Blog post one: “If you want to do something nice for a child, give them an environment where they can touch things as much as they want”

Blog post one: “If you want to do something nice for a child, give them an environment where they can touch things as much as they want”

I want to continue this post which I touched on, on Instagram. Children should fundamentally have an environment that fulfils their enjoyment and interests. For example, a child may have an interest in construction. This gives the early years educator and parents the opportunity to fulfil the environment with items relating to construction. This may include loose parts that the child may use to build during construction play. It may include an area that includes sticks, stones and construction toys that give the child the opportunity to explore a building site. This may also give children the opportunity to create their own construction toys using recycled materials. Children enjoy having the freedom to touch things within the environment. This gives children the opportunity to explore their surroundings both indoors and outdoors. If a child isn’t enabled to explore the environment, the child isn’t getting a fulfilling learning experience. Therefore, development such as hand eye coordination, pincer grasp, gross and fine motor skills, communication skills, imaginative thinking skills, knowledge, developmental domains and interaction with peers might not happen. Within, the indoor environment it may include an area such as recyclable materials or loose parts. This gives children freedom to explore their surroundings. Early years educators and parents moving areas around, changing weekly and fulfilling children’s interests.

 Early years educators and parents are given the opportunity to teach child about the world around them. This may include nature, creatures and using recyclable materials. For example, during outdoor play a child sees a ladybird. This opens the opportunity to discuss what a ladybird looks like, where a ladybird may sleep and what a ladybird may eat. This may develop into a child stating I saw a lady bird that looked lighter or orange. This may also include a little bird within the outdoor garden. The child may explore, the birds features, what they eat, where they live and if the bird comes from another country. For example, the cuckoo comes from Africa and south Asia. This discussion may be expanded in exploring the birds further and making bird feeders from plastic bottles or making a wooden one. The child may decorate their own little bird house and hang outside in the early years service or at home. This could be furthered with a pair of binoculars and child taking off a list of birds seen.

Enabling children to explore the outdoor environment gives children many opportunities to touch and explore. This may include a nature walk. For example, a walk near home or at the early years service. This gives opportunity for discussion within both surroundings. This might enable children to adopt activities such as gardening. For example, planting their own flowers or vegetables. This enables child to water the plant or vegetable, explore the growth, features and the achievement of growing the flower or vegetable.

The most important thing for children is to touch and explore new things within their environment. No matter how big this may seem, children gain independence. This also formalises children being open to exploring new opportunities within practice, school and at home. For example, helping to bake, sensory activities, outdoor exploring and many more areas. The opportunities are endless. For instance, child led play opens up activities. This may include an area that educators or parents can explore further. Empower children to have freedom, explore and learn new things such as curiosity. “Play is the work of the child” Maria Montessori.

The importance of the child’s Interests within Practice

The importance of the child’s Interests within Practice

Fundamentally, including the child’s interest’s within early childhood enhances the child’s learning and possibilities. It promotes child led art and activities. It enhances a child’s experiences within early childhood. It enables the child to feel that their interests are important within practice. This may be foreseen when the child is playing within a specific activity. For example, noticed the child had an interest in safari animals such as lions or zebras while playing with a safari sand activity. The early years educator may further enhance this interest. This may include exploring the animals within the safari, safari water play or creating a safari puppet using materials including recyclable materials. This is way a key system within early childhood is important. The key person may have 6 children of whom they enhance a child’s experiences and areas of interest. This includes a weekly planning sheet with the other educators within the room. The educators may become aware that more children have a specific interest and enhance this experience for the children. It is difficult to include each and every child’s interests. However, sometimes their interests may be within other children’s interests. For example, child A has an interest in safari animals, while child b has an interest in birds. The educator could enhance the learning with including birds that are within the safari element.

The educator may help the child to find their interests. This may happen within exploring, thinking, questioning and listening to the child’s conversations with other children. For example, child C may say “I really liked the story about rainbows”. This enables the educator to enhance the child’s interest in rainbows. This may include when rainbows appear, what colours are in the rainbow and the song the colours of the rainbow. The early years educator including the child’s interest in practice is enabling the child’s voice and respect from others. Fundamentally, the child’s voice should always be heard within practice and everywhere.

In finding the child’s interest, it may be from a story that has been read to the child. For example, a story about dinosaurs may enhance an interest in dinosaurs. This may include types of dinosaurs or if that specific dinosaur flies. It may be within sensory activity such as using shaving foam and paint. A child may like the sensory aspect of pretending the shaving foam is ice cream or a different element of food. Children’s interest’s within activities may include recycling. The educator may notice that child A likes to use recyclable materials during creativity. For example, using yoghurt tubs, boxes or old magazines to create pictures and art. This could be explored further such as a compost area outdoors. The educator may notice that child A spends time at the lego area in creating new things. This could be explored in areas such as setting the child a task or asking the child what they are building. This may be a theme such as on Monday child A built a car and on Tuesday child A built a garage. This may show that the child has interest in exploring a car garage or how a car is fixed. The educator may have a video or a book exploring a mechanic’s job. Enabling a child’ interests inspires children to learn and have fun in learning. This enables the child to feel happy and a part of their learning. It shows the child that their uniqueness and learning is important.

“As soon as a children find something that interests them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate”.

Maria Montessori

“The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality”

Maria Montessori

Nature inspired Art and Activities

Nature inspired Art and Activities

Nature within young children’s lives is an important part of growing up. There are many interesting and meaningful experiences children can take from nature. Depending on the time of year, each season brings a new type of exploration for a child. The parent/guardian or early years educator plays an important role in showing children the different areas of nature. For example, in spring the child may be shown what a bird makes their nest from and the areas birds come from. It may include exploring the types of birds e.g. swallow, cuckoo and their sounds. Nature is enables children to learn new skills within the outdoor environment and as a learning area. Nature activities and art are limitless and great for a child’s well-being. The environment can be used to it’s full potential in all area’s. Nature is an area that a child can explore forever. Nature changes with season’s. The tree’s change colour or lose their leaves. The list is endless. It is an important play resource and life skills for children of all ages. The photograph above was taken one day when I went for a walk. It got me thinking on the noise water makes in different impacts and the nature within the water and what I saw. Below will discuss and give various examples below including this in art and activities in relation to nature. I hope everyone enjoys;

Art and Activities

  • In the area where the above photograph was taken I noticed small fish and eels living within the water. It made me think on the exploration for children. For example catching fish with nets and exploring creatures that live within the water such as the starfish lives in the ocean. The water then got me thinking on the noise of water. For example, a small stone makes a small noise whereas waves are noisy. This gives children the opportunity to explore impact and measuring.
  • Exploring books on nature. For example, books based on birds or creatures within the great outdoor environment.
  • A nature hunt. This may include a picture list of objects the child sees along the way. For example, a bird, butterfly, a flower, a specific tree or leaf, a ladybug etc.
  • Creating a book based on nature at home, early years service or at school.
  • Creating a tree using leaves from the outdoor environment. For example in autumn when the leaves are coloured.
  • Exploring the different trees e.g. acorn comes from a oak tree.
  • Animals that live within the trees. e.g. squirrel, birds.
  • Exploring the different types of birds, their features country they come from and their call. e.g. the cuckoo comes to Ireland from South America.
  • Making chimes for the outdoor garden. This may be done using recycled materials and cotton wool.
  • Making their own bird feeder using plastic milk bottles or cartons and decorating them.
  • Leaf threading. The child could collect a range of leaf’s from outdoor environment and using a stick and cotton wool thread them together.
  • A activity including making their own birds nest using materials from the outdoor environment. This may include sticks, leaf’s, and whatever is available within the outdoor environment.
  • Making bird’s nests using shreddies, chocolate, eggs, and little chicks.
  • Bark rubbing using bark, paper and crayons. The children could explore using different coloured crayons and different tree types.
  • Creating their own nature window using four lollypop sticks and white paper. The child can then stick flowers, leaves to their window.
  • Feather writing using bird feathers that are outdoors with paint. This explores how people write many years ago.
  • Playdough including items from nature e.g. flowers or sticks.
  • The child collect items and then they are laminated and turned into hats, gloves(using child’s handprint) and wellies.
  • Child paints and creates own vase and flowers collected when outdoors are put into the vase. This could include a discussion on flower types e.g. daffodils in spring and daisy grows in the grass.
  • Turn pine cones into creatures using goggly eyes and cotton wool.
  • Gardening sensory tubes with different elements of nature.
  • Garden planting activity. This may include planting seeds into old wellies or pots and hanging around the garden.
  • A fairy garden in the trees or flowers within the service or at home.
  • A frog pond. exploring the different areas of when a frog grows.
  • Painting using different aspects of nature. e.g. grass or pine cones.

“A child more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature”

Maria Montessori

“What important is that children have an opportunity to bond with the natural world, to learn to love it, before been asked to heal it’s wounds”.

David Sobel

Loose Parts Play

Loose Parts Play

I covered a little about loose parts play on Instagram at the beginning of Children’s Creativity Corner journey. Some people may ask what is loose parts play? Loose parts play enables children to explore and create using a range of open-ended materials within the environment. This may include bottle tops, stones, pebbles, sticks, recycled materials. It may be items within outdoor play. For example, rocks in the garden or sticks than have fallen from a tree. Children really enjoy this activity and exploring what they may create using the different materials. For example, while supervising during outdoor play, I noticed a little boy taking different materials within the outdoor environment. He took rocks, logs and sticks. During this, the little boy informed me he was going to make a t-rex because “it is my favourite dinosaur”. Throughout the process the child weighed up the pros and cons if he used a specific log or rock wood the t-rex fall or stay in place. This promoted questioning, trial and error and problem solving. The child continued to make the t-rex and at the end showed everyone within the service the dinosaur he had created. This was a meaningful experience for the child and promoted child led activities. To further enhance this a photograph was displayed within the service and sent home. I personally believe loose play gives children great imaginative thinking, fine and gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, cognitive thinking, child led play, enhancing skills, creativity, amongst other things.

Loose Parts Activities.

  • Props within the puppet show area such as a stick could be a magic wand or a box may be a suitcase.
  • A loose parts area within the service area indoor or outdoor. It may include kitchen roll cardboard, string, buttons, pompoms and rocks.
  • An area with shells. The children may create a puppet using shells, pebbles and string.
  • Different tubs with different coloured loose parts that the child may thread with.
  • Loose parts may be used to create patterns e.g. a circle using different shapes and materials or the sun using different yellow loose parts such as buttons or string.
  • A loose parts picture. This could include a nature walk and the children lifting things they find meaningful along the way. For example, flowers, leaves, pebbles. After returning the children could create a picture of their choice such as an owl.
  • The children within the theme all about me may create themselves using loose parts materials. For example, string for their hair, rocks for their eyes, pompoms for hands etc.
  • A create mirror area. The child may create an outline of their mirror using different loose parts such as lollypop sticks, coloured rocks or pompoms.
  • Outdoor loose parts tents. This could include props such as old materials, string and sticks. Each child could create their own tent with the chosen materials. This gives the children opportunity within trial and error. e.g. will the tent stand only using two sticks and how will I have a door for the tent.
  • Within outdoor play children may create their own house using sticks and stones. This was a favourite activity of mine as a little girl. This activity also gives opportunity for trial and error and how high will my house be?
  • Loose parts counting. For example the numbers 1 to 5. The number one may have 1 button, 2 may have 2 pebbles, 3 bottle tops etc.
  • Loose parts obstacle course. This may include an old pipe, tyre, wood. Th area could be changed around.
  • Loose parts memory game. This may including different materials such as a button, string, pebble and removing one item. The child is then asked “what is missing”.
  • Creating an loose parts service display on the display area. This may be a picture or the service name using materials such as nails, pebbles, bottle tops, string, cardboard. This is a great activity and the parents seeing the end product is a proud moment for young children.
  • Sensory area with different loose parts. This can include questioning such as “which is lighter/heavier”?.
  • Construction play. This may include different loose parts that children can use within their play. E.g. rocks to build a fort etc.
  • Exploring how using a rock and a stone may include drawing on the rock.

“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences”

Loris Malaguzzi

Independence in Early Childhood

Independence in Early Childhood

What is independence for children? Independence for a child is them finding the confidence to try doing new things or things within everyday life. It could be something simple within the child’s life. For example, taking the initial big step in doing something for themselves. It may be putting their lunch box into their school bag by themselves. It may be clearing up after play time. Independence is something that is passed from a parent/guardian to a child. It may be passed from another adult such as grandparents, family, early years practitioner or teacher. Independence is important for child development. Personally to me independence is an important aspect of early childhood and for the child themselves is an important step. The child doing things for themselves makes the child feel confidence, proud, patience, self-help, independence and self-reliance. It is also important for a young child’s social skills. This may include making choices. For example, which snack would you like? or what activity would you like to do? The adult should ensure the task has simple steps and instructions. For instance, before lunch can you set the table first? The child should always gain praise for any task and independent tasks they do by themselves. For example, well done for putting the blocks away. For the incoming service and school year small tasks for children to gain independence are listed below; They are life skills that are importance for a child’s independence

Independence Activities and tasks

  • The child putting their toys away after playtime.
  • The child setting the table. It may include cleaning the table before snack or lunch and putting the cutlery out.
  • Washing hands before meals and after activities such as outdoor play or sand play etc.
  • Enabling the child to be an independent thinker and have own opinions. For example, enabling the child to express their own opinion on things happening such as news or areas important to them.
  • Enabling the child to have independence in choosing what they want to do. This may include activities, movies, foods, books or tasks.
  • The child putting their lunch into their bag pack in the morning by themselves. The child could also be involved in lunch making such as putting the butter and ham on their bread. The child could also pack what they need for the day. For example, outdoor gear, coat, pencil case etc.
  • Opened ended play. This may include planning activities or in activities such as blocks, lego or loose part play choosing what they would like to dp. Using their independence skills.
  • Independence such as choosing their own favourite story at bedtime.
  • The child choosing which paint colours they would like to use to paint their picture.
  • Children picking their own outfit for the day and dressing.
  • The child learning to put their shoes on correctly. This may include labelling the shoes R and L or arrows pointing to each other on the shoes. If pointing away from each other not on the right foot.
  • The child learning to put their coat on using the backwards trick. This includes the hood of the coat facing the child. The child puts their arms into the coat and flips the coat over their head. The child has put their own coat on.
  • The child opening and closing their own lunchbox and drinking bottles.
  • The child putting tooth paste on their tooth brush.
  • The child brushing their own hair.
  • The child may have a pet such as a dog or cat. It may include filling the water bowl with water or brushing the animal.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

Maria Montessori

Messy Play

Messy Play

Messy play is the greatest way for a child to explore their feelings and creativity. It enables a child to express themselves in their own way. This may include painting, sand and water play, sensory play, creative exploration, indoor and outdoor play. The list is endless. Messy play has an endless list of benefits for young children. These include gross and fine motor skills, hand and eye coordination, focus skills, cognitive thinking, curious play, mathematic development, using all five senses, balance, coordination, communication skills, exploring and thinking and understanding of the world around them. Messy play gives children the opportunity to mark make. This could include painting, marks in the sand. Children express their feelings. For instance, sadness, anger or happiness. Children love the opportunity in messy play to mark make. Messy play is simple activities that are fulfilling and children really enjoy. Messy play is a child led activity were children are given an opportunity to create their own ideas and curiousity into play. It encourages children to work together and explore with other children. This gives great opportunity for communication. The child learns textures such as if it is hard or soft, gooey or sticky. Messy play impacts a child’s life in so many ways and should be explored in new and engaging ways. Using open ended materials throughout messy play is important. This could include loose parts or materials. Messy play is what it says, children get messy, enjoy getting messy and messy is the ultimate learning for children. Even though sometimes messy play is a lot of clearing up afterwards, it engages children to have fun fulfilling areas. After messy play, encouraging children to help tidy up afterwards is another important aspect. I hope the activities below give some new ideas.

MESSY PLAY ART AND ACTIVITIES:

1. Sand play area. This could include a particular theme. For example in summer a beach theme with water include. The child may mix the sand and water. It may include a theme such as cars and the child creating a race track using the sand.

2. Mud kitchen. This may include pots, pans, utensils, trays and a washing up dish. Children may decide to create a mud cake or pie. This may be created by mud, water, grass, leaves and flowers from around the early years practice or at home. The mud kitchen gives children the opportunity to explore cooking, sharing, working together, independence and outdoor play.

3. Toy art. This could include using toys such as cars or tractors. It may include creating print using the vehicles, stamping using the vehicles on a sheet of paper. This is also a great group project were the service may explore vehicles. The children could create the prints with pictures of the vehicles that created the prints on display.

4. Rice play. This could be done with using different food colouring within a tray and the children mixing and feeling the different textures.

5. Pasta play. The early years educator or parents boiling pasta, when cool use different food colouring or paint and put into a tray. This activity also gives the opportunity for children to explore sensory textures. The children may decide to use the pasta as a kitchen prop. The pasta may also be put in sandwich bags as a sensory bag. Another fun may include a rainbow using spaghetti and food colouring.

6. Jelly play. This is a particular fun activity for children from a young age. The children may be put in a bath, tray or sensory area and give children the opportunity to explore sensory and textures. This could also include hiding objects within the jelly and the children searching for particular activities within the jelly. For instance, a search map and tick list of items. This could also include blue jelly with boats that creates a water sensory play. The jelly could have fish toys underneath the jelly.

7. Shaving foam. This is also a great activity which may include mixing with paint or food colouring and a little water. This can also be turned into a art activity. For example, creating plants by dipping a sheet of paper in the mix of shaving foam and paint and scaping the excess off the sheet. This can also include shaving foam and paper within a sandwich bag.

8. Play dough. This includes including the child or children in making the playdough and choosing the colour. For example, mixing paint, glitter or vanilla extract into the mix. Play dough has endless opportunities. This may include stamping, kitchen play, creating objects.

9. Painting. The child or children may mix paint colours and create their own picture. This includes exploring the colours mixed, the textures and marks made on the paper. This is a great for communication skills.

10. Home corner using materials such as cereals. This may include creating a farm using Weetabix for bales and cheerios for grass. Shreddies may be used as hay. Rice krispies may be used as food for the animals. This may include using blue food colouring on the cheerios to create a duck pond. Bubble wrap may be used as the duck pond also.

11. Bubble wrap. The child or children painting the bubble wrap and then printing. The child may bust the bubbles. This could also be used in the above activity in farm play.

12. Car wash/Toy wash area. This includes fairy liquid, water and sponges. The children may get involved in washing toys at home or within the early years service.

13. Spaghetti hoops within construction play.

14. Marshmellows in waterplay

15. Ice play. This includes mixing paint into the ice. Great activity for painting and exploring cold textures.

16. Water play including paint, pasta, jelly mix, food colouring, compost.

“Play is the highest form of research”

Albert einstein

Kindness

Kindness

Teaching kindness within early childhood is fundamental for each and every child’s development. This can be fundamental for children. It sets a great example when kindness is shown by early years educators and parents/family. It shows children positive behaviour and the impact being kind has on someone’s day. For example, a child may feel a little shy when joining in on activities. Another child inviting the child into the activity shows kindness. This will also enable the child to have a good day/make their day. This may be continued by that child talking about the kindness the child showed them.

Kindness may include teaching the child to help other children to tidy up at home time in an activity they were maybe not involved in. This shows compassion for the other children and great kindness. Kindness doesn’t have to be something BIG, it is the little things each and every one of us do each day. As shown in the examples above. Kindness empowers each and every one of us but especially young children. It gives children the freedom to be kind in every day life when shown kindness.

Children not being kind to their peers can fundamentally stay in a child’s mind into their youth and further along. Kindness helps children to ensure the wellbeing and needs of others. The early years educator may cover the topics of social and emotional skills. This may include talking about these skills , activities or videos showing these skills.

Children remember kindness in teenage years, adulthood and forever. This gives inspiration that kindness is always remembered and impacts on children’s lives. Being kind empowers children and every child within the environment and world. Teach children to sprinkle kindness around the world and empower each other.  “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” – Dalai Lama.

Kindness Art and Activities:

  1. A handprint from each child decorated and turned into a kindness heart with kindness written in the middle. This could also be used as each child’s hand decorated and joined together along the room.
  2. Discussing with the children what kindness looks like and making a kindness wall with what the child thinks kindness looks like. This may include, smiling, encouraging a friend, being happy for others, offering to help, listening when someone speaks, etc.
  3. Making a kindness Muriel either indoors or outdoors using drink caps with kindness written in the middle.
  4. Kindness stones were each child decorates and a kind word is written individually on each on. They may be around the preschool, school or in the local community. The stone could then be hidden again by whom finds it. This involves community interaction.
  5. Kindness book marks. This may include each child making their own book mark of kindness and each child giving their bookmark to another child.
  6. Acknowledge kindness that children show within the service, classroom or at home.
  7. Creating scenarios that enables the child to think about kindness. E.g. questions such as if only one child can play with ….at a time how would we ensure everyone can play with the ….
  8. Explaining how sharing is caring and being kind. Creating a story with the children in the classroom within the story. E.g. pictures
  9. A Bee kind sheet were each child writes or draws two examples of kindness.
  10. A kindness box in the service, classroom or at home were a child’s act of kindness is written down and out into the box. One or two picked each week and a little reward such as can play with a favourite area for certain length of time.
  11. When child comes home from early childhood service or school ask them two ways in which they were kind today.
  12. Show the child examples of kindness around practice or school. E.g. Child A helped Child B tidy up the lego corner
  13. Discussing fairy tales. For example Cinderella’s sisters were unkind. This can be a perfect opportunity to explore kindness with young children and explore why the step sisters were unkind and what the children may do differently. This could include how Cinderella looks in the pages when her stepsisters were unkind.
  14. A kindness story.
Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.