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Car travel with kids - individual travel packs. 10 ways to make the most of the school holidays. I’ve seen a lot of articles around about ‘staying sane in the school holidays’ and I get it, I really, truly do.

10 ways to make the most of the school holidays

The school holidays are hard work because they force us away from the everyday family routine that makes life easier for us and holidays then have the added stress of demanding to be fun and interesting and sunny (aren’t holidays always sunny?). I know lots of mums feel panic rising as the holidays approach and I definitely used to be one of them. The structure that I have in place to keep my family of five ticking along is like life’s scaffolding and when I kick it away, I worry that the whole building was going to come down. The good news is, I’ve found out that the life we’ve built is nice and solid without the supporting structure and I’m pretty sure yours is too. So rather than angst about the holidays, I choose to take them for what they are: goodbye routine, hello good times!

When you think about it, the school holidays are actually kind of awesome. 1. Theconversation. Toys and apps for kids are a multi-million-dollar industry, and being able to label something as “educational” is a major selling point.


However, “educational” is often in the eye of the beholder and the potential of any app, or toy, relates to what you can creatively do with them with children. With more than 80,000 educational apps in the iTunes store, it’s usually very difficult for parents to know which ones are worth buying. A group of academics recently provided guidance on what sorts of apps are educational.

Particular types of apps are often derided in broad statements like, “avoid closed apps with limited potential”. Closed apps are apps with fixed features and activities that you cannot deviate from except the order that you might choose to complete them. Criteria for “good” apps are usually framed in terms of their capacity to allow active, engaged and meaningful learning and social interaction. Teaching Kids How To Set & Protect Their Boundaries (And Keep Toxic People Ou... Part of helping our kids to be the best they can be sometimes means pointing out things they can do differently.

Teaching Kids How To Set & Protect Their Boundaries (And Keep Toxic People Ou...

They might not always be happy to receive the information – they’re no different to the rest of us like that. There’s a difference though – a big difference – between feedback that’s given with generous intent and that which fractures the child’s self-concept or self-esteem. Anything that causes shame, humiliation or the ‘shrinking’ of a child is toxic. 15 Tips for Starting a Lifelong Conversation About Books. So, what’d you think of the book?

15 Tips for Starting a Lifelong Conversation About Books

Good. Did you like the book? Yeah. How to Start Dinner Conversation with Your Child. Parents often tell me they don’t know where to begin to have a “real” conversation with their child.

How to Start Dinner Conversation with Your Child

These questions will get you started. Rather than badgering your child with them, use one as the jumping off point for a two-way conversation. Start by asking your child the question, and listen to the answer, remembering to reflect back what she’s saying so she knows you understand. Don’t shy away from expressing your opinions, as long as you remember not to lecture; kids are often curious what parents think. The point is developing the habit of conversation and deepening your relationship.

Knowing your child's reading stage and how to help them. Learning to read is a complicated process and parents often wonder if their child is developing reading abilities at the rate they “should”.

Knowing your child's reading stage and how to help them

Research agrees, however, that reading (and writing) is very much a developmental process, which can look very different for different children, regardless of their age. It can be very tempting to compare children of the same age in terms of their reading development. However, this is in no way a reliable indicator of how they should be reading at a certain age. Two-hour screen limit for kids is virtually impossible to enforce. It’s almost universally recommended that for optimal physical and mental health, children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity each day and limit the time they spend watching TV, playing computer games, and surfing the net on various devices.

Two-hour screen limit for kids is virtually impossible to enforce

In 2001, the American Academy of Paediatrics released guidelines recommending children under two years have no screen exposure and children over two should have no more than two hours for entertainment per day. The Australian Department of Health followed suit, recommending no screen time for children under two, a maximum of one hour for children aged two to five years, and two hours for children aged five to 17. The guidelines are based on past research suggesting that high levels of screen-based media use can impact on children’s physical and mental health outcomes But while achieving the physical activity part of the recommendation is realistic, limiting screen use to two hours is becoming virtually impossible.

Level of screen use. For parents: thoughts - Mem Fox. If you’ve read anything about me for the last thirty years, or heard me speak, you’ll know that my passion is encouraging parents to read aloud to their children.

For parents: thoughts - Mem Fox

I’d be sad if anyone missed out on the delight of it.... Read More For children aged from birth to four The world and I could argue forever about what’s left off this list. Hundreds of other magnificent books exist. I had a query from a new mother in Australia in 2010 about books for small babies. Winning The War Between Books And Television (I wrote this speech—which later became a chapter in Reading Magic—in the early nineties, before the invention of smart phones or tablets, so please include those devices and any new ones when you see the word ‘television’.)

A Reading Tent - Children's Books Daily... This is not a sponsored post – just me rabbiting on about a product I love!

A Reading Tent - Children's Books Daily...

Last week I wrote about ChickPea’s Little Blue/Willow book bunting and today I’m sharing what will be (at Christmas!) The latest addition to her bedroom; a reading tent with Willow fabric flags. PudStar and I had been pondering what to do with the space that was left when we removed ChickPeas no longer needed change-table. Sadly we may have been a bit hopeful about the debacle that is toilet training, but anyway…the change-table is gone! PudStar decided that the best thing for the room would be a reading tent as she has a much loved reading corner in her room which you can see here and we had a ‘Christmas reading tent’ on our front deck last Christmas which she loved. The Cure for Whining. Should they get what they want by whining?

The Cure for Whining

Absolutely not. Should they learn that they can get their way by marshaling good arguments and making them in a reasonable, humorous, charming way that meets your needs as well as theirs? Absolutely, if you want them to get anywhere in life. But how to help them make that transition? Whining is common with toddlers and preschoolers. 1. When humans feel overwhelmed, they get whiny. 2. Be pre-emptive. 3. Lawrence Cohen, the wonderful author of Playful Parenting, says "When children whine they are feeling powerless.

Remember, you're not out to manipulate her, but to connect. Then, if she keeps whining, you can say playfully "You don't sound like yourself. Express confidence that your child can use her "strong" voice and offer your assistance to help her find it, by making it into a game: "Hey, where did your strong voice go? Finally, give her alternate tools by teaching her how to ask appropriately for something and negotiate with you. 4. 10 Ways to Help Your Child Be Strong. Bullying begins in preschool and gains momentum as kids grow. Depending on which survey you read, between 40 and 80 percent of middle schoolers admit to bullying behavior. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense - Sarah Wilson. The Baby Decision 

I finally found a woman who specialized in procreative confusion. For the past three decades, Merle Bombardieri has focused on helping people make their baby decision. She even wrote a handy how-to book: The Baby Decision. The title leaves little room for creative interpretation, which makes sense, because she's a get-to-the-point kind of lady, as I found out once I finally got her on the phone. "I can't figure out if I actually want one or if I want to want one," I said.

"Does that make sense? " Merle didn't make me feel ridiculous for questioning the idea of breeding. How to Put a Toddler to Bed in 100 Easy Steps  1. Announce that it's time to go to bed. 2.