Parenting

Family and children, school and leisure time

The school years are a great opportunity to enjoy playing a musical instrument. To get the most out of it, your child will benefit from your support. But do you know what you’re in for? I’ve divided up our experiences into six stages, to look at more closely. 1. School Recorder or Ukelele Although the ukelele is becoming more popular it’s still common for primary children to learn recorder in groups. It makes a fantastic squeak when you blow too hard on it. The novelty will probably wear off – stay hopeful! Mastering “three blind mice” on the recorder can…

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My husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 15) are all enthusiastic builders of models and sets. They are even making an elaborate N-gauge model railway. When Arckit got in touch to say they are launching a Kickstarter – and offered us the chance to review their architectural model building kit – I knew my family would be keen. Arckit in a nutshell It’s tempting to describe Arckit by saying what it is not. It is not Lego; it is not Playmobil; it is not an Airfix model kit or anything like that, and yet it has a lot of the same appeal. You…

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At nearly 12 years old my youngest daughter finally asked for makeup to experiment with. She’s waited until she is quite old to let me know she is interested. If she practices over time she can learn to apply it neatly. But if she thinks she can wear a ton of black eye-liner to go shopping in town with her friends, I will have something to say about it! I’m sure that won’t happen. Why do I think my opinion on my child’s makeup matters? After all, we have to pick our battles and there are bigger issues like homework. I can’t…

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I can’t remember quite how we ended up deciding to visit the National Memorial Arboretum. We were staying in a Youth Hostel nearby in a large extended family group. What we really wanted was somewhere to stretch our legs and chat to each other, and the other thing we wanted was lunch. The thing that clinched it was the free admission, so off we went. Arrival and Entrance We managed to find a very winding country route to get there, which was probably us being daft. In fact the National Memorial Arboretum is in Staffordshire just off the A38 between…

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February half term is the ideal time to head indoors to visit a museum or gallery because the weather is likely to be poor on at least one day. I took my tween and teenage daughters to Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mill. It sounds a bit grim and gloomy to visit an industrial museum but we found it interesting and the girls liked it a lot. We went there after a trip to the trampoline park which rounded off a great day out. Perched on the banks of the Aire just behind the leisure complex at Cardigan Fields, this museum…

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