Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bribie New Years Eve For The Kids

I had been told that Bribie Island puts on quite a nice little 'show' for families come New Years Eve. With Market Stalls, a Mini Fair and Fireworks.

We decided to ensure our holiday covered the New Year period so we could enjoy the festivities. I was a little concerned with noise, but thankfully we were far enough away from the centre of the bustle for it to bother us at all.

The market stalls were a mixture of the regular type stalls you generally see at markets, jewellery, thongs, sunglasses and things like that.

There were however a few gems that caught our eye. This gentleman for example, carves out of lumps of wood and a chainsaw. Just check out the Ned Kelly, he's pretty impressive, considering that the chainsaw isn't the finest of implements.

We then stumbled upon a Lucky Dip Stall. Yes the entire stall was full of lucky dips, not just a little box off to the side that someone has added on to lure the kiddies over to their stall. This one was chock full of little wrapped parcels, all highly organised.

Can you imagine the hours this lady must spend wrapping? Considering that the gift Fairy Princess chose was in three!!

We all enjoyed a few rides, which, thankfully were reasonably priced, compared to larger events like the Brisbane EKKA.

I can  never remember the name of this ride, but will always remember it as my mum's favourite ride when we were growing up. I enjoy it and now my kids love it also. Little Surfer Dude was a tad disappointed that he wasn't tall enough to ride though.

So he got stuck with the baby rides.

For some reason I simply cannot figure out, he never smiles on merry go rounds.

Does he dislike them that much? Is he scared? Is he thinking, what on earth am I doing on this thing? I'm not sure I will ever know.

He does continue to get on them though when he has the opportunity, so they can't be all that bad.

The big kids enjoyed a good old classic ride, the swings.

This is one ride that I just don't do. All that spinning in the same direction just makes me ill!!

The giant bouncy slide was the most popular kids ride by far. We did wait for nearly 10 minutes for this one, but boy did they have a blast.

Just a shame my battery started to die on me and my iphone just wasn't quick enough to get any decent shots, oh well.

We spent 2 hours at the fair and market stall area. You could spend longer as various artists performed on stage, but for us 2 hours was plenty. At 8:00pm the fireworks kicked off. Perfect, as the mother of a 3 year old even 9:00pm fireworks is just too damn late. 8:00 was great!

The beach was definitely packed full of people, it was well worth it though. The fireworks were pretty spectacular. Considering the relative population of the Bribie area we were all pleasantly impressed at how captivating they were.

Little Surfer Dude has experienced fireworks before, but he couldn't remember them so this was 'another' first time for him. Love sharing those things with my kids.

Other posts in this series:

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Australia Day - Activities, Baking, Crafts & Fun

    ~~~ Happy Australia Day ~~~

    This week we've been using our Australia Day Unit, which briefly covers the history of Australia Day.

    We had a large party organised for today, with lots of Australian themed activities but the SE area has had massive downpours of rain this week, so we made the decision to cancel our outdoor party.

    All of us were very disappointed, considering that we have only had one brief shower here all afternoon :(

    Hubby attempted his first ever chocolate creation, that was to be the cake topper for today. Yes the entire flag is chocolate.

    We spent a little time every day working through the various aspects of the printable Australia Day unit. I was reading The First Fleet section from The Australian History Collection by Bryce Courtney, whilst the kids coloured our Coat of Arms. They were so particular with the colours chose for this.

    This collection of short narratives are easy to read and full of eye catching illustrations.  Topics included are Captain Cook, The First Fleet, Bass and Flinders, Buckley's Chance, Crossing The Blue Mountains, Gold, Burke and Wills & Ned Kelly.

    Definitely a great overview of Australian History, a good place to start with, the section on the First Fleet really had the kids imagining what it would have been like back then.

    Lego Lover sorted all of the 3 part cards (with descriptions) and glued them to place in his notebook.

    Little Surfer Dude loved the Do A Dot ABC pages from the Australia Day printable. 

    Because today was supposed to be all about fun and add in that it was my lovely husbands Birthday, we decided to have our Australia Day celebration, after all.

    Just the five of us instead of the forty odd that were originally planned.

    We made silly Red, White & Blue headwear. I simply laid out the supplies and gave no real instructions.

    Ok, so not a great photo I know, but, what do they say, no shame no game.....they do say that don't they ?! 

    I asked Lego Lover to prepare a map for me using our Wooden Australian Montessori map. He traced each state carefully.

    Then labelled each of the capital cities. Meanwhile I printed out a sheet of labels for all of the captial cities and placed them in our math treasure box.

    It was time for Pin The Capital City On The Map!

    The kids had so much fun with this. Way more than I ever expected. They were giggling themselves silly and they didn't even realise they were learning. Granted the 'educational component' of this was more for Fairy Princess, it was fun for Lego Lover to brush up a little too.

    They thought it was absolutely hilarious when dad got one of his city labels way off in the Pacifc Ocean somewhere. It probably didn't help that he had been spun way more than the average 3 times before he had his turn.

    The completed map. Overall, they didn't do too badly.

    We made a batch of basic sugar cookie dough.

    And pressed out little Aussie cookies.

    And set about icing them, Red, White & Blue!

    The icing was a little runny so we ended up with some pretty funky designs.

    Of course we had the obligatory BBQ and a birthday cake for dad.

    My parents called in to wish hubby a Happy Birthday. Little Surfer Dude enjoyed some pool time with Pop.

    There is simply no Australia Celebration without a game of cricket. Lego Lover has really gotten into the game this season. Not so much watching it on the telly, but having a hit in the backyard with dad.

    So even though I know we would have had a fabulous time celebrating today with all of our friends and family, we didn't do too badly on our own.

    What about you? How did you spend this Australia Day?

    Linked up at Enchanted Thursday's blog hop.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Top 100 Home Schooling Blogs

    This is a great list of Home Schooling Blogs. Such variety and a wealth of ideas and resources.

    elementary education degree

    I was just a little bit chuffed when I received an email letting me know that my blog is listed amongst those in the Top 100.

    Go check them all out :-)

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Classic Australian Songs with Printable

    In the lead up to Australia Day we are working through our Printable Australia Day unit and learning the words to some classic Australian songs.

    The kids basically know these, just from growing up and hearing them over the years, but we are practicing daily at getting those lyrics down.

    Some of these classic songs have recently been published into children's picture books, with CD's on the inside cover. I thought this was a great way to keep these songs alive with the younger generation.

    Waltzing Matilda, often regarded as Australia's unofficial National Anthem, tells the story of the struggles endured by shearers in the outback in the 1800's.

    Advance Australia Fair, Australia's official National Anthem, was first sung in Sydney in 1878. This picture book version contains paintings from some of Australia's finest artists.

    I thought this was a great way to capture the essence of the anthem, through the images of Australian artists.

    A Home Among The Gum Trees, is an iconic Australian song. I doubt there would be an Australian adult, that grew up in Australia, that doesn't know this song.

    It was remiss of me to not include it in the Australia Day Printable unit, so I have included a download here.

    Download the file by clicking here.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Beachmere Park & Playground Area

    On this particular day of our holiday we took a drive, back over the main bridge and headed down to Beachmere, just to check it out a little.

    Beachmere is most definitely a 'sleepy, beachside village'. Given that it was a public holiday there was barely a sole to be seen.

    We did however stumble onto what appeared to be the main park/playground area of this little town and we were very pleasantly surprised.

    Either it is a very new facility or it has been recently refurbished. Whilst the overall area wasn't large, it has been well planned to suit families visiting the park.

    The playground itself is completely encased by fencing, a large portion of it is covered with shade sails and the entire base is sand.

    Around the perimeter of the playground area are several large shady trees, BBQ facilities, covered picnic tables and a toilet block.

    The actual playground itself is fairly standard fair but there were a few gems that were new to us. This small slide, climbing area is perfect for toddlers to have some fun on.

    The modern version of the old fashioned whirligig. Fairy Princess was first on board, anything that spins, she loves.

    The centre of the park houses a large triangular spider web climbing frame.Both kids made it their mission to reach the top in record time.

    Watching the kids grow and remembering when a structure such as this would have frightened both of them. Now they tackle it with relative ease.

    The modern see saw, although I highly doubt that this is as much fun. It bounces more than 'see saws' up and down. Little Surfer Dude enjoyed it none the less.

    This small, inconspicuous piece of equipment sat untouched for awhile. Balancing and turning at the same time....hold on Lego Lover!!!!

    Yet another spinning contraption. I wonder if the adult that designed this playground missed out on fast moving fun as a child!

    We called this the egg, however really, it is much more like the egg cup holder. Fairy Princess got this going with relative ease and really never wanted to get off.

    I love this photo of her, hair blowing with the spinning, grinning with delight.

    She did feel a little ill some time later though.

    Of course what's a playground without swings.

    The playground itself is only a short stroll to the beach area.

    The tide was well and truly out during our visit to Beachmere. We were very glad we made the effort to take that small journey.

    Other posts in this series:

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Bribie Island Beaches

    Staying on an island there is definitely no getting around the fact that you are pretty much surrounded by beaches.

    Bribie definitely offers plenty of them and right across the road from our apartment was this perfect spot that the kids loved. Most days it provided only knee lapping waves, just right for a three year old!

    On Christmas Day the waves were a little bigger, perfect for Little Surfer Dude to try out his new boogie board he got for Christmas.

    All he needed was a push off from dad

    and he was grinning from ear to ear! Excited or what!!! So was dad for that matter ;-)

    It wasn't long before he really was living up to his blog name of "Little Surfer Dude", catching those waves like a pro.

    He was pretty chuffed to catch one all the way up onto the sand.

    The bigger kids enjoyed the feeling of being 'way out' , but really they are only waist deep. Looks like they are in the middle of the ocean here.

    This large wall has been built to protect against erosion. Fairy Princess enjoyed being thrown into the water and all the kids had a great deal of fun jumping from the staired wall.

    It provides a great place to crawl up and down.

    The sand is really very good, considering how sheltered this part of Bribie is. Little Surfer Dude sat and played for quite some time.

    Further inland across the small dunes Fairy Princess went exploring, as she always does, looking for exciting nature finds. This pretty yellow flower caught her eye.

    And of course seaweed, you simply cannot play on the beach without some seaweed.

    It took the boys awhile to warm up to the seaweed idea, but eventually they did!

    The jetty is pretty much the focal point of the beach area and in fact closer to the jetty area you will find wider expanses of beaches. The jetty is very popular spot for fishing at night.

    Come late afternoon, as the tide faded, the same beach, right across the way from us became a whole new area of exploration. Piles of seaside treasures were found here, shells, bones, bits of crab, shark teeth you name it they found it.

    I think exploring on low tide is often way more fun than swimming at the beach itself.

    We were blessed to witness some great sunsets during our stay. The kids are with their cousins here, not that you can tell who is who.

    These couple were taken on my iphone whilst waiting for our Gourmet Pizza and Risotto at Brennan Park.

    Bribie also has great surf beaches, I'll show you some of them soon :-)

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