Today, August 12, is International Youth Day. A day to celebrate young women and men as essential partners in change and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth. There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. As a group, that provides young people enormous capacity to advocate for and bring about change. Conversely, it also provides an enormous potential for challenges and problems. In the […]

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Fun and simple activities Although we live in a digital age, handwriting remains important. Writing by hand engages the brain and body differently to using a keyboard or screen. It can also be a more mindful way of learning as it requires one to slow down while they write, and this can improve the ability to retain information. The multiple skills required is surprisingly intricate, as handwriting involves more than just the ability to hold a pencil. It needs: The […]

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If you’re craving rest by the end of term then chances are that your child is too Would you describe your childhood with terms such as simple, adventurous, outdoors ? Would you describe your child’s childhood with terms such as clean, indoors or structured? How times have changed! Thankfully fashion and hairstyles have changed but does it matter that play has changed so significantly? Does play really matter? Research is telling us a resounding YES! Play matters immensely. When children […]

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In Australia around the age of 4.5 – 5 years old, children are considered to be ‘ready to learn’ or ‘ready for school’. Of course as humans we are learning from birth and certainly the years from birth to five are one of the steepest learning curves of our entire lives. But in this article, we will consider a child’s readiness to learn in an educational setting, which comes part and parcel with a curriculum, rules and usually fairly large […]

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Children in Australia live in one of the most affluent countries in the world and yet it seems this affluence is harming and in some cases killing them – increases in childhood obesity, youth suicide, technology addiction, failure to launch, mental health disorders. Our current social construct of childhood is one in which children have few responsibilities, spend too much time indoors and are viewed in terms of their ability to consume rather than their ability to contribute to society. […]

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Motivating and stress-free beginner scissor skill activities. When my son was young, I remember lamenting about our weekly visits to the library’s story and craft sessions. Why am I bothering? He just wants to get hold of the scissors to cut up the books rather than sit and listen to a story. Since then, I have discovered that my gorgeous then 3 year old scissor-slashing boy innately knew what took me years of study to truly appreciate. Scissor skills matter. […]

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At Jump Up Outdoors there is a hill. The Hill is the quickest but not the easiest path to our play area and to the ovals and paddocks where we venture to explore. The Hill is steep, has loose dirt coupled with patches of long grass. Over time, the grass on The Hill has been worn down, foot holes have been dug and a rope has been tied to the tree branch at the top of The Hill to help […]

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How to support our children during the term to reduce the likelihood of task avoidance, sensory shut down and overwhelming feelings. We have just enjoyed the busy beginning of what will be another busy school term. For some of us parents, the return to routine and a little more peace (ok, a lot more!) in the house was welcome. But what about the children? As Occupational Therapists, we have observed that most of the children we have worked with after […]

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Waiting anywhere with children can be a challenge, particularly if there is an expectation that they will be quiet. Often it is tempting to pull out the ever popular tablet or phone which is a sure fire way to keep little people busy and quiet (until it’s time to ask them to stop & put it away). We are all increasingly aware though of how much time our children can end up in front of screens throughout the day and […]

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Why screen based activity should not be part of a child’s morning routine Whether your children are up at the crack of dawn or you have to drag them kicking and screaming from bed, getting ready for school is a busy time of the day. It can be tempting to pop on a screen to give yourself time (& peace!) to get through ALL those things that need to be done before getting out the door. But does being inactive […]

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