Monday, April 30, 2012

Daddy's on an aeroplane!

We dropped Daddy off at the airport today! He is flying to Canada and then to the USA for work and he will be gone for 11 sleeps. We are missing him already!

He starts in Ottawa, Canada, then over to Washington DC and finishing up in Orlando, Florida.  A bit of a whirlwind trip, but I guess business trips always are.

So over the next few weeks we are going to be learning a little bit about these two countries.

Today we learnt about geography and money!

Finding where Daddy will be on the map of the world was fun and we talked about how long it will take to fly there from Australia.

I found a wonderful map of the world colouring in page over at edupics.

Looking at the money of each country was really interesting. We compared them to Australian currency and tried to identify the differences and similarities.


Here are some of our observations about Canadian money:
  • It feels the same as Australian money - like plastic
  • It is different colours, like Australian money
  • All the denominations are the same size, whereas Australian money is different sizes.



The American money, on the other hand, was made of paper, all the same colour and also all the same size.

After looking at the money, James asked what Daddy was going to spend the money on, suggesting that he could spend it on buying him presents! He then proceeded to provide a VERY long list of suggestions for potential gifts!

I am looking forward to learning more about these two countries, but more importantly I'm looking forward to my husband coming home.

If you have any suggestions on what we could cover, or recommendations for some good books that will help us learn about either Canada or the USA, I would love to hear from you.

I hope you have a fabulous week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Favourite Five: Books about Aliens

After all our alien fun last week I thought I would round up some more fabulous alien books:

Aliens in Underpants Save the World Aliens in Underpants Save the World by Claire Freedman (More Alien and underpants fun!)

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and Mark Fearing. A reworking of the Three Little Pigs story.

 Aliens: An Owner's Guide Aliens: An Owners Guide by Jonathan Emmet

 Alien Tea on the Planet Zum-Zee Alien Tea on the Planet Zum-Zee by Tony Mitton

 Don't Let the Aliens Get My Marvellous Mum! Don't Let Aliens Get My Marvellous Mum by Gillian Shields

Does your family have a favourite alien story? What would you include in the list?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Project #2: Spreading our love of books

By now you probably know that I am taking part in The Little Book Adventure which is being hosted by My Little Bookcase as part of the National Year of Reading!

Project 2 of the Adventure is to spread our love of reading (and boy do we love it!) By leaving a letter inside one of our favourite library books when we return it, we will be able to connect with other readers of the same book and let them know what we thought of it.

Isn't this a fabulous project? Not only are we able to spread the love, but it also provides a great opportunity to start a conversation about the books we read and share our thoughts about them.

The book we chose for this project is Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Since borrowing it we have read it multiple times each day and it has fast become a new family favourite.


I helped James write the letter, with him telling me what to write. He signed his own name and included one of the underpants pictures he drew as part of our craft activities for this book.

When I asked James what he would like to include in his letter he was a little stumped. So we started to talk about the story, the pictures and the fun craft we had done after reading it. I asked questions like what was his favourite part of the story and his favourite pictures.  This helped and I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with his ideas. 

We popped the letter and the underpants in an envelope, placed it in the middle of the book and returned it to the library.  I wish I could see the look on the recipients face when they open the envelope!

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Underpants and Aliens

    After a trip to the library this week we borrowed a fabulous book called Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.


    With vibrant and comical illustrations and a rhyming story, this book has become a new favourite in our house. We have read it multiple times a day since we borrowed it and we had no idea aliens loved underpants so much!


    This book lends itself so well to a variety of fun craft activities and our first activity was to create some fabulous underpants to use a decoys so the aliens won't take our real undies! Due to the dodgy weather we had to hang our underpants inside (like the rest of the washing!)


    We drew some underpants shapes (briefs, boxers and bloomers) and then decorated them.




    We then dusted off our Useful Box to create some gorgeous little aliens.




    So that Emily could get involved in the alien fun, I thought play dough would be more appropriate for her age. Armed with googly eyes and little coloured sticks, she had a fabulous time making her little pink alien.  




    Seeing how much fun she was having, we all made our own play dough aliens.



    To continue the alien and space theme we found some more books about the topic and create a display on James' bookcase.


    The kids enjoyed this book so much that I thought it would be perfect for Project 2 of The Little Book Adventure hosted by My Little Bookcase.  I will share our work for this month's project tomorrow night!

    I hope you are having a fabulous weekend.

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Friday's Favourite Find: Nicholson

    This week's Favourite Find is another gorgeous vintage book, published in 1973, called Nicholson by Jorgen Clevin.


    Nicholson is always happy. He doesn't have a fridge or a car or even a house. He just has the clothes on his back. 

    On his walk, Nicholson meets a variety of friends who need help. From the birds who need a nest, mice who need some clothes for a ball, to a man who needs a flag for a celebration. All Nicholson has is the clothes on his back but he is willing to give them up to help his friends. Soon he has nothing to wear and is in trouble with the Police Chief. His friends thankfully, come to his aid.



    Jorgen Clevin was a Danish teacher, cartoonist, author, as well as a television presenter.

    I wish you a wonderful weekend full of fun and good books.

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    The life cycle of a chicken craft for kids

    With all the excitement of the chicken hatching program at my Son's preschool, I thought I would extend that experience at home.  We have read some lovely chicken stories and, of course, we did some chicken craft. 


    Inspired by the chicken life cycle created by I Heart Crafty Things we decided to create our own version. Our life cycle is made from a variety of recycled materials.


    The Lifecycle of a Chicken

    We made the nest from sugar cane mulch we had in the garden and the eggs were cut out from paper.


    Eggs in a nest.


    Here's our little chick hatching from an egg. After baking muffins this morning we used the egg shell to create this little cutie! Following on from the baking theme we used a yellow mini patty paper to form the chicks body. Add a couple of googly eyes and a piece of orange craft match stick for the beak and our little chick is ready to hatch.


    Hatching chick, using an egg shell and yellow cupcake paper


    Next in our life cycle was our little chick, which we made from an empty yoghurt container covered in some yellow crepe paper. With orange construction paper legs and beak, more googly eyes and some fancy feathers, we have a lovely lovely little chick.


    A little yellow chick made from a yoghurt container


    The hen was Emily's contribution to the life cycle. She loves painting so I used one of her artworks to cut out the hen's body, then added a beak and comb and an eye (gotta love googly eyes!). The inspiration for this little hen comes from Little Family Fun.


    A hen made from a child's painting


    The book we read today was Egg Poems, compiled by John Foster. 


    Egg Poems compiled by John Foster




    I unearthed this gem at the library and it is full of fun little poems all about eggs! While not all the poems are about chicken eggs, it was certainly a lovely opportunity to share some poetry with the kids.
    We listened everyday until
    the chicks began to squeak.
    Then cracks appeared in the shells
    and all at once a beak!

    (from Hatching Eggs by Brian Moses)
    For more fabulous books featuring chickens, check out our list of 30!


    Are you on Pinterest? I have a board dedicated to chicken crafts and activities:

    Follow Melissa Squire's board Hatching Chicks on Pinterest.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    My Little Crochet Bunny

    I am so proud of this adorable little bunny that I made, I just had to share it with you!



    I dusted off the crochet hook and thoroughly enjoyed creating again (It's also nice to get away from the computer once and a while)




    This will be part of my little girl's Easter gift.  I am starting a crochet chicken for my son's gift tonight!


    Super-cute Crochet: Make Your Own Amigurumi FamilyI found the instructions in this gorgeous book: Super-cute Crochet by Nicki Trench. It is full of lovely little amigurumi animal characters. The hardest part of reading this book is choosing which little friend to make first. 


    This is my attempt at trying to move towards more handmade gifts for family and friends.  




    Did you create anything over the weekend?


    I hope you have a fabulous week!
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