Archive for February 20th, 2014

Freda F. Printables

Having children’s room decoration in my mind I started to create these letters. It was an in and out of the computer.
I started to print the outlines from this pretty font. Then I have drawn the black and white pattern on it by hand with a marker.
I scanned my drawings and added the pattern back on the computer. I added the eyes and printed the whole alphabet, then cut all the letters and added yarn, threads and wool as hair.

As always you may use this as an inspiration for your own projects (perfect to craft with kids).
Or you can order your custom names from my Etsy store. Please give me 2 days to set it up individually for you. I am offering the personalized names ready printed and cut or as digital download sheets to print and cut them yourself as often as you want.


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First day of the holidays

I could
ride my bike,
plait my hair,
go and call on
Paul and Claire,

Clean the budgie,
walk the dog,
practise handstands,
go for a job,

Read a book,
watch TV,
help my Dad
cook the tea.

All these things
and many more
I’ll do tomorrow,
that’s for sure.

but today instead
I’m staying in bed!

Theresa Heine


The church fete

I remember the day
that we went to the fete;
the candy-floss, ice-cream
and sweets that we ate.
I remember the donkeys
who gave us a ride;
I remember my sister got lost.
How she cried.
I remember the vicar
who gave me a prize;
how we watched Punch and Judy,
the sun in our eyes.

I remember we went
to the coconut shy.
We didn’t win one
but we had a good try.
I remember the thunder,
the shower of rain
and running for home soaking wet,
down the lane.

Marian Swinger


Camping Out

One night last holiday
We camped on our lawn.
We planned to stay out there
From darkness to dawn.

But at half-past ten
When the garden was black,
We rushed into the house
Shouting, ‘Mum, we’ve come back.’

Clive Webster


On holiday with Grandma

When we took Grandma to the beach
she dug a deep hole in the wet sand,
knocked down my row of castles,
caught red crabs in the rock pools,
went in the sea right up to her knees,
walked in some clay
so it squished through her toes,
tied long, green seaweed in her hair,
played cricket, had an ice-cream,
and threw a bucket of water over Dad.
Grandma said she had not had so
much fun for years.

Robin Melloer


The roller coaster

I rode the roller coaster.
It gave me such a scare.
I thought I’d left my tummy
floating in the air.

Marian Swinger


Carnival Time

Sing me a song.
Tell me a rhyme.
Dance me a dance.
It’s carnival time.

Put on a costume.
Paint your face.
Beat those drums
all over the place.

Sing me a song.
Tell me a rhyme.
Dance me a dance.
It’s carnival time.

Tony Mitton

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Raising A Genius

10 Ways to Build Your Child’s Library

Do these photos bring back memories?

My baby sister used to tell me that she would LOVE to have been Belle in this scene. The thought of having wall-to-wall books just excited her to salivation. There are many children out there that adore books and could curl up in a corner and read from sun up to sun down – my sister is STILL ONE of them as an adult! And then there are those who would jump a plane to dodge a book thrown at them. The biggest challenge would be to first discover: Do I have a reader or don’t I?

No matter what the answer to that question, we must realize that we ALL have no choice but to be a reader, if we care to survive in this world. There are things to read from the moment we walk…

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Keeping kids entertained for the long summer holidays can feel like a full time job. Especially when money is tight and the weather is unpredictable. But fear not, whilst it may seem that the holidays will never end and the children may be getting restless, we have some great ideas to keep them occupied, even on the gloomiest days.

Have a painting day

A really good, cost effective way of getting paper for children to paint on, is to use lining paper – the paper sold by DIY shops for lining your walls before painting. It comes in long rolls and you can cut a length and either attach it to a door (might be worth putting a couple of old towels down to protect the floor!) or you can take it outdoors lay it on the ground and let the children run riot with the paint. Encourage them to try painting on a big scale and to try new techniques, not just using a paint brush, encourage them to use their hands and their feet as a brush.

To make it an even cheaper event, you could try making your own paint as well.

How to make paint


  • 750 mls water
  • 65 grams cornflour (cornstarch)
  • food colouring


  1. Mix 250mls water with the cornflour. Start by adding a small amount at a time to build up a smooth paste
  2. Add 500mls more
  3. Put into the microwave and zap on high for 8-9 minutes, or till thickened. It’s important to keep stirring every minute or so throughout the cooking process.
  4. Divide the mixture between 6 small bowls.
  5. Add 3 drops of (different) food colouring to each bowl.

Word of warning – food colouring may stain hands so your children might need a good bath afterwards!

Go camping in the garden

You don’t need to travel miles and spend a small fortune to go camping. Children will have fun wherever they are and will have just as much fun camping in their own back garden as they would at an expensive campsite.

You can even build a camp fire (adult supervision at all times!) and have a great evening sitting round the fire singing songs, telling stories and even eating smoors. For those Brits that have never heard of S’mores, they are a traditional campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada. They consist of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate, sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. We don’t have graham crackers in the UK, but apparently the nearest thing we have is a digestive biscuit.

Go to the Beach

child on beach

The weather in summer may be pretty hit and miss in the UK, but that shouldn’t stop you having a day out at the beach. If you set off expecting it to be wet, it can only get better. Just accept it’s going to be wet, and grab some waterproofs and a picnic and head on down to your nearest beach for some fun and games.

You can even have a wet weather picnic if you go prepared. You could always take a pop up tent to shelter in if the weather is really bad, but most days the weather holds out long enough to have some games on the beach.

You don’t need the sweltering sun to build sand castles, go rock pooling, or make beach art with driftwood and seaweed. Children will have fun whatever the weather.

When preparing a wet weather picnic, think about taking some warm food. Sausages and baked beans can be kept warm in wide mouth flasks and homemade soup with chunky bread always goes down well. And of course don’t forget the trusty flask of hot chocolate.

Make a fuzzy head

You will needfuzzyhead

  • Some old knee high pop socks or cut off panty hose,
  • grass seed,
  • a mixture of soil and sawdust
  • 2 small elastic bands
  • decorations – paint, googly eyes (purchased from a haberdashery store), paper, pipe cleaners, bits of felt, some old wool for hair etc.


  1. Have the children put 2 teaspoons of grass seed in the bottom of the toe of the panty hose.
  2. Add 1-2 handfuls of the soil mixture. It is important to help the children with this stage as you need to ensure that the seeds stay in the top of the head, otherwise you’ll have hair sprouting from under the eyes.
  3. Use the small elastic band to pinch off a nose about half way up the head.
  4. Use the second elastic band to tie off the bottom, or you could just tie a firm knot in the stocking.
  5. The children can decorate by pasting on eyes, mouth, ears, or what ever else inspires them.
  6. When you’ve completed your Fuzzy Head, you can either rest it on a saucer or put it in a small plastic pot, such as a left over hummus pot with water in the bottom. It is important to keep it well watered over the next few days.The ‘hair’ should sprout in less than a week. Kids can style the hair with elastic bands, clips and scissors.

Make an egghead!

In a similar vein to the fuzzy heads you could also make cress heads

egg headFor this you will need

  • Egg shells
  • soil
  • Mustard and cress seeds
  • Markers


  1. Cook boiled eggs to eat and carefully slice off the top of the egg. Eat the egg gently so as not to break the shell.
  2. Fill the shell 2/3 full with soil and then sprinkle some seeds on the top and put into an egg cup.
  3. Use the marker to very gently draw a face on the shell. Encourage the kids to get as creative as they want and give their egg heads character.
  4. Water your Egg Head every day and it should start sprouting hair in 2-3 days.

Organise an old fashioned tea party.

Children love a party, even if it’s only for 3 or 4 people. Organising it can keep them happy for days.

Get the children to design and make their own invitations to give to their friends.

They can organise the food – keep it simple, but keep it small. Go for a miniature food theme, the children will love it. Try miniature fairy cakes, mini sausages, mini pizzas, mini tomatoes, mini sandwiches and even mini fairy bread. An Australian friend introduced me to the delights of fairy bread and my children loved her for it. Butter some slices of white bread and sprinkle liberally with hundreds and thousands then using cookie cutters, cut the bread into shapes. Not a particularly healthy choice, but fun as a real holiday treat.

Make a den

Dens are great fun whatever your age. There’s something magical about sitting with your friends in your secret den. The great thing about making a den is that it isn’t dependent on the weather. Dens can be made inside and out and are equally fun.

Organise an old fashioned sports day for your children and their friends

Children may have all the latest Playstation and computer games, but they still love these old fashioned events. You don’t need a garden to run one, you can simply go to your local park and organise one there.

Include events such as

  • Egg and spoon race
  • Sack race (using old pillow cases)
  • Wheelbarrow races
  • Dressing up race
  • Skipping race

Make your own playdough

Children of all ages love playdough, and it’s even more fun when they can make it for themselves. This recipe makes a really great version of playdough that lasts for ages.

How to make one-minute playdough You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • I cup of boiling water (from the kettle) mixed with
  • some food colouring


  • Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then mix thoroughly with the hot water.

This recipe makes wonderful playdough at a fraction of the price of shop bought. When the kids have finished with it for the day, put the leftovers in little plastic sandwich bags and it should last for ages.

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Make Rag Dolls


Rag dolls are often a child’s favorite and they’re super easy to make from spare pieces of fabric or unwanted older fabric that would otherwise be turned into rags. In putting a rag doll together, a unique personality forms every single time.

  1. 1

    Choose how you want your doll to look. Start with the fabric color. Any plain fabric will do, but you might want to choose something approximately skin-colored, such as cream, brown, tan, white, or pink.



    • Traditionally, rag dolls were made from scraps of fabric (rags), so see if you can find enough fabric to recycle from a pillow case, an old shirt or clothes that don’t fit.
  2. 2

    Draw the outline for your doll on a cloth. Add some extra width (half an inch to 5/8″) all around the outside of your outline for a seam allowance.


    • Make the doll shape a little larger than you want the finished doll. When you stuff it, it will puff up and the sides will come in a little bit.
    • You can practice the outline on paper until you get it about right.
    • Make the head fairly large and round or oval.its ugly man
  3. 3

    Place a second layer of fabric underneath with the right sides of the fabric together. Cut out both on the outermost line.

  4. 4

    Pin the fabric and stitch around the outline, leaving an opening for the stuffing.

  5. 5

    Relieve the seams around curves and corners by cutting triangular notches in the seam allowance.

  6. 6

    Turn the doll right side out, working the fabric through the opening.

  7. 7

    Stuff the doll with any fiber stuffing you choose.

  8. 8

    Turn the edges of the opening under, towards the inside, and stitch it closed by hand or machine.

  9. 9

    If desired, stitch across the legs and arms to form joints.

    A slightly different pattern

  10. 10

    Decorate the doll. Embroider a face or sew on buttons for the eyes and nose. Hair can be made from yarn; braid it for special effect if the hair is long.

  11. 11

    Sew doll clothes for it (another great use of found, leftover, or recycled materials), or make no-sew doll clothes.

  • This doll is your own, so have fun with it. If you want crazy colors or crazy hair, make your doll that way.
  • One way to get your doll the same shape on both sides is to trace the outline on paper, fold this pattern in half down the middle, and cut it while it is folded in half.
  • You don’t have to make fancy clothes. A simple no sew pinafore looks just as nice as a beautiful sewed masterpiece!
  • Use tailor’s chalk or washable pencil to mark the fabric if you don’t want leftover marks showing through.
  • Make the doll a bit bigger, if the fabric permits. It will be that much easier to work with and stuff.


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Young children love water and it can be fun for everybody, as well as great exercise. But it’s vital that you or another grown-up always watches your child when in, on or around any water, because drowning can happen quickly and quietly.

Toddler playing in pool with her mother


did you knowQuestion mark symbol

About 7% of child drownings happen in the bath. Stay with your child, even if she’s only splashing in a couple of centimetres of water in an inflatable pool or in the bathtub.


Drowning: what you need to know

Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five.

Babies and toddlers are top-heavy, which makes them susceptible to drowning. If a baby falls into even shallow water, she cannot always lift herself out. Drowning can occur quickly and quietly, without any warning noises.

In Australia, children under five drown in:

  • swimming pools (16 children drowned in pools in 2009-10)
  • baths (five children drowned in the bath in 2009-10)
  • rivers, creeks and oceans (nine children drowned in a river or in the ocean in 2009-10)
  • dams and lakes (four children drowned in dams in 2009-10).

Children also drown in less obvious locations, such as nappy buckets, water tanks, water features and fish ponds – even pets’ water bowls. Four children drowned in these locations during 2009-10.

For every drowning, approximately three other children are hospitalised from a near-drowning incident, some of which result in severe brain damage.

Prevention and 100% supervision are the keys to keeping your child safe around water.

Water safety basics

It’s important to always stay with your child and watch him whenever he is near water – even when he can swim.

Supervision means constant visual contact with your child and keeping her within arm’s reach at all times. You should be in a position to respond quickly, whether you’re at the beach or the swimming pool, near dams, rivers and lakes, or at home when the bath or spa is full. Hold your child’s hand when you are near waves or paddling in rivers.

Supervision is not an occasional glance while you nap, read or do household chores. It is not watching your kids playing outside while you’re inside. It is always best for an adult, not an older child, to supervise.

You can also teach your child about water safety and how to swim. Many children can learn to swim by the time they are four or five.

First aid is an essential skill for the entire family to learn. Learning CPR and what to do in an emergency could save your child’s life.

Other practical tips for water safety

Around the house

The majority of drowning deaths in Australia result from a child falling or wandering into the water, particularly into a backyard pool. But a young child can drown in as little as 5 cm of water. Here are some tips to improve water safety around your house:

  • Remove any containers with water in them from around the house and make sure your child can’t get to any bodies of water, including the bath, on her own.
  • Use a nappy bucket with a tight-fitting lid and keep the bucket closed, off the floor and out of your child’s reach.
  • Always empty the baby bath as soon as you’re finished with it so older siblings can’t climb in.
  • Drain sinks, tubs, buckets, baths and paddling pools when you’re finished with them.
  • Secure covers to ponds and birdbaths and other water features with wire mesh or empty them until your child is at least five years of age.
  • Keep aquariums and fishbowls out of reach of small children. If you have an inflatable pool that is more than 300 mm in height, pool fencing laws apply. Outdoor spas also have to be fenced.

Outside the house – dams, ponds and tanks 

Children don’t always understand, apply or remember rules, especially when they’re distracted by play. So a securely fenced, safe play area can be an effective barrier between small children and water hazards.

A secure play area  can prevent your child from wandering near dams, creeks or other bodies of water, and gaining access to hazards such as farm machinery, horses and farm vehicles. FarmSafe Australia recommends a ‘safe play’ area, supported by family rules and supervison, as the most effective way to prevent serious injury and death to small children on rural properties.

  • Fence off the area between the house and any bodies of water.
  • Teach your child not to go near the dam, creek or water tank without you.
  • Secure a toddler-proof lid over any water tanks.
  • Fence off, drain or seal ponds while your child or visiting children are less than five years of age.
  • Make sure there are no trellises, ladders, windows or trees that your child could climb to gain access to the water tank.

Beaches, lakes and rivers 

  • Always stay with your child when he is playing in or near the sea, lakes or rivers. Hold your toddler’s hand near waves and when paddling in rivers.
  • Take your child only to patrolled beaches where surf lifesavers are present, and swim only between the flags.
  • Teach your school-age child what to do if she needs help: stay calm, float and raise an arm to signal to a lifeguard or lifesaver.

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Buzz In The Snow

Cogitare est Vivare...


love nature, and all things creative

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You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia E. Butler


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