Sunshine and Storytelling

As much as school holidays don’t affect the Littles and I, it’s a great time to be living close enough to catch a ten minute bus into the city and participate in the plethora of activities on offer, most of them cheap if not free. This week we loaded up the packhorse and wandered down to The Opera House for their Summer at the House program. Not only do they have the amazing Babies Prom performances which are such good value, SATH is a free creative parkland that has been set up in the western foyer with white picket fences, fake grass and sculpture installations awaiting the artworks of young hands to be planted there.

Ari, The King and I spent most of the day being entertained by actors and artists, all building fantastical stories in the sky, assisted by the imaginations of their enraptured audience gathered on cushions (blocks of cheese while we were there) around the story garden.

At a word, thirty hoarding elephants set off at a gallop to the other end of the foyer for craft time, much to the astonishment of the over sixty brigade taking a gentle tour around the building. Ari walked tentatively at first staying close to me but I could tell she desperately wanted to run with the big kids so off I let her go, she looking over her shoulder to check we were following every ten steps.

Here was no library hour manky craft, this was like a $2 shop vomitted all over the swish carpet of the forecourt. There were tubs of pipe cleaners, paddle pop sticks, fluffy balls and rubber bands all destined for a new life as a rainbow insect in the sculpture garden. Darwin would go nuts if he saw it, kinda like the parents all crawling around grabbing every black pipe cleaner they could find for spider making.

We finished the day with a round of performance storytelling before heading home to create our own sculpture garden from the craft cupboard.

I feel lucky everyday that I have access to so many exciting things that help my children develop. Its easy to get stuck at home trying to keep up with the laundry when instead we should be out and about learning! I’ve discovered the GoPlay app, also found at which has a schedule of children’s activities any organised mama would kill for.

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh idea to keep the Littles entertained and I’ve found that the simplest household items make the best impromptu fun. With this in mind I’ve devised a list of activities to keep Lady Hunt sane just a bit longer.

  1. Grab a gazillion plastic tubs, bowls, jugs, sifters whatever you have and fill with water. Sit them under a shady tree and wait for the Littles to discover them. Ari loves to gather frangipani flowers to float in them, while The King is a doll bather through and through.
  2. Play post offices. I save up any courier boxes, poster rolls, stamps etc and get Ari to practice her alphabet by writing letters to deliver at hidden locations around Rainbow Lane. The King is crayon obsessed and likes to get in on the action. Fun!
  3. Build your own storytime garden with paper patty pans, paddle pop sticks, pipe cleaners, anything you have around the house. A bit of florists foam is great for standing it all up.
  4. Practice measuring amounts by making crunchy oat bars from the Mummy and Me Cookbook by Annabel Lindrum, also found on her website. They are beyond delish.

If you have any great ideas we would love to hear them! In the meantime check out GoPlay, choose an activity for next week and lock it in. No time like the present to get out and learn!

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  1. When Lady Hunt can get off the sofa she is definitely going to do all those things!


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