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Rowse Honey has launched Bee School - a fun and interactive way for children to learn about honey, the honey bee and its impact on the environment. Simply log on to Beeschool and download the printable key stage one task sheets, which will take you and your child on a journey with Rowse the bee as he gets to grips with Science, History, Art, Literacy, Numeracy, Geography and Music.
Hello from Mumsnet HQ...
Where we're hoping against hope that now Ms Palin's got a bit more time on her hands she might pay MN Talk a visit to discuss her choices of Track, Bristol and Willow on our baby names board.
We need you to spread the word about Mumsnet to people, like Sarah, not as fortunate as yourselves and to help we've got a lovely poster for you to print off. If everyone prints just one and puts it up in their nursery, school, GP surgery or local off licence, just think how many lives will be enriched.
Talking of which, do you want to help raise money for BBC Children in Need? The brief is to design an outfit for In the Night Garden's Igglepiggle. The winning design will be auctioned on eBay, along with signed designs by slebs. The deadline for entries is November 10. Get all the details and a template here.
And last but not least, if your thoughts are turning to Christmas, we've got a new scooters section in product reviews. So make sure you check out other mums' verdict before you buy. And if your kids have a great scooter already, please add a review.
Now for this week's parenting news ...
Schools admissions breaches: More than one in two state schools are breaching admissions laws, the schools adjudicator Sir Philip Hunter said this week. He admitted it was "too late" for parents who felt their child unfairly lost a place this year. Widespread technical failures to communicate the rules to parents, with most breaches of the code taking place at faith schools, were uncovered in a review carried out by barristers for schools secretary Ed Balls. The news came the day after figures showing the number of parents registering official complaints has rocketed – in the past two months the adjudicator’s office has settled 111 cases, more than in the whole of the previous academic year (Guardian 04.11.08 and Guardian 03.11.08).
Children getting bigger: School desks and chairs are too small for today's generation of taller and fatter children, according to research by the Furniture Industry Research Association. It compared the measurements of 1,500 children in 2001 with data from 1971, and found the average height of children is increasing at the rate of 1cm a decade. Children's arms are growing at an even faster rate and are now 10-15% longer than they were 30 years ago. Former education secretary Charles Clarke warned children could suffer back problems as a result of unsuitably sized school furniture (Times 05.11.08).
Other stories in brief
Pregnant women are being advised to cut their caffeine intake after a study linked it to low birth weight (BBC Online 02.11.08); four-fifths of parents who did not go to university regret it, a poll for the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills suggests, and 80% of respondents said they intend to encourage their child to go university (BBC Online); boys born to light drinkers were 40% less likely to have conduct problems and 30% less likely to be hyperactive than those whose mothers had abstained, a study by researchers at University College London found (BBC Online 31.10.08); former Play School presenter Floella Benjamin said today's children were being exposed to "dross coming through the airwaves" and TVs should be banned from their bedrooms (Independent 05.11.08); people who smoke are to be banned from fostering children in Redbridge in east London, following a decision by the council (Independent 05.11.08).
Do you miss out on reading to your children/grandchildren? Time for a Story, featured in Windows Live Messenger, is a new activity that gives you the chance to read and interact with your child or grandchild via a computer. We're looking for ten volunteers to put this new technology to the test. Anyone who takes part in the trial will receive £25 of M&S vouchers. Click here for more info.
Up for grabs this week:
Quote of the week
Dog castration. Yes or no? Twinsetandpearls said no, but had been through a 'sticky patch' with her springer spaniel: "He loved dd's toy horse which was about his size and if pressure was applied in the correct place it would neigh, which I think the dog took as a compliment. Sometimes I would be working upstairs and I could see people outside looking at our house in shock/ amusement. I would know the dog was at it again and, sure enough, that neigh would follow."
We've been asked by Haliborange to review their Play and Learn Guide devised by Professor Amanda Kirby. Everyone who offers their feedback is in with a chance of winning £50 of SpaceNK vouchers. Professor Kirby has an international reputation for forward-thinking nutritional and behavioural research and will be joining us for a live webchat between 1-2pm on Monday November 10th. Post advance questions here.
Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters' top tips this week include:
Carmenere's recipe of the week: Eidsvold's white chocolate and cranberry fudge
Home-made fudge is an excellent thing indeed and our recipes section has loads of easy recipes for sweets and biscuits that would be suitable for Christmas gifts. Eidsvold's fudge is a Mumsnet perennial, as it's ridiculously easy to make, sinfully delicious to eat but quite difficult to give away.
That's your lot for this week.
Ours By Right: A Day for the Human Family is a special day of activities at the British Library on Euston Road to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's on Sunday 7 December, 1-5pm, it's free and there will be live music, dance and an action-packed children's area, plus various TV celebrities doing readings.You have received this email because you are a registered member of Mumsnet. We do not want to send email to people who don't wish to receive it. If you would rather we did not send email to you, please reply to this mail and put the word "unsubscribe" in the first line of your reply. We sent this email to #email#. To check your registration details, log in at http://www.mumsnet.com/member/. If you don't remember your Mumsnet password, you can get a reminder at http://www.mumsnet.com/memberhelp.html.