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ISSUE 53 November/December 2014 GOLD COAST

h S i n t i e t e L

Rough play at school

Parenting a sensitive child

Laptops vs Learning

Christmas Gift Guide


53 Contents ISSUE

November/December 2014

Star Moon by Ligre Ward, Stork's Nest Designs 4





FEATURE: Cartwheels and rough play

12 CHECK THIS OUT: Christmas gift guide 14 THE ‘P’ FILES: Is my child too sensitive? 16 EDUCATION: Laptops in the classroom 20  CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Find out what’s happening on the Coast during November & December

Kasper Lebrun, 2yrs

22 SPECIAL FEATURE: Get set for a swimtastic season 26 BABIES ON THE COAST: Starting solids 31 COAST LIFE

Clothing - Bardot Junior Clothing stylist - Nicole Zaini





KIDS on the Coast/in the City


Printed with vegetable/soy based inks on paper supplied using pulp sourced from sustainable forests and manufactured to environmentally accredited systems. WE ENCOURAGE RECYCLING. Please keep this issue for future reference, pass onto your friends and family, use for craft projects or place into the recycling bin. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast





kids on the coast | in th

MEDIA PUBLISHED BY Mother Goose Media PTY LTD PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562

Wishing you

Merry Christmas

PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5442 7253 ABN: 86 473 357 391 WEB: www.kidsonthecoast.com.au




When I picked up my first copy of Kids on the Coast over seven years ago, I never would have thought that I’d one day be writing to you, our readers, in my dream job as editor of the magazine. I was seven months pregnant with my first child, having just arrived back in Queensland to settle down with my new family after ten years in the UK. During any treasured ‘quiet time’ after my daughter was born, I’d pour over the latest issue with a coffee while sneaking a chocolate treat, enjoying the features, taking mental note of the parenting tips and working out our social plans from the events calendar! As a busy mum of two daughters, Briar and Naima, I have continued to be an avid reader of Kids on the Coast and have seen it grow over the years, just like I have as a mum. I am excited about my new journey and cannot wait to share this with my girls, my family and with all of you. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by such a talented and passionate team, and together we look forward to continuing to bring you a magazine filled with informative and entertaining stories, news, events details, product information and reviews. The countdown to the end of the year has started, which of course means Christmas is not far away. We’ve put together a fabulous Christmas gift guide full of ideas for all the family and review some fantastic movies to watch during the Christmas school holidays. This edition, we also explore the increasing restrictions on free play and activities available during school hours and the impact of this on our children. Keeping our focus at school, we also take a look at the pros and perils of learning with technology in the classroom. With the warmer weather comes swimming season and we share a timely reminder of the best swim safety and water quality tips to ensure a safe summer by and in the pool. We also share valuable tips for identifying and parenting a sensitive child, some great recipes to try when introducing your baby to solids and so much more. We would love to hear what you think. All of our articles are online and we welcome you to comment and discuss the topics on our website and Facebook page. We add topical news stories daily as well as blogs, new articles and reviews on products, movies, books and apps. Do you have something that you want to share? Please feel free to contact our team via Facebook.com/ kidsonthecoastmagazineGoldCoast, our website or email. Don’t forget to sign up for our What’s On eNews that comes out weekly at www.kidsonthecoast.com.au The entire Kids on the Coast team would like to wish you and your family an amazing Christmas filled with happy times. Enjoy the read – we can’t wait to see you again in January! Natasha Higgins, Editor

- in the city



0 1 4 / JA N U R 2 AR







- on the coast

- in the city

- on the coast




BURSTING WITH SUMMER-HOLIDAY ACTIVITY IDEAS Download the Ultimate Guide to School Holiday Fun

ADMINISTRATION: Kellie Kruger admin@mothergoosemedia.com.au PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT: Alana Falk production@mothergoosemedia.com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michelle Craik & Alana Falk PRINTING: Print Works, 07 3865 4433 All editorial and advertising in Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City publications is published in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors and advertisers. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids on the Coast is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/comments/suggestions? Send to: editorial@mothergoosemedia.com.au. We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity.

DISTRIBUTION Distributed directly to parenting hotspots across South East Queensland. Kids on the Coast (Gold Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 18,000 copies from Tweed Heads to Coomera, including hinterland. Separate editions cover Brisbane and Sunshine Coast. Kids in the City (Brisbane edition) is a free publication circulating over 20,000 copies from North Lakes to Springwood and covering all suburbs to Jindalee. Kids on the Coast (Sunshine Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 20,000 copies from Caloundra to Noosa, including hinterland. For distribution enquiries phone: 1300 430 320 or email: admin@mothergoosemedia.com.au

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Visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au BOOST EXPOSURE OF YOUR EVENT IN OUR NEXT GUIDE! Call 1300 430 320


PRINT EDITOR: Natasha Higgins

Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

- on the coast

- in the city www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

Find us on Social Media or visit pacificfair.com.au

Here comes


Join us for Santa’s grand arrival at Pacific Fair and meet ABC4Kids’ Jimmy Giggle! It’s all happening Saturday 22 November with kids’ craft activities and more! When & Where: Jimmy Giggle: 9:30am - 12:30pm, Centre Court Santa Arrival Parade: 11:45am, G:Link Broadbeach South stop into the new north-east mall entry. For details of all the festivities, see pacificfair.com.au.


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast


Whatsnews DID Stay up to date with your local community news. If you have any unique news that you’d like to share, please contact our editor at editorial@kidsonthecoast.com.au

Visit our website for more news, www.kidsonthecoast.com.au/news


After realising there was a void in the dance world for children with special needs, a couple of mums formed the Therapy and Dance Association Inc. (TAD) – a new not-for-profit dance school specifically catering to those with special needs. TAD offers dance lessons to a wide variety of children with special needs at IKIN Dance studios. The students of TAD recently competed in the Gold Coast Special Needs Eisteddfod, placing 3rd in the group division and at the Aerial Angels Ikin Dance Spectacular at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. They also showcased their talents at the Mental Health Day hosted by Rotary Club. “We can already see a drastic improvement in our kids just from attending over the past two terms; it’s another exciting activity where they can bond socially and learn some choreography or just have a run around. There is no pressure on these kids. This organisation is built to enable these kids to have fun and give the parents a break or join in!” said treasurer and volunteer Courtney Hutchins. For more information, visit www.therapyanddanceassociation.com.au.

NEW BOOK FOR KIDS OF FLY-IN FLY-OUT FAMILIES Local mum of three and now author Jo Emery has just published My Dad is a FIFO Dad, a children’s picture book that will touch many families who experience separation because of FIFO/DIDO work arrangements. My Dad is a FIFO Dad is a heartwarming and funny story about a child who feels the love of her Dad even when he is absent at work. This story will help to reassure children of all ages that despite distance, fathers can be present in heart, mind and spirit in many situations. With this book Jo aims to encourage an ‘I’m OK when Dad’s Away’ mindset and help children and families to build and maintain resilience, strength and unity to make FIFO/ DIDO rosters fit seamlessly into their lifestyle. For more information or to purchase the book visit www.facebook.com/mydadisaFIFOdad. 6

Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014


KNOW The chameleon has a tongue 1.5 times the length of its body




The average housefly lives for ONE month

Vincent Van Gogh only ever sold one painting in his lifetime – and that was to his brother THE HOTTEST RECORDED TOWN IN THE WORLD IS MARBLE BAR, WESTERN AUSTRALIA.


Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director Li Cunxin continues to dream big in his third season for the Company, announcing a program of four magical ballets by celebrated international choreographers for the 2015 season. Queensland Ballet will perform Peter Schaufuss’ La Sylphide, Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan, Greg Horsman’s The Sleeping Beauty and Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker in 2015. “I’m excited to bring these world-class ballets to audiences,” said Mr Li. “Not only will these works showcase the artistry of our talented dancers, but I know audiences will be swept away by these timeless stories. Fairy tales are definitely back in fashion.” The Company’s main stage season begins in March with an enduring Romantic classic, La Sylphide. Peter Pan will be on every family’s wish list for the school holidays in June. Based on JM Barrie’s famous tale, Peter Pan will transport audiences into a fantastical dream world of fairies, mermaids and pirates. This ballet is a brilliant mix of dance and theatre, with sword fights, giant puppets and characters who literally fly.


Kids from local childcare centres and kindergartens were recently invited to colour-in and name one of the cranes currently operating during the $670 million redevelopment of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. The winning entry by 4-year-old Oliver Anderson of Broadbeach Waters Kindergarten was chosen because of the extra details he incorporated into his coloured-in crane as well as the great name he chose. A large banner with the crane’s new name was attached to the crane on October 16 and will remain for approximately four weeks. Oliver was pretty happy to be the one who named the crane and he and his parents, John and Stacey, popped into the Centre to see the banner installed high above hundreds of construction workers. Pacific Fair’s Senior Marketing Manager Linda Frewen is pleased to see one of the cranes finally get a name. "The cranes are so visible and are such a huge attraction for small children and budding engineers,” she said. “We see a lot of families up on the car park rooftop looking out over the construction activities. The scenery changes every day and it can be pretty exciting for small kids to see the cranes doing all the heavy lifting as they move materials and equipment into the site.” www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast

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Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014



IF WE TRIED TO PREVENT EVERY FORESEEABLE ACCIDENT AND POTENTIAL INJURY KIDS COULD SUSTAIN IN A TYPICAL DAY IN A TYPICAL SCHOOL PLAYGROUND, THERE IS PROBABLY NO WAY WE WOULD SUCCEED. BUT JUST SAY WE COULD: SHOULD WE? WHAT WOULD BE LOST AND WHAT WOULD BE GAINED? The trend in recent years towards tightening safety regulations in the school playground has sparked a rash of studies and coined the term ‘surplus safety’. While restrictions on kids’ free play are made with the best intentions, research findings suggest that we need to carefully weigh up the perceived benefits against the apparent losses to physical, emotional and social development. While increased restrictions to play in the school playground are, for the most part, motivated by a desire to keep children safe, some studies argue that isolated incidents and injuries are leading to broader and more inclusive restrictions, eliminating many ‘positive play’ activities with the reasoning that it’s better to be safe than sorry. According to child psychologist and educator Collett Smart, “We seem to have stolen childhood in the name of sanitised, politically correct play. Children are increasingly kept indoors, away from ‘dangerous’ games, play equipment or any potentially knee-scuffing competitive activity… Our children’s lives tend to be micromanaged and over-planned, with very little allowance for freedom and autonomy.” Smart is concerned about the consequences of micromanagement of the playground. “Play for children is the greatest classroom yet it seems we have stripped [kids] of the very experiences that will teach them about healthy socialisation, enhance gross motor skills and develop a sense of self-worth.” Some experts are concerned that while parents and teachers seek to negate or minimise risks on behalf of children, the knock-on effect is that children miss out on learning to navigate and assess risks for themselves, while the stakes are still relatively low. The Sydney Playground Project study in 2011 found that adult fears are often disproportionate to actual risk: “While children can be injured when playing outdoors, most are minor cuts and bruises. On the other hand, restricting children's outdoor play activities may have unintended consequences, such as reducing children's opportunities for reasonable age-appropriate risk-taking.” However, not all school playground injuries are minor. I personally sustained two significant injuries myself (way back) in the ‘80s. In year 4, I was running around playing chasey when I collided with my girlfriend. My teeth cut her forehead and the impact snapped my upper jaw. With no teacher in sight, I walked to the office with my hands under my chin, ready to catch any teeth that might fall out. An orthodontist snapped my jaw back in place, shoved my teeth back in my gums and plastered a splint across my teeth, which stayed on for two months. I still wear a mouthguard at night for jaw issues. In year 9, under full teacher supervision, I was participating in high jump but cleared the bar and the mats and landed in a crumpled heap on the ground: followed by ambulance, hospital, x-rays, scans, MRI,


prescription pain killers, wheelchair, weeks off school, crutches and three years of intensive physio. I still manage pain some 27 years later. Both incidents happened while I was in the care of teachers and one under direct teacher supervision, which points to the fact that we cannot remove all risk of injury. Accidents happen and they’re called accidents precisely because they are '“an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally”. No parent wants a call saying his or her child is injured, as local mum Maria can attest. Her 8-year-old son broke his arm by tripping over a school bag laying on the floor. He needed surgery to place pins in his arm. Maria says, “Schools do have a duty of care but parents can’t expect a guarantee that children won’t get hurt.” To minimise the risk of injury with general run-about play, the school her children attend decided to do away with school ties. “They were seen as a hazard when the children run around; someone could grab it which would obviously lead to an injury.” Because most accidents happen in general run-about play, it seems reasonable to restrict clothing rather than the activities that make up childhood. However, some injuries are a result of rough play. Local mum Joanne says, “My preppy was sitting at the top of a slide at school during break time with two boys behind him kicking him in the back. He couldn't move because the cord of his hat was caught in the slide.” He yelled for the boys to stop but they didn’t and his neck ended up “cut and bruised” by his hat cord. Joanne says the school dismissed the injury as simply “rough play”. However Joanne believes that the school’s policy of “not having teachers in the playground but supervisors who come in only to monitor the children during breaks” is the problem, as they don’t know the children or “have any knowledge of behaviours to watch”. It is therefore a school’s policies and procedures in dealing with children’s injuries that should be closely monitored and maintained. While the positive measure of more safety mats was instituted after the high jump accident I experienced, I am relieved that neither running around on grassy areas nor supervised high jump was banned as a result. Macquarie University study ‘Ten Ways to Restrict Children’s Freedom to Play: the problem of surplus safety’ argues that there is the possibility of taking safety precautions too far, saying that while risk management is an important “duty of care…management of risk in a climate of surplus safety negatively impacts on the rights of children and their growth, development and quality of life.” That’s exactly what concerned parents and citizens decried when Peregian Springs State School on the Sunshine Coast recently banned cartwheels in the playground. The news reverberated around the country and principal Gwen Sands was pushed to justify her stance in

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast



the media due to community backlash. She pointed to the number of students and the layout of the playground, to past accidents and to the Queensland Education Department’s Policy and Procedures Manual, which requires trained personnel and gym mats be available when students are participating in activities requiring inverted positions, including cartwheels and handstands. So if the Principal was just complying with department regulations, then the protest was really against the ever-growing list of restrictions added to safety policies and procedures. However, it is possible that the increased policies and procedures are not only about child safety concerns, but also about teachers’ fears of being sued. The Macquarie University study suggests that teachers are aware they restrict children’s freedom to play, but are fearful of litigation should an injury occur while they have duty of care. One teacher disclosed a threat of legal action and others admitted to fears of their careers being jeopardised. Teachers also suggested they did not feel protected by policy or relevant authorities should a difficult situation arise, and therefore erred on the side of ‘surplus safety’ rather than their understanding of child development to determine their actions. A fascinating 2012 study by Kate Darian-Smith ‘Australian children's play in historical perspective: Continuity and change on the school playground’ found that “much has changed in children's play over half a century. For a start, there have been considerable alterations to school grounds, both in terms of landscaping and the facilities such as play equipment provided, as well as to school regulations determining who plays where and when.” The study also examined the shift towards extracurricular play and organised sporting activities, and noted that there is still the element of self-determined and voluntary play activities at school that involve a level of physical exertion and skill that is more extensive than that ‘taught’ in formal organised sports. The study found that play in the school playground is also more collaborative and less competitive than formal sports, allowing for, “differing levels of skill and for the involvement of complex social negotiations between children within and across age and gender groupings.” So despite the increasing restrictions on play in the school playground, kids are still free to invent and adapt games and play with a broader range of kids, developing a broader range of skills, than they are in organised or formal play outside of school. Another finding in the Australia-wide study was that schools on the urban fringe of cities or in non-metropolitan areas generally had playgrounds where native bush offered a distinct area for play activities: “Children could climb trees, and use the nooks, crannies and natural materials to make Fairy Gardens and dells. They constructed cafés and shops, using leaves and twigs to make pretend food. They were allowed to dig channels and make rivers, and smash rocks. Inevitably, the opportunities for making their own objects from the materials in the natural environment were greater for children going to these schools.” This may be the case in some urban fringe or non-metropolitan schools, but each school is free to make their own policies or rules that discourage or support particular games, based on the


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

school’s philosophies on learning, socialisation and physical activity. In some schools, teachers make assembly announcements reminding kids that sticks and stones and pine cones belong on the ground; that the children are not free to play with them. Perhaps the number of kids crowded into a play area influences this decision, but it is possible that previous incidents and injuries from kids wielding sticks as swords, or pine cones as grenades, also has something to do with the decision. The study spanned a progressive ‘alternative’ non-government school where emphasis was placed on children's free expression and creative interactions with the playground, through to a government school in an area of high socio-economic disadvantage where a program to build children's self-esteem and positive behaviours had very restrictive rules on play. Findings were that “most school communities had a philosophy and rules that fell between these two extremes. The most prevalent school rules forbade physical contact among children, especially pushing, shoving and hitting, and designated anti-bullying policies.” Interestingly, the tightening of school playground rules to reduce bullying stands in contrast to the findings of a study published in 2013 by Auckland University of Technology and Otago University, where four New Zealand primary schools participated in the radical, countercultural experiment of removing playground rules altogether. The children were free to climb trees, ride skateboards and play games such as bullrush. Kids also played in a "loose parts pit" containing junk pieces such as wood, old tyres and an old fire hose. Swanson Primary School principal Bruce McLachlan deemed the experiment a success. "The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school. When you look at our playground, it looks chaotic. From an adult's perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don't. We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over." Perhaps then, it is the case that when kids feel frustration building up at heavy-handed safety rules, it creates a culture of boredom which leads to negative, anti-social behaviours. This idea is supported by the findings of The Sydney Playground Project, which concluded, “When children perceive that play settings are not demanding enough, they may compensate by engaging in activities that yield challenges -- in the context of undesirable behaviour (eg. bullying or using play equipment in truly dangerous ways).” In our attempt to keep kids safe in the school playground, it should not come at the cost of their physical, social and emotional development. Yes, schools have a duty of care. And yes, there should be sensible safety policies and procedures in place, but we cannot ban childhood with all its inherent dangers and risks, and we shouldn’t try. As Collett Smart points out, the very challenges we seek to protect kids from provide opportunities for them to learn and grow. “Success comes through being allowed to fall and fail and then learn, with guidance, how to improve the next time. Not sitting cocooned quietly on a bench.”


Look for us at Robina Town Centre






Unit 1, 178 Signato Drive Helensvale



PH: 07 5580 6305 W: www.goandplay.com.au


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast


This luxury pendant teams gold and silver to create fashion alchemy. The cool silver circle is transformed into a bespoke beauty with a hand stamped message. A golden bail (yellow or rose gold) anchors the pendant so it can be worn with any of koolaman’s gold or sterling silver chains. www.koolaman.com.au



Free your little one's toes and free their mind too with these gorgeous mismatchedon-purpose flip-flops from Chooze! Comfy and 100% vegan, perfect for summer beach outings. Check out this item and more at www.choozeshoes.com.au



$350 plus chain

This retro wooden robot cracks tough nuts! Just place any nut in his belly, twist the key and crack open the shell. Easy to use, he will break into any nut: from the smallest hazelnut to the toughest walnut. Your new best friend is made from solid beechwood and finished with a gleaming retro paint-job. http://shop.until.com.au

PERSONALISED FAMILY CUSHIONS $69 Gorgeous family or child's cushion designed to your description. Unique Christmas, baby shower, birthday or wedding keepsake gift. Available in white or cream 50x50cm or 35x50cm cushion. Up to 6 people/pets. Order at www.goodthings.com.au

A fun first wooden tool bench with pretend power tools. This comprehensive set includes a clamp, saw, hammer, screwdriver, right-angle ruler, spanner and chalkboard. Also included is a handy storage shelf and two plants with pre-drilled holes. www.woodenwonderland.com.au


Add fun to children's parties or dress up time with these cute photo booth props. Pick the KIDS set or Christmas set, each with a collection of 20 heavy-duty card props. The KIDS edition includes diving goggles, princess crown and wand, firemen’s hat, pirate hat and mic, while the PHOTO BOOTH Christmas set includes Santa hats, DRESS-UP PROPS reindeer ears and candy canes … from $24.95 and so much more. http://shop.until.com.au


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014




Give the gift of movies this Christmas with a BCC and Event Cinemas Movie Gift Card. Movie gift cards can be used on anything from tickets to popcorn and are on sale now at the box office or online at www.eventcinemas.com.au

This designer collection has been designed with a love for pretty pastel pink and elegant blue. Aprons feature a sweetheart neckline, 2 pockets with bows and a ruffled hemline. www.sierrarose.com.au

MERMAID TAILS From $55 Everything mermaid, tails and fins available in lots of colours and sizes. Made from glittering lyrca for mermaid shine and comfort. Mermaid school will operate in xmas holiday, for information visit Facebook Mermaids at Coopers or phone 5520 2250.

FAIRY GARDEN KIT from $29 Add wonder to your garden and ignite your imagination with a gorgeous fairy garden kit. Perfect for all ages, a great gift for the young and the young at heart. Fill a pot with flowers add your kit and let the wonder begin. www.etsy.com/shop/pinkydinkydesigns

CHOOZE PACKS From $44.95 Adorably stylish and practical backpack and lunchbox pack made by Chooze. Uniquely reversible for two different designs in the one pack so your little one can 'chooze' a fun design everyday! Check out this item and more at www.choozeshoes.com.au

SWIMFIN $39.95 Learn to swim like a fish! SwimFin is a unique swimming aid for anyone aged 2 and above. SwimFin is endorsed by Libby Trickett and supported by The Wiggles! Available in a range of 7 colours from www.swimfin.com.au


$189 value. Each Pack comes with Skates, socks, Shwings and a 5 visit skate pass for Epic Skate. epicskate.shop033.com

Do your Christmas shopping from home this year – shop online at twoscoops.com.au! Australia’s brightest new toy store has great prices on all the big brands, including LEGO®, Lalaloopsy, Barbie, Peppa Pig, Fisher-Price, Little Tikes and more!

twoscoops.com.au Toys from $2!

THE MAGIC QUILT KIT SET $110 Beautiful children's picture book with matching beginner quilt kit - make your child a gift to treasure forever. Books also sold separately as well as ready-made quilts. Books can be signed by the author with your child's name. www.themagicquilt.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


RRP $25.99 The award-winning snow globe by Seedling gets a makeover for Christmas. A great activity for ages 6 years +, the kit contains a plastic globe, make and bake polymer clay, snow globe stand, glitter, EVA sheet and instructions. www.goodthingsforkids.com NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast



Is my child too sensitive? by Dr Kelly Bowers, Psychologist, Youthrive Integrated Therapy Services SENSITIVITY IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO OUR SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. IT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND OURSELVES AND OTHERS AROUND US. BY BEING AWARE OF OUR EMOTIONS WE ARE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE OUR NEEDS AND EXPERIENCES WITH THOSE WE HOLD DEAR. IN TURN, BY BEING SENSITIVE WE ARE ABLE TO COMPARE OUR EXPERIENCES TO THOSE OF THE PEOPLE AROUND US AND TO SHOW EMPATHY AND COMPASSION IN RELATION TO THEM. Those who ‘wear their hearts on their sleeve’ are able to let people know who they are and what is important to them. The alternative is to mask our emotions, only letting them out once in a while. This may not only limit the number of people who we connect with, but may also impact on the quality of our relationships with others if we don’t let them see who we are on the inside. Expressing our emotions and providing emotional support to others is the core of developing relationships and is the crux of all humankind. Without them, our lives would be largely unfulfilled. Think about the time when your child took their first steps – imagine what that experience would have been like if we were unable to feel emotions like pride, elation and joy. Emotional expression is equally important to children. Because the brain is still developing during childhood, our children often have less ability to think rationally about their needs and to communicate them appropriately. For example, a child who is hungry may start crying or show signs of anger and frustration. These are essentially signposts for caregivers to follow. Our children rely on their emotions to let us know what they need. Provided that we have experienced similar emotions and/or have interpreted our child’s emotions correctly, we are then able to provide our child with the relevant support they require. But when are children too sensitive? This is similar to asking ‘how long is a piece of string.’ A simple answer is that the expression of feelings become problematic when emotions are easily and regularly triggered by even the smallest of adversities. Similarly, children may appear to be oversensitive if they become solely dependent on us as caregivers to meet their needs. If emotions become debilitating and prevent a child from completing everyday tasks or activities, we can almost certainly determine that the child is ‘sensitive’ to something. But this is not necessarily an easy thing to identify. Several contextual factors often need to be considered first, before determining whether a child has displayed an overreaction to a particular event. Things that need to be considered are the developmental age of the child, the child’s previous experiences that may be associated with the emotion and our own expectations and beliefs about what degree of emotional expression is appropriate.


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

CHILD DEVELOPMENTAL AGE We wouldn’t consider a one-year-old child as being too sensitive if they cried as a result of not being able to find their caregiver in the exact moment that they needed them; however the same cannot be said for a 12-year-old who we would expect to communicate this need by using words. During infancy, our children are obviously very dependent on us as caregivers to support both their physical and emotional needs. When our children cry, we are there to hold them and nurture them. As our children begin to grow they not only tend to cry less often, but they learn that crying in certain other ways will help their varying needs to be met. For example, tantrums or clingy behaviours are also tools that children use to communicate that they have a requirement that needs to be met. As children get older their thinking, reasoning and problem-solving abilities begin to improve. This typically starts developing around 6–8 years of age and may not be fully developed until they reach their mid-20s. As their thinking abilities improve, children require less nurturing and holding and are better equipped at trying to problem solve with the support of their caregiver. While crying is a perfectly normal and positive way to release and express emotions, children will begin to rely on this mode of communication less frequently as they get older. A child may be considered to be sensitive to a specific situation if they frequently become emotional in a particular circumstance time and time again.

PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS We all tend to have different ideas about what emotions are acceptable under particular conditions. As a society we tend to place too much of a negative view on emotions such as anger or sadness. They are often considered taboo. The fact is that these are normal emotions that all people experience in varying forms on a daily basis. Despite our best efforts, we will never be able to completely protect our children from ever experiencing these emotions. What makes them 'okay' or 'not okay' is the manner in which they are expressed. The focus should not be on how to prevent these emotions from occurring, but rather how we can



appropriately cope with them when they do occur. It is better that we spend time supporting our children in learning how to manage and cope with their emotions rather than trying to protect them from ever experiencing the emotion in the first place. It is safe to say that we can expect our children to express varying degrees of emotions from time to time; in fact, we should encourage it. However, if children do not possess the appropriate emotional coping skills, it is more likely that they will experience emotional distress from even small adversities. They may potentially even develop a sensitivity to them.

PAST EXPERIENCES It is common that children may display a particular sensitivity to a negative situation or event that they have experienced in the past. Often our emotions can be of benefit to us, as they may protect us from harm, motivate us to complete particular tasks or help us to seek security from loved ones. Nonetheless, if children perceive a situation to be of threat to their wellbeing, it is reasonable to expect that they may become alert to similar threats that may occur again in the future. While this may be classed as being sensitive, a response that is perhaps ‘too’ sensitive may be one that results in avoidance of an activity and one that impairs the child’s ability to participate in daily tasks. The way in which caregivers manage these fears may determine the degree of sensitivity that children experience in response to these situations again in the future.

PARENT-CHILD ATTACHMENTS Children who feel safe and secure in their world are typically better able to cope with adversity and to organise and manage their emotions. The sense of feeling safe and secure within our world is developed based on the relationship that we have with our caregivers. If children have had their needs met consistently by their caregivers and have been supported by their caregivers to manage their emotions with increasing independence, then they are less likely to become overly sensitive to life’s smaller challenges. This is referred to as having a secure attachment between the child and caregiver. The two extremes of less secure attachments range from poor attachment in which caregivers provide inconsistent support to their children to an over attachment or ‘enmeshment’ between child and caregiver. In poor attachments, the caregiver may not always make themselves available to the child's emotional needs or may even prioritise their own emotional needs ahead of their child's. In these instances, amongst other difficulties, the child views the world as being unpredictable and is constantly on alert for danger. Small adversities may trigger large emotional reactions as the child does not possess the adequate skills to cope with any ‘threat’ to their wellbeing. Children who have experienced poor attachments are also less likely to understand and respond appropriately to the emotions expressed by others. The child’s emotional response often becomes inconsistent and is difficult to predict. Here the child may appear to be overly sensitive to a situation or circumstance. On the other end of the spectrum are child-caregiver relationships that have become enmeshed and the child becomes overly


dependent on the caregiver’s support. These children typically do not learn to cope with their emotions independently and can only seem to manage their emotions when their caregiver is present. The problem here is that children cannot remain in the care of their attachment person indefinitely. At some point, children start going to kindergarten, school, and sleepovers at friends’ houses. Not to mention when they start to fly the nest and experience the big world on their own accord in adolescence and early adulthood. It is true that we have better chance of success in later life if we have had a secure base in which to launch from, however in order to achieve this children require opportunities to develop their independence and to manage their emotions without always having to rely on the support of the caregiver.


TIPS TO INCREASE EMOTIONAL REGULATION AND INDEPENDENCE 1) Be present Your child will look to you for guidance in times of distress. Stop what you are doing. Get down on your child’s level. Look at your child. Speak with a calm voice.

2) Put your child’s feelings into words Give them the words that you would like them to use. Eg. “You look sad”; “It sounds like you are cross”

3) Help your child to recognise what is happening to their body Bring body changes to their attention. Eg. “You look like you are puffing”; “Put your hand on your chest. Is it beating fast or slow?”.

4) Practice some relaxation Take some deep breaths or stretch your muscles

5) Empathise with your child and normalise their experience

It is our role as caregivers to model ways in which to cope with distress to our Let them know that you understand what they are feeling. Eg. “I’d feel angry too if someone said that to me” children. This includes ways to regulate emotions and begin solving problems. Without an adequate role model in the Work out a plan of action. Talk about what your area of emotional regulation, children child could the next time that situation occurs may potentially experience difficulty regulating their own emotions in the future and become overly sensitive to adverse situations. In order to develop these skills, we need to allow our children opportunities to experience different emotions including those not-so-pleasant ones from time to time. But it is equally important to ensure that we are there not only to pick our children up when they fall, but to also guide them in how they can learn from their mistakes. The old saying rings true – we learn from our mistakes and misfortunes. Once we have experienced a negative emotion and have had the appropriate level of support from our caregiver, we are then better equipped to cope with the same challenge if it presents itself again in the future. As much as we delight in the youthful innocence of our children, our long-term goal should always be to support our children in becoming independent people who are capable of managing their own emotions when needed, but who still feel comfortable seeking support from others at the same time.

6) Problem solve together


NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast



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WITH THE GROWING NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN FINDING THAT TECHNOLOGY SUCH AS LAPTOPS AND IPADS ARE A STANDARD PART OF THEIR SCHOOL DAY, JESSICA JANE SAMMUT ASKS THE QUESTION – ARE THEY A HELP OR A HINDRANCE? It’s a digital age. Technology is racing forward, and with it, the world is changing – but nowhere quite so much as in the classroom. As is the nature of momentum, the face of education is an evolving and ever-changing landscape, constantly appraised and improved upon to better help our children learn and grow. However, when there are changes being made in the name of progress, we must always be careful to step back and ask – IS this better? It’s true we can’t stand still, but we must always be sure that any kind of amendment to a learning method is a step forward and not a leap back. And in a modern terrain that is obsessed with quick results, the temptation to cut corners can be all too real. So is technology in the primary school classroom something to be embraced or something to be ejected?

By Jessica Jane Sammut

THE PROS PROMOTES INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-DIRECTION In order to become lifelong learners, students need to develop the skills of research and inquiry, and this is where computers really excel. Today, a teacher’s role is to guide students to find their own answers, rather than simply telling them the answer. This form of guided inquiry happens from a very young age. Therefore, technology is a necessary tool if students are to be taught how to independently acquire such information. “Computers allow students to be independent and self-directed in finding out their own answers,” confirms Nadia. Jenny Atkinson, a primary school teacher with 30 years of experience, and now an education transition specialist and founder of Sparks Education Australia (www.sparkseducation.com.au), agrees. “Laptops in classrooms provide students with the opportunity to be more self-directed, with greater responsibility for their learning, whilst still under the overall direction of a teacher,” Jenny confirms.



“Students in primary school learn differently at different ages,” says leading educator Nadia McCallum, who holds a Masters in Teaching and was recently awarded The Director General’s Award for Excellence in Service to Public Education and Training.

Offering immediate access to information and resources, laptops in the classroom encourage students to be curious. “Such learning can provide greater access to the curriculum at an appropriate level to consolidate and advance a child’s education, particularly for students with special needs,” says Jenny. It also allows equal access to information for all students as they are not reliant on having the ‘right’ books at hand.

“When children begin school, their learning is very play based. As students get older, they learn through discussion and experimentation. The common thread is that they learn by doing and interacting with others. Students need to interact and engage with what they are learning so that it is meaningful and therefore more likely to be remembered and transferred to other contexts.” “When we were at school, classrooms were focused on the teacher. Students sat passively, listened quietly, took notes and memorised facts. Today, classrooms are very different places. Classrooms have needed to move with the times. Teachers are preparing students for the future. Students are now required to think, question and generate independent thought from the moment they enter kindergarten.” So does technology help or hinder this approach? Are we dumbing down, or are we moving with the times? 16

Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

CREATES A FUN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT With many educational games now available on the laptop and tablet, such technology can help make learning a source of fun, and the power of this can never be underestimated in terms of how children view schoolwork. Games that promote maths and literacy are often loved by young children who don’t even realise they are learning when playing them. Platforms such at ABC’s Reading Eggs and Mathseeds are two such games that deeply connect with youngsters, enhancing their learning and nurturing their love of education. “Such games can motivate children to keep trying, because they want to get to the next level,” explains Jenny. “This is particularly good for children who struggle with their work. This interest and motivation is difficult to replicate using worksheets.” www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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Other less obvious games, such as Minecraft, that don’t have a clear learning goal at their core, can be equally as helpful in fostering and consolidating essential skills. “In order to play Minecraft effectively, students need a sound understanding of a broad range of mathematical concepts – numbers, area, time and money to mention a few, and need to be able to work with others in order to trade and build things, and plan ahead to meet targets,” confirms Nadia. “Children who are engaged and interested are more likely to learn and retain new learning,” adds Jenny. “They are also more likely to persevere with tasks if they find them interesting. Many children are more motivated to complete work and be actively engaged in their learning with technology-based activities.”

ENCOURAGES GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY Students as young as five are now aware of a global world. Many students travel internationally before entering school. Others see the wider world via television shows and movies. Classrooms that reflect this global connectivity via the use of technology offer a way to tap into it further. “It is not uncommon for students to email or Skype other students in different countries using their laptops,” explains Nadia. “By making such connections, the knowledge they acquire becomes meaningful in a global context.”

PROMOTES DIGITAL LITERACY “Technology is so interwoven in how we operate in the wider world, that to restrict it would not be doing a child any favours,” says Nadia. “Computers are integral to the workplace and are only becoming more so.” It therefore makes sense that our children are exposed to technology as a tool for learning. It is reflective of how the ‘real world’ operates. Like anything though, balance is key, and the use of technology should not replace active play or other skills that are learnt at school. It should merely complement or enhance such proficiencies. “The use of laptops in classrooms teaches students to use, differentiate and examine/analyse information in a way that is current,” confirms Jenny. “It prepares children for their participation in the digital world.”

PROVIDES CONTEXTUAL LEARNING The opportunity for children to participate in their learning and find a context for their theoretical knowledge is far greater with the use of technology. Children are better able to understand the value of what they are learning which means they are more likely to retain the learning.

ENCOURAGES HIGHER ORDER THINKING “Laptops can help a student think more widely, especially when they are given a choice as to how they will present their learning/findings,” says Jenny. They allow young students to think ‘outside the square’, providing access to a variety of tools for presenting knowledge, which only serves to complement the more traditional aspects of a learning structure.

SUPPLEMENTS LEARNING Laptops in the classroom can be used as a tool to supplement learning: for example, a child might write a story on paper, edit it and then publish it with a laptop. More skills are being learnt than if the technology was not available.

Research has shown that multi-tasking can decrease performance and overall comprehension. Further to this, multi-tasking on a computer not only distracts the user, but can also distract those around them. Dealing with this issue effectively essentially comes down to the teacher in the classroom however. “If a teacher is employing regular checks with students and making them accountable for the progress they are making, they are more likely to attend to the task at hand,” explains Nadia. “Children have the potential to be distracted by other programs/activities on a laptop. Good classroom management/ monitoring by a teacher is therefore essential,” Jenny concurs.

PROVIDES ACCESS TO INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT As we know, it is very easy for children to access the wrong kind of content on the internet, and this is a common concern for parents. Some schools provide digital devices to students where the devices stay at school and are protected by the school Wi-Fi restrictions and filters. Other schools implement the BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) strategy where students can bring a device from home. Cyber safety expert Leonie Smith (www.thecybersafetylady.com.au) advises, “Some families are tech savvy and have parental controls set up on their child’s device, but the majority of families do not. More education needs to happen around these devices as to what controls and filters can be enabled to lessen the risk of exposure to improper content if technology is to be a standard part of the school day.”

DEPLETES LEARNING TIME “Learning time can be wasted when technical issues arise, such as login dramas, short battery life or the internet going offline,” warns Jenny. All can deplete learning time. It’s the unexpected nature of laptop problems that can create issues in the classroom, and even if teachers do have a back-up activity, it is often not their first choice of learning experience. It is therefore vital that laptops are up to date and reliable.

CREATES A SCHOOL/HOME TECHNOLOGY USE IMBALANCE Some children may already spend too much time on technology at home. “Health concerns such as eyestrain or posture problems can be an issue for these children,” says Jenny. It can therefore be problematic to ensure there is a good balance of technology use between home and school, especially as this varies so much from one home (and classroom) to the next.

CREATES AN OVER-RELIANCE ON TOOLS Do laptops encourage laziness in children? Perhaps. With tools such as automatic spell and grammar check, children can become apathetic about using their brains. “Teachers need to teach children how to use such tools appropriately in an educationally beneficial manner and also to understand their limitations,” reminds Jenny.

REPLACES TRADITIONAL LEARNING Technology is not the only tool available in learning and children should know this. “Laptops and other technology should not replace the teacher’s effort in a classroom nor should they replace any other learning experience,” says Jenny. And this is the concern – that they might. Technology needs to be viewed as one tool amongst many other educational tools available to assist children with their learning.

WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO? “Teachers need to be aware of both WHAT OUR LITTLE LEARNERS THINK “Laptops help me progress with my learning by giving me a wide variety of programs to use which help to extend my knowledge. They are more interesting to use than pen and paper because I can present my work in so many creative ways.” Year Six student: Hannah (12 years old) “We use the laptops for maths. We play treasure hunt which helps my learning and is a fun game.” Year One Student: Ella (6 years old) “We get to make presentations and documents about what we learn. We have fun by using games that help us with numbers and shapes.” Year Two Student: Lily (8 years old)


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

the benefits and drawbacks of using technology in the classroom so that they can provide balanced opportunities for learning that both engage children and promote a lifelong love of learning,” says Jenny.

HOW CAN WE HELP OUR CHILDREN? “The best way for parents to support this type of learning is to be involved with their children,” advises Nadia. “Parents don’t have to completely understand the technology their kids are using, but need to understand enough to know the value of what their children are doing and if there is anything that might be a potential issue. If parents are unsure, they should speak to their child’s teacher.” www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast





NOV 13

Grow a Mo for the Movember Foundation and raise awareness of men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men. Details: au.movember.com




Being active is a fun and positive experience for teenagers and there are lots of great weekly activities on offer in this program just perfect for teenagers. There is a heap of cool events on offer from skate, craft, stand up paddle boarding and more. Details: 5581 5233 or email activehealthygc@ goldcoast.qld.gov.au. www.gcparks.com.au


Children need little encouragement to be active. Making physical activity a party of their daily routine is not only fun, but also healthy while improving healthy growth and development. Active & Healthy Kids runs during the following school terms: Term 4 13/10/14 to 5/12/14 Details: www.gcparks.com.au


TERM 4 13/10/14 TO 5/12/14

Where: Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise When: Day tours run for 45 minutes to 1 hour Take a joy ride on a fire truck from Surfers Paradise to the Spit where you will experience the operation of a fully functional fire hose and pose for photographs holding the nozzle wearing authentic fire helmets! Details: www.fire4hire.com.au EVERY TUESDAY DURING SCHOOL TERM

ENERGY ART Where: Apex Park, Burleigh Heads When: From 9:30am Join other Mums and littlies for a fun, low cost craft activity in the park. No clean up, no mess! Details: $5. www.creativecraftcentre.com

Where: Currumbin Community Farm Campus, 1226 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley When: 10am – 2pm Experience Currumbin Community Farm Campus for yourself and enjoy the atmosphere. Details: Free www.currumbinfarmschool.eq.edu.au SATURDAYS

DRAX4KIDS THE SHOW Where: Draculas, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach When: Midday See live rock music, special effects, comedy, puppetry, dancing, interactive games, and an amazing aerial circus! Details: www.draculas.com.au/queensland/ drax-4-kids

Ever experienced a random act of kindness? Do something nice for someone else this World Kindness Day and you can put a smile on the face of a random stranger, friend or family member. Details: www.kindness.com.au/worldkindness-day.html NOVEMBER 17

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the armistice, which ended the First World War. Observe one minute’s silence at 11am in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

National Recycling Week aims to improve the positive environmental outcomes of recycling. By increasing community awareness and reducing contamination, local councils, businesses and community groups are encouraged to join in throughout the week. Details: www.recyclingweek.planetark.org/





Universal Children's Day is a day devoted to promoting the welfare of children across the globe. Join any number of organisations around the country in celebrating this day and recognising the importance of building better lives for our children. Details: www.un.org/depts/dhl/children_day/ index.html



Where: Creative Craft Centre, 1/16 Township Drive, West Burleigh When: 6:30pm – 9:30pm Drop the kids off and have a well-deserved night out while the kids are crafting away! Details: Bookings essential as spaces are limited. Prices start at $20 per hour for one child. Children must be 5 years + www.creativecraftcentre.com



November 17 is World Prematurity Day, an international campaign to raise awareness of the 15 million babies who are born too soon each year. The National Premmie Foundation leads the way for celebrations throughout Australia. Details: www.prembaby.org.au






Where: Hollywell Sailing Squadron, 1 Marina Crescent, Hollywell When: 9am – 10:30am A perfect introduction into sailing for kids aged 7 to 16 years. Maximum of 32 students. Bring a hat, shorts, t-shirts and sunscreen. Details: $20 per person. No bookings required. www.southportyachtclub.com.au









Where: Centro Surfers Paradise, Cnr Cavill Avenue & Surfers Paradise Boulevard When: 9am – 7pm (Monday to Wednesday); 9am – 9pm (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) Select your animal then add a sound or even record a personalised message or heartbeat. The process continues at the stuffing machine where you add just the right amount of stuffing and then give your new furry friend a name on a Birth Certificate. Details: www.buildabear.com.au



Where: Frenzy Food Court at Southport Sharks When: From 6:00pm Children 12 years and under eat for FREE with every full paying adult buffet purchased in the Frenzy Food Court. Bookings essential. Details: www.southportsharks.com.au



Check out your local library! Did you know that Council libraries have free events, classes, workshops and activities for babies and children? Details: www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au


Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary When: 4pm – 9pm With a focus on local and international food as well as crafts, why not eat on site and enjoy the live local music. Details: Free entry



Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise When: 5pm – 10pm If you're looking for an unusual gift or one-off piece, the beachfront Night Markets are your one-stop shop. Details: www.surfersparadise.com



Where: The Bearded Dragon Hotel When: 9am – 1pm Offering pre-loved and new kids and babies clothes, toys, books, furniture and much more! Details: www.facebook.com/TamborineVillageKidsBabiesMarket/info



Where: Quality Hotel/Lonestar Tavern car park, Cnr Markeri Street & Sunshine Blvd, Mermaid Waters When: 5:30am – 10:30am Free entry to the public to buy or browse the goods on display, which include household items, clothing, toys, books, collectibles and more. Details: Free entry. www.mermaidbeachrotary.com.au



Where: Paradise Point Parklands When: 8am – 1pm Showcases up to 100 fashion, arts and creative stalls as well as live local music and delicious gourmet food. Details: www.thevillagemarketsgc.com.au



Where: Burleigh Heads State School When: 8am – 1pm Showcases up to 100 fashion, arts and creative stalls as well as live local music and delicious gourmet food. Details: www.thevillagemarketsgc.com.au


NOVEMBER 2 & 16; DECEMBER 7 & 21

Where: Sanctuary Cove When: 9am – 1pm This ‘Family Boutique’ market provides beautiful quality, unique products and services which are not mass produced or easily found in shops. Details: www.themummytreemarkets.com.au








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PETER PAN’S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION Where: Pacific Fair, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach When: Show Times 9:30am & 11:30am; Meet and Greet 10:30am Be a part of something new, exciting and magical this Christmas! Take a trip down to Neverland, the Fairytale Island where all children’s dreams come true! Details: www.pacificfair.com.au NOVEMBER 18

CHRISTMAS CARDS AND GIFT TAGS Where: Runaway Bay Library, Lae Pl, Runaway Bay When: 3:30pm – 4:30pm Join in for some festive craft and create your own personal Christmas cards and gift tags. Details: See libraries website for this and many more family programs www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/library/eventsactivities-66.html NOVEMBER 14

BLUE LIGHT DISCO ‘SURF & SAND PARTY’ Where: Gold Coast PCYC, 180 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters When: 7pm – 9:30pm With a no pass out policy and Police supervision your child will have a fun and safe evening. Primary school age only. Details: www.goldcoastpcyc.com/new/disco

Where: 10:15am – 12:45pm When: Roma Street Station, Brisbane Take in the view of Brisbane behind a magnificently restored steam locomotive as the train winds its way through suburbs, city stations, past landmarks and over river crossings. Details: Family $64, Adult $22, Child (under 15) $13, Under 3 free www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au



Where: Surfers Paradise Beach When: 6:30pm – 9:30pm A night of thrilling fireworks, hypnotic dancers, singers on the back of the monster truck and much more at Surfers Paradise Beach. Bring your $2 coins and moneyboxes to help us fill the Childs Vision Big Give 2 Thermometer on the night. Details: $2. www.biggive2.org/australia

Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary When: 6am – 9am Get ready Gold Coast, the Zoo Run is coming! More animals, more hills, more challenges and more fun. Details: www.zoorun.com.au



Where: Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club, Kingscliff Welcome to a weekend of fun for the whole family! Events to suit ages 7-12 and a family fun run too! Each kid receives an event t-shirt, a participation medal and a sausage sizzle. Details: www.kingsclifftri.com.au





1 4 / JA N R 20 UA






Where: Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise When: Free Santa photos daily between 12pm – 3pm and 4pm – 7pm The great Aussie Summer is here to stay, so bring the family and enjoy the spectacle and fun of Christmas in Surfers Paradise. Details: Free. www.surfersparadise.com


Where: Main Beach Clubhouse, Southport Yacht Club When: 4pm – 7:30pm Great family fun day with a visit from Santa and face painting for the kids. Visitors welcome! Details: Bookings: 5591 3500 www.southportyachtclub.com.au/about/ upcoming-event



Where: The Workshops Rail Museum, North St, North Ipswich Catch the Christmas spirit with a festive return steam train journey. Add museum entry and make a whole day of Christmas activities. Details: Family $152, Child (under 15) $32.50, Adult $45. Under 3 free www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au



Where: Marine Village, Sanctuary Cove As everybody’s favourite December day draws closer, Sanctuary Cove will host a whole program of free family festivities. See website for all the details. Details: Free. www.sanctuarycove.com



Where: Surfers Paradise Foreshore When: NYE’s Fireworks 8pm and midnight Celebrate the New Year with carnival rides and kids’ slides! On New Year’s Eve come dressed as your favourite superhero and bring in 2015 with a bang! Details: Free www.surfersparadise.com



Where: Lifeguard Tower 27, Margaret Ave, Broadbeach When: 8:30am – 10am Hit the water safely this summer with a surf program for parents and kids. Join in for beach activities with fun & games, and gain confidence in the surf. Details: $10 www.surfcoach.net.au



Where: Surfers Paradise Beach When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy an evening of song with the whole family including fireworks! Details: Free www.surfersparadise.com



Sign up at www.kidsonthecoast.com.au for our weekly What’s On guide. We also have a special comprehensive activity and event eGuide every school holidays, covering all of South East Queensland. You can sign up online to be notified when the guide is launched and to receive the link to download your personal copy.

Don’t miss out on any events!


- in the city



- on the coast


Where: Central Park, Pacific Pines When: 5pm – 8pm Sing along to your favourite carols with the Southland Band, Santa and local talent. Bring your torch, rug and picnic, or grab a snack from one of the food vendors. Details: Free www.facebook.com/pacificpines

Where: Gold Coast PCYC, 180 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters When: 7pm – 9:30pm With a no pass out policy and Police supervision your child will have a fun and safe evening. Primary school age only. Details: www.goldcoastpcyc.com/new/disco

- in the city



- on the coast


Where: Kurrawa Park, Old Burleigh Rd, Broadbeach When: Kids activities from 3pm; Carols from 6pm An amazing line up of performers to celebrate the spirit of Christmas under the stars including Marina Prior, Denis Walters, The Boogie Woogies and Santa! Details: www.broadbeachgc.com

Where: Gold Coast Turf Club, When: Gates open 10am Summer officially starts at the Turf Club with an action packed day on and off the track! A family festival including a visit from Santa, jumping castles, pony rides, animal shows and much more make this a true family fun day out! Details: General Admission $12; Under 18 free









Visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au for more events

Where: Pacific Fair, Hooker Blvd Broadbeach When: 9:30am – 12:30pm Spread holiday cheer by decorating your very own gingerbread masterpiece to eat or take home and devour. Details: www.pacificfair.com.au









- on the coast

Brisbane, Northshore Hamilton www.premier.ticketek.com.au



* We publish information based on what is supplied to us - to the best of our knowlege all details are correct at the time of printing, however we do recommend you check event details with the organisers

Brisbane Entertainment Centre. www.brisent.com.au



QPAC Playhouse. www.qpac.com.au



Cremorne Theatre, QPAC. www.qpac.com.au



Brisbane Entertainment Centre www.premier.ticketek.com.au



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By Jasmin Forsyth, Swim Australia Media Manager

WITH OVER 35,000KM OF COASTLINE, AS WELL AS ENDLESS PRISTINE BEACHES, NATURAL WATERWAYS, BACKYARD POOLS AND PUBLIC AQUATIC PLAYGROUNDS, IT’S NO WONDER AUSSIE KIDS ARE BORN WATER BABIES. But knowing how to swim properly is a learned skill and can only come from ongoing water education, practice and parent participation from a young age. As the parent body to over 600 registered swim schools located across the country, Swim Australia are the leaders in learn-to-swim and water safety. They encourage parents to enrol children in swimming lessons from as young as four months; enough time to allow the infant’s immune system to strengthen and bonding to occur with the primary caretaker. “As the child progresses through the levels, the experience can help strengthen the bond between parent and child and can enhance a child’s concentration, behaviour and physical coordination as they develop new skills and learn new abilities,” says Swim Australia CEO Ross Gage. “In turn their confidence should improve, which is wonderful for their wellbeing as they grow up, interact with others and face new challenges,” Mr Gage adds. To avoid negative associations, the industry leaders insist children should never be forced into lessons, especially if they are genuinely afraid of the water. Informal water play can be a great way to kickstart the process, however, through supervised bath time with toys, splashing in a backyard sprinkler or through gradual one-on-one play pool sessions. “Swimming should be about having sensible fun, first and foremost. However, it is a necessary and potentially life saving skill, so is an ability that should be formally learned as soon as

possible, under the guidance of a qualified teacher and a swim school registered with Swim Australia,” says Mr Gage. By three years of age, children who have kept up their swimming lessons from a young age should be able to perform certain life saving skills, such as: • • • • • •

Returning to the wall if they should fall in Climbing out from a pool ledge Swimming up to five metres Kicking with a kickboard Using basic arm stroke movements Possessing a general understanding of water safety rules such as never swimming without an adult.

But sadly, accidental childhood drowning claims a greater number of young Australian lives than any other trauma. In 2012/2013, 40 children between the ages of 0 and 14 drowned in Australian waterways; 31 were under five years old. Summer proves the nation’s peak drowning period. However, not every drowning is fatal; one quarter of children admitted to hospital following a non-fatal drowning will be left with a brain injury resulting in lifelong disabilities. But the industry experts insist drowning can be prevented. By applying their unique 'Energy Australia SwimSAFER "Layers of Protection"', Swim Australia claim drowning incidents can be avoided simply by following four easy steps (see over page). By applying the four layers together, the philosophy works that if one layer fails, the remaining active layers will kick in and potentially save a child's life.

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BE AWARE: DON’T LET THE KIDS OUT OF YOUR SIGHT. This is fundamental and supervision should be carried out by a responsible adult. All nonswimmers and children under five must be supervised within arm’s reach.


BE SECURE: KEEP FENCES AND GATES LOCKED UP TIGHT. Pool fences and gates need to be regularly inspected, maintained and meet government requirements. Objects and potential climbing aids like pot plants and chairs need to be removed.


 BE CONFIDENT: LEARN TO SWIM AND HOW TO GET TO SAFETY. Practicing water safety skills provides another layer of protection but should never be substituted for proper supervision and barriers.

Teaching your kids to swim isn’t just a smart decision – recent world first research has proven regular and ongoing pool practice from a young age can actually make your kids smarter. Results were recently published from a four-year study performed by Griffith Institute for Educational Research and part funded by Swim Australia in which around 7,000 parents of children aged five years and under from Australia, New Zealand and the US were surveyed. Griffith University lead-researcher Professor Robyn Jorgensen says many results exceeded expectations and showed swimming children had an advantage when starting school. “Children who had learned how to swim from a young age were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population, when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions,” says Professor Jorgensen. Mr Gage adds, “For a long time we’ve understood the benefits of swimming – physically, emotionally, socially – but we are very excited to finally see the facts in black and white … swimming kids are safer, smarter and stronger kids.” Swim Australia insist even children who know how to swim should never be left unaccompanied without an adult while in or around water – including a pool, the beach, river, dam, a bucket of water, animal water trough, irrigation channel or stream. With the peak swimming period now upon us, families must ask themselves whether they are swim season ready.

SUMMER POOL CARE TIPS TO BRING YOUR POOL OUT OF HIBERNATION With the start of the warmer weather, it’s time to get your pool into tiptop condition to ensure it is safe and healthy to swim in. Poolwerx offers the following tips to bring your pool out of hibernation and set for summer. Check all pool equipment is running properly


 BE PREPARED: ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. Check the pool and other waterways first if a child is missing, then inspect bedrooms, cupboards, etc. Ensure your resuscitation skills are up-to-date and permanently display at least one resuscitation or CPR chart in the pool area.

“No matter a child’s swimming ability, any time spent off or away from the water – for example over winter – could affect their capacity to stay afloat, swim and survive after jumping back in for the first time come summer,” Mr Gage says. “If your child – regardless of their age – didn’t swim during the cooler months, then there’s a good chance they will have lost their touch for the water; you simply can’t ever assume they’ll be right, or become complacent, when children and water are combined,” adds Mr Gage. While year-round swimming classes are advised, ‘booster blocks’, ‘intensity weeks’, ‘accelerator programs’ or even holiday swimming classes are a fantastic way to help kids catch up on their swimming skills, and quickly prepare them for the season ahead. “Booster blocks promote more regular swimming classes across a short period of time. Unlike regular swimming lessons where kids are exposed to one session a week, the booster blocks provide up to five lessons in one week. They have the potential to significantly improve a child’s confidence, skill and performance in a short time frame,” Mr Gage says. Be aware that drowning hazards can surface almost anywhere water exists. For an inexperienced swimmer or infant a few inches of water left exposed in or around the family home could also prove a potential drowning death trap. To help prevent a drowning disaster in and around your home, ensure: • Wading pools or spas are gated or securely closed • Nappy buckets filled with water are kept elevated or have a lid • Drink and ice buckets are tightly closed or out of reach • Dog bowls are kept shallow and away from children or replaced with animal specific water bubblers • Bird baths are elevated • Water features have a wire mesh above the water line • Livestock water containers or troughs are child restricted • Toilets have a self-closing or fitted safety lid.

Ensure the pH level is within a healthy range

Although it may take a few minutes, proper preparation is the key to a successful and safer swimming season.

Make sure chlorine levels are adequate to destroy all disease-causing germs. Even though your pool may look clean, there could be a few bugs in there if it hasn’t been maintained over winter


Vacuum and skim the pool regularly Cut costs and energy consumption by switching to an energy efficient pool pump Make sure all pool chemicals are stored securely, out of view and reach of children

For further information on how to SwimSAFER no matter the season, please check out the Swim Australia website at www.swimaustralia.org.au.

Organise a regular professional check up. ForKids more information about pool care contact Poolwerx on 1800 009 000 24 on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 or visit their website www.poolwerx.com.au


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Starting solids By Maxine Arthur


WHEN TO START SOLIDS AND WHY Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for around the first six months and then for breastfeeding to continue alongside complementary foods for one year or longer if desired. “Breastfeeding provides sufficient nutrients until around the age of six months for most infants. There is almost universal agreement that solids should not be started before the age of four months and that they should not be delayed much beyond the age of six months.” Introducing solid foods too early can burden an immature digestive system, increase the risk of food allergies and impair the maternal milk supply. There is also evidence that introducing solid foods before the baby is developmentally ready may be counterproductive. If the tongue extrusion reflex (pushing the tongue out to prevent choking) is still strong, the baby will reject the spoon. According to the NHMRC, “The mother might then feel that the infant is rejecting the food, when in fact it is rejecting the object placed in its mouth. Early introduction of foods does not lead to earlier loss of the tongue extrusion reflex; it just prolongs the length of introduction. Delaying the introduction of solids until six months will considerably shorten this period.” On the other hand, introducing solid foods too late can also cause problems. After six months, breast milk (or infant formula) alone provides insufficient nutrition for baby. Iron and zinc levels in particular may drop and immune protection be compromised. At around six months, your baby is ready to learn to eat, to experience new tastes and textures in food, to develop his teeth and jaws and build the motor skills needed for speech. If your baby has developed good head and neck control and can sit upright when supported, shows an interest in what others are eating and opens his mouth when you offer food on a spoon, it’s time to give solids a go.


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014



Growing Australia’s best children’s health system.

Branching out across the state Queensland is growing Australia’s best children’s health system and at its heart is the new Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital near South Bank in Brisbane. The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital opens its doors on 29th November 2014, combining the staff and services from the Royal and Mater children’s hospitals to offer one of the best paediatric facilities in the country. To ensure your child gets the best possible care in an emergency, you should call 000 or go to your closest hospital. If necessary, your child will then be treated and transported to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

To find out more about improvements in children’s health in Queensland, visit health.qld.gov.au/childrenshealth

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast


Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane.



FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Emily Dupuche, Melbourne mother of three and author of a newlypublished book, Food Babies Love (A guide to introducing your baby to solids), is passionate about the importance of feeding your baby fresh home-cooked food. “Research shows that by introducing a wide variety of tastes, colour and textures to babies before the age of 12 months, they will go on to enjoy a wider variety of foods throughout childhood and into adulthood.”

Food Babies Love by Emily Dupuche, RRP $29.99, is available now from all good bookstores. It is full of simple recipes, tips and advice about feeding young children. For more information go to www.foodbabieslove.com.au

Emily urges mums to, “Serve meals with flavour. Babies do not like bland food.” She suggests flavouring food with fresh herbs and gentler spices. Occasional use of commercial baby food may be handy in an emergency or when travelling but, as always, “fresh is best”. Emily says, “As an advocate of fresh nutritious meals I’m not a fan of ‘squeezies’ and jars”. “Although convenient, they are not doing your baby or your wallet any favours; • • • • •

The extreme heat treatment they undergo to make them shelf stable KILLS the goodness. They taste really ordinary. They offer your baby no sensory stimulation. It’s easy to spend approx. $65 per week on squeeze pouches! Consistent use of pouches causes oral developmental issues.”

Many mums start with baby rice cereal because it is iron-rich and smooth in texture. Try mixing it with a little of mother’s milk, formula or cooled boiled water. Lightly steamed vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potato, pumpkin and carrot, and fruit such as avocado, banana, pear, melon and cooked apple make healthy purees. Puree with a stick mixer or simply mash with a fork. There is no need to add salt, sugar or honey. Offer baby finger foods like cooked vegetable pieces such as broccoli spears and soft bread crusts from around eight to nine months. From nine months, full fat dairy products like yoghurt, custard, grated cheese and cottage cheese can be added to baby’s meals. By 12 months, infants can be eating most of what the family eats. The NHMRC guidelines say that the most important micronutrient deficiency seen in Australia is iron, so be sure to include small amounts of iron-rich foods such as meat, poultry and fish from the start. Remember that breast milk or infant formula is baby’s most important source of nutrition for the first 12 months. Solids are complementary feeding only. Cooled boiled water is the only other fluid suitable for infants under 12 months. Cow’s milk should not be given as a drink until 12 months.

Research shows that by introducing a wide variety of tastes, colour and textures to babies before the age of 12 months, they will go on to enjoy a wider variety of foods throughout childhood and into adulthood.


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

QUICK CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO Age: third month of eating, plus Suitable for freezing Makes: 1 serve Prep time: 1 minute Cooking time: 4 minutes ¼ cup rice flakes* ½ cup salt-reduced chicken stock 50 g chicken mince (or ½ chicken tenderloin, finely chopped) 3 button mushrooms, finely chopped 2 teaspoons parmesan or tasty cheese, grated 1-2 teaspoons ricotta cheese (optional) Chopped fresh parsley leaves *Available in the health food section of your supermarket or specialty health food stores. This cheat’s risotto is ready in 5 minutes flat. It’s great for young babies getting used to new flavours and textures and a terrific speedy standby for toddlers. I love this dish as it’s so easy to prepare and my kids love it! Place all the ingredients except the cheeses in a saucepan and simmer for 3–4 minutes, stirring regularly to break up the chicken mince. The rice flakes will soften and thicken to a porridge-like consistency. Add the cheeses and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley for colour and freshness and allow to cool before serving. For tasty variations on this dish, cook the rice flakes and stock as per above and: • Replace the mushrooms with ¼ cup mashed pumpkin (steamed or roasted) to make a delicious pumpkin risotto • Add ¼ cup roasted pumpkin and a cube of pear puree to the same quantity of rice flakes and cheeses to make a pumpkin and pear risotto • Add ¼ cup cooked green peas and a few baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped, to make a green risotto • Replace the chicken mince with finely chopped roast chicken (or any cooked chicken) and keep the cheeses for another tasty alternative. TIP: Ricotta cheese is a great binding agent. Not only does it add a lovely mild flavour, it helps bind the risotto together on the spoon – a blessing for little people attempting to feed themselves.

RED LENTIL DHAL Age: second month of eating, plus Suitable for freezing Makes: 2 cups Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes ½ butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm pieces* 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons butter ½ small onion, finely diced 1 garlic clove, minced ¼ teaspoon ground coriander ¼ teaspoon ground cumin ½ cup red lentils 1 ½ cups salt-reduced chicken or veggie stock Plain full-fat yoghurt 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves *You don’t need all of this but leftovers can be used as finger food. I’ve always loved dhal. It’s tasty, filling and good for you. This dish is so simple to make and super delicious. For older children, it’s great served with warm roti bread, which is readily available from most supermarkets. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Toss the pumpkin in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place on the baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the pumpkin is soft all the way through before removing from the oven. To make the dhal, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining oil and the butter and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Add the ground spices and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stock and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and mushy. Add the chopped coriander. Mash ¾ cup of roasted pumpkin pieces with a fork and stir into the cooked lentils until well combined. Puree if required or leave as is. Serve warm with a dollop of yoghurt stirred through and some fresh coriander leaves as a garnish. TIP: This dish will take you a long way – just adjust the spice levels as your baby grows.


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HOW TO BEGIN The Australian Breastfeeding Association suggests the following approach: • • • • • •

Make sure baby is sitting upright in a high chair or your lap. Eating is a social occasion so try to have at least one other family member eat at the same time as baby even if it is only you. Try offering food from your own plate. Baby may feel that eating food from your plate is ‘safer’ and be willing to try it. Respect your baby’s tastes. If he doesn’t seem to like a food, leave it for a few days and try again. Some babies are quite happy to be spoon fed, although soon they will want to try a spoon of their own. Some mothers begin with purees, but if your baby is about six months, these will only be needed for a very short time. Some babies want only finger foods. It is important for babies to begin to chew soft foods from about seven months. However you start, be prepared for mess, at least for a while. This is all part of your baby learning a new skill. Be patient.

Start with a small amount (one or two teaspoons). Increase to two or three tablespoons and then to three meals a day at your baby’s pace. Small amounts of food can be stored in ice cube trays and thawed as needed. As far as possible, try to adapt family meals rather than prepare separate meals for baby. You can puree or mash baby’s portion as needed.

WHAT ABOUT ALLERGIES? Paediatric general practitioner Dr Scott Parsons offers the following advice on his website www.childhealth.com.au:

As far as possible, try to adapt family meals rather than prepare separate meals for baby. You can puree or mash baby’s portion as needed.

“In the past it was advised to avoid potentially allergic foods, such as egg white, peanuts and tree nuts. However this advice has no scientific basis. In fact some studies have suggested that early introduction of such foods may in fact induce a tolerance. Even if a sibling is allergic there is only 7% chance that this will have been passed on. The advice is to try a small amount on the lips, such as smooth peanut butter, or scrambled eggs, then next time a small taste and slowly increase amounts. If there is a reaction it will be obvious and immediate, but never life threatening. Reactions include rash around mouth, slight swelling of lips and immediate spitting or even vomiting. In this instance do not repeat giving the particular food. If there is a rash, take a photo and consult with your local GP.”

EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT Jess and Richard are parents to Brandon, 6, and Taylor, 2. Jess started Brandon on solids at five months. “As Brandon was my first child I had no idea where to start when it came to solids. Mum suggested that I try him on rice cereal. The first few times, he ate no more than a teaspoon. I remember sitting on the floor of the kitchen with Brandon in a booster seat pushed up against the wall because we did not have a high chair and hoping that he would not spit his Farex all over my work clothes.” “Brandon began to watch us very intently when we ate and he started to mimic chewing. It also seemed he was not content after


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

Some ideas for foods (adapted from the Australian Breastfeeding Association website). The best food for your baby to have at a particular meal is what you are preparing for the rest of the family, adapted as needed.

FRUIT: Grated apple or other fruit; piece of banana or ripe avocado; pieces of melon or pawpaw (without seeds); an orange quarter, minus peel and seeds; stone fruit with stone removed; peeled and cored apple or pear.


Cooked green stringless beans; cooked broccoli or cauliflower floret; fingers of cooked potato, carrot or other vegetable; grated raw carrot. If baby has teeth, try a piece of raw celery or other salad vegetables.

FISH: Homemade fish fingers or fish cakes; flakes of cooked fish with every bone removed. MEAT OR ALTERNATIVE: A small amount of meat on a safe bone, for example, chicken leg bone, lamb chop; rissoles or slices of homemade meat loaf; firm tofu cooked in long thin slices.


White ‘high-fibre’ or wholemeal (note that the type of fibre in wholemeal bread can be a little harsh on the digestive system of a baby under nine months); homemade rusks (bake thick slices or crusts in a very slow oven until they are quite crisp and dry); toast, plain, buttered, or sometimes use a spread thinly; sandwiches.

PASTA: Boiled, cooled, pasta shapes, with meat/vegetables from a casserole. EGGS: Pieces of hard-boiled egg yolk or whole egg; strips of omelette. MILK PRODUCTS: Fingers of cheese; grated cheese; yoghurt. Very soft cheeses and custard can be eaten by using other finger foods as dippers.

his bottles any more. I started feeding him around three teaspoons of puree and Farex/Weetbix after his morning bottle. Once he started eating a whole Weetbix with pureed fruit we stopped giving him a morning bottle. This was around eight months.” “A close friend of mine told me that as long as you start your child on vegetables as soon as they start solids, they would grow up enjoying them. It was because of this advice that Brandon was given very little fruit and once I was confident with his chewing action he was taken off purees and given mashed vegies instead. Now both my kids will take vegies over fruit any day of the week. They also both love to have raw vegies as snacks now. By the time Brandon was eight months old I had become very tired of cooking separate food for him and just started giving him what we were eating. If it was things like spaghetti bolognaise, I would use a stick blender on Brandon’s serve to make it the right consistency for him and just chop the pasta into smaller pieces.” “When my second child, Taylor, started solids it was a totally different experience. When Taylor was on bottles she would throw up more than she kept down at each feed and I was not looking forward to starting solids. One day she just grabbed some food off my plate and started to suck and gnaw at it. She was four months old. From that day on we started feeding her when we sat down for meals. She never really had purees; it was all mashed food. Taylor was eight months when we stopped bottles as she could now hold a sipper cup and was happy to drink her formula from that.” “One thing that has worked for both my children has been giving them their own spoon to play with while feeding. Yes, it does create more mess but in the long run it helps them learn and can keep them interested in the meal for longer.”


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Paediatric Orthodontics – Is this the future? For decades, parents have received much the same dental services and treatments, only in slightly differing packages. However, in recent times and for a variety of reasons, the dental profession has been forced to evolve in order to cater to modern patient demand. The good news for patients, particularly orthodontic patients and their parents, is that this evolution has resulted in more treatment options than ever before. For much of the last century, traditional orthodontic treatment has involved braces, tooth extractions or even jaw surgery. However, modern research shows traditional orthodontic treatment methods can only patch over the symptoms of malocclusion (crooked teeth) rather than address the causes. Furthermore, traditional treatments expose patients to tooth damage with relapse all but inevitable. Estimates suggest up to 85% of growing children have a malocclusion, and the majority of these are caused by poor oral or breathing habits (airway or neuromuscular dysfunction). Regardless of whether braces are used to mechanically straighten teeth, if this airway or neuromuscular dysfunction is not corrected it can cause lifelong health issues such as behavioural problems or obstructive sleep apnoea. Unfortunately, in the past most dentists ignored this evidence in the hope a referral to the orthodontist once the malocclusion became severe would solve the issue. However, this did not address the causes of malocclusion. Contemporary research shows that to achieve stable results with minimal risk of damage to the tooth, airway and muscle dysfunction issues must be

addressed prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. Despite resistance from traditionalists within the dental profession, there is an emerging field of dentistry based on this research that focuses on correcting airway compromise and neuromuscular dysfunction. This 21st century field, which could be described as paediatric orthodontics or preventive orthodontics, recognises that correcting upper airway compromise and neuromuscular dysfunction helps unlock a child’s genetic potential for natural growth and development. This means that a child who breathes through their nose, with the correct tongue resting position in the roof of their mouth as well as with correct swallowing patterns, will most likely develop correctly with little need for orthodontic treatment. Whereas a child who mouth breathes and cannot posture the tongue correctly in the roof of their mouth will have an abnormal swallow, will most likely have a malocclusion and will experience other related airway health issues. The good news for parents is there are in fact already highly developed paediatric orthodontic systems available for their children now. As well as offering the potential for early preventive pre-orthodontic treatment, these systems reduce the severity of malocclusion and can often prevent the need for traditional extraction and fixed braces treatment techniques. Myobrace is one of the treatment systems that addresses the causes of crooked teeth and can satisfy parents’ demand for modern pre-orthodontic preventive treatments for their children.

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• Immunisations • Growth & development screening • Direct referral to Kids 1st Paediatrician • Emergency/Paediatric Nurse Practitioners

1s t

children ’s acute health c are clinic

• Paediatric Focused GPs

Are you looking for a paediatric focused team who are dedicated to offering quality, compassionate health care for your family? Do you struggle to get an appointment with your GP when you need one? Kids 1st Health is Australia’s first private paediatric clinic run by Nurse Practitioners in collaboration with a Paediatrician. A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse educated to a Master’s level and authorised to operate in an advanced clinical role. The ability to provide direct referrals to Dr Liam Tjia, Kids 1st Health’s Paediatrician, means that Kids 1st Health can provide the very best treatment and health care for your children. The team at Kids 1st Health believe it’s important for families to have access to a health care service that has children as the focus, and can assist with day to day illness, acute injuries, immunisations and preventative health such as nutrition and lifestyle.

07 5689 1268 • www.kids1sthealth.com.au Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm



Riverwalk Place, Level 1/238 Robina Town Centre Drive (corner Laver Drive)

The management team of Shahn Horrocks (Nurse Practitioner – emergency and paediatric specialty) and Dr Liam Tjia (Paediatrician) each have 3 daughters, so understand the demands of being a parent. They both realise the difficulties many parents face when seeking quality and timely health care treatments for their children. Kids 1st Health aims to alleviate these pressures by making children’s health their priority. The clinic covers a multitude of paediatric areas and also have an allied health care team onsite who specialize in women’s and children’s presentations. Kids 1st Health is located at Riverwalk Place, Level 1/238 Robina Town Centre Drive (corner Laver Drive), opposite The Rocket. For appointments call 07 5689 1268 or email reception@kids1sthealth.com.au | www.kids1sthealth.com.au. ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS

The Cycle Of Life Specialising in Fertility & IVF Acupuncture

The Benefits of Acupuncture & IVF The Cycle of Life is a unique acupuncture fertility clinic located on the Gold Coast (Robina) which supports couples undergoing IVF. Since IVF acupuncture has gained more and more credibility for its use for fertility treatment and IVF, it is believed acupuncture can enhance the outcome of IVF in many ways. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can improve the success rate of IVF by increasing the number of follicles, improving ovarian function and increasing blood flow to the uterus. In addition, patients are less likely to experience side effects from Western drugs and feel less stressed, coping better with the emotional stages of IVF. IVF acupuncture can also strengthen the immune system, which can be related to implantation failure.

• Pre conception planning • Fertility for Men & Women • IVF • Pregnancy • Post Natal Support • Pediatrics

Book your next appointment www.thecycleoflife.com.au • (07) 5689 1777 63/2 Arbour Avenue, Robina www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

The organs located in the pelvis, specifically the ovaries and the uterine lining, depend on a good blood supply. By increasing the blood flow to the reproductive system it maximises the supply of oxygen and nutrients, making the ovaries and uterus function optimally and respond better to an IVF cycle. Acupuncture can boost your chances for a successful IVF Cycle by: • Producing a larger number of follicles. • Increasing blood flow to the uterus and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining. • Improving ovarian function to produce better quality egg. • Decreasing chances of miscarriage. • Preventing the uterus from contracting. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast



3 Wins in 3 Weeks for Australia’s Favourite Family Resort At the recent Queensland Hotels Association industry night of nights, Australia’s favourite family holiday destination, Zagame’s Paradise Resort, took home its third win in three weeks. The annual Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence presentation and gala dinner was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 1 October with the award for “Best Mid-Range Accommodation 2014” being presented to Zagame’s Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast. The glittering award ceremony was attended by over 1,000 industry representatives. In accepting the award, General Manager David Brook was thrilled that the QHA had recognised the efforts of the staff and dedication by its owners. “It was an honour to have won this award,” he said. “It’s nice to have all the hard work, capital investment and planning validated with this special recognition. We’ve taken our customer feedback on board and looked at areas of improvement and believe the overall product speaks for itself,” said Mr Brook. The QHA award was the third win in as many weeks for the resort, with Paradise Resort also announced winner of Holiday with Kids magazine 2014 “Best Family Resort in Australia – 4 stars and under” and winner of the “Family Holiday Destination of the Year” in the prestigious Australian Mother & Baby Awards. Announced in the Spring issue just three weeks ago, the readers of Holidays with Kids magazine voted Paradise Resort “Best Family Resort in Australia – 4 stars and under”, making this the fourth year in a row (and six years out of seven) that Paradise Resort has been positioned at number one.


Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014

And earlier this week, in the first year of being nominated, Paradise Resort won the Gold Award for “Family Holiday Destination of the Year” at the 2014 Mother & Baby Awards. The Mother & Baby Awards celebrate the best baby buys in the market from cots to nappies, prams to wipes and the best places to travel with a baby. The resort was nominated alongside a host of worthy recipients with Silver awarded to SeaWorld Resort & Water Park and Accor Hotels taking the Bronze, so to take away Gold is a huge honour. Resort General Manager David Brook is delighted at having “three nominations and three wins; there’s a lot to be proud of. Our team are very focused and work tirelessly in ensuring each family enjoys their stay. From the complimentary daily session in the Zone 4 Kids Club that caters for 0 to 12 year olds, to the exclusive daily activities, entertainment and outdoor water park, we strive to exceed the expectations of families visiting the Gold Coast.” The resort operates on a ‘kids first’ policy with a rich program of activities and leisure activity to occupy children, allowing for much needed adult R&R time. “We recognise that a family holiday is much more than just a hotel room; it’s about the experiences and memories encountered as a family the minute you step out of your hotel room. That is what makes for a true family holiday experience.” The resort has one final awards nomination for the year set to be announced on 28 November, having been nominated for the “Unique Accommodation” category in the 2014 Queensland Tourism Awards. Will it be four from four?


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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast



Meet ‘King of the Kids’ Tim Jackman, an actor and musician who stacks shelves by night and entertains the preschool masses by day … almost like a superhero in reverse! Interview by Natasha Higgins

After a night of stacking shelves at his local supermarket, Tim can be found realising his true passion for entertaining children. Tim has been entertaining children and adults alike for over a decade with his two alter egos – one a mad scientist with a paint-splattered lab coat and wild hairdo, and the other a red fairy with wings and a flower crown – and revels in the “mostly-joyful process of sharing music with wonderful little souls”. With his guitar, kazoo and rock ‘n’ roll rhymes, Tim brings music and rhythm to every audience. You’ll find him each week at ‘The Corner’ at the State Library of Queensland enthralling a large group of under-8s with his show ‘Hickory Dickory Rock!’, an all singing, all dancing, wild Woodstock-like ride of nursery rhymes. Tim has also performed for the children of the Woodford Folk Festival for more than ten years and is a regular at the Sydney Children’s Festival. He can also be found performing at children’s birthday parties and other events where little people gather.

into it – singing and dancing without a second thought. I don’t think I did that as a kid, and I don’t think many adults do it in our daily lives!

HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR HOME LIFE AND WORK LIFE? Well, the big money I pull in keeps my wife happy … but seriously(!), the ability to work some nights and some days actually makes for a flexible timetable, plus my dear old mum has babysat one day a week from the start; it’s allowed me to have Darcy at home with me two days a week until he went to kindy this year, which we’ll hopefully repeat with the little chap.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST LIFE-DEFINING MOMENT? I was in Sri Lanka about a year after the tsunami. As part of our travels we’d planned to visit an orphanage, where we played cricket (my religion!) and some music with the kids. To see these beautiful children radiate so much joy despite all they’d been through put my ‘First World Problems’ into perspective … forever.

Tim and his wife Deborah have two rambunctious boys: Darcy, 3½ years, and Felix, 5 months. You can just imagine the fun and laughter in their home each day!

WHAT GENERAL ADVICE HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU? “Slow down, you move too fast; You got to make the morning last

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WORKING IN CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT? In the late '90s I was performing at the old Cement

…” (I reckon there could be a song in that …)

Box theatre at Queensland Uni with a lovely group of regulars, and we were asked to stage a play for kids at the Woodford Folk Festival. We slogged through the 44-degree heat in full costume(!), then coincidentally, the Children’s Festival asked us back the next year as general roustabouts, and thus the Fairies of Woodford were born! We’d have two fairies on every shift walking around the Children’s Festival, making sure lost children/shoes/gumboot/ parents were returned to their rightful owners. It was a lovely gig, and I did it for 13 years, but then my own family began. Meanwhile, in early 2008, the State Library was outsourcing staff for ‘The Corner’, their dedicated space for under-8s, and a friend found me some work there, just interacting with the kids – building blocks and reading stories, that sort of thing. When the State Library decided to staff it themselves, I was rehired under the proviso that myself and six other ‘artsworkers’ all had a particular skill to share, so that there would be something happening in the space seven days a week. I’d been playing guitar for a couple of years at that point, so I said I’d sing nursery rhymes to the kids … and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK? Just watching kids sing, dance and perform. I especially love the moment when I’m singing an old classic and see a toddler gaze up at their grandparent with a look of “How do you know this song, Nan?” There’s something fantastic in bridging three generations instantly … but that’s the meaning of folk music. ‘Folk’ is ‘volk’ – ‘people’ music.

WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT CHILDREN’S REACTION TO YOU? Sometimes a child walks in and just gets straight

WHAT PARENTING ADVICE HAS HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU? “Let that boy boogie-woogie; It’s in him, and it got to come out.” (John Lee Hooker, I think)

HOW HAS HAVING CHILDREN CHANGED YOUR LIFE? I’m immeasurably stronger. I have banished my dependence on sanity, sleep and privacy.

WHAT LIFE MESSAGE DO YOU MOST WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEARN? Simple – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Also, Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata should be learned by rote; it’s like sunlight distilled into words … it makes for a calm, happy heart.

WHAT’S THE MOTTO YOU LIVE BY REGARDING YOUR FAMILY AND BEING A PARENT? A minute without laughter is a minute wasted. “It wasn’t me; it was the dog!” is also handy.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ‘WORDS OF WISDOM’ TO SHARE? Read to your kids from as young as possible; Google Mem Fox’s Reading Commandments for tips, but just READ - everything flows from that. Children have a fundamental learning advantage if they are literate, because if you have the words, you can ask the questions. Last, but not least – MUSIC! Step 1: Buy a $25 dollar ukulele plus tuner (ask the salesperson to put a strap on the uke). Step 2: Buy the beginner-book by Aussie ukulele guru Mike Jackson and put the stickers on the uke as instructed. Step 3: Strum the THREE CHORDS YOU HAVE JUST INSTANTLY LEARNED! Step 4: Play the various songs in your book to your child. Step 5: Hand the uke to your child and watch them love it: “Mum/Dad play it, therefore it’s normal, therefore I’ll play it, too!” Step 6: Sit back and think, “Wow … if I’d been given a uke at the age of 2, I’d be the best guitarist in the world right now!” Step 7: Smile.

To find out more about Tim and hear some of his music, visit www.kingofthekids.com.au. 36

Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014



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www.epicskate.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014 – Kids on the Coast







A Lostmy.Name personalised book, Not in Shops, RRP $33.95 A beautiful gift for children aged 2 – 6 years, these magical personalised books tell the story of a child who has lost his or her name and who bravely sets off on a marvellous adventure to track down all the missing letters. Along the way the child meets lots of weird, wonderful and wise characters who all help in the search. Each one has its own funny, surprising and touching story, and each gives the child a letter. A little girl called Emily would meet a forgetful Elephant, a rather vain Mermaid, a cold-averse Inuit, a misunderstood Lion and genial Yeti to discover her lost name, while a little boy named David would meet a not-so-ferocious Dragon, a kind-hearted Aardvark, a rather unorthodox Viking, a cold-averse Inuit, and a disgruntled Hole that throws out letter Ds (among other things) to uncover his name. Each name creates a different journey, designing a unique story that will be special to every child.

SNAP MAGIC Angela Sunde, Red Pedal Press, RRP $12.95 Something weird is going on...very weird. Long black hairs keep sprouting from Lily’s chin and her dad is looking more and more like a Yeti. Just what’s behind this fuzz fest? And is Lily really turning into a witch like her neighbour, Mrs Swan? Now the prettiest and meanest girl in class is threatening to tell the whole school, including the cute new boy. Can Lily put her desperate plan into action before the school bully strikes? And will the magical solution Mrs Swan offers work? Written by Gold Coast based author Angela Sunde, this is a bewitchingly funny coming-of-age story about secrets, bullies and pumpkin soup. Ideal for 9 – 12 year olds.

(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle) $2.99 – $3.21 The Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan app, based on the award-winning book of the same name, offers a positive twist on traditional bedtime stories with its rewarding interactive experience. With three storytelling modes – Read To Me, Auto Play and Read By Myself – each of the 32 imaginative interactive pages feature objects and characters that make sounds, movement or speak upon touch, bringing to life the character of Sarah, a modern girl who is outgoing, bold and expressive. Two inapp games and a special ‘dreams’ drawing activity challenge, educate and entertain young readers.

MOVIES ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY In cinemas December 4. Rating: TBC Follow 11-year-old Alexander as he experiences the worst day of his young life in this Disney adaptation of the award-winning children’s book. Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. He finds little sympathy from his family and being to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mum, dad, brother and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

PADDINGTON In cinemas December 11. Rating: TBC Adapted from Michael Bond’s universally beloved books, Paddington follows the journey of an optimistic and polite young bear from Peru who travels to London in search of a home and a family. When the Brown family invites him to stay with them, little do they realise how much comic mayhem one young bear will bring to their everyday life.

To see more reviews visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au 38

Kids on the Coast – NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2014




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Profile for Shore Media

Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 53  

Kids on the Coast Magazine, Gold Coast, Issue 53. November/December 2014. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au #parenting #goldcoast #kids #family #ko...

Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 53  

Kids on the Coast Magazine, Gold Coast, Issue 53. November/December 2014. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au #parenting #goldcoast #kids #family #ko...

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