Sunday, May 29, 2011

Favourite Five Snake Books

We had a great time with our Snake theme this week.  I realised though that I did not have any specific snake books, so off to the library we went to find some.

Here is what we found and our Favourite five snake books:

Hide and Snake

Hide and Snake by Keith Baker


Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

The Snake Who Was Afraid of People

The Snake Who Was Afraid of People by Barry Louis Polisar

The Snake Hotel

Snake Hotel by Brian Moses

Slinky, Scaly Snakes!

Slinky Scaly Snakes by Jennifer A. Dussling

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Play School Play Ideas

Quentin Blake has such a distinctive artistic style and always associated with great stories and as soon as I saw the cover of this week's Favourite Find, I knew it would be good.  

It is Play School Play Ideas by Ruth Craft from 1973. Ruth Craft was a regular contributor to the BBC's Play School programme.  Just like the TV programme, this book is full of wonderful ideas for entertainment, craft and play for children and it is accompanied by the delightful illustrations of Quentin Blake.

The book is divided into chapters based on the days of the week and each day has a theme:
  • Monday - Useful Box Day
  • Tuesday - Dressing up Day
  • Wednesday - Growing Living Things Day
  • Thursday - Ideas Day
  • Friday - Experiment Day 
And, of course, every day is Story Day! 

This is a fantastic resource and I can't wait to share some of the fun we have that is inspired by it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Slithery Snake Day!

After the excitement of finding a diamond python snake at my Sister's house, we were inspired to have a snake theme for our craft day today.  Here is what we got up to...

We made paper plate coil snakes!

I always like to include a story that matches the theme for our craft day, however I didn't have any specific snake books, so we played Snake Hunt instead.  Basically this involved a competition to see who could find the most books that had snakes in them.  I was amazed at how much enthusiasm James had for this game.  Here are all the books he found that had references to snakes.

I always love baking with James and today we made a Pizza Snake for lunch.  I used a basic scone dough and rolled it into a flat rectangle shape.  I then added a pizza sauce, ham and cheese and then rolled it up to make a snake shape.  I used olives for eyes and capsicum for the forked tongue.

I was happy with how it turned out, although it is a tad chubby.  I think it looks more like a slug, but hey it tasted delicious!

And how could I forget the fun that was slithering around on the floor pretending to be snakes and of course all the hissing!  So much fun and lots of laughter!

So happy Snake Day everyone!

For more playtime fun, check out who we are partying with!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Snakes Alive!

My Sister had a very interesting (and slithery) visitor at her house a few days ago!  While trying to open the garage door, she discovered...

A very inquisitive (and harmless) Diamond Python!  It was captured and relocated to the creek at the back of our Parent's farm.

So all this excitement has inspired us to have a snake crafting theme tomorrow!  Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Favourite Five Bedtime stories

Bedtime at our place would have to be my favorite part of the day. We have a wonderful routine that always includes snuggling up together on the rocking chair after bath time and reading aloud a story or three!

Reading to your children before bedtime is such a joy and also has many wonderful benefits.  Here are just a few:

  • develop a love of reading
  • improve language development and vocabulary
  • develop listening and concentration skills
  • establish a good sleep routine that helps your child wind down and relax before bed
  • provide an opportunity for you to connect with your child, sharing time with each other and a favourite story. 
So snuggle up and get cosy with your kids and try one of our favorite stories about bedtime.

Good Night Me by Andrew Daddo and illustrated by Emma Quay
Good Night Me by Andrew Daddo and illustrated by Emma Quay

Time for Bed by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jane Dyer

Time for Bed by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jane Dyer

 Nighty Night! by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Kerry Argent

 Nighty Night! by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Kerry Argent

 Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

 Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

It's Time to Sleep, My Love by Eric Metaxas and Nancy Tillman

 It's Time to Sleep, My Love by Eric Metaxas and Nancy Tillman

What are your favourite bedtime stories?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Henry the Goat

This week's favourite find is a delightful picture book called Henry the Goat by Ella Watkins.

Henry, a boisterous and enthusiastic little goat, who just loves to play. He is like a whirlwind, leaving a path of mess and destruction wherever he goes.  Although he is quite oblivious to this and is content to play all day long. 

Henry is so excited about his friends coming over to visit that he wakes up 'super early' and then has to keep busy while waiting for his friends to arrive.  While waiting, he helps his family, although the illustrations tell a different story!

Finally his friends arrive and the enthusiastic little goat, who loves to play, has a wonderful time and thankfully a bath can fix everything!

The author and illustrator, Ella Watkins, is a very talented young girl from Tasmania, who was fourteen when she wrote this book! There is a lovely website for all things Henry too!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A house for our little friends

We have our fruit and vegetables delivered each week by Aussie Farmers Direct and the box they arrive in is fantastic! They are very sturdy and perfect for storage but mostly we use them for our crafting days. Recently we have accumulated a number of boxes so we put our thinking caps on and came up with this...

The house had every luxury we could think of, from a spa in the bathroom to a helicopter pad and swimming pool on the roof!

Each room had some wonderful original artwork and James' little friends had a wonderful time.

James loves the house and spent most of the day playing, rearranging furniture and having dinner parties with his little friends.

Don't you just love how much fun you can have with some boxes, a few toilet rolls and little finger puppets?

For more playtime and crafting fun please check out who we are linking up with.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about the Beach

As it has been a tad chilly here, we have tried to warm up by imagining we are sitting at the beach on the warm sand.  Our theme for this week is the beach and I thought I would share some of our favourite beach stories.

So here are our Favourite Five stories about the Beach:


Flotsam by David Wiesner

At the Beach

At the Beach by Roland Harvey

Harry by the Sea (Red Fox picture books)

Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion

Magic Beach

    Magic Beach by Allison Lester

    Greetings from Sandy Beach

    Greetings from Sandy Beach by Bob Graham

    Don't forget to Slip Slop Slap and enjoy the Beach!

    Do you have a favourite beach story?

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Favourite Find: The Poppykettle Papers

    I am so excited about this week's favourite find! I stumbled upon a wonderful copy of The Poppykettle Papers by Michael Lawrence and superbly illustrated by Robert Ingpen.

    This story is an epic odyssey of five Hairy Peruvians (the last of their kind) who are on an eventful journey from the shores of Old Peru to a new land.  They are so small that they sail in an earthenware pot called a poppykettle instead of a ship. With dangerous quests and hazards a plenty, this is one very exciting adventure.

    The book beautifully ties in history and folklore about Australian early settlement.  The story refers to the Geelong keys that were found in 1845 or 1846 by Governor Charles La Trobe.  The keys were embedded in the stone suggesting that they had been there for over 100 years, giving rise to the theory that they were left by early Portuguese explorers.  However, this story provides another theory... that they were left by the Hairy Peruvians!

    This is such a beautiful book and I can't wait to share it with my family and one day we may just have to visit Victoria for the Poppykettle Festival!

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Market day

    Today we had our very first market at the the Baby & Kids Market here in Canberra. After a very chilly start this morning we were set up and ready to go.

    Here is a picture of the stall.

    I think maybe some bunting and a banner with our logo would help lift the display. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    It was wonderful to meet so many lovely people and talk about my favourite topic - Children's books!

    We had a wonderful day, learnt a lot and look forward to our next market.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Is there a Doctor in the house?

    Today we read the wonderful Dr. Dog by Babette Cole.

    Dr. DogDr Dog is not your ordinary doctor! For starters, he's a beagle and he has the unfortunate job of being the family doctor for the Gumboyles. The Gumboyles are a pretty disgusting lot with all sorts of ailments. From head lice and worms to a very bad case wind! The illustrations are delightful and if you don't mind bit of toilet humor you will thoroughly enjoy this book. According to my little man he was 'giggling his guts out' while I read this story.

    Inspired by Dr Dog, James became a doctor today and began treating everyone for some very serious illnesses and injuries. Bandages and band-aids were the treatment of choice and a hospital bed was made for the more extreme cases.

    Poor Dino injured his tusk, which of course received a band-aid and he then needed a good lie down to recover!

    With all the references to the body and 'tubes' in the story, we also made a life size body for James and he added some body parts (that were a tad disproportionate). Lots of questions were asked, so now I'm on the look out for a book about the body!

    If you are looking for some more playtime ideas check out the other wonderful blogs that we link up with.