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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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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a stereotype-smashing story + Ivy & Angus in their Book Week costumes

a stereotype-smashing story + Ivy & Angus in their Book Week costumes

ages 2 to 7 years
We recently went through all our books trying to find the perfect costume for our playgroup's Book Week parade. There were many contenders, but in the end Ivy chose A Proper Little Lady.

She saw it and proclaimed "This will be the perfect book, I’m so excited!". I was pretty excited too and not just because it was a costume that required no sewing! This was one of my favourite books when I was Ivy's age and I feel a special kind of closeness in sharing and enjoying 

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an edible (ish) mud farm + a few fave books make for a perfect spring day

an edible (ish) mud farm + a few fave books make for a perfect spring day

ages 0 - 6 years
Spring is finally here and while it's still quite cold in Tasmania, the sun is out and we're loving being outside. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to make mess and have fun with the kids, especially outdoors, and found a bit of inspiration while spring cleaning the shed—a shallow plastic container that looked like the perfect size for a mud farm.

I'd had my eye on a muddy farm sensory play activity from The Imagination Tree for a while, so thought I'd give it a try, with minor adjustments to this original recipe: 

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a delightful exploration of the nuances of family life, friendship and school

a delightful exploration of the nuances of family life, friendship and school

ages 3 to 8 years
Henrietta is a ‘great go-getter’ with an ‘adventurous spirit’ and ‘great determination’.
She’s also ‘an explorer of life, and that includes trees, bugs, animals and all mysteries.’ She’s waiting for a new baby—and hoping for a sister. She’s also starting school, making new friends, having her first sleepover and doing all the things that lucky children do at that age.

There are disappointments of course

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a very funny look at the importance of individuals and communities

a very funny look at the importance of individuals and communities

ages 2 to 8 years
Here’s a brilliantly engaging and amusing story about 71 sheep, a ball of wool, and a wolf. With a superbly developed sense of the absurd, the storyline follows the sheep and their attempt to play a game of soccer: The sheep count themselves and realise that with 71 of them, they have the perfect number for a game of soccer!

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a lovely book for kids going through 'hard to find friends' times

a lovely book for kids going through 'hard to find friends' times

ages 2 to 8 years
Do your little ones have imaginary friends? Some of mine did. It was cute to hear them chatting away to someone invisible—less cute when I once had to wait in the rain because an imaginary friend called Minga had to get in the car first and then took her own sweet time about buckling up her seatbelt! There are lots of good reasons to enjoy the imaginary friend stage, one being...

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an ode to dads and the value of a simple childhood

an ode to dads and the value of a simple childhood

ages 2 to 8 years—and dads!
Sam introduces us to his whole family, Mum, brother Leon, and Dad, and tells us about the things he does with his Dad. They’re simple things—the stuff of a blessedly ordinary childhood.... As he shares his life, we see the love and admiration Sam has for Dad but even more, we see the love Dad has for his family.

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embracing rough play

embracing rough play

Sam's little boy Angus is crawling now and his first order of business every day is to crawl on over and wrestle Ivy! Kid wrestling can get a bit wild to nervous adult eyes and the temptation is to call a halt to the whole of it. But there’s a growing consensus that wrestling or roughhousing is not just good for kid’s overall physical and mental health—it’s vital.

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