Posts in the living category

The gold at the end of the rainbow

The Irish, of course, are no strangers to storytelling. Their leprechaun stories often involve mischievous little people not leading the human protagonist to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In one story, a leprechaun grants a wish to a poor couple, who demand riches. The leprechaun is angered that they are so greedy, and tells them he has put their riches in a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Central Australian Aboriginal culture, of course, offers countless stories about the Rainbow Snake or Serpent, the all-giving Creator of the world. Most of them...

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The forest of childhood

The forest - the grim, dark, rejuvenating, life-giving, mysterious forest. In folktales the world over, there's something special about going into the forest. The hero on his or the heroine on her quest inevitably treks deep into the forest. There are helpers and dangers along the way. In one lovely Danish tale, three brothers take it in turn to set out through the forest to bring a healing apple to an ailing princess. When they lose their way an old lady appears, asking what they have in their basket. The first two brothers don't spare her the time of day,...

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Convent Open Day

Giant Jenga games, Shirts and Skirts, interactive games ... it's all coming together on Sunday, 9 November at Abbotsford's Convent for the Open Day. "The day will be a great opportunity for children, parents and students to come and discover the riches at the Abbotsford Convent," said Ujjval Goble of Dragonfly Toys. The Open Day will give everyone the opportunity to explore the fascinating history of Abbotsford's Convent, meet its artists, and enjoy its markets and workshops. There will be giant interactive Jenga games, including a block stacking game, giant chess, giant Connect 4, noughts and crosses writ large, and...

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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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