As most parents know, kids music for the most part can be pretty sucky. I’ve written before about some albums that break the mould. But by and large, good kids music is hard to find, there’s a lot of chaff and not so much wheat.
We’ve been rocking spotify pretty hard of late and it’s gotta be said there is a pretty awesome range of kid friendly stuff on there. We’ve put together a playlist of some of the tracks that have been on heavy rotation at ours. These are all pretty easy going on the parents and definitely favourites of our two little men.
They might be from a pixar movie, “Yo Gabba-Gabba” (we’re pretty big fans) or ABC for Kids, (if you’re from Australia, you know how rad this is). There’s even a few Mum and Dad Tunes that sneak their way in there. Kid friendly of course.
For your listening pleasure
These colouring sheets are possibly little too mature for our lads just yet but have been an idea I’ve wanted to put down for a while. It’s probably quite a common drawing aid but these three drawing starters have been in the back of my head for ages. And tonight I couldn’t sleep so…
They’re three colouring sheets that act as a prompt to get the little ones thinking. So the plate might be “What’s the best thing we could have for breakfast?” or the outline of the head might be “Who’s that?” or finally, “What kind of car should we draw?”
Anyway, Let’s see how they go in the morning. You can download them for your little people below.
Have fun! And… If you do use them, I’d LOVE to see what your little ones come up with. Comment back here or hit us up on facebook.
I’ve written before about our road trips to the grandparents and I think I’ve even mentioned the rad books we pick up sometimes at the op shop near theirs (we call it Daimaru, which was a really fancy department store in the 90’s). Their op shop is proper, small town, Country Women’s Association style, charity shop. A little bit dusty but full of great finds.
I’ll generally boot past the clothing, get distracted somewhat by the bric a brac and odds and ends, picking up empty picture frames as I go (I have way too many of these) and eventually make my way to the books.
It’s funny, I used to do this sort of thing, rummaging through op shop bins for old vinyl, classic tracks or old comedy records to try and sample but now it’s all about the kids books. Man, it rocks my world! I’m like a kid in a candy shop, and unlike rummaging for old records, there’s almost always a rad book to take home with you.
There’s the old favorites, little golden books, which are pretty rad. We’ve got some great ones, a personal fave is “The monster at the end of this book” which I think is an iPad app now. We’ll generally just grab a couple of these to leave in the grand parents toy box for future trips.
My favorites though are all the old “things to make and do” or “science for kids” type of books. What’s crazy awesome about these is that the science or craft ideas inside are fairly timeless and pretty easy to update to todays level of awesomeness. We’ve been rocking shadow puppets out of these books and paper dolls. There’s just loads of rainy day and not so rainy day inspirational ideas for fun making.
Anyway, long story short, get yourself down to your local charity shop, there’s treasure to be found in all that mess. Give a book another lease on life, be charitable, save a tree, save the world or just score some rad books, everyone’s a winner!Read more
Yesterday, July 30, was my father’s birthday. He would have been 69 this year. He passed away two and a half years ago from a whole bunch of cancer, as much as he was loathe to admit it, smoking related. Cancer is a rubbish way to go. He, we all, lived 12 years in the shadow of it.
I don’t normally get too personal here but I just wanted to put it down in words. I love you Dad, I miss you, I wish we could have seen eye to eye on more things, spent more time together as adults and that you had had the chance to get to know my boys.
That’s all, Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!Read more
Cut and paste is just heaps of fun. The lads and I were having a blast yesterday afternoon and one of the resultant pieces was the bad boy you see pictured above. We had a great time mixing it up and sticking it down.
Anyway, I took a pic to preserve it for posterity and then started tricking around with it in what is possibly my new favourite iPhone photo app. Halftone. Does what it says on the tin really but also has a shedload of image editing functionality baked in. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into the whole instagram vintage kinda thing.
But, Back on topic, how rad is that pic?!Read more
848 kilometres, a long drive up the Hume highway, normally ten hours long, but increasing year on year with our boys. Last year it took eleven and a half hours with a new toddler and an infant needing play stops along the way. This year with a newly walking 14 month-old and a two and a half-year old who is potty training, we clocked 13 hours.
That said, at the end of our 13 hour we arrived in Huskisson. A seaside town on the south coast of New South Wales. The home of my wife’s parents. I’d call them the in laws but they’re more like friends. This is where we’re spending Easter, we were going to lay a floating floor but decided that 13 hours in the car and a few days at the beach before the cold sets in was a much better option.
What I’ve come to realise is that this is they place the boys will remember as adults when they think their childhood holidays.
Mine is a beach called Wallaroo in South Australia. We drove there in a purple, Valiant Charger which we drove down on to the beach. We stayed in a beach hut with no electricity, cooked pippies on a hibachi grill and sheltered from the sun in the mouth of a cave. My mother wore a bathing cap with flowers on it and taught us how to do somersaults in the sea.
Now we’re clearly not staying in a beach hut without electricity, but we fly kites on the beach, swim naked (the boys, not me) in the sea and see kookaburras in the tree outside, all the stuff of nostalgic memories. I wonder what the boys will remember about Husky?
Just thinking out loud. Happy Easter!Read more
We love reading at ours. This makes me very happy. We have loads of favorites, some are the boy’s faves and some are Mum and Dad’s faves. I’ve written about a couple of books before so they havent gotten a mention this time and this is by no means an exhaustive list of our favorites but rather, something I think I’m going to try to post every so often as we find more and more books to love. Hope you find something that you like too.
So in no particular order, other than the way that I wrote it, here they are.
This one is a really great book for before bed, It tells the story of a day in the life of a little baby. There are lots of things to find on each page and it has a really sweet sense of reality to it. A great book for winding little ones down with.
Always a winner with the little ones, Mem Fox takes us on a hunt for the green sheep. Who, (spoiler alert) it turns out, is fast asleep. We get to meet loads of other sheep along the way. Personal Favourites from our lot are definitely Train Sheep as well as Near and Far Sheep. This one however has the opposite effect from Peepo and tends to wind the two-year old up, in the best possible way of course.
Written and Illustrated by Nick Bland
It turns out there is some kind of distant relationship on my wife’s side to Mr. Bland. Her Grandparent’s ,bothers, son in law, or something like that. If your listening Nick, Great Book! This is a rad little story about Bear and Flea, beautifully illustrated and very humorously written, with a happy ending to boot. All wins on this front.
I nearly called it “Roo on the Loo”, which is one of our favourite spreads in this one. Especially now the two year old is toilet training and has recently decided he needs to take a magazine with him to the potty so he can be “Roo on the Loo!!!”. Lot’s of laughs and beautiful illustrations by Kerry Argent. This is always a crowd pleaser.
I’ve never really been a fan of Pooh Bear, that was until I started reading these poems to the boys. It turns out I’m actually not a fan of Disney’s, Winnie the Pooh. The Pooh Bear in these poems is an altogether different kettle of fish.
This book contains some of the loveliest poems I think I’ve ever read. There is such a beautiful syncopation to the verse and the subject matter is at once, sweet, innocent and nonsensical. There have been a lot of favorites in this one. Then it became a case of them all ending up being favorites. There is definitely something for everyone in here.
That’s it for now, I’ll post another five when they come to mind.
A few days late on this post but March the 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday. There’s been quite a few really cool things posted on the internet, link exchanges and the whatnot but I just wanted to take a second to say a big thank you to the good doctor.
I was not a Dr. Seuss child growing up. Not sure why, I guess my folks weren’t fans. So when I found a second hand copy of Cat in the Hat, I didn’t really think anything of it, I just grabbed it as another book for the lads. Turns out, the two year old loves it and it also turns out that I love it too.
I love the scale and syncopation that Dr.Seuss books take. Bigger, Bigger, Bigger still! As well as being great fun for a parent to read there are also really nice little morals or messages throughout. It was off the back of this awesome find, we bought a box set and in that box set was “Oh the places you’ll go” and that dear reader, I think, is my favourite book.
Here’ is a rather aptly cast reading from those crazy kids at Burning Man filmed by Teddy Saunders. Enjoy!
The message of “You’re Awesome, but sometimes bang ups and hang ups can happen to you” is great but it’s the other little pearls of wisdom that really make me smile. Escaping from the Waiting place, where everyone is just waiting, “waiting for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil or a better break” is such a positive idea and then the slightly more tongue in cheek, “You get mixed up with many strange birds as you go, so be sure when you step, you step with great tact” is also a really sweet message to pass on.
It’s this passing on that really strikes me, the book really feels like a parting gift, like he knew it would be his last and that this is what he wanted to tell the little people. His epitaph I guess you could say, but I prefer to think of it as a gift, a gift we have gratefully received. Thank you Dr. Seuss. You are Rad! There is something for everyone in this book!
P.S. If our boys turn out all kooky and creative like the Burning Man kids that would be rad. And if they don’t? Totally rad too!Read more
I don’t know Jack but Jack is a six years old boy with Cerebral Palsy, it affects the area of his brain that talks to his legs, this means that he can’t walk un-aided. This sucks!
Jack has a twin brother Ben, imagine how frustrating it would be for Jack to not be able to run around with Ben! I don’t know Jack but my friend Matt is Jack’s uncle. Matt, along with a bunch of other nice people are trying to raise money so that Jack can go to America for an operation to help him walk. This would be RAD!!!
Kids are awesome and it breaks my heart to see them suffer or struggle. I know there are lots of kids doing it rough in one way or another, but I know Matt and would love to try and help his nephew walk.
If for whatever reason you end up reading this post, you could maybe spread the word or even kick in a couple of dollars to help Jack walk unaided and feel good for the rest of the day! It’s all legit and run through everydayhero.co.uk. Matt is going to have every hair removed from his body as part of a fundraising challenge. I thought I’d just put it out there and share some links. Good luck Guys!Read more
Edit: I got around to making the printable for this. Download Windy’s party colouring sheet.
We’ve been having a bit of a stormy summer in Melbourne this year, which is cool if you like storms (which I do), not so cool however if you’re a two-year old and a little bit worried by Thunder and Lightning.
As a way of trying to ease some of this worry we have developed a bit of a story about what’s going on. Rather than going into the physical details of what actually makes up a thunder storm we’ve opted for the more kid friendly version which goes something like this…
“WOW!!! It’s Windy’s birthday, he’s having a party in the clouds! Can you hear the clouds clapping? Wow, they’ve got streamers and flashing lights! Happy Birthday Windy!!!”
Now, I know this is a lie but… It has worked, thunder storms are now a pretty cool thing that we can get excited about. I have even made some cardboard (what a surprise) cut outs of Windy’s Party in the clouds to play with when there isn’t a storm. This seems to have been good to further reinforce this idea.
Just thought I’d share in case it could help someone. I think I’ll make a printable of windy and friends so stay tuned for that one.
Have a good one