bouncing balloons, fizzing sidewalk paint, milk explosions—3 down, 98 to go. We LOVE this activities book!

bouncing balloons, fizzing sidewalk paint, milk explosions—3 down, 98 to go. We LOVE this activities book!

As you can probably tell from some of my other posts, we LOVE making/creating/experimenting at home. Besides being great fun, our crafty times educate, strengthen relationships and encourage communication and vocabulary—plus they're great for fine motor skills.

I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration and, although there are millions of activities on offer on the internet, I prefer to use books.  ..... this one is chock full of boredom busters, crafts, games and simple science—there's no end of inspiration

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gentle creatures carry children to sweet slumber and peaceful dreams

gentle creatures carry children to sweet slumber and peaceful dreams

ages newborn to 8 years
It’s nice, especially on cool, dark nights, to think about how wonderful it is to dream. To dream about our friends and fun, or dream about places we have never been, or about our hopes and dreams. Dreams that beckon and entice us to a deep and peaceful sleep.

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey is just the book for that kind of night.  Arrays of ‘animals from long ago’ come to help children on the way to their dreams.

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a craft-y morning making music + 4 books we love: the beauty of music translated to words

a craft-y morning making music + 4 books we love: the beauty of music translated to words

ages 2 to 6 years, up to pre-teen for the books
Ivy and Angus love making music and even though it can get loud—overwhelmingly loud—I love it too, because I know it makes them happy. They do have some simple percussion toys, but they prefer to pull out all the pots and pans or make random objects into drums.

On a recent rainy day, we decided to use some of our unlimited collection of cardboard tubes to make music shakers. If you're looking for an activity that's interesting, fun and 

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2 beautiful books to grow creativity, expand art appreciation and increase confidence

2 beautiful books to grow creativity, expand art appreciation and increase confidence

ages 4 to 12 years + parents!
Art is about more than reproduction—it’s about interpretation, vision, and creation—and it’s easy to assume that license to create comes only after mastery of artistic skills.

Henri Matisse famously wrote that "Creativity takes courage" and, for many of us, finding that courage happens most easily with a bit of help

We need some structure, some guidance, and an assurance that our art will be good enough. These two books take exactly those approaches.

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mistakes (oops!) = opportunities to make something beautiful

mistakes (oops!) = opportunities to make something beautiful

ages 3 to 10 years
Do your kids ever get frustrated or angry when they make a mistake? Mine do all the time. It’s the end of the world when they're trying and trying to do something but just can’t manage it. And, if I’m going to be completely honest, it’s the same for me more often than not. The need to get things ‘right’ all the time can be difficult and stressful, leading to a multitude of negative feelings.

Beautiful Oops! has been a wonderful comfort

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come inside the world of QAGOMA’s collection artists and learn some great new ways to make art

come inside the world of QAGOMA’s collection artists and learn some great new ways to make art

ages 4 to infinity
Everything leading up to our moving was, as it always is, hectic and messy. We didn’t get to do everything we'd have liked before we left, but we did get to visit GOMA’s 10 year anniversary exhibit.  

GOMA is one of Ivy’s and my favourite places, we miss it. On our last (final) visit, we bought this fantastic book, 10 Ways to Make Art, from the shop:

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a graphic, cheerful and modern book with a neat twist on diversity

a graphic, cheerful and modern book with a neat twist on diversity

ages 2 to 8 years
Sometimes a book with joyful pictures that takes just a few minutes to read can take on extra meaning when read in light of world events. The Fantastic Recipe Machine is like that. It’s about little robots in a factory, turning out unexpected results from funny mixes of ingredients....

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a tote, a thought about reality and some mind-blowing books

a tote, a thought about reality and some mind-blowing books

the mind-blowing books in this post are great for ages 6 years and all the way up!
All the girls in the family are currently ‘toting’ these totes—the slogan spoke to us so we ordered four at once to save on postage. (We have to co-ordinate when we go out or risk looking like a gang.) Our group-buy was completely about the slogan; we didn't even look at size or shape....

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a bit of brain gym tied up in provocative story-based art

a bit of brain gym tied up in provocative story-based art

ages 6 years to adult
Is there a more universal and constant battle for western parents than the fight to limit technology? We so want all the benefits of technological immersion but also feel instinctively that lives need a bit of analogue in them too. Labyrinth is like a book bridge—it crosses the chasm between story and interactive play...

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an exploration of the foibles of rules and ownership

an exploration of the foibles of rules and ownership

ages 2 to 8 years
Ownership is a slippery concept, especially where pets are concerned. Is it really possible to own another living thing—and how does the pet view your relationship anyway! It gets even more complex if your ‘pet’ is actually a wild animal. Wilfred is pretty sure he owns a moose! He calls the moose Marcel and gives him a list of rules, some of which the moose follows really well, others not so well. But Wilfred is happy

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