5 Inclusive and Inspirational Activities from a Smashing September at the POD
We’ve started our Autumn term with a smile! It’s always the season to be cheerful but this September at The POD is probably best described as a BIG cosy HUG!
Warm, welcoming and caring are the perfect words for our topics this month. Whether we’ve been talking about cultural diversity and what it means to belong, exploring new ways we can care for the people around us or our environment, we’ve been covering these heart-warming topics with lots of wholesome Practically Family fun.

Here’s some of our smashing September stuff!

All are welcome

1. We’ve Dived into Diversity with the Brilliant Book - All Are Welcome

We’ve absolutely loved our September Book of the Month – All Are Welcome, for its kind and caring message. All Are Welcome is a bright, uplifting book with awesome illustrations that emphasises that no matter your background, race, ability, culture or beliefs - we all belong to our community. Just like the story, we know the POD is a place and space where all are welcome. We explored exactly what it feels like to be welcomed to the POD and why it’s really important for someone new to feel included. As part of our discussions, we focussed our feelings on being proud about who we are and where we are from. We described what a BIG POD welcome would look like and how we can build positive friendships that celebrate each other and all our differences.

Rosh Hashanah

2. We’ve Challenged Our Taste Buds and Rung in The New Year with Rosh Hashanah

Boosting our children’s awareness of different cultures and traditions is a wonderful way to begin exploring the topic of diversity. As September is the month that the Jewish Community celebrate Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), we were delighted to welcome REonDemand into the POD to teach us all about this special event. We learnt all about the shiny silverware that’s an important part of this celebration, talked about traditional head coverings (Kippahs) and why they are worn plus talked about the Jewish Holy book called The Torah. We then made special Rosh Hashanah cards for our family and friends, wished each other “L’Shannah Tovah” the special greeting for this celebration and sounded the “Shofar” the horn blown to welcome in the New Year. We completed our celebrations by sampling traditional food like warm challah and apples dipped in honey! Yummy!

3. We’ve had a POD Tea Party and Listened to Music from Around the World

There’s nothing we love more than a POD tea party! Exploring different cultures added a global twist to our tea party fun as we coloured in beautiful flags, tried our hand at threading African necklaces and listened to a variety of music from all over the world. Over tea we talked about what makes people different – whether that’s their beliefs, their diets or their backgrounds. We know every child naturally comes with their own cultural heritage when they arrive at the POD because every family is different. Allowing children to talk about what makes them feel unique (and special) is a fab way to cultivate their positive sense of self AND increase their feeling of belonging in our POD Family.

Signing at POD

4. We’ve Explored Sign Language with Makaton

The 23rd of September was Sign Language Day. Learning to sign is a wonderful way to boost EVERYONES communication skills whilst also promoting an appreciation of diversity in a hearing classroom. Makaton is often used alongside spoken language in Early Years settings because it allows children to learn additional communication cues such as facial expressions or hand gestures as well as giving children extra ‘tools’ to express themselves. We LOVE seeing how confident our kids are, following Lulu and Rhia’s guidance and using Makaton alongside speech to make themselves understood. Its super playful approach means the children are very keen to engage and try the various signs! Makaton is brilliant for building relationships and promoting social interaction in a positive and inclusive way. We love that it gives us the skills to communicate with people who might have different needs as well as helping everyone feel more understood!

Recycle week

5. POD’s Recycle Week

Whether it’s caring for our friends or caring for the world around us there’s nothing we enjoy more than putting on our eco-warrior hats and doing some GOOD! Teaching our kids how to look after our planet is all part of our Practically Family promise to nurture a future generation of responsible global citizens. From discussing the idea of zero waste and how we can reduce, reuse and recycle, we jumped right into junk modelling from our salvaged recycled items (milk bottles, margarine tubs and egg cartons to name a few) and created lots of exciting eco-art by reusing natural resources (leaves, flowers and sticks) found on lots of lovely autumn walks! From litter-picking to separating our recycling into plastic, paper or tin, we were problem solving at the same time too! Exploring sustainability via stories, songs and super facts is a wonderfully engaging way for kids to think about how to protect our planet and the animals within it. Creating meaningful learning experiences and recognising our role (at an early age) to look after our environment is all part of our exciting eco-education!

September really has been a smorgasbord of Practically Family fun wrapped up in cultural celebrations, positive self-awareness and learning lovely new skills! With October just around the corner, we’re oh so excited for even more autumn adventures and lots of frightfully good fun!
If you’d like to find out more about the practical magic we can bring to your family please get in touch.
Call 07581 156684 or email sophie@practicallyfamily.co.uk