The primary years are a busy time for children as they develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. Not only are they learning to read, write and do maths – and then advance in those subjects - they’re also learning how to manage themselves, to become more independent, to make friends and get on with others. School-age children gradually become less dependent on their parents and caregivers for their physical well-being, but they remain emotionally dependent on us for love, praise and guidance. They need us to be there for them - and will do for many years to come.
During the primary school years children begin to realise that adults aren’t infallible (we make mistakes!) and they may start answering back and testing the limits. Their peer group becomes increasingly important and navigating the waters of friendship more complicated. Fallouts with friends and exclusion from groups can be heartbreaking. Children this age are absorbing lots of information and making shrewd and often humorous observations about the world around them and the people in it.
It’s normal for a variety of hobbies and interests to be tried on for size and then discarded, and you might notice your child has an urge to collect things. Some experts believe this is an attempt to order the world. Play remains vitally important, as does physical activity, and limiting screen time and getting kids off their devices is a challenge many modern parents face.
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Life with a school aged child
Thoughts on life with a school aged child from some familiar faces. What a typical day's like, what's to love, the challenging stuff, and musings in hindsight, from those who've been there.
Free range kids
Why letting go a bit is beneficial.
How to foster this important trait in your child.
Tips for coping with the downs that accompany the ups.
The birds and the bees and why it’s so important to talk.
Getting to grips with this heartbreakingly huge problem and where to go for help.
Kids in the kitchen
What better dish to start them on than spaghetti and meatballs?
Why preparation is key
Ben freshens a Kiwi classic for dinner.
Tortillas filled with salami, cheese and fresh veges.
Special occasion food
Iced treats - gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat.
Takeaways at home
An Indian-inspired ‘takeaway’ the whole family will enjoy.
Ben shares his kids’ lunch of choice - sushi.
Ben kick-starts the day with muesli and porridge.
Meals without meat
Ben puts a vegetarian spin on a couple of family favourites – bolognese and lasagne.
Garden to plate
Ben makes yummy tomato soup using fresh produce from his garden.
Why eating together is so important.
Numeracy and literacy in early primary
The 3 R’s and how they’re taught in the early primary years.
Moving on from primary
How to make the transition to intermediate as smooth as possible.
The home/school partnership
When home and school work together in partnership, amazing things happen.
Free-falling with our young scientists.
Impossible! (Or is it?!)
Vinegar + baking soda = fun!
Disgusting as it may sound, fake snot is educational and fun!
Growing greeblies and what it teaches kids.
Looking for something gloopy and slimy? Look no further!
Making a lava lamp
You have to agree … lava lamps are pretty groovy!
Bending water with static electricity
Did you know you can bend water without touching it? Strange, but true!
Blowing up balloons with air pressure
No need to huff and puff to blow balloons up; let an empty bottle do it for you!
Changing the colour of a flower
Transformation through transpiration!
The importance of being active
Why regular physical activity is essential for brain development.
Fundamental movement skills
Why children need to master these skills before they’re 7 or 8.
Moving to music
Turn up the music and get moving!
Learning to ride a bike
As a ticket to fun and freedom you can’t go past two wheels!
Being water safe
Tips on keeping children safe in and around water.
Team sport – using a bat
Getting kids off to a great start in team sports.
Team sport – using a ball
Tips for setting children up for fun and success.