Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tissue Box Monsters

This week we reused an empty tissue box to make this little green monster.

We covered the tissue box with green construction paper and cut out some sharp white teeth.  James practiced his scissor skills by cutting out shapes of orange paper to glue on. With the finished touch being some googly eyes.

This craft was inspired by another little box monster made from a sandwich bag box and egg carton.  You can find the instructions here.

If you are looking for some great monster books, check out our Favourite five books about monsters.

We are also linking up with some wonderful blogs this week.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: Diary of a Wombat!

I went to a fantastic sale where I unearthed some wonderful children's books. My favourite would have to be Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley.  This is the board book edition.

The story is written like a diary and follows 8 days in the life of a wombat, called Mothball.  A little wombat who gets up to all sorts of mischief in order to 'train' the humans to bring her favourite foods of carrots and rolled oats.

Evening: Demanded more carrots. 
No response.
Chewed hole in door.
'For Pete's sake give her some carrots!'
Ate carrots, scratched. Went to sleep.

The writing is simple and easy to read, yet witty and so clever. Bruce Whatley has done a wonderful job with the adorable illustrations of Mothball and their simplicity perfectly suits the story. 

This is a delightful picture book that children and adults will both enjoy.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about Doctors

After our trip to the doctor's this week, we have been playing doctors a lot! So continuing on with our doctor theme, here are our favourite five books about doctors:

Doctor Maisy Doctor Maisy by Lucy Cousins

Corduroy Goes to the Doctor Corduroy goes to the Doctor by Don Freeman

Going to the Doctor Usborne First Experiences: Going to the Doctor by Anne Civardi

ABC Doctor ABC Doctor by Liz Murphy

Doctor Meow's Big Emergency Doctor Meow's Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd

Do you know of any other great books about doctors? I would love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Favourite Find: By Jingo!

By Jingo I found a great book this week!  That's right it's called By Jingo! and it's by Janeen Brian and illustrated by Dee Huxley. By Jingo is an alphabet book of animals.

Not only does this book explore the alphabet and different animals it also has a little poem about each of the animals and their characteristics.  They even managed to come up with animals for U, X and Y!

What bird can boast
of a very big beak?
Few can, 

Children will love these funny little rhymes but they will also be mesmerised by the beautiful illustrations. A wonderful way for a child to learn the alphabet.

What books have you come across this week?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another day with the doctor

Today we went to visit the doctor for my daughter's 12 month immunisation. Having to hold her little legs still while the doctor administered the needles was such a difficult thing to do and always makes me very emotional. It's so hard to see your child in pain.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it is so much better than the alternative, but seeing those big blue eyes look up at me just breaks my heart. 

We are very fortunate to have a wonderful doctor and when she found out that James had is very own doctor's bag, she gave him a tongue dispenser to add it. Well I have never seen a kid so excited about a little stick. So once we got home guess what we did.  Yep that's right, we played doctors and Emily and I were his patients.

I found an old white business shirt of my husband's and cut the sleeves to make a doctor's coat.  We got the doctor's bag out and put the stethoscope around his neck! I feigned some pretty serious illnesses and was prescribed a combination of band aids, medicine and rest (yeah if only!)

Here is Dr James hard at work examining his sister, with the trusty tongue depressor!

Dose of Dr DogWhile we were in the doctor mood, we read one of our favourite books, A Dose of Dr Dog by Babette Cole.  This is a fantastic story and is a great sequel to the first book, Dr Dog, which we looked at in May.  A Dose of Dr Dog starts where the first book ends, with Dr Dog holidaying on a tropical island, researching herbal remedies with Professor Dash Hund. Everything is going well until the pesky Gumboyle family turns up.  The Gumboyles end up in all kinds of strife with poo fly bites, a bad case of motion sickness and an exploding boil.  Not only is this story hilarious and very entertaining it also has an educational element with the remedies used, like aloe vera for a severe sunburn.

We had lots of fun today! I think there is nothing better than dressing up!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Royal newspaper dress ups

Over the weekend we were reading some of wonderful vintage Little Golden Books that my husband had when he was a child. James loves the fact that these were Daddy's books when he was a little boy. One of the books that he is enjoying at the moment is Disney's The Sword in the Stone.

After reading this, James decided he wanted to be a king! So armed with the weekend papers and a little bit of sticky tape we set to work making a royal costume for James. It included a crown, shirt and kingly shoes.

I just love the shoes and so did James! He spent the afternoon slipping and sliding around on the wooden floor.

I love Little Golden Books.  Do you have a favourite?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle!

I think I must sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at least 15 times a day to my little one year old, Emily.  I sing it to entertain her as well as to soothe her when she is upset.

The reason I sing this particular nursery rhyme so much is that Emily now knows how to request the song herself by putting her hands in the air and "twinkling" her fingers. 

As a result of me singing this nursery rhyme so often, her first word (apart from Mum and Dad) was "upabove".  I know, technically it is two words but she says is as one big word at the moment and we'll take it!  I just love watching her attempt to sing it by herself.

So why do young children love nursery rhymes so much and what are the benefits of reciting them?

Nursery rhymes are short and easy to remember and an important part of a young child's development. Here are just some of the ways that nursery rhymes can help children's development:
  • improved vocabulary
  • assist in phonemic awareness (the ability to recognise separate sounds in spoken language)
  • musical awareness
  • rhyming and understanding of rhythmic patterns
  • memory skills
  • motor skills and coordination when the rhymes include clapping, finger play or other actions.

More importantly though, nursery rhymes are fun and sometimes a little bit silly.

Here are the full lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

What are your family's favourite nursery rhyme? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Favourite Five: Aboriginal story books

Following on from NAIDOC week last week, here are five of our favourite Aboriginal picture books:

My Country My Country by Ezekiel Kwaymullina 

You and Me: Our Place You and Me: Our Place by Leonie Norrington

A is for Aunty A is for Aunty by Elaine Russell

How the Birds Got Their Colours How the Birds got their Colours, told by Mary Albert and compiled by Pamela Lofts

Djomi Dream Child Djomi Dream Child by Christopher Fry

It was so hard to narrow it down to five books. What is your favourite Aboriginal story?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NAIDOC Week fun!

It's NAIDOC week here in Australia.  NAIDOC stands for the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.  NAIDOC week is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to recognise the contributions made by Indigenous Australians.

Possum and Wattle: My Big Book of Australian Words

To celebrate we read Possum and Wattle: My Big Book of Australian Words by Bronwyn Bancroft.  This is a beautiful alphabet book that is illustrated using Indigenous Australian methods. It was great book to start a conversation about some wonderful new words that James had not heard before. Here are two of our favourite new words:

  • Quandong, which is a tree that bears bright red, edible fruit which is used in bush tucker
  • Willy Willy, which is a small spiralling wind of dust like a whirlwind

We then made a paper tube didgeridoo.  James painted it and once it was dry used a texta to decorate it in the dot painting style (his version anyway)  We then had a jam session with James on the didgeridoo and Emily playing the  clapsticks (I could only find one of our clapsticks so we improvised and used a wooden spoon - it sounded great through!)

James also made a cardboard boomerang and his decorations were rushed because all he wanted to do was throw it.  Unfortunately his boomerang wouldn't come back to him but we had a lot of fun trying!

If you would like more craft and play ideas, check out these lovely blogs that we link up with.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Under the table!

Both of my little ones are sick at the moment with colds and with the weather so miserable we were stuck indoors.  It is for these such days that I have a stash of new books that the kids have not heard or seen before.  So after rummaging through my stash I decided Let's Play House by Emma Quay was ideal.
Let's Play House: A Book About Imagination (Hello, Friends!)

This cute little story is about three friends, Panda, Sheep and Owl, who decide to make a cubby house but end up as jellyfish!

So under the table we went!  With blankets and pillows to make it comfy and all of James' friends. We spent most of the day in our little house reading, telling stories and just hanging out together.  Emily had a great time too, crawling in and out of the cubby.

James even ate all of his meals under there.  While we didn't end up as jellyfish, it was a perfect way to spend the day when we weren't feeling the best.

Do your children have a favourite story they like to read when they are sick?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Favourite Five: Books about Monsters!

Our theme for this week's favourite five books is Monsters!

Monsters are common in children's literature from loveable monsters like Grover to the not so loveable Dementors in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. So why are monsters included in children's stories? John Hübinette suggests that monsters can help children overcome their fears and he also suggests that children like to be a little scared as long as it is in a controlled way and story books can provide this.

Here are five of our favourite books about monsters:

Where the Wild Things are Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Go Away, Big Green Monster! Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Tickle Monster Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett

Frank Monster Who Wanted to Dance Frank was a Monster who wanted to Dance by Keith Graves

My Monster Mama Loves ME So My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck

What monster books would you add to this list?