Mini-marshmallow and toothpick building challenge for kids

Jan 25, 2015

dubai tourism platinum heritage shangri-la hotel bloggerati australia 1001 events

In this activity, children are invited to learn more about gravity, engineering and architecture in a fun and hands-on way.

dubai getaway

I'm not generally one to take pictures of buildings. Sure, I admire certain made-made structures but I've never felt compelled to take multiple pictures of non-historic buildings. Until I went to Dubai, that is. 

When I asked my family living in Dubai, "Why should families visit Dubai?" and one of the answers on the list was, "Architecture (Dubai has a mix of both Arabic and modern contemporary buildings which creates a unique and interesting landscape)," they weren't wrong. Out of the desert pops this quite amazing spectacle. I had never seen buildings like them. They appeared to rise out of the ground, often so tall that they looked like they were on a lean (perhaps some were?). A new shape and design around every corner. Everywhere that we drove I found myself constantly going, "Wow, look at that one!", "Woah! Check that out." and scrambling to take a photo before we drove on. You can see some great views of Dubai from the air in my earlier post.

When I got home, my kids thought the buildings looked fabulous. Going through photos together brought up all sorts of questions and discussions. Opportunities for learning.

How do they make the buildings stay up? Why don't they fall over? How do they get them so high? How did they make it that shape?

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Where is the Green Sheep? Children's Birthday Party

Jan 18, 2015

Are you following us on Pinterest?

For my son's 3rd birthday party, we took inspiration from a favourite book of ours, "Where is The Green Sheep?" written by Mem Fox and Illustrated by Judy Horacek. I love a book themed party and Noah's The Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party for his 1st birthday is still one of my favourites.

I had a great deal of fun creating the novelty green and sheep themed party food and covering our house with copies of the gorgeous illustrations from one of our copies of the book.

Overall, it was a fun and relaxed day. I had a few activities that the children could come and go from as they please, including a Where's the Green Sheep craft activity where children could paint or decorate their own sheep, a reading area where children could read a copy of the book and a Green Sheep Treasure Hunt where all the children searched for The Green Sheep and other green-wrapped treasures, together.
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10 activities to help develop your child's speech.

Jan 12, 2015

The best way to help a child's speech development is through play. Here are 10 simple activities that you can do at home, including the key vocabulary to focus on, to help develop your child's speech.

The key to these activities is about engaging with the child and using simple, useful language that matches the actions of play. This puts the language into context with what they are experiencing and gives them opportunities to hear, use and practice the language in a way that makes sense to them. Often the simple phrases are repeated over and over again in the same activity which is what you want. The words that you can focus on are listed for each activity under "Language" but you can still use them in correct sentence structure whilst focusing on the key words. For example, "Ball. You have a ball" and "Give ballGive me the ball please." For more specific information about how to develop your child's speech through play and to hear our personal journey with oral language concerns, see here.

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Where is The Green Sheep? In Dubai! Part 2. Fun travel photo prop idea.

Jan 5, 2015

dubai tourism platinum heritage shangri-la hotel bloggerati australia 1001 events

dubai getaway

If you have been following along then you will know that I have had the privilege to be part of a blogger media trip to Dubai. As a way to show and teach my children about Dubai and the experiences I had, I brought along our favourite Green Sheep toy, from the book Where is The Green Sheep, to lead them through it. You can see our first post, including details on how you could use this concept as a great learning tool with your children, here.

Now, on to Part 2 of The Green Sheep's adventures.

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KidZania. The Ultimate in Role-Play for Children

Dec 23, 2014

dubai getaway dubai tourism platinum heritage shangri-la hotel bloggerati australia 1001 events

Role-play for children is a vitally important part of growing up. Here might just be the ultimate in role-play for kids.

If you read my 10 must-do experiences in Dubai, you would have seen that the award-winning KidZania edutainment centre was on the list. Well, I'm delighted to say that I did get to go and check it out and can report back that it was seriously even more brilliant than I'd first imagined! Check out the above linked post for more specific details such as costs etc.

Set inside The Dubai Mall is a purpose built "city" built at two thirds the regular size making it just perfect for children. The city includes a police station, fire station, hospital, bank, airport, television studio, supermarket, beauty salon, theatre, radio station, shops, eateries and so much more! After "checking in" at the airport and setting up their bank account, children are free to wander the city and choose from over 80 different roles that they can play in more than 60 establishments.

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Keeping Kids Safe. How to help children learn about road safety.

Dec 19, 2014

This post is sponsored by TAC and Nuffnang

Road Safety is so vitally important for children and is something that should be addressed early on through education and even more importantly, role-modelling. As parents, teachers and carers, we are well aware of how perceptive children are and how they love to mimic the words and actions of adults. It is therefore imperative that the lessons and words that we are teaching children, are backed up by our own actions.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC), is a Victorian Government-owned organisation that is involved in promoting road safety in Victoria and in improving services for Victoria's drivers. The TAC works closely with VicRoads, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), community groups and a range of other organisations to deliver road safety programs and key messages at meaningful and relevant times. 
To support the program for our youngest and often most vulnerable members of our community, TAC developed a TVC campaign “ThingleToodle” to encourage safe road user behaviour in young children through a focus on parental role modelling.

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Desert Sand Writing Tray. Plus free printable desert themed Word Cards

Dec 16, 2014

dubai tourism platinum heritage shangri-la hotel bloggerati australia 1001 events

dubai getaway

Whilst in Dubai, I was fortunate to experience a really incredible Heritage Desert Safari and Dinner with Platinum Heritage. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip and an absolute must-do if you visit Dubai.

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