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Oct 31, 2011
Oct 29, 2011
Oct 28, 2011
While I captured the sunset moment, this motorcycle was passing by. I thought before that it was a fail capture. But once I saw the result, why don’t I share it here? I guess the silhouette of the motorcyclist can add an interest to this pic.
Oct 27, 2011
Oct 26, 2011
Oct 25, 2011
Oct 23, 2011
Oct 22, 2011
Find some Ballarat accommodation and settle in for a few days, as there is a lot to see and do here.
Ballarat is an exciting city for children and adults alike. But the best part about taking children to Ballarat is the education they will receive, without them even realising it! Take them to the fun outdoor museum Sovereign Hill and they will soon know all about the gold rush days of Australia, as well as the battle of the Eurkea Stockade. Not only that, but after exploring the huts and tents, they will understand how people lived in the 1800’s. They will even have the chance to pan for gold or use a quill themselves! With spectacular shows running throughout the holidays, the education is disguised so well in this place that the kid won’t even know they are learning.
If they don’t scare easily, take the kids on a Ghost Tour of the old mining town. This is a walking tour but because it focuses more on the stories than the walking, it will be suitable for children to walk. However, due to the scary nature of the attraction, it is advised children under 6 years old do not attend!
Take some time out to visit the botanical maze at The Tangled Maze. This 3km maze is made entirely of hedges and flowers. Planned very well in advance, there are blooms for all seasons so it will always be amazing, no matter what time of year you visit.
The Great Ocean Road is a beautiful scenic drive along the coast of Victoria. But for young kids, being cooped up in a car for hours on end while the parents take in the gorgeous views may not be ideal. Port Campbell accommodation will come to the rescue in this case. Situated on the Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell is a seaside town that is settled between steep cliffs. Pristine white sand beaches are tucked into the base of these cliffs and are a delight for anyone wanting to take a dip in the ocean.
Accommodation here can be anything from caravans and camping, to hotels and private homestay options. The kids will have a blast snorkeling in the unspoiled waters or simply playing down by the foreshore while mum and dad enjoy a cappuccino at one of the many great cafes. To wear the children out before bed, climb the stairs from the beach at Port Campbell Bay up to the Discovery Walk. This gives amazing views across the town and the bay.
For the parents, the best part about stopping at Port Campbell is that you are just minutes away by car to the best sites of the Great Ocean Road. So while you may not be able to continue your journey for too long with children, you will still get to see the famous 12 Apostles and be back at the hotel in time for afternoon tea.
Oct 21, 2011
Oct 20, 2011
Oct 18, 2011
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Oct 16, 2011
If you want to really spoil the couple buy them a good quality fridge. If this sort of gift is way out of your budget you can always get a group of people together and all chip in to pay for it. Often this sort of group gift is a lot better than receiving a whole lot of smaller gifts that you don't necessarily need. Every household needs a fridge and the couple would really appreciate having this necessary expense bought and paid for.
If the couple are moving into an older home, they may not have a dishwasher. Another group gift idea, a dishwasher is a fantastic appliance for the busy working couple. It will come in handy later if they decide to have children – let’s face it, nobody has time to be doing dishes. There are great water saving dishwashers available today, with some that retain the water from the final rinse to use for the first rinse of the next load. You can also buy dishwashers that have two separate drawers, perfect for a couple who would not fill a whole load of dishes in a day.
Towels might seem like a boring gift, but good quality towels are expensive and a household can never have too many towels. They will need a change so they have extras while others are in the wash and it is likely they will have guests staying from time to time.
Ice cream maker
Give the couple a small appliance that is a bit of fun, such as an ice cream maker. A great gift too if the couple is going to be living in a rural area a long way from shops as it is difficult to buy ice cream and get it home without it melting. Making your own ice cream is fun, you can experiment with different flavours and it won't have all the unhealthy preservatives in it.
It might seem like a boring sort of gift but a newlywed couple will definitely appreciate receiving cash as a wedding gift. Whether they choose to spend it on their honeymoon or buy something they really want for their new home, it is entirely up to them.
Gift vouchers are the same as cash really but you can choose where the couple can get their gift from. It also means that they will actually get a gift for themselves, rather than spending any cash you might give them on everyday things, like bills or the food shopping.
Get the couple something really special to remember their wedding such as a piece of art work. You could buy them an original painting or a hand blown vase or even a sculpture. A piece of art is a real luxury item and every time they look at it, they can think of you.
You could help the couple out by giving them a big food hamper full of items for their pantry to get them started. Buy them all the staple ingredients they will need like spices, condiments, nice tea and coffee, flour, sugar, pasta and pasta sauce and lovely items from the delicatessen like expensive cheeses and wine.
Oct 14, 2011
Sky Watch Friday
There are some things you must do whilst visiting Melbourne, such as seeing a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), taking a Great Ocean Road tours or browsing the thousands of trendy shops. But when holidaying with the family in Melbourne, children can be entertained in a variety of ways. When organising your Melbourne tours, ensure that it caters to the needs of your young ones. Your tour could include visiting fun parks, encountering animals, as well as educational, art and cultural experiences:
· Funfields, an outdoor family fun park at Whittlesea, is just 40kms north of Melbourne. This amusement park caters for guests of all ages, including attractions such as a mini golf course, water slides, go-karts and toboggan rides.
· Melbourne’s Luna Park at St. Kilda offers a range of amusements and attractions. These include roller coasters and ghost trains, as well as less scary rides such as a ferris wheel, mirror maze and dodgem cars. It is open most weekends and school holidays, and is accessible by public transport (tram and trains).
· Melbourne’s Aquarium along the Yarra River houses thousands of water creatures such as penguins, seahorses, stingrays, turtles, and of course sharks! There are various interactive events you can sign up for if you or the kids want to get a more hands-on experience, such as fish feeding and shark dives.
· Meet farm animals at Animal Land Children’s Farm, located in Digger’s Rest. This environment supports the learning and education of children in regards to how to care for and look after farm animals. You can get up close with cows, ponies, chickens and ducks. Similarly, Collingwood’s Children Farm offers children the chance to feed the animals and have a picnic under a tree along the Yarra River.
· Melbourne Zoo, otherwise known as the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, is located in Parkville, just four kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD. The zoo is home to over 5000 animals from over 320 species, including elephants, lions, butterflies, giraffes, zebras, leopards, gorillas and seals.
Educational, Art & Cultural Experiences
· Scienceworks Museum in Spotswood is just seven kilometres south west of Melbourne’s CBD. The museum promotes science and technology education in a fun, interactive nature. Scienceworks offers displays, tours and activities that demonstrate various science principles.
· See a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) at Melbourne Park. Whether its cricket, soccer, AFL or rugby league, experience the atmosphere as thousands of fans get together to cheer on their team. This is the tenth largest stadium in the world and can cater for over 100,000 people.
· Artplay, near Federation Square, is an interactive art and cultural exploration. It enables creativity of children up to the 13 years of age. The supportive environment encourages curiosity and run workshops and performances. Children can work with professional artists to learn creative skills and how to apply them.
· Take part in the Aboriginal Heritage Walk in South Yarra. Experience Australia’s history by seeing traditional smoking ceremonies and demonstrations of the use of various local plants.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Melbourne provides a plethora of other activities to suit the whole family, such as ice-skating, cinemas, river cruises and snow trips. This list should act as a springboard, prompting thought about what you and your family wants to get out of your trip to one of Australia’s most beautiful cities.
Oct 12, 2011
1. Have a schedule
Inevitably, your party will run for more than a couple of hours. You do not want kids in the pool – or in the sun – for that period, without a break. Have a think about your party before the big day. Divide it into sections – for example, you will want to separate the eating section, from the swimming section, not only so that the kids are not full while swimming, which is a big safety issue, but also so you don’t end up with food floating in your pool. This will also help to ensure you have regulated the time in and out of the sun, so you can apply sunscreen as necessary, and reduce the risk of bad sunburn.
Having a lot of kids to watch in the pool is much more difficult than your own kids. Enlist the help of other adults, so you always have a few people watching the pool and the kids, someone who can run around after the kids if need be, and yet more people, who can keep an eye on the food and make sure everything that needs to be done as the part progresses, is done. If adults are in short supply, head to an events hire store and get a bain marie so you can bring all aspects of the party to the poolside. Disaster can strike in seconds in the water, so having adequate supervision is vital.
First and foremost, head to your pool supplies store to get a good pool filter and other pool accessories, to ensure your water is as clean as possible. Clean the surface area particularly, as kids have a tendency to get anything and everything caught in their mouth if it’s around, and this in turn can lodge in their throat and effect breathing. Likewise, having the area around your pool clean, means kids won’t trip over or slip and hurt themselves on the pool edge or on the items lying around. Even with things clean, make sure kids aren’t running as this can be dangerous.
Despite all the adults, make sure you restrict the number of kids to a party like this. The adults supervising should be able to know how many kids there are and see them at all times. If your numbers are too high, this will become difficult and a child could struggle or drown in the water unnoticed.
When the kids arrive, briefly talk to them about the rules and safety, so they are also partly responsible for doing the right thing and making the party safer.
Oct 11, 2011
Oct 10, 2011
Oct 8, 2011
It is important to teach your children about the potential danger that they may face from someone they don't know. They shouldn't be taught to fear everybody but they should know that they can't fully trust someone they have only just met. They should be taught to never open the front door to strangers, particularly if you are not home, and they should definitely not go with a stranger or get into the car of someone they don't know. They also need to be told not to accept anything from a stranger, such as food or drink. They should let you open the front door, unless you say it is ok, then they should still leave the security door shut and locked. A security door is useful because you can still see out and speak to the person, but with a lot of security doors they can't see in. If your children walk by themselves to and from school they need to understand that they need to be careful and always be aware of what is going on around them. They should know never to accept a lift from a stranger.
It is important for every family to have a fire safety plan and every one should know exactly what to do in case there is a fire. Children should be taught to get down low to the ground and crawl to safety. They need to know in advance where they should get out of the house and understand that the best way out might be through a window or a back door. They should know to feel the temperature of any doors before they go through it in case there is fire in the room on the other side. As a family you should work out where you will meet if anything like this happens.
Unfortunately there are many cases of children drowning each year. Your children should be taught how to swim but also they need to learn how to keep safe when they are around water. There are many things that can go wrong at the beach or when swimming in rivers as there are a lot of unknown factors, like tides and rips at the beach and things hidden under the water in rivers, such as tree branches and rocks. Children should understand that diving into water that they don't know the depth of is extremely dangerous. It is important that they learn to swim between the flags at the beach.
Oct 7, 2011
Sky Watch Friday
Oct 6, 2011
Beyond the Stereotype
While it is true that these men make up part of the homeless population, there are also many other people that are homeless but you may not actually see them on the streets. Only 1 in 7 people will sleep on the streets, meaning there are many people you do not see that have no place to call home. Some of them will be lucky enough to be able to stay with a family or friend, or perhaps they will secure a bed in a boarding house. Some of them will get a bed in the service system.
The sort of person who becomes homeless cannot be defined in one demographic. All types of people become homeless each year for a variety of reasons. The single largest cause of homelessness is actually domestic violence, so this means it is often women and children who are seeking shelter and food.
Homeless Children and Youth
There are over 10,000 children that are homeless right now, and one in forty children under the age of 5 will use a homeless service each year. Half of the 100,000 homeless are under 24-years old. So as you can see, the homeless community is a wide and varied one. It could be your friend, your neighbour or your family that ends up in this same position.
Services for the Homeless
A soup kitchen is a place where food is offered to the homeless for free or sometimes for a small, affordable price. Volunteers run the kitchens, often coming from church groups, by preparing and serving the meals. The food is usually provided by companies for free as charity, or at least at a reduced cost. Sometimes the volunteers will run a food drive to collect canned goods they can either serve or hand out to people and families who need them.
The kitchens are usually open daily, serving either lunch or dinner but rarely both. For the people that frequent these places, this may often be the only meal of the day for them. When soup kitchens started in the 18th Century they served just soup and bread. These days however, they serve a bigger variety of food. Casseroles, pastas and noodles are often found on the menu and even drinks such as fruit juice, tea and coffee are served. It is quite rare for fresh produce to be available at the kitchens if there is fruit being served it is usually from a tin.
There are many soup kitchens throughout Australia. Find one by contacting your local church or charity group to see if there are any near you. You may find there is one quite far away, which could mean you make a weekend or holiday out of it.
For example there is a soup kitchen at Inverell, so you could find Inverell accommodation and then help out in the kitchens the next day. It will make your next holiday feel more worthwhile.
Oct 5, 2011
Oct 4, 2011
Cancer is a massive disease in Australia, touching every person in some way or another – whether through a family member, friend or themselves. Unfortunately, many of the sufferers are children and teenagers, meaning they never get a chance at a normal childhood or teenage years. CanTeen is an organisation that supports young people from 12-24 who are living with cancer. The organisation brings sufferers together, so they can share and relate, and also puts on leisure activities and camps so kids and their siblings can have a break from it all – and so can mum and dad.
Children are afflicted by many and varied illnesses in Australia, many meaning they will not see their adulthood, and if they do, they will undertake thousands of hours of treatment and live with a lot of pain. The Make a Wish Foundation is all about granting sick kids their biggest wish. Whether it’s to go to Disneyland or become a policeman, as was the first wish granted, this foundation aims to fulfil children’s hope and dreams and put a smile on their faces.
Again, all about the smiles, Starlight acknowledges the difficult time kids can have when fighting an illness or staying hospital for long or repeat stretches. The foundation provides a range of programs, including in hospital entertainment, to help kids smile during their stay, and if only for a moment, forget their illness.
Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease effecting thousands of Australians, causes lunch infections and digestion problems and can be fatal. 65 Roses is the front running fundraising organisation for the research into the disease. In the late 80’s, research enabled the CF gene to be identified, and further research being undertaken will work towards treating or curing the disease.
An amazing initiative aimed at helping women and their children escape domestic violence, the NSW Women’s Refuge is a key community-based initiative, and is vital to the livelihoods of many Australian women. Other states across the country also have similar community initiatives. Donations for funding will enable the refuge to assist more women, while donating time is a great way to help women get back on track. Donating women’s’, boys’ and girls’ clothing can also help break the poverty cycle that can occur when a woman escapes a bad situation with her children.
Oct 3, 2011
- the earlier you start, the more likely learning will become a normal and accepted part of routine.
- children generally enjoy learning at young ages because they are curious and hungry to know new things.
- children are very open to a variety of learning methods. They pick things up through sight, sound, smell -- all the senses -- as well as experience -- practical learning.
- learning can become a part of play, and in doing so, a part of normal life. Use toys, images, video and other fun pieces to make learning not just a book related activity, but something fun!
- too much focus on book learning can mean your child may not develop the social skills integral to all parts of life.
- if you focus too hard on learning and education, you risk damaging your relationship with your child, pushing them too hard and making them think all of their value is in the results of their learning.
- too much learning too early may turn your child off from focusing on learning later, especially as learning often comes easier at a younger age.
Oct 2, 2011
Posted by di 12:02 PM
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