ptg01976376Hiding some presents or Easter eggs, play the string game! While your children are asleep unwind wool in a trail around house or garden and leave the surprise at the end, follow the trail game for little feet 🙂 Making childhood memories…

 

Yeah, almost in print!

Happy Child Happy Home Front CoverHere is my new book front cover. Can’t wait to share it with the world! Childhood areas in one inspiring and easy read. If you wish to be on pre-order list (due out late Feb in UK and  March in Australia and US) drop me a line lou@skiptomylouparenting.com

Sweet!

Xmas strawberry santa 1Sweet! Children will love! Scoop out strawberry, add whipped cream and black sesame seeds for eyes 🙂

Fun Fruit Christmas

Try this…

Fun Fruit Christmas Tree - Yum!

Fun Fruit Christmas Tree – Yum!

 

Winterwonder Craft – Bird Feeder

website - winter bird feeder

Children love this craft activity as a yearly rhythm (and so do the birds!). Have a go to bring a smile to a child’s face and a caring attitude towards our feathered friends. Do you have a pine cone at home, if you find some lying around in nature from now on keep them for this special winter craft activity. If no pine cones available, an interesting piece of wood will do, or even a empty toilet roll.

You will need: a pine cone (or wood or toilet roll), jar of peanut butter (if nut allergies, honey will also be fine to use instead of peanut butter), butter knife or spatula, bird seed (bag from supermarket), and a bowl or tray.

Note: tie wool, string or pipe cleaner on first, to hang the bird feeder. It will be messy to tie the string on at the end. Let your child have fun spreading the peanut butter (honey) all over the pine cone, then roll in the birdseed (put seed in bowl or tray so less messy) to cover the pine cone in seed. Tie to a garden tree branch or fence (preferably one you can see out of the window). The birds eat their winter treat, and when pecked clean, you can repeat this craft activity again!

5,000 copies sold!

My book ‘Turning Tears into Laughter: Creative Discipline for the Toddler and Preschool Years’ has almost finished its first print run of 5,000 copies – yippe! Order your copy today from me and be inspired, only $12.95 and $2.00 postage. Contact Lou  middle turning tears cover

Autumn Seasonal Table Ideas

Celebrate the wonders of nature with a family Seasonal Table

Celebrate the wonders of nature with a family Seasonal Table

How top set up a Seasonal Table

Seasonal table ideas

It is through a seasonal table that your family can connect with the earth and the natural rhythm of the year. A seasonal table at home is a special area to represent the season and a place to display nature’s treasures. Children love to be a part of the creating and changing of a seasonal table.

A special place

The seasonal table can be a shelf, small table, or a window ledge. Look for a suitable place in your home. An old second hand table is fine. A collection of colored cloths and cards will begin your seasonal table.

Colored cloths

Place a colored cloth on the table, then hang another lighter cloth from a hook on the wall, this provides a lovely back drop. These cloths set a soft and lovely scene of color for the special nature place. The cloth colors represent the season on the table. Spring colors include the greens of new grass, and pinks and peaches of blossom. The summer colors represent the yellows and blues of the beach and the bright sun. Autumn colors can be brown, red and orange, the shades of falling leaves. Finally, winter colors may include ice blue for the sky and white and dark brown for the earth and snow.

Look out for lovely pieces of material or tablecloths in second hand shops. The scene has been set…

Ideas for all four seasons

Onto the table place a vase of flowers, blossom branches or a flowering shrub, for spring time. Blossom fairies and butterflies can be lovingly made – using seasonal craft book ideas – to hang on the blossom branches. Bird’s nests can be placed on the table, as well as toy animals with their springtime babies. Children can collect flowers and blossoms for the springtime seasonal table.

During summer time it is lovely to place a selection of sea shells, perhaps a few fish in a bowl or some fabric fish in a pretend cloth sea. A summer vase of flowers adds beauty and wonder to the seasonal table.

My favorite season is autumn. The earth abounds with nature’s gifts; lovely leaves, tree nuts and pieces of wood. Place them on the season table and hide amongst them gnomes to find there – in secret places! For the winter seasonal table, in a vase bare branches can be covered with golden cardboard or sewn stars to represent the darker evenings. Crystals and stones symbolize the gnome’s busy underground, when all is quiet and bare on the earth.

A seasonal table will bring magic into your homes and hearts. Children and adults alike ‘wake-up’ to the changing faces of the seasons around them. This can bring a love, respect and awe for the natural world on planet earth. It is a miracle!

Ages and stages!

Young children tend to play with a seasonal table and it can get quite messy. Keep it simple at this age. Let them collect special treasures (but remember to respect the codes of National Parks). Your child will need your guidance and help to set up the table. As your child grows older, you may turn your back one day and the table is set. Little fingers have created magic!

 

Easter Baking Fun

Here is a great Hot Cross Bun recipe for  Easter family baking fun. Children love to knead and watch the dough rise. Even though this takes time, it is a beautiful ritual on a home day during the Easter break.
Ingredients
300ml milk
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
4 cups plain flour
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
Pinch of salt
¼ cup caster sugar
40g butter
1½ cup of currants
2 x 7g packets dried yeast

Method
Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a small saucepan, add milk and heat until luke warm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to current mixture.
Use a flat bladed knife to mix into a dough until almost coming together
Use hands to form a dough
Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth (10mins).
Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clean tea towel, set aside in warm draft free place for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until dough doubles in size.
Punch dough down until original size and knead on a floured surface. Divide into 12 even balls, place balls on a greased tray, cover with cloth and set aside in warm place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size.
Preheat oven at 190c. Make crosses. For the crosses use 50g of plain flour, 2tbsp butter. Rub the flour and butter together. Add water to make a soft pastry. Roll between fingers to make a snake! Lay two lengths to make a cross.
Bake for 20 to 25 mins or until cooked through and eat warm with butter – yum!

Creative Discipline Book

Would you like to transform behaviours in a positive manner? Lou’s book ‘Turning Tears into Laughter: Creative Discipline for the Toddler and Preschool Years’ (Five Mile press) will show you how. Available from this site ($12.95 plus $2 postage) Contact Lou, bookshops and libraries.

Learn positive parenting tools to help reduce tantrums, create a more relaxed child-parent relationship and teach children skills that will help them throughout their lives.

Everyday challenging scenarios will be covered to transform ‘tears into laughter’ in family homes. Find out how to deal with common issues like bedtime, mealtimes, sharing, car journeys and much more…

Parent feedback:
 “Best parenting book I have ever read” Sally Jones (mother of two)

“It is the most practical and inspiring book on parenting that I have read. I would not hesitate to recommend it.” Carol Liknaitzy (Early childhood teacher training university lecturer RMIT, Rudolf Steiner teacher, parent of 5, grandparent)

“Almost immediately we saw positive results in his behaviour. (Jacqui Holland, parent)