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The unbelievably simple secret to sibling harmony

The school holiday miracle

After taking so much time off over summer to go to Europe, I've no holidays left in the kitty at work. So I'm working through these hols. Bart is taking a couple of days each week to keep the kids occupied, and they have been to friends' places and activity camps and the like. They are basically having a dream holiday. Then it came to today. ...

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20 really good book series to tempt reluctant readers

Best books for reluctant readers

I've been a reader from the moment I learned my ABCs, but some kids take quite a bit longer than that to catch on. Reading doesn't seem to be for everyone. For instance, Cappers is a smart kid who reads well, but she very rarely picks up a book unless prompted. She'd rather spend her time doing something else. I don't get that at all. Hence my ...

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Make a dream catcher with the kids

Make a dream catcher for kids

Instead of screens today, why not make a dream catcher... We were recently at a country market and the Badoo's eye was caught by a stall selling beautiful dream catchers. "What are those?" she said, all eyes and awe. "They're dream catchers," I explained. "The Native American Ojibwa nation made them to protect their kids from bad dreams. ...

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6 recycled craft ideas for kids

Cool things to make with recyclables

Instead of screens today, why not dig into the recycling box? Our recycling boxes get raided on almost a daily basis. Before we ever get to put our cardboard boxes, empty containers or tin cans out for the truck, they have probably had at least three incarnations as recycled craft. The girls gather their supplies and create all kinds of weird ...

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10 achievable ways to limit screen time

10 ways to limit screen time

I've been banging on about limiting screen time for a while now, but I'm aware that it's a lot easier said than done. I think the awareness of how bad overuse of screens can be for kids is growing and growing, but so is the sense of overwhelm. Technology is such a modern paradox. On the one hand it opens up an amazing world of inspiration, ...

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Dirt fun in the backyard

Making things from dirt

Instead of screens today, why not play in the dirt outside? My girls are a dynamic creative duo and the other day they spent a goodly amount of time under the house scraping out some 'clay'. I didn't even know there was clay under the house, but it turns out there was a very clingy kind of mud that could be clay. The girls molded the clay ...

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6 really creative play dough ideas

6 really creative things to do with play dough

Play dough is awesome, right? My kids are 7, 9 and 11 and all three still enjoy making things out of play dough. I mean, I'm 27 and even I enjoy making things out of play dough. (I'm not really 27). Click here for a silky smooth chocolate play dough recipe (perfect for making cupcakes like those above). Don't skimp on the salt because aside from ...

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Make some yummy chocolate play dough

Chocolate play dough recipe

Instead of screens today, why not make some chocolate play dough? Did somebody say chocolate? Well, it's sort of chocolate but not quite. I mean, you can't eat it, but you can smell it and the kids can play with it. That's almost the same thing, right? It's like getting your chocolate fix without the calories or the guilt. Mind you, if you want ...

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DIY doctor play kit {with printables}

DIY doctors kit for play time fun

Instead of screens today, why not play doctors? Children are often fascinated by what we grown ups get up to and role-playing ‘careers’ is high on many kids’ lists of fun things to do. Last time we played at being detectives, and being a doctor is just as much fun. You can enhance your children’s enjoyment of their game with this easy to put ...

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Marshmallow tower construction fun

Marshmallow construction

Instead of screens today, why not make a marshmallow tower construction? The only thing we like better than toasting marshmallows on the fire is building with them. Matter of fact, we build with them and then we deconstruct the constructions and we toast the marshmallows anyway. Not especially hygienic (I mean, just look at the state of the ...

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