Education & play

Education & play


Stop hating princesses

To those people who consider fairy tale princesses to be bad role models, I'd like you to consider these 10 points...

No more childcare

Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

What I've learnt from kids' books

When Lindy Alexander started reading to her young son she never expected she would be the one being educated.

Getting back on the bike

It took a while, but Miss K has finally taken off on her pedal bike.

Why I won't buy a Frozen costume

My daughter attended four Frozen parties over winter this year - at first I didn't realise there was an unspoken dress code.


what's in this section?

toddler playing

Learning from the experts

Early childhood professionals make it all look easy, but they have many tricks up their sleeves to help raise happy, well-balanced children.

birthday cake

10 stages of kids' birthday parties

One thing they leave out of the baby manuals is just how much time you'll spend at these parties when you become a parent.


Toddler relations

"This boy at kindy called me a poo butt today." Not everything goes smoothly when you're four.

Archie Matheson

Dads doing their bit

A new programme is helping dads be more influential in the early years of their children's life.

matt calman

Putting on a show

Miss K and Miss A put on an exclusive living room performance of Frozen.

Kids have more toys than ever before, but with homes filled with plastic have we lost sight of what children actually need?

Do your kids have too many toys?

When parents buy toy after toy, the clutter makes it difficult for children to find what they are looking for or play productively


Is my child gifted?

My three-year-old is super bright, in fact I suspect she's gifted. Is she too young to get assessed?


10 items every dress up box needs

You don't have to spend much money setting up a dress up box, most of the things you need you'll find in your own wardrobe.


Barbie is leaning in

The doll has dabbled in more than 150 careers, but now, with her smartphone and tablet in hand, Entrepreneur Barbie is leaning in.

miss k, miss a, awatea

Pyjama day

This morning Miss K is heading to kindy on a frosty Christchurch morning in her blue fairy pjs and blue dressing gown.


The school visit

To say Miss K is looking forward to going to school is an understatement. "I've been excited about school since I was born!"


Reading classics to kids

I read Treasure Island to my kids. They were terrified but engrossed. They loved the boldness of it. The fear of it.

Richard Dawkins

'Fairy tales hurt kids'

Respected sceptic stirs a literary hornet's nest with attack on children's books.

Hekia Parata

Early childhood education costs

Parents will be bearing increasing costs for childcare as the Budget will push up early childhood education charges, the sector says.

Ministry of Education logo

Centres in complaints stay secret

Hundreds of public complaints made about early childhood centres will be released, but no centres will be named.

Join our Mums' Hub community!
Get exclusive access to:
  • Discussions on our forums
  • Comments on our stories
  • Newsletter guides to pregnancy, babies and toddlers
  • A personal profile and the chance to connect with other mums
  • Newsletter updates from the Essential Mums team
  • Competitions and the chance to win great prizes.
join now!