Now that you’re all grown up with kids of your own, you are probably starting to understand why your mum and dad couldn’t continually take you to every stage show that came out, or every Disney On Ice, or every Elmo Tour, or every Wiggle show. The costs are considerable for some of these productions, especially when you have more than one child and sometimes it can be hard to justify spending $70+ for one show for you 4yr old. Yet, being an adult means that you can better understand where your hard earned cash is probably going….
Children’s events usually have hundreds of children attend. Therefore, organisers need to spend big bucks to find a venue which has appropriate emergency exists, engaging lighting sequences, clear sound system, cast preparation areas, sufficient parking, allowances for multiple prams, the list goes on.
Event organisers have to ensure adequate security is on site. It is important that the attendees feel that they are protected throughout the event experience. Additional to these guys are the rest of the staff requires for the event to function. There will be merchandise sellers, ticket collectors, food and beverage staff, plus then all the people involved in the show directly like sound/lightening guys, producers, dressers and most importantly the actual cast.
Have you ever seen the grounds of a fair after the event is over? Plastic bottles, plastic cups, dagwood dog sticks, littering the place everywhere. Most likely, the grounds must be returned to the proprietors in the way that it was first rented. This will require cleaning crews with appropriate equipment for expedient and thorough services.
Event organisers also need to take care of any permits and public liability insurance. People would love to go to a place or event if they know that they are ensured since they have the rights to claim for compensation if anything happens to them.
It is really down to your family’s requirements and preferences. Perhaps just one or two big events per year will keep everyone smiling, or maybe it is an every school holidays thing. However often you take the kids out, make sure that you’re really present with them and enjoying the whole experience from their perspective. That in itself is priceless.
My kids are truly blessed with lots of Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and close family friends. They also have Birthday’s close to Christmas. Often toys are played with for a few weeks and then forgotten. Well apart from the beloved Elsa (She will be around for a while I think).
With the lead up to Christmas, I have started receiving Christmas list requests from my family. With our playroom overflowing with toys I thought to myself “Can we really fit more toys in here?” It really doesn’t seem like it. Yes, of course the kids will receive some of their wish list items from Santa, but they really do not need much more.
This year we have put a few non toy gift ideas, “experience presents” on the kids’ wish list, instead of just tangible gifts. Here are a few items that I think the whole family will enjoy.
– Water Park
– Local Pool
– Theme Park/Amusement Park
– Theatre Performance
– Go see a sporting event
– Disney On Ice
– Ice Skating
– Roller Skating
– Mini Golf
– Concert Experiences for Kids
– Bus ride to the city
– Train Ride
– Ice Cream Vouchers
– Special dinner out
– A Trip to the Fire Station
– A visit to a games arcade
– Go to sushi train for lunch
– Cooking lessons at the Grandparent’s house
Older Kids or Grown-Ups
– Hot Air Balloon Ride
– Helicopter Ride
– Trip to the Spa (Manicure/Pedicure, Massage, Facial, etc.)
– Rock Climbing
– Trip to Arcade
– High Tea experience
– Zookeeper for the Day Pass at a Local Zoo
– Gold Class Movie Tickets
Classes Classes are great at increasing confidence, team skills, fine and gross motor skills and it can enhance kids creative abilities. Why not let the kids experienced something new? Others may prefer to encourage and foster an already existing passion.
Some popular classes include;
– Swimming lessons
– Baby Class eg: Baby Sensory classes
– Sports (Soccer, Football, Tennis, Netball, Rugby, Teeball, Golf)
– Musical Instrument
– Art or Craft Class
– Kids cooking classes
– Horseback riding lessons Games and Puzzles Games and puzzles are great activities for when kids have to be indoors. It’s a good practice to have individual quiet times during the day, and having a puzzle to sit and work on by themselves helps brain development and problem solving skills. Games teach a lot too! Some of our favourite games include: Snakes and Ladders, Connect 4 and Scrabble Soup. They help to cement math and problem solving skills. Memory Games are also great for younger children.
Books We get a lot of books from the library, but there are some that I just can’t find there, or it takes us longer to read through. We have read through the entire Fancy Nancy Collection, Roald Dahl collection and are now working our way through the Faraway Tree Series of books. It is great to pass on the books when the kids have outgrown them so more kids can enjoy the stories and there will be less clutter in your home.
Recipe and Ingredients.
Kids love cooking with their parents. Baking and cooking is a great way to spend time together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together.
My daughter loves doing art and crafts. I do too! I really do enjoy the creative aspect. Crafting dates would be special one on one time with no iPhones or distractions. Plan some special crafts and pre-purchase the craft items so that you are ready to create. Online sites such as pinterest have some great craft ideas, or get out a book from your local library for inspiration. Family Experiences
– A night(s) away at a local hotel (with a pool)
– A hotel with an indoor waterpark
– Farm Stay Experience
– Road trip
– Give them travel/camping gear needed for the experience you’ll be gifting so that they have a physical item to unwrap
I am looking forward to enjoying these new experiences with the kids in the New Year. Not only will the kids have fun, these are the kinds of experiences that will create memories that last a lifetime.
We recently caught up with Jimmy Rees (aka Jimmy Giggle from Giggle & Hoot) and spoke to him on his first thoughts on finding out he’s going to be a dad.
Congratulations to you and Mrs Giggle on the news of a Giggle junior, it’s all very exciting and we know you will make a fantastic dad.
WO4: Do you think Giggle Junior will follow in the footsteps of dad and become a Essendon fan?
JR: For sure, I will be showering him/her with red and black for many birthdays to come.
WO4: Have you got any names picked out yet?
JR: We had a few but we are not to sure on them anymore. If it was left to me it would be decided at the last minute, luckily I have an organised wife! The thinking continues.
WO4: As we are big advocates of the importance of having your little one experience activities from birth, we’d love to know what you have in mind for Giggle Junior’s first classes?
JR: Mum took me to all sorts of different activities when I was a bub so we are keen to continue that. I went to music, swimming and gym to name a few.
WO4: Do you think Hoot and Hootabelle will make great babysitters?
JR: As long as they don’t try and feed the little one worm flavoured milkshakes, EWWWW!
WO4: Have you been learning how to change nappies yet?
JR: Haven’t been to nappy bootcamp yet. I have a 5 month old nephew though so I will have to get some practice in before April.
WO4: Will Giggle Junior make a guest appearance on the show?
JR: That’s a question for the producers, perhaps a segment called, Jimmy Giggle’s nappy bootcamp. haha!!
WO4: Do they make hoot PJ’s that small?
JR: I think they start at size 1, perhaps I could pull a few strings and get some custom made for the lovely costume department at ABC.
WO4: Does Mrs Giggle have any pregnancy cravings as yet? If so what are they?
JR: She has been craving anything with milk, hot chocolates, cereal, or just glasses of milk which she wasn’t to fond of pre pregnancy. She also went through a phase of fried rice early on.
WO4: Are you going to find out if Giggle Junior is a boy or girl?
JR: At this stage we want to find out, yes.
WO4: We can’t wait to see you and your friends on tour around Australia and what’s in store for Giggle & Hoot for 2015.
JR: The tour is an excellent forum for us to get that audience reaction we miss in the studio so we love performing in all the different states. Giggle and Hoot looks like it will continue in the fashion it has done since its birth, continuing to add more bits and pieces to the show expanding where it can and of course MORE SONGS! Hoot Hoot!
WO4: As we are Australia’s number one destination to find out anything and everything for What’s On around Australia for your little one, school kids and kids parties we’d love to help you and Mrs Giggle fully informed of classes, activities, events, mums groups and much more.
It’s pretty fair to say I love Christmas. So when I was invited along to the Myer Christmas Giftorium I couldn’t have been happier. I loved Christmas growing up as a child and now a mum of three little ones it brings a whole new meaning to this festive time of the year. The official launch celebrations of Giftorium will take place on Saturday 8th November with activities in every Myer store. These are some of the special treats we had on offer on the launch day.
This year Myer has a unique concept with the launch of the Myer Christmas Giftorium in all of its 67 Myer stores nationwide. The idea was developed to bring back fun and theatre to Christmas shopping as well a one-stop place for gift shopping.
There certainly was variety of gift ideas on the day including…
Something for Dapper Dad
Trendy Young Things
And even something for the pets!
Two of my favourites for the kids were the Bonds Christmas range which would be perfect for end of year parties.
Then there is also the Mr Men and Little Miss personalization range. For the first time in Australia Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane stores will offer the chance to customize a framed poster in two sizes with their name and Mr Men/Little Miss character of their choice.
SodaStream machines will be popular this year and will be holding demonstrations and tastings in select Myer stores. We are giving away three SodaStream machines at the moment. Enter here.
This is Archie the 2014 Christmas Bear, RRP19.95 It’s lovely quality and has a weighted bottom and removable jumper.
Well known vista print will be opening their first /bricks and morter’ retail space in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth Stores. You will be able to select from an array of products including Christmas cards, iphone covers, mouse pads, caps and more with photos and phrases of your choice. You can check out the designs here.
But gifts are not the only thing on offer this year, there’s plenty to see and do as well. There will be in store activities including Santaland, the Christmas Window displays and work with The Salvation Army.
Santaland Store locations
Santaland is in 53 Myer stores nationally. NSW & ACT
Sydney (Santaland Express Store), Albury, Belconnen, Blacktown, Eastgardens, Castle Hill, Charlestown, Chatswood, Dubbo, Erina, Macquarie, Miranda, Orange, Parramatta, Penrith, Roselands, Shell Harbour, Warringah, Wagga, Wollongong. Click here for details for the ACT.Click here for details for NSW.
Don’t forget to book your visit with Santa online at Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Pacific Fair, Adelaide and Hobart stores (starting Nov 8th). It’s really easy and you can secure your exclusive 15 minute session with Santa. Photo packages start from $26.50. Click here for more details here.
Of course there will be a gift wrapping service and also a Christmas gift registry, perfect for families who have loved ones spread across Australia who would like to buy the kids a gift (no doubling up either!).
Melbourne: On the 8th of November Jennifer Hawkins will unveil the world famous Myer Animated Christmas windows in Melbourne, followed by a performance from the voice winner Harrison Craig at the arrival of Santa. More details here.
Vision Australia’s Carol’s by candlelight, presented by Myer on Wednesday 24th December.
Sydney: Guy Sebastian will perform at Myer City Centre to help launch the Myer Giftorium. Click here for more details.
On Sunday the 14th of December Guy Sebastian will present the Myer Carols in the City.
Brisbane: The Myer Brisbane Parade & Pantomime will be between Friday 12 and Sunday 21 December Performers to be announced.
Perth: Performers to be announced.
Adelaide: Performers to be announced.
Hobart: The Myer Christmas Pageant will be held on Saturday 15th November.
Firstly the invitations… I left these way too late to organise but was really happy with my choice of Elsa themed designs. The invites came with a magnet to attach on the back and envelopes, which could be purchased as well which I did to make it easier. They were also super cheap at a dollar each from here.
The decorations I kept simple and grabbed some white pom poms and ice blue snowflake inspired designs from a local discount store. I also pulled a few Christmas decorations! A little warning – because of Frozen mania it can be hard to find decorations in stores so it’s wise to look online also. Don’t even think about trying to find a star shaped cookie cutter 🙂
We made sausage rolls for the kids and camembert cheese and quince paste quiches for the adults. I then added a few sweet foods including strawberries (perfect this time of year in QLD) dipped in white chocolate (frozen hearts from the movie), blue jelly cups (ice), pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate (branches with snow) and pink wafer biscuits, plain chips and blue lollies.
There was also pop corn in cupcake cases, white chocolate melted into mini heart shaped moulds, croissants, vanilla cake pops, marshmallows and LCM bars (I was planning on making these myself but ran out of time).
The Cake I went to reliable Cake 2 The Rescue (winners in our What’s On 4 Junior Awards for 2013 and 2014) and chose the Snow Flake Princess Cake Kit. You can’t really see it but the dressed was stamped with a snow flake cutter and glitter.
Everyone loved ‘Pin the Carrot on Olaf’. I printed it in poster size at Office Works for $6 and this included 2 sheets of the noses.
For the party thank you gifts, I doubled the recipes of Play dough (on the cream of tarter container), added some blue dye and glitter and rolled it into 15 balls with an extra sprinkle of glitter on top. These then went into plastic gift bags with a silver tie from a discount store for $2. I then printed the sign on my computer and added it into a frame I already had saying “Thank You Snow Much” – cute 🙂
For more Frozen inspiration follow our page on Pinterest here.
As I prepare for the birth of my third child, I’ve started mentally preparing myself for all the joys and challenges that go with the breastfeeding experience.
My first child was born in the Middle East in Dubai where modesty and respect of the Muslim culture was required. I was unsure how breastfeeding in public would be perceived given this, but I need not to have worried as to my surprise it was greatly supported and you are encouraged to feed your baby to at least 2 years of age.
When my breastfeeding journey began I loved the closeness and calmness of it all. It was such an amazing bonding experience and after an emergency c-section birth I felt like I owed him opportunity and wanted to do sometime ‘natural’. However, getting started was not so calming or beautiful. It was at times difficult and frustrating for both of us. I am one of those mother’s that seems to have an abundance of milk! I might have difficulties giving birth to my children but boy can I feed them once they are out and I fed Julius to 13 months.
With my second child Charlotte, I again had a good supply but with that can come its issues….
Picture a sprinkler shooting off a hose due to too much pressure – well that’s how my little ones experience feeding for first few weeks! There was choking and spluttering and ultimately tears. This often lead to poor attachment, blocked milk ducts and a great deal of emotional stress in those early days.
This is where my Medela breast pump became essential in my breastfeeding journey. Whether it was expressing some of the milk initially to make the ‘let down less strong’ or pumping the remaining milk after a feed to prevent blocked milk ducts. Having ‘back up’ milk in the freezer was always handy as well.
So my message to new ‘mum to be’s’ is, although there is a lot said about low milk supply the opposite can actually occur and it just goes to show that everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different and that is completely normal. My best advice for mums planning on breastfeeding is as follows:
Stay hydrated: This is really important, especially in summer and really helps with supply. Eat well: Don’t diet!! Producing nutritious milk takes energy and I’ve seen friends cut out the bad fats and good fast out of their diet in an attempt to lose weight and it has impacted on their milk. Feed on demand: This can be a huge adjustment as a new mum and it involves the realisation that time is no longer yours control. But it won’t last forever so hang in there. Rest: Breast feeding takes a lot of energy to produce, so you need your sleep. I know it is temping to get some household jobs done but rest and your body will thank you for it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Breastfeeding is hard to get used too in a lot of cases. So if you’re struggling, just ask for help.
Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit: www.medela.com.au I www.facebook.com/medela.au
I recently had the pleasure of taking my 3 and 5 year olds to see Disney On Ice – Treasure Trove when it opened in Perth. What an amazing show!
Captivating, breathtaking, mesmerizing, enthralling and entertaining.
The skating was brilliant and we watched as many of our best loved Disney characters danced and sung before us. It was hard to pick a favourite moment, however when Simba and Narla skated to “Can you feel the love tonight” I was so engrossed that I couldn’t take my eyes away to see what my kids were thinking!
As much as I could tell you how great the show was, the real truth will come from my children. Here’s what they had to say :
“I loved it so much, the skaters were so fast and my favourite was at the beginning when the Army men came out with Jessie, Woody and Buzz. I also loved all the animals that came out with Simba and Narla in The Lion King and Timon and Pumba were so funny.”
Campbell aged 5
“We saw Snow White skate on ice. She went to sleep in the glass and the Prince kissed her. We saw Princess Jasmine ride up high with Prince Ali and we saw Rapunzel and Flynn Rider put the lanterns up high in the air.”
Emily aged 3
The annual tour of Disney on Ice is a show not to be missed.
Practical information : The show runs for approx 40 mins followed by a 15 minute intermission and then continues for another 55 minutes. It was cool inside the venue and if you are lucky enough to be sitting close to the front I would take a warm jumper. There is an amazing arrange of Disney merchandise available at the venue as well as drinks and food available to purchase which include souvenirs as well (cups, crowns, hats and bags).
Touring Nationally May 29 – 13 July
For more information and ticket purchase click here
Look Good Feel Better® is a free nationwide program helping women with appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Workshops include instruction in skin care and makeup application; a complimentary makeup tool kit filled with donated products from the cosmetic industry; practical tips and instruction on wigs, head coverings, and nail care.
I came across this organisation recently at the Kids business Communications Bloggers Brunch and felt compelled to spread the word on how others could help.
Look Good Feel Better is always looking for beauty professionals such as make-up artists and nail technicians. They need general volunteers to help organise and support the programs too.
Kids Business Communications hosts the Bloggers BrunchTM series of events where bloggers and brands meet and mingle. These events also raise awareness and funds for different charities. For more information visit:
I was contacted by What’s on 4 Little Ones Australia to see if I could do a review of a box of fruit and vegetables by Aussie Farmers Direct – of course I said “yes please!”. I’ve actually looked at using these guys for a while now, but just never really gotten around to trying them, so it was a bit of the universe talking I think… so now onto the review…
The box was hand delivered straight to my front door, and it was delivered in the morning, which was great as I was heading off to work that day. I quickly opened it, and everything looked really fresh and clean so I was looking forward to getting home from work that day to properly check it out.
So of course the first thing I did when I got home was wash everything and pack it in the fridge. I used some of the potatoes that night for bangers and mash we were having and they were great. They cooked up nicely and all of them were in great condition.
Over the course of the week we ate what else was in the box, and everything stayed really fresh over the week. There wasn’t one single thing I had to throw out due to bruising, or freshness, it was all really yummy. I had to ask on my facebook page however what these were (photo below) as I’d never seen them before, and they weren’t listed on the itemized list of goodies I’d received from Aussie Farmers. They are called persimmon, and are a fruit (but I’m sure you may already know that). We had a try but sadly we didn’t go much on them, but it was nice to try something new, and I learnt something new that day too 🙂
We eat a lot of fruit and veg, and the box lasted us for a week (2 adults, 2 children) so I was pretty happy with that. I also managed to cook up this massive vegetarian lasagne.
Overall I would give Aussie Farmers a big thumbs up and I will definitely be doing my fruit and veg order through them from now on. Check them out at http://www.aussiefarmers.com.au/
Thank you for the opportunity to complete this review.