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Learning Activities for your preschooler

Creating great relationships

interesting date ideas

Your Free local Parenting magazine

February 2013

Contents Regulars


5 Letter from the Editor 10 Ask a professional - questions from readers 11 Monthly Recipe - Apple & Raspberry Icy Pops 14 Your Story - A courageous step 16 Make a change 26 Kid’s fun 27 Business Directory 28 Community Noticeboard

7 Flirting with your mate 8 My 2014 Money Challenge 12 Learning activities for your preschooler 17 Things that you go “mmm” 18 Music to calm a household 25 Flirting for singles

Special Features 21 How well do you know your partner? A quiz. 22 The ABC’s of dating 24 For a laugh - kid’s answers to geography questions

Cover photo is by Shazam Photography - see ad page 27

Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, I cannot believe the holiday season has come and gone. The beginning of the year is a time for making goals, setting new year resolutions and planning for what’s to come. I myself have a money challenge set before me for this year. You can follow my challenge and get some great saving tips in my article on page 8. Each month I will post more on my goals and how I am going. This issue with Valentines Day around the corner, we decided to do a special focused on partners and relationships. Having children is a huge blessing but it can have a toll on our relationships. Making your partner a priority is actually a good thing for your children as it creates a stable and happy environment and allows for them to grow seeing a well maintained relationship. For those of you who aren’t in relationships we added a fun article on flirting. There is nothing wrong with being single when you have children to care for but at times you may get lonely. For all those singles out there, I admire your strength and perseverance - it is you who have to do the job of two! One last thing, I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who came and supported us at our twilight market. It was a huge success and we were able to donate directly to the Cancer Council to make a difference to those with breast cancer. Until next month...

Julie-Anne England


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Flirting with your mate Keep the relationship fresh by using some of the following tips... No matter how in love you were at the beginning it is often hard to keep the spark in your relationship. The newness of a relationship passes by quickly and it is important to put effort into your relationship to keep it exciting and fresh. Try to approach your relationship as if you are still dating. Often the reason a relationship becomes stale is not because the couple falls out of love but because they stop trying. The following tips may just give your relationship the boost it needs…. 1. Flirt via text. This is great way to stay in the mind of your partner while you are sitting on the train on the way to work, during your lunch hour or just when it isn’t convenient to talk. You may like to try sending fun flirty texts that suggest how much you love them or you may like to try some fun games such as 20 questions, truth or dare, or would you rather? 2. Enjoy your partner in public. Touch their arm when talking to them, smile at them across a crowded room, kiss them when they least expect it. You will find that your partner will appreciate the gestures and respond in kind. 3. Allocate uninterrupted time with them regularly. This is especially important if you have children. Plan dates, curl up for a movie together, go for a long walk or go out to dinner. 4. Learn something about your partner that you didn’t know. This may be difficult if you have been together for a long time but you may be surprised at the outcome. Maybe print a list of questions to ask each other from the internet, talk about a specific age when you were chil-

dren or ask them about their life goals since meeting you. Try our quiz on page 21. 5. Leave short flirty notes around for your partner to see. Writing on the steamy mirror, leaving a post-it on the steering wheel of the car or a little letter in his morning paper will bring a smile to his face and let him know you care. 6. Give your partner a gift “just because”. An unexpected gift can do a lot for a relationship. Knowing that he or she stills cares can give quite a thrill. You may choose to buy something you know they have been wanting or you may cook them their favourite dish or make them a delicious dessert. 7. Show up unexpected at their job and take them to lunch. Dress up a little to make them feel special. Not only will it boost your relationship but it will make them look good in front of their coworkers. 8. Plan a special mini-vacation together. Leave the kids with the grandparents overnight, pack an overnight bag and rekindle your romance honeymoon style! Use this time to leave behind your laptops, smart phones and other forms of technology and just enjoy each other. 9. Do some role-playing when you are out with each other in public. Pretend you are strangers who just met and role play the whole scenario. It will not only spark interest with each other but it will make it interesting for any onlookers. 10. Say I love you every day and mean it! You are with your partner for a reason, don’t ever let them (or yourself) forget it! 7

01 My 2


Money Challenge

The new year always starts with good intentions; weight loss goals, getting fit, quitting smoking or drinking, being nicer to your neighbours or de-cluttering your home. I know that so many of us plan on achieving our goals but there are very few of us who actually follow through with our good intentions. I’m usually one of those people. I love the new year. It is like a clean slate, a fresh start. I love getting to the end of the year and looking at what I actually have achieved. Admittedly though, I am one of those people who gets excited about a fresh new year ahead of me, sets a bunch of goals and then starts out really well. Unfortunately it is very difficult to stay motivated and on track all year long. This year I once again sat down to plan my goals. I realised that what I really wanted was to do better with my money, create some new habits and get some good savings behind me. Also I wanted to be able to follow through and achieve my goal. So firstly I wrote down my goal To save $10,000 by December 2014 by careful budgeting, creating good financial habits

and spending less money. A lot of the time we don’t achieve our goals because we either don’t have the motivation or because we don’t have any accountability. I decided to deal with both. Firstly my motivation is that I want money set aside for my own home. My husband and I spent much of our hard earned money in our early married years travelling. Then we had kids and didn’t save much while we lived off one income. Now I want to focus on building our savings and creating some wealth. Secondly my accountability is now you, my readers. Each month I will give an account of what I have done with my money, what I have saved, how I have saved it and how I have gone that month. I will even let you know if (and probably when) I screw up. Knowing that I have people watching me will encourage me to stick to my goal. And maybe it will even motivate others to join me in starting some savings and managing their money better. You can also read about this goal on the Small Steps Parenting Magazine website on the blog, and I encourage you to ask questions, yell at me for screwing up or join in with my goal and follow along on Facebook. Now let’s begin: This month I am going to focus purely on our grocery bill. According to an Australian government survey, a family of four spends an average of $250 per week on groceries. I am going to aim to get that 8

down to $150 per week. This would be for feeding my family of five. Below you can see my spending habits for the last two months relating to groceries. As you can see I do fluctuate a bit. This often depends on whether I add toiletries to my shopping that week, where I shop, whether I shop with a list or just buy things when I get there. Also my two biggest spending weeks coincided with Christmas and Thanksgiving (my husband is American so we celebrate Thanksgiving every year). To be completely honest I was actually horrified with how much I was spending on food for my family. This quick budget check made me realise I really could put an effort in to reduce this weekly bill and effectively put some extra money into our savings account.



4. 5.


Grocery bill per week November week 3 November week 4 December week 1 December week 2 December week 3 December week 4 January week 1 January week 2

like chicken, salmon and steak can be less frequent or served in slightly smaller portions. Do the majority of my grocery shop at saver supermarkets like Aldi. Only use Coles or Woolworths for items I can’t buy at Aldi. Write a shopping list that corresponds to my menu plan. Don’t buy things that aren’t on the list. Buy supermarket brands for items where quality isn’t compromised. Buy my meats from the local butcher and buy in bulk where I can. Don’t buy prepackaged meats as they are more expensive. Try to make more meals from scratch rather than buying convenience foods which cost a lot more.

I will inform you of my progress on Facebook and I challenge you to budget along with me…

$272.47 $439.03 $170.65 $274.69 $231.30 $362.59 $163.89 $203.79

Julie-Anne England

This month I am going to do the following thing to reduce my grocery bill. You will be able to see where I am by following me on Facebook or my weekly blog posts. 1. Sit down and write out a weekly menu plan. Try to fill the bulk of meals with cheaper items such as rice, pasta, potatoes and veges. More expensive items 9

Ask a Professional... QUESTION: Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy? The short answer to this question which often concerns pregnant women is yes, providing your pregnancy is progressing normally. You may have a heightened desire for sex when pregnant, or alternately your sex drive might be lowered due to hormonal change, tiredness and nausea. Later in your pregnancy the increased size of your uterus, backache or other discomforts like fluid retention may make having sex uncomfortable and it is important to find a position which suits you and your partner. Women are often worried that having sex while pregnant may cause a miscarriage, or may damage the growing baby. Miscarriage is often related to chromosomal abnormalities, and the baby is well protected by the strong muscles of the uterus and by the bag of amniotic fluid in which it lies. Having a baby can put a strain on a couple’s relationship and it is important to communicate clearly any concerns or problems that you may have with each other. Finally if you are worried about any aspect of your pregnancy, talk to your doctor, midwife or health professional and be guided by the advice received. Every woman is an individual and as such needs specific information tailored to her particular situation. This answer has been supplied by Ruth Bosanquet who is our qualified midwife. Learn more about Ruth on our "About Us" page on our website.

Monthly Recipe

Apple & Raspberry Icy Pops

Ingredients:  1 1/2 cups apple juice  1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries  1 apple

METHOD: 1. Set up iceblock moulds. 2. Peel apple and cut into small slices. Simmer on the stove in hot water until tender. 3. Place cooked apple in food processor. Blend with raspberries until smooth. Add apple juice and blend again. 4. Pour mixture into iceblock moulds and place in freezer until frozen. 5. Enjoy!! 11

Learning activities for your preschooler Having a preschooler at home is sometimes like having a small tornado! They are so full of life and energy you sometimes wonder how you can keep up. Usually children are more difficult to control when they are bored, and a bored child is more prone to misbehave. Having a list of things to do can help keep your child busy, out of trouble and encourage their learning too. Below is a list of things you can do with your child to encourage learning and minimize mayhem. We have broken them down into developmental areas so you can offer variety and provide learning in all areas. Gross motor activities Gross motor activities promote the development of large muscles. Activities such as running, jumping and climbing are excellent examples of gross motor. Allowing for plenty of time each day for your child to run around and play will help them to burn energy and sleep better at night. Activities such as hopscotch, skipping with a rope, chasing games and hide and seek are loved by kids and it passes the time. Another idea is to build your own obstacle course and have the kids climb under tables, around chairs, over pillows and through boxes. Use a stop watch to time them for even more fun.

Fine motor activities Fine motor or small muscle development comes from activities such as drawing. Proving lots of blank paper and a variety of drawing tools (crayons, texta’s, pencils, chalk) not allows a child to build their fine motor skills but also encourages their creativity. Other activities include posting small items into containers, painting, all sorts of craft and using a chalk board. On our blog you can find a fun pom pom game for free download which uses fine motor skills and colour learning. You will also find some great printables for pre-writing skills. Language Children’s language skills build at a rapid rate and it isn’t long before they are stringing together endless sentences and asking a thousand questions. So you may wonder why you would want to give them more language skills when you would really prefer that they learned how to be quiet. Actually building a child’s language skills can give you a much needed reprieve from their constant chatting. Try reading stories, teaching them rhymes, singing songs (okay maybe not so quiet) and providing them with quality language learning toys. A quiet book is a great way to wind down after a busy day. Cognitive skills A preschooler is starting to learn many problem solving skills as they grow and learn more about the world they live in. Providing activities that enable them to use their brains will help prepare them for school. Puzzles are a perfect example of a cognitive activity. Making your own puzzle with your child not only uses their creativity and fine motor skills but allows for their


cognitive ability to grow. Games that encourage memory building are great too. Check out our blog for your free memory card printables. Start with just a small number of cards and then gradually increase them. You will probably be surprised at how quickly your child learns how to identify where each matching card is. Creativity We already touched on creativity in fine motor activities but creativity goes so much further beyond that. Unbeknownst to some people creativity is not something that you are born with. Every person is born as a creative begin however that creativity is either nurtured from a young age or it is stifled. A child that has been allowed to use their imagination and that has been encouraged to follow their curiosity will grow into a creative adult. Adults who say they aren’t creative usually aren’t so because it wasn’t something that was regarding highly by their parents. You can encourage your child’s creativity by playing make-believe

with them, providing lots of materials, cardboards and craft supplies to allow them to create and encouraging their curiosity. Try to see the world through your child’s eyes and get a fresh view of what they are seeing. Social skills Social skills are a vital part of being a human being. No child will fair well at school if they don’t learn how to interact with others. Spend time playing with your child, teaching them social rules and allowing them access to other kids through playgroups, play grounds or with the neighbours. Plan your activities in advance and make sure you have the resources you need to do them when your child needs them. Try to touch on each developmental area several times a week. Lastly, use this time to interact with and enjoy your child. They grow so quickly and the best thing a parent can give their child is time.


Your Story A courageous step keeps a family together I was only about eight or nine when my father died. I can barely remember him, what he was like, what he used to talk about, how his voice sounded. It seems to me like it was an eternity ago. The doctors told us that he died of a bad disease. We don’t have any more information that that. Apparently that was just the standard thing to say to people who are illiterate. I think they assume we aren’t as smart as people who can read so they stick to the same story. My home is underneath the highest mountain in Africa, the majestic Kilimanjaro. I live in Tanzania, a beautiful yet impoverished country. People here struggle to make a living. I always remember my life being quite hard. After my father died my mother worked hard to care for me and my 6 brothers. Sadly, when I was only 16, she passed away too. All of sudden, I felt alone in the world. At first my aunt cared for us and tried to help but it wasn’t long before she pushed each of us out onto the streets, out of our very own home. I knew then that I must take matters into my own hands and care for my brothers. My youngest brother was only 7 at the time. I loved my family and I wanted to keep them together. To make some money I began working as a messenger with one of my brothers. We would carry heavy loads to and from the shops. It was hard work and the days were hot, but it gave me a small sense of pride that I was doing something to support my family.

The weeks and months passed slowly but one day I found something that changed my whole life. I found a group of artists called the Tingatinga painters. Tingatinga is a painting style that developed in the second half of the 20th century in the Oyster Bay area in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and later spread to most of East Africa. Tingatinga paintings are traditionally made, using several layers of bicycle paint, which makes for brilliantly vivid colours. The style was named for its creator Edward Said Tingatinga in 1968. These artists painted incredible artworks, illustrating stories of our beautiful coun-


try, the lives in it and the abundance of animals. I was very interested in what these artists did and soon I got a job as a framer. As a framer I constructed frames out of wood to hold the canvas firm so it could be painted on. I will never forget the day I created my very own painting. I can’t believe how easily it came to me, like it was something I had done before. I held the paintbrush in my hand and watched as my brush flew over the canvas almost as if on it’s own. It filled me with excitement as I created piece after piece. I was delighted to find out that people loved my work. Painting became almost an escape from reality. I enjoyed it so much and very soon I had found my own place in the shade, alongside the other Tingatinga painters. This was a big deal for me as only the painters get to sit in the shade.

My inspiration comes from the animals I used to see roaming around my village. Now with my next oldest brother, we paint to support our other brothers and pay for their school fees. One day I dream of going back to school again myself as I only ever finished four years in elementary school but it is not my priority. I will only return to school after I have supported my brothers and they have all graduated from university. Being a part of such a wonderful group of artists will help make this dream possible! Shukuru is a young man from Tanzania in Africa’s East. If you would like more information on Shukuru, his artworks or other Tingatinga painters please contact us through our website


Make a

We have been inspired by one of our readers for this month’s Make a Change. It is exciting to see that people all over are doing something in their community to make a change. Here is her story: My name is Yael Maree, For my birthdays I try to do something for a good cause. My goal this year is to have a one year challenge and collect ponytails.

I have decided to donate my hair and attempt to raise 350 ponytails to be donated to women, men and children suffering from cancer and other diseases. If you have been affected or have been close to someone who has, you understand the toll this disease takes on people. Receiving the hair can for a brief moment allow someone to feel slightly better about themselves. Hair unlike money is a tangible thing that can be held and used for a great outcome to someone who is suffering and needs a moral boost. Since starting the page on Facebook I have had 10 donations and as intended I cut my own hair on my 34th birthday which was on November 23rd and I hope to raise awareness of this cause and to be able to reach my goal of 350 ponytails. So, even if you don't have any hair to donate, please share my page so that I can find those special 350 others who can and will donate for a great cause. This is a year long challenge so the page will remain active until November 2014. Do you have something you are doing to make a change in your community? We would love to hear about it. Maybe you would even like to share it with our readers. Email us at


Things that make you go “mmm” Wonder what things go on in other people’s relationships? We interviewed a bunch of couples about what they love in their relationships and this is what they told us:

“My hubby writes random love notes for me. The latest one, I awoke to a beautiful message painted in red on my builtin wardrobe mirror. It reads when I look at you, I m reminded of how much God loves me” - Samantha

“I feel special when he shows up with a bunch of flowers for no reason at all!” - Julie

“I love how Adrian always knows how to make me laugh, no matter what kind of day I am having” Lorraine

“Rob kisses me on the forehead every morning before he goes to work - I find that very sweet!” - Lisa

“I love when she kisses me at red lights and when she smiles at me” - Clint “I love when he rubs my back after a long day” - Alison

“I like it when she massages my shoulders while we watch TV” - Phil

“I love it when he holds my hand in public” - Irene “She makes meals for me that she knows I especially like. She also lets me sleep in after I’ve had a long day at work.” - Jon


Music to calm a household “Get off of me!” “Ow, stop it. I didn’t do that! Mum!” The sounds off a struggle one room over competed with the rumble of the dryer next to me. How could it have been that just minutes ago it had been dead silent in the play room? I knew that momentarily, my two young boys would race into the laundry room simultaneously pleading their case against the other, each begging that I take his side, in this way proving his brother wrong. This wasn’t the first time that these fights had happened. These bouts happened daily and didn’t stop, even after handing out punishments. I can only imagine how this conflict could affect our family if they continue over an extended period of time. The problem of inner conflict within my family could become destructive and needs to end.

The problem of sibling disputes is a common difficulty for the average parent. Parents know that fights happen every day but have no idea of how to stop them from happening. Music lessons are a beginning to finding the answer to the problem of quarreling children. The problem of household conflict can be destructive to family harmony. To begin to attempt to find an answer to the problem of quarreling children, it is mandatory find the root of the problem. So, why do children fight? I believe that children fight because they are seeking attention and they have conflicting personalities. When a new baby is born or the older sibling excels at an activity, other siblings start to feel jealous and crave their parents’ attention. To fill this void, they tend


to seek attention by means other than that which they usually receive their attention from. For some ambitious young kids, this could mean trying new things. For most, however, this attention comes from being uncooperative with either their siblings or yourself, which leads to quarreling and exasperation in the home. The child will succeed in capturing your attention, even though it is negative attention. The natural tendency of children is to crave the love and support that comes with having parents. When that is taken away by other interests, anger and frustration start to build up, resulting in conflict with anyone who crosses them, most often siblings. Children with conflicting interests are often doing different things which frequently lead to arguments regarding their interests. These siblings are constantly interacting, but since their activities and interests are different, they will clash when it comes to picking an activity or just being around each other. The fights will become more prevalent the more often these kids spend time with each other. Playing a musical instrument indirectly begins to alleviate fighting among siblings by fulfilling the needs of the child. The children gain the attention that they desire through music lessons. Through weekly music lessons, the child’s attention drive is filled with lively one-on-one lessons and exciting orchestra sessions. One-on-one lessons usually take place over half an hour and relieve the child of a need for attention. Although the child may not enjoy the optional orchestra sessions initially, they will make new friends and will be given practice with responsibility. Siblings become closer when entering an orchestra together, as they are each other’s only familiar contact and will

look to hang out with each other over the first few practices. As a parent, you will also provide them with attention as an accountability partner. You must drive them to practices, make sure they practice at home, and attend performances and recitals. The child gains the attention that they need through music lessons. Siblings acquire similar interests through music lessons. Your children will become compatible through their similar musical interests. Instead of time spent fighting, they will have joint practice time, music lessons at the same location, and time spent together at orchestra practices. Their common interests will unite them rather than put them at odds through differing interests. Playing a musical instrument teaches a child an important virtue when it comes to interacting with other children. Patience is learned through the daily practice of their instrument, and will spill over into their social life. The new-found patience will give the child a new understanding of their siblings and will ultimately lead to less arguing in the household. Through the practice of a musical instrument, children gain the attention that they desire, siblings’ interests become the same, and the child learns patience. Musical instruments not only teach children important lessons but also help to control arguing in your home. This goes to show that as melody in your home resounds, the harmony within your family increases. Written by Aaron Tigchelaar, a writer and music enthusiast in Ontario, Canada


ENTER NOW... Small Steps Parenting Magazine is looking for a brand new cover star for their magazine! The winner will receive a photo shoot with ‌, all images on a hard drive to keep, PLUS a framed keepsake copy of the magazine with them as the star! To enter, simply email a photo of your child to Entries must be received by 15th April 2014. The four finalists will be announced in our May issue and the winner will be selected by our readers. For our full terms and conditions please see our Facebook page.

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How well do you know your partner? This is a fun little quiz to see how well you be: know your partner. Simply answer the fol- U) My partner’s favourite material posseslowing questions then have your partner sion would be: check your answers. You are scored the V) My partner’s favourite type of music is: following way: Wrong answer - 0, close W) Something that makes my partner answer - 1, correct answer - 2. laugh: X) Something that makes my partner sad: A) When my partner is upset he/she disY) My partner’s favourite season is: plays this by: (crying, becoming quiet, Z) My partner’s favourite restaurant is: yelling etc.) B) My partner’s two best friends are: Your score: C) The names of my partner’s immediate 0-25 points. You really need to spend some family members are: extra time learning about your partner’s D) My partner’s favourite food is: needs, likes and dislikes. Perhaps you just E) My partner loves to do the following in need some extra quality time together or their spare time: you are a new couple. F) If my partner could travel anywhere 25-45 points. You and your partner are they would enjoy going to: doing well in your knowledge of each other G) My partner’s idea of a perfect date but there is still room for work. Try to plan would be: some dates now and then and spend time H) My partner’s life dream is to: talking. I) Three people my partner prefers to not 45-52 points. Well done! You are certainly be in the company of include: well aware of your partner’s likes and disJ) If my partner could have any animal as likes. You sound like a couple who have a pet, it would be: plenty of time for each other. K) If my partner had a super power it would be: L) My partner is most proud of: M) If my partner could speak another language it would be: N) Two of my partner’s favourite memories are: O) My partner had the following pets growing up: P) My partner’s favourite movie is: Q) My partner’s least favourite movie is: R) Something my partner is afraid of: S) Two things my partner does not enjoy doing: T) My partner’s dream job would 21

The ABC’s of dating Getting bored with the typical dinner and movie dates? Check out our ABC dating guide for some fun and interesting ideas to make life a little more fun!


Go apple picking: Not only is this a fun activity to do with your partner but you get some exercise while you do it AND you get to eat the product of your labour! Bungee jumping: okay maybe it doesn’t have to be that extreme but maybe an extreme date could spice things up a little! Or maybe just go bike riding. Cooking class: learn a new skill and bond over the experience. Then you can take turns making special meals for each other. Driving day trip: what could be more romantic than driving to a new location and exploring together?? Exercise together: what creative exercise ideas can you come up with? A walk along the beach, a dance class or how about doing laps at the pool? Fishing date: maybe hire a boat or find a nice quiet location with a pier. Fishing provides you with lots of time to talk. Games night: Pull out your favourite board games and let your competitive side have some fun. Try battleships, monopoly, scrabble or cards. Horse riding: a leisurely ride through the country can be a great date and allow for some fresh air and a chance to unwind. Ice-skating: Show off a little with your amazing skating skills (or learn how to stand without falling over). Either way, a great way to have some fun.







Jigsaw puzzles: Pull out an old favourite puzzle from when you were a kid (preferably more than 500 pieces) or go shopping together and choose a new one. Set it up, put on some music and have a glass of wine. Karaoke: blast out some tunes and challenge your partner to some singing fun. Get your laugh on: Hire a comedy, search the internet for jokes or go to a comedy club. Visit a museum: There are lots of interesting museums so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one that interests the both of you. Night walk: find a peaceful area and go on a quiet night walk together. See if you can spot some wildlife or do some star watching. Open air cinemas: Grab a blanket, some munchies and curl up together for a movie under the stars.




Picnic: Who doesn’t love a picnic? Pack your favourite foods, find a secluded spot and enjoy the scenery. QANTAS flight: Okay it doesn’t have to be with QANTAS but maybe take a mystery flight for a fun twist on a regular date. Rent a row boat: find a nice lake or beach and go rowing together. You might get to see some interesting sea life, or finish the date with a swim. Scrapbooking: okay I’m not suggesting sitting down and sticking photos in a book, but why not get creative and have a fun date out and take lots of pics for a scrapbook to keep? Ten pin bowling: sure its an oldie but this one is a favourite. Who doesn’t love to wear goofy shoes and try to get a strike? Underwater: Why not spend a day snorkeling, scuba diving or even visit the underwater aquarium.





Video date: grab your videocamera (or even smart phone) and make some fun films together that you can enjoy for years to come. Maybe even film yourselves talking to your future kids to show them what you were like before them. Water date: spend the day at the beach, the local riverside or even a water park. Let loose for the day and enjoy being the big kids you really are! Water fights are also a good idea! Xbox marathon (or any other gaming system). Grab some munchies and get competitive as you spend time playing each other. Yard sales: looking for something for your home? Spend a day sorting through some trash and treasure at local yard sales. You might find just what you are looking for! Visit the Zoo: Who doesn’t like looking at the animals at the zoo? Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the whole day out!



Riding School

King Equestrian Academy is a unique riding school run by Specialist coaches. Students are shown the value of good horsemanship and given correct schooling from the beginning of their horse careers. King Equestrian Academy is the only riding School of its kind. We provide retired champion show horses as mounts for our pupils and trainers that are competing at top level to mentor the students . Come and have fun at King Equestrian Academy! 79 Sargents Road, Ebenezer NSW 2756 Phone: 0425 807 792

For For A A Laugh Laugh Geography according to children                          

Climate is caused by the emotion of the earth around the sun. The people of Japan ride around in jig-saws. The plains of Siberia are roamed over by the lynx and the larynx. Lindberg is the capital of Germany. The chief animals of Australia are the kangaroo, larkspur, boomerang, and peccadillo. The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called Mummies. Where is Alaska? Alaska is not in Canada. What people live in the Po Valley? Po people. In Athens there is a temple called the Pancreas. Georgia was founded by people who had been executed. Where is the greater part of Europe? In New York. Floods from the Mississippi may be prevented by putting big dames in the river. The benefit of latitude and longitude is that when a man is drowning he can call out what latitude and longitude he is and we can find him. The chief products of the Hawaiian Islands is rainfall. Philistines were inhabitants of the Philippine Islands. The original tribes of Central America were the Axtecs, the Celts, and the Morons. New Zealand is a democratic country. they passed a law there preventing women from sweating in the factories. Malays are brown generally and inhabit Malaria. The climate is hottest next to the Creator. In the west, farming is done mostly by irritating the land. Oceania is a continent that contains no land. There is a great deal of nothing in the center of Australia. Asked to name six animals peculiar to Arctic regions, a boy replied, "Three bears and three seals." Latitude tells how hot you are and longitude tells how cold you are. Sienna is famous for being burnt. The climate of Bombay is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere. 24

Flirting for Singles Been out of the dating scene for a while? Or maybe you just never knew where to start… try some of our fun flirty tips to get that first glance. Wear perfume on your neck. If you have a chance to hug a guy you have met, linger just a little so he can tell how great you smell. If you shake his hand, wrap your other hand around his and hold it there just a little bit longer than you usually would. At a restaurant, walk over to his table and ask if you can borrow his salt/ pepper/tomato sauce/whatever. Even if you already have it on your table. Especially if you already have it on your table. At a bar with games, ask him to be your partner for pool or air hockey. Compliment him! ”Do you play sports? You look athletic.” Whisper. Lean in close. Keep something creative in your purse, like gummy bears, and ask him if he wants some. It’s way more memorable than gum. You might be a planner but guys like spontaneity. Text a guy you like last minute and ask if he wants to get an icecream sundae or go see a movie. Now! If the bar is really crowded, slip him some cash and ask him to get a drink for you. Tease him and smile. Eg, when he introduces himself and tells you his name, say “What?” so he has to lean in to repeat himself. Then say, “What?” again,

with a smile. If a guy is standing by a juke box, definitely go up with money and ask him what you should play. Order two drinks, and approach a cute guy standing alone. Tell him the bartender accidentally gave you two drinks. Does he want it? Yes he does . Instead of asking him what time it is, hold his wrist and look at his watch. Ask a guy about his tattoo. TOUCH THE TATTOO. Make a bet with him. Ask him to reach something for you on a high shelf at the store. Say his name. Touch his knee or arm when you’re talking to him. Tell him he smells good. “What’s that cologne?” Eye contact + Smile. Walk away. If you’re waiting in line with a hot guy, ask him if he thinks it’s worth the wait. Smile.


Kids Fun!

Colour in the birthday cake and draw the correct number of candles for you.

Small Steps is starting a birthday club! We want to know when it’s your birthday. Have Mum or Dad send us an email or post on Facebook so you can join our birthday club. All kids who join will receive their name printed in our magazine for their birthday month, a special birthday card, balloon and announcement on our Facebook page. 26

Business Directory Mention this ad for a FREE 8x12 print with each package purchased

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Perfect for  Weddings  Baby Showers  Parties Contact Lisa 0416 030 584

McGraths Hill Children’s Centre Inc    

Open 6.30am-6.30pm From birth to 6 years Nutritious meals daily Community based Not for profit centre  Preschool transition programs 69 Andrew Thompson Dr, McGraths Hill Ph: 4587 7141 or email:

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Are you stressed at work? Or a hardworking parent? If yes, you are in need of a revitalising massage at cost price!

Accredited Massage Therapist Remedial Massage MOBILE 1 hour $65 1/2 hour $30 Hot stone therapy 1 hour from $85-$115 Call Natarsha 0450 011 980

Advertise your business here for as little as $45 a month

Community Noticeboard Do you have a free playgroup, event or program for families? List them here on our community noticeboard for FREE! Email us.

RHYME TIME Every Monday 10-11am (except during school holidays: 23 December 2013 27 January 2014) Rhymes, songs & craft for 18 months - 3 years Siblings welcome. Central Library, Windsor FREE - All welcome

PRE-SCHOOL STORYTIME Central Library Windsor every Tuesday 11am-12noon Richmond Branch every Thursday 11am-12noon (except during school holidays) Themed stories, rhymes & craft for 3 - 5 years Siblings welcome FREE - All welcome

Our playgroup is open to all mums, dads and carers. Join us during the school term from 10am-12pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Lots of variety for parents and kids with some fun day trips now and then. Call us on 0414 377 266

Hawkesbury Regional Museum 8 Baker Street WINDSOR NSW 2756 Wednesday-Monday 10am-4pm Closed Tuesday (except by appointment for guided groups) Public holidays: Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday. Open 10am-4pm other public holidays FREE ENTRY (02) 4560 4655

Scribbles Playgroup is held at the Church Vineyard in the Sunbeams Room. Cnr Windsor and Brenan Dams Road, Vineyard. Check out our webpage: 28

Classifieds Welcome to our brand new classifieds page. This page is specifically sourced for our readers. We will list jobs, items for sale, services and garage sales. For the first few months while we build awareness of this section, all postings will be free. So please call us on 0415 216 186 or email your enquiry if you would like to list something. Garage Sales


Saturday 8th February 9am-1pm 30 Hunter Street McGraths Hill Moving sale: baby equipment, furniture, miscellaneous, books etc. Plus brand new baby goods. Hurry before you miss out!

Magazine distribution for Small Steps Parenting Magazine. Starting at 2-3 full days per month, can be worked between school hours. Please phone 0415 216 186.


For Sale Baby Bassinet, good condition. White. Comes with mattress and stand. $40 Ph: 0432 652 551

Breastfeeding, settling and parenting help. Qualified registered nurse and lactation consultant. Contact Lynne. Financial planning and budgeting help. Speak to Michael Voss. 23 years experience (02) 4782 1702

All articles in Small Steps are for editorial purposes and not necessarily the opinion of the publisher. Small Steps does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content, or advertisements contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded, or accessed through this magazine or the corresponding website or facebook page, nor the quality of any products, information or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an advertisement or any other information. In no event shall Small Steps be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever with respect to the service, the materials, and the products. You are encouraged to exercise discretion while browsing the Internet. No part of this publication or the corresponding website is to be copied or reproduced without permission.


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Don’t miss next month...

SPEcial issue Making Memories 39

February 2014 mag online  

Couple special with fun date ideas and great articles plus preschool activities to do with your children to encourage learning.

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