Monthly Archives: April 2011

Family Getaway

Where do you and your family go when you really need to get away from it all?  For us it’s the rainforest.  When I’m there my heart rate slows down, my brain stops buzzing quite so loudly, and feel like I can breathe. We have just returned from a wonderful week away at Springbrook.  Here’s what a fun but refreshing family holiday looks like for us.

Bushwalking together (Miss 4 walked 4.6km on her own!)

Early morning bird watching with Mummy.

Photographing AWESOME bird life.

(This is a male Golden Whistler pachycephala pectoralis)

Exploring caves.

Climbing trees.

Discovering new creatures.

(This is a Land Mullet we found while bushwalking)

Venturing behind waterfalls.

Making new friends (Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary)


Capturing rainbows.


What’s your idea of a great family holiday?

What do you and the kids enjoy doing together?

Any other rainforest-loving, bird-watching, rainbow-chasing families out there??

Give A Little Charity on Mothers Day

This post is sponsored by UNICEF and Kidspot.

I’m coming up to my 5th Mother’s Day.  My purple slippers are looking a little ratty, so I could ask the kids for a replacement.  I wouldn’t mind an artsy camera strap for my new digital SLR.  Or really I’d be just as happy with a few more plants for the backyard.  Truthfully though, I don’t need anything.  I have a few wants, but no needs. Continue reading

Music for Children to Dance

Do your children like to dance? Mine do.  This morning we twirled and whirled in tutus together – yes, I put one on too.  My daughter asked for “dancing music” so I flicked through the CD collection until I settled on one.

I didn’t choose The Wiggles, even though Dorothy rather considers herself a dino-ballerina.

I didn’t choose Justine Clarke, even though she’s hands down my favourite children’s entertainer.

I didn’t choose a Playschool album, or a Jimmy Giggle album, or any other children’s album.

So what DID I choose? Continue reading

Young Children As Artists

I need to be upfront and tell you that Christie from Childhood101 and I aren’t just blogging colleagues – we’re friends.*  And when I say I like her ebook – I mean I love it.  So much so that I contributed a few photos, helped with editing and I am a proud affiliate.  (That means if you purchase the ebook because I said it’s awesome, I get a percentage of the profits too.)

What is it?

ART not Craft is a downloadable, 53 page ebook in a pdf format.  Instead of buying a paper-and-cover book, you purchase an ebook and either print it out, or read it on the screen.  It is in full colour and contains lots of great photos of young children in action with a variety of mediums.

How much is it?

Using an e-format keeps overheads low, so you can purchase it for $15.95 (and you get a bonus gift).  If you could book an early childhood consultant to sit down over coffee while you pick her brain about all-things-art, it would cost a fortune!  This book is kind of like that.  Oh, except Christie is totally a tea drinker…

What’s in it?

Loads of information on why we approach art in the early years the way we do, and great ideas for you to try.  ART not Craft is broken into sections on drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and sculpture.  Christie gives suggestions throughout for learning, doing, seeing, and talking with your child as you go.  It is a resource you will go back to many times.

Who should buy it?

If you have ever given your child a blob of playdough, or put a paintbrush into their hand and thought, “Now what…?!” – this is a book for you!  Many parents want to be creative with their kids, and want to provide creative learning opportunities, but just don’t know where to start.  It’s also a great resource for anyone working with under fives.

When asked to comment on the book, here’s what I had to say:

“Children are inherently creative, and are capable of doing so much more than merely copying simple crafts. In this ebook Christie opens up a world of possibilities for you to explore with your child, or with a whole class of young children. I highly recommend Art Not Craft to parents and educators who are looking to provide rich, creative and artistic opportunities for the children in their care.”

BONUS!  Purchase Art Not Craft: The Process of Learning Creatively and you will receive ‘A Wish For All Children’ poster as a downloadable, easy to print A4 PDF. Hang it in your home to inspire and remind you of the importance of children making art.


*Yes, she lives in Perth and I’m in Brisbane. We share virtual cuppas. And yes we squealed like teenage girls when we got to meet in Sydney and be roomies for the Australian Blogging Conference…

Water Spray Play

Spray bottles are a regular play item in our backyard during the warmer months, but with Autumn in the air it’s been a little too cool for this:

So instead I’ve been encouraging the kids to use the spray bottles differently. They’ve enjoyed using them to water in new plants, and lightly mist delicate fern leaves.  They’ve had fun squirting them high into the air.  Most of all, we’ve enjoyed creating water spray art together.  Continue reading

One Stitch At A Time

My friends at Black Dog Books sent me a copy of One Stitch At A Time, a beginner’s guide to making soft toys.  While I am not the world’s best sewer – I have to admit that it is gorgeous.  Author, Gen West, has collaborated with Postman Pat puppet maker Laura Clempson.  Needless to say, the softies in the book are impeccably stitched!  The complete toy making kit contains everything you need to make your first softie, plus patterns and instructions for other soft toy animals.  (Lots of great literacy skills involved in reading instructions and working with patterns.) Continue reading