Serai (Grandmother of 2): Yeah, I’m just singing don’t cry, your grandma here holding you, I love you and I’ll carry you to make you good. That’s the meaning of the song. Oh bless you darling, bless you.
My name is Serai and this is my princess, my little granddaughter Carmen. I’m very proud to be a grandma.
Lia (mother of 2): My name’s Lia. This is Shavinta and Carmen. Carmen is 6 weeks old and Shavinta is 4-and-a-half. I talk to her so that she can hear my voice that she’s safe. [to Carmen] Take the yucky one off.
So, when I speak to her she feels safer and then she starts to look at me and look around. [to Carmen] Hello Carmen, yes hello, Mummy’s here. We talk about everything that we’re doing and we tell her, putting her in the bath and we’re changing her and this is the clothes that we’re putting on her. Peekaboo, peekaboo Carmen. Especially when they’re newborn, you can start reading to them or even if they’re in your tummy as well you could play music and read books and they listen. She loves it when you sing and hold her close as well. To help her learn to talk, we sing songs [singing]. Oh don’t you cry, don’t you cry [singing].
Serai: Come, where are we going?
Shavinta: We can find some butterflies.
Lia: It’s a very important part, playing with your children.
Shavinta: I found something, I found this.
Serai: It’s a gumnut, eh.
Lia: Play is how they learn as well.
Serai: What’s the pretty colour?
Serai: Orange. So, how many pegs we’ve got? 3.
Shavinta: 3, 4.
Lia: And that’s how you bond with them. You get their trust as well, especially when they’re at this age and…
Shavinta: 4, 5.
Serai: Oh 5 cakes, you’re going to do 5 cakes.
Lia: We talk about everything that we’re doing and if we’re cooking, she likes to watch us cook.
Serai: Mashed potato, oh we’re having mashed potato; OK I’m mashing the mashed potato.
Annie (mother of one): My name is Annie. This is my son Jacob, he’s 8 years old. We have a lot of fun together [laughs]; sometimes we have too much fun together.
Ricky-Lee (mother of 2): Hi, my name is Ricky-Lee, these are my 2 children. Isaiah, he’s 3, turning 4 and this is Latissa, she turns 2 this year. What are you drawing ‘Tissa? Drawing is good for them, because they start to learn about colours and shapes and sizes. There, that’s your big hand. And they also learn how to hold pencils and pens. All right definitely you did it yourself, there. You’re learning eh. They’ll learn which hand they write with as well.
Annie: And when the children are playing together they’re learning how to share, they’re learning how to socialise and problem-solve.
Ricky-Lee: You roll that out.
Annie: Playdough is good because the children can really use their imagination; I mean they can make anything. Beautiful. And, you know, an 8-year-old and a 1-year-old can all play together. It’s really easy to make playdough. Anyone can do it. Just get a bit of flour, salt, oil and food colouring and just a little bit of water, mix it to a consistency. Yeah it’s really great, you can get the kids involved.
Ricky-Lee: We’ll wash our hands okay. Washing hands.
Annie: Where’s the soap gone?
Ricky-Lee: Wash it, wash it. Good girl, come on, you’ve done your hands, good girl. Come on let’s go, let’s go this way. And they get on really well; she’s always beside him all the time. They’re really close; they grew up very close these 2.
Ricky-Lee: They like playing cricket and tennis and football and basketball, so we get out in the backyard and kick the football around, so yeah. They love tackling each other, both of them. They can even both tackle me [laughs] yeah.
Annie: Kids love dress-up because they get to read stories about princes, princesses. So, you’re the double hat bandit, can we call you that? It’s just a really good way for children to be creative; they can be whoever they want to be. And what’s your cowboy name?
Jake: I don’t know.
Annie: It really helps them out with socialising, because they get to test different sorts of behaviours and see what people’s different reactions are and it’s all about learning and experimenting. Board games like snakes and ladders; it’s really good for their learning with numbers and counting. It’s a team bonding activity, children learn to share. They also learn it’s about healthy competition, you’re not playing to win, you’re playing for the fun of it, if you win that’s a bonus. We read nearly every day, because he’s 8 years old now, he brings books from school, which he’ll read that and then I’ll read to him afterwards. [reading] … just went right on snoring.
Annie: Yeah. It’s good to read to kids, because it’s a really great bonding experience. It helps them use their imagination and then they can start identifying the pictures. Like, when I read to Jake I say, ‘What’s that?’ And then he quickly realises what the words are. When you keep reading a book it surprises me because Jake will just read a whole page.
Jake: [reading] ‘Honey,’ said bear and he woke up.
Kevin [father of 2]: Hi, I’m Kevin and this is Aunty Sylvia. Okay everyone ready? Okay, we’ll play zilch. It’s a very social game; it’s a game I’ve been playing since I was a teenager. We would have anywhere up to 15 adults sitting around a big table all playing zilch.
Aunty Sylvia: I’m going to get there very soon.
Kevin: Because, it teaches them a lot about numeracy and add quickly while they play quickly. 2,
Girl: Oh yeah.
Kevin: 3, 4, 5, 6.
Girl: 3, 4, 5, 6.
Kevin: Short straight, so 100 plus 500 for a short straight, I’ve got 600, 700 and..?
Kevin: 750 and..?
Girl: Roll again.
Kevin: And roll again.
Girl: I get to roll again.
Kevin: Yeah you get to roll again, because you’ve used all the dice up, see? Once they’ve done it enough they probably don’t even realise that they’re adding and multiplying in life much quicker than they would have done in the past. You know, they get it’s competitive, but it’s fun, so.
Serai: I have you OK.
Lia: Come on, hello baby, hello baby [kissing].
Annie: The best thing about being a parent is watching your children grow, but also growing yourself inside with the child and every day is different.
Aunty Sylvia: This time, 4 of a kind.
Serai: Rub it and then smell.
Annie: I can definitely see there’s going to be a lot of good things coming with him. He’s very creative, so. And I’m definitely looking forward to him growing up to be a young man and his own person.
Ricky-Lee: Run up the hill, run up the hill. When they tell me they love me it means a lot to me, it makes me very happy. And I love watching them grow up, they grow up so quick. They drive me up the wall all the time [laughs], but I love them, they’re my babies, they’re the reason why I wake up every morning.