Friday, 8 March 2019

Spring is in the air...

I'm really enjoying the longer days and am delighted to see the flowers beginning to bloom in my garden. I love the bright splashes of yellow daffodils on the verges that follow the white and purple mix of snowdrops and crocuses. Everything begins to feel so much brighter and we all begin to look forward to the warmer weather to come.

Many teenagers are preparing for the summer exams and quite a few will have received their results for the January sitting. We're still a year away at least from exams here, thank goodness, and I am determined to make the most of our remaining exam-free time by revisiting some of the resources on the Picture Book Explorers website and, hopefully, getting a couple of new ones in there too :)

When my kids were younger, we used Picture Book Explorers to fit the season. For spring we would choose The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck or Granny Sarah & the Last Red Kite. We would explore Wales, the Lakes, birds, feathers, wind and trees. We would go out to look at ducks and visit places where red kites could be seen flying overhead. Happy days :)

The Boat is another spring-ish one if you want to explore rain - we've certainly had plenty of that round here the last few days :/ And of course, you may want to explore Ireland as St Patrick's Day approaches with either Fog Island or The Day the Crayons Quit - that one was a definite favourite here

Another project that's perfect for this time of year is the Linked Lapbook ~ Sowing and Planting. This is a full hands-on project with science activities as well as minibooks to record the progress of the plants you grow, be they flower, fruit or veg :) Actually, that might tie in nicely with Floss where you explore farms and farming :)

Oh, and of course, Mother's Day is fast approaching. Have you seen the My Mum Mini Lapbook that you can make on a piece of A4 card? It's a lovely little project that can be finished in a very short time. It can be completed as an interview between mother and child, or maybe another adult or older sibling can help with it to make a very personal surprise gift for Mum on Mother's Day. Why not add a photo or drawing of Mum to the cover? It will be great to look back at in years to come :)

D'you know what? Seeing as how it's Mother's Day soon, I'm going to give a FREE copy of My Mum Mini Lapbook with every purchase made through the Picture Book Explorers website throughout the rest of March.


Happy Exploring!

Friday, 1 February 2019

It's Snow Use....

We've been enjoying freezing temperatures and some long awaited snow here this week. It's been great for cosying up in the house in pyjamas with hot chocolate in between dashing out to measure the thickness of the ice and the depth of the snow.

We've watched the birds and observed their footprints in the garden as well as spotting the different size prints of all the neighbours' dogs as we walk up and down the street. I love these simple winter pleasures 😊

We've not had enough snow quite just yet for sledging, but my kids live in hope. I think I'll stay home and make sure the fire is lit and the kettle is on for when they get back 😉



There are so many ways to make good use of the snow. Freezing water-filled balloons is one Boykin wants to try again tonight and I'm thinking of hanging my towels out overnight to dry (or not) to find out whether or not it's true that frost softens them. I also want to try putting leaves and berries in water filled bowls to make ice hangings for my garden. I've seen them on pinterest and they look so pretty :)

I'd love to hear about your favourite snow activities. Please leave a comment below or drop me a line 🙋

There are Picture Book Explorers just perfect for this time of year and this kind of weather. You can have fun with the art activity in Greyfriars Bobby, or enjoy exploring frost with The Best Christmas Present in the World. Or take full advantage of the weather and explore snow in a very hands-on way with Picture Book Explorers ~ Black Dog.






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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Lapbook Tutorial #2

Have you ever wanted to make lapbooks that are different sizes?

This video demonstrates how to make a mini-lapbook base. They're used for the mini-lapbook packs I have on TeachersPayTeachers and Currclick and we've also used them for quick projects than can be completed in a day.
For instance, we made a quick Denmark one for book group - it had a flag, map, a layered minibook with information about the country and a minibook about Hans Christian Anderson. All the minibooks were made from scratch. The covers had written titles for the most part, but The Girl drew a picture of the little mermaid on the front of the Hans Christian Anderson minibook.

We've also used this method to make bigger lapbook bases to use as a display board when we have done geography fairs at our local Home Ed group. We used stiffer card from a cardboard box for that and covered it in coloured paper :)

I hope you enjoy this sort video. I will be making more, so subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss them :)




Happy Exploring!



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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Lapbook Tutorial #1

How to make a lapbook base from an A4 document wallet

This is my favourite way to make a lapbook base. It's very quick and easy.



Make sure to buy good quality document wallets. The stronger, the better. Avoid the ones from the pound shop. They tend to be grey inside and VERY flimsy. It's worth paying a bit extra, believe me. Our lapbooks have been taken out so often to be admired, re-explored and re-read and I've found that the cheap wallets just don't hold up to so much handling, much to Boykin's disappointment.

I'm so glad that we found lapbooks. They encouraged him to take a real pride in his work  👩

Happy Exploring!




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Friday, 4 January 2019

Woohoo! I won an award!

Have you spotted the lovely bright Blue Ribbon in the sidebar? -------->

I'm so excited to be able to tell you that I have received this Blue Ribbon for Favourite Elementary Product 2018 as voted by The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew for Picture Book Explorers ~ Paddington.

This means so much to me because the voting was done by other home educating parents. These are people who use  a lot of different resources and are very discerning about quality and value. I don't mean simply monetary value, but real, educational value. I feel very honoured and humbled to receive this 👩

Oh my goodness! Is this post turning into an Oscar speech? I am just so grateful that these family took the time to learn and explore with this pack. Thank you, thank you all 😍

You can find links to all the different reviews here.

My own favourite memories of exploring Paddington with my own children have to be all the foam activities - meringues, elephants toothpaste, foam painting Paddington...


… and shaving foam fun 😂


There was a good dose of academic learning went on too with maps, maths, creative writing, architecture and science 📚

You may be interested to know that Michael Bond, the author of Paddington Bear was born on 13th January 1926, making this a perfect tome to  explore the book 👩

You can find Picture Book Explorers ~ Paddington on the Branch Out World website, on Teachers Pay Teachers and Currclick.

I'd love to know what messy fun your kids get up to. Leave a comment below :)

Happy Exploring!

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