I started blogging as SquiggleMum in 2008, with an eight week old baby in my arms and a toddler under my feet. It’s been a long time coming, but with two school aged kids and a busy life offline – I’m finally ready to let go of SquiggleMum. Well, the mum part anyway. Continue reading
I don’t often share my works in progress apart from with my NSW Writer’s Centre critique group, and my January Month of Poetry group. (Honestly, any serious writer should have a crit group.) But the lovely Katrina Germein tagged me to share lines 7-14 from a WIP, so I’m making an exception. Continue reading
Parents often ask me if they should do any “school work” with their kids during the long summer holidays. I think everyone needs a break over the holidays, but keeping up some reading and writing is a really good idea. In addition to reading aloud to your child each night, I suggest helping your child to keep a holiday journal. Continue reading
The thing my kids like most about helping with the grocery shopping is writing the list before we go. They both write their own list and are responsible for finding those items on our trip. Mr 5 was very proud of his last shopping list – and I was too. Here is his list. Can you read it? Continue reading
Though I have been quieter this year online, I have still been writing as much as ever. I first started this blog back in 2008 to work on my writing, and build an audience. It has certainly done that – and more! I really like writing for mums, and enjoy the interaction and conversation with others that blogging enables. But, when it comes down to it, my first love will always be writing for kids. Continue reading
As a keen birdwatcher, Miss 5 knows the scientific names of a few of her favourite species. The first one she learned was Trichoglossus haematodus – the scientific name for a Rainbow Lorikeet. The second was the closely related Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus, or Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. From this early introduction to scientific names, my daughter discovered that: Continue reading
An outdoor chalkboard is another project I have had on my to-do list for a while. I love the idea of children having lots of writing and drawing opportunities outdoors. I often find that writing naturally flows outside without the pressure of a classroom environment or the constraints of A4 paper. Chalk is inviting too, because of its non-permanent nature and its accessibility for little hands. (In fact, Mr 2 drew his first “people” pictures on the chalk board! See bottom left picture.) Continue reading
I have long had the idea of putting an actual letterbox in the backyard for the kids to use. FINALLY I got around to it.
Letter writing is such a great, purposeful literacy activity. It provides a reason to write, and an incentive to write well because you want the recipient to be able to read their letter when they receive it!
I picked up this letterbox from our local (big green) hardware store for around $12. It’s nothing fancy, but it does the job perfectly and we don’t need to worry about it being able to withstand the conditions outside. We simply screwed it to a low, existing sleeper wall beside the dirt kitchen.
It has already been more than worth the money! The kids have written so many letters to each other, to Mummy and Daddy, and to friends who have come over to play. Writing them is fun, reading them is fun, checking the mailbox is fun, and delivering the mail is fun. Of course, everyone participates at their own level. Miss 5 has been doing some great early writing, using her sound-letter knowledge to have-a-go at writing independently. She has also worked hard to decode the simple letters I have posted to her. Mr 2 has enjoyed being the mailman, and posted some excellent scribbles to his sister!
If you are looking for an inexpensive, non-permanent, interactive addition for your backyard or playspace… try a letterbox! It provides a lovely way for siblings or parent-child to communicate, promotes early reading and writing, and gets kids outside. Ticks all my boxes
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