I went along to an Education Expo at the Showgrounds in Auckland last Friday, Rather disappointingly this was quite small with few exhibitors. It would be good to see this grow and be better advertised next year.
I did however find a few nifty things that I can share.
My favourite was a company called Pukeko Productions. They dont have a website so I have scanned and uploaded 3 pages of their catalogue here (with permission). Click on the pictures to see them full screen.
You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for a brochure and price list. They produce a range of beautiful, handmade Maori resources. I bought a lovely set of Whakatauki (proverbs). They also have a great Pa set that would be a delightful(?essential) set for block and story play in a centre. I can see this enabling a great deal of learning and exploration in response to shared readings of Maori legends, trips to the Museum or a Marae.
The next thing I found was really cool.
Mad Science are now offering programmes aimed at 3-6 year olds as well as for older children. As a bit of a science geek I was really excited to see this. I know that this is a curriculum area that often makes teachers a bit nervous and perhaps this organisation can support you.
I have not attended any of their sessions so would be interested in your feedback if you do. I love their idea of themed birthday parties and goody bags. I wonder if they do parties for 50 year olds!
For those centres with a focus on sustainability and recycling there is a good resource out there in the form of a bi-lingual journal called He ao iti noa - Small World published by the global education centre
I got a copy of Issue 1 which includes web links, ideas for positive action and lots of information. This is aimed at Primary schools but is fine for ECE. Perhaps if you contact them they will realise a demand for ECE level information.
Barnardos were there with a range of booklets, dvds and other products supporting children's safety. A very useful and timely handout was available listing 21 alternatives to smacking.
I did buy some puzzles for my own family. One of them I thought was broken until my 17 year old came up and did it in about 4 minutes!!! The target time is 15 minutes and Id been going about 20 minutes. One of the bonuses of her dyslexia is this ability to think in three dimensions. Definitely not one of my strengths!