get ready for a fun and noisy chain reaction of calamities!

get ready for a fun and noisy chain reaction of calamities!

ages 3 to 8 years
When I was in my early 20’s I was privileged to teach English in China, an amazing experience filled with people, culture and experiences. And I got to visit the Beijing Zoo.

I had no real interest in the zoo itself, but I’d always wanted to see a panda. So in 42-degree heat and what felt like 110% humidity I made my way across Beijing. And … it was rather disappointing. The panda WAS cute, but

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'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

ages 3 to grownup
I’ve been a John Williamson fan since childhood and a few months ago we were lucky enough to go to one of his concerts as a family. Amazing. There's really nothing quite like a live performance.

During intermission, I came across Christmas in Australia. I had no idea John Williamson had written a children’s book and just had to buy it—my only regret was that the kids were so exhausted by the end of the show we couldn't wait in the line to get it

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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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reading with grandchildren who live far away – Imogene’s Antlers

reading with grandchildren who live far away – Imogene’s Antlers

ages toddler to 5-years
Ridiculously, 4 of our grandchildren (including newborn Ezra) live in Cairns and 2 are in Tasmania. That’s pretty much opposite ends of the country and at least a two hour flight each way.  So weekly or even monthly visits just aren’t an option. But Samantha suggested this great app—Marco Polo. It’s probably not the original intention, but it works really well for reading stories.

I record a story (dodgy lighting and shuffling pages are no big deal), it uploads, and the grandkids look at it whenever their parents are ready to give up their phones for a few minutes.

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a simple and colourful yarn web + 4 magical books to keep the mood going

a simple and colourful yarn web + 4 magical books to keep the mood going

ages 3 to 12 years
We have a wonderful old lemon tree in the back yard. It needed some pruning and love when we first moved in but it was worth it—not because of the lemons but because Ivy loves playing in and with it so much. It's just the right size for a 4-year-old to test her limits, and has been a castle, a boat, a unicorn, a great friend and unlimited food for the imagination.

Ivy decided that her friend the tree needed decorating, so we made a colourful spider web for it

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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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honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

honouring the simple, unconditional (sometimes intense!) childhood love of fabric-friends

ages 2 to 6 years
When Ivy was a newborn, some ladies from Church gave her a cuddly pink bunny blanket with her name on it. She was never the best sleeper, so ‘bunny’ became a wonderful tool for comforting/settling—we couldn't (wouldn’t) go anywhere without her.

Ivy is now 4-years-old, but bunny still means the world to her. She doesn’t need her for comfort now, but the friend who helped her through so many difficult times still holds immense value. I think that’s why she loves Guff

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