Those cushions on the floor? They’re not cushions. They’re the big leathery bumps on the back of a humongous crocodile, ready to gobble you up if you don’t run across it to get to the other side of the swamp. Your favourite books strewn down the hallway? They’re not books. They’re wobbly stepping stones across a heaving sea of fiery lava – your only way to the safety of your magical golden castle. The skipping ropes you just tripped over? They’re not skipping ropes. They’re boa constrictors guarding the door to the secret jungle kingdom, ready to lunge if you … Read More
Kids love imaginative play. In fact, so do adults. As a responsible adult, I often use my imagination – to pretend I’m lounging beside a pool, reading a book and sipping a cold drink, atop a mountain so high (yet, amazingly, the weather is wonderfully warm) that no one, not even the late Edmund Hillary, could climb to the top and make annoying and perplexing demands of me, such as: “Hey Mum! You pretend you’re Mum and I’ll pretend I’m a cat!” Imaginative play is essential to children’s learning. It’s how they make sense of the world. They learn social, relationship, … Read More
Sick of being indoors? Here are 9 ideas for winter play There are different kinds of people in this world. Some are summer people, some are winter people. Some people feel invigorated by the rain, and some of us get our crazy on a la Kathy Bates in the film Misery. But when you have kids, it’s best not to wear your dressing gown all day and mumble about getting “the blues” while polishing your axe! Despite grey skies and drizzling rain, there is fun to be had outdoors. So, grab your boots, scarf and sense of fun, and help … Read More
If there’s one sentence I fear more than any other, it’s this: “Mum? Mum! MUUUUM! Can I do painting?” Well, there goes my afternoon, I say to myself as I wonder just how big the radius of paint splatter will be this time. I’m no artist. Yet somehow, an afternoon of painting always ends up with me holding the paintbrush while my daughter plays art director. “Now, do a dinosaur. NO! Not a purple dinosaur! A green dinosaur! Now paint a caterpillar. Now paint Harry Potter. Now paint Elsa and Anna in the castle with the ice magic and the … Read More
Before my daughter was born (and was affectionately known as The Blob), there were several things I swore I would never do as a parent: Let her eat sugar Give her packaged foods Dress her in pink Raise my voice Let her watch TV before she turned one In fact, I would eliminate all digital technology and instead she would entertain herself with old-fashioned games, like hopscotch, tiddly winks and book readin’ Despite placing my hand on her upmarket baby carrier and making these solemn oaths, safe to say, I failed at every one (also, she hated the baby carrier). … Read More
We have a huge flame tree in the middle of our backyard. It is the perfect climbing tree. My five-year-old daughter often perches herself up there, pretending she’s a monkey or looking at the birds through her pink binoculars.Visitors freak out when they see her in the tree. They are
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