1. From my earliest days, I can remember finding companionship in a story when playmates were hard to find. This side of the millenium, though, young ones are seeking solace from a screen – and the decline of reading is not only a sad sign of the times, but an epidemic with pernicious effects.

    Why You Should Raise a Reader - and How to Do It

    To understand what happens when we don’t devote time to the written word, it’s easier to look at what happens when we do. Continue reading →

  2. Table manners may not be second nature, but thanks to this ingenious dining table design, they can definitely be learned – albeit after a sore bum or two (no corporal punishment intended).

    The Dutch Dining Table that Makes Family Dinners Compulsory

    Created by Dutch designer Marleen Jansen, the aptly named Courtesy Table literally prevents people from leaving the table while others are still eating; the enforced etiquette operating via a distinctly Pavlovian principle: every time you jump up from your seat, someone lands on the floor. Ouch. Continue reading →

  3. As soon as little ones achieve some mastery over the finer motor skills, any activity that allows them to shape, manipulate and create quickly becomes a favourite.

    DIY Rainbow Cloud Dough (Taste-Safe)!

    Rainbow Cloud Dough not only introduces tots to fun textures and an unlimited colour palette potential, but also sparks their creativity; the possibilities for pretend-play – and thus making stuff – are endless (think ‘cupcake’ baking, ‘snowman’ building, ‘dirt’ digging, ‘beach sand’ and glitter dough). Most importantly, cloud dough enables tiny hands to explore the sensory world safely.  Continue reading →

  4. If you’re a lit fan, and in search of a baby name to rival the pulp production of mediocre monikers, search no further than this list of covetable character titles…

    22 Literary Baby Names for Bookworm Parents

    A favourite book is usually so because of an unforgettable character; a figure so strikingly rendered that, even years after we’ve read the final page in their story, we can readily recall a vivid impression of our hero/heroine, and exactly what magic it was that drew us to them in the first place. Continue reading →

  5. In the midst of winter – particularly a British winter – sunshine is but a distant dream, a mirage of summers gone by existing only in our minds and sensory memory to torment and make us more miserable between the months of November and Forever.

    No Sun? Try These Top Sources for a Vitamin D Boost

    But it’s not just our psyche that suffers during the long shut-in; the lack of rays affects us on a basic physiological level, too: not enough sun means no vitamin D production in our skin — an essential element in protecting bones and developing a healthy immune system (especially important for little ones). Continue reading →