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Tips for baby sleeping safely by Dr Sara Buckley

Packing a healthy lunchbox


Taking Children’s Photos... WIN a $1000 photo package Toys you never knew you had at home

Play together ... PLAYGROUP TASMANIA INC PO Box 799 Launceston, 7250 t 03 6344 7800 e.

Welcome to Play together first edition for 2009! As we delve head first into another year it is timely to thank the many volunteers statewide who help support our organisation in many ways. Our children and the organisation are much the richer for your community involvement. At the AGM in September, 2008, I accepted the role of Acting Chair of the Playgroup Tasmania Board. The Board is made up of volunteers and operates as a Board of Governance at the strategic level. It delegates and supports the operational management to the CEO (Rebecca Reedman) and the regional staff. Since its formation four years ago, the Board has taken on the role of a change agent and been responsible for the development of new Vision, Mission and Objectives now considered essential to the management of any peak body which is funded by both the Federal and State Governments.

South Office St Johns Avenue New Town 7008 PO Box 472 Moonah 7009 t. 6228 0925 / 6228 4887 f. 6228 0437 e. North Office 35 Holbrook Street, Invermay 7248 PO Box 799, Launceston 7250 t. 6331 6599 f. 6331 6634 e.

We currently have five active volunteer members. However, it would be great to have nominations from both current Playgroup Tasmania members or interested community personnel who may like to join this dynamic early childhood organisation. We hold meetings regularly, but most are via teleconference, thus minimising the need to travel. Please let me know if you would like to be involved!

North West Office 108 Bird Street, Montello 7320 PO Box 547, Burnie 7320 t. 6432 3228 f. 6432 3229 e.

If you would like to know more about Playgroup Tasmania please view the 2007/2008 Annual Report at I am looking forward to progressing our organisation’s good work across the community in 2009.


1800 171 882

Sally Dabner

Acting Chair PLAY TOGETHER TEAM Editor Lisa Mies Advertising Niecy Brown CEO Rebecca Reedman Graphic Design Tracey Allen Printers Focal Printing


You will notice that while the quality and content of our magazine remains unchanged, we have a new name! Play together encompasses what Playgroup Tasmania is all about – supporting all children in play-based learning. Hope you like it!


For advertising, SUBMISSIONS and inquiries e. t. 03 6344 7800


6 Sound Asleep

10 tips for sleeping safely by the reknowned Dr Sarah Buckley.

10 Packing a healthy lunchbox

WINTER 2009 8 April 2009 - Bookings 17 April 2009 - Artwork due

EDITORIAL POLICY & DISCLAIMERS While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this magazine is reliable, no guarantee is given that the information is accurate or complete. It is recommended that you always seek professional advice relevant to your specific circumstances before acting on the information contained in this magazine. LIMITED LIABILITY Our liability for any error is limited to the cost of the space and is applicable only to an error that materially affects the value of the advertisement. Further, we shall not be liable for damages if, for any reason, we fail to publish an ad. Advertisers agree to assume all responsibility and liability for all claims arising from their advertisement and will protect the publisher from same.

Alison Graham helps with the puzzle of what to put in your child’s lunchbox.

12 Toys you never knew you had

inexpensive ways to create toys from what you can find in your cupboards.

14 Great news for families with young children in regional areas

REGULARS 4 Places to go & things to do under $10 9 Photo Competition 11 Fussy Eater Giveaway


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icnic in

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13 Toy Giveaway 15 The Book Corner

© 2009 Playgroup Tasmania Inc All rights reserved. ABN 42 783 652 787

Focal Printing Pty Ltd

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This publication is proudly supported by Focal Printing. A Tasmanian owned and operated business that exclusively uses vegetable based inks and chemical free printing plates. 4/2/09 9:57:31 AM

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Thank you!

Letters to the editor

when a huge Justine Clark fan, so My little grand daughter is she cert con the of on the day my daughter came down sick asked me to take her. erience as looking forward to the exp I have to say that I was not pleasant a t wha l, Wel dren’s songs. I am well past the age of chil ying swa and g alon ping elf clap surprise it was. I found mys and to really enjoy the experience ed seem ine Just t. bea the to was ine Just , cert her after the con when my grand daughter met . hug a her ng givi and her questions extremely engaging asking g san and our newly purchased CD All the way home we played I). did so (and e had a wonderful tim along. My granddaughter ional for bringing such a profess Thank you Playgroup Tas performer to our State.


| VaCation Care IDEAS | EVENTS | FOOD | PLAY | YOU

A new fan


Messy Play fun recipes

Justine Clark

touring Tasmania

Be a part of the Teddy Bears Picnic

I found the note from the Editor in the summer issue describing Zero to Five as a work in progress a fantastic attitude and approach to have when publishing such a magazine… Amanda, Hobart Ed’s note: Thanks for your feedback and suggestions Amanda, we have taken them on board for future issues.

Macey, Launceston

Statewide Children’s Week activities

Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Write to: Playgroup Tasmania Inc 35 Holbrook Street, Invermay 7248 PO Box 799, Launceston 7250 e: f: 6344 7800 Letters must be 200 words or less, contain writer’s full name, home address and daytime telephone number and may be edited for purposes of clarity or space.

I would like to congratulate you on a fine publication in your Zero to Five magazine. As a new mum it was a delight to receive my first copy several months ago and I can see with the recent summer issue the magazine continues to grow.

Play together is now available to view online! Members will still have the option to receive a hard copy posted to them and when your membership is next up for renewal those opting for a hard copy will pay a small subscription amount of $10. Go to to view our mag online.

My 2 year old and I attended the Teddy Bears’ Picnic in the City Park Launceston, it was a beautiful day for the Teddy’s to come out and play! It was a great morning out for us and I was impressed at the activities available for us to enjoy. We joined in with story time, the music session, face painting and the jumping castle. Our picnic under the trees was a treat in such beautiful surroundings. A lovely way to celebrate Children’s Week, thank you! Patrick of Hobart, enjoying the Teddy Bears’ picnic

Emma, Deloraine

Congratulations Competition Winners


Toy Libraries Open 10am-2pm Tues-Wed-Thurs in school terms

Come in Wiggles Congratulations to Louise, of Blackman’s Bay, who has won a Wiggles musical microphone for Lachan, from last editions’ Little Performer competition.


Little Tikes Congratulations to Larissa, of Cygnet, for sending in this photo of her daughter Taylah Rose (12 months), playing in the bath. You have won a Little Tykes’ Bathtime Band.

Book Corner Congratulations to Book Corner winner, three year old Jacob Hill, for sending in his favourite book drawing. New children’s picture book When Henry Caught Imaginitis by Nick Bland is on its way to you!

and have a look at the huge range of quality toys available - from birth to 8 years.

Photographic entries for all competitions must be high quality files and emailed to High quality photographic prints may be submitted but must be accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope if prints are to be returned PLAY TOGETHER AUTUMN 2009


National Playgroup Week

If you live in the southern region, come along to the State’s capital for a picnic in the park. Playgroup Tasmania will be hosting a family picnic in Soundy Park, North Hobart, on World’s Biggest Playgroup Day, Wednesday 25 March, starting at 10 am.

22-29 March 2009 National Playgroup Week is held annually to increase awareness of Playgroups within the community. In 2009, Playgroups right across Australia will be celebrating National Playgroup Week from 22 March to 28 March 2009, and taking part in the World’s Biggest Playgroup on Wednesday 25th March.

One of the newer parks in Hobart, Soundy Park is located on the corner of Argyle and Burnett Streets. There is an excellent playground, off street car parking and fully accessible public convenience facilities.

Playgroups are encouraged to celebrate with a special event, especially on World’s Biggest Playgroup Day...even if it is a regular playgroup session, or perhaps a congregation of several local playgroups! On World’s Biggest Playgroup Day, we aim to have thousands of playgroup parents and kids at hundreds of events, on the one day, all around the country!

Playgroups and volunteers wishing to host a National Playgroup Week event – or if you would like more information or ideas on what you could do – please register by contacting Playgroup Tasmania on 1800 171 882 or via email at

So bring along your picnic rug and snack, and help celebrate National Playgroup Week and the World’s Biggest Playgroup Day with other playgroups in your area.

World’s biggest Playgroup day 25 March Soundy Park North Hobart


$10 Parks - Dru Point Kids Park at Margate; Tailrace Park, Riverside. Free Bike Ride – Explore the bike trails around your town or city. For more information contact your local council. Free Hire a toy through Playgroup Tasmania’s Toy Library in New Town/Launceston/Burnie for $1-$4 dollars. Get a group together and hire a toy each to share at a play session. The Docks, Hobart Waterfront - Walk around the docks looking at the different boats. Look at the different types of boats, count the boats, look at the equipment on them, see the colours and the birdsThe sunlight makes great patterns on the rippling water. The crane near the bridge at constitution dock is also interesting. Free Mures, Hobart - My 2 ½ year old loves Mures, and we don’t even need to buy anything! He loves the fish hanging from the ceiling, and the display cabinets full of cray fish, fish, prawns, mussels, scallops, oysters and more. If you do decide to stay for an icecream or a snack, they provide colouring in pages and crayons. Beach – Collect shells, build sandcastles, draw in the sand. Free Thanks to Victoria, of Oakdowns and Sally, of Hobart, for your contributions... there are some toys coming your way!



Giveaways There will be lots of giveaways including the chance to win one of four Yo Gabba Gabba! $100 prize pack.

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10 tips for sleeping safely

by Dr Sarah J Buckley

Whether your baby sleeps in a cot, bassinet, crib, ‘side car’, or co-sleeps next to you in bed – there are some general principles that will make your baby’s sleep as safe as possible. These apply to all babies under one.

1. Put your baby on their back to sleep Babies are more at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when they sleep prone, or face down. A baby in the prone position can’t get rid of body heat as efficiently, and can’t kick off excess bedding. Both factors can contribute to overheating, a risk factor for SIDS. ‘Back to sleep’ campaigns in many countries have reduced the number of babies dying of SIDS by up to 60-70 percent. Although the side position is not dangerous, there is a chance that a side-sleeping baby could roll onto their front. Solitary sleeping babies



Ten tips for safe sleeping by Dr Sarah J Buckley Excerpted from Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The Wisdom and Science of Gentle Choices in Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting (One Moon Press, Brisbane, 2005) Sarah J Buckley is a GP, an internationallyacclaimed writer on gentle choices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting, and mother to Emma, Zoe, Jacob and Maia, all born gently at home, 1990 to 2000. The new edition of her book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering is available in bookstores from March 2009.

Babies in a cot are safest tucked in firmly with their feet at the bottom of the cot. Co-sleeping babies also need to be kept from slipping under the bedding. Waterbeds and beanbags are not safe places for sleeping babies, who can slip into a soft pocket of bedding. Firm mattresses are recommended wherever your baby sleeps. 3. Avoid entrapment hazards A small baby can become wedged in a gap and suffocate. This hazard applies to the gap • ‘between a mattress and the side of a cot (Australian standards allow a gap no greater than 25mm (one inch) for cots) • ‘ between the mattress of an adult bed and the wall or adjoining furniture ‘ between the mattress and head or foot boards and railings • ‘ between a mattress and bed guard rail (bed guard rails are not recommended for children under one, but I highly recommend the simple ‘Humanity family cosleeper’ for a safe guard systemsee references). An adult mattress may be safer on the floor well away from walls, but always ensure that the baby cannot become trapped or injured if they roll off. Also ensure that bedding is fitted firmly, and unable to come loose. Loose bedding can cover and suffocate. 4. Avoid strangulation hazards

should always be put to sleep on their backs. A co-sleeping baby will almost always sleep on their side or back, facing the mother. 2. Keep your baby’s head uncovered during sleep Babies are safest without soft bedding items around them. This includes pillows (no child under one needs a pillow), quilts/doonas/ duvets (blankets are safer), cot bumpers (not recommended) and soft toys, all of which can end up over the baby’s head. Sheets need to be tucked in firmly, or fitted snugly so that they can’t come loose.

Check your baby’s sleep environment for long strings or ties. This also applies to mobiles hung over cots. It is recommended that co-sleeping adults prevent entanglement and/or strangulation by tying up their hair if it is longer than waist-length. As above, cot bumpers (with or without ties) are not recommended.

tucked into bedding appropriate to the season. A co-sleeping baby will be kept warm by body contact and also does not need more than one layer of clothing. A cotton singlet or T-shirt, long or short sleeved according to the climate, and a nappy/diaper, is usually sufficient. Natural fibre (cotton, wool, hemp, silk) clothing and bedding is recommended. Also ensure that the room is not over-heated or too cool. Consider whether the heating, bedding and clothing would add up to a comfortable sleeping temperature for you. 6. Keep your baby smoke and drug free This means avoiding smoking during pregnancy as well as after birth. Studies show that babies born to mothers who smoked in pregnancy have an increased risk of SIDS, and it is recommended that these mothers do not co-sleep with their babies. After birth, keep cigarette smoke away from your baby at all times. For mothers who cannot quit, cutting down will reduce the risk to some extent. Babies are also generally safer from SIDS if the father does not smoke, but cosleeping next to the mother, with a smoking father in the same bed, has not been shown to increase the risk of SIDS. It is also important that co-sleeping parents are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These can make them sleep too deeply, and increase the risks of overlaying. 7. Do not put your baby to sleep alone in an adult bed

It is important to avoid both overand under-heating.

Adult beds have entrapment hazards, as noted above, as well as the danger of suffocation from soft bedding. Your baby is safer sleeping alone in a cot or in a safe place on the floor, away from pets and other small children. It is also considered dangerous to sleep a baby next to a sibling or young child who might roll onto them.

In winter, your baby does not need both very warm clothing and very warm bedding. A solitary sleeping baby can be dressed in a one-layer ‘blanket sleeper’, and securely

Cultures with low SIDS rates incorporate baby sleep-time into family life, for example sleeping babies in a family room, rather than isolating

5. Dress your baby appropriately for the room temperature



Breastfeeding Q&A Q: I have a toddler. How am I going to cope with breastfeeding a new baby as well?

them at sleep-time. Most babies will sleep happily with a large amount of noise and activity around them. (Consider how noisy and active it was in your belly!)


8. Ensure that older babies in cots cannot climb or fall out

Safe Environment Safety Checklist – Patricia DonohueCarey,pp 44–7

Once your baby can sit, lower the mattress if adjustable. Once they can stand, put the mattress at the lowest level and ensure that there are no aids to escape – that is, items they can stand on or pull down into the cot.

The New Zealand Experience – how smoking affects SIDS rates. Taylor B, Baddock S, Mitchell E, Ford R, TipeneLeach D, Galland B. pp 62–7

Measure your child standing against the side rail – when they are taller than three-quarters of the height, they have outgrown the cot. 9. Do not put your baby to sleep on a sofa or chair Not only is this dangerous in terms of falling off, but babies can become entrapped in the gaps of a sofa or chair. Also check your baby’s pushchair or stroller if they are sleeping without adult supervision. Babies can become entrapped or suffocated while sleeping in these, which are not designed for unsupervised sleep.. 10. Breastfeed your baby In some studies, breastfeeding has been shown to give added protection against SIDS. Breastfed babies are more easily roused from active sleep (when pauses in breathing, which can lead to SIDS, are more common). Breastfed babies also have more mature brain development, possibly because of the beneficial fats in breastmilk. Breastfeeding and co-sleeping are also an ideal combination, because co-sleeping babies nurse more often but with less effort on the mother’s part. This extra breastfeeding provides more nourishment for the baby and benefits the mother by delaying the return of her fertility acting as a natural birth control mechanism.



Information for this article is drawn from the following

sources: Sleeping with your baby – the world’s top scientists speak out. Mothering no 114, Sept–Oct 2002, special edition, especially the following articles:

Breastfeeding and Bedsharing – Still Useful (and Important) after All these Years. McKenna J. pp 28–37 All on-line at Sharing a bed with your baby (brochure) UNICEF/UK Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Humanity Family Bed Co-sleeper humanityfamilybed.html Australian SIDS Recommendations Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – brochure Published by SIDS Melbourne 1997 Australian standards and recommendations for cots and other nursery furniture A previous version of this article was published in Natural Parenting no 4, Spring 2003. An updated version features in Sarah’s book, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor;s Guide to Natural Birth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices, Celestial Arts 2009.

For more articles and advice from Dr Sarah go to her website Watch out next issue, where we will be giving away a copy of Dr Sarah’s latest book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering!

A: Many families go through a transition period as they adjust to the new baby, and find they need to re-prioritise and do things differently for a little while. Asking for practical support can be very helpful, especially in the early days. Sometimes mums struggle with asking for support, but many partners, family and friends are glad to be of assistance. It can be helpful to give specific suggestions to helpful family and friends – for instance, asking for meals (and perhaps having a couple in the freezer for ‘hard days’), housework support and childcare support such as ‘play swaps’ or visits from grandparents so mum can rest when baby’s sleeping. It can also be helpful to make gift suggestions, to those with whom you feel comfortable, such as a nappy or housecleaning service for a period of time. Breastfeeding can be a great way to ensure you rest. Before settling, it can be useful to organise to have a drink and nutritious snacks handy for the toddler. Sometimes mums find they can use these times to read special books to their toddler. Others find they can entertain their toddler close by with activities such as drawing or play-dough or watching a DVD. Many mums also find that having realistic expectations of their new baby’s feeding and sleeping patterns as well as realistic expectations of their toddler’s needs and responses can alleviate anxieties. Toddlers who can follow simple instructions often like to be involved; for instance getting a nappy for mummy or feeding their own ‘toy babies’. Wearing baby in a sling can be a practical way of being hands-free for your toddler’s needs. Local ABA groups can provide mother-to-mother support and reassurance and babies and children are always welcome. Discussion topics cover lots of ideas and suggestions. ABA’s booklets “Survival Plan”, “Looking After Yourself” and “Your Toddler and the New Baby” are useful resources. Marion Bowen, ABA Counsellor

Free and confidential breastfeeding telephone counselling is available from Australian Breastfeeding Association trained volunteers, 7 days-a-week, by ringing the Helpline (6223 2609 – south or 6331 2799 – north) or the website www.breastfeeding., which also has loads of other useful information.

10 Top Tips Competition

Alan’s Ten Tips for Taking Children’s Photos

Members are invited to send in their favourite intergenerational photo showing ‘at play’ moments between grandparents, parents and children – either three generations or grandparents and grandchildren. The best pic as judged by photographer Alan Moyle will win a $1000 photographic sitting/package from Photobat.

1 telling the kids to smile will get that fake photo smile so try make them laugh - that way you will get a genuine smile

Digital photos are prefered and should be emailed to zerotofive@playgrouptas. Only photos of highest print quality will be accepted, and must be accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope if they are to be returned.

2 best to not try and set something up - better photos come naturally 3 keep your camera with you, they are small enough to put in a handbag or pocket so you can snap something when it is happening 4 if the kids don't want their photo taken, don't push it, that will lead to tears and not good photos 5 look for shady spots, full sun makes people squint and shade is always makes people look good 6 get down on the kids level to take the photos, some of the best shots are at their height 7 in addition to the getting down, try different levels, put the camera up high, right down low, rather than just standing and taking photos 8 have the camera set on the best quality, if you take a great shot and it's too small to print that's no good 9 have fun taking the photos 10 back up your files, no good having the photos on the computer if it fails and you loose everything - photos of the kids and their grandparents are important things that should be looked after

Photographer Alan Moyle has been director of statewide photography business Photobat for eight years. Specialising in natural and fun wedding portrait photography on location, Alan trained at Victoria’s RMIT and is recognised as a master of photography by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). “It’s great photographing families, seeing the interaction and knowing that when the kids grow up they will have those memories to share with their kids,” Alan said. Photobat is based in Launceston but Alan regularly travels to different parts of the state for clients. Married to Vikashni, they have 2 cats (“one evil and one nice”) and a dog (“mostly good!”)

50% off your Photobat Portrait Experience “The children loved (Alan’s) friendly and engaging manner, and the photos we have of the whole family (& dog!) are the best we’ve seen.” Tim and Jane, East Launceston

To take advantage of this special offer for Zero to Five readers, please give us a call on 6334 8789 and mention this ad, or visit us online at Photobat Alan Moyle a Level 3, Holyman House Corner Brisbane and George St Launceston p 03 6334 8789 e w PLAY TOGETHER AUTUMN 2009






Packing a healthy lunchbox Young children (1-5yrs) Puzzled about what to pack in the lunchbox? Well you are not alone. Many parents face the dilemma of what to pack that will keep both you and your child happy. It can be a challenge but the trick is to make it nutritious and interesting. Lunchbox foods can be much more than a sandwich and few snacks. They should be thought of as ‘mini meals’ providing an important part of the day’s eating, and not just something extra or a “treat”. Here are a few tips to help solve your lunchbox dilemma. ‘‘ Plan ahead. Having foods in the pantry or packing lunchboxes the night before will avoid the morning rush. ‘‘ Make sure that you choose foods that can be managed by small hands and mouths. Check that your child can open all packaging. ‘‘ Leftovers can make great additions to the lunchbox. ‘‘ Involve your child in some of the decisions by providing them with a few healthy options to choose from.



Meat or meat alternatives – try to include half a serve for younger children (1-3yrs) and one serve for older children (4-5yrs) ‘‘ Try a little sliced beef, lamb, ham, corned beef, chicken, turkey or fish (tuna, sardines or salmon are good options) on sandwiches. ‘‘ Alternatives to meat include hard boiled eggs, peanut butter, hummus, three bean mix or baked beans.

What to pack and how much? The key is to include ‘everyday’ foods from the five food groups and a drink. How much depends on how long your child is spending away from home. These suggested amounts should provide enough food for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. This equals about an eight hour day in childcare or at Kindergarten.

Bread and cereal foods – try to include one serve for younger children (1-3yrs) and two serves for older children (4-5yrs) ‘‘ Use different types of breads to make sandwiches such as wholemeal, high-fibre white, grainy and rye. Try Turkish bread, pita pockets, rolls, rice cakes, bagels, English muffins, fruit bread or mountain bread to add interest. ‘‘ Leftovers or salads based on pasta, rice, cous cous or noodles can be stored in small containers. Leftover homemade pizza is easy and fast. ‘‘ Home made muffins, pikelets, scones, fruit buns, rice crackers, cracker biscuits and pita chips make great snacks. One serve of bread and cereals equals 2 slices of bread, 4 large cracker biscuit or 1 cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles

‘‘ Mini quiche, zucchini slice, mini meatballs, meat loaf, rissoles, a boiled egg or sliced cold meat can be used as snacks. One serve of meat or alternatives equals 2 slices of roast meat, ½ cup mince, ½ cup lentils, chickpeas or canned beans or 2 small eggs

Vegetables - try to include half a serve for younger children (1-3yrs) and two serves for older children (4-5yrs) ‘‘ Chopped or grated vegetables can make great sandwich fillings. Try lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, snow peas, sprouts, celery and capsicum. Avocado makes a tasty spread for bread. ‘‘ Make a nibble box with a variety of vegetables cut into small pieces. ‘‘ Try pieces of roasted vegetables or vegetable sticks and dip as snacks. One serve of vegetables equals 1 cup of salad vegetables, 1 cooked potato, ½ cup of cooked vegetables or ½ cup lentils, chickpeas or canned beans ‘‘ Dairy foods – try to include ½ a serve for younger children (1-3yrs) and 1 serve for older children (4-5yrs) ‘‘ Cheese is an excellent sandwich filling sliced or grated. Using different types of cheese like cheddar, Swiss, cottage and ricotta can add variety.

The key is to include ‘everyday’ foods from the five food groups and a drink. ‘‘ Low fat yoghurt makes a great snack and can be used to dip fruit or vegetables in. Custard and creamed rice are also good snacks. ‘‘ Milk is a healthy drink. Try freezing long life tetra packs for lunch boxes. Soy milk (containing added calcium) is a good alternative for children who can’t have cows milk. One serve of dairy equals 1 cup of milk (250mls), 2 slices of cheese (40gm) of 1 small carton of yoghurt (200ml)

Fruits - try to include half a serve for younger children (1-3yrs) and one serve for older children (4-5yrs) ‘‘ Include fruit that is in season. It will be cheap and taste great Try a small apple, small banana, mandarin, tangelo or tangerine, orange (peeled and cut), small bunch of seedless grapes, a couple of apricots or plums, small container of fruit salad, small pear, berries, Kiwi fruit, cut pieces of melon, peach, nectarine, snack pack container of fruit. Remember to remove pips and stones! ‘‘ Stewed or canned fruits can be mixed with yoghurt. ‘‘ Dried fruits are healthy, but high in energy and sticky on the teeth. Serve these with cheese, vegetable sticks or popcorn (for older children). One serve of fruit equals 1 medium piece of fruit, 2 small pieces, 1 cup of stewed/canned fruit or 1½ tablespoons of dried fruit

food for THought Don't forget the drink! Water is the best drink. Include a large well sealed drink bottle to last the whole day. Milk or soy milk is another good option, but make sure that it’s kept cool, particularly during the hotter months.

Keeping it all safe Pack lunches up in an insulated lunch box and include a frozen drink or ice-brick. This will help keep lunch box foods cool and fresh so that they are a hit a lunch time, there’s nothing worse than soggy sandwiches! Alison Graham Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Community Nutrition Unit

Fussy Eaters Giveaway! Parents of fussy eaters will be interested to know there’s a great new book out designed to help parents and caregivers ideas to help prepare foods that are not only healthy, but will appeal to youngsters. There are many helpful tips and ideas, as well as easy to prepare recipes that will have your child eating vegies without even knowing it! Australian author Joanne Fiedler is a trained chef, child care professional and mother who currently resides in Adelaide. Whilst working as a chef in a childcare centre, Jo developed numerous strategies and recipes to encourage children to eat healthy food. Cauliflower Conspiracy. Advice and recipes for Parents of Fussy Children. By Jo Fiedler RRP $29.95. We have a copy of Cauliflower Conspiracy to give away. Email or send in your membership number, name, address, phone number for your chance to win a copy.

Thanks to the many readers who have sent in recipes to cater for children with particular allergies. Here’s a few...

Date Balls (gluten, dairy and egg free) 1 cup dates, roughly chopped. Simmer on low with about 4 tablespoons water. Add water as necessary until a paste. 1 cup coconut 1 cup almond meal, or almonds blended til crumbs 2 tablespoons cocoa Mix all together. You can also add anything extra to taste, eg honey, chopped dried apricots, sultanas. Roll into balls and roll in coconut. Store in the fridge. Sally, of Blackman’s Bay, sent in this recipe for date balls. Sally says, ”They look like chocolate truffles and are not only delicious but also deceptively healthy and full of fibre! My kids love them”.

Banana 'Icecream' 1 frozen banana splash of milk Blend together frozen bananas and a little milk and it makes beautiful creamy ‘icecream’. One frozen banana and a splash of milk makes enough for one person. We found this quite by accident. I peel and freeze overripe bananas to use in smoothies and cakes later. We found that if you blend together frozen bananas and a little milk, it makes beautiful creamy 'icecream'. My son can't get enough of it. He thinks he's having a wonderful sweet treat, but he's actually getting a fruit serve and 1/2 a dairy serve. And no additives, preservatives or colours! You can make this in bulk and freeze immediately. It still tastes nice and satisfies my 2 1/2 year old, but it is best served immediately.

Hommus 1 x 400g can chickpeas Juice of 1 large lemon 6 Tb Tahini 2 Tb olive oil 1-2 garlic cloves (small) Drain chickpeas, reseving liquid. Put in blender, gradually adding lemon and liquid. Stir in tahina and all but 1 tspn olive oil. Add garlic and blend all again. Drizzle remainer of oil over top when serving (optional). Alternative: Also yummy to add beetroot too – add 500g beetroot cooked, 1 x onion, 1 Tb ground cumin, ½ cup vegetable stock and ½ cup plain yoghurt. This great hommus recipe is never fail and so versatile... for sandwiches, crackers, vegetables... and so quick! MJ, Hobart. Sally and MJ have each won themselves a story book collection for their contributions. PLAY TOGETHER AUTUMN 2009


Little Artistes

TOY REVIEW Skwish Multicolour Baby Infant Rattle The award winning Skwish is from the world renowned Manhattan Toy Company. It rolls, it bounces, it rattles, it stretches and moves. Skwish is made from wooden bars and beads suspended together with tough elastic. multi coloured beads slide them back and forth.

The wonder of

sand play

Whether it’s a tray with a small amount of sand or a sandpit with a large amount, there are endless possibilities for imaginative, creative play….. A construction site, prehistoric land with dinosaurs, a jungle, nature world with rivers and mountains there is so much learning and discovery to be had by simply playing with sand! Sand play Sand Play provides children with a great deal of enjoyment and a variety of opportunities to create, explore and experiment. It is also inexpensive and loads of fun too!

foster friendships and to gain social skills such as sharing, cooperating, communicating and negotiating. By providing children with a stimulating sand play area they will be expanding their problem solving skills, finding out how things work and discovering new things.

Equipment ideas to try: Plastic buckets, spades and rakes, containers of varying shapes and sizes, old kitchen utensils, sieves, baking tins, measuring cups, spoons, diggers, trucks, shells, pebbles, jugs and teapots. Playgroup Tasmania’s local Toy Libraries in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie, along with our mobile toy library have sand play equipment for hire.

Skwish it, squash it, this award winning toy always bounces back! animals, trees and cars will give children the chance to become involved dramatic play.

Extension Ideas: ‘‘ recycle milk containers to make your own scoops ‘‘ treasure hunts... finding buried treasure ‘‘ add water to the sand for new discovery, use watering cans, jugs and spray bottles ‘‘ create a landscape with lakes and rivers, float boats ‘‘ use water wheels and materials such as shells and rocks ‘‘ introduce blocks and pieces of wood to create a construction site along with: cars, trucks and diggers, plastic tubing and pipes

No sandpit or outdoor space?

‘‘ use dress up props such as helmets and signs

Even if there is no sandpit or limited outdoor space there are still ways to offer sand play:

‘‘ create a land where Dinosaurs roam by using plastic dinosaur figures

Scooping, pouring, moulding and measuring are developing fine motor skills and assisting the children to understand concepts.

‘‘ large basin or water trough (available at your local Toy Library)

‘‘ sing songs while playing with the sand e.g. “I take my shovel and I dig”, “Pat-a-Cake” and “This is the way I….”

Digging, raking, pushing & pulling trucks and constructing will be supporting their gross motor skills.

‘‘ shell

While children are playing and involved in sand play there is some very significant learning happening:

Sand play is often a good group activity where children can be working together - this provides opportunities to



‘‘ baby bath ‘‘ a tarp (on the ground with a mound of sand) Young children don’t require a large amount of sand, and rather than using big spades etcetera, use spoons and small containers. Adding plastic farm

Skwish is flexible, safe, easy to grasp, manipulate and catch. 16 x 16 x 16cm. Age 3 months+. Available from Windmill online or from their Launceston or Hobart stores.

‘‘ read stories linked to what the children have been doing e.g. dinosaurs, transport and gardens

*Note: Always supervise children when playing with water

Giveaway! We have a Skwish to give away to the first family to enrol in the new Baby Playgroup 8 week program starting in Bicheno soon.


SCRUNCHY BABY TOY • Knot end of netting bag. • Turn inside out so knot is on the inside.


• Put left over cellophane and a few coloured plastic shopping bags inside. • Knot other end and carefully push through the netting so knot is on inside.

Play is the most natural and effective environment for your child to learn. During play they’ll acquire the foundations for a life long learning of knowledge and skills. It is how they make send of their world.

BOTTLED FISH • Cut kitchen sponge into fish shapes and put in a clean soft drink bottle. • Add water coloured blue with flood colouring. • Seal closed with a dot of superglue under the lid. Here are some low cost play ideas, using everyday household items, that your children will love! PUPPETS • Adult flesh toned socks can become people puppets • Outgrown patterned or brightly coloured baby/toddler socks make good character puppets BLOCKS • Fold clean cardboard milk cartons in on themselves • Seal security closed with electrical tape • Decorate with left over book cover contact SHAKERS • Put rattly things (beads, stones, sand) inside cleaned one litre drink bottles, fist sized plastic hand cream container or small box • Seal closed with a dot of superglue under the lid

• Safety Note: Items able to fit into a film canister can pose a serious choking risk to young children. Children should be supervised at all times. POSTING TOY • Cut circle shapes out of an icecream container lid big enough to put differently sized bottle caps through. • Make circles a little bigger than the caps. DRUM STICKS • Make music by banging salad spoons on a pot or large tin. • Use spoons to pretend to cook in sand or mud play. LID BABY TOY

PEG GAME • Put plastic clothes pegs in a clean ice cream container. • Clip pegs to the container sides. • Children unclip and return to container. • Repeat over and over! SCARF PULL OUT • Cut a circle in an icecream container lid. • If you wish, decorate with left over book cover contact. • Tie some sheer scarves together. • Make holes in container bottom and know first scarf through holes. (Toy ideas was first published in Playgrouper 2008)

• Knot end of a netting bag. • Turn inside out so knot is on the inside • Put clean, primary coloured plastic lids inside. • Knot other end and carefully push through the netting so knot is on inside.

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Warning on child restraints Great News for Families with Young Children in Regional Areas Playgroup Tasmania has recently been successful in gaining funds to deliver exciting new programs around the state. Grants and Sponsorships Officer, Niecy Brown, tells more ... A series of Mobile Play Spots and the Aurora Toy Express Library will arrive once a month from late Feb to November in Scottsdale, Bridport, St Helens, and Bicheno on the North; Oatlands and Bothwell in the midlands; and Cygnet, Brunny Island, Huonville, Dover, Dunalley, Port Arthur in the South. Thanks to the Tasmanian Community Fund who has sponsored this program and look forward to working with our community partners - Dunalley Neighbourhood House, Geeveston Community Centre and others. Venues and dates will be publicised through our networks with child health centres, local councils, town notice boards, existing playgroups, community centres. Keep an eye out for the Toy Express Van and join in the activities. ...... ✦ ...... Playgroup comes to Bicheno courtesy of our partner Tasmanian Early Years Foundation for an eight week baby playspot program, plus an eight week intergenerational program in March and April, and again in September and October. After the eight weeks, people attending Baby Playgroups will be encouraged to transition to a community playgroup with contact and support from other families continuing. These Intergenerational programs have proven to be highly successful in keeping families connected, reconnecting families, combating age related illnesses, and in providing valuable play opportunities for grandparents

and children. If you have friends or family in Bicheno please let them know about these fabulous opportunities! ...... ✦ ...... We are thrilled about the ‘Toy Express Trailer - More Than Just a Trailer’ project. This has been funded by The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. Playgroup Tasmania has partnered with O Group Business Solutions and their Work for the Dole team at the Westbury Health Centre, to have two trailers built. This means that our Playgroup Consultants can carry MORE TOYS for loan and MORE PLAY EQUIPMENT when visiting regional areas to deliver our new and existing programs. ...... ✦ ...... More great news in the North. We have successfully tendered to run a program over two years in Sheffield called the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters - HIPPY. This is a home-based early childhood enrichment program for preschool children offered to communities who have experienced disadvantage. HIPPY is based on the belief that parents play a critical role in their child’s education. The program builds upon parental strengths to provide their child with necessary skills and confidence to begin school with a positive attitude towards learning.. Over the two years, 65 families will get one-on-one assistance, group sessions with guest speakers and heaps of real encouragement to get involved in learning in a relaxed and playful setting. How good is that! We have put our hands up for funding assistance from ideas put forward by our playgroup members and consultants including play equipment, Welcome Baby Bags to give new Mums in Tasmanian hospitals, and programs for the North West. “It’s all about our members ... developing partnerships ... and playing”.



Todd and Sharn Hitchins of Rokeby are delighted with their new child restraint, fitted by RACT Technical Services

RACT Technical Services Manager Brendon Reading warns that buying a second-hand child restraint can be a risky business. “It might seem to be in excellent condition, but manufacturers recommend that child restraints over 10 years old should not be fitted – and we endorse this policy,” Brendon says. It’s also impossible to know whether a secondhand child restraint has been in a crash, which weakens the components. As well, there have been significant improvements in recent years with anti-submarining belts and forward and rear-facing convertible seats, so fitting an older seat can be increasing the potential risk to the child in the event of a crash. We understand that there are times when you might only need a restraint for a limited time – for example, we recently met a grandmother who had bought a child seat to help with transport while her daughter was visiting from the mainland. “Unfortunately, the seat was over the age limit and we weren’t able to fit it,” Brendon says. A better option for short-term use is RACT’s hire service. We also sell and fit a range of top quality child restraints, so you can carry the children with safety and confidence. Like to know more? Give RACT Technical Services a call on 6232 6341 or visit

Buckle up safely While we’re on the topic of transporting children safely, here’s a neat idea that stops little fingers fiddling with seat belt buckles – and undoing them, either accidentally or deliberately. It’s a simple cover with secure hidden Velcro fastening that covers the buckle so it can’t be undone easily. If that sounds like a good idea for your inquisitive toddler, the buckle covers are available for $29.95 from RACT Technical Services.

THE BOOK CORNER The ABC Book of Lullabies In this classic collection, some of Australia’s best illustrators have chosen their favourite lullabies to illustrate, making ‘The ABC Book of Lullabies’ a classic collection to treasure.

Donald Loves Drumming – published by Scholastic Australia – RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781741690989 Hardcover

Clinton Gregory’s Secret Bruce Whatley Clinton Gregory has a secret. In fact Clinton Gregory has at least seven secrets just from last week. Find out what Clinton does every night for a week when everyone else is asleep. All week he has magic adventures including wrestling a dragon, playing catch with a magic seahorse and making paper hats for pirates. What will Clinton Gregory and his friends do next week …..well that’s a secret!

The book includes well-loved lullabies such as Hush Little Baby, Brahms Lullabies and Rock-abye Baby. ‘The ABC Book of Lullabies’ is a book to be cherished by young and old.

Clinton Gregory’s Secret – published by Scholastic Australia – RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781741690606 Hardcover

The ABC Book of Lullabies – published by ABC Books – RRP $24.95, ISBN 9780733323621 Hardcover

Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport – published by Scholastic Australia – RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781741691191 Hardcover

The Pocket Dogs go on Holiday Margaret Wild and Stephen Michael King This book follows on from the wellloved story of the pocket dogs. The little dogs Biff and Buff love riding in the pockets of Mr Pockets very big coat. But while they are on holidays down by the sea something DREADFUL happens to their beloved coat. Will Bill and Buff ever be pocket dogs again? The Pocket Dogs Go On Holidays – published by Scholastic Australia – RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781862917385 Hardcover

Donald Loves Drumming Nick Bland Donald is a little boy who loves to make a lot of noise. He loves to drum all day and all night. But his family all says he is too loud. So Donald tries other activities – but nothing seems right. What can Donald do to keep on drumming.

For your chance to win a free copy of one of these titles, simply send in a drawing by your child about their favourite book to Book Review Playgroup Tasmania PO Box 799 Launceston 7250 Please include your full name and address, your child’s name, gender and age as well as your member number. Entries must be received by 10 April 2009.

Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport Rolf Harris ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport’ was a hit song in the 1960’s for Rolf Harris. With this book Rolf brings the story to a new generation of Australian children. The book features all new original artwork from Rolf, along with a bonus DVD featuring audio and video versions of the song, will appeal to old and young alike.

Congratulations to three year old Jacob Hill, of Leith. For sending in a painting of his favourite book for us to share Jacob wins the Scholastic picture book When Henry Caught Imaginitis by Nick Bland, previewed in last edition of 0-5.

The content and opinions expressed in the reviews are that of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by Playgroup Tasmania Inc



Discount Coupon Play-Educate-Decorate-Fun At check out use discount code “901” or Phone orders @ 1800 621 136

From the illustrator of such favourites as ‘I’ve Lost My Kisses’ and ‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ comes another classic young ones will want to read over and over again.

Re-usable Static Cling Activity Kits PLAY TOGETHER AUTUMN 2009


Play Together - Issue 4  

Issue 4 of Playgroup Tasmania's Online Magazine

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