Fun is ambiguous don’t you think? One person’s fun is another person’s special agony (I’ve heard there are people who really enjoy cleaning the oven—never met one, just heard), but most of us find that there’s nothing quite as fun as giving our brain a workout ... here's a collection of things-to-do that work your brain at any age—with links to books to cement, inspire and connect that wonderful work.Read More
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, butRead More
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 itRead More
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 inspirationRead More
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.Read More
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 itRead More
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 andRead More