Posts Tagged ‘Yamba’

Gratuitous holiday shots – pic heavy

October 20, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

(Well the ice cream won’t carry, will it?)

Up, up, up….   and DOWN!!!

Some other beachside activities – pic heavy

October 19, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

There were so many other things to do, too.  Like:

Dancing in the lagoon with Aunty M… all the way to the shore.  (It was really freezing cold that day!)

Or a Mexican Fiesta for dinner.

Snuggly stories with Nana

Bike riding, of course.

How about a big walk up to a lighthouse?

A bit tough at the end of a long day at the beach.  Still this bloke seemed to manage it quite well:

And he kindly left some scats for us to examine.  Nothing like a bit of poo to intrigue the boys!

This lighthouse was much easier to get to.  We even got to check it out at night-time.

Possum caught an eel!  They are supposed to be good eating, but I really don’t like eel and I wasn’t about to gut it *blush* so he got thrown back in.  Pretty exciting stuff, ‘though!

And what is better than playing in the dirt with your diggers while waiting for for your salt and pepper calamari?  Well, when a real one gets to work across the road!

Fish and chips on the beach for dinner.  The seagulls got the leftovers.

Mummy and Daddy even got to go out to dinner one night, all by themselves.  We have only been out about five times in the last five years, so this was a real treat.  The boys refused to go to bed, but they did go to sleep.  They left us pictures and “ice-creams” for when we got home.

Aaah!  A great Australian Icon.  I am a sucker for “Big” things.

Actually, the Big Banana has lots of information about how bananas grow.  The boys found it very interesting to see pictures of the trees and flowers.  They then had lots of fun spotting them as we drove past the plantations that line the highway here-abouts.

And there weren’t too many complaints about the giant banana flavoured ice-creams, either!

We also stopped to visit some friends who live on a giant bush property in the hinterland.  This is there yard!  Their “farming” is natural bush regeneration.  The boys had a fantastic time with their girls.

Some books that we used on holidays…

October 18, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

It is always good to have some fresh books to read on holidays (especially ones that rain!), so I was pleased to borrow some books from sister.

"Imagine" by Alison Lester

I asked her to bring this one, although I had really meant to ask her to bring Magic Beach by the same author.  Never mind, Bandicoot was totally inthralled with this book (so much so that he is getting his own copy for Christmas).  AND he especially loved the page with all the undersea animals on it!

"Seashore" by Henry Pluckrose (Walkabout Books)

This book didn’t work so much for me, but gee, Possum loved it.  He got his Aunty to read it to him over and over again.  And when she wasn’t available, he would sit "reading" it to himself.  (Maybe he sensed I didn’t enjoy reading it so much!)

This book isn’t just about the beach, it includes ports and lighthouses etc, as well.  It certainly sparked a LOT of interesting conversations when we went out for walks.  I loved it for that!

This, however, was my favourite:

"Me and My Holiday" by Denise Burt

This one was published in 1974 so both my sisters and I had a nice giggle at the fashions, remembering our childhood holidays.

But more to the point, it is a really nicely told story of a boy and his sister going on holidays to the beach with their parents.  It starts from packing at home, goes through various activities – walks, playing on the sand, rockpools, fishing, swimming – and ends with him saying goodbye to the beach when it is time for the holiday to end.  I especially loved that at the end of the book, the waves licked his toes as the beach said goodbye to him, as well.

And that is how we said goodbye to the beach on the last day of our holidays, too.

My Naturalistes – pic heavy

October 17, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

Now we didn’t spend the entire two weeks inside doing activities.  Despite the rain (and lack of rain-coats, but there you go), we did manage to get out and about quite a bit.  I always love exploring at the beach, and it is even more fun seeing it through the fresh eyes of a child to whom so much is new, or is just connecting with other bits of information locked in their heads.

(Actually, that is something I find really fascinating about Possum at the moment.  He loves learning knew things, but it is really special when he ponders it and then gets that spark as he connects something new with something he already knows and then can come up with his own theories and ideas.)

It is also great fun to delve back into the cobwebbed recesses of our brains when we find something that we knew as kids and haven’t thought about much, since.  There were plenty of opportunities for this, too.

For example – these funny things growing on the rocks.  (We can’t remember or find the name of them – if you know, please tell me!)  When the waves go over the rocks, they drink in the water.  Once they have passed they shoot it out again!

DH remembered these from his boyhood and enjoyed teaching the boys how to squeeze them to make them fire.

I was much more excited to find these:

These are where sandcrabs have dug to make their homes beneath the surface.  As a toddler I used to love sticking my toes down the holes and seeing if I could get a nip.  Bandicoot thought that was hilarious fun; Possum thought we were both a bit crazy.  Look at those perfectly rolled balls of sand.

Possum was far more intrigued with all the varieties of seaweed and seaplants that we found.  He hadn’t realised that there were multiple kinds.  He was less impressed that I wouldn’t let him keep all his samples.

Bandicoot surprised me by preferring to hunt for shells.  The prettier, the pinker or the purpler the better!

Sandpools and rockpools…

One day there were lots of jelly fish washed up on the beach…

Bloodworms or crabs…

Pine nuts, anyone?  This was the ground cover between the Norfolk Pines.  We collected some of the nuts and peeled back the layers to see where pine nuts come from.

A grevillia from the yard where we were staying.

Remember all that rain we mentioned?  Well the place we stayed during the second week was right on the river mouth.  When we arrived, the beaches were thick with foam from the mixture of fresh and sea water.

Patterns in the sand from the waves.  

Beachcombing with Daddy.

Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside! (Picture heavy)

October 16, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

The beginning of October saw us taking a break from our Garden Unit as we spent a two week family holiday at the beach.

I had been excessively enthusiastic preparing materials and activities for this break – who doesn’t get excited about a beach holiday in Spring time?  As it happens, this was not in vain…  Of the two weeks we were away, we only had three "beach" days!

Here are some of the activities that we did:

This was the activity table we had set up.  I was so excited to have the space to actually set up a table like this.  Looking around the table, this is what is displayed:

  • Sea-shell mandalas to colour (the boys ended up not doing this, but I sure enjoyed it!)
  • Our ice-cream shop (We had planned this as our holiday location had a fantastic gelato shop.)
  • Bottle-top fishing
  • Sand playdough
  • Wind-up fishing game
  • Sealife sticker album
  • Teddy bear foamies (I had thought that they would like to do this with their big cousins, but we didn’t end up using them.)
  • Umbrella poke (also unused and ready to pull out one day in summer)
  • Sea-shell counting
  • Sea creature gems

So here we go with the adventures!

This was another idea I had.  I had seen it on quite a few sites, mostly with Montessori influence.  Unfortunately, Possum was not interested in the closed-end nature of the activity (although he had been very excited to learn it involved marbles).  He only did it once.

THIS, however, was a WINNER.  Amazing what you can get for just a few dollars, sometimes.  Both weeks of the holiday were spent at places known for fishing, and Possum especially had been very excited to give it a go.  They had new rods and all sorts of goodies – just no weather to do it in.  (And all the rain was making the run of the fish in the rivers unpredictable.)  This game was played until it fell apart.  Then we bought a baby size screw driver, fixed it, and it was played some more!

Fishing with Nana (my Mum)

Possum catches a fish…  And so does Bandicoot!

Here is one that Bandicoot loved.  He kept coming back to it time and again:

The idea was that they could sort the shapes into the bowls by colour or shape.  He just loved playing with them, spreading them out, pouring them.  Who can blame him?  Don’t they just look lovely?

Setting up with cousin Mel  Loading the tip truck   Pouring.

I was especially happy with this one.  I made my own number cards for counting with sea-shells (I managed to get the bags of shells at a $2- shop).

Possum really enjoyed it.

And how about this idea?  Jellyfish!  While we were away with the extended family, it was my Parents’ Wedding Anniversary.  My Dad passed away many years ago, but we still feel it is important to celebrate.  My parents taught us that it was about the beginning of our family unit, not just about them.

Anyway, having celebrated with the most delightful strawberry sponge sandwich from the local bakery, we were left with two white circles of cardboard.  My sister picked up some crepe paper streamers and look at what she made with the boys!

Did somebody mention playdough???

My boys are absolutely nuts for playdough.  I decided to make some "sand playdough".  They have had a lot of fun with it, but I am really not happy with the texture.  It just seems a bit too sticky to me, especially if we have humid or wet weather.

Still, it isn’t stopping the boys!!

This game:

was an absolute hit!  It is so simple, but so much fun.  It is also easy to take on holidays because you only need to take the bottle caps – a holiday house will provide a bowl and some kind of a slotted spoon.






We didn’t get around to this one during the first week, but, as you can see, the holiday house we had during our second week had an almost purpose built location for this game.

(Yes that is a magnificent beach directly across the road.)

These sticker albums also did not get used until the second week of the holidays.  We opened them as a "cafe activity" one day when we went out to lunch.  The boys really had fun with them.   Having the album was great for Bandicoot, too.  He is really just getting in to stickers.

They enjoyed discussing all the different sea-life.   (Especially Possum, who then enjoyed explaining to Bandicoot.)  They were also excited that there was a squid sticker, as they had just discovered that they are mad for Salt and Pepper Calamari!

Oh, and I nearly forgot to explain the winner amongst winners – the Ice Cream Shop!  How can kids have so much fun with something so simple?  Three months later and they are still mad for it!

Well, it does look intriguing, doesn’t it?

Oooo!  And all those pretty colours!  (The coloured pom-poms have sparkly bits on them, too.)

It can be hard work getting that ice cream in the cone, but oh, so satisfying when you’re done!  Here’s one for you!