Saturday, 30 May 2015

Process or Product - Painting Rocks

My children continually remind me that the learning is in the doing not in the end product.  often when we get out the paints I have an activity in mind and often my children's creative minds have a wonderful time taking it in a whole other direction!

This week I thought Miss Two and I would paint rocks.  I had seen a picture of painted rocks on and went we have rocks and paint, fun.

So I pulled out our powdered paints, some ice cream lids to mix on, some water containers and brushes.
We grabbed a bucket and went out to collect rocks.

My first reminder about "the doing" was watching her mix the colours, shaking on the powdered paint and mixing with water. Hint: if using powdered paint the more powder the more it is like paint.  Don't add to much water.

My second reminder was how painting rocks turned into painting hands and arms.

My third reminder was how painting arms turned into painting bodies

My fourth reminder was how painting bodies turned into jumping into warm water in a tub and our again to paint your body once again before having another bath.

Did we end up with some painted rocks absolutely!  But along the way she did a lot of "sensory and fine motor doing"

Friday, 22 May 2015

Confession to Kate

This is my confession to Kate

The other day kate at blogged about trying to simplfy home life and asked for ideas.  I have a philosophy to life at the moment. I Am Keeping Things Small and Simple so I happily shared my small and simple strategy to deal with the loads of washing.  I am sure others have thought of it before me but when I come up with it I thought it was revolutionary!

It came to me one day when I was totally frustrated with having to tip everything out of the washing basket to find one I went out and bought 5 coloured tubs and now when washing comes off the line it gets put straight in people's tub.  If I have time folded but if not then just thrown in.  That way if I have to go searching for things at least I know what tub to dive into and I am not throwing mountains of washing on my couch or bed.  Now things are in tubs we also get our big boys to put there own clothes away.

Small and simple it works.

So why confess?  Well my small simple coloured tubs are great and work most of the time. But sometimes when we have been camping for the weekend, have lots of washing to catch up on, are trying to grab things off the line before school run as it might rain.....................................Well the photo above explains it really.

Lets just say sometimes you have to let it go and embrace the Chaos!

Thursday, 21 May 2015


We went camping on the weekend and had a wonderful time.  There were a tribe of kids, a great bay and wonderful cottonwood trees to climb.  The string is long when it comes to nature play in our house we are all for tree climbing, mud playing and anything else nature serves up but I must admit the nerves set in a little when Miss 2 skillfully climbed to the top of the cotton wood trees.  They had never been pruned so they were like a big birds nest and entertained the tribe for hours.

But this blog is actually about spoons, an old but fun game.  One night our Number 1 Dad (sounds like we have others but really there is no 2 or 3 Dad) decided to teach all the kids spoons a game he loved as a kid.

Spoons is simple easy and loads of fun.

You will need:
  • A pack of cards, seperated into numbers.  Use a set of numbers(4 the same) for every player
  • Spoons, one less than the number of players

  • Spoons are placed in the middle of the table
  • Cards shuffled
  • Deal each player 4 cards
  • Players check there cards.
  • The aim is to get 4 cards the same
  • Players choose 1 card to place face down on the table
  • One player calls pass (the adult)
  • Everyone passes their card to the right
  • Players pick up the new card and check to see if the card helps to make there 4
  • Keep passing
  • When someone has 4 cards the same they quietly take a spoon
  • If other players see a spoon being taken they take a spoon to
  • The player who doesn't get a spoon gets the letter s
  • You assign letters from the word spoon til someone is spoon

Our kids loved this so much that on Sunday night, games night in our house, everyone requested spoons.

Our Mr 7 is very skilled at quietly sneaking a spoon, considering the amount he talks - must be his competitive streak coming out, we are very impressed!

Anyone have any old but good games we can play?

Monday, 18 May 2015

Backyard Obstacle Course

We have a lot of left over building supplies from our renovation.  They are stacked neatly against the fence.  And sometimes they just call our name asking to be turned into something.  At the moment they are yelling,

"Obstacle Course, obstacle course, obstacle course!"

And of course the response was Yes Yes Yes!

I basically pulled out bits and pieces and they started planning and making.  We used the edge of the garden beds for height, our old plastic play frame, some bricks and an old ladder off the cubby.

The kids made this on their own with a little help from me and once they played on it then proceeded to change it and make it more complicated.

And in amongst all this fun they were, planning, making, balancing, problem solving, cooperating and sharing.  And I was just the pack horse really!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Dinosaur Land Surprise

This is a surprise for Miss Two when she comes downstairs in the morning.

Its simple, a polystyrene box, some dinosaurs, stones, leaves and small branches from our yard.  Oh and of course my incredible artistic set design!

Hopefully it will transport her into a land of dinosaurs.

And here is how it went down.

 Water was added for them to drink from.

 Then they needed a bath

And of course they needed drying

And our pond needed rocks so the dinosaurs could walk across the other side


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Backyard Business

Over the holidays we had some backyard business going on.  We all got stuck in and renovated (ok bit of an exaggeration it basically needed a rake, sand turned over and the broken toys sorted and the rest stored somewhere easy or to be played with) the sandpit and resurrected our water wall.  Mmmmm another Ok, so actually we all started doing it together, but the minute the sandpit was half decent the three were overtaken by the sandpit creator inside each of them! Which meant I was left to peacefully go about getting finished what I wanted to.  And bonus I got the vegie garden done to as the sandpit creators stayed at work for a long time!

I actually enjoy doing outside work with the three kids as often they will get stuck into some fun thing and be lost for ages.  We raked all the leaves and sticks from the sand and turned all the sand over.  We made a big pile of broken toys and then I found some old baskets for no.1 Dad to stick on the fence to store toys.  We sorted the sand kitchen, our old sink from when we renovated the kitchen, and even killed the cockroaches we found in our cupboard.

It wasn't long before water was asked to be added to the mix.  My kids love sand and water, even at home which is a little funny considering we live 400m from lots and lots of sand and water, the beach, a place we more than utilise but at home it is still often our play of choice.  So with that in mind I set to work on the water wall.

We made our water wall about three years ago.  It is pretty simple recycled plastic bottles, pipe, zip ties and tape.  They are simply screwed into the fence.  Add water and you have at least an hours entertainment........Oh and yes it was holidays so we were having a pj day or in Miss Two's case a totally free day!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Left To Their Own Devices

When left to their own devices my children are quote creative.  Yesterday they filled their gumboots with water and laughed historically as water flew everywhere when they ran.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mothers Day

 This Mothers Day I am looking forward to taking my gorgeous Mum and wonderful neighbour to the movies.  We live two states away from Mum so it is not often I get to do this.  We don't do a big celebration for the day but I do love how excited my kids get over buying something at the Mother's Day stall at school, especially our Mr 5 as it was his first year.  And I was very proud this year that as Nana was up they decided to buy something for her and it was all their idea.  The day of the stall all they did that arvo was talk about it and hide pressies and show me nana's. 

I am a big sucker for my kids and yep I do love the class made gifts even if they clutter my house.  I think what I love is their excitement when they give it to me and the look on their face.  And I must admit I loved my sleep in..................................or should I say may lay in, as my very noisy children were downstairs being very noisy. Miss Two was watching Peppa Pig one day this week and watched an episode about "The Noisy Family".............what can I say except it reminds me of us.  But it is nice to lay there all warm and snug and just listen without having to do anything. 

So here's to Mother's Day.  To the noise, the smiling faces, the funny little pressies, the snug lay ins.
To another year of fun, smiles, tears, hugs, trampoline tricks, books, frustrations, colds, accomplishments, terrible jokes that only they laugh at, sport, school, school lunches, lost library books, friends, whinny voices, going to the beach, holidays and all the little things that make our family ours.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Printer Mechanics

Our printer died and sadly these days it is much cheaper to buy a new one than it is to fix one.  So a few weeks after the death of our printer we finally bought a new one......................................and yes it totally amazes me that the ink costs more than a printer these days!  So our dead printer moved out to the front verandah to await for a trip to the tip and the new one went on the shelf.

After a few days of our dead printer going from collecting dust on the shelf to collecting dust outside the boys piped up and said can we take it apart.  So after school that day I pulled out a mat, placed the printer on it, gave them all the screw drivers I could find and a box to put the parts in.

And off they went.  They screwed and cut and talked to each other about what they thought bits were and who could do what next.  And they did it all on their on without me involved.  I probably could have sat with them got highly involved and we could have tried to nut out many things about how a printer works but I would like to think they learnt just as much from doing without me..........................just different stuff like exploring, negotiating, working together, sharing and I did her many creative ideas about what different parts do! Go my little printer mechanics!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

13 Years

Yep last week we made it to 13 years.  Hard to believe 13 years has gone so quick, especially the last 7.......mmmmmmm maybe that has something to do with with little people entering our lives!

So to keep to our budget we decided to celebrate by having dinner at home..................yep we are party animals.  We always eat dinner with our kids so the whole idea was that we would cook the kids an easy meal and then we would have a celebratory dinner once they were in bed.

We made ourselves a Paella and then I created this dessert which I have to say I was pretty impressed with and was very easy.  I am call it Ice Cream ANZAC Sandwich.

Since making ANZAC biscuits on ANZAC Day, I have been stashing them in the freezer, this is one biscuit that all my kids actually eat.  So I defrosted 4 made them into an ice cream sandwhich and them I made this super quick chocolate sauce from Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals cookbook.  If any of you have the book it is on page 270 - Fondue.  This is how I made it.


1 * 100g good dark chocolate (we used milk chocolate)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
100ml milk
pinch salt

  • Break up bar of chocolate
  • Add vanilla, milk and salt
  • Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes
  • Stir then microwave for another minute
Got to say easy and delish!

Oh and number 1 Dad did bring home these gorgeous flowers!

And this is the ANZAC recipe we are making at the moment.

Magic Potion Making

We have a long history of magic potion making in our house.  When I think about it we have not done any brewing in a long time but Mr 5 came to me over the holidays with one of his massive smiles and asked "can we make magic potions?"

Of course the answer was yes.  So they set up stirring benches, collected pots of the sandpit and containers and we filled a bucket of water for them all to share.  Then they raided the pantry.  The only rule I have is that when they choose what they want to add they have to ask if they can use it.  This allows me to monitor how much I have of certain ingredients left in my pantry.

The picked ingredients from the pantry
Collected ingrediants from the garden
Stirred and brewed for at least 45mins

And in case you are wondering I politely declined being the taste tester!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Outdoor Wood Chimes

I was looking for something simple to do with Miss 2 who wanted to paint.  We had a pile of sticks outside so I grabbed some sticks, some paint, some glitter and away we went.

We painted the sticks, sprinkled glitter on them while the paint was wet.  The paint acts like glue for the glitter.  Then we let them dry.

Once they were dry we hammered a nail in one end and another nail into a beam of our cubby.  We tied string on the end of the nail and then to the nails in the cubby.

Presto homemade wood chimes.