This sim­ple smoothie from doesn’t need any sugar or other in­gre­di­ents added to make it a tasty, healthy treat for tod­dlers. In­gre­di­ents

Parenting - - Time Out -


90ml safe drink­ing wa­ter 2 level scoops An­mum Pe­di­apro 3 ¼ banana (use a frozen banana for a thicker smoothie) 2 Tbsp frozen berries


Place wa­ter and An­mum Pe­di­apro 3 into blender Add banana and berries Blend un­til smooth Serve in a tod­dler-friendly cup at meal­times hot tips early years

We re­cently had a fam­ily work­ing bee to plant trees, move clay and clear rub­bish on a piece of land we had all chipped in on. I am still relishing the sense of team I felt, the pride in the job we did, the sat­is­fac­tion that we ac­com­plished more than what we thought we would and the fact that we all had a good time. We had breaks for re­fresh­ments and we made sure there was time for sur­vey­ing the land­scape and for cheer­ing each other on.

It got me think­ing about the value of team­work, es­pe­cially in fam­i­lies. Some op­por­tu­ni­ties for mak­ing this hap­pen can pass us by, so watch out for the next one that might be use­ful to har­ness. Like the one I saw some years ago. A fam­ily of five were very keen to pur­chase a farm bike to use for time spent on the grand­par­ent’s farm. It would be a shared item that each mem­ber of the fam­ily would be taught to use and be able to en­joy. In­stead of just mum and dad pur­chas­ing it, they de­cided to make it a fam­ily project.

So they lam­i­nated a big pic­ture of the (sec­ond hand) farm bike they wanted, and cut it into about 100 pieces. A new fam­ily job list was cre­ated – tasks that were big­ger and took a bit more ef­fort than the reg­u­lar chores they all did (dishes, mak­ing beds, tak­ing the rub­bish out etc). Each of the jobs was given a value of $4, and as they were com­pleted, pieces of the bike puz­zle were stuck up on the wall. So that lit­tle by lit­tle, the bike pic­ture took shape and got paid off.

The jobs were for things like –

Mow­ing the lawns Weed­ing a sec­tion of the gar­den Walk­ing the neigh­bours’ dog Preparing a meal Wash­ing the car

• •

Stack­ing wood for the fire Vac­u­um­ing the whole house A few great things hap­pened for this fam­ily. They worked hard to­gether. It be­came less about com­par­ing what they had done and more about how ex­cit­ing it was that an­other piece of the puz­zle was up. The chil­dren were cre­ative – they thought of ex­tra jobs not on the list and they ne­go­ti­ated a fair price. For in­stance, one of the chil­dren wanted to bake and put some­thing in the tins, so they worked out how much that was worth. An­other child wanted to sort through items in their room that were no longer needed and could be do­nated. It was de­cided that they could earn a $4 piece of the puz­zle for that too.

It took months, not weeks, to fi­nally fin­ish the puz­zle. That meant a whole lot of wait­ing, work­ing, and per­sis­tence was re­quired. When the time came for the bike pur­chase to be made, there was ex­cite­ment and a tan­gi­ble feel­ing of sat­is­fac­tion for work­ing hard and achiev­ing a goal. What was prob­a­bly most cher­ished in the fam­ily was the level of care and re­spon­si­bil­ity that was shown in the up­keep of the bike. The par­ents were so aware that their chil­dren were grate­ful for the bike and they over­heard them talk­ing to their friends about how cool it was.

So next time your chil­dren are keen for a fam­ily hol­i­day, a new tent, a movie night – what­ever it is, big or small, it could be a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to get ev­ery­one in­vested and work­ing to­wards the same goal.

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