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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