Author: TMP

‘Our Dog Benji’ Book Review

Part dog story, part food diary, the book Our Dog Benji outlines all of Benji’s culinary adventures. In this hilarious book written by Peter Carter and illustrated by James Henderson, Benji ranges near and far to find yummy food from posh parties to building sites. He’s an adventurous dog eating everything including Brussel Sprouts, olives, mushroom, grass, daffodils and bugs. He’s a great role model for kids who aren’t as adventurous with their food choices. Encourage kids to try more food by getting them to pretend they’re Benji the Dog. As the little boy in the story says “I don’t think I’ll ever be as adventurous as Benji, I won’t eat flowers in the park or bones or bugs, and I’ll drink water from a glass, not a bowl. But I will eat fruit and vegetables and my meals at meal times – although I might have mine at the table.” Our Dog Benji is available from and wherever good books are sold. RRP $19.99. The Mummy Project received a review...

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‘The Fix It Man’ Book Review

“My dad can fix anything. It’s what dads do” A young girl looks to her dad to fix things such as furniture, kites and even teapots. Tragically though, he’s unable to fix the one thing they both love, her mother who is dying. In The Fix-It Man, author Dimity Powell and illustrator Nicky Johnston have created a truly beautiful book to help kids with their emotional needs around loss. Although the subject of death is a difficult one, the engaging text and illustrations makes for a story that kids suffering from grief can connect with. It’s a heartbreaking book to read yet the story concludes in an uplifting manner focusing on resilience and hope. Even though the dad and the daughter are broken after their loss, The Fix-It Man illustrates that by coming together, their love and affection can help deal with the pain. I recommend this kids book for families who have experienced loss. The Fix It Man is available from and wherever good books are sold. RRP $24.99. The Mummy Project received a review...

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11 Tips for Expecting or New Mums of Twins

As it’s Multiple Birth Awareness Week, one of my readers Leanne shares tips for new mums of twins.  Leanne is a busy and proud twin mummy to fraternal girl/boy 2 year old twins Alice and Henry who are ex-preemie 33 weeker babies. They are now two very healthy, active, adventurous, incredibly quirky and lovable toddlers that couldn’t be more different than each other. Leanne is very knowledgeable about parenting twins and has compiled 11 tips to help other mums cope with raising twins. Tips for New or Expecting Mums of Twins 1. Instant fame! From the moment you and your...

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Buy the 2017/18 Newcastle, Central Coast and the Hunter Entertainment Book

Hands up if you love the Entertainment Book! I love mine because it saves me so money on things I want to do with my family and friends. I’m constantly checking to see what offers are available and using it to plan fun days out. Order your new 2017–2018 Newcastle, Central Coast and the Hunter Entertainment™ Book or Digital Membership through The Mummy Project. My chosen charity is the John Hunter Children’s Hospital with $12 from each book or download going directly to them. I’m fundraising for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital as it’s such an important resource for...

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‘Welcome Home, Harley’ Book Review

Learn more about Guide Dogs in the Little Paws series. Local author Jess Black has written a new series of books about puppies that train to become Guide Dogs and the families that help raise them. In the book Welcome Home, Harley, Lexie Walker and her brother Tom “adopt”, an eight-week old puppy Harley. The sibling are newly appointed Puppy Raisers, carers who look after Guide Dog puppies before they are ready to start their training at the age of 14 months. They’re excited about having a new puppy but not as excited at the chaos that Harley brings. Prone to causing trouble, Harley hides under the bed, wees on the floor, annoys the cat next door and chews on everything from Tom’s Star Wars figures to Dad’s briefcase. It takes a Walker family meeting to learn how to handle a puppy like Harley. This heart-warming and entertaining book is a must-read for animal loving kids. (It’s suitable for Early Readers or to read to younger kid). Be warned though, it will prompt your kids to ask if they can become a Puppy Raiser as well. There’s also three more books available in the Little Paws series: Meg’s Big Mystery, Ringo’s Road Trip and Goldie Makes the Grade. All royalties from the sale of the books go to Guide Dogs Australia. Little Paws: Welcome Home, Harley is published by...

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PlayBaby: Free Membership to Playgroup NSW

Do you, a friend or family member have a baby under 12 months old? Playgroup NSW has just launched the Play Baby initiative to give the gift of a FREE one-year membership (valued at $39) to families with babies under 12 months old. An annual family Playgroup NSW membership is usually $39. It includes unlimited access to over 800 playgroups throughout NSW, comprehensive insurance that covers family members when attending Playgroup NSW affiliated playgroups and events as well as a range of discounts to entertainment and events for families with young children. For parents, weekly playgroup attendance provides the chance to meet parents in a similar situation, make new friends, learn from one another and develop a supportive local network. “Babies are never too young to start reaping the rewards of play, interaction and socialisation. That’s what playgroup is all about,” said Karen Bevan, the Playgroup NSW CEO. Over 95,000 babies are born each year in NSW. Ms Bevan said, “Through our Play Baby initiative we’re investing in babies by offering a one-year free Playgroup NSW membership to families with a baby under 12 months old.” All NSW parents who register with Playgroup NSW by their child’s first birthday will receive a free 12-month family membership. For more information or to register online visit the Playbaby...

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How to use Resourcing Parents to find local parenting programs

Interested in local parenting courses? There’s a NSW Government website Resourcing Parents that provides parenting education information to parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years. You just enter your postcode and it provides available courses in your local area. The calendar of Parenting Education programs is current and the site is funded by the NSW government to support families. There’s a couple of courses, Triple P, 123 Magic that have been highly recommended by friends and readers. Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. Triple P is a parenting program for all families that provides practical answers to everyday parenting concerns. Families NSW is offering Triple P to all families with children aged 3-8 years. 123 Magic is a three session program for parents of children 2 – 12 years old. Parents learn how to set clear boundaries for their child, develop frustration tolerance, develop strategies for keeping calm as a parent and how to use emotion coaching to manage difficult behaviours. For more information, check out the Resourcing Parents website.  ...

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What is a ‘Gentle’ C-Section? (And How You Can Have One in Newcastle)

One of my readers Sally shares her experiences of a gentle caesarean section at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. She wanted to let other readers of The Mummy Project know about this local option. Here’s a Q&A with her about her Gentle C-Section experience. What is a Gentle C-Section? A gentle C-section is a more “natural” approach to the traditional caesarean section surgery. It attempts to include natural aspects of childbirth such as being able to witness the birth, the baby being born slowly and being placed immediately on the mum and can also involve things like delayed cord...

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10 Top Books To Read To Toddlers

Looking for some enjoyable books to read to toddlers? For this age group, pick books that have interesting stories and colourful illustrations to keep a child’s attention. Be sure you choose books for your kids that you won’t mind reading over and over and over again! Don’t worry. Eventually, they will be able to read the book themselves in a few years. Here are my favourite toddler books.   Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd This book introduces kids to Hairy Maclary and his lovable friends. With its repetitive rhyming text, this is an excellent story to read...

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8 Favourite Books to Read to Babies

Reading books is a lovely way to bond with your child. Babies love hearing their parent’s voice so spend some time reading to them. Here are eight of my favourite books for babies. If you can, get the board book varieties of these books. The board books are much more durable and able to withstand the drool, chews and spews of a baby reader.             Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury With its rhyming text, this book is a delight to read to a baby. The illustrations...

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97 Ideas for a Kids Birthday Party in Newcastle & the Hunter

Planning a kids birthday party? Here’s a mega list of party venues in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter as well as ideas for birthday parties at home. 97 Ideas for a Kids Birthday Party in Newcastle & the Hunter Animal and Nature Parties Blackbutt Reserve – hire a shelter and a private critter show for the kids at the Carnley Avenue park entrance. Hunter Valley Zoo – with hands-on, interactive animal experiences, daily shows and fun relaxed atmosphere, Hunter Valley Zoo is a great spot for an animal-themed party. Wildlife party at Hunter Wetlands Centre – Celebrate your...

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Make New Friends at Playgroup

Get out of the house and make new friends at playgroup. Playgroups provide babies, toddlers and young children with a wide variety of early learning experiences including play time, music, stories, arts and crafts and excursions. For parents and caregivers, you’ll get to meet others and share parenting ideas and experience. There are loads of playgroups in the Newcastle & Hunter region. For a complete list of Playgroup NSW affiliated playgroups, visit the Find a Playgroup page on the Playgroup NSW website. There are even intergenerational playgroups which meet at nursing homes in Waratah and Toronto. This is an...

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Upcoming Events

10:00 am Disney Pixar Fim Festival @ Reading Cinemas Charlestown
Disney Pixar Fim Festival @ Reading Cinemas Charlestown
Oct 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Enjoy the magic of Disney Pixar with some classic family movies featuring your favourite characters like Woody, Buzz and Nemo. Reading Cinemas is bringing your all-time favourite Pixar films back to the big screen nationally with[...]
10:30 am Art Cart @ Newcastle Art Gallery
Art Cart @ Newcastle Art Gallery
Oct 22 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Visit the Newcastle Art Gallery every Saturday and Sunday morning for art and craft activities in the gallery. Art Cart engages children with the exhibitions on display through discussion and art making. Led by Gallery[...]
11:00 am Free Art Sunday @ MRAG
Free Art Sunday @ MRAG
Oct 22 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Every Sunday families are invited to drop into the art gallery for free art activities inspired by the exhibitions on display. Our activities are designed for kids of all ages, and as a family you[...]
9:30 am Rock n Rhyme @ Newcastle City Library
Rock n Rhyme @ Newcastle City Library
Oct 23 @ 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Enjoy songs, nursery rhymes, dancing, music, stories and lots of fun! These action packed sessions are perfect for children ages 0-3. Each session runs for 30 minutes. Free! No bookings necessary. Monday at 2pm or[...]
10:00 am Rock n Rhyme @ Mayfield Library
Rock n Rhyme @ Mayfield Library
Oct 23 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Enjoy songs, nursery rhymes, dancing, music, stories and lots of fun! These action packed sessions are perfect for children ages 0-3. Each session runs for 30 minutes. Free! No bookings necessary. Mayfield Library – Monday[...]
11:00 am Storytime @ Mayfield Library
Storytime @ Mayfield Library
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Stories, songs, rhymes and craft for children 3 to 5 years. Our Storytime sessions are a fun way to help prepare your child for reading once at school. Each sessions runs for 45 minutes. Free![...]
11:00 am Storytime @ East Maitland Library
Storytime @ East Maitland Library
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 11:30 am
Storytellers from Maitland City Library know how to make reading fun! Storytime sessions at Maitland City Library are designed to develop a love of reading in all children and to help eager young minds develop[...]
2:00 pm Rock n Rhyme @ Newcastle City Library
Rock n Rhyme @ Newcastle City Library
Oct 23 @ 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Enjoy songs, nursery rhymes, dancing, music, stories and lots of fun! These action packed sessions are perfect for children ages 0-3. Each session runs for 30 minutes. Free! No bookings necessary. * Rock n Rhyme[...]