Tag: kids

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HOW TO HELP KIDS DEAL WITH SEPARATION

It is vitally important that you remain attentive to the needs of your children throughout the unpleasant process of separation. In some cases, you must go to great lengths to make sure they feel stable and secure in their home environment. These tips may help:

Validate Their Feelings
Children can undergo a great deal of emotional turmoil when their parents split up. In some cases they might not feel comfortable expressing these feelings. Remaining attentive to your kids means reassuring them and encouraging them to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

Reassure Them
For young children, their parents are their whole universe. So when the family unit begins to break down, it could leave them feeling lost and insecure. In your mind, your future may remain uncertain until the divorce is finalised, but reassuring your kids that everything will work out will help them feel more secure and confident about the separation.m6

Keep Them Out of the Fray
In the haze of legal paperwork and divorce lawyers it can be easy to lose sight of what is and what isn’t appropriate in front of your children. Keeping your kids away from any conflicts will make things far more pleasant for them. It will also prevent them from feeling dragged into the divorce as though they are somehow to blame.

Avoid Clinging to the Past
As family units, we naturally enter into rituals and habits such as eating certain meals, watching certain TV shows, or having a bedtime routine. Try establishing new routines and rituals and add in some fun and quirky activities to keep your kids entertained through the difficult period.
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ATVING WITH THE KIDS WITH BARRON FALLS ESTATE

Looking for something fun to do with the kids in Cairns these school holidays? We recently discovered the Rainforest and Orchard Tour by Barron Falls Estate and we couldn’t help but share.

If you’ve ever wanted to give ATVing a try (or if your kids have been hounding you to go), then Barron Falls Estate have a deal that is too good to pass up.

Enjoy the perfect Cairns weather, encounter local wildlife, and explore the unique rainforest and orchards in Kuranda with their guided ATV tour.

They supplies the safety helmet, sunscreen and insect repellent, water, poncho and ATV lesson. Simply bring your covered shoes, long pants and camera and enjoy a day out with the kids.

You can combine the two-hour tour with a Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience or drive up to Kuranda yourself. Barron Falls Estate is easily located at 1015 Kennedy Highway, opposite Rainforestation, Kuranda – only 26 minutes from Cairns. There are no drop-in services available so make sure you book before you come.

During the school holidays you can save a bundle – experience the tour for $75 (per adult), $50 (per child) with the second child free if booking a family of four.

Contact 0402 318 630, email tours@barronfallsestate.com.au or check out Barron Falls Estate Facebook Page for more info and to book your tour. And make sure you tell them, you saw it on PakMag!

BREE'S FAMILY PASSPORT - TOKYO DISNEYLAND AND DISNEYSEA||||||||

EXPLORING TOKYO DISNEYLAND AND DISNEYSEA

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea is everything Disney you can imagine, but in Japanese, of course! If you can’t make the trip to America, then Japanese Disneyland is an excellent alternative for a magical day out with your little ones.

Disneyland is a theme park on its own, but within the park is DisneySea. I would recommend spending at least a day at each of these parks. You can buy discounted tickets that allow you to visit both or you can opt to stick to only one.

The rides

We loved every moment at Disneyland and 90% of the rides were suitable for the kids as they were taller than 102cm. For younger children, you cannot look past Toontown. Here you can get your photo taken professionally with Mickey Mouse at his very cute house. There is a great rollercoaster for the littlies – my boys loved it so much they went on it five times in a row.

This led to our boys wanting to try out the bigger rides and attractions. I would say the highlight of the park for the entire family was Space Mountain rollercoaster, which takes you through plenty of ups and down but in pitch black.

The fun doesn’t stop

We decided to have a buffet for our dinner and then watched the Grand Parade with all the Disney characters. It was amazing to say the least. The boys were so thrilled to have their favourite characters wave at them and we had the opportunity to get photos with a lot of them. We had so much fun and we were the last family to leave!

DisneySea is the more rustic, Mediterranean Disneyland with plenty of great areas for children and fantastic attractions.  As soon as you hop off the train it is time to board The Disney Resort line monorail, or “Mickeys Monorail” as my kids called it. It costs an extra 260 yen ($2.50) but the extra cost is certainly worth it.

One of the highlights is the smell of popcorn that fills the air as soon as you arrive. There are ten different types of try on the menu – caramel, black pepper, jalapeno and cheese, milk tea, white chocolate, salt, curry, and cappuccino.

The best area for youngsters would have to be the Mermaid Lagoon. This amazing replication of Under the Sea is amazing, and the kids loved hanging out here for some downtime. These rides suit children of all ages and there is a great roller-coaster for kids 90cm and over. The Arabian Coast and American Waterfront were the other areas that rated highest with our kids.

In terms of the other rides at DisneySea, most of them were suitable for children of all ages but there was a few that have a height requirement of 117 cm. Our six year old’s favourite was the Volcano and the Indiana Jones Raging Spirits which was a roller-coaster with a 360 degree loop.

What makes them so great for families

Both Disneyland and DisneySea cater well for families with fantastic parenting facilities. They have a full baby centre where you can buy items you may need, like formula or an extra outfit.

They have the Fastpass (express line-up pass) single riders, and the alternate ride system, or the “child switch” which enables guests with children who do not meet an attractions height or other requirements to take turns and enjoy the attraction without having to line up again.

There is plenty of shopping, of course, and lots of great souvenirs that are not as expensive as we thought. $20 will get you a Disney shirt of your favourite character (be prepared for most visitors to be dressed up). There is also a fantastic show at the end of the night in the Mediterranean Harbour complete with all characters in boats with a lightshow, music, singing and fireworks!

Check out Tokyo Disney Resort for more information on park opening times and costs.

Check out Bree’s Family Passport for additional things to do, try and eat in Japan. 

HOT TIPS FOR FAMILIES TRAVELLING TO JAPAN||

10 TOP TIPS FOR FAMILIES TRAVELLING TO JAPAN

Japan is a whirlwind of activities which can be great for touring but may also be slightly intimidating and overwhelming. When travelling to Japan, it’s best to have a game plan.

Make the most of your trip with these top ten tips:

1. Take your mobile phone but leave your SIM behind. There is free Wi-Fi everywhere so you can use the internet wherever you are. You can also buy “pocket Wi-Fi” for approximately $3 per day.

2. Get familiar with the train system. All trains run on time. If it is early, it is not your train.

3. Forty minutes of travel may seem like a lot but it’s really not. Stay in one hotel and travel for the day rather than move hotels every few days.

4. The transport system is amazing. Don’t be afraid to catch two or three trains to get to somewhere. If you miss a train or make a wrong move, in most cases it doesn’t take much to get back on the right track as trains come every few minutes.

5. When on trains, ensure you all hop on and off at the same time. Hold hands with the kids to make sure you stay together.

6. Communicating in Japan can be difficult, but as they say, communication is only seven per cent verbal, 55 per cent body language and 38 per cent tone of voice. Stick to a handshake or a slight bow upon meeting, with little or no eye contact.

7. Silence is a natural and expected form of non-verbal communication. Do not feel the need to chatter.

8. Don’t show affection in public, such as hugging or shoulder slapping. Touching or standing too close to a Japanese person, and prolonged eye contact are also considered rude.

9. Stop for meals. It is also considered rude to eat while on the go. Take the time to stop, sit down and eat rather than eating on the trains or while you walk among the crowds.

10. Take good walking shoes for the entire family and make sure the kids have broken their shoes in before you go. You will walk a lot!

Make sure you check out Bree’s Family Passport for tips on what foods to try when in Japan and how to plan a Japanese holiday best suited to your family.

67 WAYS TO ENJOY THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

67 WAYS TO ENJOY THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

School holidays are here! Regardless of whether you have two full weeks of activities to plan or you only have a couple of days off with the kids, you are sure to find something for the whole family with our 67 school holiday activities, hand-picked from our team at PakMag.

Get Outside, Get Active

Make sure your child gets at least thirty minutes of exercise each day with these fun ideas.

1. Have a water-balloon fight.

2. Set up a relay race for the kids.

3. Plant a garden in your backyard.

4. Visit your local zoo or wildlife park.

5. Check your local council for free activities in your area. You will most likely find there is something every morning to suit the kids, from face painting to futsal trials.

6. Pack up a picnic, blindfold the kids and drive to a surprise location.

7. Visit a local farm or farm stay.

8. Take a hike with the entire family. Just make sure you choose a route that is suitable for everyone.

9. Go for a family bike ride.

10. Plan a beach day – it might be too cold to go for a swim, but collect shells, bring a fishing rod or make sandcastles.

11. Visit your local botanical gardens.

12. Play tennis at your local tennis club.

13. Set up an outdoor obstacle course.

14. Dig out the tarp from your shed, add some soap and water to it and create your own slippery slide.

15. Stage a garden tea party outside, complete with delicious homemade cupcakes and backyard games like cricket and crochet. Dress in fancy attire and talk in British accents.

But… it’s Raining!

Never fear. We’ve got heaps of indoor activities that will take all day (or at least a couple of hours) to complete.

16. Spend the morning at the movies.

17. Stage an old school movie marathon. Pick three of your childhood favourites. Some of our picks? The Goonies, Stand by Me, E.T. and anything Disney from the 90’s!

18. Set up a dance disco in your lounge room, complete with fairy lights and costumes.

19. Celebrate Christmas in July. Drag out the old Christmas tree and set up the decorations. Play Michael Buble on repeat.

20. Reignite your love for old board games. Remember Monopoly, Life, Taboo and Pictionary? You loved them. And chances are, so will your kids.

21. Have a theme day. Choose foods, games and activities in that certain theme.

22. Set up a box challenge. Every child gets a box and has a certain amount of time to create something cool.

23. Make an inside obstacle course with cushions, pillows, boxes, chairs and blankets.

24. Stage a play or puppet show.

25. Set up a colour treasure hunt in your home. Ask your kids to find 10 things around the house in a certain colour.

26. Stage a salon day.

Visit your Local Recreation Centres

Pick and choose what is available in your area and what your children would be interested in trying.

27. Flip over at your local trampoline centre.

28. Burn some energy at an indoor play centre.

29. Spend the day roller skating or ice skating.

30. Lounge around at your local swimming pool.

31. Check out your local PCYC for any school holiday activities on offer (martial arts, kindy gym, etc).

32. Get competitive with laser tag.

33. Catch some waves with cable ski.

34. Go bowling.

35. Play a round of mini golf.

Educational Activities

The kids may have a break from school work but keep their little minds busy with these ideas.

36. Check out your local library. Most libraries will have various school holiday activities including crafts and games for kids of all ages.

37. Visit your local art gallery or museum. Choose one you’ve never been to before.

38. Visit your local planetarium.

39. Host an outdoor bake sale or lemonade stand.

40. Write a letter to a relative and post it.

41. Make a robot out of cardboard boxes.

42. Write a story and get your children to illustrate each page.

43. Stage a painting class outside.  Choose something in nature to paint and showcase your work in a gallery in your lounge room.

Night-time Fun

Let the kids stay up a little later and give these ideas a try.

44. Set up a backyard campout. If you don’t want to brave the crowds or the fickle weather, then why not set up the tent in your backyard for the night?

45. Go to a drive-in movie, if your area has one.

46. Set up a blanket on the grass and watch the stars.

47. Go night-fishing.

48. Organise a neighbourhood street party for one evening. Ask every neighbour to bring a dish and organise party games for the kids.

At-Home Activities

49. Get creative in the kitchen. There are so many great recipes that are not too tricky for the little ones.

50. Make a collage. You can use things you collect at the park, beach, magazine cut-outs or anything really.

51. Paint rock animals – take a walk to your local creek and pick a few larger rocks to take home, wash and paint. You can make little rock critters, like ladybugs or caterpillars, or stick to abstract patterns and stripes.

52. Create your own placemats – use stickers, magazine cut-outs and clear contact to give your old plain placemat a fresh new look.

53. Make a blanket fort.

54. Play “play dough surprise”. This is a game we just made up the other day. Take little items around the house (bouncy balls, figurines, play jewellery, toy cars, etc.) and hide them in the play dough in various play doh containers. Let your kids open each container and dig out the surprise. Repeat for infinity.

55. Create an aquarium diorama out of an old shoe box.

56. Set up a toy circuit with five different stations such as Lego, puzzles, books, colouring and play dough. Your children will have fifteen minutes to play at each station before rotating.

57. Have a LEGO building contest.

58. Make a photo book out of old photographs.

59. Coordinate a dance. Perform it for your partner when they return home.

Multi-Purpose Activities

School holidays is a great time to get organised for the rest of the year. While your kids may not be too happy to spend the entire time cleaning, try convincing them to take on at least one
of these tasks:

60. Organise their wardrobe.

61. Wash the cars. If you are feeling extra ambitious, let the kids set up a ‘car wash’ station and see if any of the neighbours are interested in a free car wash.

62. Cull any toys they no longer play with and give them to charity.

63. Rearrange their rooms.

64. Host a freezer cooking day.

65. Make jams.

66. Do the bi-yearly doctor and dentist visit.

67. Host a weekend garage sale. Get rid of all that old stuff and make a bit of pocket change on the side.

Why not play some games in the backyard or make crafts out of a cardboard box?

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EXCUSES KIDS USE TO AVOID BED

Ask any parent – bedtime can be a struggle! A new study from Netflix reveals some of the best excuses and tactics that little ones use to stay up just a little bit longer. And they are truly hilarious! Do your kids try and pull any of these stunts?

According to the survey, which included 7,277 parents with a child ages two to 10 in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, or Mexico, 61 percent of parents who are in charge of getting their children tucked in at night are dealing with their kids’ creative stall tactics at bedtime.

All of that lollygagging adds up to parents spending nearly 20 minutes every single night negotiating with kids to get them into bed.

So what are some of the most popular stall tactics?

  • The “just 5 more minutes” negotiator (42 per cent)
  • The “super starved or sooo thirsty” routine (41 per cent)
  • The flattery “I love you mum/dad!” (33 per cent)
  • The slow as snails (31 per cent)
  • The tricksters (18 per cent)
  • The forever forgetful “I don’t know how to put on pajamas!” (15 per cent)
  • The standing naked in protest (5 per cent)

How many have your kids tried?

Turns out, Aussie parents come out on top when it comes to bedtime antics as Australian mums and dads are among those most likely to say they never make compromises to get their child into bed (clearly I was not interviewed for this study!).

Children in the UK and US proved to bring the biggest bedtime bargaining to the battleground and most parents admit to using bribes to get their kids into bed.

Netflix have made some adorable images based on the excuses children make for staying up a little longer as part of their launch for new show Dinotrux.

Some of our favourites have to be:

  • “My brain is playing tricks on me.”
  • “My hair hurts.”
  • “You didn’t kiss my other cheek and now it’s sad.”
  • “I hate the inside of my eyelids.”
  • “How does electricity work?”
  • “How do I say XX in German?”
  • “My throat is lonely so it needs another glass of water.”
  • “A stuffed animal is lost in the house and I can hear it crying.”
  • “Wait, I have to put my pet rock to bed first.”

But, regardless of how long it takes and how many excuses the kids make, 87 per cent of parents agree that the last snuggle once their child is quietly tucked into bed is one of the most special parts of their day.

Tucking them in is magic, it’s just getting there that’s the hard part.

The study is part of their universal launch for their #fivemoreminutes campaign for Dinotrux ‘5 Minute Favourites’, a new show that offers your kids an extra five minutes of TV (in exchange for the guarantee of bedtime right after).

We have Netflix and I will admit that my kids both love Dinotrux, but we’re still working on that guarantee.