Technology for children – Safe, Educational and Inclusive

1640 words / 8 mins read
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At Esplora Interactive Science Centre, we use lots of technology, but we also agree that technology can be unhealthy if it’s misused. Let’s take at a look at what technology really is, and how we can make it safe, educational and inclusive for our kids. Technology - What is it, really? Most people mean “electronics like smartphones” when they talk about technology, especially when it comes to technology and children, but the real definition might surprise you. At Esplora we often use the word “STEAM”, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. Science is knowledge about our world. Engineering is how we use science to make useful things, like buildings and cars. Technology is what we produce through our engineering. So really, anything man-made is either technology, or uses technology! A book is an excellent example – the pages are thin, and smooth, and white, and of a…

Bring children to the museum? Here’s how to do it

756 words / 4 mins read
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Photo: Elise Billiard Una Mamma Green is an Italian journalist, author and mum of two. She writes about environmental sustainability, parenthood, culture and travels Children at the museum? Impossible! A granitic prejudice that still dwells in the minds of many adults, including parents. Museums and, in general, cultural sites, in fact, are often considered as "inappropriate" places for children, at high risk of boredom and, consequently, of chaos and problems. In reality, with good preparation, it is possible to take the children to the museum with very little difficulty, but rather with the satisfaction of the whole family. Here are some suggestions. First thing: choose well The concept of "museum" has evolved over the last few decades: although in the common imagination it is often associated with dusty and boring places, the reality today is that exhibition techniques, productions and museum itineraries have changed over time, and now offer varied…

Live the adventure with Heritage Malta Free family Passport

428 words / 2 mins read
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How do I get the Heritage Malta student passport? All the students who attend primary and secondary schools receive a Heritage Malta card from their respective schools. On their first visit to any Heritage Malta site or museum (except for Borġ in-Nadur, Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, Ta’ Ħaġrat and Skorba Temples, and Gozo Nature Museum), students are to present this card in order to collect their Heritage Malta passport. This card will remain valid till the end of Year 11 (Form 5) at the end of the last school term. What does the passport entitle me to? Heritage Malta’s passport entitles the student and two accompanying adults to free and unlimited access to all its 27 sites and museums (except Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum). The two accompanying adults need not be parents but they can be relatives of the family, friends etc who are aged 18+. If I have a child who…

How to convince my children to walk more

564 words / 3 mins read
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Una Mamma Green is an Italian journalist, author and mum of two. She writes about environmental sustainability, parenthood, culture and travelling It can happen on countryside walks or on holiday in the city, to make a little effort to convince children to walk more. Succeeding in the business, however, is not impossible: just exercise a little more patience, together with some simple tricks that make the walk more fun for young and older children. Give goals Children often refuse to walk, not because they are really tired, but only because they are bored. Giving them "small goals" can encourage them to move forward, turning a simple walk into a kind of adventure. You do not need great efforts of imagination, just divide the path into intermediate stages, encouraging the child to reach the big tree at the end of the path, the bench where to stop and having a snack,…

The plastic that ends up in our plates

364 words / 2 mins read
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Vincent Attard - President of Nature Trust – FEE Malta On Earth Day, Nature Trust - FEE Malta is cleaning up near the coast to help raise awareness on marine debris and how this is today impacting our lives.  With the amount of plastic found in our oceans today we are witnessing that plastic is not only impacting fish  but ending also on our plates through the fish we eat.  Today we hear of the large areas of floating debris in the sea with some areas as big as Italy.Ever since the invention of Plastic as few years back, it was at the time  looked as a good solution to storing products and packaging, has today turned into one of the planet's biggest polluter in modern times.  We now realize that it was more of a health hazard. Plastic takes a large number of years to degrade and in the…

11 Family friendly countryside walks

1355 words / 7 mins read
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Juniper Francalanza is a teacher and a mother of four who loves to read, cook and travel           Bringing our children out into nature has always been important to my family and I. Ever since our children were very young, we would carry them in a back pack or front carrier for a walk to get some time in the fresh air and peacefulness of the countryside. This weekly ritual has been something we both conscientiously chose to try and pass on to our children, the love and respect for nature and wilderness.           We started these weekend walks from when we were new parents living abroad, walking along beach fronts or rivers banks back when our children were only toddlers. One of my favourite parts was the feeling of calm contentedness when coming home after a good few hours out together, coming in to cook, sit down to a…

I want to ride my bicycle! Safe cycling routes for kids in Malta

998 words / 5 mins read
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Dr. Marie Briguglio is an environmental economist, academic, mother and author of No Man’s Land. Suzanne Maas is a PhD candidate in sustainable mobility and an environmental activist. Both Marie and Suzanne are avid cycling commuters. It’s another perfect-weather-sunny-day with zero chance of rain. Another day ideal for bicycling. Images of happy families cycling though rugged country lanes or empty scenic roads immediately come to mind. Only to be quashed by the harsh reality that there seem to be none in Malta. Fact 1: Malta has one the highest rates of cars per person in Europe.  Fact 2: The present infrastructure is heavily geared towards vehicles and cycling infrastructure is pretty terrible.  Fact 3: Maltese children are among the most obese and starved of open spaces in Europe. Happily, we have found some time to present to you with a new fact! There are some places where you can actually…

How can I choose the right Sports for my children?

704 words / 4 mins read
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Fabio Spiteri - Triathlon coach (swim, bike, run). Fabio broke the national record for double Ironman and he was the first Maltese to finish a Triple Ironman. His future plans are to compete in Quintuple Ironman and the Deca Ironman. The children's future depends on our responsibilities as they are the roots of the active world following our steps. In Malta, the situation is desperate seeing so many overweight kids and parents doing nothing about it . So it all goes down to education at school. Me, being an athlete and coach for so many years, have also had the opportunity to work with kids. I strongly disagree with parents who send their kids to only one nursery just because their dad is interested in a particular sport. I believe in physical literacy where it is a journey upon which children and youth, and everyone, develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they…

Why should I play with my children?

1381 words / 7 mins read
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Dr Nigel Camilleri - Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and father of 4 There is a widespread belief in our society where emphasis is on school achievement, economic success and work, that the time parents and children spend playing together is frivolous and unproductive. This conviction is reflected in comments such as “she is only playing around”, “why bother send them to preschool?”, “all they do is play”. We as parents should try to break loose from these premeditated concepts, because time parents spend playing with their children reaps benefits in many ways. It provides them opportunities to learn who they are, what they can do and how to relate to the world around them. Play encourages creativity, when I say play, I do not mean spending time in front of TV or a Tablet computer, however playing with some good old toys. Unfortunately, when a parent does not play…


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