Posts in the gifts category

Swings and trampolines

I've always found trampolines disconcerting. I never grew up with a trampoline, and bouncing around on one as an adult invariably creates this feeling in me perhaps best described as a sailor without sea legs. I get disoriented, dizzy, nauseous, and start looking for a bucket. Perhaps I could do with a long sea voyage with a trampoline on each deck to overcome my phobia, but if I had that long sea voyage I'd most likely spend it in the library or enjoying 5 o'clock drinks on the poop deck (whatever that is). I will grant, though that there's almost...

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Brain development in a suitcase!

Who would have thought that merely by working on a jigsaw puzzle you exercise both sides of your brain, and increase the links between them? And increase your dopamine levels? (Dopamine is one of your pleasure and soothing hormones.) Brain development and creating pathways to soothe jangled nerves are crucial in early childhood education and development, of course. While 'hothousing' kids has been questioned in some quarters, it nevertheless feels wonderful to give your children a pleasurable, aesthetic and fun activity that at the same time increases brain activity and development. It's a little like eating chocolate cake loaded with...

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Releasing your child's inner tiger

Painting a tiger or a snake or a butterfly on a child's face is similar to the child donning a mask. If you've dabbled in Commedia or theatre or even just tried masks on, you'll know there's a certain power in a mask. It's akin to donning a new persona. When I tell stories to kids I use masks, and each one, whether it be a crow or a galah or the mighty sun, brings its own energy and power. Some masks used in Tibetan ceremonies are kept locked away all year, and only brought out for an annual ritual. And...

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PRODUCT REVIEW: Kraul Big Cable Car Kit

I gave the Kraul Big Cable Car Kit and Station to my three boys at Christmas time and it was such a hit. After the assembly, which we had to help them with as they are a little too young to do it themselves, we hung the cable between our climbing tree out the front of our house and the verandah. The boys had so much fun passing messages and goods between the house and the tree. I loved that the whole set up required some thought from the boys, measuring where the cable would fit between and giving us...

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