July 2015’s picks

IMG_7251Another month of not getting as much done as I would have liked on this site (adding more photos/ tidying the other pages/ playsheets – sorry!) but enjoying lots of moments along the way. I have started taking our two year old to the market at 7am on a Saturday to get the organic veggies for his brother’s first foods. Seeing him carry his basket, wearing his woolly hat and helping me pick some flowers (I admit this is my ulterior motive for going) is just lovely!

This month I succumbed to joining Pinterest. Looks like a great resource for toddler play ideas. Sometimes a photo is all you need to spark an idea and while I subscribe to some blogs I think this might be a more efficient way to find things. Once I have the boards set up I will share them here.

Two things stuck with me from podcasts this month – making time to see friends to give you an energy boost in this and ‘be nice’ in business in this.

If you have received this on email please click here to read this on the website. This just helps me see which links are clicked on so I can have an idea of which areas are of interest. I can’t see who clicks on what but I love seeing that I have had readers from Australia, UK, US, Mauritius, NZ, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, France and Tanzania!

As always please share anything you have found by emailing topickwisely@gmail.com.

To read

  • Quarterly Essay 55: A Rightful Place – Race, recognition and a more complete commonwealth, was a very interesting read.  I learnt more about the history of the colonisation of Australia and the challenges that the indigenous population have encountered since. I was interested in Noel Pearson’s concept of a layered identity; and in the work needed to maintain a record of the history of place names and songs as there is a real risk that these will lost if these are not recorded now.
  • A quick grab from the new books at the library was Craft for the Soul, How to get the most out of your creative life by Pip Lincolne of the blog Meet Me at Mike’s. It is not quite what I imagined from the cover – as in craft that is fulfilling (I didn’t read the subtitle); instead it is about how you can get your goals straight and make time for these and inspire your creativity. I tried her idea of writing your ‘pages’ daily (just dumping down your stream of consciousness to clear your head) and found this was good for clearing my head but I have struggled to keep it up. I want to come back to it as it has lots of little ‘exercises’ for you to work through.
  • Not sure how I can apply Eric’s tips relating to sleep when little people are in charge of the alarm clock!
  • Building reading habits – once the boys are into more of a routine think I will be setting my alarm to get more from my mornings before everyone is up (Mr S you can stay in bed too!).  James has some interesting books in his top 100.
  • Pretty blog – http://mynameisyeh.com/
  • 38,000 words but interesting to scan through this article on ‘What is code?’.
  • Useful read for sharing with friends (in the nicest possible way) if you are about to have a baby.
  • Good reminders about getting the most from online courses.

To listen to

  • For a laugh/ cringe (not suitable for little ears) – ABC Confession Booth
  • Few good ones on Longest Shortest Time – No. 58 ( about raising twins. I want to check out Roman Mars’s shows on http://99percentinvisible.org/ ) No. 59 ( about how children identify when growing up in families with mixed backgrounds).
  • Some good recent podcasts (320, 323, 324) on workingmotherhood.com – interviews with working moms and their stories. It was really nice to hear how people go through challenges and there are so many ways of doing things but you need to look after yourself and significant relationship/ marriage as priorities.  In 326 I thought that Kenda’s attitude to fitness was on the extreme side (wanting to do a half ironman before her son turned one!) and the need to let your body adequately recover to avoid prolapse was not appropriately highlighted.
  • Thinking beyond screen ‘time’ and more about ‘content’ and ‘timing’ with children’s media habits.
  • Web-based children’s radio – Kinderling.

To watch

  • We are a bit behind but really enjoying Downton Abbey – just started season 3.
  • This video on consent is very funny based on this blog.

Toddler activities

These have worked well:

  • Buying a ribbon for twirling and watching the professionals on YouTube like this.  White Rabbit Gallery shop in Sydney sells them.
  • Making things on a little table at his level – sandwiches for lunch; muffins etc.
  • New playdough recipe allows colouring after it is made – use disposable gloves for this part!
  • Shaving foam to do digger washing outside/ handprints on walls. Inspired by lots of examples on Pinterest.
  • Doing a self check of ‘do we want to put this idea in his head?’ before you suggest an activity as he has a memory like an elephant and obviously remembers the more unsuitable ideas first.
  • Trying to remember to use ‘priming’ to give him notice of what is coming up next. Also good for before watching a show by roughly talking about what he might see and things to spot to make watching more ‘active’.
  • Recycling paintings for another activity session – layering with glitter/ drawing on top/ making paper roses (cut a spiral from a circle and wind outside in on a cocktail stick and glue down).
  • Photocopying ‘Word’ picture books for cutting out.  Some confusion in that I can’t help him get the object out of the book with the photocopier.
  • Playing with dyed rice with containers/ diggers etc.  Gets very messy so put inside a big box.

To try next month:

  • Making mini worlds from felt to move around and tell stories with.
  • Making a family scrapbook with Nanny and Grandpa when they come to stay – hope they have found some good photos of daddy!


To connect

  • Taking the Enneagram personality test and comparing your results with family /friends is quite fun.

Hope you found something of interest.