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WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

Below are descriptions of some of our most popular topics offered for parent workshops and inservice training for early childhood professionals. As we specialise in a broad range of areas, any workshop relating to child development can be designed to cater your needs. Please contact us to discuss a tailoured workshop for you.

The Ever Changing Child (The Zero to Three Years)**
Ever wonder why children’s sleep routines or moods can be like a rollercoaster; everything is great one month, then the next it all seems to fall apart? Do you want to learn how to foster a child’s growth and development? In this workshop, Megan Nguyen, a developmental therapist will discuss both of these topics and more to help you understand what is going on in the mind of your child; which is ever changing, mapping out its next milestone. If you are a soon-to-be parent or a carer for children from birth to three, this workshop is for you. Parents and caregivers will leave with a better understanding of children’s needs and ready to tackle the next challenge.
**this workshop is also available for Three to Six years of age.

Creating a Natural Classroom Environment
This workshop will show caregivers how to create a classroom that is calm, soothing and aesthetically pleasing to children, which will avoid overstimulation and why this environment is especially important to the sensitive periods of development for the birth to three year old. Participants will learn how they can establish such an environment and how to incorporate natural resources into their programming which are very cost-effective and also how to make art and crafts made from natural fibers and materials. We will also discuss how to create an outdoor program that supports sustainability. This workshop is very hands on and participants will leave feeling excited about the new changes they can make.

World of Wonder: Scientific Discoveries for Children 1-6 Years Old
Finally a workshop that helps teachers engage in scientific activities for children 1-6 years of age! Learn how to develop play-based learning environments that provoke thinking, problem-solving, exploring and investigating in young children. Our key focus will be in the areas of light, water and sound. Discover countless possibilities that will inspire the budding scientists in your classroom. Activity examples will be easy for you to replicate and based on readily available materials. Put your thinking caps on and join us on a scientific adventure!

Emotional Intelligence: Rethinking ‘Behaviour Management’ (Birth-Six)
Have you been to behaviour management workshops in the past but after awhile felt disappointed with the results? Many workshops focus on short-term solutions or on how adults can ‘manage’ children’s behaviour; what if we could effectively teach children how to do this themselves? At Growing Minds we focus on the long term effects of a child’s development which is why we use ‘emotion-coaching’ to teach children how to control their own emotions through self-regulation and problem-solving skills. You will be able to better understand children’s needs, emotions and learn how to foster a healthy sense of well-being and emotional security for young children.Participants will discover how they can give children the power to WANT to make the right decisions. Become a caregiver who empowers children by building emotional intelligence that will last a lifetime. By attending this workshop you can also take advantage of our on-going behaviour guidance support network which is always available to offer complimentary advice and to assist you as you develop as an emotion-coaching caregiver.

What are the Hundred Languages?: A Reggio Approach to Expressive Arts
Last year’s expressive arts workshop was a huge hit; this year’s offers even more exciting information and advice to encourage the young artists in your classroom. Megan Nguyen shares her experiences from her trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy and the Loris Malaguzzi Institute, where she met with educators and alterieristas. Find out what the hundred languages are and how we can use these languages to support the expression of feelings and individuality in young children. In order for us to see the world through children’s eyes we will need to explore the arts as they do so be prepared to have fun and get messy!

Diversify It! Expressing Multiculturalism in Early Childhood
As early childhood educators, we know how important it is to support diversity and to demonstrate respect and appreciation for different beliefs and cultures. This workshop will discuss the various cultures within our society and how children can learn about them through music and movement, story-telling, expressive arts and fine/gross motor activities. We will also tackle tough topics such as; defining our Australian culture and talking to children about social injustices. This workshop is sure to get you thinking and reexamining the way you incorporate multiculturalism into your classroom. Discover your classroom or centres individual culture and learn how to express it!

Emergent Curriculum in the Childcare Setting: An Overview
‘What exactly is emergent curriculum and how do I know if my centre is doing it correctly?’ These are the questions you will have answered in this fun, hands-on workshop; which will give you and overview of the theory. Teachers will learn how to create an environment and program that is conducive to emergent curriculum. We will also discuss how the Reggio Emilia Approach and Montessori Method fit into emergent curriculum and ways in which to incorporate these principles into the classroom.

Kidwatching: Tracking Literacy Development in Young Children
This workshop will explore Gretchen Owocki & Yetta Goodman's technique of Kidwatching and how it can be applied to document children's literacy. Kidwatching allows parents and teachers to track literacy development to ensure children are well prepared in this area before they start kindergarten. We will also discuss how caregivers of 0-5 year olds can make their environments 'word rich' to enhance word recognition and how children of this age use symbols in their first steps of literacy development.

A Child Oriented Approach to Toileting

        In this intensive workshop you will learn…
  • A better understanding of the Sensitive Period for toileting and the physiological process.
  • How to determine when to begin toileting with your child.
  • To set up an appropriate environment and what is needed.
  • How to communicate with your child to avoid power struggles.
  • How to foster independence for your child so he or she can “own” the process, a key motivating principle for mastery.
  • How to ‘normalise’ the process to reduce stress for parent and child including why rewards and ‘praise’ can actual hinder and cause regression in the process.

The iChild: What is Technology’s Place in Child Development?
 More than ever we are seeing the prevalence of technology in childhood and its role seems to be creeping in earlier than ever before. What is the place of technology and how does it affect the developing child? In this discussion we will look at the evolution of technology in the lives of children; especially screen time. We will examine research behind this popular topic regarding the affects these modern aids have on a child’s social skills, language, vision and cognition. We will discuss appropriate guidelines for these aids according to age.

Night-Night, Sleep Right: Healthy Sleep Habits for Babies and Toddlers
Sleeping is one of the most common asked about questions for child development professionals and it is easy to see why. Sleep is a vital part of development and an important biological function. In this workshop we will discuss realistic sleep expectations according to age, how to establish a sleep routine that works for your family and techniques for settling and re-settling babies and toddlers. We will discuss how responding to your child at night when he is upset can help build self-regulation, but also how to determine the difference between your child's various cries and the meaning behind them. Parents will be able to apply the strategies at home which in turn  will give a sense of empowerment to their children once they are able to fall asleep on their own.

Mindful Parenting from Birth to Teens
Mindfulness has recently become a buzz word; but what does it mean to be a Mindful Parent?  How do we better connect with our children in a fast-paced and digital world? Research shows that parent interactions have a huge impact on the way the child views himself and on his personal resilience. In this workshop we will discuss how to parent in the present and observe without judging. Parents will learn how to respond to their child’s needs instead of reacting which can establish a foundation of trust and security that will last a lifetime. We will also explore the concept of ‘Submarine Parenting’ and how to set limitations and boundaries while still allowing the child to experience autonomy and independence.

Mindfulness for Children (Preschool to Primary)
Join us for a fun and interactive morning of mindfulness! In this workshop, children will learn alongside their parents, techniques to help them tune into internal and external experiences with curiosity. Children will practice simple exercises to help them experience what it feels like to be present in the moment and more connected to the world around them. Regular practice of mindfulness can increase children’s self-awareness and self-regulation skills. Research has shown that mindfulness provides many benefits for children including;
Increased empathy and establishing positive relationships with others
Improved attention, memory and decision making processing
Improved social awareness and self confidence
All children will create a ‘mindfulness jar’ to take home with them along with a packet of easy to do exercises to practice at home.

Kids in the Kitchen: Nutrition for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Have you ever wondered how many tries it will take for your child to like a new food or how you can sneak in some extra vitamins and minerals in his diet? If the answer is yes, then this is the workshop for you! In this two-hour session we will discuss the dietary requirements for toddlers and pre-schoolers and learn some tricks of the trade into making sure your food choices pack the most punch when it comes to nutrition. This workshop will also address power struggles and other behavioural factors that may be affecting your child’s meal times. Unlock the door  to happy and healthy eating for your child!