Chinese Week (And ‘The Story Of Ping’)

This last week we’ve been celebrating Chinese New Year.

With dragons…

And Chinese food…

Of many sorts…

These fortune cookies were super fun to make (via the Crafty Crow).

(Alfie got “You will find money” – Leon and he are still looking…!)

We’ve been discovering our Chinese signs…

And making ‘Chinese good luck’ play dough...

(via the Crafty Crow)

And for some people, ‘The Story Of Ping’ (Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese)…

…has given us an insight in to China.

We’ve been catching Β fish from our houseboat on the Yangtze River…

…while snacking on green tea and rice cakes…

And of course, our rising little artist couldn’t go a day without creating…

….this time, his own interpretation of ‘Ping’….


The Wonderful (And Slightly Bizarre) World Of Mini-Skateboards

One would think that at the age of ten (and a half), role play is almost over.

Not in our house.

In fact, here, role play has taken on a whole new concept….

We’ve been through cars and trains, dinosaurs and cats, pirates and knights, super mario and star wars

(yes, the latter two have, in our house, become a source of role play…)

Now we have skateboards.

Not just any skateboard.

These are skateboards with personality!

Meet – from left to right – Sunny, Rainbow, Night and Music!

Yep, these guys have bedrooms. Places to rest.

Not just that.

They also have a place to hang out together.

Where they eat lunch.

Did you say LUNCH?

Yes, that’s right, a skateboard can eat lunch.

Sometimes a packed lunch to be exact.

Sometimes just a fruit break…

And of course these guys need a place to play.

A place to practice their tricks…

And of course, what big boys do, little boys have to do too…

Even down to their own little sleeping area…

What’s that you say?

You don’t understand this form of role-play?

Don’t worry.

You are not alone.

Ahhh, the imagination of a ten year old!


Time For The Birds

The ground is frozen.

The birds need feeding.

And the Christmas tree is outside all alone.

A perfect mix for anotherΒ Β bird’s winter buffet tree!

First we took the pinecones…

Then we spread them with peanut butter…

And rolled them in seeds…

Before adding wool so we can hang them on the branches…

We also did the same thing with stale bread, using cookie cutters shapes!


We’ve played some games about birds.

Some educational…

…some less so…Β 


Alfie asked how to draw birds.

With the help of an oval (body), a circle (head), Β a triangle (beak) and a semi-circle (wing), he learnt well..


And with inspiration from Lilla A, some black paper and colored tissue paper, we brightened up the kitchen…

Happy bird feeding!


Food Finger Painting!

Ketchup, mustard and prune compote?

I know, I know….. pretty disgusting….

But kind of fun!

Even Maya wanted to have a turn….!

Of course, you could just try the mess free version – in a zip lock bag taped to the floor….

Touch… spread….smooth….squidge….mix…….

Food finger painting.



The Plundering Of The Swedish Christmas Tree

‘Julgransplundring’ is a swedish tradition of coming together to ‘throw out’ all the Christmas decorations.

Twenty days after Christmas, held on the 13th of January, traditionally this also entails dancing around the tree, and games for the children.

Well, we didn’t dance, but we did ‘plunder’!

I made simple cardboard tube crackers for the children, and hid a little chocolate christmas ornament in each one.

Wrapped in tissue paper, and stuck with a Christmas sticker…

…I hid them in the tree…

Can you see them?


Look a little closer.

Can you see them now?


Surely NOW?!

Well, the kids found them hard to find too!

We challenged them to take at least ten decorations off the tree – and if they found something they hadn’t seen before….

….perhaps they could keep it!

Look, Maya’s found something….

Plundering indeed.

Maya plundered…

Alfie plundered…

(Note our hoover, ready for action!)

Leon and his friend Filip plundered too…

And if you’re wondering about Ted – no, he didn’t plunder, and no, he didn’t get any chocolate.

But he didn’t get completely left out – exploring the pile of dropped pine needles was a kind of plundering in itself…!


Alfie’s Winter Wonderland!

Inspired by this winter sensory box, we wanted to make something similar.

Our small oval laundry tub just didn’t grab me – we also wanted a place where the animals could hide, jump and slide.

Perhaps a cave, an underground lake, a hide out?

This is when a box ceases to be just a box!

I’m not sure what kind of appliance this box originally held.

It’s the kind of box that you just don’t throw away .

It’s been used for many a role play scenario – and it certainly did the trick for this one!

Alfie decided that the newspaper on which it lay should also be part of the play scene…

“It’s snowing here” he said…

And this was a good thing too!

Otherwise, where would the glittering blue foil underground lake lay?

As you can see, snow lay all around.

Rice snow, cotton ball snow, packing peanut snow, painted snow.

It was cold in this winter wonderland.

The polar bears, the penguins and the reindeer didn’t mind though.

Gosh, even the frogs and the cockatoo came to visit..!

And there were plenty of snowmen…!


A Week Of Edible Snowmen!

It seems that the snow has faded away, and we are having to make our own snowmen!

Marshmallow snowmen…

Meringue snowmen….

(thank you Leon for making these for us!)

Cracker and cream cheese snowmen…

And lo and behold, such a week of edible snowmen, led Leon and Maya to PLAY WITH THEIR FOOD!!!!

Homemade burgers, pasta and veggies were rearranged as my back was turned –Β 

to create…..