Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Foamies Tree Decorations

We are certainly looking like we are going to achieve our target of a completely handmade tree this year. Especially when the kiddo's get into the craft box, unbeknowns to me and start churning out their own creations to hang on the tree.

These are christmas puffies, I guess you could call them, a bit of glue, pop sticks and some pipe cleaners and these look really cute hanging on the tree.

Simple, cute and made with love by little hands.

Don't forget to visit the Christmas Fun link up for ideas and to add your own posts.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Baby Chino Moment To Remember

Did you notice that Jolanthe and Carissa have started a new linky?

Moments To Remember

~ Little Surfer Dude is 3.4 years ~ 
~Week Ending November 25th ~

From Jolanthe:

Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 
The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

This week, the older two had birthday parties and play dates arranged, so Little Surfer Dude and I got to spend a few rare hours on our own.

We both love and cherish these times. It's so hard to get some special time with each of your kiddo's on their own. You really do need to make the effort with this.

Cultivating those special bonds, that can really only truly grow from, special one on one time, is something that I have been working on with each of the children.

Generally it is because we have something practical to achieve, a haircut, new shoes or clothes.  But I choose to use that time to also spend 'alone time' with that particular child. We go out, get done what we need to get done and then generally have some yummy lunch (kids choice) and if time permits do something else together.

These, "Kid Dates" have been invaluable to me and my children.

Little Surfer Dude is in the 'loving baby chino's' stage, so after spending some time at home cuddling, reading and playing, we met my mum for morning tea and a baby chino....a giant one at that, gee they have grown!!

He is so delightfully gorgeous, I just wish I could bundle him up and keep at this stage of his life forever!

Thanks for starting this linky Jolanthe and Carissa. Please visit Moments To Remember, for more special moments.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Free Printable Christmas Carols and Songs

I've started compiling our Christmas Songs and Carols into booklets. So I figured I might as well share them here also.

Some of the songs will lend themselves well to be used in a similar fashion to Counting Coconuts Poetry Baskets, others may be a little more tricky to find props for. However there's no reason why we can't use these to work on learning the songs and carols anyway.

I hope you enjoy these first six printable Christmas Songs and Carols.

Download this set of printable carols and songs by clicking here.

Don't forget to visit the Christmas Fun Link Up which you can find here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Crafting Has Begun!

If you followed along with my Christmas posts last year, you may remember my post in which I participated in Jolanthe's Ornament Show and Tell. Or maybe you could just go back and read the post to refresh your memory ;-)

This year I decided that our tree would be filled with handmade ornaments. Ornaments made by the kiddo's during the lead up to Christmas! A tree filled with meaning, pleasure and fun as opposed to plastic store bought ornaments that are meaningless. Yikes, huge ask, better get started.

So our tree is up, yes very early this year, but that was deliberate on my part. I needed a bare tree looking at me daily to give me the kick I needed to organise the ornament crafts for the kids.

I've been pinning like crazy and have many ideas over on my Christmas board at Pinterest. Now just to tackle at least a few of them.

We started with something super easy, that all members of the clan could complete in a short period of time. I gathered a few pine cones that I've had here for quite some time. Some ribbon, pom poms, old tinsel, glue and glitter and set the kids to it.

First up the glitter cone, smother said cone in white PVA (craft) glue and sprinkle with glitter colour/s of choice.

This is one project where a heavy hand works wonders and a 3 year old wielding a jar of glitter is deifinitely the best man for the job!

All pretty and sparkly and ready to hang on the tree.

I handed the kids a stash of old tinsel, they wrapped and pushed it into the pine cones for another sparkly variation.

Finally, christmas sparkle pom poms. At first I had thought we'd need glue, but no, simply push them in well and voila, yet another ornament for the tree.

I tied a piece of red ribbon to each pine cone for easy hanging and the tree already has some life to it.

Check out all of the crafts linked at this year's Christmas Fun link up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Shout Out: Freely Educate

If you haven't already stumbled on to this fabulous resource then may I suggest you jump over to Freely Educate now and take a look around.

You will find links to so many free educational resources, careful you might be there awhile.

From Lori, the author of Freely Educate,

At, I focus on high quality, 100% free educational finds.  I post for the children:  preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school. I also post for homeschoolers, teachers, students, and families who love to learn together.

My goal is to prove a high quality education can be free. I don’t have a problem with paying for education.  I’m just trying to remove one obstacle - finances - from those who think they “can’t” give - or get - a good education.  Even if you don’t have money, you can still have knowledge. Isn’t that a beautiful truth?

This is definitely one to subscribe to so you don't miss anything.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Free Printable: Christmas Stamp & Colour Pages

I have a couple of children that are heavily into a colouring in period at present so I decided to whip together a few Christmas related colouring pages and sneek in a little learning at the same time.

All you need for these are colours and alphabet stampers. The children colour the page and stamp the word in the spaces provided below the image.

Download these Christmas Stamp and Colour Pages here.

Also check out my other Christmas Printables, which you can find on my Printables Page

Have you looked at this years Christmas Fun Link Up? Be sure to add all your Christmas posts over the coming weeks.

Our Worldwide Classroom

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Shout Out: Alphabetimals

Have you seen the Alphabetimals Website yet? If not jump over there right now. They are just so damn cute.

A different animal is represented for every letter of the alphabet, they are so well done.

Alphabetimals is a grass roots project started by a husband and wife team, a psychologist and an illustrator, in an effort to share literacy around the world.

Once you have played around with the Alphabetimals site you can order your name or creation on a personalised item, bags, shirts, mugs etc.

For every personalised item sold a book will be sent to a child in Africa.

The site also has free printable resources. The super cute alphabetimals in flash cards, a poster, colouring pages and you can even print your name in the super cute Alphabetimals font.

Alphabetimals, jump over there and check it out. 

Disclosure: I have not received any form of compensation for this review and was not asked to write it. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bambino Academy: Help With Tricky Puzzles

::: Simple Ideas For Your Bambino :::

~ Surfer Dude is 39 months ~

I wasn't sure what to title this post. We have a couple of wooden puzzles like this one that are a little fiddly to put together, especially for little fingers.

My plan was to take a photo of it completed that he could use as a guide, then I had a little light bulb moment!

I placed it straight on to my photocopier, colour copied it and ran it through the laminator. This was definitely an easier and better option, than photographing.

Not only does he now have a finished puzzle to look at whilst working on the real life one, and since it is the exact size of the puzzle pieces..

He also has a template he can build the puzzle directly on top of. Very happy with that and such a simple thing that has really helped with 'getting this puzzle'.

Don't forget you can see my other Bambino Academy posts, broken down into ages, under the Home School drop down menu up above.

Check out the Linky Parties that I have shared this with.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Way Back When: The First Writing

During our study of the First Writing we read Write Around The World by Vivian French. This particular book was a super thrift store find, before I knew that it was included in the suggested book list of History Odyessy from Pandia Press.

 This is the story of how and why we learnt to write. Whilst you could categorise it as a picture book, it is quite long and detailed and therefore definitely for the older or very interested child.

Each double page spread covers an era in time, as it relates to writing. Sumeria, Egypt, China, The Alphabet, Languages, Handwriting, all the way through to Machine Writing and Secret Codes.

You could potentially build quite an indepth unit around this book

We played around for awhile with Hieroglyphs. How could we not, such an important part of mankind's history.

I spent some time reading reviews on this book with stamps package as many of them were very mixed.

I really wanted the kids to have the opportunity to use the stamps though so I took the plunge and went ahead and ordered it. Granted the stamps are not of the highest quality but the book itself has some interesting bits and pieces. Lego Lover was particularly intrigued with counting with Hieroglyphs so we spent some time playing around in that section of the book.

We all played with the stamps for a bit, wrote our names in hieroglyphs using this site.

We read Seeker Of Knowledge by James Runford. This is the story of Jean-Francois Champollion, the man who deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Another longer, more involved, older child's, picture book, but definitely worth a read in regards to a unit of work on the history of writing.

Without Jean's sheer love of all things Egyptian, which began when he was a boy, determination and sheer hard work we may still be wondering about the Hieroglyphs.

I can't seem to find a photo but we also used Air Drying Clay to carve some cuneiform into and once allowed to dry the kids painted it.

Check out the linky parties I have shared this with.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    3rd Annual Christmas Fun Linky Coming Soon!

    Our Worldwide Classroom 

    Can you believe it's that time of year already?!

    Are you in the midst of organising for all of the Christmas Cooking and Crafting Fun you'll be having with the kiddos?

    Need some inspiration? Just click on the Christmas Fun Button and that will take you to all of the past Christmas Fun Link Ups and all of my Christmas Posts too.I have also started to add the links to past Christmas Fun posts in the drop down menu above.

    As promised at the end of last years Christmas Fun, this year we are going to organise the links some into Christmas related categories. Each week there'll be a new linky added to the Christmas Fun, and all linkys will remain open for the entire holiday season.

    Following is the schedule:

    • Week 1 - November 14 - Crafts
    • Week 2 - November 21 - Lesson Ideas
    • Week 3 - November 28 - In The Kitchen
    • Week 4 - December 5 - Advent Activities
    • Week 5 - December 12 - Traditions
    • Week 6 - December 19 - Gifts 
    Be sure to grab the button code and start spreading the word on your blogs.

    Our Worldwide Classroom

    I am so looking forward to another fabulous Christmas :-)

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Sunday Shout Out: Little Folk Friendly

    Recently my mum took Surfer Dude to a Playgroup gathering in a park nearby us.

    This was a gathering of local playgroups in the area.

    Whilst it's been a awhile since I have been involved with a regular playgroup if my memory serves me correctly they are a showcase of sorts. Each individual playgroup puts together some type of activity and the children wander (or possibly run around silly) around participating in the activities that take their fancy.

    Mum was given a small goody bag that contained a handful of bits and pieces and one little treasure.

    The Little Folk Friendly Book. Whilst the logo states that it is a book of fun for Little Folk, it is really a book for big people to aid them in having fun with their Little Folk and saving money along the way.

    This is the frst edition of it's kind and Brisbane was the first city to have the book. Editions are planned for other major cities around Australia.

    Little Folk Friendly is an activity book and contains a massive amount of discount vouchers for various outlets, stores and products in and around the Brisbane area. When I say massive, I mean massive. Well over three quarters of the book is discount vouchers.

    The first part of the book contains activity ideas for you to do with your Little Folk, things like games to play with a bucket, art and craft recipes, more fun and games and cheap ideas for getting out and about.

    I would love to see this section grow to include colour photographs, being the highly visual person that I am.

    Section two, the major component of the book holds the vouchers. Vouchers for nearly anything you can think of relating to Little Folk in and around Brisbane. A very handy resource to have for parents with little ones.

    This is a great idea and one I hope will grow and flourish with the support of the local community.

    Visit Little Folk Friendly for more details.

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    More Sensory Tub Ideas

    I thought it was about time that I shared the Sensory Tub Ideas List with you all again.

    I couldn't believe when I took a closer look at it and found that there are now over 130 sensory tubs in the list.

    That's a huge array of ideas, coming from you, fabulous. What a great compilation. Thank you for your creativity and taking the time to add them here to the list.

    Don't forget that there is still about 35 ideas listed at the old list... Sensory Tub Ideas List. That one has no pretty pictures though as it was put together before thumbnail linkys.

    I have added a link to the Sensory Tub Ideas Lists in the drop down banner up the top there so you can easily find them at any time.

    Thanks to those of you that have also grabbed the button and helped spread the word about the Ideas List. I know a few of you contacted me with issues regarding the coding, so I hope it is all fixed now and working fine you. Some of you may need to grab the new code below.

    I'd also like to take a moment to thank Mari-Ann from Counting Coconuts for allowing me to use her 4th of July Sensory Tub image, I thought it was perfect!

    Let Others Know - Grab A Sensory Tub Ideas List Button

    Our Worldwide Classroom

    Have fun adding your ideas and trying out everyone else's

    Below is the original list of ideas, without pictures. This list is now closed, please add your fabulous ideas to the above list, thanks to everyone for sharing and linking it. The Sensory Ideas List gets lots of visits so I hope I am sending many of those visitors your way.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Bambino Cut and Paste Activity & Printable

    ::: Bambino Academy :::

    ~ Surfer Dude is 39 months ~

    Surfer Dude has been completing sticker/cutting activities for awhile now. I am sure you know the ones I mean. Place a row of stickers onto a strip of paper approximately 2cms in width and then the child cuts the strip into pieces, keeping one sticker on each piece. I can't be certain but I think the first place I may have seen this was over at the wonderful Counting Coconuts.

    I've been wanting to extend on that activity for awhile now and today the opportunity arose. I simply drew everything freehand for Surfer Dude, but have since put together a simple little printable that has made it easier for me to prepare this activity....which by the way, he adores!

    You will need two sheets of grid paper (see printable link below), I print one in colour so it is easy for Surfer Dude to tell them apart, stickers, enough to fill the sheet and small enough to fit within in each grid square, child sized scissors (if they are cutting) and a glue stick.

    I prepared the first stage of cutting the coloured sheet into long strips and placed all of the supplies onto his tray. If you are doing this for the first time you might like to start with just the strips and the stickers and slowly move through the steps from there.

    Surfer Dude then chooses his stickers and places one within each grid square. With a younger child you might like to remove the backing around the stickers, this makes it much easier for them to remove the sticker itself with greater success.

    After one strip is full he then cuts it apart on the lines provided.

    Once all stickers are in place and each strip has been cut apart, the next step is to glue each coloured square onto the second piece of grid paper.

    This is quite an involved piece of work with many steps. You will need to decide for yourself what level your child is at and work from there. Right now I can give all the materials to Surfer Dude ( I only cut apart the inital long strips) and he does the rest all in one sitting.

    The first time he did this it took him at least 30 minutes, his perseverance, concentration and determination was amazing. Such a simple activity covering such a wide variety of skills.

    This is the very first one Surfer Dude completed, where I simply drew the grids by hand and did not provide him lines to cut on. You can choose to go either way with this, again depending on the child.

    Download the grid pattern printable by clicking here

    Check out the Linky Party's this is linked up to

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