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
2014 feels like a new chapter for me. With both children at school full time, this year marks a new phase of life with lots of new beginnings. 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
Text isn’t limited to words on a page. There is text all around us! Pre-readers are particularly aware of environmental print, and often it provides their first experiences of independent reading. 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
Miss 5: MUM! You have to see this. It’s weird. And cool. M-U-M!
Me: I think that’s a cicada nymph. Can you see the shell underneath? We sometimes find empty cicada shells, don’t we? It looks like this little guy didn’t quite make it out. Continue reading
My kids are energetic. Very energetic. I think most happy, healthy kids are – but it’s good to slow them down sometimes and help them to notice life’s little things. One way we like to do this outside is to go on a bug hunt. There are interesting insects and other small creatures all around, but often we don’t notice them because we are too busy. Open your child’s eyes to the wonder of bugs! Continue reading
“Mummy! Mum! Look what I found. It’s a number six leaf! Cooooool!”
Such excitement over a simple leaf. She then dropped it, of course, and so we set off on a search for another 6-shaped-leaf. I suggested we look for other numeral shapes as well. 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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