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November 7, 2012

PARENTS’ NOTES: a special advertising section


Bake some

treats to leave for Santa

Let kids bake a homemade gift for teachers

Its a magical time ofyearfar children. Its also a time when many families rTlI1ke memories that last a lifetime. Baking with children is a great way to farm a tradition that yourfamily will treasure always. Tips for Baking with Kids

Let kids help decorate

· Choose easy kid-friendly recipes or buy pre-made cookie dough. · Set ground rules. Let kids know what's acceptable and what's not Explain directions must be followed, and if the blender or oven is off-limits. · Be prepared for a messy kitchen. Line countertops with parchment paper or foil. Keep paper towels on hand for quick clean-ups. · Kids love decorating. Have a variety of candy, sprinkles, frostings and cookie-cutters on hand. · Don't expect perfection. This isn't a contest - it's about having fun! · Get in the holiday mood. Put on a CD of their favourite holiday songs and carols.




LINDOS Parent Notes BdaSun NOV and DEC ISSUES


a special advertising section of the bermuda sun


November 7, 2012


page 33

Layaway a good option for special Christmas presents Items can be secured by paying a deposit with balance paid over a fixed time period Otto Wurz 5 Front Street, Hamilton. Call 295-1247 or e-mail: Bicycle Works 3 Tumkins Lane, Pembroke. Call 297-8356 or e-mail The Phoenix Centre 3 Reid Street, Hamilton. Call 279-5451.

By Amanda Dale

As the early festive decorations in shops are reminding us, Christmas is on its way. Money is tight in this recession but you may still want to treat your child to his or her ‘dream’ Christmas present this year. If you’re worried about payments, the answer could be a layaway scheme. A layaway enables you to purchase an item without paying the entire cost at once. The customer pays a deposit and then pays off the balance on the item within a set time period, according to their budget and what they can afford at certain times. Unlike instalment plans or hire purchases however, the customer can only take the item home once it is fully paid for. If the goods are not paid for by the end of the time period, the item is returned to the retailer’s stock. There are just under seven weeks to go before Christmas, so why not explore which stores in Bermuda can offer you a layaway scheme? At Otto Wurz in Hamilton, staff offer layaways for children’s toys, in particular the bigger items such as doll’s houses and firehouses. Anthea Edwards, owner/ manager, said: “We will assemble them for you and you don’t have to worry about having to take the gift home early, because we will keep it right up until the weekend before Christmas (December 22/23). We also do free deliveries.”


BIG TICKET ITEMS like this doll’s house from Otto Wurz, or a bike from Bicycle Works, can be purchased using the layaway scheme. The Phoenix Centre in Hamilton also operates layaways for children’s toys. Mrs Edwards said: “It’s really anything we have here which you can layaway. “We require a larger deposit to start with, a third of the payment, but we are flexible and can draw up a pay schedule for a period of time we agree on. “We have to be flexible

because some people are more able to pay than others. We try to be understanding of those who want to give their children something special but who may not be able to do it all at the same time.” Otto Wurz has a large selection of dolls’ houses, from deluxe to tabletop,

ranging from $165 to $350. Some come fully furnished with dolls. The store also sells firehouses for action figures. Other large gift ideas are a children’s kitchen, available in red or pink, for $330, or a wooden art table, with drying rack, for $300. Christopher S Edwards,

Otto Wurz creative director, said: “With our children’s toys I tend to go low-tech, high imagination, to make them more interactive with the kids. We tend to get a lot of grandparents coming in here looking for special gifts.” Parents can also take advantage of layaways

at Bicycle Works in Pembroke. If your child wants a new bike for Christmas, the store has a wide choice for all ages. Neil De Ste Croix, managing director, said: “We have a complete range of kids’ bikes, starting from a strider with no pedals, on which toddlers can stride along, to bigger sizes and styles. These include BMX and mountain bikes. “We’ve got a lot more stock coming in during the next few weeks, so we can ensure everyone gets what they want for Christmas. “We also have all the accessories you need for safe cycling, such as lights and helmets. “We usually take a third of the cost as a deposit and then people come in to make the rest of the payment. Once it’s paid off they can collect it during Christmas week, but if you are stuck we can also delivery it for you.” At the Phoenix Centre in Hamilton, the layaway scheme for children’s toys started on November 1. A company spokeswoman said: “It has to be on an item over $200 and you put a third of the price down on it and then you have six weeks to pay the rest.” n


GabrIELLa CharLES who celebrated her

6th birthday on 1st November.

Lots of love

from Mommy, Daddy, brothers, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles & cousins



November 7, 2012

PARENTS’ NOTES: a special advertising section





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PARENTS’ NOTES: a special advertising section


November 7, 2012



Self-confidence boost for children learning music For more information contact Lloyd Matthew, executive director of the Bermuda School of Music, on 296-5100 x 208 or see www.

By Amanda Dale

Teaching your child music goes much further than encouraging an appreciation of the art form. Learning music can enhance motor skills and movement, as well as mathematical skills and creativity. And, as older children learn to play a musical instrument, performing in public can increase their self-confidence and esteem. At the Bermuda School of Music, children aged three months and older can learn the wonders of music through Kindermusik. Kindermusik is a childhood music and movement programme developed by education experts in Germany in the 1960s. It really took off in North America in the late 1970s and is now taught all over the world. Kindermusik uses songs, recordings, instruments, nursery rhymes and literature to build a foundation of music education. It also assists in cognitive, emotional, social, physical and language development. Chas Arnold, Suzuki strings coordinator at the Bermuda School of Music, said: “The Kindermusik programme teaches music and environment, movement and rhythm, and then becomes more complex as you get older. It’s introduces children to different rhythms and sounds. “It builds up a music foundation which then feeds into other programmes, such as learning to play the piano, strings, violin or the voice.” Mr Arnold said: “Usually,


FIRST VIOLINS: Children are introduced to strings at the age of four or five. At the Bermuda School of Music, children aged three months and older can learn the wonders of music through Kindermusik. when a student reaches the age of six, we will move them on to a different instrument, such as the piano, guitar, drums or woodwind. “But with strings, we try to get them into strings at the age of four or five. We do Suzuki violin classes for the younger students, aged three to six.” The Suzuki method of teaching music was designed by Japanese violinist Shin’ichi Suzuki (1898-

1998) and is based on people learning from their environment.

Start early

He believed in formal instruction from a young age, as early as three, and in creating a positive environment in which to learn. The Bermuda School of Music holds regular Suzuki classes. Mr Arnold said: “A lot of people ask me, ‘Do you have any students that are going to become

professional musicians?’, but as a teacher, we don’t look at music education in this way. “Our classes are all about building up self-confidence and self-esteem. For the violin classes we also have a group class in which children can build up their ensemble skills from an early age. “These are the early stages of team-building, and it’s giving students the opportunity to pick up their instruments, to stand up

in front of an audience and play. “No matter what age they are or level they are playing at, you want them to go up there and be confident. “We have students who come in to the school who are very shy, but once they start playing music they open up in confidence.” The Bermuda School of Music runs several different classes each week. “Throughout the community, with our community programming, we probably service about 1,200 students each week,” said Mr Arnold. They range from the age of three months to 96-year-old Myrtle Edness, who is taking piano lessons at the school. Mr Arnold said: “We’re trying to do more with seniors. Music therapy is often recommended after an illness as it has the ability to help heal people. “In the past year we’ve been pushing our Seniors programme, and the people participating in it have been really keen.” Mrs Edness, a grandmother-ofthree, has fulfilled her long-held ambition to learn how to play the piano. The Bermuda School of Music provides her lessons free of charge through its Community Education Initiative. Mr Arnold said: “Learning to play music has benefits for all ages.” n

Kindermusik gives a foundation for a lifetime of music and learning By Laura Appert Springham Bermuda School of Music

Kindermusik classes offer parents and children an opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of music from an early age. Classes are taught from three to four months, up to the age of seven. Each class uses materials and activities tailored to each age group, with the aim of encouraging growth in several areas: Language; fine and large motor skills; social and emotional skills; and a love of music. Village class — three and four-months-old, to 18 months The Village class teaches babies aged three to four months, right up to 18 months. Parents learn about baby massage and exercises to do to help develop their baby’s brain and motor skills. The class includes an exploration of various baby-appropriate instruments, circle dances to interact with the other babies in the class, relaxation time with music, and ideas to implement these activities at home. Babies are at various stages of sitting, crawling and walking, and the activities are adjusted to fit your baby’s stage of development. Youngsters learn from watching and interacting with the other babies in the class. Time class — 18-monthsold to age three Our Time class is the toddler class, from 18-months-old to age three.

This class involves more movement, to accommodate the busy toddler who loves to explore. It starts with rhymes, finger play and lap bounces to encourage talking and vocal sounds from your toddler. Each class has a combination of story time, movement with instruments and music, as well as ‘together time’ to bond with parents. The Imagine That class — three to five-year-olds The three-year-old child may be enrolled at school and is becoming more independent from their parents. The Imagine That class, for children aged three to five, allows children to spend time in the classroom without a parent for 30 minutes. Parents come in at the end of the class for ‘sharing time’, to hear what their child did in the class and a family activity to do at home during the week. Imagine That allows children to become storytellers, to use their imagination and become more competent singers and speakers. Pretend play in class also helps to develop language, motor and cognitive skills. Students become actively involved in the storytelling process, adding their own experiences and thoughts to the class. The teacher encourages them to be creative and to express their independence. Kindermusik for the Young Child — ages five to seven This class expands on the knowledge your child has already gained from

previous classes, and adds a strong musical foundation as a base for any future musical studies. The curriculum, for ages five to seven, teaches children the fundamentals of musical notation and introduces them to classical composers and music from around the world. This is a good foundation to prepare your child for the formal study of a musical instrument. Children learn how to

play the glockenspiel, recorder and dulcimer. Reading, writing and playing music are all taught at a pace that is age-appropriate, and in small steps. Students also have weekly homework cards to reinforce the concepts learned in each class. Like the Imagine That class, parents come in for the last 15 minutes of the hour-long class. Every Kindermusik class includes a home materials

packet to enhance the classroom experience. Home materials include a family activity booklet, CDs of songs from class, storybooks and an instrument. The materials vary depending on which class you are taking, and all materials are age-appropriate. Kindermusik is an excellent choice for your child’s growth and development. There are many choices of early music classes but

Kindermusik was the first of its kind. The curriculum is based on the research of early childhood educators. n

Laura Appert Springham is head of Kindermusik at the Bermuda School of Music. For more information, go to For information see www. or e-mail kindermusik@musicschool. bm



PARENTS’ NOTES: a special advertising section

November 7, 2012



Five decisions you need to make to be a better dad By Pete Saunders

“If you refuse to move in with me, you will take care of that child by yourself.” Those were the words my father spoke to my 24-yearold Christian unmarried mother, who ‘slipped up’. And needless to say, he proved to be a man of his words. She said no, and he turned his back on us, without offering a red cent (or silver cent in Jamaica). Unfortunately, society — through the media, historical events, and other forms of misinformation — has led some to believe that fathers and father involvement are optional for children. As a result, some men decide to abandon their children. Some women, for various reasons, also block fathers from being more involved with their children. Both reasons are unacceptable; as they can have devastating effects on children, such as poor academic performance, prolonged aggression and other negative behaviours, such as substance abuse problems. The fact is that children generally do better when both mom and dad are involved and committed. Of course, I also recognize that there are children from single-parent homes who do exceptionally well. There are always exceptions.

advance because each subsequent generation makes significant contributions to what has already been established, or that which has failed to be established. Provide your kids with the knowledge, tools and opportunities to be your best successor. We all need that! My mother struggled as a single parent, and so did I, especially during my early teen years.

However, both parents need to be involved in the entire parenting process, and not just at the conception stage. Here are five important decisions men need to make to fulfil and demonstrate their commitment to their role as fathers.

1. I will provide the best environment for my family.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a luxurious home, fitted out with every possible amenity. It does mean, however, that you will provide an environment that is safe, loving and supportive.

Imaginary dad

2. I will manage my home well.

And no, I don’t mean for you to take over the cooking and cleaning, although you should help. Decide to minimize expenditures and to increase savings. You should decide that your family would always be well taken care of. This requires some sacrifice and a great deal of prudence. But you can do it!

3. I will plan and/or take part in family activities. Do not sacrifice time with your family for anything else. The cost is too great. You build relationships and strengthen bonds by spending time together. Schedule family time if

n photo by bakari smith

COMMITTED: Men have to decide to be part of the parenting process and demonstrate their commitment to their role as fathers. you have to. Just don’t ever neglect your family.

4. I will look after my health.

Providing the best environment, managing your

home, and enjoying both, means that you must be in good health. Otherwise, either your family will suffer, or someone else will enjoy what you have worked hard to establish.

So, eat well. Exercise often. Laugh freely!

5. I will help my children to become better than me. Nations grow and

I reluctantly admit that I needed a father so badly that I imagined one. I remember feeling excited whenever a grown man referred to me as “son”. So, against my mother’s desires, although she did not try to stop me, I made contact with my father. He had so many regrets, especially because he did not have a relationship with any of his seven other children. Do forgive me if I sound a bit harsh, but I will never be like my father. In fact, I don’t want any man to be like my father. You became a father because of an emotional and physical decision you made recently, or long ago. That was a big decision, which led to other important decisions. You will always be a father, so commit yourself to making the best decisions for your children and family. n


PARENTS’ NOTES: a special advertising section

November 7, 2012



Parent's Notes - November 2012  

Parents' Notes focuses on articles relevant to the moms and dads of today, with the aim of enhancing your child’s health, education, leisure...

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