Monday, 15 April 2013

Let's Celebrate!

 I have several things I am lucky enough to be able to celebrate and share today.

1. My first guest blog thanks to Morgen Baily is now viewable at

2. My first Giveaway on Goodreads is almost complete. The response has been far more than I could ever have imagined. 578 requests at time of writing and still rising!Thankyou to all those wonderful people who have entered the giveaway.

Gingerbread Aliens by Sandra Bennett
Gingerbread Aliens
Meet the three cheeky Bradberrie brothers, Brian the curious scientist, Simon the youngest and most mischievous and David who is always nervous about…more View Details »
Giveaway dates: Mar 17 - Apr 17, 2013
10 copies available, 578 people requesting

3. On a persoanl note, my second son and his lovely girlfriend announced their engagement! I am so pleased and happy for them both and wish them all the best for a wonderful future together. :)

This brought me to thinking about parties....... 

birthday parties for kids! Over the years we certainly have had our share. Some that were really successful and others not quite so good! One in particular comes to mind that we thought should have been a fantastic experience for our eldest son and his friends.
Mr 12 yr old informed us he was big enough to have a bushwalk for his birthday party and we didn't need to go with them ! "Oh No!" I hear you say. "You didn't agree!" Well, we kind of did. We gathered the boys together, at a local bushwalking track that our family had been on many times before. The boys were determined to go it alone. My husband drew a map in the sand with a stick to explain where they needed to go. They all nodded in agreement that they understood. BIG MISTAKE!

Never assume a 12yr old knows what he is looking at or what he is doing! I had a bad feeling, but agreed to let them go on ahead, giving them a 5 minute start. We would then follow, seemed like a reasonable compromise to me. After all, how much trouble could a group of boys get into if only 5 minutes ahead of us?

We finished the bushwalk and returned to the designated meeting place, but surprise, surprise, the boys were not there!

Fortunately one of them had a mobile phone, which my husband promptly rang. Where were they? Down by the waterfall....but there was no waterfall on the walk they should have been on!

We had to try to get them to backtrack, but the more they did, the more lost they became.
Have you ever watched the 'Blair Witch Project"? Fear and terror could be heard in the voices in the background over the phone rather similar to that movie. I went home  to try to calmly explain to waiting parents that the boys had gone on a longer walk than planned, while my husband desperately tried to talk them out. Luckily, just as he was ready to give up and prepared to call Search and Rescue, the boys finally appeared. Exhausted, thirsty and elated !

The moral to this story, keep the party organised and never let your child or
your husband talk you into anything you can't control !!

In other words party games at home are probably the best solution all round. As usual being keen to keep the kids reading while having fun, here's a few ideas for games that the kids will love and be reading along as they go!

1. Celebrity Heads: / Animal Heads (For younger kids)
   Use thick strips of cardboard to print names of celebrities (or animals) and staple together in a circle to fit heads.
One person at a time sits out the front with a celebrity name on their head. They have to guess who they are by asking questions. The audience can only reply with yes or no.

2. Charades:
 Always a fun one. You can use a ready bought pack of cards or make a stack of cards  yourself. Use TV shows, movies, books etc the kids will know.

3. Pass the Parcel with a Twist:
As the parcel is passed around the circle, when the music stops and the person with the parcel has to open a layer, inside they find a note they must read. It will tell them to perform an action, sing a song, tell a tale etc.

4.Secret Message Mystery:
A fun relay race for indoors or out.
Write an invisible message on two sheets of paper. Use Magical ink to write the message. (Magic Ink is easily made with lemon and water.) When the pages are dry add them to two seperate stacks of paper. Diviide the party goers into two groups. One player from each team must race down to their plie and take the top sheet of paper. Return to the team and using a torch see if they can read the message. Keep going until they find the message and perform the task.

5. Word Scramble.
Think of appropriate party words,(themed if the party is themed.) Write each word in large print on cardboard that you can cut into pieces so that each letter is seperated. Place each word in a pile of its own.
Each team may have three or more words to unscramble.
To make this a little quicker and easier to prepare, if you have the game Scrabble you can use the tiles. 

6. Story Challenge Game.
Great for sleep-overs when it is time to settle down into sleeping bags.
Give each team a funny or unusual setting, character etc to start their story written on a piece of paper. It can be used anywhere in the story, not necessarily at the beginning. Each person in the team must add their sentence or two to complete the story. It can go for 2 minutes, 5 or even 10, depending on their imagination. The other team has to try and work out which line was the story starter. eg "In a candy striped house beside the chocolate flowing river an orange bird chirped."

Last but not least Read them a favourite story to settle.

As always have lots of fun reading. :)

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