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Tell us what you think of the Haliborange Play & Learn Guide - and have the chance to win Space NK vouchers

(76 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Nov-08 11:45:57

We've been asked by Haliborange to review their Play and Learn Guide devised by Professor Amanda Kirby.

Please take a few minutes to have a look at the guide and let us know what you think of it. Everyone who takes the time to offer their opinion will be entered into a prize draw to win £50 of space NK vouchers.

Haliborange are also looking for 3 mumsnetters to put the guide to the test for approximately 2 weeks and then feedback directly to them. If you have a child aged 4-11 and would like to volunteer to test the guide please give us your details here. The three testers chosen to trial the guide will each receive £100 vouchers for Space NK in return for their feedback.

Professor Amanda Kirby hopes to join us in the next week or so for a webchat to answer any questions you might have about the guide and to hear what you think.



Tell us what you think of the Haliborange Play & Learn Guide

I think it is patronising drivel.


It has annoyed me so much that I don't even want to be entered into the prize draw.

GunpowderTreasonAndLemon Mon 03-Nov-08 11:54:44

The 4-5 age range stuff was fine so far as it went, but all seemed a bit obvious.

I was slightly perplexed by

"What: Talk about different food groups then give your child a little test at the end – so they can identify fruit, veg, fish, meat etc... Ensure they are given a daily dose of Haliborange Omega-3.

Why: This promotes dependency and educates about good eating habits"

(my italics)

I also noticed a couple of typos/punctuation errors, but I imagine that's not what we're being asked about...

ShrinkingViolet Mon 03-Nov-08 12:02:03

the DDs do all this kind of stuff off their own bat anyway (the learning 5 worls in a foreign language, car number plate games, debating stuff at teatime) - they'd think I was even more weird if I said "right girls, let's play a fun game!"
I suspect your average MNetter isn't the target audience though wink

pigleto Mon 03-Nov-08 12:12:24

The writing is clumsy and the graphics are dire (the boy on the front page looks about 40 and he is wearing his t-shirt inside out).

fishie Mon 03-Nov-08 12:14:21

i think there is too much stuff to wade through for the level at which it is pitched. it should either be much shorter or more interesting / in depth. maybe split into age groups.

zoots Mon 03-Nov-08 14:44:57

Agree some of it is a bit obvious like reading a bedtime story hmm but just googled Prof Kirby and she seems to know her stuff on attention span and child development so maybe it's worth a try.

Would definitely enjoy letting the children count the things in my SpaceNK basket wink

Nbg Mon 03-Nov-08 14:59:43

Alot of it is very obvious and "normal" stuff that I imagine most parents do anyway.

I would love for Prof Kirby to come and ask my dd questions after school like she recommends grin

Lizzylou Mon 03-Nov-08 15:07:50

We do a lot of that sort of thing already (DS1 is 4.7yrs old).
I'd love them to tell me how to get him to tell me what he did at school though! Most I get is a "Don't know".

It is a good guide, liked the "Milestones" section, but prob only because my PFB was doing well, may have been a different story if he couldn't do what they think he should be able to!

If it helps some people with their children, then it's a good thing. No bad thing to be reminded now and again.

Lizzylou Mon 03-Nov-08 15:08:22

Sorry NBG, just realised you'd put that so much more succinctly than me!

Lemontart Mon 03-Nov-08 15:12:19

Far too obvious for most parents IMO. Nice idea to have simple clear advice - only this has not achieved that. Instead it is over simplistic, obvious, and a little patronising in places. I read this all the way through and there is not one new or interesting idea here. I think that the idea of an umberella summary type advice is not that successful for a variety of reasons:

1) Limited space creates generalisations, sweeping comments and empty statements (eg. Age 4-5 School Run Good Behaviour - I would love to see some innovative and interesting ideas to foster different elements of good behaviour regarding safety, consideration for others, prevent the "running on" or "lagging behind" in a positive way. instead the guide advises us to "set simple rules" - errr, yes we know that part. Where is the advice? WHAT rules?? The examples given are just too vague/obvious to be useful or meaningful to all but the totally clueless and dim witted parent.

2) Not at all convinced by the age brackets. I am intrigued by the arbitrary and subjective decisions about what falls in one age group and not the other. For example - the reading before bedtime. (For a start, I thought the suggested government time for bedtime reading was 10 minutes) but surely the age 4-5 could benefit more from the same advice as the higher age group. Our reception children took home a government produced parental support leaflet that strongly recommended talking and discussing the story with the child and to encourage active involvement in the story telling together - similar advice as given only to the older group. I also totally disagree with the timer for the story - what parent is just going to put down a book mid sentence and say " right, buzzers gone, I can stop now". We all know that some nights children benefit from a quick short read and other nights it is more appropriate to read on for longer. I know we all have a rough guideline and it is good to foster regular patterns, but I personally dislike the strict "times up" approach.
I could go on, but you all will get my point by now

kaz33 Mon 03-Nov-08 15:59:54

Actually didn't hate it as much as everyone else - thought it was fine as far as it went and bite sized bits is good for anyone finding parenting tough.

However, by the time the kid is 4-5 if you aren't doing some of those things already then your parenting skills are going to be pretty dire and you are unlikely to be helped by this info.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Nov-08 16:03:15

Patronising drivel which, it should be remembered, is primarily to promote Haliborange, not help your child.

JackieNo Mon 03-Nov-08 16:06:37

Agree much of it is obvious, and stuff I'd do anyway. I'm also not sure that the 'Whys' always explain the 'Whats' - eg in the age 6-8, nutrition section:

'What: Go to the fsh counter and ask about the different types of fsh. Talk to your child about Omega-3 and how oily fsh is rich in this fatty acid

Why: This assists food education, nutritional well being, social skills and fine motor skills'

How does asking about something help their 'fine motor skills'?

I also agree that the language used may not be appropriate for the target market.

Oh yes, sorry, but the inclusion of 'artichoke' as a possible 'vegetable beginning with A' made me lolgrin. <waits for everyone else to wade in and say that they always have artichokes in the house, and eat them at least once a week>

fillybuster Mon 03-Nov-08 16:11:44

Total drivel...and FWIW my (only just) 3 yr old ds can do most of the so-called 4-5 milestones (counting to 20, asking questions etc), as well being a dab hand in the kitchen....and he would be deeply unimpressed at being asked to identify food groups that he already knows how to cook! Not at all impressed, but very up for the Space NK vouchers please!!! <Filly drops to her knees and prays to the goddesses at MNHQ to look kindly upon this mere mortal who has never yet won a thing....>

grunjle Mon 03-Nov-08 16:29:46

I quite like the fact that it goes up to 11. After 10 years of parenting, I have run our of steam energy and imagination on how to make things interesting. There were one or two nice tips which I haven't tried before.

Though I did get a little depressed at some of the ''by now your child should be...''

Will someone tell my ds he is supposed to be able to do homework independantly, please hmm

littleducks Mon 03-Nov-08 16:34:22

it is really petronising and irritating, if i received this i would bin it

my two year old and i do most of the activities for five year olds, i will put her brilliance done to the haliborange she takes daily wink

cornsilkpyrotechnicqueen Mon 03-Nov-08 16:47:51

I thought it was long and very wordy. It didn't really tell me anything new. I really want something to inspire me to stop being lazy and do things with my chn!

I thought it was ok, the only bit that I thought was truly silly was the stopping a story after 5 mins; you have to be flexible on some things.

Tortington Mon 03-Nov-08 16:55:26

i read through it and just becuase of the nega tive comments it has recieved i wanted to say something positive.

however i kept comig back to the same question

what on earth is this for?

consider the type of person who actively goes to a health shop to buy haliborange products.

then consider the guide.

i would imagine that the author should think more about the audience. .. this isn't some local council ( ban the latin) LCD

the format could be more imagiative, and i dont need yet aother fecking orgaisation jumpig on the pareting band wagon, PREACHING to me.

sorry guys!

i want the vouchers though, am not that proud.

wessexgirl Mon 03-Nov-08 16:59:55

It needs to be shorter, snappier and with better graphics, I think.

I think the charge of patronisation is a little unfair. Not everyone has the excellent parenting skills of mumsnetters wink.

Tortington Mon 03-Nov-08 17:06:32

ut wessex girl, who is it aimed at?

mums who go ad buy their kids vitamins and other assoc products.

this is't a council leaflet!

wessexgirl Mon 03-Nov-08 17:17:52

No, I wondered if they were going to use it as an advertising mailshot, though. If preaching to the converted then I can't see its value either.

Still a tad pissed off about this, but have stated elsewhere I am in a very bad mood.

Am surprised it doesn't suggest such activities as

Take out contents of a bottle of Haliborange vitamins, enjoy counting them back in with your child.

Practice reciting the alphabet with the vitamins found on the back of a Haliborange vitamin packet.

Look at a packet of Haliborange and have a chat with your child about the colour orange.

Grab a packet of Haliborange and use as a maracca for some musical fun.

I could go on......

It is a shameless, pointless, plug.

TotalChaos Mon 03-Nov-08 17:25:23

I actually rather like the guide but think it is more useful for the lower age range (4-7) than 4-11. I like the way that Amanda Kirby is encouraging us to help our kids concentrate/develop numeracy and literacy without using any special toys/activities, but through day to day routines.

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