The Cat Lovers Show is a veritable feline festival, featuring everything for and about cats in the one place, celebrating all aspects of ownership.
Australian retailer The Reject Shop has just launched it’s fab range of wheelchair-inclusive Halloween costumes for children, part of a mission to become more inclusive and allow children of all abilities to be a part of special occasions. Can we get a “Hell yeah!!”
Partnering with national charity HeartKids, the range features two costumes that fit over a child’s wheelchair, and easily attach to it with velcro. With the puff of a magic wand, one of the costumes transforms the chair into a gorgeous princess carriage, while an ‘Ahoy Captain’ will see the other transform into a pirate ship. As every wheelchair is different, multiple velcro pieces are included with each costume to ensure that it fits.
“The Reject Shop has long been known as the place for affordable Halloween costumes, but we wanted to ensure that all children were able to join in the fun of Halloween celebrations,” says The Reject Shop’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dani Aquilina.
For the launch, The Reject Shop is collaborating with their charity partner, HeartKids, who is dedicated to working with children with congenital heart disease, who often find themselves in wheelchairs post-surgery and throughout their recovery stage.
“Our wheelchair-inclusive range is the first step in ensuring that inclusion and diversity are inherent in our organisation. We’re excited to introduce the range to parents and children this October, as part of our broader strategy to help more families live on a budget.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with The Reject Shop on such an important initiative,” says Rob Lutter, CEO of HeartKids. “These costumes will allow wheel-chair bound children a much needed distraction from their time in hospital, and the chance to simply be kids again and enjoy Halloween celebrations.”
Along with The Reject Shop’s full range of kid’s costumes, the Halloween wheelchair range will be available in selected stores nationally, just in time for Halloween.
Retailing for $49 each, it’s hoped that the range will make children in wheelchairs feel every bit a part of the Halloween celebrations.
Further information on the range can be found at www.rejectshop.com.au
We are the sort of travellers who won’t usually visit the same place twice. Well, why would you? There’s a wide world out there, waiting to be explored! That was until we took the children to Tuscany and fell in love, not only with our surroundings but also the Tuscan people. They are renowned for being laid back life lovers, filling their days with hard work, and their evenings with great food, family, and impeccable wine. So, Tuscany drew us back and boy did we have a wonderful time again.
Tuscany is a wonderful destination for a family holiday, not just because of the splendid vistas and the impeccable wine, but also the huge variety of things to do and see. From outstanding cities and art galleries to pristine beaches and boat trips to incomparable museums and churches, Tuscany really does have it all.
Over the next few posts, I will fill you in on what we did on our latest adventure to Italy.
First stop San Casciano Val di Pesa.
San Casciano Val di Pesa – 15km Southwest of Florence
We stayed in San Casciano Val di Pesa for a few nights at the very start of our trip, as we were heading to a wedding at a nearby castle. Like all of Tuscany’s small towns, it is incredibly beautiful. This is a truly authentic Chianti town, and an easy trip to or from Florence by car, bus or train.
The medieval walled town of San Casciano Val di Pesa is very easy to get around on foot, with plenty of fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafes, churches and museums. Luckily for our Gelato loving kids, there was plenty of that on offer too! The play park could easily win a medal for having the best view of any park in Italy and is perfectly placed in close proximity to great cafes. Always a winner! There were a few market stalls dotted about the park selling local cheese, fruit and veg, and freshly caught seafood. There was another selling what can only be described as Nonna’s underwear which the children made a beeline for! We purchased some cheese but sadly had no space in the case for Nonna’s Knickers.
Top tip: Have a look online at the long list of events held here throughout the year, as it’s a busy little town with plenty to share with tourists! Market day (on a Monday) is definitely worth a peek!
Eating out in San Casciano Val di Pesa is easy! When we asked our B&B owners where we could eat a good lunch, we were told “here, everywhere is great”. They weren’t lying! We ate three meals out and each one was impeccable. Oh the tomatoes in Italy!!!!
The Wilson’s Top Picks in San Casciano Val di Pesa
STAY– B&B Art – This small B&B is traditionally Tuscan. The rooms are quaint tuscan style, spotlessly clean and have just the things you need in a room. (Yay for a decent hairdryer). Breakfast was an array of cured meats, cheeses, fruit, cereals, yoghurts and homemade croissant! Delish!
EAT– La Cantinetta del Nonno (Via IV Novembre, 18, 50026 San Casciano in Val di Pesa) Most definitely the best lasagne you’ll ever eat! Yes, quote me on that!
SEE –“Giuliano Ghelli” Museum of Sacred Art, located inside the Church of Santa Maria del Gesù (enter through the library on Via Lucardesi, 6). The museum hosts many religious-themed paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries, and is made up of a sacred art section, an archaeological section and a section dedicated to primitive dwellings. The museum hosts a rare piece from the Master of Cabestany, an anonymous sculptor active in the second half of the 12th century. It’s a sculpted column representing the birth and the Baptism of Christ, with plenty of details. His figures are peculiar: they have long faces, almond-shaped eyes and many are folded in drapery.
SPOT– Make a beeline for the piazza, and see if the kids can spot the majestic silver stag standing atop the Medieval town wall. This is a contemporary artwork by Mario Merz that represents the freedom of nature.
Top Tip: Coffee is always cheaper if you stand at the bar to drink it, plus, it’s a really local thing to do, so you’ll fit in like a gem!!
All in all Casciano in Val di Pesa is wonderful place to stop for a few days. If you are thinking of visiting Tuscany you can easily day trip to Florence and Sienna from Casciano in Val di Pesa, whilst also making the most of this historic town and it’s surroundings. If you’re travelling to Italy soon, have a wonderful time!
Getting to Casciano in Val di Pesa
Flights – We flew Royal Brunei from Melbourne to London (approx. $4,500 for us all), then British Airways, London Heathrow to Bologna (approx. £500 for us all). Flights to Italy were hard to come by as we left it fairly close to lift off before we booked. We checked our luggage in when we left Melbourne, and it went all the way through to Bologna which was awesome, and saved us the hassle of checking in again!
Drive – The drive from Bologna to Casciano in Val di Pesa is a little over two hours. We hired a car with Budget/Avis and collected it at Bologna airport. The whole process was painful. It took about 90 mins to collect the car, there were huge queues (make sure you get a ticket to be in line), not many staff, and it was all just a headache after such a long journey. They did the usual ‘upselling’ of all sorts of insurance this and insurance that, trying to baffle everyone stood at the counter, so beware! Make sure you know what you need and what you don’t so that you’re ready and armed with all the facts! Our friends hired with another company and got hit with a HUGE insurance add on which hadn’t been made clear at all! You have been warned!
Viaggiare amplia la mente
Meet Steph & Claire from School Finder!
‘Teaching is so rewarding! Seeing your students ‘ah ha’ moments and pride in their success makes all the tough moments worthwhile’ – Stephanie Murphy
What made you decide to set up School Finder?
‘In our first year we didn’t charge any of our clients, we wanted to see if what we did worked for families, we wanted to review and refine our service and build relationships with new people and schools. Now we have clients from all over Melbourne and interstate Australia. Including several international moves also’ – Stephanie Murphy
What services do you offer expat parents moving to Australia for the first time? Can you assist parents even when they have never visited the area?
If a parent was moving to Victoria, from overseas, what would be the reason they would choose your help?
We try to keep our service really personal, so what we do for one client may not match the needs of another. We make sure we tailor our service to your family’s needs. Stephanie Murphy
In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing when helping overseas/expat families find the best school for their child?
Why do you think your services are important for parents moving to a new country?
Claire and I got into teaching because we love helping people, forging good relationships and a great rapport with those around us and seeing the results. This is exactly what we do with School Finder. Stephanie Murphy
I understand that leaving your home can be overwhelming, let alone struggling to build a new life so far away! Claire and Stephanie have made this process a whole lot easier for you, so I hope you will support them in their crusade, to make expat family life a lot easier to build! Recently the team at School Finder have connected with a relocation company who specialise in Melbourne rentals (hurrah)! This means that they can help you find the right school and get you into your new rental stress free.
I’d love to hear how you found the right school for your new expat kids!
Qualified and expert educators guiding you through the school-finding process.
Our Team: Expert educators who have worked across the sector. But just as importantly, we are also parents.
Our Services: From a simple sounding board to a comprehensive one-on-one plan that will get your child from kindergarten to grade prep and beyond.
Since moving to Australia, I have found buying gifts for friends children, here and overseas, a nightmare. I always want to buy something interesting, not made of plastic, and an experience rather than a toy! I try and choose a gift that is typically ‘Australian’ but other than books or cuddly Koala toys I find myself stumped for a unique idea. **You’re going to thank me for this, I promise!!
If you’re like me, and have searched to no avail, for the perfect gift for a special child in your life then let me end your searching! I have recently discovered The Adventures of Ash & Indigo, and would love you to check it out!
Give a wild gift of adventure, story telling and nature connection. Waste free, no plastic packaging, delivered to your door, and spreading beautiful messages – The Adventures of Ash & Indigo
The Adventures of Ash & Indigo is the brain child of Brenna and Becky, two ex-primary school teachers, who had a dream to bring the Aussie bush to children across Australia and the world. They are both mothers, trained forest school leaders and hugely passionate about inspiring kids to get out into the wild, wherever they may live, through their monthly letter subscription service.
“This work is so important to us because we know that kids who are in nature care about it, they are connected to it and they will act to protect it as they grow’ – Becky
Having received our first two letters, I can assure you that your children will delight when they receive theirs. With a subscription, a special letter will arrive each month from Ash and Indigo, two kids growing up in the Australian Bush. The letter shares their adventures and helps builds a strong connection with nature through the power of story telling.
Monty thinks these letters are the most wonderful treasures when they arrive in the mail. The letters have brought him so much joy whilst teaching him about life in the Aussie Bush, a place we love to explore. It has also sparked our imagination as parents, and we are much more conscious of creating numerous ways to bring more of the outdoors into our everyday lives!
Monty’s first letter (July) was so beautiful; bright blue paper with a majestic Cockatoo peeping at us from the envelope. The theme for July was focussed on the tracks wild animals make in the bush. Monty’s idea of heaven is following creatures footprints, so this was a winner!
We loved reading Indigo & Ash’s letter with Monty. The delightful way in which it was written, really took us into the bush, we could almost smell the eucalyptus trees and the lemon balm, and I adored the conversations it brought about in our house.
Monty’s imagination was ignited when he was wildly telling me about the footprints he thought he’d find in his ‘Track Trap’! I was a little unsure we would find crocodile tracks in the morning but he was full of hope!
A letter from Ash & Indigo would be the perfect gift for a little person in your life. How magical for your child’s long distance friend overseas to open the letter box and see an envelope all the way from Australia, teaching them some of the wonders of life Down Under. There’s nothing quite like receiving a letter that someone has taken time to pen, and these letters sent from the bush, are not only well written, they are well thought out, fascinating and encourage exploration of the outdoors (winning).
The fun tasks included are designed so that children of all ages can enjoy them. This makes a subscription the ideal birthday gift for a classmate, a Christmas gift for a relative or just a darn good gift for a jolly good soul!
Just to clarify, this isn’t a ‘paid ad’, this isn’t a friend of mine whom I’m celebrating. This work of genius is brought to you by two nature loving, Aussie mums, who have created something that I truly think deserves your attention. These letters will not only teach your family about the wonders of the Aussie bush, will not only encourage your family outside, it will give you a beautiful reason to sit down with your child and spend some time focussing on mother nature and the precious gifts she gives us all.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert Einstein
The Adventures of Ash and Indigo🌱
🌳Gift Certificates Available🌳Perfect for Birthdays, I Love You’s, Christmas, or just because. Get in touch to order your gift certificate!
I hope you can give this wonderful gift to someone special! xx Liv
The Ultimate DUPLO® Playgroup is coming to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre® and you’re invited!
Your little builders are invited to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre on Wednesday 11th September for a fun and inspiring morning with Playgroup Victoria to celebrate 50 years of DUPLO® fun!
The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup will take place from 8:30am-10am, giving families with kids aged 0-4 the opportunity to enjoy building activities, storytelling, a visit from Emmett from The LEGO Movie (YAY!!!!), and enjoy the arts and crafts in the centre’s new DUPLO Farm Adventure zone at a discounted rate.
Playgroup Victoria and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are hosting the special event to mark 50 years since LEGO created DUPLO, the big bricks for small hands.
DUPLO was designed to inspire toddlers to unlock their full potential through interactive, creative and playful experiences.
According to the LEGO Play Well Report, 95% of parents believe play is essential for children’s well-being and is a vital educational tool.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre supports the important role Playgroup Victoria plays in bringing young children, parents, families and communities together to learn and develop through informal play and social interaction.
“Participation in playgroup positively impacts so much of children’s development as well as parent’s capacity to engage with their children through play,” Danny Schwarz, Playgroup Victoria CEO.
“LEGO is a wonderful tool that allows children to practice their fine and gross motor skills. Moreover, it encourages them to create, be curious, be innovative, share, imagine and play – all which feeds into their greater understanding of the world and its concepts,” Sinead Halliday, Playgroup Victoria.
The new DUPLO Farm Adventure zone at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is an interactive experience where toddlers can let their imaginations run wild. Behind the giant barn doors, children can explore a multi-level farmhouse where they can build with DUPLO and climb, crawl, slide and swing!
To purchase tickets to the special event, enter the promo code “ultimateplaygroup” at www.LEGOLANDDiscoveryCentre.com.au. Families can stay at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre after The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup concludes.
As well as DUPLO Farm Adventure, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is also home to two thrilling rides, a 4D cinema and 11 LEGO build and play zones to keep kids of all ages entertained!
What: The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup
Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Chadtsone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone, VIC 3148
When: Wednesday 11th September from 08:30-10:00 (families can stay after the event)
Cost: $25 per adult; $20 per child 3yrs and over, free for children 2yrs and under
***Adults will only be admitted to The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup with a child and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Melbourne’s annual Anime, Manga and Gaming Convention is back, and bigger than ever before. It’s promising to be a weekend you’ll never forget!!
Are you ready for the giant that is the Animaga Expo? This years expo promises to be it’s best yet, so for any one who loves Anime, Manga and Gaming you do not want to miss out!
‘Animaga is bigger, better, bolder. Consisting of a team of anime lovers, the Animaga team aims to bring fans and creators together to celebrate their love for anime culture from Japan by presenting a range of fan-driven interactive activities to Melbourne’
Event organisers are promising more than ever before! More guests, more activities and lots more fun! This really is the leading Anime event in Melbourne!
Manga (漫画 manga) are comics or graphic novels created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art
Created by fans for fans, the Animaga team is bringing world-class anime and first class manga games, all combined with the very best of Japanese fashion and pop culture! There will be so many awesome things to spend your money on, so make sure you take your reusable shopping bags and all your pocket money!
This event will be a Japanese pop culture fan’s dream.
Animaga 2019 highlights will include:
- Meet and greets with your anime, manga, and gaming idols.
- The Animaga Maid Café, where the much loved kawaii Maids are happy to entertain guests with games, dancing and much more!
- Gunpla Workshop where you can learn everything about the Gundam models- Gunpla and what you can do with them.
- Animaga Gaming Area -Yes! It’s back!!! Take time out to enjoy a variety of games!
- Karaoke Video Gaming
- Drawing Tuition
- The famous cosplay competition featuring stunning guests Hakken and Onnies, who shall bear witness to the fascinating craftsmanship displayed on stage. Whether it’s the coolest armour or the delightful gags, these competitions always bring in a wide range of skills and characters who are just eager to show them off!!
Animaga 2019 is your premiere anime festival in Melbourne
Venue: Royal Exhibition Building,
9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
Price: Adults – 1 Day $40 Weekend $60 Children – 1 Day $25 Weekend $40 (Children’s prices apply for 3 to 12 year olds.) Companion cards are welcome.
TOP TIP: The immediate area surrounding the building offers an excellent setting for cosplay photography.
The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media. Outside Japan, anime refers specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterised by colourful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story and has proved to be one of the most enduring children’s books of all time. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages. That’s pretty incredible!
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Musical has landed at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre following a hugely successful six month season at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.
We checked it out last night and I know you’re going to love it. Whether your children have read the book or not, now is a great time to introduce it it in truly delicious way!
If you’re die hard Roald Dahl fans, be aware that this show tweeks the original story a little, to fit the stage. Having said that, the magic is still there in glorious Wonka style!
The orchestra create musical wizardry (and lots of goosebumps) with brand new numbers, alongside the classics of the 1971 movie, like Pure Imagination, The Candy Man, and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket. You can’t help but sing a long..
The staging of this classic Roald Dahl story is incredible.. Yes there’s a chocolate river, there are plenty of Oompa Loompas and Mike TV gets shrunk! I know right!!!
Charlie Bucket (played by Lenny Thomas last night) stole everyones hearts from the moment we met him. Lenny is obviously a talented all rounder, who enchanted the entire audience with his tenderness and his pitch perfect voice! We were all desperately willing him to get his little hands on that Golden Ticket! Paul Slade -Smith kept all of Gene Wilders kookie traits, whilst creating a brand new, (more believable than Johnny Depp) Willy Wonka. This is a man who’s talent seems endless and who’s onstage presence is electrifying!
The nitty gritty!
The stage adaption of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory seemed a little confused about the era it was set in. The original little Bucket shack appeared to be set a long while back (like the original story), then the other characters are introduced with Mike TV on an iPad with a mobile phone, Violet Beauregard being a YouTube sensation addicted to social media.. (Yawn). Lots more references to the modern day were thrown in too, in a rather irksome ‘pantomime-esque’ way. I thought this was a shame. Must we really modernise EVERYTHING?? LOL! IMHO!
I was also a little disappointed that adults were playing the Golden Ticket winners meaning Charlie was the only child on stage. That’s just me though! Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregard, and Mike Teevee have been thrust into modern day life in this adaption, still as vile as ever, but managed to create a new, vibrant and interesting take on the story!
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory the Musical is pretty long for smaller children… 2hrs and 30 mins! The first half is a little slow to get going, however once the second half rolls round, and we enter the factory, the true Wonka magic hits the stage! We were wide-eyed when we spied the chocolate waterfall, oompa loompas and all of Wonka’s awesome imaginings! The special effects are stunning, and not like anything I’ve seen in a huge musical like this! I won’t spoil it for you… although I really really want to tell you about…. No! I can’t…..! You’ll have to go and see it for yourselves!
Despite the little modern additions, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical is huge fun for the entire family, and a must see!!!
* Performance times vary weekly ** Transaction fees apply
A magical event fuelling the imagination of young Aussie minds is about to hit Darling Harbour in Sydney and you could win tickets with us!!!
In 2018 fun legends, ReedPOP introduced Sydney to their most marvellous creation yet, Play World Australia. It was an event so large, so incredible, and oh so epic that the brand new, upcoming (even more amazing) event is going to blow you and your little ones away!
Presented by Nintendo, this 2 day event in Sydney, creates the most unique atmosphere for our littlest generation and allows them to play in a dynamic, fun and educational environment that is bound to get everyone excited!
Play World will light up Sydney’s ICC this October school holidays where, kids aged 4 to 12, can let their creativity and imagination run free. This is your chance to play with the latest games from Nintendo, go on a musical adventure with The Beanies, laugh until your belly hurts with The Listies, take part in drumming workshops and explore the world where kids’ imagination is the only limit.
With so much to explore from the minute you walk in, this high energy atmosphere entices you to the interactive and colourful exhibits inviting kids to laugh, play and dance all weekend long. Play World Australia gives kids the opportunity to learn and educate themselves on some crazy skills; from intricate coding with the experts from Code Camp to creating beautiful flower crowns with Sydney Flower School. Find some imagery from our 2018 event Here.
Where: International Convention Centre, Sydney, Darling Harbour, 2000
When: October 5-6, 2019 Time: 9am – 5pm Saturday & Sunday
Play World Australia are proud to support Kids Helpline as the official charity partner, helping raise funds and awareness for the essential service they provide for young Australians. Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people ages 5 to 25. Find out more here
Let’s Laugh, Play, Sing and Dance Together on October 5th & 6th 2019!
Where: Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston St, Collingwood (lots of on street parking locally)
When: Tuesday 2 July to Saturday 13 July 2019 – 12:30pm-1:30pm
Ticket Price: Adult – $24.30 Concession: $24.30 Family of 4: $85.04
Tuesday discount: $16.20
‘The juggling on the chairs was scary and funny at the same time’– ★★★★★ Monty Wilson, Head of the Fun Department, The Wilsons of Oz
‘Sam & Justin were the best entertainers…. really funny. ’ ★★★★★ Poppy Wilson, The 11 year old Boss, The Wilsons of Oz
‘Sam and Justin have worked hard to create a show that delivers the kind of laughter we all need in our lives! ★★★★ Olivia Wilson, Chief caffeine consumer, The Wilsons of Oz
‘Quite possibly the Penn & Teller of Australia!’ ★★★★ GLAM Adelaide
‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’ – Roald Dahl
I have two children at Primary school. I am “one of those mums” who hasn’t let either of them have a phone yet. Why would I? My son is 7, and my grade 6 daughter is 10. They’re never really in a situation where they need a phone. Not only that, I don’t want them to be able to access any form of social media without me being there. I don’t believe children under the age of 16 have anywhere near the right capabilities to understand or use social media in the right way! They’re still learning social etiquette in the playground for goodness sake, so why open up a whole other world where a simple “No!” can be completely misconstrued.
Aside to the misunderstandings that come about from a simple text message, smartphones and social media can have seriously detrimental effects on our children’s emotional wellbeing. Alongside increased stress and anxiety levels, children have been shown to have dramatic changes in how they see themselves and measure their self-worth. So why would Primary Schools allow mobile phones through the gates? Well, how the hell can they stop it? This week (three weeks after I wrote this article) it seems that the Victorian Government are finally taking steps to ban mobile phones in all Victorian schools. This has caused lots of chat, mostly from parents who are understandably concerned about their children being left without any way of contacting them.
Just like most primary schools, our school has a “no mobile phone” policy. It’s all very clear! When you come into school, you switch your phone off and hand it to your teacher, who locks it away until the end of the day. Or, you can hide it! You can leave it on, hide it in your bag and bring it out at school swimming when you and your mates want to make a TikTok video. Or you can sneak it into your bag when you go on grade 4 camp, and make Instagram stories of your mates being silly in their underwear. Come on, who cares who’s watching our 9 year olds running around half naked? Oh hell, let’s go the whole 9 yards and make some Instagram posts with our girlfriends in front of the mirror in the change rooms. Who cares that poor old Sally is nude in the background? Her mum won’t mind!!
It’s all good and well for primary aged child to have a phone so that parents know they’re safe when they’re walking home, however, when our children are at school, I think we’re allowed to expect that they are safe too, and not being subjected to all the nightmares of social media and the internet? It should go without saying that they aren’t being filmed for Instagram, or photographed for Snap Chat shouldn’t it?
I think as parents, we’re well within our rights to know that when the bell goes, and school begins, children are not uploading to their socials, taking photographs or subjecting other children knowingly or not, to any kind of online activity.
According to Bully Zero Australia Foundation, one in eight Australians experience cyberbullying.
It’s not about being paranoid; it’s about keeping our whole community safe.
Do we need to send primary aged children through metal detectors at the school gate? Probably not. Do we have an all-out ban on phones, and expect our children to walk home with no way of being contacted? No, absolutely not. Do we need to stop our most vulnerable children accessing the help they need through a device, no way! Therefore, the only way teachers can ever get a handle on mobile phone usage at school is by us parents taking control. Now!
We need to talk to our children about their devices and how they are using them. We need to make sure our children are being honest and using their phones in a safe and respectful way. We need to teach our children the importance of handing their devices to a member of staff, and absolutely make it their responsibility to do so. If they can’t be responsible enough to do that, they shouldn’t have a phone!
Mobile phones can take bullying out of the playground and into the home.
You only have to scroll apps like TikTok to see how many children (and I mean Primary aged) are using their devices in school time. It’s not only a worry for the safety of your own child, but for the children in the background who are completely oblivious to the fact they are “Insta famous”.
We mustn’t ever underestimate privacy. It’s supremely important when it comes to our very young children. “Private accounts “still reveal all sorts of information about a child, and do not stop online bullying!
Of course there’s a limit to what schools can do about children who sneak their devices into the playground. Without bag searches, metal detectors or honesty, teachers are being blindsided every day. This is resulting in our children not having a completely safe environment in which to learn, away from the pressures of social media and the worst of the internet.
The village needs you!
Our primary school children don’t understand the dramatic implications of their online behaviour. They don’t see the harm in hiding their phone in their bag and taking the odd picture of their friends in the playground. We don’t need an all out ban, we need to teach our children the importance of honesty!
It’s our responsibility as parents, to keep our children safe, however, it’s also our responsibility to make sure the children around them are safe too.
It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless – L.R. Knost