KidZania. The Ultimate in Role-Play for Children

Dec 23, 2014

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Role-play for children is a vitally important part of growing up. Here might just be the ultimate in role-play for kids.

If you read my 10 must-do experiences in Dubai, you would have seen that the award-winning KidZania edutainment centre was on the list. Well, I'm delighted to say that I did get to go and check it out and can report back that it was seriously even more brilliant than I'd first imagined! Check out the above linked post for more specific details such as costs etc.

Set inside The Dubai Mall is a purpose built "city" built at two thirds the regular size making it just perfect for children. The city includes a police station, fire station, hospital, bank, airport, television studio, supermarket, beauty salon, theatre, radio station, shops, eateries and so much more! After "checking in" at the airport and setting up their bank account, children are free to wander the city and choose from over 80 different roles that they can play in more than 60 establishments.

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Keeping Kids Safe. How to help children learn about road safety.

Dec 19, 2014

This post is sponsored by TAC and Nuffnang

Road Safety is so vitally important for children and is something that should be addressed early on through education and even more importantly, role-modelling. As parents, teachers and carers, we are well aware of how perceptive children are and how they love to mimic the words and actions of adults. It is therefore imperative that the lessons and words that we are teaching children, are backed up by our own actions.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC), is a Victorian Government-owned organisation that is involved in promoting road safety in Victoria and in improving services for Victoria's drivers. The TAC works closely with VicRoads, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), community groups and a range of other organisations to deliver road safety programs and key messages at meaningful and relevant times. 
To support the program for our youngest and often most vulnerable members of our community, TAC developed a TVC campaign “ThingleToodle” to encourage safe road user behaviour in young children through a focus on parental role modelling.

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Desert Sand Writing Tray. Plus free printable desert themed Word Cards

Dec 16, 2014

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Whilst in Dubai, I was fortunate to experience a really incredible Heritage Desert Safari and Dinner with Platinum Heritage. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip and an absolute must-do if you visit Dubai.

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DIY Kids Hotel Activity Pack

Dec 11, 2014

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When we travel with kids, regardless of our hotel choice and the amenities it provides, there are always a few occasions during our trip where we find ourselves looking for ways to entertain the kids inside the hotel room. One child might be having a nap, some family members might be showering or changing or you may just be up there for a bit of a rest and recharge before heading out again.

These days, I always bring a little activity pack so they can be entertained. As you are travelling, the items you bring need to be light and not bulky. I only take things that can fit into one A4 size pencil case. The items that I take are generally open-ended which means that they can be used in more than one way and for more than one purpose.

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Where is the Green Sheep? In Dubai! Part 1

Dec 8, 2014

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"Where is the Green Sheep" written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Judy Horacek, is one of our favourite children's books (if you're not familiar with this Australian author then please have a look at her books!).  It's so popular in our house that my son, who recently turned 3 years old, just had a "Where is the Green Sheep Birthday Party" (post coming soon).

When I found out that I was going to Dubai, I knew that I wanted to share the experience with my children as best I could, which is always going to be challenging without them actually being there. I knew I'd end up coming home with millions of photos from my trip, but I also knew that the majority really weren't going to interest my younger children. As a way to make Dubai and the experiences that I was having, relatable & fun for children, and also as a way to help educate my children about the Emirate and the different culture in a way that would interest them, I decided to recruit the help of our Green Sheep soft toy!

So, where IS the Green Sheep and what is he doing? In the picture story book he is actually found fast asleep behind a bush! But currently, the Green Sheep is in Dubai and he's had no time for sleep!

Here is where the Green Sheep has been and this is what he's been up to in Dubai. (Part 2 will be up soon).
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10 favourite books for babies and toddlers

Dec 2, 2014

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Reading with your children begins from birth and carries on over a lifetime. In the early days, baby really isn't going to know what you're reading to them. They are busy listening to your voice and tone and learning about the rhythm and sounds of language. Most importantly they are spending precious time bonding with you. Reading daily with and to children increases their early literacy skills and is more likely to grow a lifetime lover of books.

As they grow, babies begin to understand more and more. The majority of books that we loved at this early age tended to:

  • have short, simple text (often repetitive and/or rhyming)
  • allow children to attempt to mimic sounds 
  • have bright, clear or contrasting picture
  • allow children to touch or interact with the book in some way (lift flaps, touch different textures, press buttons for sound etc.)
  • feature animals or familiar people (like family)
  • be available in board books (babies and toddlers need to be able to touch and handle the books too so you'll save lots of tears and sticky-tape by getting board books they can actually use without destroying. Cloth books are especially good for infants)

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