Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Magical Days - Harry Potter's Birthday

If you’re following along with the Magical Days calendar you might have noticed that it’s Harry Potter’s birthday on Friday (the 31st July). Here are some quick and easy ways to make an ordinary day a little bit extraordinary…
 * If you haven’t already, read the book/s to your children. I know it depends a lot on the maturity/sensitivity of the child, but I think six is a good age to tackle the first book. Harry celebrates his birthday in chapter four and by that stage you’ll both be captivated. 

* Make magic wands. Heaps of ideas on Pinterest and this one looks fairly easy. Be sure to make a few different ones so the wand can choose the wizard.

* Make golden snitches. Those tricky-to-see tiny quidditch balls get a tasty makeover. Look super easy to make too; full instructions here.
Via snazzify lm
 * Play Quidditch. There’s this table-top version or you could really get into it like this one...
Via Martha Shmartha

* Explore J.K. Rowling shares new writing about Harry’s world here and you can also shop for a wand and an owl, then go to Hogwarts to be sorted and complete lots of challenges. (I’m in Hufflepuff!)

* Bake a cake. Whip up a cake for Harry. Love, love, love this one inspired by Hagrid's… 
Via Craft Marmalade

* Cuddle up and watch a movie. Which Harry Potter film is your favourite? Make some popcorn, or the yummy golden snitches above OR you can make things a little more elaborate like we do.

Two years ago we decided to combine watching the first movie (after finishing the first book) with a little afternoon tea party. We soon realised that one book/film per year is actually the best fit for our kid/s so we made it a yearly event. You can see our first Hogwarts Express-inspired party here and last year’s Honeydukes extravaganza here.

This year, after reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I’ve decided to recreate a feast in the great hall – picture floating candles, an enchanted ceiling, house banners and gold plates. I think this house elf has got her work cut out for her this year! 

***UPDATE: You can see how our Goblet of Fire dinner turned out here.***
P.S. Heaps more of my favourite ideas on my Harry Potter Pinterest Board.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Magical Days - July Calendar

Long term readers will have heard me (frequently) mention my friend Hana. She's a mama of three and the creative genius behind Moomookachoo - one of my favourite blogs that is packed full of simple ideas to make family time fun.

Hana's Magical Days Calendars have long been a source of inspiration to me- providing the spark in my quest to make the ordinary extraordinary.

I'm super excited that Hana has asked me to be part of a Magical Days collaboration project. Hana, myself and some other creative bloggers will be sharing some of our ideas for ways to celebrate these out-of-the-ordinary calendar days.

Okay, so it's been July for a few weeks now but I know you'll forgive me because I've been busy enjoying myself in this wide brown land.

If you follow SAHT on Facebook you'll have seen the link to this printable Calendar last week.

So, stay tuned because I'm going to be sharing some awesome ideas for celebrating Harry Potter's birthday!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Ten for Tuesday - Road Trip Edition

We've driven over 4400km in the last month and in spite of a few long days in the car we had an absolute ball. Here are a few of my fave shots from 'On the Road'...

1. Got to love a big car with room to spread out the children (and all our stuff!) | 2. Stopping for brekkie on the road means choosing whatever you want - even the Big Breakfast. | 3. Classic outback views. | 4. It was so much fun to have Grandma come and join us too. | 5. Driving at sunset means watching out for roos as they like to hop out in front of you - don't worry we were going really slowly and he hopped off happily.

6. Passing the time with Uno... | 7. ...Dinosaur play... | 8. ...and travel-sized Connect Four - I think there are still tokens floating around in the back seat. | 9. Easy to tolerate big drives when you've got views like this! Traveling the West MacDonnell Ranges. | 10. Excitement building as we draw closer to Uluru.

It's been a while since we caught up! How's your week month been?

Monday, 20 July 2015

Back Home and Ready for Our Big New Adventure!

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog as we've been busy travelling around this big ol' Territory of ours for the last month. I made a decision to just take a break and enjoy my time exploring with my family and I'm glad that I did because now we are home and ready to embark on our next big adventure.

What is our big new adventure?


I wrote this post nearly two years ago when I first got the idea in my head and since then I've done a lot more reading, research, planning and convincing my husband thinking about the benefits homeschooling could bring all of us.

Sure (as I mentioned two years ago) money and time were and are big factors in our decision, but the biggest motivator for us has been reflecting on the ways that our current education system - even at the best schools in the Territory/country - are failing our kids. 

I disagree with the standardised testing that is becoming the central focus of our learning and is being forced upon children as young as 8. I disagree with the over scheduling of daily routines and strict regulation of time periods that interferes with our childrens' innate desire to learn and explore topics that are interesting to them (what Montessori calls sensitive periods).   

I want a slower, less rigid and more personalised approach to learning for my children. I want a calmer, less rushed and more loving approach to the time we spend together as a family.

So we are jumping in - with open minds and open hearts - for a six month trial, anyway!

Do you homeschool? Helpful advice greatly appreciated.