Aussie Animals Charades

Aussie Animals Charades - teach children about Aussie Animals with this role playing game

Sponsored by Woolworths

Aussie Animals Charades -  teach children about Aussie Animals with this role playing game

Most kids love animals – they love learning about them, caring for them and pretending to be them. I was inspired to try this Aussie Animals Charades game with Pebble this week after collecting Aussie Animals trading cards from Woolworths. Woolworths and Taronga Conservation Society have launched a fun collection of 108 Aussie Animals cards, helping to educate Aussie kids about native animals.

Our Aussie Animals adventure began with our visit to the Woolworths with Pebble in her kangaroo onsie, complete with her joey in her pouch. She hopped up and down the aisles and gave the other shoppers a bit of a giggle. When we had finished our shop we happily gathered up our collection of Aussie Animals cards. Lucky for us the cards are free with every $20 spent in Woolworths.

Aussie Animals Charades - children discover Aussie Animals with this fun role playing game

Pebble’s favourite card is the Ulysses Butterfly but she is quite fascinated with them all. She especially loves learning about which animals are dangerous. I’m quite enjoying learning some new facts too – did you know that a Barking Owl can eat other animals the size of a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo? And that a Green Jumping Spider forces blood into it’s legs to jump up to 25 times it’s own height. Eeeek!

Aussie Animals Charades - a role playing game to teach children about Aussie Animals

Aussie Animals Charades

You will need:

  • a collection of Aussie Animals trading cards
  • a curious kid (or three)

To play:

  • place the cards into a box (we used an empty tissue box)
  • take turns to choose a card from the box (no peeking!) and act out the animal that you’ve picked.
  • other players guess which animal is being portrayed.
  • repeat!

Make it easier:

  • Choose five or six trading cards to put on display for all players to see. Each player acts out one of the animals of their choice from the selection.

Make it harder:

More fun with Aussie Animals

Visit the Woolworths Aussie Animals website for lots of fun ways to play, cook, create and trade cards.

Which Aussie animal would your kids like to learn about?

More games for kids:

Silly-Sounds-Game-Octavia-and-VickyDIY-Board-Game Octavia and Vicky Improvision Game for Kids

37/52 and 38/52

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Two weeks has flown by, with my trip away I missed  my weekly photo update for the first time. I’m pretty impressed that I made it to 36 weeks! It’s catch up week now :)
37-52 pebble 38-52 pebble

 Pebble – 3 years, 8 months – Pebble was totally fine while I was away, she didn’t miss me a bit, she was too busy playing with Daddy, Aunty Julie and her cousin. I think some of the usual house rules may have been bent a little too, so she was loving life! (ummm, eating dinner in bed?!).

37-52 Rocky 38-52 Rocky

Rocky – 28 weeks – 6 months – This guy. He was a gem while we were away, he won over lots of blogger hearts and had lovely days with his Grandma. Since we’ve been home he’s been teething and the poor mite has been very snuggly and quite fond of the boob. As in I-need-boob-in-my-mouth-all-night-to-sleep. Hmmm. If you have any tips for dealing with this, please do share!

See those pretty green beads that Pebble is wearing? And the yellow ones that Rocky is clinging to? They were a lovely gift from Mumma Bubba, who make gorgeous teething jewellery that is non-toxic and BPA free. I have worn mine non-stop. Rocky loves to chew on them and I love the pop of colour they give to my every day outfits. I wasn’t asked to write  post about them, this is a non-sponsored shout out for a product that I just love, and thought more people might like to know about :)

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013

52 A Portrait a Week

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky


Finger Foods for Babies

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes

Sponsored by Fisher-Price

Baby Rocky is LOVING his finger foods. We started introducing solids about a week before he turned six months old and he has not stopped eating since. Anyone would think I had been starving him! He will eat pretty much anything I throw at him which has really encouraged me to offer him lots of new bits and pieces to try.

We are using a baby led weaning approach, which means lots of finger food and some spoon food offerings, like yoghurt, mashed banana and mashed veggies. Rocky is most happy when he’s got two fistfuls of food and a spoon headed for his face :) I thought you might like to try some of Rocky’s favourite finger foods with your baby at home.

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes

Finger Foods for Babies

Pita bread and guacamole

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes - Pita Bread and Guacamole
Pita Bread and Guacamole Dip

Rocky loves flavour. When I offered him plain avocado he ate it, but he really wasn’t that into it. Then I gave him some of my dinner one night (or he snatched it out of my hand, however you like to look at it!). We were having wraps and he munched on my pita bread spread with guacamole. He couldn’t get enough of the stuff! To prepare, just warm the pita bread in the oven, wrapped in foil, until it’s gently warm and nice and soft (check the heat before offering it to baby!). For the guacamole, mash together the flesh from one avocado, half a peeled and grated garlic clove and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spread the guacamole on to triangles of pita bread and watch the demolition commence.

Chickpea patties

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes - Chickpea Patties
Chickpea Patties

This tasty little morsel fits right into a hungry fist. I adapted this recipe from the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook using a stick blender, which makes it so easy to throw together. Grab a bowl and chuck in one tin (400g) of drained and rinsed chickpeas, 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon each of ground coriander and ground cumin, 1 onion (chop it in half or quarters), the juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons of flour and a little bit of black pepper. Blitz with the stick blender until smooth, then shape into fist sized patties and pan fry in a tiny bit of oil. The whole family ate these for dinner, they were so delish (ok, Pebble tasted them – which is called winning around here).
Tip: Pop the mixture into the fridge for an hour or so before shaping into patties. It will come together much more easily.

Parmesan chicken fingers

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes - Parmesan Chicken Fingers
Parmesan Chicken Fingers

What kid doesn’t love nuggets? You can make your own healthy version that any hungry baby, child or adult will devour. Just slice a chicken breast into long, finger sized pieces (about 5cm in length allows bubs to easily grab one end and gnaw on the other). Coat the chicken fingers in natural yoghurt, then roll in a mixture made of equal quantities breadcrumbs and finely grated parmesan cheese. Bake in a hot oven (200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit) for 15 – 20 minutes, turning once.

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes

Since having kids we’ve tried a few different high chairs, at home, at friends houses and at cafes. I have simple needs – I like a high chair that’s safe, easy to clean and adjustable.

Lucky me, as Fisher Price Play Ambassador I was sent the Grow With Me High Chair to try out. Tough gig, right?

Pebble was pretty excited to see the big box arrive on our doorstep and had fun ‘helping’ me put it together. The Fisher Price Grow With Me High Chair meets ticks all my boxes and has a few extra features that are quite nifty. The grippy tray keeps plates, bowls and snacks from slipping all over the place and the different height options make it easy for children to join the family at the table.

Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes Baby Finger Food Recipes - Baby Led Weaning Recipes

Rocky was nice and comfy in the Grow With Me High Chair at dinner time. The tray is in just the right spot to catch all his dropped bits and pieces, and can easily be adjusted to allow more space for his round tummy as he grows. The tray also removes completely, which is perfect for toddlers who want to eat dinner at the table like a big kid, without needing a booster seat or a pile of wobbly cushions. The legs can also be adjusted to allow for different table heights. Pebble gives it a big thumbs up! She’s been using the Grow With Me High Chair to sit comfortably at the table to draw, eat and do puzzles.

Fisher Price Grow With Me High Chair - Perfect for Babies and Toddlers 2 Fisher Price Grow With Me High Chair - Perfect for Babies and Toddlers

The only problem I’m going to have with this high chair is two kids fighting over who gets to sit in it!


Would you like to win a Fisher Price Grow With Me High Chair? Just tell me what is the silliest/funniest/weirdest thing you’ve ever done to try and get your kids to eat their dinner.

This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. Open to Australian residents only. Entries close Saturday, 28th September, 2013.

Looking for more family food ideas?

Printable Family Meal Planner Quesadillas - Cooking with Kids - Family Dinners Lentil and Vegetable Lasagne - Cooking with Kids - Family Dinners

Ten things I’m afraid to tell you

Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen - pay attention to it

Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen - pay attention to it

I’m back from the Problogger 2013 Conference and my head and heart are full of fluttery ideas that feel just out of my reach. There are so many ideas that I want to put into motion RIGHT NOW but reality is stopping me in my tracks. Or at least making the wheels really, really squeaky. But that’s ok. I’m still listening to the audio from sessions I missed, still flicking through my notes, still being inspired days later. And to be fair, my reality is pretty awesome. These kids. This guy. This family.

Did you know there’s a project called 365 Grateful by Hailey Bartholomew? I didn’t. But I do now. It seems I may have my head up my own arse, because this project is kind of a Big Deal. Hailey is inspirational and humble and I had the pleasure of meeting her at the conference. And she had the … experience… of meeting me. I met her as the panel were coming off the stage from the presentation. I was speaking too fast and probably not making much sense, trying to tell her about 52 Weeks of Grateful, assuring her I wasn’t trying to steal her idea, telling her how much I loved the power of gratitude. It ended kinda awkwardly and we both went on our way.

But that’s me. I’m kind of awkward sometimes. I have my foot almost permanently in my mouth. I never know what to say to people so I either say nothing or say too much or say the wrong thing.

Maybe that’s why I like blogging so much. I get to edit what I say before I say it.

The truth is, I’m a dag. Take it or leave it, that’s who I am.

This week I’m grateful for ME and accepting myself in all my daggy glory. To celebrate this I’m going to share some words motivated by another inspiring blogger, Brooke from Slow Your Home.

10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

1. I’m a dag (see above). 

2. My kids watch too much TV.

Especially since Rocky was born. Thank goodness for Aunty ABC.

3. Sometimes we have toast for dinner. 

Or beans. Or bits and pieces of whatever at the back of the fridge. I’m always sharing the photos of my delicious home-cooked meals on Instagram, but I rarely show you the nights that we just had toast. Because who wants to see that?

4. I used to be a boy band groupie.

I followed Take That around Australia with my mates when I was 16 years old. In my final year of high school. It was one of my most incredible experiences of my life. No regrets.

5. I go to bed at nana o’clock.

And I don’t function without sleep. Which makes this whole baby thing a bit tricky!

6. I swear too much. 

WAY too much. Swear jar!

7. I listen to talk back radio. 

The dagginess knows no bounds. I like ABC Radio National, thank you very much.

8. I had (have?) PND.

It’s pretty much under control now, but there have been some of the darkest days of my life since Rocky was born. I didn’t know that things could get so black. I got help. Are you ok? If you’re feeling blue, please get help too.

9. I hate the beach. 

Well, I hate swimming at the beach. I like looking at the beach, walking on the beach. But seaweed, sand, bathers, sun burn, carrying all the things, in all the heat, with all the people. No, thanks.

10. I’m a chronic stress head.

I’m a worrier. I worry before there is anything to worry about. I could worry for Australia in the worry-Olympics.

Phew! Well, that was…. terrifying. Here’s something else I learned at Problogger from the Problogger himself: Fear is a signal that something important is about to happen ~ pay attention to it. This is me. Paying attention to my fear.

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

10 Ways to Play with Loose Parts

This week I shared how we played with picture frames and loose parts. Here is some more inspiration to get playing with loose parts:

Play with Loose Parts - Mirrors and Blocks

Exploring Loose Parts and Mirror Play (One Perfect Day)

A free printable giving you lots of loose parts inspiration (Nurture Store)

The theory of loose play (An Everyday Story)

Loose parts for creative and imaginative play (Childhood 101)


Tabletop Loose Parts (No Time for Flash Cards)

Loose Parts with Nature (Precious Childhood)

Chalkboard and Loose Parts (Picklebums)

Chalk Board and Loose Parts

Sticky Board Story Telling (My Little Bookcase)

Numbers and Natural Materials (Learn with Play at Home)

An Invitation to Play in the Mud (Painting on the Ceiling)

Invitation to Play in the Mud!

And now for MORE creative play ideas, with The Kids Co-Op!