rock (and roll)

Whether your little one has their very own collection of special rocks accrued over time or through adventures, they grab a handful from the backyard or buy a pack of shiny river rocks from your local nursery, we have some fab ideas of rock creations and games.

Help kids develop their imagination and storytelling with these ‘story rocks’.  Paint a range of pictures onto your rocks then varnish for protection.  Kids then randomly pick a rock out of the box or bucket and have to tell their part of the story based on the picture they select.  Suits one on one or group play. Courtesy of modernparentsmessykids.com

For these bright sparks you’ll need to grab your brightest paints and a black markers.
The new pet rock – Monsters.  To create these crazy monster rocks there are absolutely no rules!  (courtesy of minimatisse.blogspot.com)

Hide N Seek – paint rocks however you like and hide them in the garden.  Numbers and letters work really well if you are playing with just one child (eg find me numbers 1-10, or find me all the letters in the alphabet) or colours and patterns are great for group play where the goal is to simply find the most number of rocks. Courtesy of http://www.athomewithali.net/

Rock creatures – some tips! Be sure to glue rocks together before painting them, attaching small stone features such as eyes, feet, or beaks to body parts before joining larger parts.  Attach whiskers and tails after painting. Cement glue makes the strongest bond but should be used only by parents working in a well-ventilated area. Kid-friendly glues are less durable and are best for rock crafts that will sit on shelves. Image courtesy of marthastewart.com

Footprints – this is a cute way to show who lives in your home!  Pop them in your garden or at the front door.  Image source unknown

Tic-tac-toe game – use a slate tile with chalk lines as the board.  You’ll need a selection of noughts rocks and crosses rocks.  These can be painted or also written in chalk however this is, of course, more temporary.  Image courtesy of realsimple.com

We included these just because we love them and they are soooo terribly sweet!
Birds – courtesy of http://www.inspirebohemia.com
Sweet little birdy – courtesy of jenniferpaine.tumblr.com
Little owls – courtesy of thecarolinejohansson.com

 

 

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meet a mama – bron ‘maxabella’

Thanks so much for the huge response to our first meet the mama “interview” last week. It seems you all like getting to know each other so we have some terribly fabulous mamas lined up for you over the coming weeks.

Today is no exception.  I stumbled across Bron, a terribly entertaining and inspiring writer, via her blog Maxabella Loves, which is now one of my all time favourites.  Check it out (you can thank me later).  In the meantime, here’s Bron …

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
Well now… Max, who is eight, Arabella, who is six, and Lottie, who is four (but really twenty-four in her head) call me mum. Or mumma or mameitra, actually – don’t worry, I’ve no idea what a mameitra is either. I call them my Tsunamis.

My darling husbie of ten years calls me his sweetheart and we are about as saccharine as that in real life pretty much all the time. Many, many people will not hang out with us as a result. He’s a banker, which doesn’t help.

I’m also a freelance writer and the editor of Kidspot’s Village Voices, a job I like very, very much. I write, I edit, I plan, I collect pretty pictures. It’s kinda like having a blog that other people help write. This is a new life for me as a mere four months ago I gave up working in corporate marketing after fifteen (rather long) years. I called corporate life ‘the grey world’.

Who inspires you?
Pretty much everything in the whole wide world, but particularly people who are inherently kind.

What can’t you live without?
My husband and big belly laughs. My Tsunamis as well. Probably.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
As I’m a blog collector there are too many to mention, but I will drop my sisters’ blogs: Al at Life in a Pink Fibro and Coo at And then there were four. Both fab chicks.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Pinning random stuff on Pinterest and making cool stuff for kids’ parties. I’m also very happy with a glass of wine and loud conversation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Doing pretty much what I’m doing now, only with more people wanting me to write for them. I just love it and I work from home around my children’s schedules. Maybe I’m living back in London… the husbie and I lived there for four years ten years ago and we’ve hankered to go back for about nine of those years. We just loved it there and it will be fun to show London the Tsunamis.

What is your favourite quote?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies inside us” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Oh and “Try a little tenderness” – Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods

How did you come to know Rudy & the Dodo?
The lovely Brenda at Mira Narnie put me onto the store in 2010. I bought all my niece and nephew gifts for Christmas from Rudy and the Dodo and then I did exactly the same thing again last year. Can’t beat it!

 

 

and they’re raaaacing …

The Festival of Seven has begun.

Our biggest little guy turns the BIG 7 tomorrow so we celebrated with a little Slot Car Party with a couple of his buddies on the weekend.

After a last minute call out for advice on how to best make a road on a cake, I ‘borrowed’ some black fondant from a friend and got to work on it.  OK, I know it’s no masterpiece and I think it’s safe to say the road looked more like the half fixed tarmac that Lightning McQueen cobbled together to get out of Radiator Springs in the first movie, rather than a smooth as silk race track.

Nevertheless, my gorgeous 6 year old was terribly impressed and grateful.  He also now knows how to make “grass” from shredded coconut and green food colouring – a fundamental life skill.

I’m a serious pinterest addict so of course that was the first place I headed to find further inspiration.  I came across these fab free printables from vinnie pearce blog (sooo love a free printable) and used them for labelling food and drinks.

All in all this party was a big hit with the little fellas, was relatively stress free for mama and didn’t cost a fortune.  Everyone’s a winner.

the drive in – coolest party ever

Growing up in Lake Macquarie (near Newcastle) a trip to the “local” drive in was a bit of a hike but most definitely a very special occasion.  My two sisters and I loved the fancy little speaker outside dad’s driver window, buying popcorn from the kiosk and being able to snuggle under our blankets to watch Herbie the Love Bug.

Drive-ins are few and far between these days but how is this for a fab recreation of one?  Makes the perfect setting for a ‘movie night’ party for the kids.  Here, a trampoline covered with a large white sheet makes for a fab screen and the little personalised cars all lined up in a row are just too cute for words.  You could take things a step further and ask guests to decorate or personalise their own car as part of the entertainment.

Either way, this party idea gets the triple thumbs up from my three little guys.

source unknown

superman (um, actually supermarket) to the rescue …

I decided this year I would outsource the birthday cake for today’s superhero bowling party for 5 year old Dude.

I should explain that I have a big imagination and like to revisit my own childhood whenever I can so I always start with grand plans for my kids’ parties.  Then I have a much needed reality check about what I can actually execute and start outsourcing faster than you can say AMF Bowling.

Back to the cake.  When I say “outsource” I don’t mean recruit a fancy cake decorator and pay a shedload of money for an absolute masterpiece.  I mean I would pop to Woollies and buy a pre-prepared spiderman cake, complete with a gazillion different shades of food colouring and preservatives, and be done with it. For weeks I have TOTALLY OK with that plan.

But this morning it came.  The mother guilt.

I decided that since I had outsourced pretty much everything else by opting for a bowling party, leaving the fate of our celebration in the hands of an awkward 16 year old student called Paris, the least I could do is make a cake.  Now, again, when I say “make” I mean decorate.  Not make from scratch in a Donna Hay frenzy.

So at 7.30am with a heavy dose of mother guilt on my shoulders, I raced to the local supermarket, stocked up on a few key ingredients and whizzed home to gather my little team to prepare the Superhero cake of our dreams (well, kinda).

Image

And here is the result.

I promise if you stand back, squint, and imagine you are five years old, it looks a bit like a superman emblem with an R in the middle.

Good or bad, my 5 year old superhero thinks it is truly fabulous so I’m calling it.  It’s a winner.

 

lollipop, you make my heart go giddy up

Our boys are all winter babies so we have a party a month for the next three months.

Yes, yes, we claim to have that “party every second year” rule but, inevitably, my inner child and imagination take over and before we know it, the invitations have gone out and I am attempting to decorate a cake waaaay beyond my capabilities.

So I’ve been perusing my favourite sites for inspiration and along the way stumbled across this little gem of an idea …

Lollipop balloons – so easy to make using a roll of cardboard (or plastic pipe), an inflated balloon and some cellophane over the top.  Secure cellophane with ribbon or tape and, voila!