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Spring Issue 2012

ISSN 1176 791X




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inside this issue



Features 4

Holiday savings

Enjoy Christmas without blowing your budget.


Celebrating Christmas

We take a look at how different cultures in New Zealand celebrate Christmas.

7 Christmas traditions for families

Parents Inc. co founder Mary Grants talks about what really matters at Christmas.


Getting kids school ready Set them up for success with a considered approach.

9 Over-praise vs. over- criticism

Keys to developing a positive but realistic attitude in your child.

10 Light fingers

How to stop your kids from stealing.

11 Craft corner

Make your own Christmas decorations.

19 Baby and Toddler

Benefits of teaching baby to swim for life.

Resource information 5 14 15 17 22

Spirit of Christmas Calendar of events Entertainment School term dates Marketplace

20 Top reads

Best picks for summer reading

Comment 12 Kids’ view

We ask kids how they celebrate Christmas, and what it means to them.




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About Us Publisher Robyn Willis Design & Production Moody Shokry Advert Production Target Press Production Office Editor Vanessa O’Brien Assistant Editor Rachel Taniwha Digital editor Fiona Smith

Contributing Writers Tracey-Ann Abery, Maureen Crisp, Sophie Gray, Mary Grant, Joseph Driessen, Julie Moor, Sally Kabak, Sarah Chisnall, Crissi Blair Advertising Sales Caren Constable, Shona Robb,Nicky Barnett, Jane Hunter, Tina Barriball, Katrina Wright Office Manager Raelyn hay

Office Assistant Jackie Pithie

Reach us at: Family Publishers (NZ) P.O. Box 36-004, Christchurch 8146, NZ Ph. 03-355-9186 0800285 510 Fax: 03 3559 183 Mobile. 0274-359-414

Distribution: Printed and distributed quarterly approximately two weeks before each major school holiday. 43,431 distributed through early childhood centres, primary and intermediate schools, Christchurch City Council offices, recreational facilities, libraries and service centres, selected medical and midwifery premises and McDonalds restaurants.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, please support them.

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From the editor O

ne thing I love about New Zealand is our multi-cultural society. There is so much richness in our diversity. Sure, we have a lot of pride in our Kiwi identity, but there’s plenty of room to embrace new Kiwis of various ethnicities that join us from all over the world. Multiculturalism is so much a part of us now that it’s almost easy to forget it wasn’t always that way. It was a big deal when a Japanese boy joined my class at school when I was a kid. We made a special effort to learn about his culture and traditions, and even practiced singing Sakura – Cherry Trees – in Japanese. Now kids a full spectrum of colour, race, and ethnicity fill the seats of our classrooms and their families are part of our communities. I’m not trying to paint a glossy picture of a perfect country. I realise that there are pockets of discontent and tension that erupt every now and then. But we are, according to the Global Peace Index, the second most peaceful country on Earth after Iceland. Whether it’s our remote location, our laidback, pragmatic identity, or the calming effect of living in a visual paradise, we actually get along pretty well together. Most of us take our peaceful, multicultural society for granted, but it’s worth reflecting on as we wrap up our year and celebrate Christmas with our friends and families. As I write this column, I’m in Jerusalem, Israel, literally a 10-minute drive from where Jesus was born and the first Christmas was celebrated more than 2000

years ago in Bethlehem, which is now situated in the West Bank. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time amongst the incredible people of this region – both Jew and Arab – and to see with my own eyes the toll that ongoing conflict takes on human beings. I’ve fallen in love with the intoxicating city of Jerusalem, but every time I fly back into Aotearoa I let out a sigh of relief: the peace is literally palpable. Nobody cares if I speak Hebrew or Arabic, if I wear a hijab or skinny jeans, if I’m black, white or brown. We’re all Kiwis. So this edition of Family Times we’ve decided to celebrate our diversity along with Christmas: our main feature on page six investigates how different cultures within New Zealand celebrate the silly season. Of course we’ve also got all of our regular features, entertainment ideas, parenting tips and loads of giveaways too, so take a break in the middle of the Christmas rush and enjoy a moment perusing the pages. A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of the Family Times team.

Stay on the look out for kahu Kahu will be back at Te Papa these school holidays, so keep a look out and find out what he got up to on his bird watching adventures.

Tips for Christmas savings Your Christmas event may not look very traditional, but traditions are simply things that become more significant and meaningful the more times you do them. Feasting is surely the best tradition in any culture. It’s also one of the most expensive, especially at Christmas when budgets stretch to the maximum. Kiwis are inclined to shop for Christmas as though preparing for a siege, so if you want keep it under control this year, identify the things that are the most important to your particular celebration. Do you include things in the family feast simply because they are “traditional” and not because any of you actually like them anymore? Are you over-catering out of habit or doing it all yourself when others would be happy to contribute? Some thoughtful analysis can leave you with more cash for the traditions that are really important to you and help avoid unnecessary excess. Don’t get me wrong, I love excess! One of the joys of Christmas for me is the anticipation of eating so much that I’ll need a little lie down, but it’s even more enjoyable when you aren’t still paying it off in June. Sharing the workload and expense is a fair

and reasonable expectation, especially when everyone is stretched. Tell people well in advance what you need them to bring, and be specific. Rationalise the gift giving. Consider starting a tradition whereby gifts are only for the under 16’s, or names are drawn from hat so you buy only for the person or household whose name you drew. Consider putting a price cap on the cost of gifts, suggesting adults only exchange homemade offerings, or only exchange gifts among immediate family. In years to come they simply won’t remember who gave what but they’ll always, always remember how we made them feel. So have a very Happy Christmas. By Sophie Gray,


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Spirit of


1-23 December Christmas is a special time Hutt Christmas Light Display - Stunning for young and old, and there Christmas light display hosted by elves from are lots of opportunities to Hutt Water Polo Club. Gates open at 8.30pm experience the joy of Christmas each night at 27 Hathaway Avenue, Lower Hutt. Cost $2 per person. Kids under five are free. in Wellington. Whether it’s 5 December attending a Christmas concert, The Great KidsCan Santa Run - The Santa parade or volunteering Santa run concept is simple - a 2-3km fun run/ walk in a Santa suit! Each adult entrant receives time at your favourite charity, a free Santa suit and a goodie bag as part of their there’s plenty for you and your entry fee. Lots of elves, Rudolphs and other family to enjoy. Merry Christmas! characters make the run. Great fun for the kids to watch. On at 6.30pm, Wellington waterfront.

All December

Kirkcaldie & Stains Christmas starts for many of us with a visit to Wellington’s flagship department store – Kirkcaldie & Stains on Lambton Quay. Its famous Christmas windows are a must-see, delighting children and adults alike, as is a visit to Santa and the beautiful decorations in the Christmas shop.

Christmas lights There is something about seeing houses all decked out in Christmas lights. Keep an eye on your local papers for details of location, but here are a few to get you started: Whitby Head around the Joseph Banks Drive, Samwell Drive and Navigation Drive; In Lower Hutt head to Wyndrum Avenue in Waterloo.

Wellington and Kapiti SPCA Christmas is always a busy time for the SPCA. If you are looking for a pet then try them first, but remember a pet is a big (and rewarding) commitment. Another option is to make a donation or spend some family time volunteering. Visit for more information.

8 December

Upper Hutt Santa Parade - Santa will be in Upper Hutt, as will many floats and colourful entries, all celebrating the spirit of Christmas. This is one of Upper Hutt’s biggest community events and is sure to get you in the mood for the festive season.

8 December Christmas in the Park - This popular family-friendly event is happening again at Elsdon Park, with carols, music and fireworks. The programme has national and local talent including the Funky Monkeys.

8 December

Come A-Caroling – Friends of Strathmore Community School presents its Christmas carol concert with fun fair rides, food stalls, sing-a-long carols and fireworks. Strathmore Community School is closing after 65 years, so head along to celebrate its history, add your memories to the time capsule, check out the plans for the new school, enjoy the food on of-

fer, let the kids play and sing your heart out at the carols. The night will finish with a fireworks display. From 5-9pm at 43 Strathmore Avenue.

9 December

Capital Christmas Santa Parade - Santa’s coming! The Santa

parade starts at 2pm on the corner of Lambton Quay and Ballance Street. It travels down Willis and Mercer Streets and ends at Manners Mall about 3pm. Arrive early to get a good spot. Santa’s Party in the Park - Straight after the parade join MCs Dave and Camille for Santa’s party with live entertainment, carols, and a special appearance by Santa. From 3.30pm - 4.30pm, Waitangi Park. Carols by Candlelight – On at 7pm, Waitangi Park.

10 December

Carols by the beach at Plimmerton School – This is a family-friendly celebration

with bands and carols. Bring a blanket or deck chairs and enjoy the evening with family and friends. The event is free with bouncy castles, merry-go-round, miniature train, face painting and food stalls available, from 3.30pm onwards.

12 December

Children’s Christmas Big Day Out PORSE is throwing a Children’s Christmas Big Day Out at the Beach. Expect face-painting, police/ambulance/fire engine, bouncy castle, a dino dig, Mr Orange, and of course Santa Claus, plus Christmas cake. It is a free event for the whole Wellington community from 9.30am – 12pm at Freyberg Park, Oriental Bay.

14 December

Wellington City Mission Be a Christmas Star street appeal – The mission will have a team of collectors scattered throughout Wellington for its Be a Christmas Star street appeal day. Take the opportunity to help others enjoy the festive season.

24 December

Christmas Eve services - Churches and cathedrals around Wellington hold Christmas Eve candlelit services on 24 December. Contact your local church for further details on this special Christmas tradition. Compiled by Tracey-Ann Abery

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feature story

Our country – many cultures celebrating Christmas Christmas is a special time: from the eager anticipation of Father Christmas’ arrival, to the hustle and bustle of the big day itself - it’s full of fun, family and festivities.


hether it’s a traditional Christmas full of gift-giving and fancy formal fare, or a casual beach barbecue, us Kiwis know how to celebrate in our own unique way. But those not born and raised here bring with them their own unique customs, traditions, and ways of celebrating. This edition, Family Times assistant editor Rachel Taniwha spoke with some non-kiwis living in New Zealand to discover what Christmas means to them.

Japan – a couple’s Christmas Sachiyo Joyce, originally from Japan, has now lived in New Zealand for seven months, following a previous stay of two-and-a-half-years in Christchurch. Joyce is married to a New Zealander, and said Christmas is an important time to spend with family. In Japan, Joyce says, Christmas is for couples, so if someone doesn’t have a partner, it’s not a fun time. But those lucky ladies with a man in their lives are set to be pampered. “Usually men provide expensive presents and a good restaurant for their girlfriend.” New Year’s is generally more important in Japan, however Christmas is celebrated: people decorate a Christmas tree (usually artificial), Father Christmas makes an appearance, and

there is Christmas cake for dinner, although very different to what New Zealander’s have.

A cheesy Christmas in snowy Switzerland Susanne Ziswiler of Switzerland has lived in New Zealand for 15 years, and says that back home, Swiss people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. “We had the following family tradition - Dad would take us children away swimming for the afternoon, while my mum would prepare the Christmas tree and decorate it. We never had the Christmas tree before the 24th of December. “She also got our dinner ready, so when my dad and we children got home, the whole house smelt wonderful. We would then have our dinner, which normally was cheese fondue, and once we finished my mum would go out of the room, light all the real candles on the Christmas tree and ring a bell that would indicate that the Christ child had arrived.” “It was a wonderful time of the year and we were all very excited to hear this little bell ring. As soon as the bell would ring, we would get up and go to the lounge and admire the Christmas tree with its candles. We would sing a few Christmas songs, eat oranges, mandarins, Christmas cookies and nuts and later on open



Now Momma is a Chicago girl, born and raised. She’s seen a few things in her time in the old windy city, and she knows stuff, a lot of stuff. But Momma also knows how to make the best pizza youse guys will ever taste. The family pizza recipe was entrusted to Momma by her Momma, who got it from her Momma and so on, back to when Leonardo was in nappies. You can’t beat tradition and you can’t beat Momma’s pizza, so don’t even try, or Momma will come callin’ with her rolling pin.

Big Al’s got cultivated tastes, so only the finest ingredients will do. Full loaded with Ham, Bacon, Cabanossi, Italian Meatballs, Olives, Onions and Peppers. So whether it’s a sit-down with the family, or something to feed a hungry mob, check out the pizza that reigns Supreme, just like Big Al.

Paulie ‘Da Piano Man’ does all the family books, plays da tabulator loik a keyboard – and he’s done the numbers on the Chicago Pepperoni & Mozzarella. Having spent some time off shore (for tax purposes only, you understand…), he’s developed a classic taste for tasty pepperoni, our secret herbed tomato base, topped with herbs, cheddar and mozzarella cheese.


our Christmas presents.” Ziswiler remembers Christmas in Switzerland as a very special time. She loved having Christmas in winter, when lights on the streets would be decorated and lots of stars would hang from the lamp posts. “There was snow and we would light lots of candles during December and have lots of baking sessions for the special Christmas cookies. Because it was winter, we had more time to celebrate this special time of the year. I have lots of great memories, spending lots of time with my family and doing special things together.” She says her family back in Switzerland still celebrates Christmas in a similar way.

French festivities Frenchman Stephane Montel, 30, has lived in New Zealand for six years. He’s currently based in Christchurch but will spend Christmas with his partner’s family in Auckland this year. A Kiwi Christmas has a real “holiday” feel to it, he says - complete with barbecue and beer - which he’s adopted. Summer is “super busy” for him, so Christmas is the perfect opportunity to spend time with family, catch up with friends and have a “big feed”, give and receive presents, relax and have fun. But he still remembers the festive fare of a perfect French winter Christmas in his childhood – complete with snowfall on Christmas Eve.

feature story “There were big meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - turkey, oyster, salmon, liver etc -three to four courses, plus cheeses, dessert and three or four different types of wine.”

A German Christmas – a day of togetherness and harmony German born and bred Christine Maierl, who has only been in New Zealand since late March this year, said Christmas back home was always celebrated the same way. Three weeks before Christmas they would buy a tree and decorate it with balls, straw stars and candles. When Christmas Day itself arrived, the first stop was church, and then a celebratory traditional German dinner of pork schnitzel and potato salad. Further celebrations included reading the bible, playing music together and sharing gifts. “We are not really dressed up but we wear nice clothes,” said Maierl. “Late in the evening we always eat vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry. On the first and second days of Christmas, usually we invite our family and we share food and time together.” Maierl says that Christmas has not really changed over the years for her – she learned to celebrate Christmas this way from her family and enjoys it. “When my children were young we celebrated Christmas only on one day together, with the entire family, but now we like to have our Christmas evening as a nuclear family, and we like to have lunch and afternoon tea with all family members one day later.” Christmas means a lot to Maierl as a person of Christian conviction: it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For her and her family it is a quiet evening filled with harmony and calm. “My family and I, we tried to keep this

tradition because all of my family members like this way and it works.”

Non-Christmas celebrations While the countdown to Christmas here in New Zealand begins months in advance, with retail outlets rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation, for some cultures, different dates on the calendar have more importance and meaning. Judaism There are many Jewish feasts throughout the year, but it’s the celebration of Hanukah, the Festival of Lights, which falls in late November to early December. It’s observed for eight days and nights, with a candle lit on a special ninefingered menorah each consecutive evening. Many Jewish families exchange small gifts each night – such as books or games – and fried foods are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration of Hanukkah. Islam Rini Pancaningsih, an Indonesian Muslim who has lived in New Zealand for 11 years, does not celebrate Christmas – instead he marks the two big festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated after Ramadan, a month of fasting determined by the lunar calendar. “The last day before we finish fasting or before we go to pray, we have to give charity. After that we can visit friends and share foods, or do an open home,” he says. During Eid al-Adha, it’s traditional for wealthy families to have an animal slaughtered and to share the meat with anyone in need, to ensure that everyone participates in the celebration. By Rachel Taniwha, with assistance from English Language Partners Dunedin

The value of traditions I

love the Christmas season because of the sheer joy and celebration of the whole thing. But there is also often, along with the anticipation, a sense of anxiety and stress around it. So I always value the fact that some of our Christmas traditions create moments of calm, predictability and even joy amidst the many end-of-year functions and preparations. The lovely thing about traditions is that they communicate belonging. The knowledge that “We always do this,” is what makes traditions matter. Rituals that are repeated and familiar tell children they are significant as part of a family which stands for something. And when these traditions are based around faith and values, they give everyone a sense of transcendence; that there is something more than just materialism and ourselves as the centre of the universe. These sorts of traditions tend to involve thankfulness, generosity, kindness or other values that reflect the celebration of the announcement by the angels to the shepherds when Christ was born, that they brought “great tidings of joy” for everyone. Small regular traditions that are outward-looking tend to bring this joy. They might be as simple as having friends over for a Christmas drink and carols, wrapping a present for a child who is less fortunate and together taking it to put under an “angel tree”, or wrapping little bags of shortbread to take to neighbours and friends to wish them a happy

Christmas. These small rituals generate family love and togetherness and offer children the knowledge that it is “more blessed to give than to receive” as they participate in giving to others. According to the University of Sydney’s professor Patrick Parkinson, there are many alarming signs about the mental health of our young people today. Our children are privileged in many ways but in others they are deprived. Numerous surveys tell us that modern children want more than anything to spend more time with mum and dad. Christmas and the holidays are an opportunity to recalibrate a gentler pace for your family and to set the agenda positively for more connection and communication. You could read to your pyjama-clad children around the candlelit Christmas tree before bedtime, from favourite Christmas books (Papa Papanov was one of ours) or share around a campfire. Before your excited children go to bed on Christmas Eve, settle them around the Christmas tree with sparkling grape juice and Christmas mince pies and share your year’s favourite things, before saying a thank-you prayer. These are the simple rituals that our technologyoverloaded children need and will remember. By Mary Grant Mary Grant is a co-founder of Parents Inc. and current director of Faith4families, where she offers parents a simple ways of passing on faith to their children.

Get on yer bike with Bike Barn Christmas is just around the corner and Bike Barn thinks that every kid deserves a bike under the Christmas tree. Bike Barn staff are passionate about bikes and nothing is more satisfying for them than a young child getting started on their very first bike. Bike Barn’s Christmas sale is on now with all kids’ bikes half price. There’s a bike to suit every child’s need, with a large range of kids bikes available in stores, starting with the 12 inch kids’ bike with trainer wheels - or even a push handle so mum and dad can help them along. Then there’s 16 inch, the 20 inch range, and right up to the geared 20 – 24 inch mountain

bikes for when they start speeding past mum and dad. The full range of sizes are also available in lighter quality aluminium frames, which are fantastic for loading into the car and taking to the beach. All of these bikes are only half price in all Bike Barn stores. The Bike Barn stores have a fully equipped workshop which will look after your every need from handle bar to back wheel. All Bike Barn stores offer free safety checks on all bikes, any make or model. Visit www.bikebarn. for special deals or visit your nearest store, Bike Barn Wakefield Street, or Bike Barn Lyall Bay.

Saturday 23rd Feb New Clothes for the New Year TSB Arena, Queens Wharf 7pm – 8.30pm

Sunday 24th Feb FeStival DaY asian Market TSB Bank Arena 10.30am – 4.30pm Street Parade Starts at Courtenay Place 2pm – 3pm

Cultural entertainment Frank Kitts Park 3pm – 4.30pm


How to prepare your child for school T

he majority of parents find that getting their child ready for school is a relatively easy process that seems to occur quite naturally. After all, most children really enjoy school and learning, and will be looking forward to meeting their new teacher(s) and the new challenges ahead. On top of that they will anticipate the pleasure of seeing their friends again, and making new friends as well. Yet, underneath this seemingly effortless endeavour there are a number of parenting skills that are worth a closer look. The most important gift a parent can give their child in order to prepare them for a successful transition to school is forming a secure one-to-one parent-child relationship. This relationship should contain the elements of warmth and affection, attention and consideration, expectations and boundaries, and should create a secure emotional “basecamp” for the child, from which they feel confident to explore the world and take on adventures, setbacks and challenges. Research shows that those children who have this secure attachment relationship with their parents are more exploratory, resilient and do better at school than those who have a less secure relationship. It is never too late to improve your


relationship with your child and to provide this security. This might mean creating more oneto-one time with your child, e.g. going out for lunch together; creating a bed-time reading ritual; sitting down for a careful listening session or taking up a sport together. It is important for parents to realise that a secure parent-child relationship enables the child, when faced with a particularly anxiety provoking situation, to feel safe to return to the parental “base-camp” and get a top-up of reassurance and support. In summary, emotional security is the foundation of learning, and is the prerequisite for a confident child who is happy to go to school. The second important parental skill to prepare a child for school is to run a structured and well-organised household that supports the demands of the new school year. The most important element of such a household is that it is happy and secure, and very predictable. This includes basics like having plenty of fun family times together, clear rules, routines and chores, and providing essentials like a great breakfast, plenty of sleep, and enough time devoted to getting ready for school. It is vital that parents provide a wellorganised personal space for each child. Part of this organisation is a well-organised schoolbag with pencil cases and writing materials, any school notebooks and textbooks and all the sporting equipment that is needed. Equally important is that each child has a desk or at least a shelf where they keep their school gear

at the end of each day. Having a structured and organised environment helps children to become mentally organised and prepared. Equally critical is that parents provide a homework or independent study routine from day one, and insist that all the children spend time unpacking their schoolbags, doing their homework and generally processing the school day. This requires parental organisation and supervision, and involves creating a household that takes learning seriously. The best parents actively supervise and encourage their children with their homework and make this a fun but focused family time. Finally, parents need well-developed skills that provide specific emotional and social support for the transition to a new school social environment. This might include starting to talk about the new school well in advance; walking past the new school and talking about the many new and exciting opportunities; visiting the school during the weekend when it is peaceful and quiet; making an appointment at the end of the year with the new teacher after school and introducing your child and yourself together; availing yourself of the many excellent induction programmes offered for new pupils; volunteering for the PTA or to be parent help so that your child feels you are also part of the school community. Generally speaking more support is needed for younger children and for transitions between school levels. For example, a child going to primary school for the first time

needs more support than a child who has been at school a number of years. However, all children will benefit greatly from parents who demonstrate in word and deed that they understand that the start of a new school year can be exciting as well as intimidating, and give their child the support, consideration and organisation which will ensure a secure and confident start to the New Year. By Joseph Driessen, education consultant Driessen speaks to parent and teacher groups about education. Email

Do you over-praise or over-criticise your child? T

here is a growing voice in New Zealand and overseas that the emphasis over the past few decades on affirming the individual and on individual rights has not necessarily led to a better society. We have a society where “me” has become more important than “we” and where there is a concerning sense of entitlement. There is no doubt that affirming the individual and the building of a feeling of selfworth is an important part of growing up to become a healthy, competent and worthwhile member of society. A child who is constantly criticised, who is forever striving to please parents or teachers but meets only negativity, who cannot see his or her place in the world as valuable, is a child who is unlikely to lead a fulfilled life. But at the other extreme is the child who has lived in the golden glow of praise and affirmation, who has no doubt in his or her abilities, skills and entitlement. Somewhere along the road this child is in for a rude shock. Will they have the ability to deal with rejection, with relationship issues, with failure or uncertainty? There is fortunately the middle road of the majority. This is the territory of sensible support, of encouragement, of letting our young people know they are loved despite mistakes or goals not met, of encouraging an awareness that that they are part of a society where individual rights have to be finely balanced with community needs. There are subtle ways in which we allow our children to get an unrealistic view of themselves. Children know false or misdirected praise when they see or hear it. They know when their maths or writing is not up to standard. Some reports I have read do nothing but praise, but when the surface is scratched

there is a child who is struggling. A sense of self-worth is better served by clear indications about what he or she can do to improve, by what help will be useful and by some honesty so that they and their parents are living in a realistic world. We all want to surround our children with a protective shield that deflects disappointment, that offers excuses when things don’t fall exactly in the right way, that tries to make things right. But surely it is better for our children to grow up learning to deal with life’s bumps and unfairness, to learn to accept these things with grace and a determination to move forward, to learn to work with others and to know when to concede. Australian motivational speaker Robyn Moore echoes this when she says “life’s not fair - accept it.” Her dead cat example resonated with me: some things are a dead cat, and we can’t as parents or educators change that to make it right. If we constantly try to make things right in our children’s worlds - whether it is team selection, friendships, class placement or misdemeanours - we do not teach them to take responsibility and to work through the tough things. We do not teach them that, despite the fact that they might see themselves as centre stage, they are part of a cast of thousands. As adults, we do young people a disservice by telling them the world is their oyster if we do not

“A child who is constantly criticised, who is forever striving to please parents or teachers but meets only negativity, who cannot see his or her place in the world as valuable, is a child who is unlikely to lead a fulfilled life.”

Parent Help Parent Help volunteer Kaye Stannard provides support to parents calling with concerns that affect all families. Stannard hears from all ages, from grandparents to young single mothers – and fathers. Calls range from babies’ sleeping problems to relationships with adult children. She says her teaching background helped, but she received “fantastic” training from

Parent Help. Parent Help is a Wellingtonbased community service providing a 24hour telephone helpline and counselling service to support parents. The Parent Help service is in need of more volunteers who are “passionate about parenting.” Is this you? Phone 04-802-5767 or visit

continue the conversation with the fact that a lot of hard work, time and sacrifice will be required to achieve their dreams and that a sense of community and a generosity of spirit is the pearl. Increasingly in these less-than-ideal times school and university leavers are finding life can be tough and opportunities do not abound. We need to equip them with the grit to deal with this, and grit is developed through facing life’s realities. Employers want, among other things, team players; people with a work ethic and who

build positive relationships; who are realistic and self-reflective and who accept and grow from disappointment, defeat and obstacles. This is in no way to detract from the importance of the individual. It is, as always, about balance. As Martin Luther King put it, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns.” By Julie Moor Julie Moor is the principal of Rangi Ruru Girls’ School.

Lindisfarne College Boarding at Lindisfarne College in Hastings provides excellent hostel facilities that allow the boys to live in comfort and enjoy their surroundings. Lindisfarne boys are given the same opportunities as the day-school students, and the school endeavours to mirror a normal family life that day students would experience at home. Boys have full access to all school facilities 24/7 including the school swimming pool, astro turf hockey and tennis facility, 16ha of magnificent grounds, gymnasium, auditorium and the wellequipped library that allows the boys access to

email, intranet and internet. Sky television is available to all levels throughout. Lindisfarne’s mission statement is to establish and maintain a caring and comfortable environment where each boy is recognised as a respected individual within the hostel family and is encouraged to reach his potential. This is achieved with dedication to excellence across the college’s four cornerstones – academic, sporting, cultural and Christian dimension. By valuing this, the boys are prepared not only for college life, but for life after college.


Dealing with stealing M

ost children steal at some point, whether it is sweets, a pen or money that you have left lying around. What is important is how we as parents deal with the situation and nip-it-in-the bud before it gets out of hand and leads to serious trouble later in life.

My husband and I are raising my granddaughter, aged seven. She once took a pen from a stationery store, and I didn’t notice it until we got back to the car. I questioned her about where she had gotten it from. We had only been to two stores so I knew which one it was but I wanted her to own up to what she had done. She didn’t. Not saying a word, I marched her back to the store. We approached the counter, and I asked the woman if the pen was one of theirs. She informed me that it was. I told her that my grandchild had

taken it and that I had brought her back to return it and to apologise. My granddaughter tried to hide behind my back because she knew what she had done was wrong. I told her that we wouldn’t be leaving until she had apologised. The tears flowed, but after awhile she apologised, and the young woman shop-assistant thanked us for our honesty. I explained to my granddaughter that what she had done was to take something that didn’t belong to her and it was not acceptable. Later on, our granddaughter started bringing items home from school, so I asked her where they came from and why she had them. She told me that she was given them by another child or that she had won them for being good in a particular subject. One day she brought a soft toy home and told me she had won it. The next morning while I was making her bed, I decided to check the newly acquired soft toy. It was obviously well-loved as it was rather dirty, so I spoke to her about it and told her to take back to school everything that didn’t belong to her. I then

How to handle stealing ● Firstly, it’s important to explain (in age appropriate language) that stealing is wrong. Then explain to little ones that stealing hurts other people. ● Deal with it immediately, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. ● Make an appointment with a youth officer at your nearest community police station. Take your child along and let the youth officer explain the consequences of stealing. ● With young children, take something away from them that they love for a period of time. Ignore the tears

that may flow: you are teaching them a lesson that hopefully they will remember. ● Ground older children. Remove their cell phones and other electronic equipment for a period of time. ● If you notice that money is missing from your purse, explain that it is yours - not theirs for the taking. Tell them that you will take a dollar a week from their allowance until the amount is paid off. ● Teach your child that honesty is the best policy.

An end to painful heels! Both adults and children can suffer with crippling heel pain. Expert help is available at Active Feet Podiatry. In adults, the most common cause for this pain is a strain to a structure known as the plantar fascia. In children aged 11-14 it is usually an irritation to a growth plate in the calcaneus or heel bone. This condition is known as Sever’s

disease. Dr Halpine can prescribe exercises and fit orthotic devices to give relief to both these groups of sufferers. Call Active Feet Podiatry to get an appointment. Its offices are conveniently located at level two, 85 The Terrace, Wellington, and at the Ngaio Medical Centre. Phone 04-473-8696 or visit

turned it around by asking how she would feel if one of her soft toys was taken. She was very upset about the prospect and returned all the acquired items to their rightful owners. I have a friend who owns a book store where they have sweets on a low shelf in front of the counter, which of course is very tempting for children. She was telling me of the number of children that come in with their parents, pick up a sweet, and take a bite out of it. Rather than taking the sweet away and throwing it in the bin, some parents just pay for it and then allow the child to continue eating!

Rangimarie Montessori preschool Why Montessori preschool education? Visit Rangimarie Montessori Children’s House to see the Montessori philosophy in action. The children learn in a beautiful indoor and outdoor setting, immersing themselves in an environment that enables them to learn when they are ready. They experience activities holistically through specially designed Montessori materials. Language, reading, maths, science, art, music and physical development are offered to children who are ready to begin them. The staff aims to provide a peaceful and calm space for children to develop their own interests. Give your child this exceptional opportunity to achieve their potential. Visit for more information.

Lesson learned - it’s okay to steal. Teenagers are a different issue. Many teenagers - especially girls - are under a lot of peer pressure. They want to look the same, dress the same and have the desirable gadgets, but many parents simply can’t afford to purchase designer label clothing and up-tothe-minute electronic items. Hence, teenagers may resort to stealing money so they can get the things they see as important. If you notice that your teenager has new clothes or new gadgets, and you haven’t purchased them, ask questions. By Sally Kabak Sally Kabak is the author of Raising Grandchildren. Visit for more information and to view her blog.



We can fix that! We need grandparents and home-based parents. Volunteering to drive people to treatment or supporting them at Wellington Regional Hospital is something you could do to make a difference for someone experiencing cancer. We will provide you with an orientation, training, free parking, and a contribution to your expenses. Contact: Ann Hodson Manager Volunteering 04 389 0050 Email


craft corner

Needle-felted Christmas decorations Needle felting is an easy, affordable and fun craft for boys, girls, teens and adults. Everyone who tries it loves the colours and textures that can be achieved, and the technique can be used to embellish clothing and make flat or 3D items. The main tool for this craft is a special needle that is barbed: it is these barbs that lock the fibres together and although it sounds dangerous, most children are quite controlled when they use such a needle. You will have just as much fun as your children if you try this together. You will need: • Needle-felting needle (available from Hands for $2 each) • Small amount of carded wool or sliver • Small foam block • Cookie cutter • Optional: thread or cord to hang your decoration


Push the barbed needle through the wool into the foam block and continue this “jabbing” motion. The needle needs to go straight up and down otherwise you may break the needle. You will see the fibre start to felt down into the mould onto the foam. This is important so the felt does not fuse with the foam. Make sure you work into any corners. You can add more bits of fibre at any stage to fill in gaps.

Your business could been seen in this space



Place cookie cutter on block of foam and then fill this with carded wool. Do not cut the wool; just pull the fibres apart to make smaller pieces.


Once the wool has felted down a bit, lift the cutter and gently pull the felting off the foam. Flip it over and put back into the cutter and needle felt more.

Once it is finished, you can add decoration by needle-felting on small dots, or even yarn can be needled on to make thin lines. You can also sew or glue on beads. If you wish to hang your decoration, thread cord or ribbon through the top.

Please contact us to discuss 0800 28 5510 admin@

By Sarah Chisnall, Hands Craft Store manager, Christchurch. For further details, enquiries and craft blog visit

Christmas @ your fingertips... delivered to your door FREE FUEL


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Shop online and in-store for gifts and cards.





FIND OUT MORE AND MAKE A CHANGE! Visit our website and order all your Xmas presents in one place.

Great range of designs, colours and sizes.


r o g e r h a l l’ s t h e pa n to m i m e songs by paul jenden and michael nicholas williams

A perfect family treat!


Our reporter Maureen Crisp went to Wilford Primary School in Lower Hutt to ask kids about how they celebrate Christmas.


Olivia Hepworth, age 7

The best thing about celebrations is desserts; chocolate mousse, jelly and ice-cream. Christmas is fun. I play tricks on my brother. We open our presents all together with our family. We pray for other people, that they will have a good time at Christmas. We always have Christmas music on when we open our presents. Last Christmas I got a huge present: it was a seesaw and it was just for me. It was my best Christmas.

We can fix that!

directed by susan wilson

We need grandparents and home-based parents. Volunteering to drive people to treatment or supporting them at Wellington Regional Hospital is something you could do to make a difference for someone experiencing cancer. We will provide you with an orientation, training, free parking, and a contribution to your expenses.

17 nov – 23 dec & 2 – 12 jan

Contact: Ann Hodson Manager Volunteering 04 389 0050 Email

Tues, wed, Thurs 6.30pm Fri & sat 8pm | sun 4pm bookings 8017992

Ethan Neru, age 8

I love the food at Christmas; ham and turkey are my favourites. Sometimes I sneak into the kitchen and steal some when no one is looking. Sometimes we go to our cousins and sometimes they’ll come to our house for a big celebration. I help lots at Christmas because there is a lot to do. We play lots of games outside; all of us kids will be outside dancing and playing music and acting crazy while the adults are inside talking.

Tessa Rogerson, age 8

Christmas mince pies are my favourite. At Christmas we like to be cheeky and wake our parents up at six o’clock in the morning. Sometimes everybody goes to my Aunty Paula’s and sometimes everybody comes to our house and we have a big brunch. My dad is the one who turns up the music loud at Christmas. I like to dance around the house with the tinsel from the tree.

Devyne Verma, age 8

When we have a celebration we have lots of barbecues. Meat patties and sausages, they are my favourite. On Christmas morning I jump around and open presents. I love music at Christmas, so I put it on loud. I wrap lots of presents for everyone else but I don’t wrap my own. Last Christmas I got new shoes and my little sister loved them too and she put something sticky in them. I laughed - it was funny.

There’s something for everyone this summer at Zealandia Just minutes from downtown, but worlds apart, Zealandia is a family must-do this summer. In the run up to Christmas don’t miss this festive family offer: up to three kids (age five to 14) enter free with a paying adult from 1-24 December. Upgrade to membership on the day and Zealandia will discount your ticket price too. Families visiting during January, February or March can also take advantage of a 20 per cent family ticket discount on general admission. For added value,

join in on storytelling Sundays with Just Giraffe running 20 January – 24 February, free with admission. For that extra special experience, why not send your 5-12-year-olds over to Zealandia’s fantastic school holiday junior rangers’ programme over the week starting 28 January (booking essential; half-day, full-day and multi-day options). And don’t forget Zealandia’s year-round Buggies go Bush $10 Wednesday morning meet ups. Visit for more information.


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 This month we have a fantastic line up of prizes with more great giveaways… Good luck! Check out last issue’s lucky winners online. WIN, WIN,




In ParaNorman a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call?

Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is ablee to abl to spea sspeak p k with pea with th thee dead d ead. IIn n addition to the dead. z zombies, he’ll have t take on ghosts, to w witches and, worst o all, moronic of g grown-ups, to save h town from a his c centuries-old curse. But B this young ghoul whisperer g may m find his paranormal p activities pushed to a their limits. t



For all conditions, times and details go to or phone 04 920 9200

We have two o Priz Prize Packs ks to t give away. Including a colour-change night light, stationery set and movie double-pass! ENTER NOW and remember to check out the official site: Entries close: 13 December 2012.

EYE-POPPING Your Sanctuary... for nature, not for profit





Beywheelz Crash Course Battle Set

Battle three ways with the spinning Beywheelz battlers in this awesome crash course battle set. This set has everything you need to launch into spectacular crash, stunt or race battles. Practice your skills or take on your friends. Either way, this gear puts you in charge of a big-time Beywheelz smack down! We have five Beywheelz Crash Course Battle Sets to give away!

What is your favourite summer food? We’d love to see a drawing of your favourite summer food! Draw us a picture of what tickles your tastebuds most in the summer months and be in to win an amazing $50 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 Post in to PO Box 36 004, Christchurch 8146. Entries close on 28 January 2013.

Congratulations to our Whanau Design Competition winners from our last issue:

Family Fun at the races

Ruby Keomany, age 4

Jessica Zhang, Auckland, Age nine – 12 years

Misha Simpson, Auckland, Age five – eight years

Rui Yi Ong, age 6

Shekinah Harendra Pratap, age 10



The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy and Margaret Mahy, A Writer’s Life

The Word Witch is the ultimate collection of Margaret Mahy’s much-loved poems and stories in rhyme. Each of the 66 pieces is accompanied by a poignant illustration by one of New Zealand’s best, David Elliott. This new paperback edition includes a CD with Margaret reciting 12 poems. Margaret Mahy, A Writer’s Life was first published in 2005 to critical acclaim. Now, seven years on, it has been fully updated and republished. Enter now for the chance to win one of fifteen packs of these books that we have to give away.

“It was an awesome day. A cheap way to entertain the kids for the day while I relaxed and hung out in the sun with family and friends” - Jess, Westport lOOk Out FOr these events in yOur regiOn: Wednesday 2 January - tauherenikau racecourse

My Little Pony Royal Wedding Castle

Princess Cadance and Shining Armor are getting married at the castle! Ponies from all over Equestria can’t wait to go to the royal wedding. This castle play set comes with bride and groom pony figures, butterfly, comb, two teacups, teapot, wedding cake, table, bouquet, piano, purse, tuxedo, groom crown, bride crown, dress, two rings, necklace, chandelier and sticker labels. We have five to give away!

Friday 4 January - Otaki racecourse sunday 20 January - Otaki racecourse monday 21 January - trentham racecourse Wednesday 6 February - tauherenikau racecourse Wednesday 6 February - hatrick raceway saturday 9 February - awapuni racecourse

Just tick the things you want to win SUMMER 2012

 My Little Pony Royal Wedding Castle  Beywheelz Crash Course Battle Set  The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy

Name Address

City Phone

and Margaret Mahy, A Writer’s Life Paranorman

40 events nationwide from 26 Dec - 9 Feb For more information visit:

To be in the draw to win, enter online at or write your name and address on the back of an envelope or postcard and send to: Christchurch Competition, PO Box 36 004, Christchurch to reach us by 28th January 2013, unless stated otherwise. Only one entry per household.


cool activities

Calendar of Events W

e’re coming up to the most exciting time of year. With summer upon us and Christmas just around the corner, the kids will be feeling the excitement and looking for things to do. There are lots of events happening in and around Wellington this summer. Many of them are free, which is always good this close to Christmas. Happy holidays! Until 27 January Pataka Art and Museum - Wildlife

Photographer of the Year. Visit www.pataka.

6 December Sport Wellington buggy walk. Calling all parents and caregivers with children under five: go for a beautiful walk through Otari-Wilton’s Bush and enjoy a complementary coffee from Caffe L’affare. Dogs on leads are welcome. From 10am-12pm. Free. Meet on the field in front of the toilets at Ian Galloway Park (second entrance).

Holiday fun at El Rancho

Give your kids a week away, somewhere they can be challenged, have fun, be safe and learn about God. El Rancho runs holiday camps for kids aged 7-12-yearsold. These residential camps (four nights, four days) are packed with a wide range of outdoor activities and fun games, as well as creative, energetic speakers who share the gospel. There is an average of one leader to every five campers, which provides close supervision of activities and lots of personal attention to the needs of individual campers. Check out for more information.


8 December Karori Fair Day - Annual fair with quality crafts, clothing, jewellery and food stalls, kids’ rides, activities and a music stage. From 10am3pm at Karori Community Centre, 7 Beauchamp Street.

9 December Khandallah Village Fair - Annual fair day with quality crafts, food, clothing, jewellery, garden and other stalls. Two music stages, kids’ rides and a kids’ activity area, from 10am-3pm at Ganges Road, Khandallah.

9 December Wellington Phoenix - Catch the Wellington Phoenix playing Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium at 4.30pm. Visit

12-15 December The Genée International Ballet Competition - this event brings together the finest young dancers from around the world, providing a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers, perform on international stages, and launch professional careers. Visit

20 December Tinytown Buggy Walk - Enjoy the company of other parents with guided buggy walks around the Southern and Eastern suburbs each month. No booking required, just turn up on the day. All participants will receive a free muffin and coffee. Meet at 9:45am at Dorrie Leslie Park, and walk from 10am.

5 – 26 January Aro Valley Summer Fun -This is a celebration of community and summer, every Saturday in January 2013, in the Aro Park and the Aro Valley Community Centre grounds. There will be markets with a different theme each week, bands and music, evening outdoor films, and a host of other free activities. Visit

8 January The Orienteering World Cup Sprint race - This will be held in and around Government House Grounds at 10am. Visit

Come and see Manukura, our beautiful and rare white kiwi, in the nocturnal kiwi house at Pukaha Mount Bruce, SH2, 20 minutes north of Masterton. Plus much more! Info at

18 – 20 January Wings Over Wairarapa - Feature aircraft will include some of the world’s rarest vintage aircraft from the last century including original World War I aircraft, alongside some of the classics from World War II. There will also be stunning displays of contemporary aircraft, and a tantalising glimpse of aviation’s future. There will lots of other entertainment on offer as well. Visit

19 January Wellington Beach Soccer 2013 - Check out the world’s most popular game at a beach near you! Enter a team to compete or head along to see the action. Spectators are free. Oriental Bay Beach. Visit

20 January Capital E’s The Great Scavenger Hunt this event is back with new destinations, clues and tasks. It’s a great day out for the whole family. Download a clue sheet from or pick one up from Capital E on the day. Gold coin donation. For more details, 04-913-3740.

21 January Birdman Wellington 2013 - Design a crazy flying costume and launch yourself off the specially-made “airstrip” on Taranaki Wharf. Birdkidz for 8 to 12-year-olds gets off to a flying start at 11am, with Birdman Wellington starting at 1pm. Whole event is from 10am to 5pm. There’ll be live music, food stalls, markets and activities for kids. Visit www.everydayhero.

26 January Eat Drink and Be Crafty - This event showcases delicious gourmet food and top quality handmade craft at Battle Hill Farm Forest Park – a five minute drive from Pauatahanui Village. With games, rides and prizes for the kids, it’s sure to be a great family day out. From 10am. Visit

26 January Interislander Teddy Bears Picnic Frank Kitts Park, Wellington, 12 – 4.30 pm Heaps of free entertainment and lots of prizes to be won

3 February Annual Teddy Bears Picnic featuring BJ

cool activities Bear - A fun-filled day for the whole family. Bring your favourite bear to win prizes. Have a picnic or grab a bite to eat there. Expect BJ Bear, Zumbatomic, cheerleaders, fairy dressup land and lots of singing and dancing. From 11am-3pm at Southwards Car Museum.

10 February Weetbix Tryathlon. Based at Hutt Recreation Grounds. Swim, bike and run as an individual or part of a team. Open to ages 7 to 15-years, visit

16 February Petone Rotary Fair - This fair is happening in the centre of Jackson Street, with more than 300 stalls, arts and crafts, plants, music, ethnic foods and amusements. You’ll find an array of merchandise, delicious food and entertainment for the whole family from 10am-4pm.

17 February AMI Round the Bays - Join in the buzz of Wellington’s biggest fun run/walk. Enjoy the beautiful inner harbour bays before converging on Kilbirnie Park for live entertainment, food and a great atmosphere for the whole family. Visit

23 February CentrePort Fun Family Open Day - At Interisland wharf (diagonally opposite Wellington Railway Station). Tug boat rides and port coach tours offered for gold coin donation from 10am – 4pm. Visit

10 March Kilbirnie Festival - The annual community festival on Bay Road. Stalls of all descriptions, multiple music stages, food, kids’ rides and activities area, and community displays. This is the eastern suburb’s biggest annual event. From 10am-4pm.

10 March The All About Kids Expo - This event is a one-stop destination showcasing thousands of children’s products and a wealth of information in the one location. Head along and enjoy a fantastic family day out. Visit Compiled by Tracey-Ann Moase

KIDSCO Your children experience a good deal of their social development from age five to 11-years in their after school or holiday programme. Meeting your children’s developmental needs and working with you as a family is important to us here at KIDSCO. As parents, we want our kids cared for by people who are trained and qualified, and we want them to have fun with people who understand their needs. That’s why KIDSCO is “the next best place to home.”

Interactive creative space at Pataka Pataka has launched a new children’s interactive gallery called Tuatara. Tuatara is a gallery space designed for play and exploration with both art works and museum objects on display. Tuatara will have a changing programme of exhibitions designed with skill-building activities that promote creativity for children and their grown-ups. This self-directed space is suitable for children of all ages and will be a sensory experience. The gallery is free and open MondaySaturday from 10am-4.30pm and Sunday from 11am-4.30pm.

Entertainment S

chool’s almost out for summer! It’s time to find some holiday entertainment to keep those busy little bodies and minds occupied over summer. We’ve put together some fun options to get you started. Have a safe and happy holiday season.  Staglands

Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Café is located in the scenic Akatarawa Valley and offers visitors the unique opportunity to feed and freely interact with wildlife in a natural environment. Open daily. Visit


Kids love KIDSCO, enough to wake their parents early to get to the programme. KIDSCO plans activities for all ages and interests from 5 to 11-years. Visit

 Pataka’s Tuatara Gallery This is a gallery space designed for play and exploration, with both art works and museum objects on display. The self-directed space is suitable for children of all ages. Free entry, Monday to Saturday, 10am-4.30pm, Sunday 11am-4.30pm. Visit

 El Rancho El Rancho residential holiday kids’ camps are a place for kids to be challenged, have fun, be safe and learn about God. Find out more at

 Thompsons Horse Centre Thompsons Horse Centre offers your family a unique horse riding experience. It has indoor and outdoor facilities, and it’s a safe environment

There’s lots of family fun to be had at the Interislander Teddy Bears Picnic. Pictured are The Junk Monsters. for your child to enjoy their lovely ponies. Visit

 Pukaha Visit Manukura, the beautiful and rare white kiwi, in the nocturnal kiwi house at Pukaha Mount Bruce, SH2. 20 minutes north of Masterton. Plus much more. Visit www. for more information.

 Hutt Indoor Sports In the heart of Hutt Park, you’ll find Junglerama, Larf’n Tiger Cafe and Sports Courts. A fun day out for the kids, with great cafe food and coffee.

unique atmosphere. It’s a great day out, just east of Waikanae. Adults $7, children $4. Visit for more information.

 Wellington Indoor Sports In Newtown, you’ll find Junglerama, 10 Pin Bowling at Bowlarama, Laser Warfare and Sports Court. A fun day out for the whole family. Visit; www.; for holiday hours and specials.

 Reikorangi Pottery Farm Park & Cafe Walk among the animals and experience a

Colonial Cottage Museum

Step back in time and experience colonial family life at the Colonial Cottage Museum. The cottage was built by William Wallis in 1858 and typifies the elegant late-Georgian style of housing built in Wellington through to 1870. Inside, original furniture, wallpaper and precious objects from the family remain: their careful restoration showcases the construction techniques and materials of the era, and creates a sense that the Wallis family has just stepped out. The Colonial Cottage Museum is a lovely

summer’s day out for families of all ages, with a charming heritage garden. There will be a series of summer concerts in February featuring classical and contemporary styles. Visit www. for details. Opening hours: • Until 23 December 2012 - Saturday and Sunday 12 to 4pm. • Special summer opening hours (5 January to 3 March 2013): open 12 to 4pm every day with tours on the hour from 12 to 3pm.

…. when you can’t be there for primary school kids during the school holidays! • Themed programmes – fun, imaginative activities & games • Programme design includes each child’s stage of development • No fuss/no charge late pickup for emergencies • Qualified & Trained staff • OSCAR & WINZ • See web site for details


Frank Kitts Park, Wellington

Saturday 26 January 2013, 12 pm – 4.30 pm Rain day Sunday

Heaps of free entertainment Lots of prizes to be won Zappo the magician Join Fairy Trina in her Fairy Grotto Lots of dancing and singing with Dan & Dani and Java Dance, Plus The Junk Monsters, Harry the Clown, Face Painting and rides

Like us on Facebook and be into WIN a Family return trip for 5, with vehicle, on the Interislander. *Terms and conditions apply

World Change Starts with Educated Children

HOLIDAY SPECIALS  Interislander Sum mer Festival Races Free entry and family on-course activities at the Summer Festival Races. Venues around Wellington. Visit www.the summer-festival for details.

 Interislander Teddy Bears Picnic Singing, dancing, magic and fun with Zappo, Fairy Trina, Dan & Dani, Java Dance, Puppet show, rides and more. Saturday, 26 January, 2013 at Frank Kitts Park, Wellington, 12 – 4.30 pm. Visit

 Colonial Cottage Museum

 Chinese New Year 2013

Step back in time with a tour of Wellington’s oldest original cottage and its heritage garden. Until 23 December - Saturday and Sunday, 124pm. From 5 January to 3 March 2013, open daily 12-4pm. Visit www.museumswellington.

Welcome in the Year of the Snake. Saturday 23 February: New Clothes for the New Year. Sunday 24 February: festival day Asian market, street parade, and cultural entertainment.

 Craft House

 Cinderella at Circa  Capital E National Art Theatre Festival 2013 This is a glittering, fairytale pantomime, with

Kids have fun at Craft House, an amazing holiday programme for boys and girls aged seven years and older. Visit www.crafthouse. or phone 04-499-4499 for more information.

At New Zealand’s biggest arts festival for children, there’ll be theatre, music, dance, circus, film and more with the best of international and local talent. From 11-23 March. Visit for details.

dazzling costumes and lots of fun and laughter. Perfect for young and old, and a great way to celebrate the festive season. Opens 17 November. Visit

10am-2pm. At 60 High Street, Dannevirke.

 Junior Rangers at Zealandia Book now to enjoy the fun Junior Rangers school holiday programme. Themed full and half-day options will leave your adventurous 5 to 12-year-olds buzzing about amazing ecosystems. From 28 January to 1 February. Visit

 Dannevirke’s Fantasy  Te Papa Bookstore Meet Kahu the Kea during the school holidays: Cave free live performance, 1pm weekdays at Te Open 1-24 December (Santa in attendance), Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm. Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. From 26-31 December, open

Papa. Sign up to Kahu’s Book Club to win great prizes. For more information visit www.

Staglands summer saver –tell your friends! If you want to relax and take time out with friends and family, then meet at Staglands. This summer Staglands is giving you the opportunity to visit as often as you like with a very special offer: for just $29 for adults and $12 for children, the Staglands summer saver pass entitles you to unlimited visits in December, January and February. It’s an affordable way to occupy the whole family, so come as often as you like throughout the summer and enjoy

everything Staglands has to offer. Roam among the friendly wildlife in wonderful surroundings; pack a picnic lunch or chill out in the café; explore the flying fox and children’s play area, and cool down at the end of a fantastic day out in the natural swimming holes. Be in quick to buy your summer saver and make the most of summer at Staglands. Visit Staglands website for more details

Compiled by Tracey-Ann Abery


2013 primary and intermediate school term dates

2013 secondary and composite school term dates

Term 1, 2013

Term 1, 2013

Between Monday 28 January and Thursday 7 February to 19 April

Between Monday 28 January and Thursday 7 February to 19 April

Term 2, 2013

Term 2, 2013

Monday 6 May to Friday 12 July

Monday 6 May to Friday 12 July

Term 3, 2013

Term 3, 2013

Monday 29 July to Friday 27 September

Monday 29 July to Friday 27 September

Term 4, 2013

Term 4, 2013

Monday 14 October to no later than Friday 20 December

Monday 14 October to Wednesday 20 December

2012 public holidays remaining Christmas Day - 25 December Boxing Day - 26 December



baby & toddler

Water babies – the benefits of starting swimming young E

arly swim lessons set a positive foundation towards a lifetime of participation and enjoyment in a variety of water sports and time spent on, in and under the water. On the whole, a child who starts lessons early is far more relaxed and happy in the water, and in a country as water-loving as New Zealand, this is vital. The benefits of introducing your child to swimming lessons whilst still a baby are many, and include improved physical, emotional, social and cognitive development . Teaching your baby to swim might help them overcome their initial fear of water and provide a great excuse to have some fun and exercise at the same time, but it could have other benefits as well. Recently, researchers from Norway and Britain found that children who had taken baby swimming classes did better on tests involving gripping and reaching as well as balance, compared to children who had no experience swimming as babies. This helps their physical

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.

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 Saturdays 23 March and 25 May 2013 in Johnsonville. No charge as generously sponsored. Phone Chris Wilson on 04-938-9470, email or visit for more information.

progress later in life as well, along with providing them with some essential social skills. Gross and fine motor skills are also strengthened and coordination and balance are enhanced in babies who enter the water early. For this reason, the younger your little one starts in lessons, the easier the transition is to enjoying the water. A baby who is used to being stationary can move about independently in the pool as they learn balance and coordination. The motion and sensation of the water gives them an awareness of self that otherwise would not be gained at such a young age, and sets them up for life. Additionally, early experiences in water allow little ones to better develop their psychomotor

“For the right people, in the right situation, baby swimming can also nurture a special new connection to family, community and to the outer world.” skills, because there they can move more freely and begin to understand concepts of distance and movement. Their cardio-respiratory system is also strengthened as the baby exercises his or her heart and lungs. A weekly swimming lesson is often a child’s first social experience out of the home that involves their peers. They learn to relate and interact with each other and look forward to seeing their classmates each week, and

La Leche League Jodie was worried she didn’t have enough milk for her fussy baby. She phoned her nearest La Leche League leader for help. Now Jodie says she understands more about how breastfeeding works and is reassured. Mothers who want to breastfeed need accurate information and support. For help with breastfeeding, contact La Leche League. Your leader will listen and offer practical suggestions. La Leche League leaders are breastfeeding mothers who are trained to give up-to-date breastfeeding information. Wellington La Leche League 04-471-0690.

even watch them for cues when it comes to taking risks and learning something new. Early swimming also fosters a growing sense of selfesteem, confidence and independence, and as a child’s ability to freely move through the water increases - so does their sense of wellbeing. For the right people, in the right situation, baby swimming can also nurture a special new connection to family, community and to the outer world. Time spent having fun and learning new things in the pool is an ideal opportunity for parent and child bonding in a relaxed and fun environment that they will both love being a part of. Social skills and self-esteem are developed through interaction with other children and positive encouragement from parents and any

other family who watch them at swimming time, and your child will develop a trusting relationship with you at the same time. When parents spend time face-to-face, skin-to-skin with their babies in the water, it is a very special time for both parties. Their bond increases through the swimming lessons and parents can also exercise their patience, encouragement and kindness toward their little one. They will also learn more and more about their little person’s growing personality and how they approach new situations as they are challenged more and more. By Northern Arena,, 09-421-9700.

Childspace - it’s a little bit special Karori Childspace is located in a vintage villa with a cosy home-away-fromhome feel. This early childhood centre educates and cares for children under the age of two years, and provides a nurturing sanctuary for infants and toddlers to play and learn. Childspace teachers work in partnership with parents and whanau, believing parents are the first teachers to their children. This encourages a relationship that

supports your child’s and family’s needs, helping to create continuity between experiences at home and at the centre. Northland Childspace has similar values, but also caters for children aged between 0-5 years. Northland Childspace is a nature school, giving your child many opportunities to connect with nature and learn about ecology and the natural world. Come and check us out!

Breastfeeding help by mothers for mothers LA LECHE LEAGUE OFFERS: • Mother-to-mother support • Telephone help • Trained breastfeeding counsellors • Regular meetings • Books and leaflets for sale • Lending libraries

CONTACT US: (04) 471 0690 EMAIL:



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 for more information.


Picture Books

Junior Fiction

The Quentin Blake Treasury

Sir Mouse to the Rescue

By Quentin Blake Johnathon Cape 2012 Hardback $49.99 ● The muchhonoured Quentin Blake has been creating children’s books since 1968, and every one is a timeless gem. This collection has nine picture books and lots of rhymes, all with Blake’s loose pen and watercolour illustrations full of action and humour. This treasury will be a great asset to any family library for reading aloud to children from babyhood on.

Great Galloping Galoot By Stephanie Thatcher Scholastic, 2012 Paperback $19.50 ● Galoot is a clumsy giraffe whose friends are always laughing at him and calling him a “great galoot.” But his parents tell him to “walk tall, run fast and always be your best.” When the bridge over the river is washed away the other animals all despair, but Galoot is sure he can make it across. Ages 3-8 years.

Mouse Mansion: Sam & Julia By Karina Schaapman Allen & Unwin 2012 Hardback $30 ● Anyone who loves dollhouses and the like will love this large-scale picture book. The illustrations have been created using models of more than 100 rooms and their contents and characters. Sam and Julia (little mice) live in the same apartment building: Julia with just her mum and Sam with his big family. They have lots of adventures in the course of their everyday lives. Beautifully crafted. Ages 4-10.









Winter issue 2011

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Childhood trauma

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By Brian Falkner Illustrated by Donovan Bixley Walker Books Australia 2012 Paperback $22.99 ● Maddy can speak every language in the world, even ancient ones no longer spoken. After her mother organises for Maddy to appear on a TV show, she is invited to travel overseas to translate some ancient scrolls. Soon she’s on a wild adventure, along with a curious monkey and her friend who thinks he is a ninja. Exciting reading, captured in animated black and white illustrations. Ages 9-12.

Liar & Spy

By Margaret Beames Illustrated by Ian McNee Scholastic 2012 Paperback $19.50 ● Jack longs for a dog but when his birthday comes he’s given a rabbit instead. At first, he’s disappointed, until he discovers that his pet has a special talent. His nosy neighbour discovers the secret, which leads to the rabbit being stolen by a mad scientist for experimentation and a dramatic rescue mission takes place. An exciting read involving animal cruelty issues. Ages 6-9.

By Rebecca Stead Text Publishing 2012 Paperback $21 ● Georges moves into a new apartment and is befriended by Safer, who spies on the building’s occupants and recruits Georges to help find out what one mysterious resident is up to. Georges is also welcomed into Safer’s family home as Georges’ dad is often off visiting his wife at the hospital, supposedly working long shifts. There is more than one mystery threaded into this tender story about friendship and facing your fears. Ages 9-12.

My Happy Life

Dead Harry Ken Catran Scholastic 2012 Paperback $19.50 ● Sam is shocked when his friend Harry suddenly dies, but he’s even more startled when Harry’s ghost appears, saying that he was murdered and that Sam has to find out who did it and why. He’s joined in the mystery by the class geek, Anna. Compelling reading with a nicely turned plot that keeps you guessing until the end. Ages 9-12.

Joshua Glenn & Elizabeth Foy Larsen Bloomsbury USA 2012 Hardback $36.99 ● This fat book is packed with so many activities, ideas and information that it would be difficult to imagine ever saying “I’m bored” again. Indoors, outdoors, online and offline, there are instructions for things to make and do, ideas about the world to think about, and projects to get on with including a no-sew soft toy, a drink bottle bike exhaust and home-alone meals. Ages 7-adult.

100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Te Papa Press 2012 Paperback / DVDs $34.99 ● This book is based on the TV series Tales from Te Papa and includes DVDs of the series. Treasures from Te Papa collections are shown in colour photos with fact panels and comprehensive text about each item. Some gems include racehorse Phar Lap’s skeleton, a mummy and her coffin, and recycled plastic art. A fine assortment of the weird and wonderful from our national museum. Ages 9-adult.

Sirocco the Rock Star Kakapo By Sarah Ell Random House, 2012 Paperback $24.99 ● Sirocco was taken from his mother as a sick chick on Codfish Island. He was hand-reared and became very attached to humans, which has led to him becoming an ambassador for his endangered species. Incredible photographs show every stage of Sirocco’s growth. There is an abundance of information in easy-to-read bites with full bleed photographs and fact panels.


it ing agin g we im or...s growin Are d as well ers as ts nious o Partn paren harm

Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker


By Rose Lagercrantz Eva Eriksson Translator Julia Marshall Gecko Press 2012 Paperback $19.99 ● Dana is a happy girl, although she worries that she won’t make friends when she starts school. She does make a friend and all is well until changes happen and then she wonders if she will ever be happy again. Sweet line drawings capture Dana’s cheery character. Great for early readers or read aloud. Ages 6-9.

Knowledge books

Quarterly e-newsletter




By Dirk Nielandt Illustrated by Marjolein Pottie Translated by Laura Wilkinson Book Island 2012 Hardback $24.99 ● Little Mouse is dressed up as a brave knight with armour and a sword, but she doesn’t fight Dragon because they’re best friends. Mouse is bossy and dramatic and Dragon very tolerant. There’s plenty of excitement and terrific dialogue. The interactions between the characters are hilarious and very like the way children like to play themselves. Ages six plus.

Intermediate Fiction

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Back to nature - island adventure

Family Getaways

You won’t get a much better overnight nature experience than at Matiu/Somes Island, just a 20 minute ferry ride from Wellington. This wildlife haven has heaps to offer, both as a nature reserve and as an historic reserve.


here is a range of accommodation available on the island from camping to fully selfcontained houses. With views across the harbour, little blue penguins to serenade you at dusk and sunsets to die for, you can be sure to enjoy a real island-getaway experience with the sound of native birds around you. Prices range from $10 per person for camping to $200 per night for houses (sleeps 8-10).

Your ultimate holiday experience

Cool camping If you’re one for getting out in the great outdoors there’s heaps of camping options on offer. Whether it’s part of a tramping trip in the bush or an overnight excursion to an island getaway - there are camping options for all:

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• Otaki Forks, Waiohine Gorge and



popular one in summer) and Graces Stream campsite (a short walk into the park).

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worth of accommodation at one of our amazing holiday houses. Thousands of amazing holiday houses are available right now, but they fill up fast so don’t delay in booking a summer getaway for your family. *Terms and conditions available online at


Holdsworth campsites.

• Rimutaka Forest Park. • Catchpool Valley campground (a very

A bed for every budget

Matiu/Somes Island camping. Prices are $10 per adult or $5 per child, with under fives camping for free.

Huts in the bush


If you like a nature experience with a solid roof over your head then DOC’s hut options are for you. There are a range of different huts across the Kapiti-Wellington region varying in size and comfort level. In the Tararua Forest Park, for example, there are several easily accessible back-country huts, which are on a first come, first served basis. They all have mattresses, water and toilets. Prices range from $5 – $15 per night for adults, $2.50 – $5 for youths (11 to 17-year-olds) and free for under 11s.

Luxury lodges – comfort tramping style If you’re after something a bit more luxurious then look no further than our luxury lodges, some with flushing toilets and hot showers! In the Rimutaka Forest Park, bookings are for exclusive use of huts, with prices ranging from $35 for a four-bunk hut to $115 for 14-bunk accommodation. Turere Lodge is the newest attraction in the park. The 32-bunk DOC facility has four bunk rooms, large communal cooking/gathering facilities and a deck that takes in the stunning views of the Orongorongo Valley. This authentic New Zealand forest, packed with palms, ferns and huge rata trees, has fantastic views and good swimming holes in the river. Just a 45 minute drive from Wellington, this one’s sure to satisfy. Bookings are still available over the Christmas period so get in quick to nab this luxury lodge for your family festivities. Fees are $80 per bunk room (with eight bunks per room) or $320 for your group to enjoy the entire lodge. For more information visit wellingtonvc@doc. govtnz or phone 04-384-7770. For a full list of DOC accommodation options visit

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