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If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then it needs to reflect the people who live in that space. As a room that gets a solid workout on a daily basis, a family-friendly kitchen can make all of the difference when it comes to keeping up with the demands of a bustling Australian family.

Whether it’s whipping up breakfast before the school run, prepping for a BBQ with friends on the weekend, or simmering a lazy Sunday morning brunch, a kitchen that’s designed for family means it’s ready for any challenge thrown its way (even Christmas lunch!).

If you’re looking to build or redesign a kitchen that’s all about maximising the family flow, here are our tips on non-negotiables to keep on your list – including one thing that just might surprise you. Read on to see Dégabriele Kitchens and Interiors top picks for creating the kitchen of your family’s dreams.

#1. The butler’s pantry

 The butler’s pantry is a term that originated between 1850-1900 when England and America embraced the concept. Originally, this was a small room located between the kitchen and dining room, used to store items like crockery and valuable silverware. Meals were often plated in the butler’s pantry before they were then served in the formal dining room. While butler’s pantries were first found in grander homes, they soon made their way into the home designs of the middle class, albeit without the accompanying butler.

As more easily accessible meals became available throughout the 20th Century, butler’s pantries largely went out of trend, replaced by simple floor-to-ceiling pantries. However, we’ve now come full circle, with butler’s pantries highly requested in new home builds for busy families.

Providing more storage space than a standard pantry, butler’s pantries also offer secondary preparation spaces, allowing for more cooking to take place without crowding up the kitchen.

#2. The island bench

 Who knew a simple change in bench arrangement could add so much value to a family-friendly kitchen?

Island benches are perfect for homes with multiple inhabitants. Whether you’re cooking dinner with your kids or assigning them to wash-up duty, island benches make for smoother kitchen layouts that allow people to move in and out with ease. Reduce sibling spats and dramas; spread the family out along the vast bench space.

Island benches are also great for entertaining, creating a natural space for food to be served as guests access the spread from all directions.

#3. An incorporated workstation

By designing a kitchen that has a focus on multitasking, it’s never been simpler to keep an eye on your kids’ homework progress while making sure dinner gets to the table on time.

Dégabriele Kitchens and Interiors worked with one Sydney family to emphasise both togetherness and functionality, incorporating a work desk into their overall kitchen flow. This allowed the busy family of 5 to put the kitchen to work each and every day, as a place for practical and functional prep and also as a hub of the home. The results are beautiful, showcasing a space designed for daily use that’s paid attention to the little details.

#4. Family-friendly appliances

Does your family entertain regularly? Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, a birthday event or have a gaggle of kids running around on a hot summer’s day, one small feature in your appliance line-up can make a world of difference. By incorporating easy access to ice, you can make sure you’re prepared for any kind of entertaining need that pops up, while conserving valuable freezer space (necessary for families who need to fill them!). Options include a free-standing appliance that can sit on the kitchen counter, or a fridge or freezer that has a built-in ice machine function. Skip out on the need to load up with bags of ice and make the most of having it on hand at the press of a button. Make your kitchen smarter with intuitive appliances that serve you and your family.

Build for the long run

Invest in a family-friendly kitchen design and make the most of every moment – these precious years fly by. Benefit from thoughtful and bespoke design that grows with your family, matching your needs in every life season.

 

From nesting to nurturing, the new Berlei Life collection is designed to support a woman in comfort and with ease through the stages of motherhood.

The Berlei Life Maternity range is crafted with soft luxurious fabric that is kinder to the planet (either made from Tencel Modal or recycled fibres), making it comfortable for the changing body.

Each piece in the collection has been thoughtfully designed to live in now and nurse in later, including one-handed nursing clips and bras and briefs that grow with you.

Maternity Camisole

  • The Berlei Life Maternity Camisole is designed to live in now and nurse in later. It includes a hidden internal bra for added support, extra length for bump-hugging coverage and one-handed nursing clips for nursing ease.

Over The Bump Brief

  • The Life Maternity Over the Bump Brief features a snug and supportive over the bump fit, designed to live in before and after birth. The briefs are made from soft Tencel Modal fabric and feature a flat legline for a streamlined look under clothing.

UnderState Maternity Bra

  • The Berlei UnderState Maternity Bra has an adjustable band that grows with you and one-handed nursing clips for easy feeding access. It also features soft, stretch cups that mould to your natural shape and a ultrathin neckline to create a smooth profile under clothing.

Maternity Bikini Brief

  • Made with Tencel Modal fibres, the Life Maternity Bikini Briefs feature a snug brief with a curved waistband for a below-the-bump fit, making it comfortable to live in before, during and after birth.

Maternity Wrap Bra

  • Berlei’s Life Maternity Wrap Bra is wirefree and features a crossover front for easy nursing access, making it ideal for both pregnancy and nursing. Made with Tencel Modal fibres, it is soft and plush, making it perfect for sleeping and lounging in.

Maternity Active Crop

  • With one-handed nursing clips to make feeding a breeze; The Life Maternity Active Crop is wirefree, feeding-friendly and fully supportive with hug-like compression for bounce control and adjustable shoulder straps for a customised fit.


The summer holidays are almost at a close, and the back to school rush is fast approaching. It’s a busy time of preparation, buying supplies and packing bags. Save a few moments this January to carefully consider your child’s lunchbox by incorporating these useful tips from
JuicedLife.

1. Add colour

The easiest way to bring lunchtime excitement is to incorporate a range of vibrant colours into the meal. Create a rainbow explosion of green, orange, red, yellow and purple through a clever (and very strategic) choice of fresh foods. Encourage eating across the colour spectrum to promote the intake of various phytochemicals and nutrients. Snack-sized, pre-cut fruits and vegetables are easy additions, as are delicious micro-sized juice shots.

To make the process collaborative, consult with your child and consider colour-coded days. Maybe Tuesday could be “red day,” so stock the lunchbox with watermelon, whole cherry tomatoes and spaghetti bolognese sauce. Friday could be “rainbow day,” celebrating and signifying the end of the week. Play around with their favourite colours and engage your children in creating and brainstorming. Try to avoid repetition; keep it exciting!

2. Consider all the senses

Taste obviously plays a huge role in guaranteeing your child actually eats their lunch. Make sure you consider the crunch factor at every meal, as this chewing action stimulates satisfaction. Carrots, apples and rice crackers are great examples of healthy crunch.

The perfect lunchbox should incorporate and engage all the senses. Aroma is vital, so consider adding a little rose water or orange blossom to their drinking water for a pleasant lift. Avoid foods that might typically start to smell or go slimy, creating an unpleasant feel or appearance. Most children will eat with their hands, so include elements that are easy to pick up without too much mess and aren’t off-putting to touch. Importantly, ask for their feedback, particularly if they don’t eat something: why did they leave it? 

Colour adds to the overall visual appeal, but think about also presenting ingredients in creative ways to boost interest. Roll, wrap, plait and stack elements. Make it fun. 

3. Fill up on healthy, energy-boosting ingredients

To keep kids energised and raring to go at school, it’s important to fill up on the good stuff. Fruits and vegetables provide vital energy, vitamins, minerals, fibre and hydration. They aren’t high in protein and fats, though, which are also essential for satiation and overall health. 

So, make sure to also include healthy fats and protein, boosting brain health, immunity and physical energy. Don’t over-complicate it – staple additions are ideal, such as hard-boiled eggs, sliced cheese, avocado and lemon juice or olive oil, and pulled chicken. 

Avoid the temptation to rely on inexpensive starchy carbs when building your child’s lunchbox. Limit rice, bread, pasta, biscuits, crackers, etc. and instead choose simple and clean whole foods with minimal processing. While they are easy to reach for in the supermarket, they lack the health benefits and satiation required. 

4. Choose convenience (without sacrificing health)

 A healthy lunchbox shouldn’t come at the cost of your time and sanity – there are plenty of simple solutions that are low on preparation but high in nutritional value.

 Smoothies are a great and easy option for sustained energy, whether made at home (including various fruits and vegetables) or purchased from a health conscious vendor. Juices and smaller juice shots provide an extra boost and also enhance the lunch experience with a wide range of colours and textures. Protein balls and snack bars are perfect fillers and much-liked by kids, offering a little dose of natural sweetness without spoiling their appetite for the next meal. 

 

Other great snack options can be made from the leftovers sitting in your fridge or pantry. Additional protein hits are great morsels to include, but also consider slices of tray bakes from the previous nights’ dinner or muesli pressed into balls or bars. 

Most importantly, have fun with your lunchbox ideas. Explore hacks on Instagram, experiment with your child and kickstart a colourful, delicious and nutritious plan for 2022. 

 

 

 

Whether it’s a cruise along the Perth and Fremantle coastline, an afternoon of trampolining, slipping and sliding in the waterpark, a round of mini-golf or an afternoon embracing Western Australia’s native plants and animals – we have compiled a list of exciting, family, summer activities that is sure to leave every family spoilt for choice.

Perth’s Outback Splash

Just 30 minutes out of the city, Perth’s Outback Splash is the perfect summer activity for the whole family. The popular outdoor entertainment centre gives both the option to find solace from the summer heat with the four new water attractions open from September to April, and year-round activities like mini golf, mazes and Australian animal experiences like patting Koala’s.

If you’re looking for a jam-packed summers day out for the family, then Perth’s Outback Splash is a great option. Who doesn’t love a waterslide on a hot day?

Wanneroo Botanical Gardens and Mini Golf

A must-visit destination in Perth’s northern suburbs since 1981, The Wanneroo Botanic Gardens is essential this summer.

If you’re looking for a fun family day out (with a bit of competition), Wanneroo Botanical Gardens and Mini Golf comprises the largest outdoor mini-golf course in Australia. With an 18-hole Garden course and an 18-hole billiard course, Wanneroo promises a day of lots of laughs, fun and friendly competition between families of any age. If you have older kids, or want to avoid golfing in the summer heat, Wanneroo also offers Night Golf (mini golf in the dark!) from Wednesday to Sunday evenings, with the latest tee off being 8:30pm.

Immerse yourself in the garden experience whilst playing 36 holes of mini-golf, and finish with a meal at the onsite restaurant Leapfrogs. Free admission for any Leapfrog dining or mini-gold players and $5 entry for spectators or sightseers.

Rockface Climbing Centre

Be active and have fun at Perth’s best Indoor rock-climbing venue, a safe, exciting, all-over body workout for ages 5 to 85! Whilst fun and exciting, it helps adults and kids conquer fears and build confidence in a workout environment. There are 100+ climbing courses,26+ ropes and a World Cup bouldering wall. Rockface also offers hosting birthday parties, corporate team-building occasions and group functions with your own provided food and snacks.

The Gravity Discovery Centre – Gingin & Perth

The GDC Observatory is an astronomical observatory dedicated to the exploration and science of the night sky. Located in Gingin, Western Australia, the observatory is a part of the Gravity Discovery Centre Precinct. Offering something for everyone, the gravity discovery centre caters from astronomy to astrophysics and indigenous culture to biodiversity.  Stargazing at the world-class facility includes new telescopes and dark skies with Cafe and meal bookings. Duration: 2 Hours (approx.)

WA Maritime Museum

A LEGO model of the Shinan wreck

Spend the day exploring Western Australian Maritime Museum, a celebration of Fremantle’s past, present and future as a coastal city and port. Located in Victoria Quay, the museum is open seven days a week, from 9:30am to 5pm. Its current exhibition, Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in Lego® Bricksbrings fascinating stories of famous shipwrecks to life, a perfect trip for all young LEGO enthusiasts.
Price admission to the museum is $15 per adult | $7.50 for concession | $30 for a family pass (2 adults + 2 children) | Free for child (0-15 years).
Price admission to Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in Lego® Bricks is $15 for a standard ticket | $12.50 for concession and juniors | Free for children under 5.

Fremantle Prison Tours I Torchlight Tour

Every Wednesday and Friday evening, join the guides in the dark as they engage you with sordid and ghastly stories of Fremantle Prisons dark history and ghastly stories. In winter (April – October) tours depart regularly from 6.30 pm, with multiple tours throughout the evening.
In summer (November – March) tours depart from 7.00 pm, with multiple tours throughout the evening. Cost is $28.00 per adult | $24.00 per concession | $18.00 per child | $82.00 for a family pass Please note: Torchlight Tours are not recommended for children under 10.

WA Shipwrecks Museum

Engage the family in the rich history of Australia’s oldest shipwrecks at Western Australian Shipwrecks Museum. Located a ten minute walk from Fremantle Station, the museum is open seven days a week and free for all visitors. Learn about Western Australia’s dangerous coastline, the journeys of Australia’s first European encounters, the riches of maritime trade and deadly mutinies of Australian history.

Scitech

There are 2.5 million minds in Western Australia. SciTech is here to spark questions in every single one, through playful science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences. Since 1988, SciTech has been fuelling curiosity and igniting the ideas that will forge the communities and workplaces of the future. SciTech is something both parents and kids will become fascinated by.

Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm

A visit to the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm provides children (and ‘grown-ups’ too) with the opportunity to experience the joy of getting ‘close and personal with lots of friendly farmyard animals in a delightful outdoor country atmosphere which is just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD in the heart of the beautiful Swan Valley. There are so many things to do including, visiting the friendly farm animals, kangaroos, emus, having a picnic or BBQ, free tractor-train rides, free bouncy castle, free merry-go-round and playground.

Adventure World

Visit Perth’s only Theme Park/Water Park, set in beautifully landscaped botanical gardens and lawns with over 25 attractions and rides to enjoy. Including the new world-class, exhilarating thrill ride Goliath; a giant pendulum swing ride. The heart-thumping, adrenaline-pumping roller-coaster Abyss and Kaken; the longest and steepest water funnel in Australia. Plus, there’s the Hawaiian resort-themed Kahuna Falls, and Aussie wildlife experience for the younger adventures just to name a few.

Latitude Joondalup

Bounce, climb and fly at Perth’s hottest destination for those that need to burn off some extra holiday steam. With 3000sqm of trampoline and climbing entertainment for all ages.  Latitude offers a bounce in your step with interconnected trampoline floors, featuring a free jump area, dodgeball court, basketball lanes, performance trampolines and an Air Bag. The action continues with their state-of-the-art climbing zone, featuring rock climbing walls, bouldering walls, a dual Perspex climbing wall and our famous wobbly pink poles.

Fly high with the 8m high sky-high obstacle course that offers you a bird’s eye view of the whole floor. And for all the little ninja-warriors, the experience is not complete without attempting The Grid, featuring a zip line, spider wall, bouldering, tight-rope and a warped wall. Latitude also offers a Kids Zone mini experience, for those 18 months to 5 years.

AQWA

AQWA The Aquarium of Western Australia is Perth’s premier underwater aquarium located on the shores of the Indian Ocean just 20 minutes north of Perth city. Aqua is passionate about marine education, rehabilitation and conservation, and is dedicated to generating wonder and respect for the marine life of Western Australia through an extensive school education program, rehabilitation programs for sick and injured animals and amazing exhibits that provide a window to the bottom of the vast ocean floors. From December through to January at Aqua, you can experience mermaid and private shows, dive with the sharks, snorkel with the sharks, glass-bottom boat tour and more.

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is Western Australia’s very own island getaway, featuring a castle atmosphere, picturesque scenery, and some of the world’s finest beaches and bays. Rottnest is located just 19 kilometres off the coast of Fremantle. There are many things to do such as water play equipment hire, aqua play tours, shopping, swimming in the beautiful clear blue beaches and bays, seeing quokkas, this is the perfect little day getaway or overnight stay for you and your family.

Kookaburra Outdoor Cinema

Experience movies under the stars in the Perth Hills with the state forest providing a dramatic background to the on-screen entertainment. The season runs from November to the beginning of April; gates open between November and February at 6:30 pm and movies commence at 7:45 pm. All you must do is organise dinner, book a table and come early. There are snacks and lollies to buy onsite. You can even book to camp overnight at Perth Hills Discovery Centre which is across the road from the cinema.

Fremantle Arts Centre

Following on from the blockbuster 2018 kids’ exhibition Animaze, Fremantle Arts Centre presents an even bigger and more colourful creative experience for kids with Hundreds & Thousands.

Hundreds & Thousands see the galleries transformed into colour-filled worlds, with vibrant interactive artworks and immersive spaces designed for children and families to enjoy.

Across a spectrum of colour-themed spaces, Hundreds & Thousands offers rich sensory experiences for kids of all ages, including optical colour machines, giant golden soft sculptures to touch and participatory digital art that visitors create with their bodies.

Glowing Rooms 3D Mini Golf

Just five minutes from south of Fremantle, the Glowing Rooms as designed to provide you with a unique mini golf experience. Play in air-conditioned comfort, under ultraviolet light, surrounded by intense colours and mind-blowing hand-painted artworks. The magical 3D special effects glasses bring everything to life, transforming a game of mini golf into a glow in the dark experience. Golf balls appear to hover over the ground, the animals and characters come to life and almost reach out and touch you. As you move through the rooms, the journey takes you under the waves to a world inhabited by sea creatures, through space to corners of the universe. What an incredible experience.

Armadale Reptile Centre

The Armadale Reptile & Wildlife Centre houses a variety of native reptiles and other Australian wildlife with over 70 different species on display including snakes, lizards, turtles, fruit bats, kangaroos, frogs, dingoes, emus, tawny frogmouths, parrots, bustards and many more. Visit this interesting wildlife centre during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.

Wembley Mini Golf

With 18-hole courses, high quality landscaped miniature putt putt, Wembley Mini Golf is a scaled-down version of a full-size golf course.  Considering tee and hole placement and featuring lavish landscaping and water features. Weave through sand traps, bridges and water features with your choice of starter, intermediate or advanced holes. The course is designed for both adults and children, challenging skill levels and offering a perfect family day out in the sunshine.

Perth Zoo

Located in South Perth, and just five minutes from the CBD, Perth Zoo is home to animals and plants from all corners of the globe. Offering an educational and entertaining family fun day out for all, with children under 4 years old entry free. Go behind-the-scenes and experience close encounters, and even meet Santa and his elves until the 24th of December. Open every day of the year 9 am-5 pm (That’s right! Even including Christmas Day, Good Friday and New Year’s Day) there truly is no better destination for your next full day of holiday fun!

Whiteman Park

Dedicated to the education and conservation of environmental, transport and cultural heritage, Whiteman Park offers the kids adventure and knowledge in one. With a vast array of fauna, flora, wetlands, and playgrounds the park offers visitors a full day of activities both educational and entertaining. Offering special events to cultivate community, join a nocturnal Woylie walk, Tour by train, tram or bus, Museum, Still Life Drawing or Christmas Count down this holidays and discover all the park has to offer (you may even need to come back if one day isn’t enough!).

Flying Trapeze Perth

Fly with Perth’s only Flying Trapeze School with over 25 years of teaching and performing experience. For 6 years and above, the flying trapeze is the perfect activity working to build confidence through achievement and overcoming fears, providing an opportunity to nurture identity and individuality for great and small. Providing adventure and playfulness in a safe and controlled environment. “Lycra and brightly coloured yoga and fitness clothing positively encouraged!”

Hillary’s Boat Harbor

Situated right on the water and hosting a range of boutique stores, delicious dining destinations and awesome adventure experiences, whether day or night, there’s lots to love about Hillary’s! Explore, swim, dine, shop, and attend a range of functions and activities over the holiday period. With live music on the boardwalk, Santa’s workshop, Christmas Markets and the Boardwalk Carnival, Hillary’s has got you covered for your next day or night outing that provides something for everyone to enjoy!

Wellington Square Playground

Wellington Square Playground offers a place for everyone, regardless of age, to connect, climb, explore, create and relax. This new and exciting inner-city Park is a ‘Landscape of Play’, where you can run around, take your dog for an off-the lead walk or enjoy a picnic in a destination location for the young and the young at heart. The design is influenced by Aboriginal themes and Western Australian iconic landforms, it is the perfect destination for locals and tourists alike.

Wellington Square represents cultural and spiritual significance, linking the past and the present, where Whadjuk Nyoongar people met, raised families, hunted, and performed ceremonies. Including a nature play, skate park, parkour activities, flying fox, embankment slides, pump track, water play, climbing towers and basketball courts, the park is the newest advancement for the city of Perth, that offers exciting new facilities to families and the wider community.

WA Museum Boola Bardip

Back and better than ever, the much-anticipated opening of WA Museum Boola Bardip offers education and entertainment in the heart of Perth. For over 120 years the Museum has been making the State’s natural and social heritage accessible and engaging through research, exhibitions and public programs, with incredible immersive experiences for everyone. The Western Australian Museum is the State’s premier cultural organisation, housing WA’s scientific and cultural collection, The Museum Boola Bardip, in Perth Cultural Centre on Saturday 21 November 2020 with nine days of celebration. The perfect place to share Western Australia’s stories, people, places and culture this holiday. The museum is open daily 9:30 am-5 pm with free entry.

Galaxy Drive-In

Watch new release movies under the stars at Perth’s only Drive-In Theatre. Featuring an onsite cafe and friendly staff, your night can be stress-free, enjoyed in a relaxing and safe environment. Located at 157-167 Goollelal Dr, Kingsley WA 6026, immerse yourself in the nostalgic drive-in experience, perfect for summer balmy nights and school holiday fun. Park up the car and stock your boot with pillows and blankets, for a big outdoor screening experience, with a cafe dispensing fast-food snacks. With fortnightly movie updates on their website, plan your trip today! Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Adults $11.00, Children 4yr to 12yr $5.50 and Children under 4yr free. With a Tuesday Night Special of $22.00 PER CAR.

Funcats Water Sports

Funcats Water Sports does a range of activities from Hobie man catamaran, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. Funcats has become an iconic part of South Perth and it is not uncommon to have the entire fleet of 40 catamarans sailing on the Swan River in front of the city. Funcats really does have something for everyone.

Treetops Adventure – Yanchep

Just a 45-minute journey outside of Perth, Treetops Adventure Yanchep, offers a great escape and summer adventure. There are 7 tree ropes causes to choose from, filled with an array of ziplines, wobbling wooden bridges, swinging cargo nets and more! The range of activities is inclusive for the whole family, with additional Segway tours and mountain bike hire, 70 + aerial challenges, 16 zip-lines and the longest zip line of 80m.

Captain Cook Cruises WA

Imagine a perfect summers day out, looking at the blue sky views of the Western Australia coastline as you glide seamlessly through the ocean waters. Just a short walk from Perth’s CBD, Captain Cook Cruises provides a wide range of cruises around Perth and its surroundings, for you and the family to enjoy! There are a variety of different cruises to choose from, including daily passenger cruises to Fremantle, lunch, dinner, and twilight cruises that explore the calm waters and scenic views on the coast of Western Australia between Fremantle and Perth.

Plus, if the adults feel like allocating some time for themselves, you can pick an all-day scenic wine tour to the award-winning Swan Valley wine region!

 

Brooke McAlary’s Four Tools for Radical Self-Care

Brooke McAlary, author of Care: The radical art of taking time, gives us insight into how to undertake the journey of self-care in a genuine and self-aware way. Interviewed by Wellspring editor, Kate Durack, Brooke also discusses the issues with the current self-care industry, and her own mental health journey.

FIND BROOKE HERE
Website: https://www.slowyourhome.com/
Instagram: @brookemcalary (https://www.instagram.com/brookemcalary/)
Podcast: https://www.slowyourhome.com/the-slow-home-podcast

Treating Mental Illness with Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

Tania de Jong is the co-founder of Mind Medicine Australia, a charity organisation advocating for and researching the re-emerging field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Interviewed by ‘Wellspring’ editor, Kate Durack, Tania discusses the power of psilocybin and Syrian rue in mental illness treatment and the misconceptions surrounding psychedelics.

FIND TANIA HERE
‘Mind Medicine Australia’ website: https://mindmedicineaustralia.org.au/team/
Personal website: https://www.taniadejong.com/
Twitter: @TaniadeJong (https://twitter.com/taniadejong)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/taniadejongam

In exciting news for both children and the environment, VTech Electronics worldwide leader in learning toys have progressed their commitment to a better world by introducing eco-friendly products using reclaimed and plant-based plastics.  

Making it their mission to design and manufacture innovative, high-quality products in a manner that minimises impact on the environment, while creating sustainable value for customers and communities – the pair are launching the first drop of these new green electronic learning toys, just in time for Christmas!

The introduction of sustainable product packaging for VTech and LeapFrog toys is also well underway. Currently 94% of the packaging materials is recyclable, while 90% of the cardboard used is from recycled material. VTech has also committed to eliminating fossil-based blister packaging and replacing it with a plant-based alternative in 99% of the electronic learning products by 2025.

VTech Electronics is a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, committed to reducing the environmental impact of its packaging.

 
Each new toy is a first and very important step in both VTech and LeapFrog’s commitment to replacing fossil-based plastics with sustainability alternatives by 2030.

Meet our new eco-friendly toys, environmentally friendly and the perfect gift for Christmas!

VTech Ride & Go Recycling Truck, RRP $59.95
When you get the Ride & Go Recycling Truck, you’re already doing your part to help the earth! 

This recycling truck is made from plastic that is 90% reclaimed, which means less waste goes into landfills. Beginner recyclers will love hopping on this lean, green recycling machine and pushing it round while learning about recycling and reusing everyday objects. 

Ride & Go Recycling Truck is suitable for 18 to 36 months, and available from Big W, Target, Myer, good toy stores and online retailers.

VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Bio-plastic Special Edition Vehicles, RRP $14.95
Grow your imagination while you reduce, reuse and recycle with these earth-friendly vehicles that are perfectly sized for little hands. Each Toot-Toot Drivers vehicle features a light-up face and three sing-along songs and six melodies. But these little vehicles are mighty kind to the environment because the plastic used to make them is 85% plant based and comes from renewable sources.
Toot-Toot Drivers Bio-plastic Special Edition Vehicles are suitable for toddlers 1-5 years and available at good toy stores and online retailers.

      

 LeapFrog Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot, RRP $39.95
The Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot is a recipe for learning fun! And with all the vegetables made from 85% plant-based plastic, it’s also a recipe that’s more sustainable for the environment.  

Children love to pretend to cook. Prepare broccoli, sweetcorn, a tomato and a carrot with snap-apart vegetables, a play knife and cutting board. Hear the pot respond with encouraging phrases as kids add veggies to the pot.

Choppin’ Fun Learning Pot is suitable for children over 12 months, and available now from Target, good toy stores and online retailers.

 LeapFrog Interactive Wooden Animal Puzzle, RRP $29.95

Perfect for playtime! With four interactive play modes, this puzzle is full of delightful surprises.
Match animal puzzle pieces by shape and colour. Animal names and sounds, colours and fun facts are featured in Animals mode and in Numbers mode, count the objects hidden under the animals. Questions about animals, colours and numbers help reinforce the learning. This product is made with 100% FSC® Certified wood and the plastic in this product is 90% reclaimed.

For pre-schoolers from 2 years, the Interactive Wooden Animal Puzzle is available at Target, good toy stores and online retailers. 

LeapFrog Touch & Learn Nature ABC Board, RRP $39.95

Bring a love of nature into the world of learning with the Touch & Learn Nature ABC Board.
With a touch-sensitive wooden board and an animated light-up LED screen, this toy tablet teaches letters, letter sounds and counting. Explore 26 animal/letter buttons, a music button and more. Touch the animals one by one to count to 10! This product is made with 100% FSC® Certified wood and the plastic in this product is 90% reclaimed.

For Pre-schoolers from 2 years, the Touch & Learn Nature ABC Board is available now at Target and Myer, good toy stores and online retailers.  

VTech Electronics will continue to develop eco-friendly products and packaging, with a great range of new sustainable VTech and LeapFrog toys coming soon in 2022 and beyond.

To learn more about VTech products please visit www.vtech.com.au and for LeapFrog products please visit www.leapfrog.com.au. 

Coping with Anxiety When You’re a Mother with Dr Jodi Richardson

In this Offspring special, Dr Jodi Richardson, author of Anxious Mums: How Mums Can Turn Their Anxiety Into Strength, discusses the prevalence of anxiety disorders in women and offers advice to those struggling to cope with it. Interviewed by Offspring Magazine editor, Kate Durack, Jodi explains the importance of understanding and normalising anxiety for both yourself and your child.

FIND JODI HERE
Website: https://drjodirichardson.com/
Instagram: @drjodirichardson (https://www.instagram.com/drjodirichardson/)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrJodiRichardson

3 Important Tips for Parents 

Summer is not far away and with two-thirds of Australians now staying at home, the value
of having a backyard pool has never been more emphasised.

Being able to cool off with a plunge into the water is truly one of the greatest joys of warm
weather but bear in mind that a wonderful pool time also means being safe.

Remonda Martinez, CEO of Sydney’s largest pool builder  Blue Haven Pools and Spas ,
recommends the top water safety tips to keep your kids happy and safe all summer long.

 

Place a Pool Barrier or Fence Around Your Pool

Proper fencing is a safety measure that is also a key  requirement in getting an Occupation
Certificate of Compliance for your pool ,

Take a look at this checklist from Remonda to kick off your summer safely:

Make sure that the barrier’s gate is self-latching and self-closing with the latches out of a
child’s reach.

The gate should open outwards from the pool so it becomes impossible for children to
open it.

Check if there are no gaps under the fence that exceed 100mm.

Check the height of the latching mechanism. It should be 1500mm above the ground.

Ensure that your pool fences are 1200mm high measured from outside the fence, from the
ground level or any surface within 500mm of the fencing.

Relocate your fences like pots, furniture and fixed structures out of the climb zone.

If there is a Boundary Fence as a part of the enclosure, it must be 1800mm high and
completely free of climb points.

For a glass fence, you will need to provide a glazing certificate to the certifier to ensure the
right quality of glass has been used and is not likely to explode in the future.

There should be no doors or windows opening from the dwelling or other outbuildings
entering the pool area.

No vegetation or obstructions must be seen within a 900mm arc from the top of the
boundary fence within the pool area.

To know more about the do’s and don’ts of pool fencing, check out  the Australian Pool
Safety Standards (AS1926.1 – 2012) . 

Cover the Pool When Not in Use

To effectively use pool covers, make sure to cover the pool entirely with its anchors in the
pool deck securely attached.

Remonda also reminds removing the cover completely if you’re planning to use your pool,
whether for only a short period of time or otherwise. She advises using a rigid safety cover
(preferably a motorized one) whenever you’re not using it, and let pool technicians check
its effectiveness first before you let your kids head for a swim.

Some of the best options for  pool covers  are:

• Safety nets

• Mesh covers

• Automatic  pool covers  or vinyl pool covers – this will allow you to open or close the
cover with only a press of a button. Very convenient.

Please note: If your pool is  above-ground , keep in mind that you need to remove the steps
and ladders when your pool is not in use aside from placing a pool cover.

Install Pool Alarms

Remonda encourages parents and homeowners to invest in a pool alarm as a second line
of defence to supplement a pool fence.

Having a pool alarm lets you easily detect if someone has entered your pool as it reacts to
any movement or waves in your pool water. You can opt for the type of alarm system that
shoots a beam around the pool area and sends an alarm once someone walks through it.

Water Safety Checklist 

A parent herself, Remonda understands that keeping your kids safe is a year-round effort
that goes beyond enrolling them on learn-to-swim classes. On that note, she advises you
to strictly follow these universal guidelines:

• Always supervise your children whenever they’re in and around the pool. Don’t
leave them alone even if they know how to swim.

• Enrol them and yourself on swimming lessons especially those aged 1-4 years old.

• Learn CPR and other lifesaving skills and keep a first aid box in your house.

• Teach them pool safety rules and keep rescue equipment close to the pool.

• Always let them wear life jackets. Floating toys are not life jackets.

• Do not allow them to play breath-holding games in the water.

• Remind them to always enter the water with their feet first.

• Remind them to avoid pool drains and make sure you fix faulty drains immediately.

• Make your outlined pool rules eye-catching and place it near the pool area.

• Clearly mark the deep and shallow ends of your pool.

Final Words 

In any situation, knowledge is power. By understanding and following these water safety
tips, you have all the means to ensure that your little swimmers can enjoy a wonderful and
safe plunge in your pools.

Michael Grose on How Birth Order Impacts our Child’s Personality

Michael Grose, best-selling author of Why First-Borns Rule the World and Later-Borns Want to Change It, explains how birth order influences our child’s behaviour and their life experiences. Interviewed by Offspring Magazine editor, Kate Durack, Michael discusses key traits of first, middle and last-borns and the impact of changing family structures on these patterns.

FIND MICHAEL HERE
Twitter: @michaelgrose (https://twitter.com/michaelgrose)
Website: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/

To read Offspring’s article about Michael’s work, click here.