Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Monster of a Puppet

The Monster at the End of This BookWe read The Monster at the End of this Book with the lovable furry old Grover.  This was one of my favourite little golden books growing up as a child and now my Son loves it too!


So talk of monsters led to us making our own monster!  Here is our Monster hand puppet using a empty Aussie Farmer's Direct muesli bag from the recycling box, some pipe cleaners, googly eyes, paper and Textas.


From this...


To this...


James then put on a puppet show for us with his with his monster going to the monster supermarket where you use tomatoes to brush your teeth and eggs to shampoo your hair!




If you are looking for more fun craft and play ideas, check out these wonderful blogs that we link up with.


Happy Monster Day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ladybird birthday

My baby girl is turning 1 tomorrow! I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  She is growing up so quickly and is such a happy and inquisitive little girl.


She shares a birthday with the legendary children's author, Eric Carle, so I thought it fitting to base her birthday cake on one of the wonderful characters from his stories.


We have been reading The Bad-Tempered Ladybird lately (as my son has been a tad bad-tempered himself) so ladybird cupcakes were the obvious choice!


The Bad-tempered Ladybird


With James helping in the kitchen we whipped up a batch of mini cupcakes (she's 1 after all!) and I iced them tonight once the kids had gone to bed.  They are a tad amateurish but I am happy with them.  I am sure we will all enjoy them tomorrow.




James also wanted to make Emily a birthday card, so we made ladybirds from his fingerprint painting.



Happy 1st Birthday Emily!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Literacy Fun: It's a Sign!

On the way home in the car yesterday I asked James what we should do for our craft day.  He said 'Mum I have the best idea! We could have Sign Day!' So that's what we did.

Our first port of call today was the World Wide Web to look at pictures of different types of signs. We decided to make our own Stop signs.

In the last few weeks James has been very interested in writing his own name and writing other letters of the alphabet as well.  With this interest, he wanted to make a stop sign and write the word himself.  So I wrote the word on a piece of paper as a reference and he wrote the letters himself on a paper plate.


I think he did a really great job!  He was very proud of his efforts and decided to write Go on the other side. Using a paddle-pop stick he made the plate into a sign and spent the rest of the day holding up the sign whenever he wanted me to Stop or Go. I spent a lot of time in an imaginary car waiting at a stop sign.


We also got the paints out and made another stop sign, with Mummy helping with cutting out the letters.



I would never have thought of having a Sign Day and I am so glad James suggested it. It provided such a great basis for learning a range of literacy skills, including:
  • how to recognise the letters of the alphabet and printed words
  • understanding the letters of the alphabet and their relationship to the corresponding sounds
  • practicing his writing skills
This theme also touched on road safety and how colours have meaning.

For more play and craft fun, please check out these wonderful blogs that we link up with.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about Pigs!

Pigs are a popular character in children's literature.  Some of these famous little piggies include Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter, little Piglet in Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Wilbur in Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and who could forget Babe, the Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith?


I stumbled across a very cute little pig story this week at the Borders closing down sale (where I got a tad carried away!). The Pig's Knickers by Jonathan Emmett is a cute story about a pig who thinks he is bland and boring until he finds a pair of red polka dot knickers. Once wearing these fabulous knickers he is transformed into a tango dancing, baton twirling extraordinary pig.  While James enjoyed the story, he did want to change the title to The Pig's Undies!


Here are a few of our favourite piggy stories:


Olivia Olivia by Ian Falconer


If You Give a Pig a Pancake If you give a pig a pancake by Laura Numeroff


The True Story of the Three Little Pigs  The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka


Pigsty Pigsty by Mark Teague


Piggies  Piggies by Audrey Wood


Do you have a favourite piggy story?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Kites

Considering how windy it was here today, I thought this week's favourite find would be perfect for this weather: The Usborne Book of Kites by Susan Mayes.


This is a wonderful book that provides step-by-step instructions on how to make a variety of different kites, from the traditional diamond shaped kite to a dragon kite! Each guide is accompanied by colourful illustrations and what I love about this book is that most of the kites can be made using materials that are easily found around the house!

It is also full of great suggestions for decorating your kites.  I think my favourite design would have to be the 'flying cupcake'.

We are definitely looking forward to making some of these great kites.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oink Oink Oink!

Thursdays are our craft theme day but today we started out with no theme at all.  It has been a very hectic week this week and I thought I would just see how things panned out.  So I asked James to pick a book for us to read together, hoping that it would give us some inspiration.  This is what he picked:

Pig Gets Stuck (Mini Farmyard Tales S.)Pig Gets Stuck by Heather Amery is part of the Usborne Farmyard Tales series. Poor Curly the pig is too little and misses out on breakfast.  Curly is hungry so he manages to escape his pen and go looking around the farm for something to eat.  After eating way too much he gets stuck! James loves this series, especially searching for the picture of the little duck that is hidden on every page.

Emily also spent a lot of her time 'reading' one of her favourite books which also happens to be about a pig.  It's called Penelope Pig by Julie Haydon and it is part of the Magic Sounds series.  She has recently worked out how to push the button to make the pig noise, so that is what we heard all day long!



So with our piggy inspiration we mixed up some pink paint and got to work making a paper plate pig.  We used 3 paper plates (1 to cut up for ears and feet), an empty yoghurt container for the snout, a lot of pink paint and I can't forget the pipe cleaner tail!




What did you read to your children today?


For more craft and play time fun please check out these lovely blogs that we link up with.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It was excitement city at our house this week when a package arrived for James from Nanny.  It included a ski suit and ski goggles!


Each year we go to the snow fields for the day with Nanny to have a day of tobogganing and snowman fun. James talks about our trip to the snow from Summer onwards, checking the mountains in the distance to see if there is any snow yet. So in preparation for this year's trip in July, Nanny found a ski suit and goggles.


We had to immediately try on the new outfit and this inspired some winter wonderland fun. Here's Jamesy striking a pose in his new (slightly too big) ski suit.



To get us in the snow theme mood, we dug through the bookcase and found these lovely little board books about the snow.  Snowball Fun and Winter Party, illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic. They even have a snow globe on the front cover, which was a huge hit with Emily (11 months). I am thoroughly enjoying watching Emily learn about books.  She sat with these books for at least half an hour on her own, playing with the snow globes on front, turning the pages, looking at the pictures and 'reading' them with her own little babble language.




Then we got stuck into some snow crafting, which of course included making a snowman! We made him with cotton wool balls and paper plates and lots and lots of glue!




What would a winter wonderland be without snowflakes, so James practised his scissor skills by cutting snowflake shapes out of paper and then covered some of them with glitter.




James then decided to make his own snowy mountain He moulded some playdough into the shape of a mountain and then covered it with cotton balls.




Snowy snacks were then requested.  I was not feeling very inspired and will no doubt be awarded the lazy mother of the year award for this attempt at Snow Biscuits.  They are milk arrowroot biscuits with ready made 'snow' icing on top!  They were very popular.




Now all we have to do is wait for our snow holiday in July for the real deal!  I can't wait to share our adventure with you.


If you are looking for more play and craft ideas, check out these wonderful blog link parties!




Saturday, June 11, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about Leaves

After playing in a HUGE pile of leaves this week I thought Autumn leaves would be a great theme for our Favourite Five.  So here are our five favourite leafy books:

Leaf Man Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Little Yellow Leaf  The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

Leaf Jumpers  Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber

I hope you enjoy them.

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Please look after this bear

Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington is my favourite find for this week.  I got so excited when I stumbled upon this lovely copy of the classic story about a bear from darkest Peru, who is named after Paddington Station. I loved Paddington as a child and I am thoroughly enjoying these stories all over again as I read them aloud to my children.


Paddington manages to get himself involved in a variety of scrapes and mischief.  This loveable bear is accident prone, clumsy and all too distracted by marmalade! He means well though and with the support of his new friends, the Browns, he always finds a way out of his troubles and learns a little more about the world as a result.

This is a timeless classic and a wonderful story to read aloud to your children.

For more Paddington fun, check out the official website!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Leafy Leafy Leafy

Well today we were very busy with lots of different craft activities but the best part of our day was discovering a HUGE pile of fallen leaves just asking for us to jump in!








I think the photos speak for themselves. Such a great day enjoying the somewhat chilly great outdoors.


On the crafting front, I gave James a variety of materials, including Styrofoam cups, pipe cleaners, paddle pop sticks and straws and left him to see what he could create.  This was the result:




I was told they are aliens! One with two arms, one with three arms and the last alien had four!  This was very important information that was repeated frequently!


Inspired by these little aliens we did some story telling to add to James' Tell Up Story book.  Here is a portion of one of the stories James told us today:


The three aliens got out of their rockets and knocked on James' door.  
James said 'Hello, would you like something to eat?' 
'Yes, our favourite food is light bulbs'
So James used is extavator arms to reach the light bulb on the roof and gave it to the aliens.


In his story James had 'extavator arms' which were arms that could extend to the roof! This was one of many adventures that these little aliens got up to.


If you are looking for more play time fun, check out these wonderful blogs that we are linking up with.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about Bees!

You know how much we love bees here are Honey Bee Books, so we had a bee theme for our crafting fun this week.

Here are just a few more lovely books about bees with this week's favourite five:


Flight of the Bumblebee  Flight of the Bumblebee by Hazel Edwards and narrated by Antonia Kidman


The Very Greedy Bee The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman


Bee-wigged Bee Wigged by Cece Ball


Bee and Me Bee & Me by Elle J. McGuiness


The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive The Magic School Bus inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole


Happy Reading!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Help! I'm Cracking Up!

Today I uncovered a great range of books but my favourite would have to be Help! I'm Cracking up! by Tedd Arnold.




This is a beautiful picture book about a young boy who is very confused about the strange things that people say. 

  • Give me a hand
  • break your heart 
  • Screams his lungs out
  • Jump out of my skin.  
Taking all these statements literally, this poor little boy starts to become very worried about when his body might start 'cracking up' too.  Thankfully his Mum and Dad are there to help explain what these comments mean.


The illustrations are hilarious and it is a wonderfully fun look at how young children can be very literal which often results in confusion and sometimes fear as they grapple with understanding the world around them.


Highly recommended, just be careful that you don't lose your head!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Buzz Buzz Bumble Bee Day!

We came across a lovely book this week call Mellie by Isabelle Maquoy and Quentin Greban.  It is about a gorgeous little bee called Mellie who wears a great pair of red boots and it inspired our bee theme for this week.

When Mellie's hive is attacked by a bear she finds herself in the big wide world she has always dreamed about.  However, for a little bee there are a lot of challenges that must be overcome.  Mellie's adventure is exciting and leads her to a a valley full of big flowers, just like suns on stalks!




We then pulled out the paints and paper plates and made our very own bumble bee.




As James was in a painting mood we did some finger painting.  He made lots of little spots which I then turned into little bees.


This is a bumble bee inspired picture using yellow and black, which he then title Vegemite & Butter - what a good Aussie Kid!


We also listened to classic orchestral music, Flight of the Bumble Bee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and spent the afternoon buzzing and dancing around the lounge room.


If you are looking for some more great play and craft ideas please visit some of these wonderful blogs that we are partying with this week.
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