We’ve hit the second week of the school holidays in Victoria and it got me wondering; are you looking (frantically) for things to do with the kids? Have you run out of ideas, or did you not realise just how awesome the weather was going to be here this week? Well never fear, I’ve got your back with a list of of last minute school holiday activities that cover the gamut of free to not so free, DIY to out and about.
With the Grand Final happening this Saturday, the AFL are putting on a Footy Festival, starting Wednesday and going through to Saturday. It’s free entry and there is a heap of things to do there. The kids zone includes Aus Kick activities, kicking competitions, free face painting (winner!) and a whole lot more. There is also a section where parents can get free coffee, snacks and mini massages whilst the kids are participating in some Auskick. Sweet! Check out the site – the trams are free from Wednesday through to Saturday and service the area of the Footy Festival, which is Yarra Park, right next to the mighty MCG.
The Gallery has a range of activities and exhibitions on for the school holidays for under 4’s to teenagers. Some activities/exhibitions are free, some have entry and booking requirements. I am planning on taking the kids to the Open House Tromarama For Kids exhibition. It’s free and located at the NGV International. It’s interactive, and is set up like a real house, allowing kids to move from room to room, experimenting with stop-motion apps and making films. It looks cool! I know a few kids who would just love it.
Have you been here yet? Have you?! If you don’t mind a bit of chocolate, you should probably check it out. The chocolaterie is well set up for kids, with space to run the sugar high off outside, and kid friendly menus (of course) and activities. It’s in a beautiful spot in the Yarra Valley, an hour from Melbourne. There is no entry fee, and free tastings, but the fun comes in the cafe and the store, where all sorts of chocolatey goodies can be purchased. Currently, they are hosting Hop For Hope, an outdoor exhibition raising funds for the wonderful Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Check out their website for more information, including classes, menus and activities.
I’ve perused Pinterest for you (no need to thank me, I’ll take one for the team), and found a couple of cool things that we will be trying over the next week. Check out this easy volcano eruption you can do in the back yard, and will have the younger kids entertained, no doubt for hours.
Another fun activity, for the backyard or around the neighbourhood park is this scavenger hunt for kids. The post includes free printables! Awesome. And timely, given Ms 4 burst in this afternoon after talking to the kids over the back fence asking for a treasure hunt.
So what do you think? Will you try any of these or are you all sorted for activities? If you have some ideas, share them here, or over on facebook for everyone to enjoy 🙂
Have you heard of the delightful new book, ‘Too Busy Sleeping’? Recently, I had an opportunity to put my hand up to review this lovely, lovely little children’s book, through the Parent Talk Australia collective. I was very excited when the author, Zanni Louise, contacted me to say she would be happy for me to review her first book.
It’s just gorgeous! It is a little story about a new baby coming home – how will Eleanor, now a big sister, react? It is delightfully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, with a kind of vintage, crafty feel to the drawings. Ms 4 tells me every time we read it, that she thinks the first and last page looks like stickers and buttons, and she tries to take them off.
Both my kids love this book. Little Mr 2 just loves babies at the moment, and on every page points to Reuben and exclaims “bebe!” It’s a positive story, that looks at the arrival of a new sibling through the eyes of a little one eager to play and eager to love.
It’s a lovely book whether you are preparing your kids for the arrival of new baby or not. A little story about excitement, learning patience and love.
I love Too Busy Sleeping because it is positive and joyful, and shows that older kids, even preschoolers, can look forward to the homecoming of a new baby. Even if they’re not quite happy with the sleeping needs of said newborn!
If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Too Busy Sleeping, you can here*.
What books do your kids love to read? Is it the same one, over and over, or a new one every night? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you!
Linking up with Mamma Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp!
*This is an affiliate link. If you click here and purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale. This won’t affect the price you pay.
We’re well and truly into the pointy end of the footy season here in Melbourne. Yep, September not only brings spring, but footy finals too. We are definitely an AFL family, listening to most matches across the weekend and usually watching at least the Friday night match on the television, no matter who is playing. And we’ve been club members since Ms 4 was about 1 1/2. Which brings me to the question: Which club? Who do your kids barrack for? As in, if you and your partner support different teams, whether it be AFL, rugby, netball, soccer or basketball, who do your kids support?
Have you left it a clean slate, ready for them to choose when old enough? Or have you and your partner chosen for them? I’ve ‘surveyed’ a few friends to get a bit of an idea about this very important issue! We’ve done the old, one for me one for you. The Mister got to choose for the first born, because he seemed to care more, and second born was for me. Because, we do not support the same teams. Nope, The Mister is a Hawthorn man and I am North Melbourne. When Mr 2 is old enough to work it out, he may have some resentment toward me……… 😉
So of the 5 or 6 families I asked, I really got a mix of responses. One couple had a similar response as ours, although they aren’t too interested in the footy anymore. Another told me that they were going to let their offspring choose for themselves, and had provided scarves in both teams in order to provide a balanced approach. Although they had quickly removed the Essendon scarf placed in the cot by one grandmother, as and I quote “I ain’t having that shit go on in my house” (Love it!)
Another friend, and they don’t have kids at this point, advised that he isn’t a fan of the “one for mum and one for dad” approach and will respect any offspring’s decision, as long as it’s not to support Collingwood, or Hawthorn. Another decided to start supporting his wife’s team. He says because he just liked the song (he swapped to the Tigers, so fair enough. I hasten to add this occurred some time before the Tige’s current good form!)
And one friend told me how they had one for each, but complications had occurred after they had separated and since re-partnered. The nature of the new relationships has meant that which ever parent the kids are with, one child is not barracking for the team that everyone else is. It can be a passionate, emotion filled experience, following a sporting team, that’s for sure.
There are not many games left now, in this year’s AFL season, another round of finals next week and then the big one. Which has, for the first time, bought a public holiday to the people of Victoria as well, thank you very much! No matter who is in, we will be watching the big game and enjoying the atmosphere it brings to Melbourne – please, please, let there at least be one Victorian side in!!! And there is a remote, vague chance that things could be tense here on the day – at this point, both Hawthorn and North Melbourne could still make it to the big game.
So now tell me – has the choosing of sporting teams been tricky for you? Let me know!
Bought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior.
I don’t know about you, but Disney stories are very popular in our household. The modern and the classics. We have quite a collection of Disney DVD’s, most bought post children, but not all J. Toy Story, Cars, Tangled, Aladdin and of course Frozen have all been watched over and over here, and still retain their magic for the kids and for us too.
However, I have to admit that until quite recently I did not know about Disney Junior The Channel. Now, we don’t have pay tv (where it is found on Foxtel, channel 709) but for those like us, it’s also available online here. And this week, Book Week, they are launching the new season of ‘The Book of Once Upon a Time’, a beautiful, locally produced storytelling series hosted by Kate Mulvany, a fabulous Australian actor and playwright. And it’s brilliant to hear and watch an Australian accent! Kate’s storytelling is fabulous. They kicked the new series off on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt” and they’re going to follow up with new stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and, wait for it, “Frozen”. Yes that’s right, there will be more Frozen for the kids to shout wildly about.
Last night, we watched “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Our normal bedtime ritual is reading a story all together in Ms 4’s room, before Mr 2 goes off to bed. Last night we all watched the story together on the couch and it was lovely to see how the kids reacted to it. The story was approximately 6 minutes, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, who can’t always sit and concentrate for too long, especially in the evening when they’re tired. It was a lovely little magical moment to watch the kids faces as the story was told. The format is a little nod to the tradition of classic story telling – Kate Mulvany sits in a comfy chair, turning the pages of a lovely big book, not only using character voices but also jumping up and re-enacting different scenes. And there are moments of animation that add to the magical quality. I was thrown back to my childhood, watching the seven dwarves and the classic Disney animated characters. And I could see Ms 4, her face alight, loving the story telling as well.
At the end of each episode, the “Land of Once Upon a Time” lullaby is sung, and it was great! The kids were about to launch into requests for another episode when the lullaby started. It encourages kids to prepare for bed and snuggle down. It was brilliant! It supported me in pointing out that it was the end and time for bed – thank you!
I know some parents are unsure about screen time and how to balance it in their kids’ lives. I know we do, and it’s always something to monitor. I quite like these little episodes because they are short, we sit with the kids and it’s storytelling, something we are very passionate about encouraging as parents. Disney Junior know that parent’s want to encourage imagination in their children and that they also want educational content to include things like: Social skills, moral values , good basic habits and creative thinking. And so, they combine the story telling with the following learning components: Early language and maths skills, encouraging healthy lifestyles and emphasising social and emotional development.
We had lovely time last night, and we will definitely be watching more episodes. If you want to watch online just click here to go through to the Disney Story Room. Or if you have Foxtel, you can tune in at 7:10pm every day on the Disney Junior The Channel. The stories are available as eBooks from the Disney Store Central app, available to download from iTunes.
How about you? Are you surrounded by a small army of Disney fans who will love this? Let me know what you think!
This product talk is bought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.
In this house, when the kids choose colouring as their activity of the moment, I think two things. What are they using to colour and what are they colouring on?? Because, you know, we are inundated with colouring books, and pencils, but somehow drawing on other things and with pens, textas or even crayon is a much more permanent way to display their artistic endeavor. I present you exhibit A:
Yes, the other day, Mr 2 was having a great time colouring the chalk board. He was very enthusiastic and when he called me over to see “look, Mum! Look!” I realised he was colouring with crayons. Not chalk. Sigh. So when Nuffnang offered me the opportunity to try the Crayola Color Wonder range, I was all for it. After all, it was offered as a “mess free” activity. Mess free? Hells yeah. Because frankly, this house doesn’t need more mess, for reasons best described by the forthright and awesome Janelle at Renegade Mothering.
And joyously, the review included TWO packs! Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (high school flash back anyone?). Both kids sorted. Basically, each pack comes with five textas and once colouring book. The textas are clear, and it’s not until you (or your child, whoever gets the texta first) draws on the Color Wonder paper that the colour starts to appear. When you’re a 2 year old kid, that’s hands down amazing. I give you exhibit B:
Yes, that’s one excited little man! And really, this stuff is cool. It’s non toxic, there are hidden patterns in the pictures, and I have not found texta colour anywhere else, not their clothes, their hands or the walls. Well, not from these textas anyway! Seriously, I just got interrupted by Ms 4 telling me Mr 2 was drawing on the wall. Gah! At least that was with chalk……
What activities do your kids love doing indoors? Is it mess free, or full of fun and educative messiness??? Let me know! And let me know if your kids love the Color Wonder range too 🙂
I’m linking up with Mama Raj Says’ Review Round Up!
And here’s a bonus video of Mr 2 and his speed colouring.
Today the kids had their first Easter Egg Hunt of the season. They had a ball! A lovely friend organised it, and graciously invited 10 small and not so small kids into her home to find and devour chocolate. Did I mention she is brave? The house was decorated with lots of gorgeous Easter themed pretties, and the bigger kids even did some Easter craft. So Ms 3 managed to get her hit today, without me having to pull out the craft box – win win!
And then the kids were let loose on the backyard, and everyone managed to find sufficiently equal amounts of eggs to keep everyone happy.
And the big kids made sure the little kids had enough, which was lovely. With minimal prompting from the grown ups.
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Did you know, that in Australia each year 260 children die and 58,000 children are hospitalized from accidental injuries? These are big numbers! Would you know how to help a child who was unconscious and not breathing? That’s what the people at KidzAid want to know. I have vague memories of my first aid training, pre-children, and I keep putting a paediatric first aid course on my to-do list. I still haven’t completed one.
Here are some more stats for you. For every minute that CPR is not performed when needed, the chance of the child’s survival decreases by 10%. After 4 minutes without oxygen, your child can suffer irreversible brain damage. That’s scary stuff. So basically, what happens in the first five minutes holds the key to saving their life. Five minutes is not enough time to allow professional help to arrive.
We therefore need more people of all ages who are trained and willing to provide immediate CPR to our kids, while waiting for help to arrive. And that’s where KidZaid Paediatric First Aid Training comes in. And to highlight the issue, and raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, the KidZaid team will convert the Palladium at Crown Melbourne into a large training centre, and offer training to parents and families, and break a world record at the same time! There will family fun day activities; celebrity CPR challenges, jumping castles, roving princesses and superheroes, toddler playzone and more.
We’ll be there – it should be a great day! We’ve never gone into the city on Good Friday and with all the family oriented activities happening with the Good Friday Appeal, it should be a really fun day. And I’m so pleased this opportunity to learn paediatric first aid has arisen, and in a way that provides support to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital.
Details: Entry is free, with a $5 registration fee to complete the CPR training (all proceeds to the Good Friday Appeal). To make this even easier, there is a special $15 family CPR registration price, that allows parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have all the important adults in their child’s life trained for one low cost. Training sessions will run hourly throughout the day and to secure your spot, register today at www.cprchallenge.com.au. Check out the website for more information and follow along with the CPR Challenge on facebook, & twitter.
Tell me, have you completed a paediatric first aid training? Is it up-to-date? Are you going to attend the CPR Challenge?