Black Friday Sale! November 23, 2017 10:18

Use the code BLACK17 at Checkout until Sunday for 20% off in our Black Friday Sale.

7 free activities for the holidays December 13, 2015 15:47

With the holidays now upon us, what do we do with the kids for the 6 weeks?  Here are some ideas for free things to do with the kids.

1.  Have a disco - this activity will require the kids to have friends over, the more the merrier when it comes to a disco!  Preparation is essential - clear the garage, make sure its dark (throw up some dark sheets over windows if necessary), put some strobing Christmas lights in there and have your kids put together a playlist (check its good music to dance to)!  Then have the kids over, crank the music up and let them boogie!  If you have the energy, be the DJ and show them some dance moves, play games and join in the fun.

2.  Play a game - our favourites are Phase 10 (an excellent card game which can take up a whole wet and rainy day), Uno, Monopoly, Yahtzee, Articulate for Kids (don't let the name fool you, this is great for adults too) and just about any card game.

3.  Develop a dance routine - even the boys will love this (in the end).  Pick your song and plan your moves together.  There are so many online resources if you can't think of any moves (try or google dance routines).  Show the family at Christmas or show off your dance routine to friends on New Year's Eve.

4.  Find a local swimming hole - this could be a lake, lagoon or creek.  If you're not sure where is OK, try googling best swimming holes near where you live.  Take a picnic rug, pack some lunch and plenty of water, and throw in whatever swimming accessories you need.

5.  Go to your local library - it is amazing how many activities can be found at your local library.  In the next week alone, my local library has Toddler Time (singing and dancing), Kids Krafternoon, Children's Storytime and Whodunnit in the Library (solving a mystery).  Check out your local library and borrow some books whilst you're there!

6.  Bake - the kids will love helping you bake something yummy, but they'll love eating it even more! Our favourites are choc chip biscuits, brownies, muffins and pizzas.

7.  Go for a bushwalk - find a national park near where you live and a walk which is an appropriate distance for your kids.  We pack treats to encourage our kids to keep going.  

Remember to Slip, Slop, Slap if you're doing outside activities!  Have fun and enjoy these holidays with your family.

Furniture Choices in Today's World August 25, 2015 07:00

With a trend towards apartments and smaller block sizes in our major metropolitan areas more and more people are set to live in smaller properties and the spatial deficit will require smarter, space-saving solutions. It’s potentially not all bad, of course: what is the adage about the more space you have the more you’re inclined to fill it?

In the meanwhile, smaller rooms mean choosing furniture requires a bit more care and planning. One of the options is to go the flat-pack route and this is certainly a popular choice these days. At CKR we’ve tried to source some affordable alternatives to flat-pack, mainly constructed from timber. Timber wears well and can make a room feel more homely and warm.

 Check out the Hamilton Book-end Bed and the Franklin Storage Bed among the many great options.

‘Old School’ Screen-time & Suitability … August 03, 2015 12:17

There have been thousands of column inches written in recent years about the impact of iPads, iPods, tablets and similar devices on children: Are they good? Are they bad? Will society thrive as a result of their existence or will the current generation of children become dribbling idiots when they hit adulthood owing to their enslavement to these devices? And so on…

In the meanwhile, discussion around the ‘other’ screen has been relegated to the metaphorical dustbin. Yes, I’m talking about the good old TV. When our first child was born (over 10yrs ago) it was this device that was going to have negative developmental implications if it wasn’t rationed aggressively, and, as proud new parents, we made a vow to do just that. Fast forward to the present (with two additional children on the scene) and, wow, how things have changed! But that’s a story for another time…

If your children, like ours, occasionally use the TV there is a fantastic App available (by Common Sense Media) that can help parents decide what is appropriate viewing and what is not. In fact this App gives guidance on a range of other things too: websites, music, games, books and other Apps! It becomes particularly handy as children near the dreaded ‘teens’: recently we have heard from our eldest how “childish” the PG-rated movies are and that it was high time he was allowed to watch M-rated movies. The justification? “All my friends are allowed to watch M-rated movies”. In addition, “It’s not like I get scared easily”. 

This App is by no means perfect – if it was, it would be able to solve the conundrum of finding something to watch that would appeal in equal measure to an 11, 9 and 6 year old, but it is a useful resource to have at your disposal when the guidance provided by the film and television classification bodies is mostly just too ‘narrow’. For a better understanding of the content of just about any media your child is likely to encounter you could do worse than check these guys out:


Children's Bedrooms Basics July 09, 2015 18:30

Decorating a child's bedroom can seem overwhelming, there is so much to fit in - bed, desk, cupboards, toys!  Here are a few tips on how to create space and an individual feel to your child's bedroom.
    • Large items are best placed in a corner.
      • Draw the eye to something on the wall (an interesting print, wall art) appropriate to the age of the child.
        • Matching bed linen can look good even when the bed is unmade.
          • Have plenty of storage.
          Good luck creating a gorgeous bedroom for your child.  Please email or call if you would like some more specific tips.

            What size bed is right for my child? June 01, 2015 13:40

            This is a personal decision and depends on a number of factors. Consider the following factors when choosing a bed for your child:

            • Size of the room - our girls used to share a room which is a reasonable but not large room. We wanted the bed to take only a little space in the room and allow the girls plenty of space to play, so we had a single bunk bed (which converts into two single beds).
            • How long you want your child to have the bed – We want our son to have his bed for at least 10 years, so it needs to be big enough to get him through the teenage years.
            • How tall your child may be by the end of the bed’s life – our son is 10yo and is almost as tall as me! The king single bed provides him with a little extra length for when he is taller than both of us!
            • Other furniture in the room – our children have built in wardrobes, so don’t need a lot of other furniture or storage space. This means there is more space in the room for beds.
            • Changing the room layout – the old saying, a change is as good as a holiday really applies in our house. We (or perhaps just me) love moving things about. So, whilst the girls started with a bunk bed in the same room, we then split the bunk into two single beds in the one room, which they loved.  Now we have them in separate rooms and the bunk is back together in the room of our 9yo and our 5yo has the gorgeous Bayswater metal bed (it makes her feel like a princess!)  So the converting bunk bed provided us with options to change things around, and we love it.