Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A trip on Puffing Billy with playgroup friends!

Disclaimer: I didn't take this photo ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jelly painting

This week we tried painting with jelly crystals! I wasn't sure how this activity was going to turn out but activities involving things we can eat always seem to be successful around here! I grabbed a few different coloured boxes of jelly crystals from the supermarket (Homebrand ones were about 40 cents each so it worked out to be quite a cheap activity in the end) and then mixed about half of each packet with a small amount of water. Then I let the kids loose! They could choose whether they wanted to use paintbrushes or their hands to do the painting. The paint left little crystals on the paper which the kids found interesting. I would have saved the drawings so we could check if they smelt nice when dry but alas the ants got to them first ;)

Esme started out by using the paintbursh to draw on the paper...

But it didn't take long for her to figure out that this 'paint' was quite tasty and painting was quickly abandoned in favour of licking the paintbrush and fingers!

Jacob tried dipping his fingers in and making dots on the paper

It took him a little longer than Esme to work out the 'paint' was edible but then all he wanted to do was eat it!

Visit We play at Childhood 101 for more great play ideas

Monday, October 25, 2010

Through the eyes of a four year old.

We recently gave Jacob an old camera to use. He loves it and would happily spend all day taking photos of things (if the batteries didn't keep running out!) It's really interesting to look at the photos he takes just to see the world through the eyes of a four year old. Here's a selection of a few he's taken so far (picture quality of the old digital camera leaves a lot to be desired but you get the idea ;))

I'm thinking of doing a little photo scavenger hunt for him too. I read about this in a blog recently (if anyone reading this can remember whose blog it was please let me know so I can give credit to them!) I always thought Jacob would be too young for this but I've come up with a modified version. Instead of having a written list of things he needs to take photos of I'm planning on putting some colours on a page and telling him that he needs to take a photo of something that colour. Will be interesting to see how he goes ;)

In the meantime, it's back to being told to 'smile!' Oh the irony!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Chooky cuddles! Our chooks have to put up with a lot - Esme loves to catch them and give them big cuddles. Lucky they are so placid!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finger Painting

We opted for an easy tactile activity this week - good old fashioned finger paint! It's really easy to cook up and takes no time at all. I got the kids to mix in some colouring when it was all made. They both really enjoyed the actual painting but got a little funny about having the paint on their hands so I had to provide a bowl of water for them to dip their hands into every so often (hence why the finger paint got a little watered down!!)

Esme looks a little uncertain about getting her hands into the paint!

Jacob got right into it all, as per usual, making lots of swirls and dots with his hands

We made lots of different coloured paint - red, blue, yellow and green.

And of course, we had to take prints off the paint when we were all done :)


1 cup cornflour
cold water
3 cups boiling water
food colouring

Blend cornflour with a little cold water. Add boiling water. Boil for 1 minute until clear - make sure you stir though, our fingerpaint got a little lumpy! Add food colouring.

Visit We play at Childhood 101 for more great play ideas

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Learning about volcanoes

Welcome to the October Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Studies of Society and the Environment" which covers all the humanities, from history to finance, geography, politics and of course the environment. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on SOSE.


For the past couple of weeks we've been learning all about volcanoes. Our interest in this started because of some rocks that Jacob found on a recent trip to a friend's farm. We brought them home to show Daddy and he told us they were volcanic rock. Jacob found this very interesting so we thought it'd be good to do some activities around volcanoes.

The rocks that sparked Jacob's interest in learning about volcanoes

We went to the local library and borrowed some books about volcanoes. The local library is really such a great resource for information. Jacob spent the next week looking at the books we borrowed and talking about how volcanoes work. It's interesting the conversations you have with young kids. Jacob told us that he wanted to see a volcano up close but we had to explain that it was really, really hot and you can't get close to a volcano that's erupting!

The books we borrowed from the library

We decided to make our very own volcano with papermache. We made a frame out of wire and then built the layers up to make a mountain. We left a hole in the middle for a bottle (more on that in a moment!) The last time we did papermache, Jacob really enjoyed it. This time, however, he did about two strips and then got distracted by something else. So lucky Mummy was left to finish it all!! After it had all dried we painted it.

Jacob, doing some papermache before he got distracted, leaving Mummy to do all the work!

A rare moment of brother and sister happily doing an activity together!

The finished product!

So, can you guess what's coming yet? The bottle in the middle of the volcano is for our science experiment! We put bicarb in the bottle and then added vinegar, coloured with red food dye, and a little detergent to make our very own volcano eruption! Lots and lots of fun and a great way to simulate an actual volcano for the kids (not that volcanoes are caused by bicarb and vinegar reactions but y'know ;))

The vinegar gets poured in

Erupting volcano!

Jacob and Esme both loved watching the volcano 'erupt'

Touching the foam was really kind of funny!

We had a couple of fun weeks learning about volcanoes. I wonder what we'll discover next?

Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.


Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Studies of Society and the Environment."
  • The Planning Queen has pulled together some of the many great sources that you can use to keep kids up to date with world news.

  • SMMART Ideas is writing about how your 2 year old isn't too young to learn the names and locations of the state she lives in and those around her...or even countries of the world!

  • For Adventures with Kids, photos can provide a great starting point for telling or discovering history, from family history to world history. Find out some questions to ask about the photos to get you started and where you can find historical images.

  • Narelle at A Bunch of Keys has been having lots of fun learning all about volcanoes and how they work.

  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey knows that kids are fascinated with igloos - how they are built and why they don't melt. We investigate why!

  • Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a fun treat to celebrate the end of a geography unit on land and water forms.

  • At Homeage, almost every day they get another piece of the world delivered to their door, helping them learn about where and how other people live.

  • Deb's girls at Science@home have been building their family tree and talking about all their relationships.
Thanks for visiting our carnival, have fun reading all the posts.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He sleeps!

I've always been really jealous of people whose kids sleep anywhere. Our kids have never been like that. Right from an early age Jacob was a rather 'challenging' sleeper. It would take a lot of effort to get him to sleep and he would wake numerous times during the night. It was really hard work for Mummy and Daddy but we eventually accepted that we just don't breed sleepers. It looks like things have finally turned the corner though. At the age of 3, Jacob finally started sleeping through the night consistently. He would even sleep in sometimes till 9 or 10 in the morning, even after going to bed at 7.30. And this afternoon, I witnessed something amazing. I turned around to find Jacob asleep kneeling at the couch! Needless to say I quickly grabbed the camera to document this rare occasion! Granted, we had a busy day today but I didn't think it was that tiring.

A miracle - Jacob has fallen asleep kneeling against the couch!

Ahhhh, so peaceful when he sleeps!

Now to work on our other non-sleeper...;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'm being really brave today and posting a photo of ME! I don't usually like photos of myself but was mucking around with the camera yesterday when I was taking photos of the kids with their garlands. Yes, I am wearing a flower garland too ;)

Spring Festival

Yesterday was the Spring Festival at Jacob's Kinder. Despite having so many lovely, sunny days recently the weather yesterday left a little to be desired! We had planned to travel to the Alfred Nicholson Gardens to share morning tea but it was a little too windy for that (not to mention those ominous-looking clouds in the sky). We still managed to have a lovely morning though. Everyone brought some flowers to share so we made some beautiful flower garlands for the kids.

Jacob was so proud of his garland. I came down this morning to find him wearing it while he played - it's looking a little worse for wear today!

We finally managed to convince Esme to keep hers on - a little distraction works wonders!

The Spring Festival also coincided with Kinder photos. That was an interesting experience in itself! Everyone who knows Jacob will know that he likes his personal space and doesn't like to be forced into doing anything so getting him to sit with the group of kids was rather fun! But he did do it in the end, he loves his Kinder teacher so was (mostly!) happy to sit next to her for the photo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coffee filter painting

I recently read on another blog about painting on coffee filters. It sounded so interesting that we had to give it a go! Our experimentations did not yield exactly the same results but we had a lot of fun trying! I didn't realise at the time but the coffee filters I bought were brown so the results are not quite as vivid as they should be!

The paint - we started off with water with food colours added but that wasn't really bright enough so we swapped to powdered tempera paints

Jacob enjoyed painting with all the different colours

The end result. - Mummy ended up joining in so that's why some of them look a little different!!

As always, we had lots of fun! And that's what it's all about - even if it didn't exactly turn out quite as expected!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Curtain tent fun!

Curtain tents are lots of fun for kids to play in - throw a few cushions in and they make a great little cubby for the kids! I bought this curtain tent a couple of years ago from a homewares store and it has been a great source of entertainment for my kids ever since. I usually pull it out when we are having a boring old day at home and the kids have been driving me a little batty ;) It keeps them amused for ages with only a little effort on my behalf!

Climbing in and out - so much fun!

Both kids in the tent!

Peek a Boo - I see you!

I love the idea of creating a little reading corner/quiet area with a colourful curtain tent and a beanbag. I'm still trying to figure out where we would put it though as we are a little limited for space in this house!

Visit We play at Childhood 101 for more great play ideas

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Spring showers (thunderstorms!) and the view from our back deck.

Recycled toilet paper

Do you use it? Have you used it in the past?

I usually just buy whatever toilet paper is on special when I do the shopping. I've never really given it much thought. But a few recent trips to the Zoo have changed my thinking.

At Zoos Victoria they are running a 'Wipe for Wildlife' campaign. It was at the Healesville Sanctuary a couple of months ago that we first learnt how toilet paper is the biggest cause of destruction to our forests and habitats for animals. I had no idea! If someone had asked me before this what I thought was causing the most damage to our trees I probably would have said paper.

I heard this message and thought that I probably should change our toilet paper brand but then it slipped my mind until another visit to the Zoo a couple of weeks ago where I was reminded again. So, the other day when I did the fortnightly shopping and we needed toilet paper I chose recycled toilet paper.

I was really surprised to find that the cost of the recycled toilet paper was actually cheaper than the other stuff (I'm one of those sad people who look at the cost comparison on the price tag - the recyled stuff was 21 cents a sheet compared to 35 cents a sheet for normal which was on special too!)

The recycled toilet paper actually feels quite soft as well and not at all what I had imagined (I have vague memories of our family using recycled toilet paper many years ago and it being horribly scratchy)

It remains to be seen whether this recycled toilet paper will live up to the standards of regular toilet paper. But you know what? For the price of saving some wildlife, I don't think I really mind ;)

Will you take the pledge with me?
There's more information about it all here or you can even 'follow' on facebook!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sewing for babies

A couple of friends have had babies recently so my most recent sewing has been devoted to making some special things for them. Both friends had boys so I didn't end up using the two girls taggy blankets but I'm sure I'll get to use them one day!

Taggy Blankets for boys and girls. The blankets are backed with lovely soft minky fabric.

Matching applique tops and pants with cuffs and pockets. I made two sets but only took a photo of one pair. The pants were so teeny tiny, it's hard to remember babies being so small but I think these pants will still be a little too big for a newborn!

Now to start sewing my next project..!
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