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Issue 17



Shopping for a Nursery

Editor

Paul Grech paul@growing-up-in-malta.com Tel. 79014601 n Time Competitio Editorial Additional Becky Debattista , Georgia Henderson, Sylvana Brannon, Annabel Desira & Rachel Schembri, Claire Savona. Mediapack Summer 2008

Advertising Enquiries

Diana Lavender diana@growing-up-in-malta.com Tel. 99866358

Design and Artwork

M2M Publications PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay info@growing-up-in-malta.com

Publishers

M2M Publications PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay www.growing-up-in-malta.com

Cover Photograph Matt Green tel. 79630443

ThCa innki of thSp yong e ri u sm en vial ell rore nment ng and our fu ture... ady???

A word from...

What a Winter! ! So mu rain we’v ch e had... Let’s hop e Spring will be here soon much n eeded Vi and cha t a s e the col m away an in D thr all need d ough ple d it! Let’s b r i n g nty of S us some hope the runny n u c n h shine! I’ ildren h oses and m sure w aven’t s coughs. uffered e to many bouts of This yea r is a sp ecial yea us the co r for us unt dow here at G n has st So keep rowing arted to an eye o Up in M o th u r 5 u alta, as t for ann Birthda magazi for ouncem y ne but a P a r t y ents in ! lso on ou G r o r Face bo wing Up Talking ok page. in Malta of Birth day Par ties if y ideas on ou have celebrati any gre ng your at and o child’s b hear from riginal irthday you! Dro party, w p us a li e would ne on in love to fo@grow ing-upi n Oh, and -malta.c did you om know th at Billy own Fac and Ban e book p age? Fin gle have d them a started t nd join heir very in the fu n ! Looking forward to hearin g from y ou! p.s. com

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All adverts and editorial are printed in good faith, however, M2M Publications can not take any responsibility for the content of the adverts or services provided by the advertisers. The Publisher and/or Editor do not necessarily share the view(s) of editorial contributors. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored without the express permission of the publisher. Every effort has been made regarding the accuracy of the information given and printed in Growing Up. As this cannot be guaranteed, M2M publications accepts17 no liability for printing Spring 2012 - Issue information believed to be incorrect.

On the Front Cover: Enah (1 year old) is modelling her navy blue dress with white polka dots and bright pink bow, white cardigan and pink shoes, all from the Debenhams Spring collection. The photoshoot took place in the newly refurbished Seabank Leisure Centre in Melliha.




GrandParents Contents Issue 17 - Spring 2012

08 12

47 Next Issue: Summer 2012 - Issue 18 

42 In This Issue: Developing a Creative Mind Spending and Saving Grab a pen and paper...and start writing More than worth it - Dad in Progress Why read with your Childre How would you like your bed(room) to look? - Competition Parents to Be Facebook, Yes or No? - Mum time TV Time Kids Pages - Only for Kids Billy and Bangle Newsbuzz Book review - What I did Inspiration through reading New Shoes - Help Wanted! ADHD Kids Recording Studio - Malta’s answer to... Are you getting enough Omega-3? Shop & Win Where can I find Growing Up in Malta?

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Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17




Developing

Developing a Creative Mind by Paul Grech

As parents there are a million and one things over which to worry where your children are involved. Health, education, finding time to spend with them all probably rank highly. Them running out of questions, however, rarely features among those worries. If anything it is the opposite that concerns you - getting them to stop asking - such is the endless stream of queries that young children tend to come up with. Yet those questions, irritating and tiring though they might at times be, are of significant importance in their development. “When you’re provided with information you’re usually asking ‘what’ question. Children, however, love to ask ‘why’,” says Shirley Pulis Xerxen before adding with a knowing smile. “You’ve just woken up, trying to get to your senses and they start firing one question after another. But that is a sign of creativity in children. That is very important and it has to be developed. You shouldn’t say ‘when are you going to stop asking questions!’.” “In truth, every parent has been there. We’ve all told them to stop. But these questions show that the children aren’t simply receiving information but they’re processing it as well.” Shirley is better placed than most to comment on this. Apart from being the parent of two young children, she is also a lecturer at the Edward de Bono Institute for the Design and Development of Thinking at the University of Malta.

“Creativity takes place when you create something that is new and typically it is associated with the outcome,” she explains on the word that is at the basis of her work, one that is often used but rarely fully understood. “However, I like to look at creativity as a process, one that you go through when you’re doing something irrespective of your level of specialisation. It is the process that you go through when you either do something differently or else you use your imagination to create something new.” “New can mean many things. When it comes to children it has to do with something that is new to them or it is something that they’re doing for the first time. If a boy or a girl draws a picture of their family for the first time, then that is a show of creativity by that individual.” “You then have creativity that is at a higher level, the kind that has an impact on history. But I don’t distinguish between the creativity on a personal level and that which has a wider impact. Every level of creativity is important and it depends on schools and parents to ensure that this creativity is developed mainly through a sense of curiosity.” That can, however, be easier said than done. “Recently I found myself in a strange situation. My son is in Year 1 and his teacher commented that he needs to concentrate more when he’s doing certain work. So I found myself telling him ‘don’t think about so many things so that you don’t waste time’. Afterwards I was thinking about it and realised that this is the first way for me to limit his creativity.” “A child can worry so much about what a teacher will say that they don’t do what they think is right but rather what they believe this other persons thinks is right. This is something that children do a lot of especially in an educational system where there is only one correct answer and where in an exam they know what the reply is to be if they get a particular question meaning that they will study to know exactly what they have to write.” “Unfortunately, our educational system was such that a whole scholastic year is based on knowing that one correct reply for a question that comes out in an exam. This restrains creativity, that process of discovering new things.” “We as parents do likewise when we say things like ‘be careful what you’re doing’, ‘concentrate’, ‘you have to study rather than do other things’.”



Growing Up in Malta


Creativity

“Europe, for instance, cannot move forward unless there are people who are flexible, who have a certain degree of appreciation for culture and who are open to different things. That’s what creativity leads to: it allows a country to be innovative.” As with anything else, a fundamental ingredient for children to grow their ability to think and to do so creatively is seeing their parents doing likewise. “Children have to learn that their role at work will include interaction with a range of different people, with different work practices and it is important that this ability is developed from an early age.” “It is important for the children to see their parents interacting and discussing, which doesn’t mean that they should be arguing between themselves with each one trying to win the argument.”

Most parents will recall instances where they uttered such phrases and many will, rightly, feel that there is nothing wrong with that. Experience has taught parents of the importance of doing well at school, something that the children themselves cannot possibly appreciate, so they naturally try to do their utmost to ensure that their kids’ focus is trained on study. And sometimes the by-product of this instinctive reaction is to see interest in anything else as being a frivolous waste of time. “Some parents see their child’s interest in football or art as a distraction. They tell them that they must concentrate on their school work and nothing else,” Shirley says, picking on the theme. “That needs not be the case. If anything, the fact that they have hobbies and other interests can only help them at school. They certainly won’t hinder them” “Having different interests helps them in their thought processes in that they can have different views on how to solve problems and different ways to come up with something new. That’s what creativity is, the way that you take ideas from different sources and put them together. Spring 2012 - Issue 17

So the fact that children have the opportunity to cultivate different interests is very important.” In an ever changing world, this ability to be able to pull together different ideas is getting increasingly more important. As a result you would think that creativity would feature heavily in the skills one would want his children to foster. But that’s not always the case. “Unfortunately the culture is that the ability to think isn’t given too much importance. And I’m not simply referring to Malta. It is taken as a given, that if you do well at school then automatically you’re developing the way you think. “ “One way of getting over this is for there to be champions of the cause, people who set an example so that slowly the whole idea starts to spread. From an economic point of view, creativity will start becoming more important when countries start to realise that unless they have citizens who are capable of thinking for themselves and being flexible they won’t progress.”

“To be a creative person also means that you’re capable of appreciating another’s point of view even if you don’t agree with them. You have to inform yourself and when you’re talking about something you should put across your message. Acting that way will be a huge help for children.” “The same goes for children seeing their parents interested in different subjects; that they don’t simply associate their parents with work or with home” The parent’s role in aiding the inquisitive mind of their children is clearly something that is close to Shirley’s heart. “As a parent you have to give your children the opportunity to discover what they love, to discover the world. Today there are a lot more ways to expose them to different things. If you want to introduce them to classical music you don’t have to take them to the opera, you can use your television to help with that. Similarly, they have to interact with as many children as possible.” “Finally, it is important that you feed their desire to learn: being creative doesn’t mean putting less focus to study. Learning, even in the traditional sense, is important. Yet there has to be a balance and you give them information within a structure so that they can explore and figure out things.”




Moneymatters

Spending and saving When children are little and they first get money, they may spend it as quickly as they receive it. Help them think about saving up to buy something worthwhile. Other children may not know what to do with their money, and leave it around in their bedroom, with the risk that it may get lost. Help children think about keeping their money in a safe place. Value for money

Things we buy with our money have different values and may not always be worth what we spend on them. Also, there are differences in what people are prepared to pay for the things they need or want (as auctions show). It takes children time to realize the value of items and experiences. It is important that your child has opportunities to make choices so that they begin to develop their own sense of what things are worth. Shopping around is a good skill to learn, finding out how to ask the right questions, collecting details, and getting advice from the right source. When you go shopping, encourage your child to look at the price tags. Compare prices with them and discuss value for money. In a nutshell, children need to learn money -- what it can and can’t buy, how it doesn’t grow on trees, and why you need to be careful about when and where you spend it. Simple lessons learned in a simple way, at a simple time in life.

As adults we need to plan how we will spend our money. Keeping track of what we spend allows us to see whether we are sticking to our budgets. To do this we keep receipts, bank statements, credit card vouchers, and so on. We also compare prices of things we want to buy to decide on value for money. Help your child keep a record of what they plan to spend their pocket money on. Include short-term, medium-term and long-term savings, and any donations they plan to make. You can encourage your child to save right from the start. If necessary, help them find something worthwhile to save for.

Spend, Save, and Donate

It’s important to explain to children that living within a budget can sometimes mean deciding to get one item or another and that when funds are limited, you can’t always have everything right away – sometimes you have to save up for things that you’d like to buy. A very simple way to help children learn about saving is by using four jars or moneyboxes: • Label one jar ‘Spend’ (the money in this jar can be spent on anything they wish) • Label another ‘Save/short term’ (money for toys, cinema tickets etc) • Label another ‘Save/long term’ (maybe a bicycle, games console, large toys, car or education) • Label the remaining jar ‘Donate’ (it is important to be socially responsible and you can begin early by encouraging your child to donate small amounts) You’ll need to explain to your child what the jars are for and help them decide how to split their pocket money between them.

Short-term saving

If your child wants to buy something they cannot afford, such as toys, CDs or cinema tickets, encourage them to save up before they buy it, rather than lending them the money. They can work out how much to put aside each week, and how long it will take them. For a small item it may only take them two or three weeks.

Medium-term saving

Encourage your child to save for family presents. They can save spending money for holidays, and also for much larger items for themselves such as a bicycle, a video gaming system, or special clothes. You could encourage the saving habit by agreeing to match the amount they have saved, or give €2.50 for every €10 saved. Or you could work out a percentage increase to give them the idea of interest earned. When they’ve saved for a larger item, let them hand over the money themselves. This will give them a sense of achievement.

Long-term saving

With young children you will need to explain the importance of saving over a long time for their needs in the future. Talk to them about how the money is ‘borrowed’ by the Bank. It is, of course, important to use an organisation that is safe and sound. The financial organisation that ‘borrows’ your money pays you a fee, which is called ‘interest’. Work together to find out how much the money they have saved will grow over time. As an adult, saving up to buy something is usually better money management than buying on credit. This is because you get the interest on the savings, rather than paying out the interest on your borrowing. The longer you leave money in, the more interest you gain. Grandparents and other relatives may want to pay into a savings account, either on an occasional basis, or with a regular standing order. Make sure children know this is happening, and that they can find out how the savings in their account are growing.



Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17




Writing

Grab pen and paper… and start writing! by Rachel Schembri, Senior Executive and Annabel Desira - Parental Empowerment Programmes’ Co-ordinator - FES

Many children find writing daunting; staring at a blank sheet of paper can evoke feelings of frustration and despair. For most adults, writing becomes easier, however for some, writing tasks or assignments stir up memories of misery and anguish! I think it boils down to how one perceives writing and all that the writing process brings with it! The Malta Writing Programme (MWP) after-school sevices within the Foundation for Educational Services (FES) organises a wealth of writing experiences for families and young writers. The focus during all such activities is on having fun and unearthing the writer within. Though some particpants are somewhat resitant or uneasy at the beginning of the club, they are put at ease both by their tutor as well as their peers. Young writers attending the Young Writers’ Club or Summer Writing Camps are quick to experiment with writing, in Maltese and English, in its different forms and genres. They

select a pre-writing strategy, reserach, produce their first draft, receive constructive feedback from their peers and their tutor, edit and refine their writing ... ask questions, carry out further research, go back to their writing ... edit, select a friend for peer response ... Writing within such a setting is a fun and enjoyable process where the process itself is given the importance it merits. Throughout the club/camp participants, children and parents alike, are encouraged to share and publish their writings both orally in informal ways as well as during the ‘formal’ celebation session during which writings and art work are exhibited for family and friends. What Malta Writing Programme Tutors have to say …. I have tutored children within the Young Writers’ Club, Klabb Kittieba Żgħar, for a number of years. Every experience has proven to be different, challenging but extremely positive. From a Professional aspect, working as a tutor has given me the opportunity to do what I like doing best – teaching – in an atmosphere which is free from the pressure I experience at school. The clubs have helped me to appreciate children’s writing and the way they perceive things. My ultimate aim is to instil a love for writing in all young writers who choose to spend their time with me during the club or the camp! Mariuccia Fenech During the Young Writers’ Club in November 2011, I had the opportunity to work with a group of twelve children and four parents. Parents were invited to learn about writing process methodology and apply it with their children at home. They also participated in parallel learning opportunities and experienced the same writing process activities as their children. All parents were active participants throughout the workshops, which consisted of journaling, pre-writing, drafting and publishing. An interesting outcome was that the parents themselves became facilitators of the writing group. This was an empowering experience for all! At the end of the programme the parents felt that it was a worthwhile experience which empowered them not only to help their children at home but also served as a powerful personal learning experience. This was a rich learning opportunity also for me as a tutor. Michelle Camilleri Last November was my third experience as a tutor with Young Writers’ Club. When the group meets for the first session, most young writers are shy, not sure of what to expect. However most young writers are keen to share their experiences through their writings. One can see the value young writers place on feedback, they grin when they receive positive feedback, from thier peers or from me, about their writing achievements. The Peer Response activity is an invaluable experience! Constructive feedback is given for the writer to improve their writing and hone their writing skills. Creativity and flair are encouraged! When children tell me they have enjoyed the club and will practice some of the stratgies they have learnt, it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that the club creates opportunities for Maltese writers to develop their creativity. Rita Jo Attard

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Growing Up in Malta


Education

My young caterpillars eagerly gather around the table, ready to embark on this writing journey that is new to some, familiar to others yet unique for everyone. There is always something interesting to write about, something to learn from one’s peers and something extraordinary to share. Week after week, they hungrily eat away at their daybooks, filling each page with writings, and a general feeling of content is felt after each and every activity. The transformation, how young writers perceive writing, occurs from the very first day, culminating on the last day as they proudly emerge into beautiful, colourful butterflies. This is what Young Writers’ Club is all about: it is where the duckling becomes a swan, where the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, where a child becomes a writer. Mireille De Gabriele What parents and children think about these writing activities … Our experience in the Young Writers’ Club was very positive. We appreciated that all the children were encouraged to present their work during the celebration session. We could see the children’s satisfaction in their work. As parents, we appreciated the interest the tutor took in our child. Simon and Rachelle Ellul – Parents Spring 2012 - Issue 17

I took part in the parents’ writing club. I feel that I needed to attend the club more than my child! I learnt how to guide him with his writing tasks. I must say that his writing has improved! Caroline Scicluna - Parent Klara was always very excited before and after every session. Having fun, I believe is an important ingredient in such a camp. Her only complaint was that she would have liked a longer writing camp! Parent My experience during the club was extraordinary. I liked sharing my stories with the group and enjoyed listening to what the others had to say. My tutor was very friendly; she listened to our stories and helped us express ourselves through writing without correcting every spelling mistake! Our group was not scared to experiment! I only wish that there was more time for me to share all of my writings! I will definitely use the strategies I learnt. Maria Ellul – Young Writer I loved writing in my day book, working on the play script with my friends and taking part in the play. I enjoyed the summer writing camp because we had art and craft activities within the writing activity. As a group we even created the props for our play! Jake Ciantar – Young Writer

“…write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you …and edit to let the fire show through the smoke” Arthur Polotnik

For more information: The Malta Writing Programme (MWP) within the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE) is responsible for the dissemination of writing process methodology in schools. The MWP offers day school support through in class demo lessons with children and their teachers, various teacher training opportunities, school initiated writing sessions for parents and their children as well as writing conventions for teachers. For further information please contact us on: mwp.meef@gov.mt or 2123 5546. Fun and enjoyable writing after school activities such as the Young Writers’ Club, Summer Writing Camp or Family Writing Activities are held regularly throughout the year. Contact Muriel Grech for further information on 21 455 600/607 ext 128 or on mwp. fes@gov.mt or visit the FES Facebook Page which is updated continuously.

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Dad in Progress

More than worth it...

Being a parent can be extremely difficult, there’s no two most of what I say and do is awesome. How could it be any different when you can answer their endless stream of questions? From their perspective,

ways about it. Be it the sleep deprivation of the first their father is this great fountain of knowledge whose wisdom is to be months to the exams driven stress of later years going believed. It won’t continue when the cynicism that comes with teenage years

bites but it is a nice enough ego massage in the meantime and I’ll take it while

through any health issues that may crop up in between, it lasts.

there’s a million and one things to worry about and to Above everything, being a parent allows you to become a superhero. When my drain you of every ounce of energy. son has a bad dream at night it is not spiderman (whom he loves) that he calls

by Paul Grech

But, at the same time, being a parent is simply awesome. Coming home from work to be welcomed by the sheer unadulterated joy of a child who is this excited by the prospect of being with you has to be one of the best feelings of the world. Cuddling a child to sleep, hearing them cry out with laughter at even the most stupid of jokes and watching them progress from simply watching to pictures in books to reading them fluently are among the great joys of everyday parental life.

Perhaps (probably) because my kids are relatively young, they still think that

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out for, it is mum or dad. His drawn out heroes are fine for cartoons but when it comes down to real life it is the warm comfort of his parents that he looks for. And if being chosen over Spiderman or Superman doesn’t make you feel great, nothing will. Sometimes, like when I’m too tired after a long day at work and would like nothing better than some quite time but can’t have any as there are three kids running around wanting to play with me, it is hard to think beyond the difficulties. In those moments it difficult not to be envious of those who have the luxury of going home and be met only by a hot cup of tea and a good book. In those moments it takes a lot to find the energy to deal with the kids. But when the payback comes in the form of a sincere hug of thanks or an appreciative smile, you realise that being a parent is more than worth it.

Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Reading Why Read with your Children?

by Becky Debattista, B.Psych (Hons.), M.Ed. (Texas), Reading Specialist at Chiswick House School

hen parents read to their children, they are essentially teaching language. We know that language development is crucial to one’s success in school. What greater gift exists than the gift of reading in a world as literacy-dependent as ours? Reading expert Louisa Moats (1999) jokes that teaching reading is rocket science, and when dealing with struggling readers parents often find themselves needing some guidance. Reading regularly to your child from an early age and modelling grammatically sound, vocabularyrich language every day, right from the early stages of the child’s life, is crucial. Read in front of, to and with your child, no matter how young they are. Parents are arguably children’s most influential models. They model behaviours continuously, and reading is no different. A child who sees their parents reading newspapers, books, tablets and the like is more likely to develop an interest in reading. When

children are read to they learn things like where to begin reading, how to handle a book, and the difference between a letter and a word. They also learn that the shapes on the pages are part of an arbitrary system that represents language. Reading, whether by you or your child, should take place somewhere quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. Reading a little bit each day is far more effective than cramming an hour of reading into one afternoon. Use your finger to keep your place so that the child can follow along. Remember to read with expression and add sound effects where appropriate to make it more entertaining. It is important to engage your child in the text. When your child is reading, books should be of an appropriate interest level and difficulty level. You could take it in turns to read lines or paragraphs, and if they are still at the very early stages of reading you could ask them to only read the sight words they have been exposed to so far, for example, and read the rest yourself. Keep a light spirit and joke together about mispronunciations. Reading should be a happy activity. For the less keen readers try getting hold of a set of graded readers, that is, a series of books which increase in difficulty so as to build upon what is mastered. Also, try creating a reward system to give your child an incentive to read. In the early stages of learning to read, learning both letter names and letter sounds are crucial building blocks when learning to read. Children start off by blending letter sounds together in order to decode simple words like ‘pat’ and ‘ten’. They then begin to build upon this, learning, for example, that ‘sh’ consistently makes a particular sound. The learning is cumulative, and as they become more familiar with letter-sound patterns, they begin to decode more complex words. High frequency words, also known as ‘sight words’ or ‘tricky words’, are a particular category of words in that they are the most commonly occurring words in text. Interestingly, a child who learns to recognize 100 high frequency words gains access to about 50% of any text, whether it’s a children’s book, a newspaper or a university textbook. These high frequency words are so common, and often so phonetically irregular, that they are recognized rather than read. For example, the word ‘of’ is highly occurring but also highly irregular in that the letter ‘f’ makes the sound of a ‘v’. In the early stages of reading these words are often difficult but with increased exposure they become more automatic and become part of one’s sight word vocabulary. Then, the child can expend less energy figuring out these words and focus on decoding the other words loaded with meaning. Many internet sites could provide you with this list of words. When reading with your child, do not sweep your finger under these words as this will imply that they are decodable when, in fact, most are not. Simply point to them, instead, to indicate that these words must be identified as wholes. If a child is having difficulty recognizing these words, you might want to try writing

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Growing Up in Malta


Education Making reading fun! At Chiswick House School many different initiatives are in place in order to encourage pupils to read. Pupils may choose reading books from the class or school library. They are also encouraged to choose a book from the mobile library. Another initiative which is in place in Junior 1 and 2 is ‘Author of the Month’ where pupils get to know about an author and are exposed to books they have written. The School Librarian also encourages reading in Junior 3, 4 and 5 by taking different authors and carrying out sessions with the pupils in the library itself.

them on individual flashcards. Display them somewhere prominent, like the fridge or the child’s bedroom door, and refer to them whenever the opportunity arises. Also, pile the flashcards up and go through them, asking the child to say the words on the flashcards. Timing this activity can add that little bit of excitement, with the child trying to shave a few seconds off her time on every occasion. A few high frequency words should be introduced at a time. Considerable exposure is required, and these words should be cumulatively reviewed. Vocabulary is one of the unsung heroes of reading success. Oftentimes, it is not given the credit it deserves in terms of the reading process. As beginner readers, children use the words they have heard to make sense of the words they see in print. They have a much harder time reading words that are not a part of their oral vocabulary. Therefore vocabulary is crucial for reading fluency and comprehension, as children need to know what most of the words mean in order to help them decode words and make sense of what they have read. It is important to engage the child in language and to use creative language when doing so. Don’t restrict your child’s adjectives to ‘nice’, for example. Use ‘wonderful’, ‘great’, ‘excellent’, ‘fantastic’ and Spring 2012 - Issue 17

other synonyms from the colourful array which exists. Also, speak to the child only in languages that you are fluent in, so as to only model language that is being used proficiently. Children learn what most words mean indirectly, through oral language, listening to adults read to them, and independent reading. Direct instruction of vocabulary relevant to a given text also leads to better reading comprehension. When thinking about which words to talk about with your child, consider the words that are important to understanding the text, the useful words, and the difficult words. Try to give child-friendly explanations by making the words relevant to them, and get the child to actively engage themselves with the words. Most importantly, foster an awareness of and an interest in vocabulary in your day-to-day lives. It has been argued that a child will be exposed to more standard academic English through children’s books than through living in a household with two university graduates. This is highly likely, and adds further importance to the idea of reading to children given that it is standard academic English, so vital to one’s academic success, as opposed to the English used in day-to-day conversation.

Last February Chiswick House School became a Guinness World Record Holder. As part of its literacy drive, Chiswick House School set out to break the world record for the largest ever gathering of people dressed as different storybook characters, at 453 characters. The aim of the event was not simply to break an existing record, but, more importantly, to excite the children about books and reading, as well as to increase their appreciation of literature. A range of characters were chosen from over 60 books from Maltese and English children’s literature. Throughout the scholastic year, in preparation for this event, teachers worked hard to introduce new authors and books to the children at all levels. Children were encouraged to read the books of the character they represented. For the purposes of the record, all characters were different and needed to have first appeared in books. The day was an extremely exciting and rewarding one for all the children. There was a very clear sense of achievement – and a lot of children reading new books that might otherwise not have come to their attention.

For more information: Chiswick House School, Antonio Schembri Street, Kappara, SGN 4233 Tel: 21374396/7 www.chs.edu.mt info@smc.edu.mt

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Design-a-bed

How would you like your bed(room) to look?! The designers in the bedding design department at Mothercare have a bit of a problem...They need some inspiration, and are looking for some fresh, new and innovative ideas! Do you think you can help them ? You can assist them by showing them how you would like your bed to look. Maybe it’s blue with fluffy clouds, or looks just like a ship to sail away in? Perhaps you love animals and would fill every space with all kinds of creatures?

Some examples of bedding designed by Mothercare.

Or perhaps you have a little baby brother or sister and want to design a bedroom for them! So what are you waiting for?! Design a really nice set of bedding and you might be the winner of our design competition. Decide what colours to use and how you want your bed to look. Colour and decorate the bed on the next page. You can use coloured pencils, paints, crayons; you might want to stick glitter, fabric, coloured paper on the bed. Just make it unique. Send your entry before the 15th of May 2012 to: Growing Up in Malta PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay. Or you could even create a Mood Board... Do you know what a mood board is? Here let me try and explain it... A mood board can be a piece of paper or cardboard and is often used by designers on which samples of various colours and textures are mounted to help in deciding which colours, textures and objects will compliment each other. You can even use words, magazine illustrations, drawings etc. You are actually creating a collage of all the design elements you would like to use in the design for your bedroom or playroom. 16

What do you need when you want to create a mood board: • a theme • decorating ideas • inspiring images • fabric samples • perhaps wallpaper sample • colour samples • a sheet of paper (A3 works better but A4 will do fine) • texture samples • some glue • a layout/drawing of the area • and of course some creativity and imagination! If you want to take part in our bedroom design competition, just decorate the bed or create a mood board of how you want your room to look like. Send your entry with your contact details to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20 in St. Pauls Bay. Make sure your entry is with us before the 15th of May. The competition is open to all ages and abilities. There are some great prizes up for grabs! We have 2 Mothercare €50 vouchers to give away to the winners of the competition and for 2 runners-up there is the amazing soft and cuddly Mothercare Teddybear. So get your creative juices flowing and send us those great ideas and fabulous designs! Growing Up in Malta


Competition

Name:

Age:

Address: Town: Tel: Email: Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Growing Up in Malta


Parents to Be

BITS AND BOBS for Babes Sing and Sign comes to Malta Simple baby signing is recognized by speech therapists and the medical profession throughout the UK and America as being beneficial for speech and language development. Sing and Sign offers music, instruments and puppets and is very interactive. This multi award-winning baby development programme was developed children from 6 to 22 months to encourage and enable them to communicate before speech comes in. Your baby will reap the benefits of signing from day one - long before he or she starts to sign back to you. When we sign to our children we automatically talk more slowly, go to their level so that we are face-to-face and stress the word we are signing. Sing and Sign also stresses the importance of ‘talking’ about things that interest the child rather than what we think is important for them to learn about. Its great bonding time, lots of fun and it encourages social development as well as speech development. This will be Sing and Sign’s first franchise abroad. In Malta, Sing and Sign courses will run for 10 to12 weeks at a time and will loosely follow school terms. The first courses for Stage 1 (babies between 6 and 18 months) will start on April 17th. There will be two courses running simultaneously on a Tuesday and a Saturday, both at 10.15am at San Pawl Ta’ Targa Parish church (excellent parking for mums with buggies). Bookings to be made online at www.singandsign.com - just click on ‘classes near you’ and go to the International section. To make enquiries or register interest please email andreawaltzing@ singandsign.com noting your baby’s age and which class you would prefer, or call on 79656536. There is a maximum of 12 mothers and babies per class.

Win a Diaper Cake

Discover the gift that all new parents will adore... gorgeous, practical and unique by Diaper Cakes Malta. Our Baby Diaper Cakes are skilfully made up of layers of diapers, lots of ribbon and include blankets, mittens, booties, soft toys, clothing & more … most of the items we use are Pumpkin Patch from their gorgeous Baby Patch collection. The recipient will be delighted as their little star’s treasures unfold. The unique creation is all wrapped up & topped with a large bow & a hand made greeting card! Guaranteed to be the most talked about baby gift that will stand out from the rest, our Baby Diaper Cake is the perfect gift for baby showers, new babies (births), baptisms and birthdays. Growing Up in Malta has one diapercake to give away to one lucky reader. Just send an email with “diapercake” in the subject line and your contact details to: info@growing-up-in-malta.com and you might be the lucky winner this fantastic prize! Make sure your entry is in before the 15th of May 2012. Please note that, Diaper cakes are not edible. Find diaper cakes on facebook www.facebook.com/diapercakesmalta

Portable Pacifier Steriliser

The common practice of parents supplying a pacifier to their newborn, an act undertaken for years without much consideration is now under the “microscope”. Research findings suggests that pacifiers are a breeding ground for dangerous and harmful germs - germs that can enter your baby’s mouth and cause them illness and adverse effects. Help prevent these little nasties from harming your precious little ones by using the worlds first purpose built portable pacifier steriliser “Pipila”. Pipila helps function to kill up to 99.9% of germs found on baby pacifiers, thus leaving your baby a clean and safe pacifier to use every time and you with a peace of mind! Spring 2012 - Issue 17

Pipila Quick Facts: • Safe, hygienic and environmentally friendly • Portable, compact and easy to use • Accomodates all standard pacifiers • Complete sterilisation in ~ 6 minutes • Operates with only 2 x AAA (1.5V) batteries • Available in 3 colours Available from T’Anglina - Mriehel.

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Mumtime

Facebook, yes or no? My daughter came home from school and asked me to check out her classmate’s Facebook profile. My daughter is 7 years old, so I was rather taken aback by this request. I admit that as my daughter grows, I regularly go through these moments of shock which at times make me feel really old. So in moments like these I always turn to other mums to get their feedback, hoping that I won’t be the only one shocked by the progress of the times. So I posted the question on the mamaKNOWS Facebook page, asking mums what they thought about kids on Facebook. The post sparked a lot of discussion amongst the members of the page,but not one mum by Sylvana Brannon agreed that kids that young should be allowed on Facebook. I will not list the various comments here, but they can be accessed at www.facebook.com/groups/mamaknows, where you can also add your own comments. Facebook requires that users are 13 years old before they can create a profile. However, they have no practical way to verify ages, and many young users pretend to be older when signing up. 7.5 million kids under 13 are using the site, and 5 million of them are 11 or younger. So in order to get an account, either they or their parents are lying about their age. I don’t believe that parents should condone children lying about their age. What about when they want to fake their age to get false IDs so they can get into clubs, or buy alcohol, or cigarettes? There are various activities in life where we require a minimum age. For example, driving. We don’t allow unlicensed and under-age drivers simply because we do not trust them with that potentially dangerous machinery. We do live in an increasingly technological world, however. And social networking will be very much part of the future of our children. So how do we prepare them for that world without compromising their safety? For starters, I think that Facebook needs more development in this area. For example, kids’ pages could be linked to the parent’s account, allowing the parent access to all the information displayed through their child’s profile, and also monitoring of their child’s “friends” and chats. It is very important that parents model good behaviour on Facebook, by being careful with the posts, photos, events, and activities they share. It’s easier to teach good practices to children when we are practicing them ourselves. Taking the time to learn about Facebook’s various privacy settings, talking to kids about honesty and trust, about how what you share online becomes public information and may cause them harm, and about how people in real life may not necessarily

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be the same as how they choose to portray themselves online, about the pressures of advertising, about the dangers of giving away too much personal information such as where you live or go to school or tagging yourself in Places - these discussions with kids go a long way to increase their online safety. Also it is important to create family agreements about when and where Facebook and the internet is used - same as for TV, video games, and so on. Really, the same sort of conversations you’d have about safety and self-respect anyway - online or not. I still feel strongly that young children, such as those my daughter’s age, should not have a Facebook profile. Should they want to communicate online with their friends or with relatives they don’t often get to see, they may do so through their parents’ accounts. And even so, I would make sure the computer is in a central location so I can keep an eye on what’s going on. Ideally, if they want to communicate with their friends it should be face-to-face anyway. Kids are already spending too much time fattening themselves out in front of TVs, computers, and video games anyway - at that age they should be outside, or playing at being just kids. Facebook is already troublesome enough for adults, Continued on page 21. Growing Up in Malta


Continued from page 20 and I don’t think they’ll be missing out on much if they wait a few years until they are more mature and more capable of handling the emotional pressures of social networking. To be honest I cannot understand why a mother would want her daughter exposed on Facebook anyway, making her easy prey for sick adults. Sometimes I am truly shocked by the amount of information people reveal about themselves online, and about the kinds of photos they post of their kids. For example, I saw a young girl’s Facebook page where her own mother posted a photo of the girl in a bikini, where the girls’s bikini top had risen. Personally, I think that verges on child abuse. I am not even a Facebook “friend” of the child or her mother, yet I had access to her profile, personal information, and photos because it is all public.

robbed from her - by the same people who were supposed to protect her. Allowing small kids on Facebook exposes them to emotional pressures and public scrutiny they can’t yet handle. Users love the site because they can run their social lives through it, and because they can present themselves to the world in the way they wish to be seen. Those huge attractions have their dark sides. While a user can say anything they like about themselves, others can say anything they like about them. It’s hard enough for teens to deal with cyberbullying; it’s too cruel to expose younger ones too. Everyone is affected by Facebook’s essential elements - the need to manage one’s image, and the underlying sense of social competition the site creates. People don’t often confess sadness and loneliness on these platforms, as they do to real friends, and that makes all of us unhappier as we assume that other people’s lives are more successful than our own.

Whose other hands could these photos get into, and to what purpose? Some mothers on our mamaKNOWS Facebook page related some dangerous stories resulting from abuse of photos innocently posted online by parents, let alone if you post sexy, semi-naked photos of your under aged daughter. To make matters worse, the comments accompanying the photos - including by the mother and other relatives - were even more ignorant and abusive on the girl, than the photos themselves.

Image construction is something that even adults are only starting to grasp – and it’s not just tomorrow’s impact that matters. What goes on Facebook can be there forever. Pictures or statements that look cool today could be horribly compromising in the future. It’s ridiculous to expect young children to be making sophisticated judgments about the effects of what they release online, or even worse, what WE release about them. And that’s even before we get to the paedophile issue. Children might want this, but they’re not ready for it. They need protection.

I was left speechless (which doesn’t happen often). I worry about the future of this little girl who is already, at such a young and tender age, being sexualised by her own mother. Whose innocence and the joys that come from simply being a child, free from the stresses of the adult world, have already been

Learn more about teaching kids about internet safety here: http://www. commonsensemedia.org Also, mamaKNOWS has released a booklet, “A Parent’s Guide to Facebook”. Email us at mama@mamaknows.com.mt for your free copy.

Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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TVtime

MILL-ĠUF SAL-ISKOLA L-aħħar informazzjoni dwar l-iżvilupp tat-tfal, il-psikoloġija, is-saħħa, ittrobbija u l-ħajja fil-familja – il-programm Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola, kull nhar ta’ Tnejn fis-1.20 p.m. fuq NET TV. Dan il-programm, bi produzzjoni ta’ Reel8 Productions Ltd u preżentazzjoni ta’ Monica Attard, jinkludi servizzi informattivi kif ukoll intervisti ma’ esperti u personalitajiet.

“After having our first baby, like many others we tried to have another child. When I got pregnant and we went for the first ultrasound, the doctor told us that he was hearing more than a heartbeat. When we asked him if we were going to have twins he told us “I’m hearing three heartbeats”… Our

heartbeat stopped!” – Diane Fenech speaks about being a mother of triplets on Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola. “Breastfeeding was a difficult task, but not knowing another triplet’s mother who can answer my endless questions was the biggest challenge”. After having her babies Diane started a support group – Multiple Connection group. If you have twins or triplets, or you are expecting a multiple

birth, and you need advices call Diane Fenech on 79319444. “Wara li kellna l-ewwel tarbija, bħal ħafna nies oħra ppruvajna biex ikollna t-tieni wild. Meta nqbadt tqila u mort għall-ewwel ultrasound,

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The latest information on child development, psychology, health issues, parenting and family life - Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola, Mondays at 1.20 p.m. on NET TV. This programme, produced by Reel8 Productions Ltd and presented by Monica Attard, includes informative features as well as interviews with experts and local personalities.

it-tabib qalilna li kien qiegħed jisma’ aktar minn qalb waħda. Meta staqsejnieh jekk hux ser ikollna tewmin qalilna “Qed nisma’ tliet iqlub”…Dak il-ħin qalbna waqfet!” – Diane Fenech titkellem fuq Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola dwar l-esperjenza tagħha bħala omm ta’ triplets. “It-treddiegħ kien irwol diffiċli, iżda li ma kont naf l-ebda omm li kellha triplets li setgħet twieġeb il-mistoqsijiet tiegħi, kienet l-ikbar sfida.” Wara li welldet, Diane waqqfet support group - ilMultiple Connection Group. Jekk għandek tewmin jew triplets, jew qed tistenna twelid ta’ aktar minn tarbija waħda u għandek bżonn xi pariri, tista’ ċċempel lil Diane Fenech fuq 79319444.

KOMPETIZZJONI: Mistoqsija: Min jippreżenta lprogramm Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola? Question: Who presents Mill-Ġuf sal-Iskola? Ibgħat SMS fuq 50615005 u tidħol biċ-ċans li tirbaħ wieħed minn dawn ir-rigali: €50 mingħand Myoka, Brazilian Straightening mingħand Curls Hair Studio, €30 mingħand Special Delivery u €10 mingħand Tape a’ l’oliel Send an SMS on 50615005 and you can win one of the following gifts: €50 from Myoka, Brazilian Straightening from Curls Hair Studio, €30 from Special Delivery and €10 from Tape a’ l’oleil. Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Billy and Bangle are getting ready for Easter. They are assisting the Easter Bunny with the production of all the chocolate eggs. Bangle is in charge of decorating the eggs but could use some help. Can you help Bangle to colour all the eggs?

Would you like to win your very own Billy & Bangle T-Shirt?



Then make sure you complete at least one of the puzzles on the pages and send them to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay. Make sure your entry is in before the 15th of May 2012. Good Luck!!! Name:

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Age:

Tel.:

Email:

Growing Up in Malta


The Easter Bunny is trying to keep track of all the eggs Billy and Bangle are making. But he has lost count....Can you help count the eggs to see how many there are?

Have Fun! Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Made with Love! For Mummy on Mother’s day...

with a little help from

Air hardening modelling clay Suitable for children from the age of 4. A pleasure to use as it has a pleasant and fresh feel and doesn’t stain the way clay does. Just leave it to air dry for 24 hrs, thereby eliminating the use of high temperature ovens. Once hardened it can be painted, varnished, polished and cut. Available in the colours white and terracotta.

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Growing Up in Malta


r e n t o s t i a t E e p m o C r u Colo

Name: Address:

Age:

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Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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WIN

Scary Ghouls one of 2 Crayola Prizes Ghost ula Send your Design Drawing to us and you might win a fantastic Prize! We have 2 prizes to give a way. Dracor ask20, St. Pauls Bay. Make sure your artwork/designs/drawing is with us Send your entry to Growing s in Malta, POMBox GoblinUp es 15th of May 2012. itchthe before W Jump

Name:.............................................................................................Tel: .................................................................................. Address: ...................................................................................................................................Age: ...................................

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Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Create yo

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You nee d: • Sisc ors • Tap e or Butterfl y clips • Felt pens, pencils or crayons • Glue • A4 p iece of card

Colour B illy in. Ta ke the pa magazine ge out of . Glue it the o n y o ur piece Bangle o of A4 ca ut. You c r d. Cut a n use tap together e to put or some B a ngle butterfly clips. Ne will help xt issue w you crea te your v e ery own B illy! Have fun !!!

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Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

33


TV Newsbuzz on

Every Mon day at 3.45 p.m. on NE TV, six you T ng presente Passersby rs are offe at Republi the viewers ring c Street in a jam-pack a re ta Valletta k e in d g part in N 45 minute programm e e, spiced w w sb u z z tw q o u iz, where ith ingredie adversarie which attra s compete nts ct youths against ea other and and adolesc ch win prizes. ents. Newsbuzz , produced On the oth by Reel8 Productio er hand, th ns Ltd is p e main com for viewers resented b petition Aloisio, M a t h y o G m le e n requires th n egan Darm v ie w e e a rs n sa in to me , Thea Farr Kain Seba send their ugia, vid stian Gatt favourite e , o o Amy Mona s on info@ nline and Neil P ghan reel8produ ortelli, wh c so ti o th n o s. e w n com, il th l be travell e rest will around wit ing vote for th h their bu video. Pri e s. best zes will be The teens given to th will delve in video as w e to w inning th ell as to th e latest news in en ose who v tertainmen th e o sa te t, me video. celebrity g for technolog ossip, y, movie re v ie w s and music charts. Th e program Should yo me will off u wish to se viewers wit er the nd any sug h interestin w it h gestions to g p f ic a cts and s to be tac figures, inte k led in New rviews, vo yo u c x a sbuzz, -pops, quiz n send an attractive email on: zes and competitio ns. info@reel8 productio ns.com.

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Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Book review

What I did... Shall I tell you what I did? No, I won’t. Because it is best forgotten. I’m Billie Wright. I’m six.

There isn’t a parent out there who hasn’t experienced Not everyone, however, is understanding. Certainly not in Jim’s case as a passer-by who witnesses the scene confronts the

at least one moment where their child has done father, is told in a very frank manner where to take her advice. something to turn their blood cold, when they had Unfortunately for Jim, this particular paser-by opts to go to the to really fight the urge to give them an old fashioned

Social Services and reports him for mistreating a minor.

That marks the start of this novel by Chritopher Wakling that

trashing. tackles what for many parents is a nightmare situation. Written For Jim that moment came when his son Billy ran off in the park, went through the trees towards a busy road and the proceeded to run through the traffic ignoring all calls to stop. Billy eventually does so when his father manages to catch up and receives a smack for his disobedience. It is in by Paul Grech many ways a natural reaction that any parent will relate to. You’re relieved that your child hasn’t been injured but at the same time angry that he didn’t listen to you in the first place. At that moment you want to let your frustrations out, you want to make sure that next time he stops as soon as you tell him to. And you do something stupid.

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exclusively from Billy’s point of view, it offers a unique look at the world from the eyes of a six-year old. Unfortunately for Jim, a six-year old’s version of the truth can be quite incriminating especially when the adults listening to it start trying to read between the lines. The whole situation puts a strain on the whole family with the interesting twist that whilst Billy does not always understands what is going on, the reader does.

‘This is family life at its most believeable: warm and messy, bored and raging. What I Did is every parent’s nightmare, but will make you burst out laughing too. This is a funny, entertaining, heart warming and touching story. It deals with being a parent and the mistakes you can make. But it also deals with being a child, the innocence with which they look at the world and, above all, their propensity to love. Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Developing

Inspiration thro Lija-Balzan-Iklin Primary school is committed to increase Literacy amongst all its students. This is being carried out through the mandatory curriculum but also through a series of monthly fun activities aimed at making reading fun while tapping on students’ creativity. The November activity entailed that all students, after having read a book of their own choice from the Take a Book Home Scheme, take a photograph or make a drawing that is inspired by the book read. They were also asked to write down their favourite quote

Book: Goma il-Gomma Author: Justin Debono & Doris Vella By: Guilia Saliba, Kindergarten 2.2

Book: The Firebird Author: Dorothy Aitchinson Quote: Suddenly there was a flash of golden light, and a glittering bird with shinning feathers flew up to the three. By: Miquel Palmier, Year 4.1

Book: Hairdresser Hannah Author: Rone Rondall Quote: One day, Queen Clara comes to the salon for a special haircut for her garden party. By: Hannah Francesca Ellul, Year 31.

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Book: L-Ewwel Ktieb Bl-Stampi Karrozza By: Andrea Farrugia, Year 1.1 Growing Up in Malta


Creativity

rough reading from the book. Hence this activity ensured that children were not only actively engaged in reading but were also free to present their visual interpretation of the book in a school-based competition. Entries were judged according to particular year groups, with members of the teaching staff acting as judges. The results are truly amazing! These are the winning entries – so you can judge for yourselves! And these are the winning entries:

Book: My Favorite Nursery Rhymes - Humpty Dumpty By: Lucas Garcia Conrad, Kindergarten 1.1 Book: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Author: Brendy Apsley Quote: One day the queen asked her mirror;”Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Snow White is the fairest she said. The queen became very angry. By: Irvine Sultana, Year 6.2 Book: The Burglar’s Breakfasr Author: Felicity Evereft Quote: At Rosie’s Cafe, Alfie ate an enormous breakfast. By: Kluivert Galea, Year 5.1

Book: Roosters Alarm - Author: Ian Smith and Sean Julian Quote: “The noises where wrong all around the farm, because rooster forgot to set his alarm” By: Aaliyah Ohaegbu, Year 2.1 Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Product review

New Shoes!!! - Help Wanted What happened when we posted a request for help on the Growing Up in Malta Facebook page, we hadn’t expected... So many people are suffering from ill fitting shoes. Fortunately we could only help one mum to get a great pair of shoes fitted and make sore feet a thing of the past. From all the entries, ECCO chose one mum and here is her personal report of getting fitted with her very own pair of ECCO shoes! So please keep an eye on our Facebook page, just case we might need help again...you never know! so agreed that my back needed properly fitting shoes. Properly fitting shoes. Sounds ugly right? Well stylish and comfortable rarely go together when you are talking about shoes! Arriving at ECCO I was in shoe heaven, with shelves of stylish shoes of every type boots, trainers and even sexy evening shoes to choose from. All made with comfort in mind. It was all so exciting! After looking through, and trying a couple of different styles with the help of Nickii and the welcoming sales assistant, I came across the ‘deck type shoe’ which is what I set my heart on, they were a nice wide fit, with a sleek yet stylish appearance. They will easily take me through to spring and summer, which is just around the corner.

What a great experience winning my First Competition was!

One thing that made me rush back, to buy my mum a pair of shoes the following day, was their superb customer service. As I was waiting in between fittings, I noticed that everyone is treated individually, and respectfully. Customers were delighted, which made it a completely fantastic experience. It has been two weeks since walking home on that lucky morning. My back is not creaking and my shoes look good with most of my wardrobe. I have barely taken them off!!

I do not normally enter into competitions – but when I read about the ECCO Shoes competition – “Help Wanted!!” on the Growing up in Malta Facebook page, my back creaked in complaint, that I needed new shoes, and without any more thought, I applied!! Busy chasing two children, and building a new business from scratch – I did not think of the application again, until I got the call. Nickii, from ECCO had liked my letter best – and

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Claire happy with her new shoes, ready for the test drive!

Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Community

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and the benefits of using Multi Sensory Rooms by Georgia Henderson, Senior Occupational Therapist at Inspire – The Foundation for Inclusion

Inspire the foundation for inclusion is one of Malta’s leading NGO’s that work within the disability sector. Inspire currently helps over 1000 babies, children and adults with learning and physical disabilities. As an organisation it addresses the educational, therapeutic, social and recreational needs of its clients using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach across 5 centres within Malta and Gozo. In this article you will be presented with information regarding the Multi Sensory Theatres within Inspire and how their use may benefit a child with ADHD. Our Multi Sensory Theatres (MST) within the Marsascala site have been specifically designed environments, which enable people with a disability to enjoy a very wide range of sensory experiences for therapy, learning, relaxation and fun. These theatres offer a unique service, free of charge to clients having special needs, whether physical, intellectual, emotional or behavioural. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood (1). ADHD is a medical condition that affects how well someone can sit still, focus, and pay attention. ADHD has three subtypes; predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive & Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive (2). People with ADHD have differences in the parts of their brains that control attention and activity. This means that

they may have trouble focusing on certain tasks and subjects, act impulsively, and get into trouble. As ADHD is such a broad term; it covers attention, activity and impulsivity, there are many different symptoms that may arise; for example some of the signs you may see are when a child: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

has difficulty paying attention or staying focused on a task or activity has problems finishing assignments at school or home and jumps from one activity to another has trouble focusing on instructions and difficulty following through loses or forgets things such as homework is easily distracted, even when doing something fun has problems paying close attention to details or makes careless mistakes has trouble organising tasks and activities has difficulty waiting one’s turn interrupts or intrudes on other people blurts out answers before questions have been completed fidgets with hands or feet or squirms about when seated feels restless talks excessively and has trouble engaging in activities quietly (2)

Of course some of these symptoms are very normal things for a child to do like forgetting their homework, or not paying attention in school once in a while, but when a child has ADHD they may have so much trouble staying focused and controlling their behaviour that it affects their emotions and how well they do in school or other areas of their lives. As Occupational Therapists our primary goal is to enable people to participate in activities of everyday life that are important to them (3) for a child with ADHD this could mean to assist them in channelling their energy into something positive, extending their tolerance levels of activities, enhancing their ability to wait in turn, or focusing on their attention and concentration levels. At Inspire Marsascala within the Multi Sensory Theatres we have ADHD groups set up and designed to help in these areas. These groups are held each week and have proven to be popular with both the children attending and the parents or carers who bring them. The sensory rooms have provided an ideal environment for which to carry out the ADHD groups as the environment is one where the child feels no pressure to perform. The groups’ address the needs of the client in a fun and stimulating way so that they

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Community

do not feel the pressures that they may face in day to day life. The groups begin with a few free minutes for the children to release some energy within the soft play room, which is followed by a warm up exercise which encourages the group to interact with each other and concentrate, also developing hand eye coordination, turn taking, sharing and losing. The group will then be asked to choose their next activity from a variety given to them by the group leader. By giving the children the choice of which activity they would like to carry out it gives them a sense of control within their environment, whilst also teaching them social skills, but all in a way that is still fun, where they do not feel as if they are being observed or assessed. The group would then continue with a number of activities which will develop attention levels, activity tolerance and the ability to focus. Usually the games are energetic and will contain a degree of exercise (depending on the child’s ability) which will also burn off excess energy in a positive way. Exercise is known to improve your ability to perform tasks including sequencing, working memory, prioritising, inhibiting and sustaining attention, therefore is a good way to enable a child to manage their ADHD symptoms, the groups have been established to help enhance these skills. In fact Cognitive function is likely to be improved for one to three hours after exercise, as well as naturally boosting mood (4). Spring 2012 - Issue 17

During the group the children are encouraged to “play”. Through play muscles are strengthened, stamina is improved, and motor planning and coordination are addressed, not forgetting how it can improve social skills for example turn taking, sharing, losing, rules and boundaries. Play activities that have a degree of make believe which are included within the groups can benefit a child’s ability to be able to emotionally express themselves, and to develop skills such as problem solving (5). To close the session the group moves into the white room. The white room provides a calming and relaxing environment for the members. Here they are encouraged to relax – something that people suffering with ADHD often have difficulty in achieving – by lying on the waterbeds, by being provided with the sensation of weightlessness on the leaf chair and listening to calming music and watching projections around the room. Once the group has finished parents are given feedback on how their child managed within the session, parents are also made welcome to observe sessions as well as spend time with the therapist or group leader if they have any questions about their child or the group. Groups are currently held twice a week in the afternoons after school hours, when new members first come they are initially invited for a visit along with their guardians to see the rooms within the

multi sensory theatre. This also provides the opportunity to meet with the therapist who runs / organises the groups and to discuss the activities that are carried out and to ask any questions. If after that it is decided that the group would be of benefit, they would be invited to join one of them. The groups were established to provide a fun and engaging environment for its members to develop skills and coping strategies to enable them to deal with the symptoms that ADHD can bring. It has proven to be popular with both group members, parents and carers, and continues to grow in number. For further information relating to the ADHD groups please contact Georgia Henderson at the Marsacsala site of Inspire on 21636526. References: 1- http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/what-is-attentiondeficit-hyperactivity-disorder.shtml 2 - DSM-IV-TR workgroup. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 3 - Neistadt, M. , Crepeau, E. B.(1993). Willard & Spackman’s Occupational Therapy. Ninth Edition. Lippincott. 4 - http://www.livestrong.com/article/84407-exerciseadhd/ 5 - http://www.familyplayandlearn.com/index.html

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Growing Up in Malta


Competition

Are you Malta’s answer to Hannah Montana or Justin Bieber??? The Kids Recording Studio is unique. Not only is it the first Children’s recording studio in Malta, but it is also the only one of this kind specialising in working with children from 2 – 18 years old! Kids Recording Studio now invite you to let them record your child’s song or poem and have it professionally produced. And because children will always sing from the bottom of their hearts, it doesn’t matter if they sing in tune, or not, as the end result will be amazing! Whatever age your children are, Kids Recording Studio offers an amazing opportunity to record singing, reading or reciting a poem or greeting which is then set to music, professionally produced and presented on a personalised CD. What a great memento of your child’s early years and a fantastic gift idea for your family. There isn’t a Nanna or Nannu alive who wouldn’t love to listen to their precious grandchild’s recording. And at Kid’s Recording Studio you can even record your own reading as a gift for your child. The producer of the studio is Martynas Kuliavas one of the most famous guitarists, producers and songwriters in Lithuania. Martynas and his wife Inga (and their 4

Competition Growing Up in Malta together with Kids Recording Studio, have 1 recording session to give away to an inspiring young performer, but all entrants in this competition will be rewarded. All you have to do is answer the following question: Martynas is a famous guitarist, producer and songwriter. From which country did he come? a. Lithuania b. The Netherlands c. Germany Name: Tel.:

Age:

Send your answer to: Growing Up in Malta, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay. Or send and email to: info@growing-up-in-malta.com with your answers in the email. Make sure you add your contact details and your age. All entries must be with us before the 15th of May 2012. Spring 2012 - Issue 17

year old son, Kipras) have recently relocated to Malta and brought with them a wealth of experience of the music industry. Martynas has extensive experience in working with children, organising big projects and concerts. He has developed a special way of recording which always surprises parents and music professionals alike. If you really think that your child is talented, gifted for music - you simply have to record it. If you just love to hear your child sing – you simply have to record it. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the studio will allow your child to have enormous fun and they may even reveal hidden talents. Located in Rabat, Kids Recording Studio’s door is open to every child because everyone is special and unique in their own right. But if you want to develop your child’s musical talent on a professional level the producer, Martynas can guide you and also make special arrangements and phonograms suitable for performances and competitions. Original arrangements made according to individual character, tone and style of performance of your child are recorded into a personalised CD and would give lifelong memories to you and your family. Kids are amazing performers! The unique opportunity to record your child’s voice is more than a great experience for a child but it is also a wonderful gift for life. For more information please contact: Kids Recording Studio , tel. 2145 5109. www.kidsrecordings.com or send an email on: info@kidsrecordings.com.

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Growing Up in Malta


Product review

Are you getting enough Omega-3? Omega-3 is the name given to a family of “good” fats - unsaturated fatty acids found mainly in oily fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies, and also in eggs, meat, milk and cheese. The Omega-3 is a nutrient that is not only beneficial for health but essential in the diet. The naturally occurring acids of the Omega-3 family can apparently boost our brain power, keep our hearts healthy, strengthen our bones and much more. You can ingest the fatty acids by eating a lot of the right kind of fish or meat or by taking supplements. Over the past 10 years, about 12,500 scientific studies on the benefits of Omega-3 have been published, both reflecting and reinforcing the fashion for consuming this apparent superfood. Some of the key research undertaken in the USA and Europe shows that Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function and these benefits are even passed on during pregnancy, from Mother to child. In fact, evidence suggests that children of parents that lead an Omega-3 rich diet demonstrate higher levels of IQ and non-problematic behavior. Symptoms of

Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. Clearly there are health benefits to be had from ensuring a well-balanced diet and by luck the traditional Mediterranean diet strikes a good balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow what is considered to be a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, as well as moderate wine consumption, but in today’s busy lifestyle, we can’t always guarantee the time to prepare a balanced and healthy meal three times a day, every day. By carefully ensuring livestock are raised on naturally rich grains and feeds that contain the essential nutrients of Omega-3 it is easier than ever to make sure you and your family enjoys an Omega–3 rich diet on a daily basis through products and basic ingredients including eggs and meats.

For more information:

Nutri Vita is the exclusive producer of Maltese meats and eggs that are naturally rich in Omega 3. Nutri Vita products offer a healthy range of locally produced foods for your day-to-day cooking needs and are available widely through your local supermarkets, butchers and home delivery. For more information on Omega-3 and Nutri Vita products, we recommend a visit to www.omega3inmalta.com Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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Shop&Win

Football Supporters get ready!

Charm it!

So many little ladies wanting to win our Charm it! bracelets that we have 2 more sets available for 2 of our readers. The make a great present for a birthday or a holy communion. We have 2 special giftsets to give away to one lucky reader. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us your entry to info@growing-up-inmalta.com. Charm it charms and bracelets are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd on tel 21342348.

All football fans pay attention! This time we are giving away some Football paraphernalia. Show everyone who you support by hanging one of our masscots on your bag or bedroom wall!

We have a Juventus desk-light and clock, an Old Trafford hanging sign, a little AC Milan red devil and a pair of Liverpool mini boxing gloves.

So let us know which one you would like to win!

All these fan products are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348

Prize winners Issue 16

Little Book of Everything

Congratulations to you all! All winners have been contacted by a member of our team in order to arrange collection of their prizes should they be to large to be received post. You can find an overview of the winners on the Growing Up in Malta Facebook page in the “Event” section.

The Moshi Monsters are here!!! After the Smurfs we now have Moshi Monsters who seem to have invaded our island. Would you like to win a Moshi Monster, then enter in our draw and you could give one of our Monsters a new home! We have 2 Moshi Monsters to give away to 2 lucky readers. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us. Moshi Monsters are available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348.

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How gorjuss, my goodness! We couldn’t resist bringing you an different version on the Gorjuss little everything book. The spiral bound book features 72 lined pages, 72 grid pages and 72 blank pages along with a 6 pocket concertina file and an elastic enclosure to hold it all toghether. You can use it for absolutley anything and everthing...especially for all your craft notes and bits and bops! We have 1 gorjuss little book of everything to give away to one lucky reader. Just fill in the coupon on the side or email us your entry info@growing-upin-malta.com.

The Gorjuss range is available at all leading outlets and for trade enquiries you may contact Demattos and Sullivan Ltd tel 21342348. Growing Up in Malta


Did you like a product we reviewed and would you like to receive it

Fair Trade Wooden Educational Puzzles Wooden Fair Trade Puzzles, bright coloured and chunky pieces perfect for little hands. Makes learning numbers fun and once it is ready it is a lovely decoration until it is time to play again.

FREE?

Many of these toys are made from Rubberwood sourced from exhausted rubber plantations that are replanted every 10-15 years. Age appropriate for children from 18 months onwards.

If you like any of these products half as much as we do. Send us an email or letter telling us the product name, your name and address and telephone number. We will pop your name in a hat and randomly pick a winner for each item.

If you would like to win one of the 3 puzzels available then please send in the coupon on the side or email to: info@growing-up-in-malta.com

These wooden toys are available at www.toyfrenzi.com and for trade enquiries you may contact Nadia on 99453871.

Win Reading Books for the School Library

info@growing-upin-malta.com

My school of choice, to win the library books, is:

Initial:

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Spring 2012 - Issue 17

I like to win:

Your name:

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All entries to be received at the offices of Growing Up by 15th May 2012.

Surname:

So send in the voucher below to nominate your school. Good luck!

Title: Address: Email: Tel:

I don’t think there isn’t a school on the island(s) that wouldn’t pass by the opportunity to receive a selection of new books for their student library. Well here at Growing Up in Malta we want to do something about it! We would like to offer a school the opportunity to add some well deserved books to their library. What do we have to do I hear you say....Well it is easy. The school with the most entries will receive 75 euros worth of books for their school library.

Growing Up, PO Box 20, St. Pauls Bay, Malta.


Looking for your copy of Growing Up?

NOW also av in all G ailable Here is where you can find it! overnm ent P Growing Up is a Free magazine for Children (0 -16), Parents and rimary S chools Grandparents. Growing Up is published 4 times a year, and available i n M free of charge from the following outlets: alta & Gozo Attard Rabat Junior’s, Old Railway Track Early Learning Centre, 61 St. Paul’s Street Birkirkara Mothercare, Smart Complex Level 2 Fgura Smart Cells Malta Hamrun Merlin Library, Triq Mountbatten Health Plus, Parish Priest Mifsud Street Iklin Prenatal, Dun Karm Street Kappara Chiswick House School, Antonio Schembri Street Marsascala In the Family Way, 9 Triq il-Miklem Malti Mgarr San Anton School, I-Imselliet l/o Zebbiegh San Andrea School, I-Imselliet l/o Zebbiegh

San Gwann ECCO San Gwann, St. Julians Road Junior’s, Naxxar Road Sliema Mothercare, St Anne Square Booksplus, Bisazza Street Scholl Foothealth Centre, 70A The Strand Tower Shoes, 4 Tower Road Juniors, The Point Shopping Centre Prenatal, The Point Shopping Centre St. George’s Bay ECCO Concept Store, Bay Street Tourist Complex, Level 0 St. Pauls Bay Play and Write, St. Pauls Street Doobles, St. Pauls Street Street Swatar St Martin’s College, Swatar Road

Mosta Shanti, Natural Health Products, 241 Triq Il-Kbira Pemix, Eucharistic Congress Road Scholl Foothealth Centre, 68/70 Eucharistic Congress Road

Valletta Early Learning Centre, 193 Merchant Street King Shoe Shop, 42 Ordnance Street Scholl Foothealth Centre, 24 South Street Mothercare, 14 South Street

Mriehel T’Angelina, Mriehel Bypass

Zabbar Scholl Foothealth Centre, 225 Sanctuary Str.

Msida Vivian Corporation Ltd. Tower Road

Zejtun Inspire, Bulebel Industrial Estate

Pembroke Verdala International School Also available at events of the following service providers:

Gozo Victoria Lucky Shoe, Tigrija Palazz Mothercare, F. Mizzi Street

Smart Cells Malta and mamaKnows for more info please visit www.smartcellsmalta.com In the Family Way, for more info please call 21636735 Pemix Parent Child Club, for more information call Freephone 8007 4142. Baby Sensory for more information call: 21 44 6217 Toddler Sense for more information call: 21 44 6217 You can also pick your copy up from several waiting area’s of GP’s and Pharmacies all over the island. All FES Childcare centers.

Or why not take out a FREE* subscription? For more information send an email to: info@growing-up-in-malta.com or see pag 44. 50

Growing Up in Malta


Spring 2012 - Issue 17

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The 0 - 14 years brands

Colour is optimisim Discover colours Colour is freedom Dream about colours

New collection The Plaza Shopping Centre , Level 0, The Plaza, Sliema Tel: 21311820 • 218 Merchant Street, Valletta, Tel: 21228220


Growing Up in Malta - Issue 17 - Spring 2012