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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we're putting the finishing touches to our World Cup 2010 survival guide. The starting line-up features key fixtures, footie fodder, a soccer-tastic Talk forum and an essential bluffer's guide to the beautiful game.

Sticking with sport, come and put your questions to Olympic runner Liz Yelling about all aspects of getting moving (and keeping going).

And don't miss the answers to your employment rights questions from the Which? Legal team.

Now for this week's parenting news...

All tech and no play: Traditional play is being sidelined as growing numbers of nurseries teach young children using computers and state-of-the-art whiteboards, according to research by the British Educational Suppliers Association. Nurseries attached to state schools are much more likely to expose under-fives to modern technology, the association found. In most nurseries based in schools, children spend less than half the week on conventional play-based activities. Sue Palmer, former head teacher and author of Toxic Childhood, said: "There are so many screen-based activities that children are exposed to from an early age. What they really need in the first seven years is real-life interaction with real people in real time." (Daily Telegraph, 01.06.10)

Teenage brain revealed: Teenagers' brains continue to develop far longer than was previously thought, which could explain their inability to concentrate and their mood swings. According to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, adolescent brain structure resembles that of younger children. The study, carried out using MRI scans, revealed an unexpected level of activity in the prefrontal cortex, a large region at the front of the brain involved in decision-making and multi-tasking. "There is simply too much going on in the brains of adolescents," said Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of University College London, who led the study. "The result is that their brain energy and resources are wasted and their decision-making process negatively affected. Adults have less grey matter. Neural transmissions travel more efficiently from the cells to the brain, so the brain works far more effectively." (Guardian 31.05.10)

DO YOU HAVE A SCHOOL-AGE CHILD? Psychologies magazine wants to know your views about children accessing pornography on the internet. Complete the survey and you could win a gift basket of luxury pampering goodies worth £250.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: HesterPrynne has words of World Cup warning: "Don't get so carried away with it all and do what I did in 2002 watching England. I kindly suggested to DS that he stop walking in front of the TV. It took me a couple of seconds to realise it was the first time he had stood and walked by himself - ever. He was 14 months."

This month's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat).

£100 PRIZE DRAW We're looking for 10 Mumsnetters to take part in our Facebook online focus group. Everyone who takes part will receive £25 and will be entered into a prize draw to win an additional £100. If you have a child aged 7-17 (neither you nor your child has to be a member of Facebook) and are free on Tuesday 15 June at either 1-2.30pm or 8-9.30pm apply to take part here.

Looking for tried-and-tested days out? Mumsnetters suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: Big Brother, Wed 9 June, 9pm, Channel 4
Like most C4 viewers I haven't so much as peeked at Big Brother in the last couple of years, but I reckon in its final year nostalgia might bring me home to the BB house one last time. What were we all doing 11 years ago, when cheeky Scouse winner Craig screamed over the crowds to his friend with Down's Syndrome, "I dirrit for YOU, Joanne, you can 'ave yer operation". (What was I doing? I was ^sobbing^, as were right-minded individuals up and down the country. Now that I think of it, I suspect many of you were still at school then, which does rather make me want to cry again.) See you all on the inevitable threads - please do not swear.
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: champagnesupernova's peerless pea, bean and bacon risotto
Half-term dragging a bit? Get the children busy podding some seasonal fresh peas for this mouthwateringly satisfying meat-and-two-veg risotto.
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's it. We're off to bagsie teams in our World Cup sweepstake.
Love, MNHQ

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