Children's author Julie Hedlund challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year.
She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity — what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year.
Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one.
I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution, so here is my list for 2017.
I’m super proud of this list. I really put myself out there in 2017, and I honestly cannot wait to see what 2018 brings. Read More
One of my most favourite things I did in 2017 was becoming a book reviewer for Kids' Book Review. I cannot quite explain just how much joy I get from reading. I feel as if books are a part of me, that in my hierarchy of needs, reading comes before breathing.
So I'm not really surprised that I went a little crazy with the book reviewing. In total, this year, I reviewed 91 books. That's like seven and a half books per month! Read More
I recently won a writing competition: the Magic, Mystery or Skateboards competition at Creative Kids Tales.
The prize? An amazing, wonderful, inspiring Faber Writing Academy course at Allen and Unwin. I attended Getting Published as a Writer for Children in Sydney on October 14, and it was one of the best writing courses I have ever attended... Read More
My favourite author of all time is Isobelle Carmody. If you know me, you've probably heard me mention her once or twice.
Recently I had the absolute delight of attending a full-day course presented by Isobelle. It was fabulous. So fabulous, in fact, that I completely forgot to take any photos, which often happens when I go into fan mode... Read More
I am about to set off on a teach-my-four-year-old-the-alphabet journey. We are all over numbers, but the alphabet thing just hasn't clicked for Little Miss Four.
Now, I'm definitely not one of those mums who wants their kids to be reading novels by the time they start preschool, but I am one of those mums who likes to spend some of the day playing games with the kids. So why not make some of those games about learning as well as fun?
Well, that's what I think anyway!
So... Read More
Picture books are magic.
They can make us laugh, make us cry and leave us speechless. Today I want to share some of my favourite ‘made me speechless’ picture books.
The beautiful ones, the inspiring ones, the ones that transport you to someplace ‘other’ and give you chills... Read More
Creatives need ideas. Authors, illustrators, inventors, artists, song-writers, choreographers and more. If we don't have ideas we can't create... Read More
Kids love listening to stories, but they also love telling stories. I love to encourage my kids to tell me stories based on the pictures in a book, but sometimes it's cool to get them to make up stories all on their own... Read More
Anything that has kids doing something creative (and not watching screens) is a win in my eyes, so it likely won’t surprise you when I say I love activity books.
Colouring books, puzzle books, craft books, I love them all. But here are four of my current favourites... Read More
It’s been two weeks since the CYA conference, but I am still buzzing, and the inspiration and creativity it sparked in me has not died down at all.
If you missed CYA this year or attended different sessions, here are some of my conference gems and learnings. I hope they help in your writing journey and inspire you to check out CYA next year... Read More
CYA 2017 was a whirlwind of excitement, learning and nervous anticipation. The CYA team delivered a marvellous conference with over 200 delegates (their biggest yet). We learnt, we mingled, we met up with old friends and we made brand new friends. It was a wonderful, inspiring day.
But how did all that conference prep turn out? And was it worth it? Read More
I am just about to get on a plane and head off to the CYA (Children's and Young Adult) writers and illustrators conference in Brisbane. I've attended many writing workshops, courses, presentations and events over the last few years, but this will be my first major writing conference.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am an organised person, so it will come as no surprise to friends and family that I have literally been preparing for this conference for months... Read More
I love rhyming picture books. I love their rhythmical repetition and sing-song style. And I love how kids remember them and quickly learn to recite them during story time.
There are so many good rhyming picture books available, but here are four of my favourites... Read More
I'm always looking for easy activities to bring along in the car or to restaurants/cafes to keep the kids quiet (and still). Even if it's only for five minutes.
Shoelace threading is a great activity because it requires fine motor skills for both the threading and the unthreading... Read More
Are you and/or the kids looking for a laugh? Do you like to share a giggle before bed? There are so many funny books for kids out there (yeh!), but here are 5 of my current favourite funny books for kids... Read More
So, you’re probably thinking that simply reading a story is going to teach kids about story telling. This isn’t wrong. If you want to know what a story is, you need to read/hear one. But there are some core components to stories that are important to learn, and there are fun ways to teach them... Read More
Critical thinking. It sounds way to complicated for kids, right? But actually this third post in The Story Time Series is really very simple. There is so much picture books can teach kids about critical thinking, and the best part is they won’t even realise they are learning... Read More
Even though story time is about words and language, you’d be surprised how much kids can learn about maths from picture books. So for the second post in The Story Time Series, I’m excited to share my top four ways to teach maths with picture books... Read More
Most kids love hearing stories, and you likely aren’t getting any complaints about story time (though some kids like stories more than others). But no matter how much the kids like books, sometimes it’s just fun to shake things up a bit.
Story time can easily become a fun and interactive game if you know how, so for the first post in The Story Time Series, here are my three favourite ways to turn story time into fun and games... Read More
Story time with kids is a wonderful thing. It’s a chance to snuggle and share and learn and laugh. But have you ever thought about just how much story time can give?
Sure, reading books to kids teaches them about language and how to read, but did you know it can also be used to teach maths, critical thinking and the art of storytelling itself. Stories can also be turned into games, which is great for kids who are not that into story time.
So, in a series of posts (The Story Time Series), I’m going to share with you my favourite ways to enrich story time and use it to have fun and learn with kids. Here’s what I’ll cover... Read More