Understanding Ukraine and Russia: A Guide for Kids and their Adults

Wellington is home to thousands of people of Ukrainian and Russian descent, as well as people from Polish, Belarusian, and other Eastern or Central-Eastern European backgrounds. The current conflict between Ukraine and Russia means that people who have moved here from those countries, or who have family there, are probably feeling pretty anxious, scared, or upset right now. And of course, whenever there is conflict happening somewhere in the world, it tends to find its way into our everyday lives — through the news, through TV or internet content, or through our friends or teachers at school talking about it — and it’s completely normal for that to make us feel a bit scared or anxious as well.

A man in Ukrainian cultural dress, including a tall fur cap and an elaborately-knotted brocade, is holding a small child in front of a festival stall which is decorated with sunflowers.

The Ukrainian stall at the Palmerston North Festival of Cultures in 2018. Note the Ukrainian flag in the background, as well as all the sunflowers — the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Image courtesy of Palmerston North City Library, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

One way that we can help ourselves, and others, is by learning as much as we can about the history and culture of those places, and how news gets created and reported. If we learn about that, we can understand more about what’s going on at the moment in Ukraine and Russia — which means we’ll be more aware of, and better able to process, what’s being reported in the media and what our friends, whānau, and the wider community are talking about.

The good news is that the library has a whole heap of resources — books and other things — to help you learn more about Ukraine, Russia, international conflict, and the media more generally. Read on to find out how the library can help you understand what’s going on in the world at the moment.


HINT: Many of the links in this blog go to the Encyclopaedia Britannica for Kids. This is accessible to all Wellington City Libraries patrons. But to access this wonderful resource, and the others mentioned in this blog, you’ll need to login using your library card number (on the back of your card) and 4 digit pin (last FOUR numbers of the phone number listed on your library account), and the link will take you straight there.


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Get crafty these holidays with CRAFTerHolidays2Go!

School holidays are here, and if you’re missing our usual array of library programmes during the break at COVID Alert Level 2, why not get your ‘crafty fingers’ working with our CRAFTerHolidays2Go take-away packs available from some of our branch libraries?

Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

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These CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs are a follow-on from the ever-popular CRAFTerschool sessions which are offered every Monday (Tawa Library) and Wednesday (Johnsonville Library) after school during term time during Covid Alert Level 1.

These packs are a lucky dip of at least three separate activities that you can make, cook, sew, knit, fly, experiment with or puzzle over. Each sheet also features a QR code that can link you to the activity sheet’s specific craft book on our catalogue, just in case you want to do more activities from that book.

There’s also a SIT ‘N’ KNIT pom-pom making pack, and a How-to sheet for submitting your poems to Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens.

So pop into the Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries over the holidays and pick up your packs!

Te Awe Library

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The ‘crafty’ librarians at Te Awe Library are working on a variety of CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs too – these include a movable paper animals kit with card template, paper fasteners and googly eyes; and there is also a collage kit and an activity pack with wordfinds and crosswords. All available 2Go from Te Awe Library in the CBD on Brandon St.

Newtown Library

Also, come on down to Newtown Library and help yourself to a small bag of crafty goodies! If you’re looking for ideas on what to create, check out the Newtown Library Facebook page, where some of our librarians are posting some easy craft ideas for you to follow along with. Share your creations with your local librarian and be in to win some cool school holiday prizes!

Wellington City Libraries online

Wellington City Libraries also have a huge array of interesting ‘stuff’ for you to watch and do on You Tube. So jump on now and have a browse HERE

Or you could check out the Kids’ FUN STUFF on the Wellington City Libraries website for more games, craft ideas, printables and puzzles HERE


For further inspo, why not check out these virtual CRAFTerschool clips:

 


Wellington City Libraries have you covered for all things ‘crafty’ with lots of books and resources to help you on your way. Check out the NON-FICTION Dewey 745 – 750 sections and unleash your creativity:

Easy arts & crafts for kids : 50 fun projects to make, wear, and share / Perkins, Jennifer
“A collection of 50 craft projects that require little supervision and can be made with materials you can find at home.” (Catalogue)

Maker camp : heritage crafts and skill-building projects for kids / Holton-Fessler, Delanie
“Classic and innovative hands-on projects for kids ages 3 and up designed to teach both heritage skills and how to think creatively. The 20+ projects in this book weave a story of human innovation and creativity, from the very beginnings of building shelters in the woods to tinkering with recycled materials. Heritage skills teach children how to be independent and capable makers; fibre and wood projects offer rewarding crafts that also teach planning, preparation, and safe risk taking; and tinkering activities connect the low-tech process of making and doing with innovation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Art sparks : draw, paint, make, and get creative with 53 amazing projects! / Abrams, Marion
“This lively, colourful compendium of arts and crafts for a new generation of kids features projects specially designed to spark creativity, invite self-expression, and nurture self-confidence. From finger puppets to fabric flags to shrink art, each activity uses inexpensive materials and can be crafted in less than 90 minutes.” (Catalogue)

Stitch + string lab for kids : 40+ creative projects to sew, embroider, weave, wrap and tie / Stephens, Cassie
“With 40+ inventive projects, Stitch and string lab for kids contains everything from simple sewing, embroidery, and weaving to string art, needle felting, and yarn crafts!” (Catalogue)

Drawing aliens, spacecraft, and other stuff beyond the galaxy : 4D an augmented reading drawing experience / Cella, Clara
“For budding artists who won’t be confined to subjects here on Earth, Drawing Aliens, Spacecraft, and Other Stuff Beyond the Galaxy delivers high-interest projects with step-by-step instructions and special 4D support. Projects increase in difficulty from the first to the last to strengthen drawing skills and confidence. Download the Capstone 4D app for an augmented reality experience that extends learning beyond the printed page with artist video tutorials and other bonus content.” (Catalogue)

Crafting fun for kids of all ages : pipe cleaners, paint & pom-poms galore, yarn & string & a whole lot more / Uliana, Kim
“In Crafting Fun for Kids of All Ages, blogger Kim Uliana offers 200 entertaining, versatile, and easy-to-assemble arts and crafts projects for any occasion. Make glittery snowflakes and thumbprint ornaments during the holidays, create straw hats and button sunflowers for summer vacation, or decorate personalized bookmarks for back-to-school.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Epic graphic novel crafts / Jones, Jen
“Whether you flip left to right or right to left, this collection of crafts will call upon your favourite comics, manga, or graphic novels! Re-live adventures and far-out tales with these larger-than-life crafts.” (Catalogue)

Te Reo Māori Challenge

The Māori language is known as te reo Māori or simply te reo (the language). Te reo Māori is an official language in New Zealand, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language. It was made official in 1987.
Have you thought about reading and speaking more te reo Māori in your day, or maybe you’d like to read to your younger brothers and sisters in te reo? Wellington City Libraries have got loads of first reader resources, translated picture books and online resources to get you started. 

Have you tried…

Kōhunga Kōrero

Kōhunga KōreroThese 30 minute immersive storytimes in te reo Māori are offered on a weekly basis at a number of our branch libraries. They are free to attend and you don’t need to have any former understanding of  te reo.

 


Lingogo App – Read and listen to te reo Māori stories

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store(Lingogo) or Apple App Store(Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

Bilingual books in Te Reo and English

Wellington City Libraries have lots to choose from. Here’s just a small taster:

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
“From the #1 bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Maori and English, perfect for every New Zealander.” (Catalogue)


Nana’s veggie garden = Te māra kai a Kui / Munro, Marie
“This summer, Bella/Ngāpera, Jacob/Hākopa and Lucas help Nana/Kui grow, harvest and eat an amazing garden, and fill every day with heaps of fun, te reo Māori learning and bunches of awesome memories” (Catalogue)

Mahi = actions / Brown, Kitty
“Meet some of our favourite kiwi kararehe and find out what they like to do best! Learn to introduce yourself and your favourite activities too.” (Catalogue)

Kararehe = Animals / Brown, Kitty
“Beautiful bilingual board book about animals in Te Reo Māori and English.” (Catalogue)

The singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
“Every once in a while, a dolphin will come to the island beside The Pathway of the Whales. It will leap and play with people, bring gifts and sing songs. Award-winning author Mere Whaanga tells a story of land, sea and seasons; of living creatures and family ties, and the songs that connect us all.” (Catalogue)


Challenge yourself!

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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is held every year. This year’s date is 13 – 19 Mahuru (September), 2021.

Challenge yourself to learn a new te reo word a day. You can do this easily through this website: Kupu o te Rā

Or maybe you could challenge yourself to learn 100 words in te reo: 100 Māori words

“Poipoia te kākano kia puāwai.”

Nurture the seed and it will grow.