Saturday, 10 August 2013

body: 'munch and move' exercise and nutrition resources for children

NSW Department of Health
I am enjoying using the music from the 'Munch and Move' (NSW Dept of Health, Australia initiative) at school.  The songs are short and make nice little gap fillers.  The lyrics are simple and the children can quickly learn the song.  They also make for great discussion.  My 4-5 year olds particularly like doing the 'Warm Up' song, followed by 'Twist, Balance, Shake, Run'.  They were fascinated to discover that their heart did indeed pump harder after exercise.

Posted in happy little sprout - body

Friday, 9 August 2013

body: 'Beautiful Girl' by Christiane Northrup (book review)

I have been a huge fan of Christiane Northrop for some time. Northrup's books and talks on women's health are wonderful - well researched, detailed, informative and empowering. So, I was pretty excited to discover that she had written a book for young girls. 'Beautiful Girl: Celebrating the Wonders of Your Body', has been written for little girls aged 2-5. This is not a 'where-do-I-come-from' book, it is a book about developing a positive attitude towards being a girl and having a girls body. The book is filled with opportunity for all sorts of discussion with your little girl. 

A garden is filled with delicate plants and tiny creatures. As you walk among them, you are careful with them. You should be just as careful with your own body. Treat it gently and make sure that others treat it gently too(Beautiful Girl, Northrup. C, 2012 Illustration by Aurelie Blanz )

Aurelie Blanz created the illustrations in the book, and they are simply gorgeous! A stand alone reason for purchase. I shared the book with Lilli (9) and we ooohed and ahhhed over the illustrations together. With the text, she was a little bit "yes I know all that" (I would have loved to have had this book when she was younger), but even still, certain parts of the book gave me the opportunity to open up lines of discussion that were new to us. Lilli gave the book 4/5 (she is a little bit older than the age group it is aimed at and not old enough to appreciate it from an adults perspective). I gave it 5/5.

Posted in happy little sprout - body

travel: travelling on budget airlines with families

We find that international flights consume a big chunk of our holiday budget, so, for the first time recently, my husband *pointing the finger firmly* purchased 'budget' airline tickets.  It was one of the worst flight experiences I have had over many, many years of travelling.

Part of the problem was our fault, we made assumptions based on years of combined travel and didn't read the fine print. Big mistake.  There are added costs for just about everything that you need as a travelling family.   On this particular flight the added costs were for:
  • reserving your seats so that as a family we could ensure that we sat together
  • purchasing a seat with extra leg room
  • check-in baggage to be purchased in 20kg lots
  • entertainment
  • food
We were expecting the entertainment and food to be extra but didn't mind as it was a midnight flight.  We didn't expect our child's seat to be discounted as not all airlines offer this.  We did however, expect to be seated beside or near each other, so that for us was a compulsory extra charge as was purchasing check-in luggage allowance.  When you add these cost both ways, the 'cheap' fare starts to look a lot more like finding a good deal on a non-budget airline.  

We expected the seats to be a bit more cramped - they were.  The biggest problem for us as a family was the isle.  It was so narrow, people could not pass each other.  Everyone had at least 7kgs of carry on luggage +++ and so there was a huge delay in getting people seated and then of course not enough space so ours had to be put under our seats or in another area.  During the flight, many people were standing in the isle as the seating was cramped, or to chat to friends that they didn't get to sit next to.  And of course we have a child that doesn't need to go to the toilet until it's 'desperate'!  She got to the loo in time but it was stressful.  One of the passengers lit up a cigarette for a few puffs but because of the isle congestion the cabin crew were not able to get to the area and locate the exact offender, just the lingering smell of smoke!

Soooo, based on our only experience ('Fly Dubai'), it seems that budget flights are a better deal for solo travellers than for families.  After adding up the extras, we also felt that the saving was minimal and not worth the small difference in cost.  It would be interesting to hear the perspective of others travelling with families - are budget flights (as opposed to discounted regular tickets) worth looking at?

Posted in happy little sprout - travel