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Michelle's Top Internet Finds

<a href="/blogs/michelle-higgins/2013/12/04/michelles-top-internet-finds">Michelle&#039;s Top Internet Finds</a>

Here is this week's best-of-the-best child and parenting articles found on the internet, selected by happychild contributor, Michelle Higgins. This week, topics include motherhood, education, literacy, and talking to children about sex education. Read full article

Eight Reasons Why Piano Lessons are Good for the Soul

<a href="/blogs/2013/09/11/eight-reasons-why-piano-lessons-are-good-for-the-soul">Eight Reasons Why Piano Lessons are Good for the Soul</a>

This is a very personal manifesto about the purpose of piano lessons. You may not agree. You may disagree vehemently. But what you – a piano teacher, parent, or piano student) believe piano lessons are for will affect your level of satisfaction with the piano lessons you are giving, or you or your child is receiving. This manifesto is written from the perspective of a piano teacher and former piano student, although I also suppose that these days my perspective includes that of prospective parent of a piano student (my son, Tom, is now three-and-a-half years old.) Read full article

The Internet is Changing the Way Our Kids Access Music

<a href="/blogs/martinaungle/2013/05/21/the-internet-is-changing-the-way-our-kids-access-music">The Internet is Changing the Way Our Kids Access Music</a>

As our kids get older and start to dictate the sort of music they want to hear, the bands they want to see, or the music they want to play themselves, I think we are going to see some radically different musical directions being taken in the future. Now, my 15-year-old doesn’t really listen to the radio, or buy CDs. Read full article

Do Your Children Play on Smartphones in Restaurants?

<a href="/blogs/martinaungle/2012/10/25/do-your-children-play-on-smartphones-in-restaurants">Do Your Children Play on Smartphones in Restaurants?</a>

Late last year, I was sitting in a pizzeria in Balmain having dinner with my then 14-year-old. The restaurant was full with most of the tables taken up with families, not a great surprise on an early Saturday night. However, as I looked around the room, I noticed a pretty astounding thing. Apart from our table, every single child in the restaurant – and I mean every single child – was playing on some smartphone, tablet or games device. And these were children of all ages, from kids in prams and high chairs to older teenagers. Read full article

Parenthood Changed My Perspective on Teaching Piano

<a href="/blogs/2012/09/28/parenthood-changed-my-perspective-on-teaching-piano">Parenthood Changed My Perspective on Teaching Piano</a>

I am a piano teacher and a composer. I am also a parent. Back in the second half of 2006, when I was about 16 weeks pregnant, Gina Wake (from Hal Leonard Australia) and I did a two or three week tour launching Getting to Grade Four. In the January of 2007, between weeks 28 and 31 of my pregnancy (and when Gina was 15 to18 weeks along in her pregnancy! we toured the nation again launching. Crazy stuff. Yes, I know. One teacher said to me with quite a twinkle in her eye “I wonder how becoming a parent is going to change your piano teaching…” Read full article

Twelve Year Old Interviews his 32 Year Old Self - Clever

<a href="/blogs/2012/07/06/twelve-year-old-interviews-his-32-year-old-self-clever">Twelve Year Old Interviews his 32 Year Old Self - Clever</a>

32 year old Jeremiah McDonald interviews his 12 year old self, or is it the other way around? Watch and be enthralled. When Jeremiah was 12 he videoed himself asking questions of his older self. His "older self" has now made a short film (less than 4 minutes) participating in that interview. Suitable for all ages but the phrase "what the hell" does make one appearance. Read full article

Caine's Arcade - Imagination, Inspiration, Cardboard and a Boy

Thanks to happychild blogger Carol Duncan for leading us to this wonderful 10 minute video about a nine year old boy, Caine, who built a games arcade out of cardboard boxes. He gets a huge surprise when an adult arranges, via social media, for a lot of eager customers. A fun and inspiring ten minutes for adults and children about play, creativity, vision and social media. Read full article

Why Unstructured Play is Important for Your Child

<a href="/articles/why-unstructured-play-is-important-for-your-child-0">Why Unstructured Play is Important for Your Child</a>

Unstructured, unsupervised fun could be more beneficial for your child's future than you realise. Parents are feeling they need to provide an array of structured and adult-directed activities to raise smarter children...but it is also backfiring as children are not being given the freedom to develop their own interests and creativity. Read full article

Magazine Living with Children - I Can't Do It

<a href="/blogs/michelle-higgins/2011/04/25/magazine-living-with-children-i-cant-do-it">Magazine Living with Children - I Can&#039;t Do It</a>

While I privately salivate over images of 'magazine' houses, I have publicly railed against what I see as a modern day obsession with having a perfect home, a home that is forever 'open house' ready. I do not understand how such homes can allow children, let alone adults, the ability to unleash their creativity. Not long ago I attended a birthday party where the children’s bedrooms were jaw-droppingly beautiful. They really did look like something out of a Home Beautiful catalogue, but apart from jealousy something else bothered me. Read full article