Jul 24

Best of the Web: parenting blogs you will love

So today I’m sharing a few blogs I love to read. They are fun, a little bit left-off-centre, and all about parenting.

This parenting lark isn’t easy (ask me about the midnight ambulance/hospital/broken window run we had this week!?!) – and sometimes those that are right around us aren’t in the exact same parenting space as we are. But someone, somewhere is. Whether your kids are littlies discovering language and words, or older children and teendagers navigating friendships and responsibility there are blogs that will talk to you about your world.

Blogging is really important for us parents to engage with too – but we don’t need to be actually writing our own blog. We do need to understand how people talk to each other online, how we can chat to them in return and the kind of opinions and information that is out there (hint: there’s an opinion on everything, and kids need to know that we don’t need to believe everything we read online!)

So here are MY TOP 5 BLOGS to give you a giggle and a think this week –

 

mother natured

 

 

Penny of MotherNatured (http://mothernatured.com/) loves to play outdoors and shares great ideas for getting your kids off their screens and playing in the mud, grass, leaves…nature.

 

 

 

http://laughingkidslearn.com/Kate at Laughing Kids Learn is a friend of mine. She’s awesome and writes about great learning ideas for little kids (pre-school and younger). She’s just had her second bub (congrats Kate!) and is still managing ot post great ideas for kids – well done!

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 12.06.36 pm The parenting files, Tahlia is a family counsellor, mum and professional writer. There’s great things here about kids, spouses, family life, home….lots of fun and interesting stuff!

 

http://www.woogsworld.com/LOVE Mrs Woog! She’s irreverent, funny and writes about everything. No, reallly – everything. From queues at the fruit shop to why politicians are idiots. She is a very funny lady. She posts everyday and is always guaranteed to make you chuckle.

 

 

 

http://www.baby-mac.com/My last fave is BabyMac.com. A mum who has taken on a Tree Change, now lives in a small village and just gave birth to her THIRD gorgeous girl. She cooks, bakes, makes pretty bed settings and generally chats about life. She never takes herself too seriously and seems just lovely – even via the computer screen!

 

So check out my faves – and let me know if you have others to add. If you want to read these the easy way, try signing up to Feedly.com. It’s a ‘feed reader’. That means you get an account with Feedly, add in your fave blogs and it will AUTOMATICALLY collect all the new posts. Open the app online or on your tablet/phone and the newest posts will be sitting there waiting for you!

Hope you enjoy xx

 

 

 

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Jul 17

Rainy Day Play …ideas for fun indoors

So I spoke too soon about all that weather. It has been soooo cold and very rainy – not what most of us foreigners thought we were in for when we moved Down Under! Shouldn’t complain really, when I lived in Michigan -10F was an ok day. Here it gets to 5C (C!) and we complain!!
Anyway, on to our topic for today –
Rainy day play – a teacher’s worse nightmare. Can’t run to the loo, can’t get a cup of coffee and the kids bounce around the classroom with too. much. energy. to be contained!
I like to kids to be able to make their own fun – imaginative play is awesome. But sometimes they’ve just been indoors too long and need a bit of structure. Or even just an idea to get them off the couch and stop the moping and constant crying I’m Bored.
 Falling_rain
Here are 3 ways to use your iPad to get your kids having fun when it’s pouring outside:
  • Scavenger hunt – I made an outdoor Scavenger Hunt for you here. But indoor ones are just as fun. Think photos, not collecting items though. I’ve had kids ‘collect’ precious furniture or photos off the wall. Not a great idea! i like to do themes, so ask them to collect 10 photos of things that are green or start with the letter P or are fun to look at. Add more items if you think you want more quiet time!!! Be sure to set the rules – especially with younger kids, who uses the iPad camera first, who carries it all become deal-breakers at times! Make things clear and you should be fine!

 

  • Make a treasure map. Set this up quickly with 5 post it notes – each has a direction to another location. One location is where the ‘prize’ is hidden (prize can be anything – afternoon tea in a fort under the table maybe?) Give them the post-its with the locations on them and see if they can sequence them to lead to the prize. They can do this together or for each other….lasts for hours. I let them take photos of each stage so they can share it later. Great for practicing literacy skills!

 

  • Create a drawing on an iPad app – I love Art Set – and then they have to create the 3D version out of paper, boxes, paper rolls or cups. Whatever you have around. Let them cut, fold and stick to their heart’s content! This one is best for older kids but I’ve had 13 and 14 year olds creating the most amazing things!
So there you go!  A few ways to stave of the crazies as we struggle through the winter here in Melbourne. Hope you enjoy!

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Jul 13

Write a beautiful story…easily!

Happy Monday!  A very rainy and (relatively) cold day here in Melbourne. We were promised crazy weather and even an Antarctic Vortex…but no, we just got this –>
melb weather
Not that impressive but might get more exciting soon! I’ll keep you informed ;0)

Have you seen StoryBird? This is a fab website for creating your own online storybooks. Kids love it as they can make and share professional looking e books using beautiful illustrations.

My favorite part of StoryBird are the drawings, cartoons and illustrations that are part of the website – and free to use. Wonderful artists spend time drawing a ‘collection’ of images that you can use to tell your story.
Here’s an example…

See? Stunning, right?
storybird.com

some of the gorgeous art you can create with on Storybird.com

A couple of ideas to get your kids writing with Storybird
  • Have them plan their story first – then go into Storybird and choose the artwork collection that suits their story, write their story, taking care to place one idea per page and to match the image to their story!
  • Or (my favourite way to use Storybird with younger kids) – Have them choose their artwork collection first, and then create a story to match to the images. This way they have to really think clearly about the characters and settings!
Don’t forget to also read the Public ebooks on the site. I love sharing with kids how the same pictures can be used to tell an entirely different story!
Older kids love this too – I like to choose the artwork collection for them and ask them to discuss the emotions that different images convey. Great for working on deeper comprehension and trying to read between the lines of stories :0)
Hope you enjoy – maybe you just need to have a play yourself! If you make a masterpiece – be sure to share it here :0) We will make sure you feel like a winner!
***PS not sponsored in anyway – just love it!

What story could this image tell?

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