Thursday, September 18, 2014

Make My Week - tumbleweed blowing

my crafty space is neglected.... I can almost see the tumbleweed blowing through - but I do have 2 new projects in the pipeline after my final big event on Saturday.

So for this week - hold your breath this is pretty exciting!!

I made a baby taggy - all of 10minutes before a school pick up - I know you are incredibly impressed by me right now aren't you?

of course you are!

Everything was in the draws so essentially a 'free' make.

Joining in, totally unashamed, with much more technical makes here:

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than holding your head high while  bringing a packet of 2 minute noodles to a share a plate event xxxx

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pimp My Ride

Hello, hello what have we here?

A new trolley... I outgrew my last one

and of course it wasn't truly mine without a little fake foliage!

love you more than a bloom that causes no hayfever xxx

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Learning Together - silly rhymes

Take a 'sight word', by which I mean a spelling word or a simple tricky word like - there, turn, or whatever words cause consternation at your place, or a word that you have on a list of words to recognise by sight.

Now have some fun thinking of all the rhyming words you can think of. Record them on a chart/ white board/ piece of paper

make sure you throw in a few ridiculous ones for good measure like 'zear' - you know the baby of a zebra and a deer - I can't believe you've never heard of them! What are those teachers teaching you?

Now try to write a short 4 line poem together using some of the rhyming words.

Perform it in silly voices if the mood so takes you.


  • spelling patterns when a word like 'there' also rhymes with bear, pier, and cheer you start to 'see' that there are different ways to make a long e sound. Of course in NZ (and probably Aus?) pear, peer, pair and pier all rhyme - they don't in England! Yes happy to ruin those vowels for you English colonialists.
  • playing with rhythm and language - when you try to write lines that rhyme you naturally have to adapt them to get the rhyme scheme to work properly 
  • word recognition - if this is a spelling or sight word or just a word they perpetually get wrong by the end of this activity they will have seen it written, they will have written it and they will have said it aloud several times - all without the dreaded 'write it out 5 times' ever being uttered.

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.

love you more than that fat cat who sat on the mat and crushed his hat xxx

Monday, September 15, 2014

Little Things to Ease the Christmas Rush

So I think we've talked about Christmas stockings before.

The Atlas had them as child and wanted to continue the tradition. I quite like the idea of them but I don't want to a) spend a lot on filling them or b) buy 'land fill' (you know that plastic junk from the cheapie shops?) so my solution?

1. Make small stockings - much easier to fill especially once there is a compulsory piece of fruit and random vegetable (The Atlas insists on that!).

2. Try to find small cheap things that I am happy for the boys to have and I think will delight them on Christmas morning.

So over the next 10 weeks or so I will buy one of these each time I shop at the supermarket (for the ones I can get there). This means an extra $5 or so each week instead of $50 just before Christmas. I will probably also buy an extra one of each thing so we can do an Operation Christmas Child box or something similar, which is an important part of our Christmas Tradition.

These are my ideas - I'd love to hear some of yours.

1. Novelty plasters - major hit last year. This year I have found Mr Bump and 'Cars' ones and some under the sea themed ones. All for about $2.50 a box.

2. Large Stick of Chalk - the other day Flip was given one of these and walked all the way home from town drawing the most random and hilarious things like 'look up' with an arrow and 'lifes hard' (so random, especially as he was drawing smiley faces everywhere!). Worth about 50c

3. Cake baubles - I quite like a bit of baking bling but I hardly ever buy it so I know the boys will love decorating the cakes to go with them. About $2-3

4. Paper Straws - I like that they are biodegradable (more so than the plastic ones anyway). These can be more pricey but sometimes the cheapie shops get them too so you can snap them up for $2-3.

5. Bubble Mix - they are, finally, old enough to be reasonably trustworthy to not spill the entire contents of these on the first attempt to blow bubbles. Approx $1

6. Handmade decoration - fun and festive and something for their growing collections and the fact that we have no Christmas decorations here with us. free-ish

7. Washi tape - we can never have too much of that. I buy mine in Australia here and they often have rolls reduced to $2 plus free postage for 10 or more rolls so I should see if anyone wants to go in together?? (I also have a discount code if you want one).

8. Cookie Cutter - makes a fun summer project and I figure you can't have too many, right? Anywhere from $2-5

9. A nice bookmark - I am thinking of making some with little photos of them on and laminating them. free-ish

10. 'Pass it On' cards - these are a blast from my past I discovered in the Christian bookshop the other day - they are business style cards with cute/encouraging messages on the front and the back is blank for you to write a little message of love. 25c each.

So that's my top 10. If I get one every week from now I will be well sorted before Christmas and it should mean I don't end up in a frenzied over spend of land fill inducing nastiness.

What is an essential stocking item in your book?

love you more than a peaceful week before school ends xxxx

Sunday, September 14, 2014


art making

how I love to see you both at work

sweet, sweet things

love you more than new art supplies xxx

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning Together - a little of what you fancy

One of the skills I believe is important is social confidence. Some children are naturally confident and others struggle with confidence but I want to know my boys will be equipped with social confidence to see them through different situations.

So this week rather than a 'homework activity' I'm going a bit 'real life'!

Bounce needed a new reading folder for school, which you get from the office. So in we went together. Rather than me asking it for it, paying, sorting it out.... I got him (with coaching and encouragement from the sidelines) to do it. We started with a 'good morning R (school receptionist)', 'Can I please get a reader folder'.

I did the payment as it was on EFTPOS but he also wrote his name on the folder. Of course I would have like to do that myself with fancy writing and what if he made a mistake?? but all of the greetings, asking for what you need, taking responsibility and thanking are special skills that I want him to develop.

If I was held up getting to school one day or there was some other situation arise then I want to think he will have the confidence to go to the office, speak clearly and ask for what he needs. Small situations provide good practice for him to relate to adults, communicate well and feel heard.

Photo Source Here
And for a little more, we went to the markets yesterday afternoon after school - sorry boys we're not walking home to do homework we're going out for a treat - when we got there I told them they could have up to $5 to buy a treat.

In this situation I want my boys to practice these skills:
  • decision making - it is a smallish amount of money for them to handle but they can choose from a large variety of options. Looking at options, narrowing down favourites, checking and re-checking is a little tedious and not for the frazzled or time poor but it is a helpful skill to exercise. All through life there are times to make choices and learning to do this and live with the consequences after you tried the first mouthful is an important skill. (Been caught out on choosing something that looks good but tastes disappointing? Yeah, me too!)
  • dealing with money and change - I would expect Flip to be able to tell me how much change he will get from his choice and Bounce is still working out what is less or more than $5 by looking at the prices, reading the amount to me and deciding if the dollar number is less or more than 5.
  • social confidence - waiting your turn, speaking loudly, saying thank you, handing over money... these are all important activities that children don't get to practice that often in real life contexts
Of course this is also fun, it's a treat, it's building collective family memories and I am very blessed to be able to do these things so easily with the boys.

What about you? Do you encourage your children to take the lead in shop interactions or making requests of adults at school/ kindy? It's easier just to do it myself I admit, but I get such a feeling of delight in seeing my boys take these things on and have success and positive feedback from adults in our community and in the long run these are real skills I want them to have.

Learning Together a series for primary aged children and their parents - activities that break up homework monotony, promote skills and create positive experiences together.

love you more than a sweet treat for mummy too xxx

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Make My Week - Silhouette Hoops

I have made these before and even written a tutorial (of sorts!) here.

These were for examples for the craft class I ran recently. A friend emailed me the pictures and I asked her girls what their favourite colours were and chose the fabric accordingly.

I love how these can be so easily recognised by people who know the subjects.

Keeping it nice and simple round here for another week or so and then the pressure subsides somewhat.

joining in here

 Show & Tell Thursday's

love you more than light at the end of the tunnel xxx