Some New Year Thoughts

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

Issue No. 124 – 12 February 2013

Welcome back after the holidays, welcome to 2013 and 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. Don’t forget to stay in touch on our Facebook Page and watch out for our exclusive fan page competitions.

Some New Year Thoughts

It’s always good to have New Year’s resolutions but by February, many people have already fallen off the wagon. How are you travelling with your resolutions? Mine is to learn Mandarin as I’ll be spending a lot of time in China.

I came across a particularly useful check list from life coach Barbara Anderson ( to help you get on course for 2013. Unlike New Year’s Resolutions, this is more like focussing, thinking about how we would like this year to look. I feel this is a more realistic approach than Resolutions which, if not achieved, can make you feel like a failure. Take a few minutes to think of these or better still, print it out, take it home and do it properly –

  • list at least 10 things I wish to attract into my life in 2013
  • what opportunities lie ahead?
  • what adventures and fun to be had?
  • new skills to learn?
  • supports and resources I shall put in place?
  • what are my values and needs to orient my life around in 2013?
  •  goals I am strongly committed to?
  • who am I becoming and how I can be described in the year ahead?
  • if 2013 was a chapter in my book of life – what would the chapter heading be?

(Questions above adapted from the Soul Purpose workshop and acknowledgements to Donna Czupryna’s original program.)

How to involve children in the process? It depends on their age, of course, buy you can get them to think about the end of the year. How big do they think they’ll be? What will they be able to do by then that they can’t now? (ride a bike rather than a trike, ride a bike without trainer wheels, skip, swim, etc.) What are they looking forward to most? You get the idea I’m sure. Get them to draw themselves doing/being/having what they imagine.

It’s about getting them to think rather than mindlessly follow along. At this point I will remind you of the article I wrote about Philosophy for 4 year olds – I recommend you reread it now as a reminder of what little kids are capable of – (

You could also discuss with them what toys and books they no longer use or want because now they have new things. I recommend asking them to bring in those pre-loved items so another child can have the opportunity to love them all over again. It is never too early to introduce the concept of giving and there are loads of local or even international charities that would love to take them and will even pick them up from the school. This concept could even be an annual whole-school event. How wonderful to be initiated by the children in the kindergarten! I’m sure parents would welcome the clean-out too. A word of warning – make sure the parents involve the children as it has to be the child’s choice as to which toys and books, if any, can be given away. I have heard too many times horror stories of parents disposing of their children’s things without permission. Too cruel to contemplate.

Whatever you do, have fun with your children in 2013!

Quotes of the Week

“There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking.” ~ William James, 1842-1910, Psychologist and Author

“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” ~ Unknown


I repeat this as it’s such a goodie and relates to projecting yourself into the future –

I was teaching a second-grade class in career education and had the students drawing pictures of themselves as adults. I wrote “When I grow up, I want to be …” on the board and asked the students to come to me for any other spelling they needed as they completed their pictures. Caitlin came up and asked me how to spell ‘princess’. After a number of other students asked for help, Caitlin was back for “whales”. Since I had told the students they could draw any number of future jobs, I suspected nothing. That is, until Caitlin appeared with her elaborate drawing of a young lady in a long gown and grown on a bluff by the ocean directing whales to do her bidding. It was labelled, ‘When I grow up, I want to be the Princess of Whales.’

Barb Baeckert on 


“I had your book in the cupboard when I came to the school but never used it because I didn’t know anything about it. Now I can’t wait to go back and flick through the pages for ideas! Thank you! I teach K-6 (from Geraldton PD August 2011)

“It was all excellent and fun learning. I’d tell everyone just to come. It was great. Very enjoyable.” Karen May, Mt Tarcoola Kindergarten, Geraldton. (from Geraldton PD August 2011)

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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