Mothers Day activity for Kids. Art and Literacy combined

Apr 26, 2016


With Mother's Day coming up for another year, we took advantage of the opportunity to delve into some language learning and make a special keepsake for Mum at the same time.

(I did find doing this activity a little amusing as I was doing it with my own children. We used the word Mum in the example but talked about how we could substitute in "Nana" or "Grandma" and make a gift for them).
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SumBlox. Amazing hands-on maths tool for kids

Mar 1, 2016


Introducing, SumBlox! The beautifully designed and crafted wooden block set that allows children to explore and learn more about numbers and their relationships in a hands-on, concrete (and most importantly, fun) way.

It is safe to say that as a teacher, great resources that help and encourage children to learn through play, excite me greatly. When I first laid my eyes on SumBlox, (which have only recently been introduced to the Australian market) I was immediately drawn to the incredibly clever, yet simple concept, that combines children's love of building and physically manipulating materials, with a number of different mathematical concepts. What a fabulous maths teaching tool!
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10 Awesome Free Printables for Kids at home and in the classroom

Feb 22, 2016

I love printables, especially FREE ones! It's amazing the fun, games, learning, organising and/or decorating that can be had from something that starts as a simple piece of paper with some ink on it.

This product talk is brought to you by Nuffnang and Epson


I have an awesome Free Printable Pinterest board, (followed by over 91,000 people!) which is full of fabulous free printable ideas from learning games and clever crafts to wall art and kids birthday supplies. There's something for everyone! To save you a bit of time going through the 6,000+ free printables collected on the board, here's a list of 10 of my very favourites! (You will find that most of these sites have other fabulous free printables that you'll want to check out too!)

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Help your child learn to read in 4 weeks for free!

Feb 4, 2016

This post is sponsored by ABC Reading Eggs and Nuffnang

For children to learn to read, they need to do just that. Read! They should be read with and to every single day. In addition to reading stories and words that we see in everyday life, there are numerous activities and games that children can play, in order to help further develop the essential keys to reading success;

  • phonemic awareness - hearing and manipulating different sounds in words
  • phonics - recognising the connection between letters and the sounds they make
  • vocabulary - understanding the meaning of words, their definitions and context
  • reading comprehension - understanding the meaning in text, and 
  • fluency - reading aloud with speed, understanding and accuracy. 

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The Lion Guard plus 10 interesting Lion facts for kids.

Jan 27, 2016

This post is sponsored by Disney Junior and Nuffnang

Most of us would have seen The Lion King movie once or twice (or more times) over the years. My kids have watched it and it's a favourite in their movie collection. Of course, when they heard the news that a new Disney Junior series, The Lion Guard, based on the original, "The Lion King" movie, was set to hit our shores here in Australia, they were excited!
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Watercolour and Salt. Science and Art exploration for kids

Jan 17, 2016

Watercolour paper, salt and watercolour paint come together to create some incredible results. What makes the best results? That's what you'll need to explore!

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10 fun school holiday DIY Projects for kids

Jan 4, 2016

The school holidays are a great time to have a go at some DIY projects with kids. Not only do they keep the kids occupied whilst learning new skills and experimenting with ideas, but they can create some really cool games and activities for very little cost.

This post is brought to you by Bunnings Warehouse and Nuffnang

My kids feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment from being able to take a bunch of simple objects and put them together in a way that creates something new.  This is what DIY is all about, creating and making things. As the number 1 destination for DIY, Bunnings is the place to go to get everything you need and their fun kid-friendly environment, with miniature trolleys, face painting, kids playgrounds and more, makes it the ideal location to pick up everything you need for your DIY projects with the whole family.

We recently discovered that the Bunnings website has a huge range of fun projects for the kids, with easy to follow video tutorials. Perfect for gaining inspiration and getting ideas for new projects! We've browsed through the kids DIY projects on their website and have made a list of 10 of our favourites! Here they are. (We've already made one of them and the kids think it's the coolest thing they've ever made!)
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Healthy Veggie Christmas Tree Share Platter. Cooking with Kids.

Dec 23, 2015


This year we thought that we'd come up with a healthy Christmas share platter, bound to stand out amongst all the sweets and treats that usually adorn the Christmas party table.

This fruit (my kids wanted to point out that some of the ingredients we use are technically fruits) and vegetable Christmas tree share platter would be perfect for taking along to a class party or family get together and is simple enough to get the kids involved in the preparation. I've found over the years that having children regularly involved in cooking and food preparation, makes them more inclined to try new things and gives them the information needed for making future choices for themselves based on their knowledge of foods, our needs and healthy living.

Healthy Veggie Christmas Tree Share Platter

Ingredients: (we used)
  • Celery 
  • Cucumber
  • Snow peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Red and Yellow Capsicum (peppers)
  • Red and yellow cherry tomatoes
  • Olives (black and green stuffed)
  • Carrot
  • Cheese (cheddar cheese slices) Optional- leave out for dairy free option

Materials:
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Peeler
  • Star cookie cutter (optional)
  • Large platter
Don't forget, before you start any food preparation you need to wash your hands.

Chop your carrot, celery and cucumber into sticks around the same size and length. Depending on your child's knife skills, you might want to help them with this part.
Older children can assist with the peeling and chopping of the harder vegetables.
Younger children will enjoy cutting stars out of slices of real cheese.
Halve your cherry tomatoes, olives and cut thin slices of capsicum to decorate the tree.
With your ingredients prepped, you are ready to build your tree! Children of all ages can help with this part.
Use the carrot sticks for the base and your cucumber and celery sticks to build the shape of the tree.
Layer your snow peas and sugar snap peas over and in your tree.
Arrange your capsicum strips on top of the tree for tinsel.
Decorate all over the tree with your tomatoes and olives.
For the finishing touches, add your star shaped cheese. For a dairy free option, you could cut stars from yellow capsicum.
Serve your tree fresh with your favourite dips and watch it disappear.

We really enjoyed creating this Veggie Christmas Tree and got to practice many kitchen skills, fine-motor skills and talk about different foods and healthy eating along the way. The kids (and I) were really impressed with the results at the end and it was hard to photograph before my kids wanted to dig in!

Here are some more Christmas Recipe ideas you may want to try with the kids:

Happy creating,
Debs :)


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DIY Disney inspired Christmas Gift-Tags for Kids

Dec 21, 2015



Christmas always ends up being such a crafty, creative time for my kids and I. We love hand-making Christmas cards, making fun Christmas food, playing with Christmas playdough and so much more! It's always fun jazzing up the gifts with our own wrapping paper, ribbons or gift-tags and what I love about it the most, is creating those magical Christmas moments together that will become precious memories over time.

To get the kids excited in creating our Christmas gift-tags, we decided they would feature our favourite Disney Junior characters. Mickey and Minnie Mouse, (classic favourites) and Doc McStuffins, who we love for her healthy living messages and kind, caring nature.

Making the gift-tags ourselves allowed for the children to practice fine-motor skills, (it's not easy to trace and work with small items), cutting skills (this part was especially good for the younger kids) and even some reading and writing skills, in order to label the gift-tags. Younger children may need some assistance with the writing, or you could provide stickers or stamps that they could use instead.

Materials:
  • Blank gift tags or gift tag template and coloured cardboard (here is a free printable gift-tag template)
  • Scissors
  • Hole-punch
  • Marker
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Fave Disney character pictures (we just printed some off the Disney Junior Website or you could always buy some stickers)
Either print our your gift-tags on the coloured card of your choice, or trace a plain template onto some coloured card. As we were using a few different characters, the kids wanted to match the colours of each character to the cardboard colour.
Cut out your gift tag.
Cut out your character picture.
Glue next to the pointed end of the gift-tag
Write or draw any greeting on your gift tag. You will also want to label who it is for and who it is from. You can put this on the front or the back.
Punch a hole near the point at the end of the gift-tag and then tie some ribbon through the hole.
Children can play around with the text and format for their gift-tag. It's a good idea to first provide children with a blank gift-tag so that they can practice their wording and the sizing of their text. Often trial and error works best for this.
When your gift-tags are done, coordinate them with matching coloured ribbons or bows and pop them on the presents for the lucky recipients.
There's just something about that homemade touch that makes them more special!

Disney Junior The Channel is where magical storytelling comes to life and is available on Foxtel, channel 709 and Fetch. I love that the Disney Junior characters and stories cover learning areas from early language and maths skills to healthy living and social and emotional development. You can use this inspiration for recreating your own Magical Christmas Moment with your little ones and share these with friends and family. Disney Junior Australia and New Zealand would love to see your ideas so be sure to tag in @DisneyJuniorAUNZ and #DJMagical Moments.

I've found that watching shows with familiar and trusted characters, that are promoting the same messages and values that we teach at home, can be very useful in helping children consolidate the knowledge and entice them to want to recreate the behaviours. 


Happy creating,
Debs :)

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