The importance of mother tongue!

The mother tongue is the language you learn first, the language you use most and the language you have the best command over.


The mother tongue is the language with which you identify yourself.

The first contact with the mother tongue starts from birth with parents and close relatives; this is called the mother tongue learning process.

The specific ability of children to learn their mother tongue is programmed into their brains in the same way as children are programmed to learn to walk.

A child’s language develops in interaction with others. Therefore it is important that parents and close relatives stimulate the child’s language development by talking, narrating, reading and singing.

Story books and reading aloud to  children already in early age are important componentsto help children to conquer their own mother tongue.

Children who have a rich vocabulary in their own mother tongue when they start school have easier to learn the language in school and they learn to read and write earlier.

Children also learn a second language better if they have a high level of competence in their own mother tongue.  

Researches have shown that it is easier to learn a new language if you have good knowledge of your own mother tongue. The languages can act as a support for each other.

Language is one of the most important factors with regard to cultural affiliation and identity.

Based on the importance of the mother tongue and that very few story books are produced in Seychelles in the children’s own mother tongue Creole we decided to write and publish story books for children in Creole.

Writing and publishing story books for small children is a part of our project “Give your child a language!”

You can read more about the project in earlier blogs,  label Give your child a language.”

Our stories take place in Seychellesin the children’s own environment, it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize and identify themselves with the characters in the story books. 
Here is some of the books we written and published in Seychelles. Translated to English.

The Spider Prince

The Spider Prince lives on a small island in the Indian Ocean. He built his spider net in a Takamaka Tree on the Beau Vallon Beach. The Spider Prince fell in love with a spider princess that also lived in the tree, but her father, The Spider King do not let them see each other.
ISBN 978-9993194392 

Let’s plant!

Jojo and Yxkull are gardening with their friends. They will teach us about plants, about what tools you need when you are planting and what makes a seed grow.

ISBN 978-9993194408

The little rabbit

This little story can be affiliated to especially article 6 in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and can be used as a discussion with the children about their rights. What do small children believe they need and what makes them feel good happy and safe? Who do they believe is responsible
 that children, get what they need?

ISBN 978-9993194330 


Save Mango!

Mitzi, Yxkull and Jojo lives in Seychelles on the main island Mahe.  We will follow them on an adventure when they save a giant tortoise.
ISBN  978-9993194422
Exerpts from Sov Mango! translated to English

Visit if you want to read Save Mango! online.
The project is based on our publications “The Importance of the Mother Tongue for Children´s Education and Intellectual Development” and “The Importance of reading aloud for children for their language development.”

Balloons – festive but dangerous!

Children love to play with balloons and balloons are very common on birthday and on other festive parties involving children.

But latex balloons are associated with choking and suffocation hazard and can be dangerous for children under 8 years old to play with.

Balloons cause more choking deaths in children than any other non-food related product.

Never give balloons to children younger than 8 years old. A child who is blowing up or chewing on balloon can choke by inhaling the balloon.

Children under the age of 4 are especially exposed to choking injuries because they put things in their mouths. Children unde 4 years have narrow windpipes that easily can get blocked by a defleted balloon or of a piece of a balloon.

The fragments from a popped balloon are a choking hazard if the child chew or suck the rubber into their mouths to make bubbles.

Deflated balloons are also a choking hazard and it is recommended out of safety that adults inflates balloons.

Even a string that is longer than 22 cmand attached to a balloon, can be a strangulation hazard!  There is a risk that the child get the string around her/his neck and get strangled.

Ensure that the string is shorter than 22cm!

If you want to use balloons, use big Mylar balloons instead, children cannot accidentally inhale a big piece of Mylar and when a Mylar balloon burst they don’t generally creates small fragments.

Don’t let children inhale Helium from balloons! The danger occurs when the helium is inhaled into a child’s lungs thereby depriving them of oxygen supply. If the child mostly breathe helium, it can suffocate the child.


                     Always supervise children when there are balloons around!


























Lekia did it again!

Playtime Seychelles has since Christmas 2014 been giving Christmas gifts to children that maybe never got a Christmas Gift.
This program started by a coincident in November 2014 when a fantastic German gentleman, living in Seychelles, asked me if Playtime wanted to give the children toys as Christmas gifts. He had bought a big amount of toys in Germany. 


We accepted his offer with great gratitude!
Next step was to find the children who should be the recipients of the toys, children in most need to get a Christmas Gift. Fortunately one of Playtime Seychelles committee members are a social worker and she immediately started to contact her colleagues in the other of Seychelles Community districts. We soon got lists with names and ages of children from the different districts.
We bought a lot of beautiful wrapping papers, ribbons and bows and started to wrap the toys. 
We also printed gift cards and we wrote each child’s name on the card. We wanted each child to feel  this was a gift specially chosen for him/her.
Every child should be entitled to a little playtime at least on Christmas Eve!
Noreen social worker and member of Playtime Seychelles committee picks up Christmas Gifts for different distrtict on Mahe, 2015
We packed the gifts into boxes to the districts and some of the social workers arranged Christmas parties for the children in their district.
Playtime also participated in these parties and I and my colleague Michelle could give the children their Christmas Gifts in person.
We also visited the Orphanages and gave each child a Christmas gift and wished them a Merry Christmas.  
We saw the big smiles on the children’s faces when they got the gifts and how happy they were and decided to make this into a habit every Christmas. This was the start up for Playtime Seychelles Christmas Gift Program for children in Seychelles.
Next year we were sending donations letters to toy manufacturers and retailers.
We wrote a lot of letters where we appealed for toys for Christmas gifts to children that maybe never got a Christmas gift or not even own a toy of their own.
Richard Richardson from a toy company, Lekia Sweden answered our appeal immediately.
He said, yes we can donate toys to Seychelles children, and he asked how many children do you have and in what ages, that are in a need toys?
We realized that Playtime Seychelles was fortunate to get in contact with a person and a company that have a big and generous heart.
We got two big boxes full of fantastic toys that we picked up on Seychelles airport and we were excited like children on Christmas Eve when we unpacked them.
Lekia have been the donor of toys to our Christmas Gift program 2015, 2016 and they have done it again!


Lekia Sweden is also the toy donor to Seychelles children 2017!

Nowadays we give gifts to many different places. We give to Crèches, Primary Schools, Christmas parties, to the church, Social Affairs, Children’s Ward at Seychelles Hospital.
Seychelles Hospital Children’s Ward 2015
                                                                     Sister Alice 2016
This program and Lekia’s donations have attracted a lot of attention in Seychelles and have been nominated as one of the Minister of Tourism and Culture high lights of the year, two years in a row.
The program has been very appreciated in Seychelles, but probably most appreciated by the children. How exiting isn´t it to get a gift from Sweden, a country so far away from Seychelles and gifts that are specially chosen only for them. It is important for children to feel special and chosen sometimes and at least once a year!
We will do updates on this blog about this year’s Christmas gifts and how it proceeds.

Bikers should always wear a helmet!

As doctors say, “we can fix arms and legs – we can’t fix head and neck”. 

Bicycle helmets reduces the risk that children will get head injuries from accidents related to falls from riding a bike. Wearing a bicycle helmet prevents bicycle related deaths in children by 75%.


Less than 20% of reported bicycle injuries involve collisions with cars. Most injuries occur in falls, or as a result of the rider loses control. A bad fall can be the result of a skid, a wheel get catched in a crack or even getting a shoelace caught in the chain.
It is usually the foreheadthat hits the ground first. Head injuries are one the most common of bicycle-related accidents and can result in serious injury such as disability, brain damage and in the worst case scenario death.
Helmets are the most important protective gear for bikers. Helmets should fit appropriately and the straps should be fastened.
A helmet should be worn squarely on top of the head, cover the forehead, the back of the head and the crown.
 If it is tipped back, it will not protect the forehead. The helmet fits well if it doesn’t move around on the head or slide down over the eyes when pushed or pulled. The chin strap should be adjusted to fit snugly.
A badly fitting helmet can cause serious harm. 
The essential part of the helmet for impact protection is a thick layer of firm polystyrene, a plastic foam, which crushes on impact and absorbs the force of the blow. 
A helmet that has been through a serious fall or crash shall be retired with gratitude. It has served its purpose and maybe not provide adequate protection in another crash. Impacts crush some of the foam and the helmet is less protective even if the damage of the helmet isn’t visible to the eye. If you are uncertain whether the helmet is still usable, throw it away.
Playgrounds and bicycle helmets are not a good combination!
There is a “hidden hazard” of strangulation if a child wears a helmet while playing on playground equipment.
There have been cases of young children suffering death or severe brain damage as a result of being hanged by the straps of their bicycle helmets when they have been playing on a playground.

 Be sure to teach children to remove their helmets before using playground equipment or climbing trees!

CE the European Seal of Approval and it is only awarded for safe helmets.                 A CE testing typically includes tests for:
  •        shock absorption
  •         penetration
  •         retention systems (chin strap and buckle)

 The marking should be CE EN 1078 (for children over age 7 and adults) or             EN 1080 (helmet for young children with a green buckle); that way you know   that it is a hel­met designed for cycling.
EN 1080 is a derived standard designed to address problems associated with the strangulation of children playing while wearing helmets.
En1080 is a helmet for children up to seven years old and it provides the same level of protection as an ordinary bicycle helmet, but the green buckle has an additional feature causing it to release under a defined load. The buckle will          re­lease if the child gets caught in a climbing frame or similar, to help prevent choking accidents.

Protect your precious passenger!

Never leave a child unattended in a car.


 The child can suffer from a heat stroke!
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Never leave a child unattended in a car.
Heads an arms inside the car always!
Don’t let a child hang out his arm from a car window! The child can get deep rashes or cuts by bushes on the roadside. Break a bone, if a tree or anything else hits the child’s hand or arm even get the arm crushed from a meeting or overtaking car.
Don’t let a child hang out his head from a car window! 
The child can get severe head injuries that can lead to brain damage, disability or in the worst case scenario death by getting hit by a meeting or overtaking car. Also things standing on or near the roadside are an immediate danger.
Children can get hurt by the power windows.
A child can get injured when a window closes on the finger, wrist or hand even get strangled.
If a child hangs out his head from the car window and the child’s knee or hand accidently trigger the power window switch, the child can get strangled when the window closes around the neck of the child. It takes only ten kilo of force to break the trachea of a small child, but many power windows close with a force of thirteen to thirty-six kilos of force.


The Safest Way! 
The safest way for a child to ride in the car is to be restrained in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts!


Safety car seats reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries 



Kisisa en reflekter?

“Kisisa en reflekter?”translated to English means “What is a pedestrian reflector?”and that is the title of the picture book Playtime Seychelles gives to children in primary school together with a pedestrian reflector to encourage children to use a reflector. The book helps children understand why they shall wear a pedestrian reflector and it is written in the children’s own mother tongue creole.
Follow the link and you can read the book in english on Calameo.
We start with a presentation to the teachers about the benefits of pedestrian reflectors and also provide the teachers and their families with personal pedestrian reflectors. We give a book to all class rooms and encourage the teachers to read the book to the children and talk about why it is important to wear a pedestrian reflector before we visit the classroom and give each child a book and a reflector.
At our visit the children are very anxious to tell us what they learnt about pedestrian reflectors and they really have learnt a lot with guidance from their teachers and from the book.
Bel Ombre Primary School
                                                                Glacis Primary School
So far we have been giving the book to 2000 children in Primary School by help from a donation from the US Embassy in Mauritius. 

Be Visible Be Safe Poster


Outside the postoffice in Victoria

Promoting pedestrians reflectors on the Regatta

Workshop during National Road Safety Week

Donating pedestrian reflector bracelets on the bus station in Victoria to bus passengers and  pedestrians

A collaboration between Playtime Seychelles and Seychelles Postal have made it possible to buy a a personal Pedestrian Reflector at Seychelles Postal Office in Victoria. The profit is used to print more Kisisa books. 

The project slogan is “Safe in Seychelles” that also is printed on the pedestrian reflector bracelets.
Excerpts from Playtime Seychelles Road Safety project Be Visible Be Safe.

Adults are the facilitators of play!

Adults are the facilitators of play and facilitates play by providing inspiring indoor and outdoor play environments.
Play needs time, space and things to play with and also engaged, interested and present adults that take play seriously.
Play facilitators plan for play but they don’t plan children’s play because they know this it is against the central features of play.
Play facilitators know that play is child chosen, child invented and voluntary.
Play facilitators are providers of experiences that develops, enrich and extends  children’s play.
Play facilitators ask questions, offers suggestions, and take interest in children’s play.
Play facilitators are co-players, if invited, they play with the children on the  children’s terms. Children love and appreciate when adults take part in their play.
Play facilitators are responsible for that play is not disturbed and interrupted, some plays are more complicated to play than others and need more time to stage and develop. If children are disturbed to often there is a risk that they stop playing the more complicated plays like role and fantasy plays and construction play.
Play facilitators are observers of play and are responsible for that all children have access to play opportunities every day and that no one is excluded.
Play facilitators provide stimulating and attractive materials to enhance and entice children into play.
Play facilitators must carefully consider age and developmental levels in the design of the play areas and in the selection of materials.
Play facilitators provides a variety of materials to stimulate different kinds of plays both indoor and outdoor.
Play facilitators provide plenty of accessories as play people, animals, transportation vehicles etc. they know that accessories are important in play especially in dramatic play and block/construction plays, stimulates language, interactions, creativity and fantasy.
Play facilitators always let children have access to the loose parts both in indoor and outdoor plays. They know that the loose parts empowers children’s creativity and fantasy.
Play facilitators organize the material so it is easy for children to overview and selecting material and also easy placing the materials back when they are finished.
Play facilitators knows the importance of that play material must be clean and unbroken and that broken materials even can be dangerous to play with especially for small children.
Play facilitators inspects the material on regularly basis.
Play facilitators understands the importance of play for children’s well-being, learning and development.
Play facilitators knows that an inspiring play environment is an opportunity for learning.

Falling is a part of childhood.


Falling is a part of childhood  when children are learning to walk, climb, run and jump and also when they are exploring their environment. Children will fall a lot of times during their childhood without sustaining more than some bruises and maybe a few cuts.
For younger children, the falls happen more often in the home from furnitures, stairs, balconies,or windows and can result in severe or fatal injuries especially the falls from a significant height or onto a hard surface, like falls from second story or higher windows, balconies and stairs and can lead to head injuries, fractures, sprains and in the worst case scenario to death.


To reduce fall accidents there are measures that has been proven to help to prevent against the risk that a fall happens and also reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a fall.


 Stair Gates


Use a stair gate both at the top and bottom of the stair. Check regularly that the gate is securely fixed. The opening between the treads should not be wider than maximum10 cm. If it is wider, your child risks to get stuck or fall through. It’s also important to ensure, that it isn’t possible to climb onto the banister rail. If you don’t have a stair gate you can build one yourself.





Window and balcony restrictors
The balcony must be safe. It should not be possible to climb onto the railing. Nor must the rail not have openings wider than maximum 10 cm. Otherwise there is a risk that  children will get stuck or fall out between the treads. To use a safety chain on balcony doors and windows are a good precaution to prevent fall accidents.



Adjust the length of the chain so the balcony door can be open without that the child can get out on the balcony.












Avoid Small Parts!

Choking is a common cause of injury and death in young children, primarily because their small airways are easily obstructed especially children under age 4 are particularly at risk.
Babies and small children examine things by putting them in their mouth, this is how they learn about their surroundings and their world.Therefore it is a risk that small toys or small parts from toys and other products can get stuck in children’s throats or get sucked into the lungs. The child can get injuries on the airways or get choked.
Lack of oxygen to the brain for more than four minutes may result in brain damage or death. Airway obstruction can occur when children choke on an object that is blocking the airway, suffocate on items that block or cover the airways.


The best way to prevent this kind of accidents is to keep small objects out of reach of small children.
Choose sturdy and well-made toys that can stand up against being bitten, tugged, sucked, jumped on and thrown around without falling apart.
Pick age-appropriate toys.
Choose toys suitable for your child’s age, abilities and skill level. Avoid toys with detachable parts. Be sure to follow the age recommendation – particularly the 0 to 3 symbol and the words ‘not suitable for children under 36 months.                                                                                                                                                                                       


 Stuffed toys like teddy bears and cuddle dolls may seem harmless but ensure that parts such as eyes, nose, buttons and other small parts are securely fixed to the bear or doll and that the clothes not can be easily removed by pulling, chewing or washing.  For children up to three years, ensure that the doll’s limb or head is not removable because if the parts are too small they can be a choking hazard.
Soft toys can contain filling that is dangerous for young children, like plastic beads. If the toy breaks, children under three years old can suffer serious injuries or illness. They can choke on small parts or filling that they have placed in their mouths and inhaled. Ask the shop if you feel uncertain. Stuffed toys should be washable. Check toy cars, trucks and other vehicles to make sure that wheels, tires or other small parts not are lose or removable.
Toys that children have in or near their mouth like rattles or teeth rings shall have round forms which must be large enough, so they not fit completely into your childs mouth and not have long narrow shafts. The shafts can get too far in the mouth and harm your childs throat or block the windpipe. The last warning is especially for children that cannot sit up by themselves yet.

Even the packaging the toy comes in can be dangerous! Remove packaging, prize tags and other things and discard packaging immediately before giving the toy to the child. Make sure your child do not play with plastic packaging as it could be a risk of suffocation.

Inspect your home for choking hazards.


Check under your furniture and between seat cushions for choking hazards, such as coins, marbles, watch batteries, buttons, dices and/or pen or marker caps.
Watch up with peanuts.
Keep toys and games for older children separate from those for younger children.
Have a designated area for small parts out of reach of small children and teach your older children to store their “dangerous toys” there.
Use a Small Part Cylinder
With a Small Part Cylinder you can check all small things that could be dangerous for your child to put in her/his mouth. The Small Part Cylinder have the same size as a three year old child’s windpipe.


Try all toys and small parts in the cylinder. If they go completely into the cylinder then they are dangerous to your child. Things that does not go into the cylinder can still be dangerous to put in the mouth. Small balls and other round things that can block the air flow.   
Playtime Seychelles has donated 100 small part cylinders to Seychelles Hospital Maternity Ward.

Visit Playtime Seychelles website

      Visit Playtime Seychelles Charity Site

The importance of story books in the mother tongue

After I had been living in Seychelles for a while i decided to make a visit to Seychelles National Library Children’s Department. I am interested in literature for children and I wanted to find out what kind of books they had to offer for younger children.
The librarian was very nice and showed me around and I was very impressed of the big variety of different kind of books in many subjects from facts to fiction. All classical story books like “Sleeping Beauty”, picture books for the babies and toddlers of high quality all the books you expect to find in the children’s department in a National Library. I saw on the tour that nearly all books were in English and French and I asked the librarian about where the books in the children’s own mother tongue Creole stood. She told me that there just was a handful of books written in Creole for children.
Seychelles has tree national languages Creole, English and French. Seychellois Creole is the first language by most Seychellois and is used in everyday conversation, in schools, in shops and is the mother tongue of the majority of Seychellois. Children start to learn English and French in primary one in Seychelles.
When no small children’s books are produced in Seychelles there are no books in context of Seychelles, not by population,  nor by places, not by languages, nothing that the children can relate to and recognize themselves in. it is important for children especially small children to be able to recognize themselves and identify themselves with the characters in story books. 
This was the run-up to write and start the project” Give your child a language”!
Researches have showed that books are essential building blocks of literacy and learning. To give small children access to story books in their own mother tongue and to read aloud to them in early age are key components for language development and have a profound impact on their educational development.


Playtime Seychelles makes a book release for children at the Library.