Once again blogging has taken a back seat to real life, as we farewell our hometown of Brisbane. Relocating a family is a huge undertaking! We have spent the last few weeks in a whirlwind of cleaning, clearing, decluttering, and gumtree-ing in order to sell our home. At the same time, we’ve also been flying down to Sydney to find a suburb that will work for our family, and then lining up new home and school. Oh, and in between, catching up “just one more time” with all of our beautiful friends here in Brisbane. Continue reading
We have bamboo in our backyard that goes wild after good rain. Out of nowhere the spears shoot up, rising way past the top of our 6ft fence, before sprouting leaves. It provides great screening, but often needs serious pruning! The kids have used the pruned bamboo spears in their play in the past. Recently we tried something new. Continue reading
Here’s the thing about free play: it requires very, very little. Children who are good at free play know how to make their own fun. They don’t need an adult to provide them with toys. They don’t need an adult to outline the rules. They don’t need an adult to explain the process. They don’t need an adult at all really! Free play can happen any time, any where, with whatever is around. Continue reading
I have previously shared some thoughts about children and risk, both here on the blog and on air. And when my daughter knocked herself out by falling while tree climbing – my opinion was challenged, but ultimately unchanged.
While I am happy to share my perspective as an educator and a mother, I am not a child psychologist myself, so I was delighted to be able to interview Dr Paula Barrett about this topic. Here are her thoughts on the risky business of childhood. Continue reading
I’m very pleased to be an ambassador for the MILO Play Movement in 2012. Play is a child’s work, and the importance of play in children’s development cannot be underestimated.
MILO sent the SquiggleKids a fantastic play kit (final photo) to use in the backyard – and I’ve got one play kit to give away to a lucky SquiggleMum reader as well! The kit contains soccer nets, cones, a selection of different balls and even a ball pump for your kids to use outside, plus a couple of tins of MILO. Continue reading
In case you don’t live in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, and in case you missed the pics on facebook and twitter… yes, my kids were on the front page of the local paper. I might be slightly biased but I think it’s a great photo. Not just because they’re both smiling and looking at the camera, but because they are swinging from a rope ladder in our backyard.
Did you grow up with sprinklers in the back yard? I have fond memories of spending hot summer days running and jumping through the spray with my sister. I remember those long green tube-like sprinklers, and the groovy ones that could spin around. I even remember being allowed to run through the sprinklers on the school oval when temperatures reached over 35 deg C. And then of course there was slip’n’slide… 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
Every now and then I have great idea, followed closely by
“Why didn’t I think of this sooner?”
The simple ideas are always the best. I simply screwed a couple of old brass hooks (which were lying unused in the bottom of a toolbox) onto the fence at child height. We were already using the two green baskets for outdoor toy storage. I love them because: Continue reading
I spotted these popstick-girl-shapes in a craft store, and grabbed a packet immediately. I just knew they would come in handy for… well, for something! When Miss 5 was recently at home sick they provided wonderful entertainment.
I put out any sparkly collage materials I could find, as well as some fabric and PVA glue. I also had a few leftover precut felt butterfly shapes which proved perfect for wings. My daughter didn’t need any help (or any encouragement to get started)! She busied herself for most of the day creating different families of fairies. Water fairies, tree fairies, dirt fairies, vine fairies. It was one big sparkly creative mess!!
The next day we were able to take the fairies outside into the garden. The paddlepop sticks pushed easily into the ground, and also proved useful as handles for when the fairies wanted to flutter about.
It was wonderful to hear Miss 5 make up her own stories using the fairy families. We were able to talk about what makes a good story, and the need for a “problem” to be resolved. We even whipped out the iphone and recorded some of the stories. They will be fun to look back on one day!
I’m so glad I kept my hands out of the making process, and let my daughter do it her way. No end product to copy. No “do it like this” moments. No adult interference. And I think her fairies are rather beautiful. Don’t you?