same biological creatures, yet it is fascinating to watch, all the same, because it shows us that we need to be ever mindful of this basic fact. So often we can inadvertently get caught up in judgement and assumption based on our cultural, religious or socio-economic differences. This film reminds us to always go back to basics: all babies are the same – they develop the same way and laugh at the same things, they are curious and show emotion and they all deserve love and opportunity.

The one major common factor for all was that they obviously felt loved and secure within their families. As a result, they were happy babies, most especially the Namibian baby who, materially, had the least. Two had siblings so it was interesting to see the sibling rivalry going on and how the babies dealt with it – they cried and they learnt to stand up for themselves, eventually, while learning so many other things from the older children.

Far from being a cute movie about little bundles of joy, it was an honest look at the reality of bringing up a baby in terms of time, energy, and love involved, not to mention the financial cost. Their social lives were also explored – how they were exposed to the extended family and the broader community.

Naturally I was particularly interested in how music and dance were introduced. For all of them, music started very early and involved beat while the baby bobbed up and down to the music. The American and Japanese babies went to music and movement classes while all the babies were sung to.

The funniest and most endearing aspect was seeing how the various animals, including pets, coped with the babies. The Japanese baby was immediately welcomed into the family by the family cat with a lick and a rub, while the Mongolian baby (as a toddler) was shown rolling around on a kid goat, pulling his ears, while he patiently tolerated the babyish abuse. It seemed instinctive to all the animals that they recognized a baby person – someone to be tolerated and understood rather than being feared or abused. As such they were all incredibly patient with these babies, allowing them to interact with them hilariously.

Give yourself a treat and see this film. I thought the Namibian baby seemed the most content and the most endearing. What do you think? I’d love to get your feedback.

In case you are not aware, I have 4 wonderful music CDs from the Sound Health (ABT) range, especially for babies. At $29.50 each, they are beautiful. Check them out on the Kidz-Fiz-Biz website.

Employment Opportunity

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run Kidz-Fiz-Biz classes. I have had 25 years in this industry (23 specifically with children) and want to start up more classes again due to ongoing demand. Good income and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at or phone 0410 642 781. I am especially looking for someone in the Northern Suburbs of Perth for the Ocean Reef class – ideally early childhood trained.

Quotes of the Week

“A child reminds us that playtime is an essential part of our daily routine.” ~ Jo from Forever Mum (

“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, or what my clothes looked like. But one hundred years from now, the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Anonymous


All babies sleep a lot!

Babies need their Mums to keep a watchful eye on them.

Being a mother is very tiring work.

Other animals can be loving towards babies.

The family pet knows to be patient with a baby.


I loved the pictures and the descriptions of the cats.” ~ Helen Evans (

“Hi Marlene,
The tactile ring arrived and the kids are loving it, so are the staff. Thanks for your time.”~ Rebecca

“Hi Marlene,
I just wanted to say thank you for recommending your ‘Babies’ CDs. My little girl always falls asleep to the ‘Sleeping Baby’ CD and it relaxes my toddler, sometimes putting him to sleep as well. The others are great to have in the background at playtime and at relaxation time. I simply love them – worth every cent! Thanks again.” ~ Debra Barber (parent)

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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