Best of the Web: Santa’s mailbag reveals children’s pandemic worries, and more…

The impact of the pandemic revealed in moving letters from kids to Santa, encouraging adventurous play, and tips to make the most of hand-me-downs.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

In Santa's mailbag, a peek into children's pandemic worries

(John Leicester, Associated Press)

A post office in the south-west of France has long been a sorting place for hundreds of thousands of letters from children to Santa. In this year like no other, the letters, often written in coloured pen, have been particularly poignant.

From Taiwan, Jim slipped a face mask into a greeting card for Santa, writing ‘I (heart) u.’

Lola, 10, wrote she was wishing ‘that my aunt never has cancer again and that this virus no longer exists.’

‘My mother is a care-giver and sometimes I am scared for her. Take care of yourself Father Christmas, and of the Elves.’

One in three children who have written this year have mentioned the pandemic in some way. In a year where they have been deprived of so much, the letters to Father Christmas are a release for them.

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Say yes to adventure: How to be a partner in your child’s daring play

(Jen Goeres, Active for Life)

When you’re watching your child climb a tree, how do you react? Is your first instinct to yell out, ‘Be careful!’?

As the article notes, watching kids engage in risky play can be an anxiety-inducing experience for parents. ‘Somewhere along the line, we got the idea that a “good” parent doesn’t let their child take risks – yet learning to move with competence and confidence is inherently risky!’

This is a how-to guide to becoming a supportive parent who allows their children a sense of adventure. You’re there as a ‘lifeguard’ parent – watching attentively and only intervening when necessary.

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How to get the most out of hand-me-downs

(Grace Jennings-Edquist, ABC Life)

Hand-me-downs make a lot of sense, especially to parents. For starters, think of the savings.

Your children, recipients of the said hand-me-downs, may not be as enthusiastic.

As this article explains, the aim is to repurpose old kids’ clothing without making the outfit scream ‘second-hand, and not in a cool way’.

The article turns to three ‘DIY masters’ for advice and handy tips, including the power of a pair of scissors, turning jeans into jean shorts

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