Picture book activities

There are some amazing picture books out there and we have recently done some great craft activities based on our favourite books. Both the kiddies really love making the connection between what we read and what we make.



We made the MASSIVE COOKIE from ‘Wild Boars Cook’ (Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall). The recipe is on the last page of the book.


I remember ‘Corduroy’ (Don Freeman) from when I was little, and this is a follow-up. When I was at primary school, we made knitted bears and Mum helped me sew overalls for my bear to look like Corduroy.


Both my little ones love ‘A river’ (Marc Martin). They trace the river on every page of the book and also make sure they find the boat every time. For this activity, we drew patterns with crayon like the patchwork in the book, then painted over it with watercolours.


‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ (Eric Carle)


And perhaps a lesser known Eric Carle book, ‘The Bad-tempered Ladybird’. The best bit of this activity was discussing which way we were going to put the mouths to make both a happy and a grumpy ladybird.



‘The Rainbow Fish’ (Marcus Pfister)


We actually made this entire book again redrawing the illustrations because she loved it so much. It’s a great story – very cute! ‘Crayon’ (Simon Rickerty)



This one looks a little crude, but it was a LOT of entertainment. Especially when we went hunting around the house for all the elephants we could find! We also kept this box for a long time as a play thing. ‘Too many Elephants in this House’ (Ursula Dubosarsky).

What’s your favourite picture book activity? Please comment below.

I try to keep my pinterest files up-to-date with our latest fave reads if you need some library-inspiration:

Ages 0-2
Ages 2-3
Ages 3-4


My fave… of 2015

It’s nice to look back and reflect…

My fave recipe book: 250 must-have slow cooker recipes

My fave dessert: Meringues (which I finally mastered, after many failed attempts) with my homemade lemon curd.

My fave savoury dish: Lamb shanks done in the slow cooker. I’ve done them lots of ways and they are consistently amazing! Plus the leftovers go into the piemaker.

My fave read: Counting by 7s – Holly Goldberg Sloan.

My fave TV shows: Fargo and True Detective.

My fave tea: T2 released a caramel brownie tea, and I got a sampler, but never got anymore before it was off the shelves. Devastating.

My fave blog: The Measured Mom for great educational printables.

My fave garden success: Bringing my lemon tree back to life… with gusto!!

My fave DIY project: making a pallet garden.

My fave kiddie product: Actually, my slow cooker. Makes me a lot more available to the children!

My fave new shop: The Cup & Mug – Polish pottery.

My fave new cafe: Est. 1906, Seddon.

My fave entertaining-for-the-kiddies cafe: Est. 1906, Seddon.

My fave take-away: Godfather’s Pizza, Yarraville. Old-school pizza – the kids love it!

My fave place for a drink: Littlefoot Bar, Footscray.

My fave clothes shop: Pash, in Pt. Fairy. Same as the previous year.

My fave useful purchase: A family-sized tent. Never underestimate the advantages to internal doors in your tent.

My fave pretty, but unnecessary, purchase: A Gorman dress. Covered in moths. Yes.

My fave parenting moment: It’s happened more than once, and will hopefully continue for a long time… when I walk into a room and Adella is reading Arlo a book.

Happy New Year!!


A dash of Christmas

Sheesh. Where does life go?

I had all these fabulous ideas for an advent calendar. And then I was in Kmart (I love that store). They had these calendars for $7, so I bought one, pulled out all the crappy lollies and refilled it with less crappy ones. Done.


I saw a really cute post of a wall hanging made from pompoms (#mysugarandcloth) and it inspired me to make a Christmas wreath. Mine is not as classy as it is just on a ring of cardboard. It was really looking like it just wasn’t going to happen as it was taking me forever to make the pompoms… but I suddenly had a genius moment: Why wind 1 string of wool around a template, when you can wind 10? And suddenly the last 2/3 of it was done in two sittings!! Am I late to catch onto that or what?


My annual cookie swap was fabulous… look at the deliciousness:


Donna Hay introduced me to mince pie icecream sandwiches (literally chopped supermarket mince pies mixed in vanilla icecream!!!) in her latest magazine – sorry, no photos – got eaten tooooooo quickly.

And finally, another everybody-friendly dessert:


I had an image of an old-school sponge cake in my head, and that’s what inspired me. Two gingerbread cakes from this ‘Christmas in a glass’ recipe, with the centre layer filled with coconut icecream (2 tins coconut milk and 3/4 cup brown sugar churned in my icecream maker) and coconut chips, and the top is more icecream with raspberries, cherries, pomegranate and mint. This is vegan, FODMAP-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. ‘Twas delish.

That’s all from me. Gotta go pack the car with camping gear. Merry Christmas!


Rainy day fun

I just have to share this one… it was so much fun! The credit goes to an amazing website, made by joel, it is absolutely full of wonderful colouring-in pages and I can’t wait to try these paper city printables.

We spent a bit of time making this AMAZING aquarium!

IMG_4805IMG_4809 First, colouring in…

IMG_4806And a bit of button-play…


And voila! How cute is that??? And we can slide the fishies along from side-to-side.


Next rainy day? This beauty is getting some paint! With a bit of pipe-cleaner seaweed and a sprinkle of sand methinks!


Low FODMAP salted dark chocolate delicious tart (egg-free)

My favourite tart recipe in the world is Donna Hay’s Dark Chocolate Pretzel Tart. Dark chocolate and salt? The best combination ever. Ever.

(Her recipe is in Issue 64 2012)

And here is my egg-free, FODMAP-friendly version:


  • 120g gluten-free digestive biscuits
  • 120g gluten-free pretzels
  • 180g butter, melted
  • 375g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp of your fave liqueur (I used drambuie)

Process the biscuits and pretzels to crumbs and add the butter until combined. Press into a tart tin and throw in the fridge for about an hour.

Place dark choc, coconut milk and liqueur in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Pour into biscuit base and refrigerate until set.


The above pic is decorated with coconut chips – they are delish and have no preservatives added.

If you have extra pretzels and chocolate leftover, dip the pretzels in melted chocolate and use them to decorate the top.


Peppa Pig Party

Was there ever going to be any other theme?

I decided that a Peppa Pig-shaped cake was going to be too much effort, and after being sent this buzzfeed (thanks Nic!), I decided it wasnt’ worth the risk! But, on pinterest, I saw a Women’s Weekly cake that had been adjusted, so I thought I’d do my own version of that. A purple jelly muddle puddle, green coconut grass, a little Peppa and some Happy Birthday bunting. I did my usual sugar-free banana cake, since the icing had so much in it!



We had chocolate crackle muddy puddles with wriggly worms, fairy bread, spring rolls, lots of fruit, cheese, crackers and a stellar bbq. Plus warming mulled wine for the mummas and daddas to try and counteract the chilly weather.


I made a (somewhat operatic) Peppa Pig ball throw.

With, of course, some bubbles for blowing.IMG_4732

And a big muddy puddle for jumping!




A lovely local lady has made a fabulous facebook group for the selling and recycling of party products. Such a fab idea! My ball throw has already moved on to delight another three-year-old!

Last year we did a Transportation Birthday Party.


A dinosaur birthday party

A brainstorming session with my toddler meant that my bubba got a dinosaur party. Not because he loves dinosaurs, but because Peppa Pig’s little brother had a dinosaur party. That pig has a lot to answer for.


I made a dinosaur-spiked tee from here. It was SO easy and SO quick. Such a great tutorial.


I watched this video and used this template for the cake. I used my ol’ sugar-free banana cake recipe (see below) with buttercream icing.


I found a dinosaur sandwich-cutter at Officeworks.

IMG_4267And something little for the adults! (Half white, half bubbles and fruit).


And, finally, some “lolly bags”.


(I was quite proud of my dino pasta thankyou cards).

We had some craft activities to do to, but we just didn’t need them! Cubby houses, scooters, bikes and food are all too exciting.


Sugar-free Banana Cake Recipe

  • 125g butter
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups SR flour (I used part white, part wholemeal)
  • 1/2 cup milk (any milk works fine if you need to go dairy-free)

Cream butter and bananas together. Add eggs and beat well. Gently add flour and milk. Bake for about 25 mins at 180 until a cake tester comes out clean.