Bali with Kids - Guidebook

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Record a Thon

Mother Tongues are so important for our children and over half of the world's languages are going to die soon. You can help with this fascinating linguistic project by taking part in this Record-A-Thon.

Pass it on... 

Taking to the skies, roads, and rails with the kids?

Taking to the skies, roads, and rails with the kids? Check-in with the Little Steps Travel Survival Guide for the gadgets, gizmos, and old fashion tricks to help you survive your family globe-trotting with style and ease. And we're off.... 

Thanks to our friends and partners in Hong Kong: 

Travelling Games lists simple travel games for the car, games for the plane, games for the train, games for the boat - travel games for kids and all the family!


Barbie's rainforest destruction habit REVEALED!

Barbie has a nasty deforestation habit - she is trashing rainforests in Indonesia, including areas that are home to some of the last tiger, orang-utans and elephants, just so she can wrap herself in pretty packaging.

The habitat of the Sumatran tiger is under threat from rainforest destruction for pulp and paper.

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie, is feeding this nasty habit by using paper packaging for the world's most famous toy from Indonesia's most notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

Critical wildlife habitat and carbon-rich rainforests and peatlands are being wrecked for cheap, throw-away toy packaging.

Creating the future of play, shouldn't mean no future for rainforests.

Tell Mattel to stop destroying rainforests for toy packaging.

Help Ken >

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

Top places to see puppets around the world

  • Andy Murdock / Lonely Planet Author

“Nobody’s looking for a puppeteer in today’s wintry economic climate,” complained the unemployed Craig Schwartz, the character portrayed by John Cusack in Being John Malkovich. He wasn’t wrong. Puppetry is an ancient art form, with archaeological evidence from the early Egyptian civilization and before, but the heyday of puppetry has passed and today it struggles to stay alive in most parts of the world.

Not all news is grim news in the puppet world, and puppetry is still thriving and even growing in popularity in certain puppet hotspots. If you want the world on a string, we’ve pulled together 10 top picks amongst the puppets from Lonely Planet staff and authors – and they’re not just for kids:


Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web

Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.

Teaching for life

An inspirational article from Inside Indonesia by Virginia Hooker about an Indonesian lady who had to flee her homeland in 1965. She then devoted her life to teaching Australian children her language and culture. Reproduced with permission of Dr Michele Ford from

After leaving Indonesia in the bitter fallout of the attempted coup of 1965, Lien Lee dedicated herself to teaching Australian students about her homeland

Virginia Hooker

Early days at the University of Indonesia: Lien (on right) with one of the few other women enrolled for a Law degree in 1957
Lien Lee

‘She had a drive and passion for teaching and ...ability to get amazing results for her students. We learned so much more than the language – culture, traditions and politics as well’. This is how Lisa Buckingham summed up her experience of studying Indonesian language at high school with Mrs Lien Lee. Lisa said her teacher’s dedication and commitment rubbed off on her students and made them want to do their best. Lisa studied Indonesian between 1990 and 1995 and did exceptionally well in her senior high school examinations. She was offered places at several Australian universities and entry to law degrees. But her love of Indonesia and its language steered her away from law and she enrolled in an Arts degree at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Indonesian language as well as history and politics.

Lisa said that one of the attractions of studying with Mrs Lee was participating in special study tours which her teacher organised for them to experience life in Indonesia and to practise their language skills. Before even leaving school Lisa had direct experience of her country of study and the strong desire to return. On a two month stay in Indonesia while at university she had a lengthy stint working in a village in Central Kalimantan as a member of the Australia-Indonesia Institute’s annual Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program. Her in-country experience, strong academic background and solid language skills gave Lisa the edge in many of the positions for which she applied after graduating with a first class honours degree. She accepted a position in the Department of Defence and for the next five years worked in Indonesia-related fields.

Lisa Buckingham is not the only one of Lien Lee’s students who continued to study Indonesian after leaving school. A high proportion of them were inspired to seek careers in Indonesia-related fields as economists, analysts and academics. Several went on to become Indonesian teachers themselves. Lien’s students ascribe their love of Indonesian and their desire to continue their studies directly to their teacher’s approach and dedication. Considering that in 2010 the number of students across Australia studying Indonesian in their final year of high school has halved since 2000, hers is a truly remarkable achievement.

Lien was not always an Indonesian teacher. Before 1966 her life in Indonesia was set on a very different path until a quirk of fate intervened. Lien’s life-story is moving and the challenges she faced might have overwhelmed many others in her situation. But for Lien challenges and obstacles are there to be overcome, usually in a way which helps others. Her former colleagues and students regard her with warm affection and all admire her intelligence and enthusiasm. These were the qualities she brought to her new life in Australia and to her teaching career.


And if you go to Singapore...

You can watch the amazing Broadway musical of the Lion King at Marina Bay Sands. Top mark!

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.