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Where are you shopping this week?

"Over the course of several years, my children accumulated a surprising amount of collectible junk. Much of it plastic, and much of it handed over for free by big companies. Some of it was hugely loved for a time, but my children did not protest, not once, as every single piece of it made its way into the bags and out the door."

For better or worse, I've taken up the cause of decluttering my house. Each and every weekend, I aim to get rid of around about a shopping bag full of stuff; to either donate it or in the case of straight up rubbish, to throw it away.

Some weekend's it's just a drawer in the kitchen, but other weekends, I dive in to an entire room. I've been putting off doing the kids' bedroom for at least 18 months now but I'm proud to say last weekend I finally got it done.

As I deep-dived into the depths of the toy box, and the darkness under the bunk beds and behind the bookshelf, a theme developed.

Over the course of several years, my children accumulated a surprising amount of collectible junk. Much of it plastic, and much of it handed over for free by big companies. Some of it was hugely loved for a time, but my children did not protest, not once, as every single piece of it made its way into the bags and out the door.

As I handled each Woolworths Marvel disc or Disney domino, each Happy Meal toy, the seemingly endless supply of dinosaur and animal cards, I became more and more apprehensive. I felt concern about the amount of crap I was sending to landfill, but I felt even greater concern about the effects each of these items may have had on my children.

The uneasiness was compounded by the research I undertook to try and understand what marketing by big corporations does to children of a young age.

(You can read more about that research here.)

This set the course really, for a lot of what The Parenthood has been up to this week.

What I'm up to...

We kicked off a new campaign this week, targeting Coles Supermarkets to cancel their Little Shop collectible toy promotion. Sign up here, if you haven't already. And check out the incredible response we had to our Facebook poll here.

One more on Coles, lots of people are super worried about the plastic element to their Little Shop promotion.

We're keeping an eye on the continuing roll out of the new Childcare Subsidy. If you've been affected by the new payment system at all, drop me a line.

Did you hear? The QLD Government has updated their school uniform policy so every kid has the option to wear shorts. Huge win for Girls Uniform Agenda and for The Parenthood members.

Meanwhile, new research out this week shows HUGE (yes, worthy of capitalisation big) support for preschool for three-year-olds. But we knew that already, right?!

What I'm reading/watching/listening to/eating...

Starting off with something light, I just finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I gobbled it up in just over 24 hours. Motherhood is a key theme in Celeste's writing. So good.

Speaking of books, it would be remiss of me not to mention The Motherhood, an anthology of essays edited by Jamila Rizvi. I mention this for three very good reasons. 1) It's full of the kind of stories mothers who are staring their journey into motherhood should read. 2) Proceeds from the book are being donated to CARE Australia for work they're doing with mothers and babies in incredibly disadvantaged communities, and 3) I contributed an essay. But this is the least important reason you should read it.

If you are looking for good evidence to share with people about why we so strongly support early years learning, the Lifting our game report informs a lot of what we do.

Hey, this is super fun and great for helping kids learn about veggies (and hopefully eat some too). Alice Zaslavsky, former Masterchef contestant and teacher, has a new resource out called Phenomenom. I LOVE it. I learn heaps from it and I'm not even their target audience.

And finally, speaking of veggies, I'm cooking this Jamie Oliver recipe for green spaghetti tonight. My kids love it. Please don't tell them it's healthy.

xxx Alys