PARENTS and bubs given best possible start: Queensland parents and their newborns will have a better start to life, with the Newman Government launching new in-home support services for mothers and their babies.
Premier Campbell Newman said the ‘Mums and Bubs’ package of enhanced Maternal and Child Services would provide a helping hand when all parents and babies needed it most.
"Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but hopefully we can make the early stages a little easier by providing some practical extra support," Mr Newman said in a statement this week.
"This program will help develop healthy habits from the outset, laying good foundations in health, learning and development that could last a lifetime."
“It gives parents an outlet to gain information on issues like immunisation, breastfeeding and nutrition, providing a safe environment and the importance of reading to children.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said that the initiative, costing $28.9 million over four years, would ensure that all Queensland families get the best possible start to life by providing two home visits in the first month of a baby's life.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said that the initiative, costing $28.9 million over four years, would ensure that all Queensland families get the best possible start to life by providing two home visits in the first month of a baby's life.
“Extra home visits provide better screening services for all Queensland families,” Mr Springborg said.
“These would be followed up with consultations at community centres at key developmental stages, namely, two, four, eight and 12 months of age.
"This is a significant improvement on the current schedule of visits, and now gives extra home visits to all Queensland parents.
"With more than 60,000 births in Queensland last year, this expanded service will make a big difference to families across Queensland."
“Becoming a parent can be an exciting time, but it can also be a time of uncertainty and anxiety for parents and families.
“Providing parents with support during this important time will help reduce health risk factors and increase protecting factors for a child’s future health.
“This service increases the capacity of all Queensland mothers and families, helping them to make decisions to improve the health and wellbeing of their children.”
"Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but hopefully we can make the early stages a little easier by providing some practical extra support"
Wiggly Bye Bye ... Australian fans will be able to farewell The Wiggles around the country in November and December.
Generations of Wiggles fans will have their chance to farewell Murray, Greg and Jeff at the end of the year when the trio perform their last Australian concerts.
The Wiggles confirmed on Monday that their Celebration Tour will head home in November and December.
Having spent 2012 travelling through Asia, the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand, The Wiggles will return to Australia to send off three of the original four Wiggles.
For Murray Cook, Greg Page and Jeff Fatt the Australian leg of the world tour will be the last time the trio will don their coloured skivvies and perform on stage.
The Red, Yellow and Purple Wiggles announced in May that 2012 would be their final year of touring together.
They are passing on their famous skivvies to a new generation of performers and will work behind the scenes in creative roles for the Wiggles franchise.
Blue Wiggle Anthony (Field) will continue driving in the Big Red Car alongside newcomers Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie and Simon Pryce.
"We've been entertaining children around the world for 21 years and it's important that we plan for the future so that The Wiggles can keep wiggling in the years to come," Murray said in a statement.
Tickets for The Wiggles Celebration Tour will go on sale on Monday, August 27!
"We've been entertaining children around the world for 21 years and it's important that we plan for the future so that The Wiggles can keep wiggling in the years to come"
THE WIGGLES CELEBRATION TOUR DATES:
- November 17 - Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
- November 18 - Silverdome, Launceston
- November 24 & 25 - Perth Arena
- November 29 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre
- December 1 & 2 - Rod Lover Arena, Melbourne
- December 5 - AIS Arena, Canberra
- December 8 & 9 - All Phones Arena, Sydney
- December 12 - Newcastle Entertainment Centre
- December 15 & 16 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
- December 19 - Wollongong Entertainment Centre
- December 22 & 23 - Sydney Entertainment Centre
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By Elise Ellerman
THERE is much discussion about creativity and how “creativity is the currency of the future”.
We live in a world where innovation, which requires creative thinking, is increasingly valued.
The ability to generate original ideas; develop new possibilities; solve problems; learn from mistakes and use failures to reinvent processes; put your own “stamp” on a product, or service, to differentiate it from others are all at the heart of what it means to be a creative thinker and traits that are highly sought after. Children are the masters of thinking in creative ways, they are pioneers when it comes to inventing and creating. They are not bound by preconceived ideas, taking a risk is all part of the fun and a failure is not necessarily viewed as a setback, in fact, it is often embraced and opens doors to new ways of achieving a goal. Nurturing children’s creativity is essential and strengthening the ability to think in creative ways will result in gaining many beneficial skills that can be used throughout life.
Nurturing children’s creativity is something that parents, carers and educators can do on a daily basis. One way to nurture children’s creativity is to provide creative prompts to encourage children to think in new ways. For example, shadows can be an excellent source of inspiration for young children when it comes to drawing. At night time, my children enjoy making shadows on the walls. I have been taking photos of their silhouettes as they perform various actions, for example looking up, down, with arms stretched out. I have printed these photos and glued one photo per page onto paper (if the silhouette image is looking up, be sure to glue the photo at the bottom of the page so children have space to draw at the top). Give children a sentence starter, such as the girl/boy looked up and couldn’t believe she/he was looking at………..(children then draw what they imagine could be above their heads). Another way to use shadows for drawing purposes involves drawing outside with chalk. Someone strikes a pose and others use chalk to draw something onto the shadow figure. Hands outstretched could be filled with chalk drawings of flowers, ice creams, all sorts of clothing can be drawn onto the figure as well as outlandish hats.
Creating with recycled materials lends itself to creative thinking as “working” with recyclables requires users to think of alternative ways to use the items and explore new possibilities which can often involve problem solving, lateral thinking and discovering through trial and error. The possibilities for creating with bottle top lids seem to be endless, for example, secure a piece of contact to a window (sticky side facing out) and use bottle top lids (as well as other craft supplies such as coloured paper, pens etc) to create a picture. Another idea is to set a creative challenge, for example plan a party for some favourite toys using recycled materials to create the decorations and cake. Old newspapers and magazines can be turned into party hats, scraps of paper could be used to make bunting and a box could be transformed into a cake (cover a box in white paper and for a mess free option secure some contact, sticky side facing out, to the box and encourage children to decorate the box with craft supplies (ribbon, pom poms, feathers or natural resources like flowers). Alternatively, children could use play dough to transform a box into a birthday cake.
used to make bunting and a box could be transformed into a cake (cover a box in white paper and for a mess free option secure some contact, sticky side facing out, to the box and encourage children to decorate the box with craft supplies (ribbon, pom poms, feathers or natural resources like flowers). Alternatively, children could use play dough to transform a box into a birthday cake.
Investing in children’s creativity is vital given the dialogue about creativity and how it is considered to be the currency of the future. This investment involves providing children with a diverse range of experiences that inspire them to problem solve, brainstorm, “think outside the box”, tinker, explore, discover, take risks and learn from mistakes. Children who have developed creative thinking skills at a young age will have a wealth of experiences to draw upon and valuable transferable skills that they can employ throughout their life.
"Nurturing children’s creativity is something that parents, carers and educators can do on a daily basis"
Elise Ellerman is the founder and owner of Creative Play Central
and provides several different services to assist parents and educators to provide innovative play ideas and highly creative experiences for young children. The newest service that Creative Play Central is offering (as of August 6) is Imagination Creations which are classes for children aged 3 -10. In these unique classes that have been carefully designed to encourage creative thinking, children use creative prompts to inspire them to think and create in new and original ways. For more details about Creative Play Central’s services as well as details regarding days, times and location for classes please visit the website: www.creativeplaycentral.com.au
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| |WITHOUT doubt, one of the hottest naming trends of the moment is the choice of a unisex name.
From Alex to Spencer or Angel to Skye, dual-gender names are often seen as a way of giving a stylish and modern name that breaks the boundaries a little, providing your child with an identity that lets them stand out from the crowd.
Many names have fluctuated between being predominantly male or female through the years – Ashley, traditionally a girl’s name is now on the rise as a boys name, whereas Reece is becoming increasingly popular amongst girls. And with more and more unisex names continually being added to the mix, if you are thinking of choosing a gender-neutral name, the options are getting bigger by the day.
Why choose a unisex name?There are a variety of reasons you might consider a unisex name for your child:
- Unisex names are a great way to pass on a family name.
- You might have a name you have always liked and want to use it regardless of gender the baby is born
- You can choose a single name during pregnancy, without needing to know the gender
- A unisex middle name can provide a great alternative for them to their first name, if they want something a little different when they get older
"Unisex names are a great way to pass on a family name"
Pros and cons of a unisex nameChoosing a unisex name carries a number of pros and cons that are worth bearing in mind.
- For girls in the professional world, having a name that could be thought of as gender neutral might give them an advantage on paper, as they can prove themselves on their work ethic and skill instead of being judged initially on their gender
- It is a name that they themselves will be able to pass down for generations to come, regardless of the gender of their children
- It steps away from tradition and gives your child something a little different
- Having to clarify your gender could pose difficult situations in a child’s life
- Choosing the wrong name could lead to schoolyard teasing, particularly for boys: for example, it is more accepted for a girl to have a traditionally male name such as Billie, than a boy to have a traditionally female name such as Vyvien!
- Though a name might be trending towards one gender when chosen, it could sway back to being the opposite gender by the time they are an adult, creating more and more situations where they have to clarify their gender in their adult life
Considering a celebrity unisex name?Celebrity popularity is one of the many influences fuelling this gender-neutral trend. Cameron became popular amongst girls once Cameron Diaz shot to fame in the 1990’s, whilst Kelly became increasingly prevalent as a boy’s name after Kelly Slater emerged as a surfing legend. Taylor shot up in the choices for both boys and girls since Taylor Lautner hit our screens in Twilight, alongside Taylor Swift topping the charts. And now recently, Harper, traditionally a male name, is starting to trend for girls since Harper Beckham arrived.
TV characters have also contributed to the growing proportion of girls being given traditionally male names - Gilmore Girls with Rory, Grey’s Anatomy with Addison, Gossip Girl with Blair - whilst Quinn, another traditionally male name, is predicted to be popular amongst girls this year thanks to Glee success.
Many celebrity parents are also now opting for unisex names for their babies:
- Reiley: daughter to Stella McCartney
- Billie: daughter to Rebecca Gayheart & Eric Dane
- Bailey: daughter to Melissa Etheridge
- Dylan: daughter to Robin Wright & Sean Penn; son to Catherine Zeta Jones & Michael Douglas
- Angel: son to Kirk Hammett
Still unsure?If you like the idea of a unisex name, but are unsure about making the leap completely, there is always the option of going for a classic feminine name with unisex nickname – Charlotte becomes Charlie, Bernadette becomes Bernie, Samantha to Sam and Josephine to Jo.
Yet if you like the name, but are concerned about the ambiguous gender implications, many names offer a female/male spelling to clarify the gender - Sidney/Sydney, Robyn/Robin, Kerrie/Kerry… or simply make up your own!
From Alex to Spencer or Angel to Skye, dual-gender names are often seen as a way of giving a stylish and modern name that breaks the boundaries a little, providing your child with an identity that lets them stand out from the crowd
AN AMERICAN family is making waves this morning after a video of their five-year-old daughter swimming with sharks went viral.
When Elana and David Barnes posted a home video to YouTube of their daughter swimming in the ocean, they intended to share their holiday memories with friends and family, not the world.
But the video quickly became a viral sensation because it shows their daughter, Anaia, not just frolicking in the water but snorkeling with sharks in the waters off the Bahamas.
Little Anaia Barnes, an instructor and her parents swam alongside the sharks.
"At no point did I feel like this is dangerous, like going on a rollercoaster, I'm probably not going to fall off, but it's still scary," said Anaia's mother, Elana Barnes, told Good Morning America.
"To each his own, but I would prefer to keep my kids out of the water with sharks if I can," said Kristen Vesey of Brookfield.
Shark experts at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, US had mixed feelings about how safe or dangerous this scenario really was.
"Would I intentionally do that? I honestly don't know, I'd probably be a little bit more cautious myself," said John Lenzycki, who has worked with sharks for 24 years.
He says last year there were less than 100 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide and says 90 percent of them happen in three feet of water or less. What concerns him are the sharks are being fed by people, so he says the animals associate people with food.
"I wouldn't want to be that person standing in the lagoon at 11 o'clock in the morning and that particular person called in sick that day," he said.
Also, the Barnes swam alongside Nurse sharks, which Lenzycki says are very mild tempered. While lemon and reef sharks are higher on the predatory scale.
"But still sharks are not mindless eating machines, they tend to be extremely cautious about what they eat," he said.
Still the nurse shark touch tank at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium is close enough for this mom.
"It's a situation where you don't know what could happen so, why put them in harms way," Vesey said.
"Life is too short to be boring you know," Barnes said.
"After reviewing the video with our fish and invertebrate team, we feel that it would be too speculative to comment on the safety of the situation," said Mystic Aquarium spokesperson Erin Merz.
"At no point did I feel like this is dangerous, like going on a rollercoaster, I'm probably not going to fall off, but it's still scary"
Little Anaia Barnes, an instructor and her parents swam alongside the sharks
The following is a statement Barnes made in regards to the families choice to let Anaia swim with sharks:
"We always take safety very seriously in our family. Anaia knows not to get near a bike without a helmet, she was rear-facing in her car seat until age 3. At a very early age she knew not to approach a dog without asking it's owner. We teach her to respect all the creatures we share this planet with. Not all sharks are created equally, they vary as much as canines do. If someone is concerned about this, they can do the same research we did before booking this trip. I also would like to point out that at no time was Anaia more than five feet away from us, or closer than 20 feet from the sharks."
Linguistics expert Kate Burridge said it was not surprising children experiment with swearing as lively language is very much part of our vernacular.
What is Your Experience? Do your littlies swear like sailors?
Tell us your story!
AN online survey has revealed 42 per cent of children first use bad language by three years of age.
By kindergarten, more than 90 per cent of children have uttered their first rude word, leaving parents in shock, a survey has found.
Swear words starting with "f" and "s" were the most common first naughty word. Bloody, used by 5 per cent of children as their first bad word, ranks as the third most common. The two most popular expletives each was expressed by 28 per cent of children.
Linguistics expert Kate Burridge said it was not surprising children experiment with swearing as lively language is very much part of our vernacular. "They soon learn they get maximum attention (with a curse word)", Professor Burridge, of Monash University, said.
"In the old days they might have had their mouths washed out with soap or been sent to the bedroom with no supper but they get maximum attention and learn how potent these words are."
Parents admit their children often heard their first curse at home (52.7 per cent) but the overwhelming majority (78.4 per cent) actively discourage swearing. The second most common place for children to pick up obscenities was in the playground at school or pre-school (48.2 per cent) followed by television (31 per cent).
"By kindergarten, more than 90 per cent of children have uttered their first rude word, leaving parents in shock"
Sitting in the back seat of the car is another good place for kids to learn foul language (15 per cent).
Parents who generally refrain from swearing admit stressful driving situations have caused them unintentionally to use bad language in front of their child (9.7 per cent).
Etiquette expert June Dally-Watkins said the level of swearing on TV and in public was unacceptable. "I think it is disgusting and should be taboo," she said. "Parents should not permit it. Swearing is ugly. There is too much bad language going on and too much on television."
Ms Dally-Watkins said parents posting clips of swearing toddlers on YouTube was horrifying. Most parents agree with her.
Professor Burridge said foul language was not considered as bad as racist, sexist or religionist language. He advised parents did not need to panic if their child swore. "It is probably best to treat these as ordinary words," she said. "They have always been an important part of the vernacular."
| | QUEENSLAND’S dynamic new premier Campbell “Can-Do” Newman will tackle the nuts and bolts of how he is implementing his 100-day plan in relation to parents in his electorate at a special Mums Brunch in Ashgrove.
The Mums Brunch, hosted by West Brisbane parents’ publication the KindyNews
, will be held at the Marinara Café and Restaurant in Latrobe Terrace on Friday, July 27, 2012.
“We are very honored and excited about having the premier as our special guest in July,” KindyNews
spokesman Karen Jackman said. “We are looking forward to hearing him articulate and outline his “Can-Do” plan to parents in his electorate. Our readers support and respect his energetic and positive approach to facing up to a very difficult challenge. This is going to be a must-attend event for Ashgrove parents.”
Also a key speaker at the brunch is the chief executive of Queensland’s largest and longest established kindergarten provider.
"We are looking forward to hearing (the premier) articulate and outline his 'Can-Do' plan to parents in his electorate. Our readers support and respect his energetic and positive approach to facing up to a very difficult challenge "
C&K Preschooling Professionals’ Barrie Elvish will speak about “Children’s Right to Childhood”. In particular, Mr Elvish will outline how C&K plans to action this view at its newly acquired Ashgrove premises:
“We have just purchased part of the old Ithaca TAFE at Ashgrove and we intend creating an outdoor environment which challenges not just the existing regulations and future regulations, but also the perceptions of what might be safe and unsafe environments for children,” he said. KindyNews
’ Mums Brunches are held periodically for parents of young children as a relaxed forum for social engagement and the discussion of community issues relating to parents and carers of young families.
KindyNews Mums Brunch Theme:
Letting Brisbane Kids Be Kids Speakers:
State Premier and member for Ashgrove Campbell Newman, Chief Executive of C&K Preschooling Professionals Barrie Elvish When:
10am-12 noon Friday July 27, 2012 Where:
Marinara Café and Restaurant, 34 Latrobe Tce, Paddington Contact:
Karen Jackman Telephone/Email:
(07) 3870-3234 / 0406 2222 59 email@example.com RSVP:
| |CHILDREN would be given trees to climb in, a creek to explore and material to build cubby houses under proposals for a new childcare centre and kindergarten which aims to buck the trend of wrapping them in cotton wool.
The proposal by C&K
, which runs a string of childcare centres, comes as the organisation dedicates an entire weekend conference to the topic of "children's right to childhood" and the consequences of risk aversion.
International speakers, including New York's Lenore Skenazy
who was dubbed America's worst mum after she let her nine-year-old travel by himself on the subway, will address the C&K early childhood annual conference at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"By making it too safe we are actually not giving children the opportunity to build resilience"
C&K chief executive Barrie Elvish said that over the past decade there appeared to be an increasing emphasis "on creating what the regulators and the governments like to say is safe environments for children to play in".
"By making it too safe we are actually not giving children the opportunity to build resilience," he said."What C&K is doing about it, apart from this conference . . . we have just purchased part of the old Ithaca TAFE at Ashgrove and we intend creating an outdoor environment which challenges not just the existing regulations and future regulations, but also the perceptions of what might be safe and unsafe environments for children.
"We are not talking about blindfold bungy jumps.
"We are talking about the ability for a child to learn through mistakes and a child to learn through failure - a child to learn if you do jump off something too high it might hurt you when you land."
Mr Elvish said it was part of a risk-benefit, rather than just risk, approach championed by conference keynote speaker Tim Gill,
who helped change the way the United Kingdom Government viewed playground risk.
Yesterday Mr Gill said the journey to being a capable adult involved "a few bumps and scrapes and knocks".
FREE TO PLAY... CHILDREN would be given trees to climb in, a creek to explore and material to build cubby houses under proposals for a new childcare centre and kindergarten which aims to buck the trend of wrapping them in cotton wool.
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WILL the very glamorous Pink Wiggle Kylie Minogue pop in for a song and dance during The Wiggles farewell tour? Wouldn't that be exciting! Let's Hope so! This is what the Wiggles said:
NEW WIGGLES ... The New Wiggles, apart from Anthony, are, from left Lachlan, Emma and Simon.
What Kids Want to Know
WITH so many changes going on in the Wiggles, kids have been asking a lot of questions. We put together a list and asked the Old and New Wiggles to clear up some queries the kids have. Here are their replies:
1. Are you going to miss being on stage?
(Murray) We will-we have had such a great time singing and dancing with you all over the past 21 years. But it’s time for us to spend more time at home.
(Jeff) We might make a few cameo appearances at concerts in the future, but we’ll be happy to be supporting the success of the new Wiggles team from behind the scenes.
2. What is Jeff going to do if he doesn't have anyone to keep him awake anymore?
(Jeff) I’m still going to have a big role in the musical side of things from behind the scenes and so will Murray and Greg. Anthony and the new Wiggles have all promised to help me stay awake!
3. Are you still going to help the New Wiggles after you finish the tour?
We certainly will! We don’t want to stop entertaining and delighting children-it’s what we love to do. Murray, Jeff and Greg will still be very involved creatively-coming up with new songs and performances and supporting the new Wiggles behind the scenes.
5. Are the New Wiggles going be going on the last tour with you? What will they be doing?
(Anthony) Yes they will. Emma, Lachy and Simon have all been part of the Wiggles family for a few years now. They have been part of our shows as Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Dorothy the Dinosaur.
6. Is the Pink Wiggle Kylie going to sing on the tour?
(Murray) We have had some really special moments over the past 21 years and singing and dancing with the Pink Wiggle was one of them! We’re still finalising the plans for our tour and we’re sure there will be some special moments along the way.
7. Are the New Wiggles just as funny as you?
(Greg) The Wiggles will remain The Wiggles for as long as those coloured skivvies are singing and dancing and entertaining children. The new members of the Wiggles will have their own talents and their own personalities, so of course it won’t be exactly the same, but we think that will actually be a good thing. Emma is a great singer and dancer and plays the drums. Lachy is a great singer and also plays the piano and Simon is an amazing singer and has a huge presence on stage. And we think that all of the new Wiggles are pretty funny too!
... And Some Questions Just for Emma
1. Why did you choose to be the Yellow Wiggle?
“When it was offered to me I was very excited, it’s just brilliant. Just to be a role model is great for any children, girls or boys.”
3. Were you a Wiggles fan when you were little? Do you have any memories of that you can share with us?
"I've been a huge fan of The Wiggles since I was a little girl, so it's a huge privilege to be invited to wear one of the skivvies and perform for a whole new generation of children," she said.
“I am The Wiggles generation and I remember seeing you guys (referring to The Wiggles) at the Seymour Centre and I’m in a DVD jumping in a matching pinafore with my sister”