Showing posts with label Children's Literature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children's Literature. Show all posts

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Best Birthday Party Ever - The Busytown Birthday Party

We have all been super sick here at Pirate HQ.  Three visits to the GP, two at home visits from the after hours Doctor and one little Pirate with a fever so high he started hallucinating, kind of sick.  Possibly the real flu our GP thinks.  Nevertheless, by Thursday evening we were given the all clear and so decided to go ahead and have The Best Birthday Party Ever! 

Thursday and Friday were thus spent whipping up all sorts of brightly coloured party food.  Remarkably almost all of it was made with natural colours!

I couldn't bring myself to bake the ubiquitous rainbow cake though, he got a basic butter cake with 100s and 1000s on top instead!

Felt Lowly Worms from Scarry's  Best Make It Book Ever he did get though! He adored them and sat watching me make them fascinated by the process. (They are super easy if any one is scared of giving it a go!)

The cup cake toppers I made using a scrap booking hole punch thing from Spotlight, double sided sticky tape, toothpicks and a dog-eared, scribbled all over copy of an old Scarry Golden Book.

We set up a play Busytown using the Thomas train tracks turned over to the road side and various wooden cars and trucks.  Running down the centre of the table we had the fold out Busytown Lift the Flap Book.

Party games included the great Goldbug scavenger hunt.  I gathered all the kids together and showed them how in Cars and Trucks and Things that Go there is a Goldbug hidden on every page.  Then explained that they had to go and find all the Goldbugs hidden in the garden.  

There was also the great sack race.....

                                                                  ..... which did end in tears....

Happy Birthday Mr 4!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Parenting with the Berenstain Bears

Not sure about the rest of you but I own several parenting books, okay a lot of them.  I do have a few OCD/pefectionist type tendencies, (okay a lot of them as well) and so when it came to having children I went out and bought all the books.  You know, because I feel like I have to do it perfectly.  Then once Nicholas arrived I went and bought a whole bunch more, and then when he started getting night terrors at three I bought a whole bunch more again and so it goes on.  My most recent purchase is this book:

 Last night though, as I read the little one his bedtime story I had a bit of an "aha!" moment.  The book I was reading to him was sending me a message, forget Simplicity Parenting and The Over Scheduled Child.  No need to bother reading them.  I hereby introduce you all to:

Yes, parenting with the Berenstain Bears. 

In The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure, Brother and Sister Bear have a hectic schedule with all sorts of extra-curricular activities.

Hmm... art class, check! Karate and Computer club, no but Science Club and Chess Club? Check!

Gymnastics and swimming, check!

No, ballet or horse riding classes (although The Captain has expressed interest in the latter as he knows Mummy is planning to take it back up), but we can also add:
 Tennis, Fencing and Music.

...and the Bear Family how do they cope with all this? Well Papa makes a big planner to hang on the wall:

KikkiK calendar in the kitchen, check!

Does it end in tears?


After a family meeting the Bear Family decide that two after school activities each are enough.  They each choose their two favourites.  They then go back to doing "the everyday things that most families do.  They worked and played, went to school, visited friends, enjoyed nature - and once in a while, they sat around doing absolutely nothing."  Fabulous advice for us all really!    

Saturday, April 28, 2012

School Holidays Round Up

RIP my favourite sunglasses.  
Someone who shall not be named stood on them... 'tis, very lucky the culprit is cute... 

.... and loves to shop!  

Caught up with the gardening.  My assistant landscapers were occasionally helpful!

We also explored some of the local parks and beach paths.  
And, the story behind these two walking together ahead of me: after months of sibling fighting and me desperately trying to referee, R instructed me to leave them to it and that they would sort it out themselves.  Best suggestion ever, as they are finally learning to resolve issues without my intervention.  As we walked up this path they both wanted to be the leader... after a bit of discussion they agreed to walk together and hold hands.  Proud Mama moment!

The Captain is currently obsessed with climbing trees.  Every tree we encounter is examined for tree climbing potential.  At home he spends hours drawing up plans for tree houses.    He has now read all the fabulous Magic Tree House books and I suspect that they might have ignited his passion! I am now steering him towards the Emily Rodda books... both Deltora Quest and the Rowan series.  Any other suggestions?  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seal Rocks

We have just had a fabulous week away up on the mid North Coast of NSW at Seal Rocks.  A gorgeous little spot that reminded me so much of Depot Beach.  Perfect beaches that are totally unspoilt by development, surrounded by national parks.  No cafes, just a tiny little general store and best of all no mobile service.  Woohoo, it was bliss.  The one significant difference from Depot though was that Seal  Rocks has a lighthouse.  The boys having had the fabulous Lighthouse Keeper stories by Ronda & David Armitage read to them from a young age were just besotted with it!

These two are their favourites!

                  I think I could have quite happily lived in the lighthouse keepers cottage on the cliff!

                               I think that they had my husband in mind when they whipped this particular sign up.


 This is the house we stayed in for the week.  Yes, we lit the fire every night, despite the fact that we didn't really need to.  There is just something ever so cosy about having stories in front of the fire in the evening after a lovely day at the beach.


    The locals call this little corner of the beach kiddies corner.  It was divine.   Crystal clear water at a gorgeous temperature, the kids adored it and so did we.  I can't wait for our next visit!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 11

"Something blue"

Apologies for the interruption in service!  It has not stopped raining in Sydney for the duration of the long weekend and we have C.A.B.I.N.F.E.V.E.R!  Back to the photo challenge though, I found these gorgeous Eric Carle flash cards at an Op Shop the other day and I have been trying to decide what to do with them.  I am leaning towards framing them and hanging them in the new playroom...

or should I just leave them as flashcards and let the boys play with them?  

They are so pretty that either way they will be well loved!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 7


I don't even know where to begin with how much I love fruit... I begin every day with coffee, which is a sort of fruit beverage, sort of... well the seeds of the fruit anyway!  I snack on fruit all day long.  My children adore it.  It is the main ingredient of some of my other favourite beverages... lemon tea, champagne and Pimms (gin based, so juniper berry!).  When I thought about today's challenge though, the first thing that came to mind was Richard Scarry.

His wonderful, brilliant and timeless illustrations heavily feature fruit... (as well as the anthropomorphic animals of course!)

Who can forget Mario, the Venetian Gondolier who has a melon boat? (Busy, Busy World)

or Bananas Gorilla?

Mr. Scarry, the world is a better place for your fabulous books.  You have inspired countless children to learn to read and generations of children adore the enchanting characters that you created.

All images are photos from books currently in the Chez Pirate Library, many of which date back to the 1960s.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A nocturnal visitor

I woke at 5am this morning to R shaking me and saying... "I think there is a possum on top of the printer," ha ha I thought, he must be dreaming,  He wasn't.  There it was, a little ring tail possum perched on top of a stack of paperwork sitting on the printer.  The first thing I thought of was this book:

A popular bedtime read chez Pirate, about a possum that gets into the house and wreaks havoc in every room. AAARRGH!  What is it with the wildlife around these here parts, stuff like this never happened when we lived in the Eastern Suburbs!  Anyway, as these thoughts were racing through my head, amazing really considering the time of day and that I had just woken up!  Mind you I did have the  presence of mind to reach over and grab the camera!  The possum observing our discussing it sensed that it was time to make a jump for it and yep, made a flying leap into the space in the bed recently vacated by Ross.  I screamed. The possum wisely jumped back off the bed, dived under the bed, emerged on the other side and then clambered up the wall to a hole in the ceiling (grrr renovation) and back into the roof.  Now to get it safely back out of the roof before all the holes are sealed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Pirates make some Bontings

If you are unfamiliar with award winning childrens author Shirley Hughes, I highly recommend her wonderful books.  Written and illustrated by her they capture the everyday magic of childhood.  Timeless stories, illustrations with a minutiae of detail and charming characters.  Indeed, they are so brilliant that I actually don't mind reading them countless times. 

The Alfie Out of Doors storybook is a gorgeous collection of stories and poems about children playing outside.  One story tells the tale of Alfie's beloved stone Bonting.  Both Pirates have long adored this tale and have often asked if we could make some Bontings.  Finally, we got around to it:

Supplies were sourced from the garden!  And the craft box.

They were busy for nearly two hours!  (An excellent activity...)

These lovely stones are the little one's work.

The Captain made this gorgeous ladybird as a birthday present for his father.  R loved it and is going to use it as a paperweight.


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