Autumn Issue 2012
ISSN 1176 791X
W E L L I N GT O N
Getting guys into the classroom
Why NZ needs more male teachers
Kids and stress
How does your child manage lifeâ€™s worries?
Win Win Win!
Competitions, giveaways and vouchers
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inside this issue
From the editor
Kids and stress
Getting guys into the classroom
Learn how to help your kids through stressful situations.
Teach your kids about the benefits of saving. Why are men are underrepresented in primary and early childhood education?
Get involved in your child’s sport.
New Zealand Gardener of the Year Alan Jones gives seasonal gardening advice.
I was in the car with my sister when we picked up my niece and nephew on last day of school for the year.
Win the homework war for good.
14 The vege patch
16 In search of dry nights
Tips on toilet training your child.
Check out the latest and greatest children’s books recently released.
19 Top reads
Special features 17 Birthday snaps
Quick tips on snagging party pics you’ll want to keep for years to come.
5 12 Comment 10 Kids’ View 13 We ask children all about how they man16 age stress. 18
About Us Publisher Robyn Willis Design & Production Moody Shokry Advert Production Target Press Production Office Editor Vanessa O’Brien Website editor
Alan Jones Roger Wood Eva Maria
Maureen Chrisp Tracey - Ann Abery Crissi Blair
Caren Constable Nicky Barnett Tina Barriball
Shona Robb Jane Hunter Rachel Taniwha
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School term dates Calendar of events Entertainment Help is @ Hand Marketplace
They had the characteristic glow of those released from the tyranny of learning for the summer; a mixed air of relief and exhaustion, capped with the giddy excitement of Christmas just around the corner. After they threw their bags in the car with great gusto and shouted farewells to their friends I turned to my eight-year-old niece and asked her, “So, who did you get?” There had been much anticipation about who her teacher would be in the coming year. Throughout her kindergarten years and her primary years to date, she had been taught by some wonderful female teachers, but she couldn’t hide her enthusiasm when she announced: “I go Mr...” Some children in New Zealand today make it all the way to high school before they encounter their first male teacher. And while the argument that what children learn is more important than who they learn it from holds some water, there is strong evidence to suggest that a positive male role model in a teaching capacity can be very beneficial for both girls and boys. Yet only 18 per cent of primary teachers in New Zealand today are male, and just 2% of early childhood education teachers are male. That makes teaching quite possible the most segregated profession in the country. So what holds back our men from moulding the minds of the future? Is it left-over stigma from 1990s New Zealand; is it a gradual feminisation of the education system and a public perception that it’s a women’s job now; is it pay-related, or is there something else that we’re just not aware of yet? This issue our main feature investigates the
importance of male teachers and what is being done to encourage a resurgence of masculine input into children’s education. Another hot topic this issue is how children handle stress. Parents know all too well the pressures of life – from bills and relationships to deadlines and managing the family. But kids also have their worries, and while they may seem small from the eyes of an adult, they can be overwhelming for a child. This issue we ask kids how they handle stress and investigate how parents can best help them with their issues. Of course we’ve got all the regular features and competitions too, so start turning the pages for our exciting first edition of 2012. Enjoy!
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Printed and distributed quarterly approximately two weeks before each major school holiday. 39,069 distributed through early childhood centres, primary and intermediate schools, public libraries and selected medical and midwifery premises. The opinions expressed in this publication are not those of the publisher unless indicated otherwise. No part of this publication may be reprinted without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Family Times is not responsible for unsolicited material. Family Times is funded and published solely through the support of its advertisers. They support us, so please support them.
What kids say about handling stress Compared with what adults face, it might seem like kids don’t have that much to stress about.
ut kids have their own concerns — and sometimes feel stress, just as adults do. And kids’ stresses can be just as overwhelming, particularly if they don’t have effective coping strategies. A KidsHealth® KidsPoll explored what kids stress about the most, how they cope with these feelings, and what they want their parents to do about it. The poll showed that kids deal with their stresses in both healthy and unhealthy ways, and while they may not say so, they do want their parents to reach out and help them cope with their feelings. The poll underscored how important it is for parents to teach kids to recognise and express their emotions, and to use healthy ways to cope with the stress they experience. By guiding them to healthy coping skills, parents can help prepare kids to tackle whatever stresses they meet throughout their lives.
Results of the poll
We asked kids to tell us what things cause them the most stress. Kids said that they were stressed out the most by: grades, school, and homework (36%); family (32%); and friends, peers, gossip, and teasing (21%). These are the coping strategies kids said they use the most (they could give more than one response): • 52% play or do something active • 44% listen to music • 42% watch TV or play a video game • 30% talk to a friend • 29% try not to think about it
• • • • •
28% try to work things out 26% eat something 23% lose their temper 22% talk to a parent 11% cry The poll also revealed important news for parents. Though talking to parents ranked eighth on the list of most popular coping methods, 75% of the kids surveyed said they want and need their parents’ help in times of trouble. When they’re stressed, they’d like their parents to talk with them, help them solve the problem, try to cheer them up, or just spend time together.
What parents can do Notice out loud. Tell kids
when you notice something they might be feeling (“It seems like you might still feel mad about what happened at the playground”). This shouldn’t sound like an accusation. It’s just a casual observation that you’re interested in hearing more about your child’s concern.
Put a label on it.
Many kids do not yet have words for their feelings. If your child seems angry or frustrated, use those feeling words to help your child learn to identify the emotions by name.
Help kids 5 think of things to do. Suggest activities kids can do to feel better now and to solve the problem at hand. Encourage them to think of a couple of ideas.
Just be there. Sometimes
kids don’t feel like talking about what’s bothering them. Try to respect that, give them space, and still make it clear that you’ll be there when they do feel like talking.
2Listen to your kids. Be patient. Comment briefly on the 7 3 feelings you think your child was experiencing as Ask them to tell you what’s wrong. Listen attentively and calmly — with interest, patience, openness, and caring.
For example, you might say something like: “No wonder you felt mad when they wouldn’t let you in the game.” Feeling understood and listened to helps kids feel connected to you.
It hurts to see your kids unhappy or worried. But try to resist the urge to fix every problem. Instead, focus on helping them grow into good problemsolvers — kids who know how to roll with life’s ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again.
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Set your children on a positive financial path We teach our children to ride bikes and write the alphabet, but lessons about money are just as important.
ntroducing the idea of saving early might just arm them with good money sense for life.
It’s never too early to start a savings account for your child; in fact many parents set one up for their baby soon after its birth. Piggy banks were traditionally seen as a way to teach children about saving but they do have their limitations when it comes to learn-
ol Scho Terms Date
ing money lessons. One of the major drawbacks is that children literally can’t see how much money they have in their piggy bank. Therefore, they miss out seeing the idea of accumulation. Nor can their piggy bank reward their savings habit by dishing out interest. But a savings account at a bank can do both. Many banks now offer children’s savings accounts so ask if your bank if they have the op-
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programmes Tuesday 15 October to no later than Friday 14 December Between Monday 28 January and Thursday 7 February to 19 April
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remaining Monday 15 October to no later than Entertainment Thursday 20 December Good Friday - 6 April Easter Monday - 9 April Term 1, 2013 Day after Easter Monday - 10 April Between Monday 28 January and (Tuesday) Thursday 7 February to 19 April y a d Holi s Anzac Day - 25 April amme secondary and Entertainment progr2012/2013 Queen’s Birthday - 4 June (Monday) composite school term dates Labour Day - 22 October (Monday) Term 2, 2012 Christmas Day - 25 December Monday 23 April to Friday 29 June Boxing Day - 26 December
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tion. If they don’t, then find a bank that does. A savings account will give your child a real life example of how money grows and allows you to teach them the concepts of interest and compound interest. Your child will receive a monthly statement, which is a great teaching tool and clearly shows them where their money is and how much they have saved.
Allow them to spend some of their savings at times so they see their savings go up and down and learn about the concepts of wants versus needs.
If you give them pocket money, encourage them to save a certain percentage of their “wages” every week. That way, the idea of saving a portion of their income becomes an everyday habit and hopefully one that they will continue throughout their life.
Help them set savings goals so they feel a sense of achievement when they reach their goal and are rewarded with the item they saved to buy. These real life experiences will provide them with examples to discuss with you and they will experience the associated consequences when they are faced with decisions about savings versus spending.
When they decide they want the latest Lego or are keen to see a movie, show them how much they have in their savings account and calculate how their savings will be affected by spending the money.
Teach them positive money habits now and help them set them up for a financially savvy future.
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Getting guys back into education If you live in New Zealand, there is every chance that your child will not have a male teacher until they reach high school.
tartling. But is it important? Education Minister Hon Hekia Parata argues that it is the effectiveness of the teacher, rather than the gender of the teacher, that makes a difference to a child’s learning. A fair claim, perhaps. After all, New Zealand has a stellar reputation for promoting equality between the sexes, particularly as it relates to the workplace. We have women CEOs, women prime ministers, and of course, women principals. We are fairly agreed that there’s no difference in the capabilities of the sexes, so is it really important if only 18 % of primary school teachers, and just 2% of early childhood education teachers, are male? These statistics make teaching one of the most gender-segregated professions in the country, and Early Childhood Council chief executive Peter Reynolds says such segregation “would not be tolerated in law or medicine.” He contends that teaching is more than just an ability to impart a knowledge of the ABCs, and that teachers also play a crucial role in the social development of children. Hence, a positive male influence in the lives of the 31% of New Zealand families that are single parented would be beneficial. “Even a small increase in numbers of male teachers would benefit thousands of children
and families,” Mr Reynolds says. “It would, for example, impact the many children who lack a reliable male figure in their lives, and especially those who have little but bad experiences of men.” United Future education spokesperson Judy Turner says the education system needs more of a gender balance that reflects society. “The debate is not whether men or women are better teachers – that is not the point. It is that we have a huge shortage of men in the education system, and boys are suffering academically and socially because of it.” Before we beat ourselves up though, it’s important to note that this underrepresentation of masculine influence in early education is not just a New Zealand trend. It’s widespread across the OECD, with New Zealand sitting slightly above the OECD average for the proportion of women in the teaching workforce – right between Finland, where the proportion is higher, and the US, where the proportion is lower. The question is, why? Ministry of Education research shows that perceptions of the career and of teachers themselves have a powerful negative impact on teaching as a career of choice. There are many misconceptions about teaching, particularly about the salary and working
conditions for teachers. “For the majority of people, teaching is seen as a fall-back or second option, something to be considered if other opportunities fail,” says Education Minister Parata. That’s basically how primary teacher P Moon says he became a teacher. “My friends were going through teachers college. I had no real direction career wise and I had no job at the time, so it seemed like a good idea.” Now, it’s a career he says he would “totally
recommend to other guys.” Although he believes women have an advantage in teaching because they are “natural multitaskers”, it’s a career he finds fulfilling. “I like the reward that you get from building relationships not only with staff but young people and parents. No two days are the same and the school holidays are great. The teaching lifestyle is very family-friendly: whenever you’re on holiday, so are your own kids. Also, salary means you get paid whether you’re on holiday or not, and there
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Providing children with bead activities between 11am and 2pm daily
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are management opportunities if you are ambitious.” The Ministry of Education is working on a new promotion strategy for teacher recruitment that focuses on lifting the status of teaching and increasing the diversity of the teaching workforce, including the proportion of men. Nelson Tasman Kindergartens CEO Wendy Logan says it can’t come soon enough. In the absence of a centralised male recruitment push, they have been making an effort to make kindergartens “bloke friendly” through dad and daughter nights, bloke-only groups, and by encouraging dads with food and coffee. “Positive male role models in the lives of young children, boys in particular, are essential for the development of ongoing social competency and a sense of collective identity,” she says. “We are making a concerted effort to attract males to the early childhood sector.” Wellington Kindergarten Association general manager Amanda Coulston says it is the social aspect that has really made a difference in the lives of kids in Wellington kindergartens. The association ran a pilot programme that saw young men employed in untrained positions alongside current centre staff. Coulston says the difference was phenomenal, especially for the boys. “One of the really powerful things for the boys is that they see themselves reflected in the young men. The families of the kids have been really positive about it too, and we’ve noticed now that the young fathers spend more time in the kindergarten engaging with the young men rather than just dropping the kids off.” One unexpected outcome of the pilot is that six out of the eight young men who participated have decided to enter early childhood education teacher training. That in itself was completely unexpected, says Coulston. But what was even more
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unexpected was that a few fathers of kindergarten children decided to pursue teacher training also. “It’s breaking down barriers so that people actually see that early childhood is a valued option and an important place to be. We are doing our children an injustice by not encouraging men to be involved.” Early Childhood Council CEO Reynolds says a recent early childhood conference highlighted that many families would like more men teaching their under fives, and a lack of male teachers in the primary sector too often “quarantined children from all but the most destructive of males.” He believes, and is backed up by Ministry of Education research, that young men are discouraged from teaching in early childhood and primary school roles because they are vulnerable to false accusations of improper practice or abuse in teaching situations. “But the worst of that nonsense is over,” he says, “and there is now a renewed desire from both families and centres for there to be many more men working in the early childhood sector.” ChildForum early childhood expert Dr Sarah Farquhar says it’s “unhelpful” to revisit thoughts of 1990s paedophile hysteria that have been put to rest within the sector a long time ago. Instead, she says, it’s important to focus on creative ways of attracting men back to teaching. “There are many men who might consider a job in childcare given the right encouragement, particularly fathers and older men who might be thinking about a career change but who may not be able to spend three or four years obtaining a qualification without work.”
By Vanessa O’Brien
Interested in teaching? Here is some information from www. teachnz.govt.nz to get you on track.
Essential skills In order to be an effective teacher in New Zealand, you must have a commitment to, and understanding of, the importance of Maori and Pasifika language, culture and identity. As a teacher you will be involved in creating an education system that supports all young people to excel, whatever education pathway they choose. You will recognise their aspirations, nurture their talents, and share in their expectations of success. You will appreciate their differences, and seek ways to create a culture of respect and understanding in your classroom. Teachers and whanau believe, and research tells us, that young people do best when their families and whanau are actively involved in their schools. So as a teacher you will come into daily contact with people from a range of cultures and all walks of life. That is the beauty of teaching. It is an opportunity to learn as much as to teach, and to give something back to the community you live in. In doing so, you will demonstrate that educational success is real and achievable for everybody.
What will you be paid? The starting salary for a primary school teacher with a Bachelor’s teaching degree is $45,568. In order to progress up the salary scale the teacher must demonstrate that they have met the applicable professional standard. Each school’s board of trustees (most often delegated to the school principal)
must attest that the teacher has met this standard. Teachers can progress up to a maximum rate of $67,413 after seven years’ service. Schools can also allocate one or more “units” to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is worth $4000 and is paid on top of a teacher’s base salary. Higher qualifications, such as a subject or specialist degree held in addition to a teaching qualification, lead to higher starting levels and enable progression to the top of the primary teachers’ salary scale, being $70,877. The current starting salary for a secondary school teacher with a NQF level 7 subject or specialist qualification (the qualification must have at least 72 credits at level 7) and a teacher education qualification is $47,023. In order to progress up the salary scale the teacher must demonstrate that they have met the applicable professional standard. Each school’s board of trustees (most often delegated to the school principal) must attest that the teacher has met this standard. Teachers can progress up to a top rate of $71,000 after seven years’ service. Secondary schools can also allocate “units” to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is worth $4000 and is paid on top of a teacher’s base salary. Higher subject or specialist qualifications lead to higher starting salary enabling progression to the top of the scale sooner.
Winning the homework battle The evening homework ritual can lead to a lot of stomping, screaming and pouting from children and parents alike.
ome children will do anything do get out of homework. A homework assignment that might take 15 minutes turns into a two-hour battle. If you want to put a stop to homework battles, then do your homework on how to stop them for good!
Here are some tips:
• Homework can’t be completed if
assignments and books are not brought home. Work with your child to develop a good system for making sure homework assignments get home. A daily assignment sheet or an assignment notebook works well to enable your child to keep track of all assignments.
• Set up a regular time and place to do
homework. Find out which time works best for your child. It may be right after school, an hour after, or after dinner. Pick a place to do homework that is not isolated in case your child needs help, but that is also not overly noisy. Sometimes the dining room table works well.
• Get rid of the distractions. Turn off the television, turndown the music, and restrict any phone calls.
• Help your child decide which homework to do first. They may want to start with the hardest and move to the easiest or start with the easiest and move to the harder assignments. Or, perhaps they
Every child can shine
Kumon is the largest and most established supplementary educational business in the world, with 4.3 million students enrolled across 47 countries and regions. Kumon’s maths and English programmes work to support children in building confidence while developing a thorough skill-set for lifelong learning. Students are guided through a tailored programme to build a range of skills at their own pace. Progress happens as children feel confident to take the next step, in a time frame that reflects their ability. As they continue
to master English and maths materials, children develop confidence and a genuine sense of accomplishment – in this way discovering the keys to unlocking a love of learning for life. Kumon believes that: • Each child is an individual and has the potential to succeed. • The development of basic skills is essential to effective learning. • Learning should be non-competitive. Contact your local Kumon Education Centre to find out more today.
want to attack the subjects in a certain order, such as reading, math, or writing. Offer suggestions, but let your child decide.
• Make sure that your child understands
the assignment and has all the materials needed to complete it.
• Don’t sit with your child; let them
independently do their homework. Be close by in case they need help. If it is a tough math assignment maybe check the first few problems to make sure they have gotten the concepts.
• Avoid giving away the answer. Ask
questions to help your child begin to think through the problem.
• Encourage your child to take a break if
the going gets tough. They can have a snack, put on some music, or shoot a few baskets. Don’t let them linger too long. Then, after 15 minutes, try again.
• Check finished homework. Look for
accuracy, completeness, and neatness.
• After homework is complete, make sure
your child puts finished homework away immediately in their backpack.
It’s also important to:
• Go through your child’s homework folder together each day.
• Ask questions about what your child enjoys learning at school.
• Praise your child for good homework
habits such as completing a difficult assignment, or completing homework without a battle!
check for understanding.
• Make contact with the teacher if your
child is making consistent errors in one subject area. They may need additional tutoring.
• Make sure you display papers that your child is proud of in your home.
Be firm, patient and consistent and homework battles will soon be a thing of the past.
By Veronica Scott Article Source EzineArticles.com
• Ask to see graded and returned
homework papers. Discuss mistakes and
Unique kids’ furniture for special little folks
Fun and children’s furniture are two things that go hand in hand. Little Folks’ furniture is designed to be fun and exciting and both you and your kids will simply love it. Contemporary pieces with sleek lines and bold designs transform any kids’ room into a wonderland where they will happily eat, sleep and play. There are safari animals to captivate your little eco warrior and bright pink butterflies and ladybirds to enchant your little princess.
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let’s get physical
Get involved in your kid’s sport The start of a new school year can be a challenging time for kids and parents – new teachers, new subjects and classroom priorities, new friends – and sometimes even a new school.
ome kids understandably feel nervous about this time and the experiences of these first few months can shape their impressions of school, and themselves, well into the school year. Sport and recreation can be a great vehicle to overcome these challenges and help your child make friends, stay active, and have fun. Not only does involvement in sport help kids establish social connections, enhance their self-esteem and sense of selfworth, but involvement in physical activity also enhances their performance inside the classroom. But it’s not just about dropping the kids off at the school gate and leaving it to the school to provide an environment that will develop happy and active kids. Sport is a family affair and a child’s experience of it is enhanced by the active involvement of parents and caregivers. Sport NZ’s community sport and recreation manager Roger Wood says people don’t often appreciate the role that parents and caregivers have in creating a positive sporting experience for kids. “Parents are an integral part of sport and school life. Parents can be involved in school sport in many ways, from coaching teams, organising sports days and lunchtime games and fundraising for teams through to supporting their children to just have a go.”It’s more than just about being a volunteer to do a job, says Roger. “Often parents experience
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as much enjoyment as the kids, as it can bring families/whanau together, parents can get to know their children’s friends, their friends’ parents, and build relationships with the teachers and the principal of the school. Principals often tell us that the best place to meet parents to discuss their kids’ academic progress is on the side-line of sports activities”. Sport can also provide parents with an opportunity to learn new skills, increase their own self-esteem and confidence and gain an understanding of how different sports and activities operate. The enthusiasm and involvement of parents has a significant impact on a child’s on-going involvement in sport. Their opinions and actions play a large part in determining:
Which sport/s their child will be involved in.
How much time will be devoted to sport.
Whether their child continues their sport participation.
Sometimes becoming involved in sport and recreation at school is as easy as simply asking to play. This means adults at times joining in the activity themselves, understanding movement skill components, offering feedback and encouragement, instruction (at times) and support in the provision of activities.
As a parent you could also assist in: •
• • • • •
activities. Coaching, managing or refereeing. Transport. Helping with equipment and new ground markings. Assisting the management of interschool competitions. Walking to school buses.
Ask yourself, could you help to make one or more of these things happen? What other ideas or skills do you have? Give it a try.
By Roger Wood, Sport NZ
Looking for a fitness goal this winter? Then get running or walking and join more than 4000 others for Wellington’s Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon event. The Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon has been the capital’s major mid-winter event since it was established in 1986 by the Wellington Marathon Clinic. But in recent years it has become New Zealand’s fastest growing marathon event, with more than 4000 people from a dozen countries and all ends of New Zealand toeing the start line. Race director Sally Anderson says the success behind the annual event is simple;
the scenic and achievable course caters for people of all age and ability. As well as the feature Armstrong Motor Group full marathon (42.2k), the event also includes the Shoe Clinic Half Marathon (21.1k), the adidas 10K and the Classic Hits Kids’ Magic Mile. Race day is scheduled for Sunday 24 June. All entries prior to 1 April go into a draw for gym memberships at Habit Health and Fitness and training packages from Altitude Incorporated. All finishers go into a draw for a free trip to the 2013 London Marathon. Pick up an entry form at Shoe Clinic stores nationwide, or enter online at www.wellingtonmarathon.co.nz.
Lunchtime/after school games or
KidzStuff Theatre for Children presents Little Red Riding Hood
Maureen Crisp went to Hutt Intermediate School in Lower Hutt to talk about coping with stress.
The big bad wolf learns some hard lessons when he tries to tangle with budding young superhero Red Riding Hood! A hilarious new version of an old favourite, showing it’s never cool to eat small children. All KidzStuff Theatre shows contain song, dance, audience participation and comedy for both children and adults. On 7–21 April 2012 (No shows Easter Monday), 4 Moncrieff St, Mt Victoria. Monday – Friday, 11am and 1pm, Saturday, 11am. Tickets $10, groups of 10 plus $9. For bookings phone 04-385-0292
Eli Jarvis, age 10
Chocolate helps with stress. I started the day a bit stressed today when I forgot my school shoes. My dad yelled at me. I felt better when I had a drink of apple juice. At school when I’m stressed I go to the canteen and buy something to eat. Chocolate and beetroot have the same good happy enzyme. I sometimes go to my room and read a book for about half an hour, then I can forget about it.
Joel Haste, age 11
Savvy kids don’t catch scams This week take some time to talk to the family about scams. These are being tramped into homes like muddy footprints. It’s time for some internet hygiene. Start by checking the expiry date on your internet security. If it’s beyond its useby date then it’s time to upgrade. Good security can stop malware and spyware from breeding in your computer. Malware and spyware are used by scammers and hackers to access your information and to use your computer as a zombie to hide their activities and to send out more scams and spam. Don’t let in creepy crawly virus technicians. Make sure everyone in the house knows that a phone call telling you that you have a virus on the computer is a scam. These people have
I use a spray that helps me get to sleep and helps me feel more relaxed. It’s a puffer spray that you put in your mouth. At school I have the spray in my pencil case. I went to an adventure place for a birthday. We went really high and it was sort of scary. I took some spray and I felt much better. Laughter is really good too.
been calling everyone, even people who don’t have computers. Don’t share drinks or passwords or credit card numbers. Talk about why it’s important not to share passwords, even with best friends. Be careful of letting your kids play with your smart phone or iPad since some of the payment systems don’t need any extra confirmation. Teach your kids how to check out deals online. Show your kids how to check that the payment system is safe and how to spot offers that look too good to be true.
Fraud Awareness Week runs from 19-26 March. For more information on how to spot scams visit www. scamwatch.govt.nz.
Abby James, age 10
If you are really stressed, running in the park helps. At school, I sit in the classroom and maybe have a little cry, because that helps release the tension and then when I’m ready I go and find my friends. When you are really stressed, take time out; that works.
Alisha Ewart, age 11
I deal with stress by going into my room or going to a quiet place and thinking about it and how I can get a solution for it. Talking with others helps me to cope with stress. At school, I just think about what is stressing me quietly and ask my friends around me. Sometimes I scream at my brothers and that can make me feel better. My mother tells me to “go to my room and take some time out, read your book.” And it works; I don’t feel so bad.
IN, W , WIN
Munchkin Nappy Disposal System
Ben 10 Live: Time Machine
The Munchkin nappy disposal system uses innovative technology, including a unique hygiene vent that dispenses baking soda, to neutralise odours before a self-sealing system tightly locks away bad smells. The automated system can be operated with one hand – leaving your other hand free to look after your bub! The system is available at all Baby City stores. Family Times has four Munchkin Nappy Systems - including a refill bag pack - to give away.
Performing in Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland from 14 – 21 April. The TV show Ben 10 is one of Cartoon Network’s most popular programmes, and now, for the very first time, its latest live action stage show. Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 Live: Time Machine – is coming to Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland this April. Don’t miss Ben 10 characters live with the coolest costumes, rad stunts, awesome effects and laughs for the whole family. For more information and ticket information visit www.CartoonNetwork.co.nz/ Ben10Live. Family Times has two family passes to this fantastic show in Wellington to give away. Entries close 3rd April.
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The Family Times Design Competition It’s Autumn! Leaves are turning golden and falling, the mornings are chilly, it’s getting darker and firewood is being stacked ready for winter. This issue we would love to see a drawing of your favourite things about Autumn. Draw it for us, and be in to win a $30 prize pack from Crayola! Three entry age groups: preschool (age 1-4), 5-8, 9-12. Create your design on an A5 sheet or download the template and entry form from www.familytimes.co.nz. Post in to PO Box 36 004, Christchurch 8146. Entries close on 22 April 2012.
Staglands turns 40 Make sure you visit Staglands Wildlife Reserve for its 40th anniversary celebration these April school holidays. Staglands is running a drawing competition between the 10-22 April for all children up to 15 years, with entrants visiting between those dates being offered free admission into the reserve. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs, so visit www.staglands.co.nz for more details on how to enter and get those creative juices flowing. There aren’t many Wellingtonians who don’t
have a special memory of Staglands from their own childhood. It was opened in 1972 by John Simister, who is still actively involved at Staglands. Staglands offers a unique and fun experience for people of all ages to feed and freely interact with wildlife in a natural and inspiring environment.
------------------------------------------------------------------Congratulations to our Jandal design poster competition winners from our last issue and thanks to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu for their help with judging. Winners are: Lorenzo Tetley from Te Titahi Bay, one – four years(right) Theodore Hua from Christchurch, five – eight years (left) Umain Ahmed from Orewa, nine – 12 years (middle)
Just tick the things you want to win
Autumn 2012 Ben 10 Live: Time Machine Munchkin nappy disposal Dr Seuss' The Lorax SPYKIDS4: All the Time in the World
Name Address City Phone
To be in the draw to win, enter online at www.familytimes.co.nz, write your name and address on the back of an envelope or postcard and send to: Wellington Competition, P O Box 36 004, Christchurch to reach us by 22nd April 2012, unless stated otherwise. Only one entry per household. It’s easy to win fantastic prizes with Family Times. Just fill in the entry form and post it to us by the due date, or enter online at www.familytimes.co.nz. This month we have a fantastic line up of prizes… Good luck!. Check out last issue’s lucky winners online.
SPYKIDS4: All the Time in the World On the surface, Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba) has it all; married to a famous spy-hunting television reporter, a new baby and intelligent twin step kids. But in reality, trying to mother Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), who clearly don’t want her around, is her toughest challenge yet. Also, her husband, Wilbur (Joel McHale), wouldn’t know a spy if he lived with one which is exactly the case - Marissa’s a retired secret agent. Helped by some mind-blowing gadgets, they just may be able to save the world. Available at all good DVD retailers. Enter now to win one of 10 copies of this DVD from Roadshow. Fa m i l y
Dr Seuss' The Lorax From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. The animated adventure opens on 29 March and follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Family Times has 10 double passes to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and 10 activity books courtesy of Harper Collins to give away.
Calendar of Events Summer may be over, but the mild weather is hanging in there. Make the most of it before winter arrives and check out some of the family friendly events below. Happy Easter! 25 March
Big Day Dowse is the first of what will be an annual event, plus there is a celebration of the opening of a new civic square for Lower Hutt. You’ll experience large-scale audio visual artwork, Povi VaSa plus high wire acts from Fuse Circus, juggling antics, dynamic street art, Mr Fungus, The WotWots, Harriet the Clown plus much more. A big day out for all ages. www.dowse.org.nz.
Until 31 March
Junior detective mystery at NZ Police Museum in Porirua. Pit your detective skills against the latest junior detective mystery and see if you’ve got what it takes. Locate the evidence, identify your suspect, solve the mystery and win a prize! Available Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, suitable for ages seven to 12 years. Admission is free. www.police.govt.nz/ service/museum.
Kapiti Festival at Queen Elizabeth Park. Well known bands will perform. Kids will be entertained with both beach and land-activities including boat rides, beach volleyball, an inflatable obstacle course, treasure hunts, merry-go-rounds, mini jeep rides, tram rides and much more. www. liveitloveitevents.co.nz.
Kapiti Miniature Railway twilight run. The
twilight run recognises the end of daylight savings. Enjoy the fun of riding the miniature trains and seeing the beautiful park at night. Bring a late tea and enjoy the atmosphere. From 5–9pm. Marine Gardens, Garden Road, Raumati. www.kapitirail.org.nz.
Made in Petone has art, crafts, food, drink, raffles and kids’ activities. Everything is locally sourced, handmade, great quality and sold by the artist or crafter themselves. The market - a fundraiser for Sacred Heart School, Petone – will be held in one of Petone’s most historical buildings, 33 Britannia Street, 9.30am-1.30pm.
31 March – 1 April
French Country Fair. A touch of Provincial charm in Featherston. As well as food and wine you’ll find a children’s merry-goround, jeeps, and horse and carriage rides. Tauherenikau Racecourse from 10am. www. frenchcountryfair.com.
31 March – 1 April
hundreds of beautiful hand-made and locally created gifts, crafts and clothing. This time they are proud to be part of the Peninsular in the Park celebrations where local people will be showing their talent in the creative arts, crafts, food and entertainment, something for everyone. Miramar Central School, 38 Park Road, Miramar.
10- 21 April
Carnival of Creativity. Whether it’s learning how to juggle, make jewellery, discover your super hero dance alter-ego, or create yummy treats, one thing’s for sure: your arms and imagination will be full by the time you leave the Carnival of Creativity! Children of all ages can watch and master all manner of creative skills. Using only cardboard and creativity. www.capitale.org.nz.
10 April (also 17 April)
Hands-On Cooking Classes for Children. Chef Gabriele Cagnetta will show you how to make pasta and then you will get to do it yourself under his guidance. You will have a light lunch and after the cooking class you will have six portions of pasta to take home and the ingredients for a homemade sauce. La Bella Italia, 10 Nevis Street, Petone.
Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight team event in support of people in the community who have had experience with cancer. Teams are made up of friends, whānau, workplaces, schools and community groups. Suitable for people of any age and level of fitness. www. relayforlife.org.nz.
Learn how to make your own bath time fun using natural and safe products. You will make and take home a bath bomb, fizzing bath salts and an oatmeal milk bath sachet. All materials provided. Island Bay Community Resource Centre, 137 The Parade, Island Bay. Tickets from www. eventfinder.co.nz.
Miramar Craftea. Dozens of stalls with
Ben 10 Live: Time Machine. Time Machine
Armstrong Motor Group Wellington Marathon to be held on 24th June. www.wellingtonmarathon.co.nz. sees Ben Tennyson on a mission to save the past, present and future of the universe! Did somebody say, “hero time?” www. lifeliketouring.com. Compiled by Tracey-Ann Abery
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cool activities microscopic bugs, try some haka moves, see a huge collection of Mr Potato Heads, and make some fun Pacific-style crafts.
The first term of the year is coming to an end. It’s time to start Strike Entertainment thinking about entertainment ideas to keep those busy little Centres bodies and minds occupied during the break and into the winter. Located in Porirua and Lower Hutt, you’ll Lazer Strike, kart racing, pool tables, We’ve put together some fun options to get you started. Have a find shuffleboard, arcades and of course the best happy and safe Easter! tenpin bowling facilities in Wellington. Check
Armageddon Expo is coming to Wellington on 21 and 22 of April. It’s a huge event featuring gaming, collectibles, twilight stars, animation voice actors, trading card tournaments, comics, anime and more! TSB Bank arena. Visit www.armageddonexpo. com. Tickets from Ticketek.
Visit Pataka in Porirua to see new glasswork by Te Rongo Kirkwood: Ka Awatea - A journey of life through light. Until 20 May 2012. The Art of Money: Artworks created from banknotes. Until 23 June 2012. Money Talks: Exploring the imagery of banknotes. Until 23 June 2012. Pieter Hugo: Nollywood - Provocative images from the Nigerian film industry. Until 13 May 2012. What name is your village - World photography by Bob Maysmor. Until 25 March 2012. Mountains of the Baekdu Daegan in North & South Korea - Photographs by Roger Shepherd (supported by the Korea Forest Service). Until 1 April 2012. Visit www.pataka.org.nz for more exhibition and event details.
KidzStuff Theatre presents Little Red Riding Hood. The big bad wolf learns some hard lessons when he tries to tangle with this budding young superhero! On 7-21 April. Tickets $10, groups of 10 plus $9. At 4
Moncrieff Street, bookings 04-385-0292.
out school holiday specials at www.strikenz. co.nz.
Capital E National Theatre
Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Café is located in the scenic Akatarawa Valley and offers a unique experience for people to feed and freely interact with birds and animals. Open daily. www.staglands.co.nz.
Only at ZEALANDIA - join the new fun-filled full or half-day junior ranger programmes, or spice up your evening on a Kids’ Night Adventure. Bookings essential, phone 04920-9200. www.visitzealandia.com.
Join Buck – a champion dog trial competitor returning home from a successful world tour – and friends in this comic canine caper. Dress up as a dog and be in to win a spot prize. On 7 April, 9-21 April. www.capitale. org.nz.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale about the enduring power of hope. In Cinemas from 29 March, starring the voice talents of Zach Efron and Taylor Swift. A must see!
Hutt Valley GymSports
Ben 10 LIVE
Gym camp is designed to challenge, build confidence, inspire, and of course, have fun! For children aged five plus. Also a great place for your next birthday party. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Kids love KIDSCO, enough to wake their parents early to get to the programme! KIDSCO plans activities for all ages and interests from five – 11 years. www.kidsco. co.nz. Don’t miss Cartoon Network’s Ben 10
THE MERIDIAN SEASON OF ANGELINA BALLERINA’S BIG AUDITION This charming ballet provides the perfect treat for children from age two and upwards. Wellington, 19-21 April, 10.30am and 1.30pm. www.nzballet.org.nz. Live: Time Machine during the school holidays. For the first time in New Zealand, all three Ben 10 series’ come to life in one awesome live theatre event. Tickets at www. cartoonnetwork.co.nz/ben10live. Compiled by Tracey-Ann Abery
Te Papa Discovery Centres
Come and hang out at Te Papa’s Discovery Centres this school holidays! You’ll discover
Hutt Valley GymSports Gym Camp is run through the school holidays from 8.30am to 3pm. It is for children five years and older and is designed to challenge, build confidence, inspire and of course, have fun! The programme consists of games, stretches, gymnastic activities and additional activities including crafts, cooking, circus skills, outdoor activities (weather permitting) and so much more. Also, are you looking for a fun and exciting place to hold a birthday party? Contact admin@huttvalleygymsports. co.nz for further information.
SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN ONLY AT ZEALANDIA
BOOK NOW on one of our exciting full-day JUNIOR RANGER ADVENTURES and our creepy crawly KIDS’ NIGHT ADVENTURES and try our FREE CLUE TRAILS.
Photo: Jo Moore
PLUS A FREE KIDS MENU ITEM with each main menu item purchased at Rata Café.
For all conditions, times and details go to www.visitzealandia.com/events or phone 04 920 9200
Your Sanctuary... for nature, not for profit
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The vege patch with Jonesy Winter has us in its grip now, so your winter veggie patch should be all sorted.
Any farm or stable manure must be well rotted before you apply it. These manures are rich in nitrogen and other much needed trace elements. Chook and pigeon manure is also rich in potash and potassium, which is vital for good fruiting and flowers.
The Brussels sprouts will have small sprouts on them. Keep on top of the aphids by washing them off with the hose. The leeks need to have the soil pushed up around them (moulded up) to make nice, long, white leeks and they love some liquid fertiliser. It’s not too late to plant silver beet, spinach, kale and also broccoli and cauliflower plants to keep that great supply of winter veges going for your family or for other families that might enjoy any surplus. If you have pumpkins, leave to grow as long as possible: pick after the first frost, and remember to cut them with a good stem still on and put them in a nice warm place with plenty of air around them to dry. Parsnips can be dug after tops have dried off. They have their best flavour after one or two frosts. Prepare them and freeze them for use later. It saves digging in the cold winter mud when you want a parsnip for dinner. Yams form when tops die off so better left in the garden and dig them as required. Potatoes that you planted in January will be ready to eat as new potatoes. It’s a good time now to plant celery for those veggie
These are a few jobs to do to keep the soil in good health so your veggie plot is ready for
Canterbury-based Airborne Honey, the country’s oldest honey company, says questions about the pollen count of some New Zealand honey need to be asked. soups in the cold of winter. Pick a nice, sunny spot under the eaves of the house where frosts can’t get them and you will have celery all winter. Whatever you cook, all stocks are made of celery, carrot and onion, to which you add more vege, cereal or meat. As your garden becomes empty after the summer harvest, it is time to dig in the compost that you have made from garden waste and lawn clippings. Once dug in, you can sow some oat seed or lupin seed and leave for winter. This is a good way to fix nitrogen in the soil for next season.
Winter is a great time to get your kids in the kitchen and encourage them to cook snacks, baking and meals. Oats make a simple and quick hot and tasty porridge and you can have fun adding spices, fruit and yoghurt. Scotch Oat Hotcakes or Harraways Oat Waffles are fun to make and eat; these foods keep well and are great in lunch boxes or as an afterschool snack. Oats can be used in many dishes: consider oats the healthy alternative to breadcrumbs and check out the Harraways meatballs recipe at www. harraways.co.nz. In fact, oats can be used in many dishes - such as stews and
Alan Jones (Jonesy) is the 2010 New Zealand Gardener of the Year. He looks after Leeston Consolidated School’s veggie gardens and keeps school parents up-to-date with tips for home gardens.
Quality counts, says New Zealand’s oldest honey company
Harraways oats – the perfect winter treat
Encouraging children to explore fun natural breakfast foods is an easy way to start.
you to enjoy next spring.
casseroles - to make expensive ingredients go further. Increasing the use of oats in daily meals and baking is also an easy way to increase dietary fibre levels for your family. School students, watch out for the New Zealand Food Week 7-13 May. You can win great prizes like an iPod touch by sending in your favourite family meal recipe. Visit http://www.justcook.co.nz/
A recent US survey found that 75 per cent of American honey was processed to the point that it lost its health benefits and traceability. Airborne Honey chief executive Peter Bray says the problem isn’t just limited to that part of the world. “Honey that’s been ultra filtered to remove impurities and keep it from crystallising quickly leads to other problems. There are other ways to keep honey pure, that also retain its natural properties and the ability to know where it came from. Those two things are so very important to New Zealand’s image as a supplier of fresh, untouched food.” Mr Bray says most New Zealand consumers are probably unaware that some honey is processed in this way. “The reality is that so much natural food is significantly altered today. We’d like to see tougher regulations around labelling.” Airborne Honey has brought together a century of honey
making experience with sophisticated processing and testing facilities to offer a consistently high quality, traceable product. Its unique “Honest, Undamaged and Traceable” labelling tells the customer exactly which variety of honey is in each jar and precisely where it came from, right back to the drum of honey in an apiary. “We’re a family owned business still going strong after more than a century because we’re able to guarantee what’s in each jar we sell,” says Mr Bray. “We’re simply calling for the enforcement of these same standards industry wide.”
Don’t forget to check out www. harraways.co.nz for more exciting recipes and ideas on how to add more fibre into your diet, and connect with Harraways on Facebook.
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Family physical activity Keep family-fit this autumn with these fun events and activities. A number of these challenges allow you to participate as part of a family team. 31 March
Join New Zealanders across the country in The Big Walk 2012! A fun family event. All proceeds from The Big Walk will help raise funds for Foundation for Youth Development’s youth programmes. Zealandia, 9am-12.30pm. Child $5, adult $10, family (two adults, three students) $20. www.fyd.org.nz.
Porirua Grand Traverse – Youth Challenge. You’ll get to use some of the best off-road around and some stunning trails. 2km waka. 8km bike. 2km run. Get your friends together and enter as a team or by yourself. www.poriruagrandtraverse.co.nz
There are 104 parks and playgrounds throughout Wellington city, ranging in size and play equipment. Why not try out a couple of new ones these holidays before winter sets in. Enter the website link below for a list of the parks and playgrounds around Wellington www.wellington. govt.nz/services/prksplygrnds/locations/ locations.html
This fantastic park has a great range of activities for the whole family to enjoy. There’s a playground for under fives, rope climb, flying fox, swings and slides. The Lions Club model train is great fun, but the highlight for most little ones is the cycle
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circuit set up like a real road with give way and stop signs, speed bumps, railway crossing, roundabouts etc. There’s also lots of space to simply relax and enjoy the day.
A few minutes north of Porirua City you’ll find Aotea Lagoon. There is a wide flat paved walkway that takes in a shade house fernery, rose garden, duck ponds, kids’ playground, picnic and barbeque areas and a pentanque terrain. Kids love riding their bikes and scooters around the lagoon, stopping along the way to feed the ducks and trying out the playground before playing in the gardens. On Sunday a ride-on train runs around the lagoon.
Te Kopahou Reserve - Red Rocks coastal track The Red Rocks coastal walk takes about two-three hours - or you can bring your bikes. There are several access points, although Owhiro Bay Parade is a great starting point. As you walk along the coastal track you’ll come across Sinclair Head where fur seals can be spotted from May to October. You’ll find some great fishing spots as well.
It’s Childspace’s birthday!
Childspace has been around for 18 years supporting families through the most precious period of human development early childhood. Childspace knows the importance of having qualified teachers who have a passion and commitment to children’s learning and wellbeing. Relationships with children are built on a “primary care-giving” system that ensures each child has a special person in the centre who knows them well and organises their day to day care and educational experiences. Please contact us for more information - we welcome visits from prospective families.
Rudolph Steiner early education
Steiner early education fosters creative and imaginary play, with an emphasis on simple, natural, handmade toys. Decor is muted yet a rich selection of texture and colour allows children to explore and improvise. The garden with fruit trees, lawn, play barns and climbing logs is loved. Painting, bread making, drawing with beeswax crayons, and story time with puppets alternate with sustained free play, circle games and songs. Morning teas contain organic grains, soups, buns and fresh fruit. Strong rhythms balance quiet times with more outgoing activities.
Bring your creativity to life in 2012! Start 2012 with a creative bang by trying one of The Learning Connexion’s many inspiring classes on offer. The Learning Connexion is based in Taita, Lower Hutt and offers adults casual day, evening and weekend classes in a wide variety of mediums including picture framing, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, jewellery and documentary video making. Classes suit both beginners and those who wish to broaden their skill base. Certificate and diploma programmes
are also offered and students can study these on-site or from home on a full-time or part-time basis. The campus is set in 4ha of lush bush overlooking the Hutt Valley and is a fun-filled, action-packed art space, where students and tutors explore their creative ideas in a supportive environment. There is ample free off-road parking available and a materials shop to help you access the materials you need to get inspired! Check out www.tlc.ac.nz or call 0800-278-769 for further information.
In search of dry nights If your four-year old is wetting the bed, try not to worry about it too much. Bedwetting is not considered a problem until seven years. Luckily, this is a good age to talk it over with your little one and start trying the bedwetting solutions below.
Practical bedwetting Solutions for Children Try these tested and proven solutions to stop bedwetting in young children: • Offer plenty of fluids during the day, aiming for six – seven water-based drinks at regular intervals. • Establish a good daytime routine for going to the bathroom, say every three – four hours. • Don’t let them have caffeinated drinks such as chocolate and fizzy drinks before bedtime as these can speed up the rate at which urine is produced. • Sticking to a regular bedtime can help with training a child to empty their bladder at an appropriate time each evening. • Encourage him or her to have a wee just before bed. If they have trouble going, turn on the tap for an inspiring tinkling of water, or give them a small ice-cube or a sip or two of iced water. • Cuddle, praise and reward them when they go to the bathroom and also when they have a dry night. • Use an alarm clock to wake your child at a set time during the night so they can get up and go to the toilet. Place their dressing gown within easy reach on cold nights. • Make sure the path to the toilet is light
and free of obstacles.
• Ideally, their room should be close to a toilet.
• If it’s a bit of a trek to the bathroom,
they could have a potty in their room.
• A bedwetting alarm may work for your child.
• Some people suggest restricting fluids at night time but this isn’t proven to work.
Love and laughter go a long way
Did you or someone in your family wet the bed as a child? If so, make your bedwetting
Holiday fun with About Kidz Oscar Welcome to another holiday programme. About Kidz Oscar plans to take advantage of the increasing fine weather with action packed planned activities outdoors. Come and join us! The About Kidz Oscar team is here to provide your children with another fun and enjoyable experience these holidays. Avoid disappointment and book today. Phone Sarah on 027-616-0235 or email email@example.com for more information.
incidents into funny stories to tell your child. Having a giggle about Mummy or Daddy or a glamorous Auntie or a blokey Uncle wetting the bed could help prevent your little one from feeling bad about their bedwetting. Also, remember to be patient and loving when there’s an accident. Your child can’t help it. This could be a difficult time for them and they need you to help and reassure them until the bedwetting solutions work.
Article courtesy of www.drynites. co.nz. DryNites website specialises in bedwetting and understands how difficult this time can be for both parents and children. Check out the website for more information on enuresis, self-esteem in children and read others bedwetting stories. Visit www.drynites.co.nz.
Parenting classes No-one gives you a guide to raising children when you leave the maternity ward, but enlisting the help of some quality parenting classes is a great way for all parents to take a step back and try some new ideas.
Free training in parenting skills, child development and more through your local Playcentre. Workshops on creativity, sand, blocks etc extend your child’s learning through play. Visit www.playcentre.org.nz or phone 0800 PLAYNZ.
Parent Help offers individual parenting
education tailored to your own needs with highly trained counsellors/parent educators in Wellington and Porirua. Phone 04-499-9994 to find out more or to book a time.
Heart to Heart course for parents Heart to Heart is a conscious parenting course that brings out the best in parents and children. Learn strategies for raising self-esteem. One day courses on 12 May and 23 June in Johnsonville; no charge as generously sponsored. Phone Chris Wilson on 04-938-9470, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hearttoheartparentingnz.com for more information.
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Take great pics of your child’s birthday I’ve been asked by parents of children to photograph their birthday parties on numerous occasions and each time it has been a lot of fun.
hotographing children isn’t always easy – and photographing “the birthday party” presents its own unique opportunities and challenges as a photographer. Here are a few tips on photographing children’s parties:
Designate a party photographer
Give someone the job and release that person from other party duties to just take photos. This way you’re guaranteed to get some shots and will have something to remember the day with.
Get a child’s perspective
One of the most important tips I can share is to get down low when taking photos of children. The majority of your photos should be taken at eye level of the subjects you’re shooting.
Mix it up
Try some shots from standing up high (get on a chair even to accentuate it – this can be great for group
Thompsons Horse Centre
Thompsons Horse Centre has holiday programmes, birthday party plans, gift vouchers, and individual/group riding lessons available. For birthday parties, children can have a
shots) but also get down really low and shoot looking up at kids. Also try a range of focal lengths ranging from wide angle shots that take in the whole party scene through to zoomed shots of kids and party elements.
Look for the party details
Another way to add interest to the shots is to focus in on the details of the party. I find that many of these shots are best taken before the guests arrive and might include shots of the cake, photos of balloons and other decorations, photos of presents stacked, shots of a set party table. Often it’s good to get in nice and close to these elements. You’ll find that these types of shots look great scattered through an album between shots of people.
Know the party plan
In order to capture all of the important moments in the party you should know how it is planned to run. Know when everyone will be sitting down, when the blowing out of candles will happen, when presents will be opened etc. This will
mean you can be well positioned for each event just ahead of it happening.
Most of your party photos will end up being candid ones of children and adults interacting with one another around the different party activities. I tend to take quite a few shots from the edge of the party using a longer zoom lens, also get into the party and shoot from within it with a wideangle lens.
Think ahead about what type of “must have” sort of shots you want from the party. These might include some group shots, cake shots, blowing out candles, opening presents, party games etc.
Take before and after shots
girl when they are dressed up and looking (and behaving) at their best, as well as a few shots at the end of the party – they could make a humorous comparison series with your before shots.
Include adults in your photos
The focus of children’s parties is generally the children – but the adults attending the party can present you with some great shots. Sometimes their reactions to what the children are doing can be quite fascinating and it’s worth including photographing them.
By Darren Rowse Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips and TwiTip Twitter Tips blogs.
It’s amazing to see how a room (and people) can be transformed in just an hour or two when you have a group of children in it. Include shots of the birthday boy or
Your business could been seen in this space Please contact us to discuss 0800 28 5510
lovely ride around the farm trail, or if wet, play mounted games in the indoor arena. There is a picnic/playground for the children to enjoy and you are able to have your own party food in this safe area. Holiday programmes run 9am to 4pm on Wednesday and Thursday during the school holidays: these are great fun and something that all children will remember.
* Lazer Strike at Lower Hutt only
2 handy locations with FREE parking • 399 Hutt Road, Lower Hutt : Ph 568 3168 • 35 Kenepuru Dr, Porirua: Ph 237 4428
* Karts at Porirua only
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Top Stops Dining
Lower North Island
Hawke’s Bay Recreation
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top reads Crissi Blair lives with her family in west Auckland and spends her time reading and writing, mostly about children’s books. Crissi organised the Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators for three years and publishes the useful guide New Zealand Children’s Books in Print which is updated every year. Visit www.silvertone.co.nz for more information.
Two Little Bugs
By Mark Sommerset Illustrated by Rowan Sommerset Dreamboat Books, 2011 ISBN 9780986466830 Hardback $29.99 Little Bug Red is on top of the leaf in the sunshine, while Little Bug Blue is underneath in the dark, too nervous to come out. But Red gets hungry and starts munching on their leaf...Children will love to turn the cut-out pages and peer through the holes as Red eats his way through the leaf. Ages three – eight.
Hank the Wrestling Shark
Words and music by Gerry Paul Illustrated by Tom Armstrong Wacky Tales Publications, 2012 ISBN 9780473201302 Paperback and CD $24.99 The young hero of the story is swimming at Bondi Beach in Australia when he meets Hank the Wrestling Shark, a fearsome creature with rows of ghastly teeth and an anchor around his neck. Listen to song on the CD (it won The John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2010) which captures all the whoops and cries of their battle. Ages four – eight.
Goldilocks on CCTV
By John Agard Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura Frances Lincoln, 2011 ISBN 9781847801838 Hardback $31.99 A modern collection of poetry that brings fairytale characters right up to the minute – try Pumpkin Biker Cinderella and The Cloning of Red Riding Hoodie (where the text is cloned too). Illustrations in watercolours and black ink capture the characters in their punky garb and contemporary environment. Ages seven plus.
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By Adrienne Frater Illustrated by Cat Chapman Walker Books Australia ISBN 9781921529108 Paperback $13.99 There are three stories in this little chapter book perfect for a beginning reader: Sam loves his grandmother but wishes she would stop knitting him jumpers; Sam tries to make a bird scarer for his father’s birthday but ends up causing a cat fight; and Sam has to take over in the kitchen. Ages five – eight.
Ophelia Wild, Secret Spy
By Elena de Roo Illustrations by Tracy Duncan Walker Books Australia, 2012 ISBN 9781921529672 Paperback $16.99 This chapter book for new readers is written in rhyme and stars Ophelia Wild, who sets herself up in a tree house as a secret spy, with her assistant Albert. The illustrations throughout add to the humour. I hope we’ll be seeing more of Ophelia and Albert. Ages six to nine.
The Truth about Verity Sparks
By Susan Green Walker Books Australia, 2011 ISBN 9781921720277 Paperback $18.99 Set in London in 1878, Verity (13) is an orphan working as a milliner but loses her job after being wrongly accused of theft. This leads to her going to live with the Plush family and becoming an assistant detective in their Confidential Inquiry Agency. A mystery with intriguing characters and a touch of the supernatural. Ages eight - 12.
Intermediate Fiction Far Rockaway
By Charlie Fletcher Hodder Children’s Books, 2011 ISBN 9780340997321 Hardback $34.99 Cat and her grandfather have a great relationship, largely based on books. They have a terrible accident which leaves Cat unconscious, but in her mind she is on a journey populated with characters from the books they’ve shared. Full of adventure, pirates and ghosts, mixed with family drama. An intense and worthwhile read for ages 12 plus.
Recon Team Angel: Assault
By Brian Falkner Walker Books Australia, 2011 ISBN 9781921720543 Paperback $21.99 In the year 2030, the world has been invaded by aliens the Bzadians, who are trying to take over Earth. But a special force of humans has been secretly trained to infiltrate the Bzadians - Recon Team Angel, teenagers who have been training for years to be able to speak, work, eat and think like the enemy. Ages 12 plus.
Scent of Apples
By Jacqui McRae Huia Publishers, 2011 ISBN 9781869694777 Paperback $20 Libby (13) lives on her grandparents’ apple orchard. When her grandfather dies she can’t seem to deal with her loss. Her mother sends Libby to boarding school where she meets Charlie, a Maori girl with a warm and welcoming whanau who provide Libby, and eventually her mother too, with a way of dealing with their pain. Ages 11 – 15.
Information books Storm: A High Country Mustering Horse
Words & photographs by Hayley Pitts Tucker Media, 2012 ISBN 9780473194178 Paperback $18 Storm is a handsome black horse running free on a high country station. She has to be trained to be useful on the farm. Follow Storm as she is transformed from a gangly young filly to a reliable working horse taking part in the muster. Told in rhyme with photographs capturing the ruggedly beautiful country and animals. Ages five plus.
101 Things to Do to Become a Superhero … or Evil Genius
By Helen Szirtes and Richard Horne Bloomsbury, 2010 ISBN 9781408802571 Paperback $20 Fun and information combine in a factpacked handbook with all you need to know to identify your talents as a superhero or evil genius. Ages 10-14.
By Ann Turnbull Illustrated by Sarah Young Walker Books, 2012 ISBN 9781406339383 Paperback $24.99 This is a collection of 17 Greek myths including stories about King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, Persophone, the Minotaur and many more. The author has gone back to the early versions of these stories to provide the most authentic tales. Each story is accompanied by lustrous full-page illustrations. Ages nine plus.
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