We adore the endless stream of questions that little ones bring to us every day!  From an early education standpoint, we want children to learn at every opportunity. Children are inquisitive beings, and they have lots to learn! At Little Scholars, we cherish this innate curiosity in children and strive to foster a lifelong passion for learning.

As parents and educators, we understand that some questions from our little ones can catch us off guard, leaving us searching for the right words to provide age-appropriate answers. We’re here to lend a helping hand, so let’s tackle a few of these tough questions together!


How are babies made/how did a baby get in a mummy’s belly?

Children at this age are curious about the beginning of life. You can answer simply, “A tiny seed, called sperm, from the daddy joins with a special egg from the mummy, and that’s how a baby starts to grow inside the mummy’s belly.” They may understand it like a fruit grows from a seed. For young children, this should satisfy the question. You may want to explain it’s not the same kind of egg we eat for breakfast!


What does dying mean?

The concept of death can be challenging for young children to grasp. We think it’s important to be honest here. You can say, “Dying means that a person’s body stops working, and they don’t feel pain anymore. They don’t breathe, eat, feel hungry or cold. It’s a natural part of life’s cycle, like when leaves fall from a tree in the autumn.” This is a topic that may be followed up with further questions, such as ‘will I die or will you die?’ and be honest. “Yes, we all die. But I hope to be around for a really long time. I have no serious illnesses that could change that.”

What happens to us when we die?

For toddlers and preschoolers, you can offer a comforting response like, “When someone dies, they become like a beautiful memory in our hearts. We remember all the happy times we shared with them, and they will always be a part of us.” If your family has cultural or religious beliefs around death, this may be the place to share, “in our family and our culture/religion, we believe when the body dies ______.” Your child may work through this further through their play, but just be there for them and prepared to revisit this topic.

Same-sex relationships

How come Louis has two dads?

Children may notice different family structures. You can say, “Families come in all shapes and sizes. Louis is very lucky to have two dads who love and care for him just like your mummy and daddy love you.”


Why does Ashley’s mum live in a different house from her dad?

When answering a small child’s question about why a couple has divorced, we think a simple, honest, and age-appropriate response that takes their emotional well-being into consideration works best. Here’s one way to address the question: “Sometimes, mummies and daddies decide to live separately because they have found they feel happier when they have some space. It’s like when friends need some time apart.

If it’s your separation, your child will need a lot of reassurance from you. “Even though mummy and daddy won’t be living in the same house, we both still love you very much, and we will always be there for you. You will have special time with both of them, and we will continue to love and care for you in different homes.”

Young children may have a limited understanding of complex situations like divorce, so keeping the explanation simple and reassuring them of their parents’ love is crucial. Encourage them to share their feelings and questions, and assure them that it’s okay to talk about their emotions. Creating a supportive and open environment helps children navigate through changes and emotions in a healthy way.

News events

What happened in the news that’s making everyone so sad?

Addressing sad news can be tricky. Open the discussion by asking your child what they know about what’s happened in the news. This is a good opportunity to correct false information and provide context. Remember to use age-appropriate language. Check your child’s understanding throughout the conversation and allow them to ask questions. You can say, “Sometimes, sad things happen in the world, and it can make people feel upset. It’s okay to feel sad or worried, and we can always talk about our feelings with someone we trust. You can always talk to me about anything.”


Why is the sky blue?

The secret behind the blue sky lies in something called “Rayleigh scattering”. It’s a fancy scientific term, but it’s a super interesting phenomenon that helps us understand why the sky is blue. When sunlight enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it interacts with tiny particles like dust, water vapour, and pollen. This mixing causes the sunlight to scatter, or spread out, in all directions. When light waves hit these particles, they bounce off and scatter in different directions, just like water droplets scatter after you throw a rock into a pond.

Now you might ask, “Why is the sky blue and not another colour?” That’s because blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colours of light, like red or yellow. Shorter wavelengths scatter more easily when they interact with the tiny particles in the atmosphere. So, when we look up at the sky, we see more blue light than other colours.

But guess what? The sky isn’t always blue! Sunrises and sunsets are not only beautiful but also full of science. The colours we see during these times depend on the angle of the sun and the distance its light travels through the atmosphere. The lower the sun is in the sky, the more atmosphere the light has to pass through. This causes shorter wavelengths, like blue and green, to scatter more, leaving the longer wavelengths, like red and orange, to dominate the sky. That’s why we see those breathtaking colours during sunrises and sunsets!

Clouds, pollution, and weather can also change the sky’s colour, making it look grey, white, hazy, or yellow.

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Where do birds go at night?

Children might wonder where birds go when it gets dark. You can say, “Birds have special nests or cozy spots where they rest at night, just like we have our beds to sleep in.

How do plants grow?

Children might be fascinated by the growth of plants and flowers. You can say, “The plants have roots at the bottom that absorb water and minerals in the ground, and then the stem starts growing. With the help of the sunlight, the stem grows in branches. Green leaves start growing out of the branches. The five things plants need to grow are sunlight, water, minerals, and food..

Why do we have seasons?

Seasons happen because the Earth goes around the sun. The Earth travels around the sun, called an orbit, once a year or every 365 days. As the Earth orbits the sun, the amount of sunlight each location on the planet gets every day changes slightly. This change causes the seasons. When it’s closer to the sun, it’s warmer, and when it’s farther away, it’s cooler.

Where does rain come from?

Children may be curious about rain and weather. Sunlight heats up water on Earth’s surface. The heat causes the water to evaporate/dry up into the sky, or to turn into water vapor. This water vapor rises into the air and makes up clouds. As the water vapor cools, it turns back into water, in the form of droplets or rain drops.

How do airplanes fly?

Little ones might be fascinated by airplanes in the sky. “Airplanes have special wings that help lift them into the air. When they move forward, the air goes over and under the wings, which creates lift and allows the airplane to fly.”

If they have follow-up questions, we liked the answers from Britannica Kids.

Growing up

Why do I have to go to bed early?

Children may question bedtime rules. You can say, “Going to bed early helps our bodies and minds rest and get ready for a new day of fun and learning.”

Why do I have to eat vegetables? 

Answer with something like, “Vegetables have special nutrients that help our bodies grow strong and healthy. They are like superhero foods for our bodies! We need a variety of food that have different types of nutrients so our bodies can get everything they need to be the best they can be.

How come your body doesn’t look like mine?

We bet you thought the puberty question would come later! But nope, your child has noticed there’s a slight difference between their bodies and their parents’ bodies. We know this can feel awkward to answer, but your child doesn’t understand why it could be hard for their parents to explain, so use proper words and keep it simple.

  • Why do you have hair down there? Getting hair under your arms and on your private parts is a normal part of growing up for boys and girls.
  • What are those bumps on mummy’s chest? They’re called breasts and they come in all different sizes. They can make milk when mummies have babies in their bellies and can feed babies while they’re little.

It’s okay not to have all the answers, and it’s perfectly fine to keep explanations simple and age-appropriate. If you don’t have the answers, you can look it up together. By embracing your child’s questions and engaging in open conversations, you’re nurturing their curiosity and building a strong foundation for their learning journey. Be sure to let your lead educator know you’re having these conversations at home. Your child is likely not the only one wondering some of these questions, and your educators can find ways to help them understand life’s curiosities!

What an incredible asset online media has become when it comes to raising or educating children. From YouTube to Instagram, there’s a wealth of expert information at your fingertips that previous generations simply didn’t have. Thanks to online media, parents and educators can now access an array of information, tips, and tricks on child development, parenting, and education.

And of course, podcasts are an excellent way to learn while on the go. You can listen to them while commuting, during your daily walk, or even before bed. Here we have compiled a list of our favorite parenting and child development podcasts, divided into categories for parents and educators. Check them out!

For parents

Raising Wildings


A podcast about parenting, alternative education and stepping into the wilderness with children. Each week, Nicki Farrell and Vicci Oliver interview experts who inspire them to answer questions about parenting and education. They also share stories from families who took the leap, and are taking the road less travelled.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts

Parental as Anything

Maggie Dent, one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators gives you practical tips and answers to your real-world parenting dilemmas.

Spotify  ABC Listen app  Apple Podcasts

Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled

Each episode of Unruffled addresses a reader’s parenting issue through the lens of Janet’s respectful parenting philosophy, consistently offering a perspective shift that ultimately frees parents of the need for scripts, strategies, tricks, and tactics.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts

Emerging Minds

Listen to conversations with experts on a variety of topics related to children’s mental health. Episodes offer practice wisdom from experts in the field and will give you an insight into the work and values of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health.

RCH Kids Health Info

Based on the popular RCH Kids Health Info fact sheets, the Kids Health Info podcast explores common topics and concerns with experts in children’s health. Hosts Margie Danchin, Lexi Frydenberg and Anthea Rhodes are all paediatricians and mums, so they know first-hand what keeps parents up at night. Every episode features guest experts in a range of child and adolescent health specialties, and lots of practical tips and advice.

Spotify    Apple Podcasts 

How other Dads Dad

Hamish Blake chats with other dads he really admires about their approach to ‘dadding’, and in the process hopefully learn a little, steal some of their hard earned wisdom and help dads dad a tiny bit better.

Spotify  Apple Podcasts  Google Podcasts

The Play Based Learning Podcast

All humans learn through play. Join Kristen RB Peterson of Learning Wild as she chats all things early childhood education, preschool, nature and forest school, homeschool and parenting.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Play it forward, a Wearthy podcast

Hosted by international keynote speaker, educator and founder of Wearthy; Lukas Ritson, Play it Forward is an educational podcast about the importance of play. With the increase of technological advancement, it has never been harder to get kids playing outside

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Early Childhood Perspectives


Early Childhood perspectives is a fortnightly podcast devoted to exploring the often overlooked concepts and issues of the Australian Early Years Sector.

Apple Podcasts    Soundcloud

Provoking Minds – an Early Childhood Podcast

This podcast covers meaningful topics in early childhood education with some of the sector’s most experienced educators and subject matter experts. With each short episode, its aim is to provoke minds and inspire excellence in early childhood education.

Spotify         Apple Podcasts

OSHC After The Bell

Barbi Clendining from Firefly HR and Saurubh Malviya from We Belong Education have teamed up to bring to you a fun and informative conversation and talk about every aspect of the Out of School Hours profession.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

International podcasts

OK, we fibbed. It’s not JUST Australian podcasts. Here’s a few international podcasts that are quite popular with the kids these days. (and by kids, we don’t mean baby goats, or children really, but we’re just trying to sound cool)

Loose Parts Nature Play

Building creativity one leaf and bolt at a time. Join Dr. Carla Gull, American educator and mother of four boys, as she talks about getting outside and exploring loose parts.

Spotify   Apple Podcasts

Parenting Hell

A funny take on parenting with UK hosts Rob & Josh as they share their tales of parenting woe and chat to celebrity parents about how they’re coping, or not coping.


Mom and Dad Are Fighting

Slate’s parenting show – Jamilah Lemieux, Zak Rosen, and Elizabeth Newcamp share triumphs and fails and offer advice on parenting kids from toddler to teens.

Spotify      Apple Podcasts       YouTube

Good Inside with Dr Becky

Join American clinical psychologist and mother of three Dr. Becky Kennedy on her weekly podcast, as she takes on tough parenting questions and delivers actionable guidance—all in short episodes, because we know time is hard to find as a parent. Her breakthrough approach has enabled thousands of people to get more comfortable in discomfort, make repairs after mistakes, and always see the good inside.

Spotify     Apple Podcasts

Not Another Mummy Podcast

This is one of the UK’s top parenting podcasts with previous guests including Philippa Perry, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Emma Bunton and more. Host Alison Perry chats to a different guest each episode about parenting and family issues

The Modern Dads Podcast

Each episode discusses issues today’s fathers face navigating work, parenthood, relationships and play. We share stories of dads who are active and engaged in the decisions, the drudgery, and the pains and the joys of parenthood. Our parenting podcast not only brings modern dads into the conversation, but also – regardless of gender – our spouses and partners, friends and colleagues, and leaders in business, entertainment and media.

Spotify      Apple Podcasts



Babies are a mysterious bunch. For many months, their main forms of communication are cries, squeaks, gestures and coos. Parents fall madly in love with these little humans without knowing what they’re thinking and feeling, often just guessing at best.

How babies play, how and what they’re learning, and what they’re interested in can be a mystery to many. Many parents have seen their baby pull out every book off a shelf, for example, watch it fall, then grab another, while that parent scratches his or her head and says ‘why?’

Babies are a mysterious bunch. For many months, their main forms of communication are cries, squeaks, gestures and coos. Parents fall madly in love with these little humans without knowing what they’re thinking and feeling, often just guessing at best.

How babies play, how and what they’re learning, and what they’re interested in can be a mystery to many. Many parents have seen their baby pull out every book off a shelf, for example, watch it fall, then grab another, while that parent scratches his or her head and says ‘why?’

There’s an answer. It’s a schema. A schema is both a category of knowledge as well as the process of acquiring that knowledge. In play, babies are often involved in repeated actions or certain behaviours as they explore the world around them and try to find out how things work. Those repetitive actions, such as a baby pulling out book after book, allows a child to practice and construct meaning to something, until they’ve understood that schema. Then they find something else to focus on and lather, rinse, repeat!

As Yvette, educational lead from our Burleigh campus says, it’s children’s development making sense.

“All of those little things that you see children do that seem a bit cute, or frustrating even, like throwing, it’s a schema, a child’s pathway of development for making sense of the world,” Yvette says.

The repetitive action of a schema allows a child to practice and construct meaning until they have mastered the understanding of the schema. Being aware of play schemas helps in two ways:

  1. It helps parents and educators to differentiate between ‘behaviour’ vs ‘natural urges’ which move past the belief that a child is just being ‘difficult’
  2. It helps parents and educators to plan learning environments that support the development and mastery of schemas

There are a number of types of schemas when it comes to babies.

Trajectory schema – The trajectory schema is one of the earliest schemas observed in babies. They are fascinated with how they, and objects move. Children will often throw objects or food from their pram or highchair. They climb and jump in puddles and enjoy exploring running water.

Transporting schema – Little ones enjoy repeatedly moving resources around, from one place to another. They will carry many items at a time using their hands, pockets, containers,
baskets, bags, or anything else that will hold their newfound treasures.

Enclosing schema – Children show an interest in enclosed spaces. They may want to sit (and hide in) boxes or laundry baskets. Or they may show interest constructing fences and barricades to enclose toy animals or themselves.

Rotational schema – Children showing a rotational schema may display a preference for turning taps on and off, winding and unwinding string, and playing with
hoops. They may also be fascinated with the physical experience of twirling and twisting their body, spinning around on the spot, or rolling themselves down a hill. They have an interest in things that turn, such as wheels and windmills. They enjoy rolling tyres around, turning lids and watching the washing machine on a spin cycle.

Enveloping schema – Children with an enveloping schema are interested in covering and hiding items, including themselves. They will enjoy dressing up, and filling and emptying bags and containers with different objects.

Connecting schema – Children displaying the connecting schema want to join items together. They find resources like string to tie things. They connect and disconnect toys such as rail tracks.
They enjoy construction toys, and doing arts and crafts where they can glue and stick pieces together.

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Orientation schema – Children like to turn objects and themselves around and upside down, to get a view from under the table or from the branch of a tree. They may bend over and look at the world backwards through their legs. They enjoy seeing things from a different view when exploring using cardboard tubes, binoculars or a magnifying glass.

By adapting this theory, we have been able to slow down and become more in tune to the children and noticing their behaviour patterns in play. It is now so important to us that we allow our babies and young children the time to explore the repetitive actions of schematic play.

-Jodie, lead educator

Theory of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget was one of the first to use the term “schema” back in 1923. Piaget was an important child development theorist and his Theory of Cognitive Development was and still is read and followed today by early childhood specialists. He was one of the first who believed children think differently than adults and that they have an innate desire to learn and actively build up their knowledge about the world. They are not passive creatures waiting for someone to teach them.

Susan, our group pedagogical leader, is bringing her schema knowledge across our campuses to the lead educators in the nursery and toddler studios in 2023. Learn a bit more below about how we use schema theory, and how one educator has taken it on in her nursery.

Schematic Pedagogy

Through our collective curriculum, our educators are guided through a ‘schematic lens’, meaning they can plan for children’s thinking, not just activities. This has a strong link to our Collective Curriculum, our educational program for children.

The learning environment

Our educators apply teaching methodologies to design their play spaces and are intentional in the resources offered.

Observing and planning for children’s thinking

Through our collective curriculum, our educators observe the children through their play, to determine schemas explored through the children’s engagement to an activity or resource. Through observing patterns of learning, our trained educators can plan forward to scaffold their cognitive capabilities.

Partnering with children in play

Through ongoing mentoring and coaching, our educators are able use their knowledge of schemas and plan effectively. Our educators are encouraged to partner with children in their play and observe behaviours explored through schemas.

“Schemas are an intrinsic part of child development, knowledge to schemas provide our team of educators an opportunity to identify and encourage independence in children as they explore patterns of movement, often related to schemas,” Susan says. “Supporting assessing through a schematic lens, provides our educators with a framework which can be used to analyse children’s learning, supporting the planning process within our curriculum.”

Educator Q&A

You may be wondering if you have a baby or a small toddler in one of our campuses, how we use schemas to help their development. We talked to one of the educators at our Deception Bay campus about using schemas for educational programming. Deception Bay Little Scholars was recently rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS) after it was assessed by the Department of Education. The NQS sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care in Australia. Jodie, lead educator in the nursery studio, says learning about schemas was a game-changer.

  • Q: When did you first learn about schemas?
    A: I first heard about schematic play by attending a professional development webinar with Semann & Slattery. It resonated with me as I had observed children engage in the different schemas, but didn’t know about schematic play. I found it so intriguing and needed to do more research. I found Jean Piaget’s psychology theory; “while a schema in psychology still refers to how information is organized, it focuses on how the human mind does it”. I have now learnt the what, why and how children learn through repeated patterns of behaviour.
  • Q: How long have you worked with nursery children? What were your interactions like before?
    A: I have worked in the industry coming up to 14 years and only in the past four years, I have engaged in a more full-time educating role with the nursery and toddler-aged children. Prior to this, I struggled with understanding this age group on the emphasis of what, why and how this age group do things so differently, developmentally, and emotionally. Especially toddlers as they are so spontaneous and busy, and how I could best support them as an educator. It wasn’t until I had my second child, who was so vastly different to my first child! She was much more inquisitive, very busy and just like a little tornado ripping through the house. She was never content until she had everything out on the floor! For the most part she never sat and engaged with her toys, (like my first child did). However, could sit very quietly and go unnoticed at times, especially when she would discover the creams on the change table, or the dirt and mud in the backyard while I hung out the washing.
    [After learning about schema theory] I was able to resonate with this from my daughter’s tornado toddler years. That it seemed she wasn’t content until she had gone around and pulled everything out, to not even play with any of it, but just move it from place to place. When in fact she was learning! She was learning about horizontal trajectory (dropping objects), vertical trajectory (throwing, pulling, pushing, pointing, climbing) and transporting (moving objects from place to place).
  • Q: How has your knowledge of schemas adjusted how you spend time with babies and toddlers?
    A: With the support and guidance from Susan, I have since adapted Jean Piaget’s schema theory into our collective educational program. By adapting this theory, we have been able to slow down and become more in tune to the children and noticing their behaviour patterns in play. It is now so important to us that we allow our babies and young children the time to explore the repetitive actions of schematic play. Allowing our babies to construct meaning in what they are doing, as babies and young children learn best through, opportunities to engage in active learning through hands on experiences. These opportunities allow babies and children to problem solve, question, predict, imagine, speculate, and develop independent choices as they make decisions in an area, they are familiar with.
  • Q: How do you see schema theory in action in your nursery?
    A: Our younger babies spend a lot of their time engaging in trajectory play. They can be observed doing tummy time, reaching out for objects, kicking their legs, opening and closing their hands, grasping objects, waving arms up and down or side to side. Then onto rolling, sitting, and crawling where their patterns of movement emerge to larger body movements in horizontal and vertical lines e.g., pushing, kicking pointing, rocking, climbing, or stepping up and down as they work towards their important milestone of walking (horizontal trajectory).

Both our younger babies and older babies really enjoy dropping objects or putting things in and out of containers (vertical trajectory). Using old formula tins and cutting an opening in the top with lids from jar foods a milk bottle lids, is a big favourite.

Our older babies are seen continuing with trajectory and begin to start exploring other forms of schematic play like, transporting, rotation, connecting  and this can lead to a disconnecting schema where the child builds something that they can demolish or through [activities like] untying knots, as well as enclosing, positioning, enveloping and orientation, such as looking at things from different viewpoints like hanging upside down, looking through their legs, looking at things upside down. No wonder our little people are so busy and on the go all the time!

Thanks, Jodie!


Pedagogical Practices: Bringing new learning techniques to Little Scholars

Do you have a little one who is eager to learn and likes technology? Apps can improve skills in fine motor skills, reading, phonics, maths, problem-solving and more. Research suggests that after age two, children may benefit from some types of screen time, such as programming with music, movement and stories. We’ve compiled a list of what we think are some of the best educational apps for children aged three to five years.

Daniel Tiger's Day & Night


Pre-school aged children can learn about morning and bedtime routines with PBS KIDS’ Daniel Tiger. Help Daniel Tiger get ready for school in the morning and for bed at night through imaginative play and songs.

We like it because there are sing-along songs that make routines fun and a musical timer to keep routines such as teeth-brushing on track.

Pros: Simple, age-appropriate for toddlers.

Cons: There’s no order required for following the routines, and it’s limited to morning and evening routines only.

Available on the App store and Google Play

Hopster Coding Safari for Kids


Pre-coding logic game for kids

Why? We think introducing children to coding early is gives children a head start in learning how to code with Hopster Coding Safari. This animal themed pre-coding logic game to help little ones learn the fundamentals of coding. Children are presented with a series of logic problems to solve, getting different animals to where they need to be.

Children learn: The fundamentals of computational thinking

  • Foundations of coding
  • Problem solving
  • Planning

This game will engage young children in computational thinking – the fundamental techniques needed to understand coding – without them realising they are learning!

Pros: Wide range of activities, links to early years learning objectives.

Cons: Paid subscription based and not a lot offered without paying.

Available on the App store

Busy Shapes


Shape-sorting puzzles great for fine motor skill development

What makes Busy Shapes so clever is the way the puzzles gently gets more challenging, motivating little ones to find solutions to each puzzle through experimentation. From shape-changing to colour-mixing to hidden holes, we’re impressed with how the game spurs out-of-the-box thinking, stimulating curious young minds. The app’s designers say it’s inspired by the pioneering works of child theorist Jean Piaget (1896-1980), who believed that “children are little scientists” and that a child’s thoughts are built through experiences that encourage him or her to engage in the reasoning process.

Pros: Free version includes a lot of activities. The challenge increases, with multiple objects and holes of different shapes, moving objects, obstacles to get around or to move, and finally the need to use tools to move the objects. There’s no direction and no help. Children must explore and discover on their own how to get the objects into the holes.

Cons: Doesn’t seem to be a way to get to earlier levels.

Available on the App store and Google Play

Khan Academy Kids


Khan Academy Kids is a free, fun, educational program with thousands of activities and books that will inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery for children ages two+.

The app is designed by experts in early childhood education to guide young learners on a delightful journey through key skills in maths, reading, phonics, writing, social-emotional development, and more. It includes thousands of lessons, activities, books, and games that are age-appropriate for preschool through year two. With catchy songs and yoga videos, little ones will also have fun moving, dancing, and getting the wiggles out.

Pros: The variety of learning topics and the creative approach to activities offer breadth and depth without it feeling overwhelming.

Cons: Animations could use more captioning; written instruction and language options.

Available on the App store and Google Play

ABC Animal Toddler Adventures

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This app aims to strengthen children’s cognitive skills, concentration and memory with activities such as tracing letters, spelling with an A-Z of animals, counting, jigsaw puzzles, spot the difference, pet salon, feed the animals and more. Your toddler will really enjoy playing this game as every little action has been thoughtfully designed for an effortless gameplay.

Pros: Fun cheerful characters, good for young learners working on fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, spelling, and language acquisition.

Cons: Limited activities and full screen ads in free version, some complaints about price of full version.

Available on the App Store


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This app for toddlers has more than 1000+ fun and educational activities and games! This delightfully interactive smart app helps children learn ABCs, numbers, colours, shapes, and more. Children can skip, sing, and dance to popular nursery rhymes with Moolingo the monkey.

Pros: The amount of activities.

Cons: Paid subscription service.

Available on the App Store and Google Play



Thoughtfully-made educational games for children aged two to eight, including early literacy skills using a comprehensive program full of interesting activities, building blocks for maths confidence, and tools for navigating social skills, empathy, and confidence.

Pros: Personalised to children’s interests across subjects, learning grows with child.

Cons: Paid subscription service.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

ABC Preschool Kids Tracing

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Features letters and word learning games to help children learn basic tracing of alphabet, letters, words and numbers one to 10.

Pros: Full app is free.

Cons: Some complaints on sound issues.

Available on the App Store and Google Play

Toca Boca

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The Toca Boca suite of apps for children is an interactive way to explore the world by cooking, cutting hair, building a neighborhood, and taking care of pets.  For the youngest users, try a role-playing app like Toca Doctor or a simple app like hairstyling (children love the hairdryer!). And as they grow, children can design and build their own city with the Toca Life apps.

Pros: Dozens of games to choose, including some free, and ome games can be purchased as a bundle for discounted pricing. Variety of games for beginners, animal lovers, budding engineers, and more.

Cons: Not all apps will be of interest to all.

Available on the App Store and Google Play


Our top 5 tips for safe screen time for small children

Teaching children emotional awareness, in themselves and recognising emotions in others, is an important part of children’s growth and wellbeing. Understanding emotions is also not something ingrained, and not necessarily an easy thing to teach or grasp, especially as these small humans’ brains are rapidly developing in all areas.

In children, all kinds of changes are happening at the same time, and some areas, such as children’s language skills, develop before their self-regulation skills. This means that while your child may have a broad vocabulary, they still may not be able to put into words how they’re feeling. A toddler’s capacity to regulate their emotional state and emotional reactions can affect everyone around them, and can carry on to academic performance, long-term mental health, and their ability to thrive in a complex world.

Helping children to identify and label emotions is an important first step and something Little Scholars focuses on in our educational programming. Small children do not yet have the vocabulary to identify feeling words like angry or frustrated, or have the skills to “read” facial cues or to interpret body language.

So how do we teach emotional intelligence in children?

Even the littlest Scholars are learning emotional intelligence by communicating how they feel, according to Jodie, a lead educator in the nursery studio at Deception Bay.

“If a child is expressing an emotion or a behaviour, [we question] is it because they need something from us? ‘I can see you’re feeling sad, how come you’re feeling sad?'” Jodie says. “If we begin to speak to the babies about what they’re feeling, information I’ve learned from [child psychologist] Justin Coulson, it will relate to five things, either them being hungry, angry, lonely, tired or stressed. It’s often one of those things that will cause big emotions.

“They’re obviously not able to completely communicate with us on what their needs are. I’ve learned not to ask the children what they want, but what do they need?” she says. “Maybe they’re feeling hungry and frustrated, so offering them an apple could work, where they can get some of that anger out through crunching. Maybe they’re feeling tired, but they need a little more comfort first. What other feelings are they feeling?”

At our Burleigh campus, children and educators have feelings chats as part of their morning routine. In the Toddler studio, children ask their educators questions such as ‘why is she angry?’ providing a great opportunity for further conversation. Educators support the children in understanding their emotions through discussions as part of their morning routine.

“During the morning, we will sit down for our morning meeting [with children] so when we come inside, we’ll ask how they’re feeling, they’ll express how they’re feeling – happy, sad, ‘good’, and throughout the day we’ll do activities and they’ve gotten really good at recognising and showing those emotions,” says Sasha, lead educator in the Toddler 2 studio. “It’s crazy to see how much they can take in and understand.

“It’s harder for some of the younger ones [to grasp], but we still try to get them involved by asking ‘how do you think that person looks in the photo?’ or ‘how could we make that person feel better?’ and get them to try to understand how others may be feeling,” Sasha continues. “They’re getting really good at being able to understand their own emotions, and we try to support them in how they can support themselves if they are feeling sad, or feeling overwhelmed and need space. Next year they’ll be learning more about how others feel and how we can help them.”

Raylene, an educator in the senior kindy studio at our Yatala campus, says the benefits of exploring emotions, all emotions including the hard ones, allows children to not only identify them but develop the skills to go through them.

“One child mentioned that she would cry all day if she couldn’t see her mummy again. Mr J mentioned that he gets angry when he can’t find his treasures. Mr T doesn’t like when Mummy drops him off etc which led to a discussion about developing strategies to cope with these emotions when they occur. [It’s] so powerful. Mr J said that he could take a big breath and then think about where he put his treasures. Miss K said that she would give her sister a big hug if she couldn’t hug Mummy. Mr T said he could come with Miss Ray,” says Raylene. “Ensuring educators create opportunities for children to communicate their feelings and then giving children the tools to not only identify them, but develop strategies to manage them, rather than saying ‘you’re OK’ is the power moment.”

Tori, an educator at the same campus agrees.

“I feel teaching children about their emotions is so important, especially teaching children their emotions are valid and it is OK to feel those emotions,” says Tori. “One of my favourite book series is the ‘A little spot of’ which demonstrate scenarios for children and strategies to help with those emotions. I find once children know it is OK to feel various emotions and learn strategies they can use when they feel this they begin to regulate easier, understand and respect their peers more when they go through the emotions and can support one another.”

Jodie is right. Research shows that children who learn how to understand emotions in themselves and others are better able to regulate their own responses to strong emotions. Helping children to identify and label emotions is an important first step, and this is supported by the Early Years Framework in helping children develop a strong sense of identity.

Further information

As parents and as educators, it’s our job to keep children safe.  For children, it’s their job to explore, push limits, move their bodies, and happily tune out what they don’t want to hear.

So when a child is engaging in risky play – which is so important in a child’s development as it furthers their frustration tolerance, critical thinking skills, self-confidence, resilience and so much more – it can also put the watching adult into panic mode, often triggering the phrase ‘be careful!’

But, if that adult expects the child to immediately stop what they’re doing after uttering (or shouting) those two words, they probably have another reality coming. ‘Be careful’ isn’t terribly effective because it’s vague and lacks specificity for a toddler. Saying it on repeat will likely lose any small amount of effectiveness it did carry because, well, being told to be careful isn’t any fun. Or worse, hearing that phrase could create fear and dim a child’s curiosity and sense of adventure.


What's the intention?

As adults, we also need to think about what we mean when we say ‘be careful’.  Do we want the child to stop what they’re doing? Do something differently? Slow down? Do we think they will get hurt? Every situation is different, but it’s worth thinking about the intention behind the phrase. Is it possible the child could get seriously hurt? Is what the child is doing put another child at risk? Is there something valuable that you don’t want damaged?

Perhaps rather than ‘be careful’ you say:

  • ‘Looks fun, just watch out for your little sister!’

  • ‘Do you hear the cars? The road is close by.’

  • ‘Before you throw that stick, just watch for the window over there.’

  • ‘Do you feel safe?’

  • ‘I’m here if you need me.’

  • ‘Maybe just slow your body down a little bit.’

  • ‘Focus on where your feet are.’

  • ‘Using two hands might help you hold on tighter.’

  • ‘What’s your plan for coming back down?’

Even just asking ‘does your body feel safe?’ may give your little one a second to pause and think about what they’re doing, and perhaps change course if needed.

For adults, when they observe children participating in risky play, if they approach it with curiosity and give specific feedback that focuses on creating awareness and problem-solving skills, it helps your toddler becomes more confident in their skills, abilities, problem-solving and learning.


Encouraging risky play

Risky play is something to be encouraged. Something happened between the time when many parents of small children were little ones themselves, to now. We may remember our parents letting us go play unsupervised, as long as we were back before dark. That play may be some of your best childhood memories. Society has become more risk-adverse in recent decades, from parents worries about kidnapping and injury, to the fear of judgement from others thinking they’re bad caregivers can drive many parents to intervene before their child can engage in risk during play. But those fears could actually be hurting children’s development by hovering over them constantly. Research shows that engaging in risky play can actually reduce the risk of injury, too. Something parents and educators can do is teach young children to risk-assess.

For example, rather than worrying about if your child is going to get a sharp bindi seed in his or her foot from running across grass barefoot, involve your child in the risk assessment. In this case, point out what a bindi weed looks like, and encourage your child to look for the weeds with shoes on before deciding if it’s a good idea to take shoes off. By assessing ‘risk’ situations together, your child will learn increased ability to hypothesize, predict, experiment and investigate, and your child will feel you trust their ability to make safe decisions. it’s all about balancing the risk with the benefits. Imagine if your child was running barefoot in the grass and you spotted bindis and yelled ‘Be careful!’ your child could be bewildered by your cry, ignore your yelling and keep going, or could possibly stop, landing perfectly on the sharp weed you want him or her to avoid.


At Little Scholars, risk assessment is a part of our programming, such as bush/bush kindy or loose parts play, where children have the opportunity to guide and direct their own learning tying in with activities that are child-led and learning is a process of discovery. Sites are pre-risk assessed by educators, and children are involved in the risk management process, guided to look out for themselves and have a group discussion about it before play.

“It’s all about setting boundaries with the children and asking them about what risks they think may be involved before they go ahead,” says Melanie, operations manager for Little Scholars. “We wouldn’t use ‘risk’ with little ones, so it may look like ‘how can we be safe when we play in this area?'”

“Play is a powerful behaviour that is often a missed agenda for many early childhood professionals. Extrinsic agenda will often lead to children being told what they should experience, as opposed to living the experience, says Susan, Little Scholars’ pedagogical leader and practice manager.

Susan highlights Lev Vygotsky’s theory of play as a lived experience.

“Too often, adults feel the need to apply an adult agenda, often with good intention, however this often has the potential to limit the actual multifarious nature of what we call play.

“As adults, we need to trust in the play process and accept that children will create situations in which they can act out emotions in ways they feel they can. When given the freedom to do so, children will demonstrate ability for exploration, imagination, and decision-making.”


Life is full of big changes, everyone goes through a few in their lifetime, and some of these things are in our control and some aren’t. Knowing changes are coming, whether they’re positive or negative, isn’t always easy. As change happens, your routines are disrupted and suddenly you have to adapt as you are pushed further and further out of your comfort zone. For the little people in your life, generally, when a big change happens in their home, they have little control over what’s happening, may not even understand what or why something is happening, and it can be hard.

Some examples of these life changes affecting small children could be a new sibling, parents separating, losing a family member, moving to a new house or even a new city or town. While these changes affect everyone in the house, children don’t necessarily have the coping skills yet to deal with them. Children who are new to major life changes need extra support in addressing their feelings, understanding and adjusting to change, and learning new strategies and skills along the way. As their parent, even if you’re also dealing with these changes yourself, you have to find time for your children to support them through this change. They may be small, but their feelings matter just as much as everyone else’s.

Time to prepare

If you can, give them time to prepare. Is Nana sick? Have a conversation with your children about what this could mean: her not being able to see them while she recovers. Maybe it means time in hospital and she may look different, or maybe it’ll be harder to touch her or talk to her, and maybe it means she may not survive. You may need to prepare yourself first about how you’ll have these kinds of hard conversations with them.

Is a new baby coming? Assure them this does not mean you will love them any less. Let them know that while a new baby may need more attention in the beginning, you’re always there for them and you will still have special time together. Many parents swear by having a special toy basket set up for when the baby needs to be fed, and putting these random, loose parts in the basket that can change regularly to keep them interested.

At our centres, we can arrange activities that help children understand the changes that may be happening at home.

For example, when it comes to a new sibling’s arrival:

“We have had a few new sibling arrivals, and with that we will set up some baby care stations with wraps, bottles, rattles, nappies clothes, etc,” says Skye, an educator at our Yatala campus. “We even do a little bath sensory activity, we read books on the arrival of babies at home and also find some songs about families,”

If you’re at a loss on where to start preparing, book stores and libraries these days have incredible selections of books for children to help them understand in age-appropriate ways big life changes that can affect them. Whatever the scenario, by giving them time to process and accept the change that’s coming, things may be easier when they actually do come. They may not offer up what’s happening in those busy minds and you may need to check in and ask them how they’re feeling or what they think. “I told you not long ago that Mummy and Daddy have to sell the house because we have to move to another city. What are some of the things that come to mind when you think about not living here anymore?”

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Listen to concerns

Take time to listen to their concerns. Be ready to answer questions (and for most children, there will be more and more questions!) and know these questions may come up at what seems to be random times, but that goes to show they internalise change and are trying to process it maybe even more than you think! Say something like, “Moving to a new place can feel sad and scary. It’s okay to feel that way. Let’s take some deep breaths. We can get through it together.”

You may need to help them identify what their feelings are and explain what they mean: emotions such as feeling anxious, sad, scared, excited, and nervous are normal feelings and won’t last forever, and also let them know that these are feelings grown-ups feel too.

Keep routines the same (as much as possible)

Consistency and stability are just as important now as ever before. Bedtimes and mealtimes should remain consistent and are great times to connect as a family, even if the family dynamic is changing. The structure feels safe for children, so provide as much of it as possible to restore a sense of safety. Avoid a lot of big changes at once. Even if there’s a new baby coming, this may not be the time to move your child from cot to big bed if they’re already unsure of their feelings about not being your baby anymore. If Mummy and Daddy are going to live apart, help them set up their second bedroom similarly to the one they’ve known, and try to keep those routines the same, no matter what home they’re spending time in.

“When it comes to a family break, we always talk with parents encouraging them to keep the same routine at both houses, like toileting, comforters, for example,” Skye says.

Maintain connection

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Another thing that should remain consistent is your child’s relationship with you. Make sure your child knows that no matter what else changes, you aren’t going anywhere, and neither is the bond you have with your child. You are always there for them, even if it’s by phone when you can’t be beside them.

Set aside even 10 minutes each day to give your child your undivided attention. Make eye contact, put the phone away, and be playful and affectionate. This will be as good for you as it is your children. If your thing together is going for a walk together, keep doing it. Being cuddled up and reading books together is a wonderful way to maintain your bond. Do an activity together that your child enjoys, whether it’s video games or kicking a ball around, playing dolls or colouring together, you may be surprised with what they’ll remember long into the future about what their time with you meant. Try to remember that a little extra attention and parent-child time reassures your child that your love will stay consistent, making it much easier to cope with changes in other aspects of life.

Tell your Little Scholars educators

Our relationships with our families are so important. We can and would like to help! Talk to your educators or campus manager about what’s going on at home. Your educator may have noticed changes in your child’s behaviour or emotions already, which has given them the heads-up something is different.

“How I notice when children are going through tough times or even have experienced a traumatic event is when they start ‘acting out,’” says Holly, an educator at our Stapylton campus. “Difficulties eating and sleeping than their usual, acting clingy more than usual, more tantrums, losing interest in activities they once enjoyed, they stop playing with their friends and aren’t socially interacting, drawings that are concerning about what is happening in their lives, regression with toileting and even going back to thumb sucking etc.”

By letting educators know what’s going on at home, they can help by ensuring your child has the attention he or she needs especially at this time, or they can help facilitate activities or learning exercises to support feelings your child may be experiencing.

“You definitely need to have built a strong and positive relationship with families in your centre, to ensure you can effectively work together,” Holly says. “Document children’s change of behaviour if you’re concerned and communicate with families about this. It also helps to provide strategies that you will implement at the centre as well as helping families with strategies for home.”

“We always give lots of extra cuddles and when we notice they are having a tough day, and encourage them to do some relaxing activities like laying on the cushions reading, playdough, sensory bottles, calming toys like fidget spinners, poppets, mini lava lamps, just things that give them some space and also some one-on-one time,” Skye says.

It’s our job to help ensure your child is spending their time with us in a warm, welcoming, supportive and caring environment in which she or he can grow socially, cognitively, emotionally, and physically, and we’re here to support your entire family. We have an open-door policy, and you’re very welcome to call or come in to talk as much as you need.

Are you a parent racking your brain trying to figure out how to get your little one to stop hitting, biting, or pushing other people?

The good news is, it’s really common. The bad news for you is, it’s still your child doing it and you have to deal with it.

For babies, this is a way to explore the world through cause and effect. Besides teething, babies bite to see what you’ll do. If you laugh, they might try it again to get the same reaction. If you get mad, that baby might be fascinated by your reaction, not quite understanding facial reactions and meaning.

For toddlers, they may have seen other children do it. They might do it because they’re angry, upset, hurt or excited and don’t have the means to express it differently.

Both babies and toddlers could be pushing, biting or hitting because they feel overwhelmed, bored, overtired or hungry.

No matter why your child is doing it, it can be frustrating and embarrassing for parents. But know that it’s not about you. It’s not your failure as a parent. When we think our child’s behaviour with us is a reflection on ourselves, we bring a lot of baggage with our response.

Now’s the time to manage it calmly.

“I like to explain to parents that these kinds of behaviours aren’t usually appropriate, but are age-appropriate and can come from a place of frustration in children,’ says Claire, an educator at our Nerang Campus.

“Biting is common around the age where children are beginning to learn how to talk and can’t quite get the words out and are frustrated.”

It is important to ensure when you are guiding a child’s behaviour to label the behaviour and not the child, Claire says. Telling them they’re being bad or naughty isn’t effective, and it isn’t likely to change the behaviour. Remember, every child is good. They are learning everything, including regulating and dealing with emotions and impulse control.

Claire also recommends not projecting your own feelings about your child’s negative behaviour. For example, try not to make statements like ‘Stop it, you’re making Mummy sad’ or ‘Look what you did!’ Try to remember that your child is learning empathy, so putting shame or guilt on their actions won’t fix the negative actions.

So how do you respond?

Stay calm. Your emotions can set the tone for how to bring down a heightened moment. By yelling or immediately punishing, you’re giving that undesirable behaviour attention. It’s also modelling explosive reactions, like what you as a parent are trying to adjust.

A calm, firm response could look like ‘Hitting/Biting/Pushing is never OK. I won’t let you hurt your brother.’ If the behaviour continues, a follow-up ‘I’ll move your brother over here to keep everyone safe.’

This sets and actions the boundary for behaviour. Once everyone is calmed down, that’s a better opportunity to teach coping skills, according to Sarah, an educator in our Senior Kindy studio from Deception Bay.

“Calm approach, sometimes for the older children, they need that time to themselves let them have their rage in a safe way, of course. There is no point in trying to get them to calm down when they are in the state they are in. It’s best to wait and then talk to them once they are ready,” she says.

Understanding those emotions

If you feel your child is old enough to have a conversation about what happened, you could follow with, ‘You seem to have a hard time not pushing, I wonder why that is?’ If they tell you what/who is bothering them, you could tell/make up a similar story and tell them how you handled it. By modelling a response to a negative feeling, parents can help children understand and regulate their emotions.

Brooke, a Schoolies educator also at our Deception Bay campus also suggests asking the child what they need in that time can help.

“Every child is different and an approach that will work with one might not necessarily work for another or might not work every time which makes things difficult,” Brooke says. “I feel like asking the children what they need in that time is a big thing in diffusing a situation, because some children could want the space, where others may need a hug to feel safe and secure.”

Hayley, an educator also at Deception Bay in our toddler studio, agrees how the situation is dealt with is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“I would say it would depend on the situation, age group and other factors,” Hayley says. “If it’s a child that’s not going to stop, I would then definitely redirect either to a different activity or to someone that they feel more comfortable with. For example, say it’s a child from the Senior Kindy room who’s just moved up to the Kindergarten room, you could ask them, ‘hey would you like to go see (previous educator)?’ if they say yes, it removes them from the situation, and it’s the child’s choice too.”

“I also like to give them a choice when redirecting so, ‘hey I know you’re frustrated, would you like to go run outside or do you want to do some painting?”

Biting Blog

Helping to recognise others have feelings

Some experts also recommend trying to fight the impulse to force your child to apologise. Children need to focus on learning to regulate those emotions, if you’re asking more of the child by forcing an apology, it’s likely to make them more frustrated or ashamed, and they won’t do what you’re asking, and certainly won’t feel like they’re being seen. They will learn apologies in time, but we don’t want them to think ‘when I’m sad I should say sorry’ but rather ‘when I’m sad I should think about what made me sad, take deep breaths, count to 10.’

However, it’s still important for your child to understand that other people have feelings too, so you could say, rather than forcing an apology, ‘Let’s see how we can make him feel better.” By involving your child in the resolution rather than ordering them to do something, you’ll likely see better results.

Focusing on the positive behaviours

“Praise your children when they are doing something positive, even on the days it feels like all they have done is bite or hit,” Claire adds. “Soon enough they will be chasing the positive reinforcement and be replacing the negative behaviours with more positives.”

Guiding positive behaviour is a goal of Little Scholars by creating a safe environment for the children within our studios.

“This is guided by John Bowlby’s attachment theory,” explains Chloe, an educational lead at our Redland Bay South campus. Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life.

“Every morning upon arrival, we create a warm welcome space for the children to be dropped off to. Once the children feel a sense of belonging within their learning environment, they are able to venture off and participate in the day’s learning.

“Respect and care are important parts of our day-to-day curriculum and is embedded in our learning by educating the children on their emotions identifying how they feel through use of conversation and cues, and guiding them in strategies that can assist with the way they are feeling,” she continues. “With these embedded practices, it helps to eliminate those rough behaviours.”

For more information:

Related topics

Whether your child is starting childcare for the first time or joining us at Little Scholars, change can be intimidating for both the child and parents!

We hope you’ve taken advantage of our playdates so that the centre your child is joining isn’t brand new to him or her. The purpose of our playdates is to familiarise your child (and you!) with their new educators, peers and surroundings, and help our educators get to know your child.

Let your educator know about any settling techniques or routines your child is used to for sleep, as well as your expectations and discipline.

In the days leading up to joining us

We recommend you talk with your child about what will happen at the centre in the days leading up to their start. Remind them about their playdates, such as if you remember educators or peers’ names, or one part of the daycare they may remember (our playgrounds are always a hit!).

Get their help in packing their daycare bag. Keeping your child an active participant in getting ready our campus helps them get used to the idea. Especially if there’s a special toy or blanket in there for them, they’ll be comforted knowing it’s there if they need it.

First day

Try to keep goodbyes short. Be calm. Of course, respond to your child’s distress and comfort them, but be firm and reassure them you’ll be coming back.

Spend extra time with them to reconnect when you return and ask them about their day. This is also an opportunity to ask your educator for some useful questions that can help encourage your child to open up about their day’s experience.

Packing your child’s bag:
  • A sun-safe hat that protects your child’s face, neck and ears. A Little Scholar sun-safe hat will be given to your child when they enrol, you can include this or an alternative hat each day
  • Drink bottle
  • Sleeping sheet set or blanket and a pillow for nap time. We do not allow pillows in cots per safe sleeping recommendations
  • Change of clothes as our play can get messy, and underwear (especially if a child is toilet-training or three years and up). Always make sure appropriate clothing is packed depending on weather/season. As children are outside every day and participate in Forest School each week, we recommend longer-sleeved t-shirts and pants that protects little bodies from the sun, as well as closed-toe shoes with good grips
  • Bib or two if needed
  • Sunscreen is applied at our centres, but you are welcome to bring an alternative if your child is sensitive skin or is allergic
  • Mosquito repellent if you wish
  • A comfort item such as a toy or blanket
  • Dummy (if required) in a sealed, named container. Sterilised bottles with pre-boiled water and formula in a tin or in formula dividers
  • Wet bag – we play in rain and sprinklers, so something to contain wet items
  • Feel free to bring in photos of your family that we can display around our centre, so when your child is engaged in learning they know you’re always there. You can also bring in cultural pieces that represent your family – we love having a piece of your home in ours.

Don’t forget, we’re here for you too, parents! If you have any questions about how your child is settling in, please don’t hesitate to call your campus or have a conversation with your lead educator at any time.

More information

Is your child transitioning studios at one of our Little Scholars campuses? Check out this blog post with tips to help make a smooth transition.
For more information on how to settle your Little Scholar in, check out this article.

Have you heard the term ‘frustration tolerance’ before? If you have a small child or work with them, you certainly know all about children struggling with frustrating emotions. Frustration tolerance is the ability to work through a problem, breathe, and figure out a solution.

You see your child trying out a task and not be able to get it to work the way they want to. They get frustrated and ask for help. You oblige because you just hate to see them mad at themselves.

When you see a baby getting frustrated and crying, you want to jump to her rescue and give her that item she’s trying to reach for. When your toddler is working to solve a puzzle, we want the child to get it done and get it done right on the first go. If not, we jump in to fix it for them.

But what is the underlying message we are giving the child every time we do a task for them?

‘I can do it for you, faster than you can, more efficiently than you can.’

How do they learn to do something on their own if they always have help? How do they have a sense of accomplishment if they never go through the trial-and-error process while learning to do something.

The next time the child struggles with something, they’ll just get you to do it for them. That frustration tolerance will dissipate, and they won’t struggle to get to an answer. They will look for instant gratification, instant solutions and that doesn’t come easily and quickly, they won’t mind quitting.

How does that baby learn to move her body to get that item closer to her if you’ll just pass it to her? How does always doing something for your toddler help him when he gets to school and there are several children who need the educator’s attention?

So much in society is already done for us thanks to technology. We don’t need to know basic math because our devices have calculators, or we can just ask the question in the search bar. We don’t need spatial awareness or how to read maps, because Google and Apple have taken away that need. But for your children, where there’s an opportunity to learn frustration tolerance, we should give it to them.

Patience and persistence are two components we all need to deal with frustration, and a certain amount of both will help your child stick with a problem or challenge to find a solution.

At our Stapylton campus, educator Holly Medbury teaches Senior Kindy, where there’s a lot of focus on independence, self-help skills, regulating and becoming aware of emotions, and providing risky and challenging experiences for the children to enable critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

There’s a yard at Stapylton called ‘The Natural Yard’ which has a cubby house, two large tunnels, and a musical xylophone wall. It’s mostly just surrounded by beautiful nature, just for a change where they can explore their imagination.

Frustration Tolerance

“With the two tunnels we encourage two children at a time to climb up the tunnel and sit up the top, which is a big achievement,” Holly says. “This is a challenging/risky play task that we enforce and provide lots of praise, encouragement, strategies if they are struggling to climb up.

Here are some of Holly’s encouraging words she provides with experiences like this:

“You are doing so well! I can see it looks quite tricky, how else do you think you can get up there?”

“Have a look around you and see if there is anything that can help you.”

“You’re doing your best and I’m so proud of you! Maybe you could use your knees going up the tunnel, as I can see there is room for your knees which might make it easier?”

By teaching our children that we can try again and that it’s okay to not get it right away takes some modelling from a parent and educator perspective. By adults modelling frustration in tasks and trying again in front of our children, by saying, “Oh no! It’s not working for me. Let me try again,’ normalises frustration tolerance and tells them that they can try again too. Children with greater frustration tolerance have been shown to grow up to be happier and more successful.


So how do we teach children to be more patient and persistent when it comes to tasks?

Learning patience

  • Help children learn to wait. While they wait, talk to them about what you are doing. For example, you might say, “I’m heating up your lunch right now. Do you know the sound you’ll hear when it’s ready? Beep!
  • Sit on your hands. Literally, if need be! Resist the urge to physically help them complete the task and talk them through it helps your child cope with frustration. When they fall apart, let them know that you appreciate how difficult it can be. “Puzzles are hard! Are you feeling mad that the puzzle piece won’t fit in the space?” This helps your child verbalise feelings and acknowledges you understand they’re frustrated. Talk with them and help them think through solutions without doing the work for them. Suggest or demonstrate strategies for solving whatever problem they are facing. One good idea is to break the challenge into manageable parts: “Why don’t you put your arm in the sleeve first? Then we will work together to get the rest of your shirt on.”
  • Throw in some humour. This can reduce the tension your child feels. For example, you get cross at the block tower that has fallen: “You naughty tower! You’re supposed to stay up! Well, we’re not giving up!”

It’s never too late to encourage your child to try more, do more for themselves, which in turn builds their self-confidence, trust in their own abilities, and sense of self-efficacy.

Come and see the Little Scholars difference

Let us hold your hand and help looking for a child care centre. Leave your details with us and we’ll be in contact to arrange a time for a ‘Campus Tour’ and we will answer any questions you might have!

Come and see the Little Scholars difference

Let us hold your hand and help looking for a child care centre. Leave your details with us and we’ll be in contact to arrange a time for a ‘Campus Tour’ and we will answer any questions you might have!