All parents have different opinions on how to raise children, and there isn’t a magical formula that works for every child.

With the influx of contemporary parenting terms and techniques like Helicopter parenting, Tiger parenting, Lawnmower parenting it’s no wonder parents feel increased pressures to be the perfect parent and raise the perfect child.

How did modern parenting become so complex?

Technology has certainly altered parenting philosophies from our grandparents to our parents and now our generation. But one thing has stood the test of time, and that is old-fashioned values and manners.

If we think back to our childhood many of us didn’t have fancy toys or computer games to keep us occupied, we had no choice but to venture outdoor and use our imagination to keep us busy, playing with raw and natural material helped us increase our muscle development and creativity. Many psychologists have urged parents to help reverse the commercialisation of childhood. The intense marketing toward children started in the early 1980s when the government relaxed regulations on the advertising of toys and products to children. Now, toys are even being used to market other toys, through apps and online games. Is the new-age plastic approach that fantastic? Many don’t think so.

If modern parenting doesn’t seem your style, then maybe consider some old-fashioned methods to see how they work for you.

Why not consider becoming a New-Old fashioned parent and inject some old-fashioned values into your daily life with the sentiment and nostalgia of our childhood.

If you’re interested in raising your children to respect the old-fashioned life, then the first and most important thing you can do is show by example. Of course, there’s more to it than that.

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Alice Zsembery’s, author of Real Kids, Real Play. An insightful and refreshing book that shares over 150+ activities that have stood the test of time that shares ideas on how to raise your kids to follow the same fantastic, healthy and wholesome old-fashioned lifestyle that many of us enjoyed:


1. What prompted you to write the book, who is it written for and what is it about?

The idea for Real Kids Real Play really came about after the birth of my second child. I found myself constrained to the home more often than not whilst I balanced the demands of a newborn’s nap times, a full-time job in part-time hours and achieving all the tasks that need to be completed around the home.

I was sick of the constant guilt that I was feeling for not sitting in a playground all day with my (very) energetic toddler, and even more sick of the toy clutter throughout my home that my son didn’t play with anyway.

So, I set about creating a resource, Real Kids, Real Play that brings real childhood back.

Real Kids, Real Play reminds us of the copious educational and fun activities that our children can do around the home using everyday items – without you having to spend lots of money, time or effort. Inside you’ll find activities, experiments, DIY recipes and song lists that stimulate your child’s physical, cognitive and social development.

It is written by an exhausted Mum, for an exhausted Mum. And Dad. And Grandparent. And a Carer…


2. As a maritime engineer and a mum of two, you understand the importance of STEM education in children. Did your background have any influence in how you chose the 150+ activities in your book?

That’s an interesting question.

Most certainly I think that my background, combined with my son’s constant thirst for understanding how things work, had a big part to play in the preschool experiments component of the book.

But I was also very conscious to include a range of activities to account for a variety of interest. So, you will also find a number of quiet play, imaginative play, fine motor, sensory and energetic activities in there to be sure to cover almost all situations!


3. We’d like to think old-fashioned manners are making a comeback which means re-adopting old traditions. Do you still believe in old fashioned values? If so, which ones do you think are most important to teach children? 

I would love to think that old-fashioned manners are coming back. I think it is kind when someone (male or female) holds a door open for me, I am grateful when someone offers to help me with the pram down the stairs or to carry my shopping whilst I wrangle a screaming toddler and I get this gooey feeling when someone says hi to me on the street for no reason at all.

In such a connected and busy society, we can often become so preoccupied in our own worlds that we forget to make these simple gestures.

I wholeheartedly believe that the most important of these values to teach children is kindness and empathy and I look for little examples with my children everyday of these.  You just never know how a small act of kindness can truly change someone’s day. If you can be nothing else, be kind.


4. Do you have any other tips for raising children the old-fashioned way? 

My biggest tip is less IS actually more. I feel that there is so much precious placed on modern parents to be everything and do everything. We place ourselves under enormous financial and emotional burden to provide our kids with an abundance of toys and activities and treats and we tend to jam-pack every moment of their day.

Instead, find the magic in the little things and try to slow down the pace. Remember, today’s little moments become tomorrow’s precious memories. You are doing them a favour, I promise.


5. Real Kids, Real Play is about bringing real childhood back. It is the ultimate play guide for 0-5 year olds. Do you have any play tips for parents with children  5+ years of age? 

Regardless of age, the same principles to play remain. Be sure to let your child lead. Encourage enquiry and exploration and get down and learn alongside them. And absolutely see the unseen…a lot of fun can be had simply with a cardboard box, general materials from the home and an imagination!

(oh, and we have received feedback that a lot of the activities in the book are suitable to the age of about 8).


6. What type of articles should the Kiddi-Community expect from you? 
I’m driven by a desire to make the life of every juggling parent, grandparent and carer simpler and easier. In an era where parents cannot escape advertising and ongoing comparisons with each other, I hope to help alleviate the mental and financial burden on so many already stretched parents and instead focus on creating memories.

So you will find a variety of EASY play ideas, unique gift and old-school party ideas, and other tips and tricks that help foster real childhood (and don’t break the bank).


7. If I were a genie and could grant you three wishes, what would they be and why?

Let’s see. It would be wonderful to be afforded the opportunity to travel the world with my kids on an extended adventure. Nothing enriches the soul and the mind more than meeting those from all different cultures and backgrounds.

Home cooked meals for a lifetime. Definitely. I have many strengths. Cooking is not one of them.

But the biggest wish would be that my dear father could have the opportunity to meet his son-in-law and his two beautiful grandchildren.


You may also like to read:

Crafty Activities to Improve Your Motor Skills

Playtime Rules