Toddler Music Footscray Arts Centre

Since our move westside we have been discovering new places to hang out with the kids. An early favourite has been the weekly Music for Toddlers classes at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Footscray Community Arts Centre is a really fantastic family-friendly space by the banks of the Maribyrnong River, even if you’re not attending a special class there. But every Tuesday and Wednesday morning during school term Razz Mussen, the front person of The Might bUZZniks, holds a 45 minute music and dance class in one of the large studios.

The class was lots of fun, with lots of different instruments to play – maracas, drums, spoons – as well as segments experimenting with voices, clapping and movement. The best thing was that we didn’t sing nursery rhymes – the music was modern and funky, from Scissor Sisters to Daft Punk.

The classes are suitable for kids age 1-3 years old. Baby 2.0 just happily sat in the pram watching the goings-on while Lady AB raced around, laughing and singing and doing the actions. So while I don’t think it’s ever too young to start a musical education I think older kids will get more out of the session, as they’re able to hold instruments and follow instructions.

As an added bonus, your $20 fee includes a free coffee at the kid-friendly Happy River Café in the Footscray Community Arts Centre complex.

Music for Toddlers, Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray

Every Tuesday and Wednesday during school term
9:30 am – 10.15am and 10.30 – 11.15am
1 – 3 years
$20 per session (includes a free coffee at Happy River Cafe) or $140 per term (8 sessions). Class runs as a drop in session. No bookings required though there’s a limit of 15 families per session. Full term pass available, click here to book.

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Anzac Day is an important day for our family because it wasn’t too long ago that we discovered that one of T’s forebears fought in France in World War 1. T and I visited various war memorials in France and as we silently stared at the rows and rows of white tombstones I wept and wept for those poor boys buried halfway across the world from their families.

I think the meaning of Anzac Day is actually quite a difficult subject to broach with children as every question leads to another question. So here is a selection of Anzac Day picture books which deal war, family, tragedy, death and life.

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The Poppy by Andrew Plant. Stunningly illustrated in over 70 paintings, The Poppy is the true story of Anzac Day, 1918, when a desperate night counter-attack in the French village of Villers-Bretonneux became one of Australia`s greatest victories. Age 9+ years.

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My Mother’s Eyes by Mark Wilson. This unique, stirring picture book is based on true stories of the twenty-three teenage soldiers who fought with the Australian army in World War I. Age 5+ years.

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Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood illustrated by Annie White. It was 1914 and Dusty and Bluey are headed for adventure. They were ANZACS, members of the Australian Light Horse, on their way to the Great War. The story of Bluey and Dusty is a story of family and friendship. It is the story of Gallipoli. Age 6+ years.

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An Anzac Tale  by Greg Holfeld. With the outbreak of war in 1914, best friends Wally and Roy, and new mate Tom, are among the first to enlist. But their great adventure soon turns to disaster. The day after the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915, more than 2000 of their fellow Anzacs are dead. As the Gallipoli campaign drags on, Wally, Roy and Tom find themselves locked in combat with a formidable enemy, a ferocious landscape, flies, fleas, cold and disease. Age 7+ years.

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Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian Simmonds. In 1914 Jim and Charlie abandon the Australian outback for the excitement and adventure of the war to end all wars. But in the Light Horse they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline. Ages 9+ years.

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Anzac Biscuits by Phil Communings and illustrated by Owen Swan. Rachel is in the kitchen, warm and safe. Her father is in the trenches, cold and afraid. When Rachel makes biscuits for her father, she adds the love, warmth and hope that he needs. Age 6+ years.

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Along The Road To Gundagai by Jack O’Hagan and illustrated by Andrew McLean. The song lyrics may be familiar, but the story they tell may not be. The story of the men who went to the Great War, many of them never to return home. Age 5+ years.

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I Was Only Nineteen by John Schumann and illustrated by Craig Smith. A powerful and moving picture book based on John Schumann`s lyrics about the Vietnam War. Ages 8+ years.

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The Afghanistan Pup by Mark Wilson. The story of an Afghani schoolgirl fighting for her education, an Australian soldier struggling to survive, and an abandoned Labrador pup who touches the lives of both of them. Ages 9+ years.

What other books can you recommend for teaching kids about the meaning of Anzac Day?

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bakers delight hot cross buns

How do you eat your buns?

Easter time for our family means masses of hot cross buns. While I’ve yet to tackle a home made recipe I love how bakeries start baking fragrant, fruit studded buns in the lead up Easter and I make it a personal mission to try as many as I can around town.

Hot cross buns are a love that’s shared by T   and the kids – for most of April each of us has been averaging a bun a day! And thanks to Bakers Delight we’ve been hoeing into traditional and non-traditional varieties, with various condiments slathered on top, in a quest to find the best way to serve up a hot cross bun.

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I’m normally a traditionalist when it comes to these things but I was really surprised that that my favourite bun was the Mocha one – studded with chocolate chips and with a coffee base. T eschewed mocha for the traditional fruit while the kids have been happy with whatever we’ve given them – chocolate chip especially! None of us tried the fruitless version as I think that’s really pushing the envelope of what a hot cross bun should be!

bakers delight hot cross buns

And how do we like to eat them? Slightly toasted so there’s warm and fluffy on the inside, a little bit crisp on the outside. No butter or condiments. For adults, with a cup of tea, and for kids, with a glass of milk. Oh – and I’ve noticed Lady AB likes to nibble the cross off first :–)

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And the best thing? Sharing hot cross buns with friends. Every year we hold a hot cross bun morning tea and have a mini Easter egg hunt for the littlies around our yard. It’s a nice time to catch up and enjoy some treats too.

Giveaway! Thanks to Bakers Delight I have $30 of Bakers Delight vouchers to give away, which you can use to buy any Bakers Delight products.

To win all you have to do is 1. Like the blog on Facebook or follow on Twitter (if you don’t already) 2. Leave a comment here telling me how you like to eat your hot cross buns.

The winner will be chosen by me based on my favourite answer on Monday 28 April and notified by email. Good luck!

 

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Easter is this weekend and there are so many Easter egg hunts happening around the city I can’t keep up!

Here’s a list of what’s on around Melbourne and its surrounds for Easter.

CBD / Docklands

North

  • Celebrate the Aztecs at Melbourne Museum (Fri 18 April – Mon 21 April) – A daily program of family friendly activities inspired by the Aztecs.
  • Keeper Kids at Melbourne Zoo (throughout April) -  In Melbourne Zoo’s newest indoor play-based experience, you can put on a safety vest and tool belt and learn the tools of the trades that are used every day by Keepers, Veterinarians, Horticulturists, Researchers and Works crew.
  • Easter Bunny Trail at Cooks Cottage Fitzroy Gardens (Fri 18 April -  Sun 27 April) – Entry includes a map with fun-filled facts and riddles to help find the missing bunnies at Cooks’ Cottage. Children receive an Easter treat on completion in the Discovery Centre.
  • National Trust  Easter Fun Day at Rippon Lea and Mulberry Hill (Sun 20 April) – egg hunts, access to open houses and the opportunity to pack a picnic or enjoy delicious treats from the on site food market. 

 South / South-East / Bayside

East

  • Celebrate Corroboree at Healesville Sanctuary (Fri 18 April – Mon 21 April) – Healesville Sanctuary’s biggest celebration of Indigenous people and culture.
  • Children’s Week at Skyhigh Mt Dandenong (Fri 18 April – Sun 20 April) – Lots of free kids activities.
  • Yarra Valley Chocolatier and Ice Creamery Easter Family Fun (Fri 18 April – Mon 21 April) – Be greeted by the Chocolaterie’s Easter Bunnies, enjoy loads of free chocolate tastings, delight in our giant chocolate sculptures and the kids can find a special treat with our Easter egg hunts each day. 
  • Giant Easter Egg Hunt Melbourne at Chirnside Park (Sat 19 April) – Easter egg hunt and fun on the giant inflatable drop slide and climbing walls. 
  • Hedgend Maze (Fri 18 April) – Come and celebrate an amazing fun-filled day at Hedgend Maze on Good Friday from 10am to 3pm.
  • Gulf Station (Sun 20 April) – Bring the kids, pack a picnic and share a fun Easter day at Gulf Station.
  • Emerald Lake Park (Sun 20 April)– Come along to Emerald Lake Park to enjoy a free Easter treasure hunt on Easter Sunday between 10am and 2pm. 
  • Oakridge Wines (Sun 20 April) – Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. 
  • Mandala Wines – Open Saturday and Sunday, serving the full a la carte menu, two courses $50 or three for $60. There’ll even be an easter egg hunt for the kids both days at 2pm and 4pm! 
  • Chirnside Park Country Club (Fri 18 April) – Family Fun Day with Easter Bunny & Egg Hunt, jumping castle, face painting, live entertainment, and more.  
  • Oscar’s on the Yarra (Sun 20 April) – Special 3 course Easter Sunday Lunch for $55 with Easter Egg Hunt. 
  • Healesville Tourist Railway Station (Sat 19 April) – Special egg hunt at noon on Saturday 19th April.

West

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HOT: Sticks and Stones, Artplay, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

April 16, 2014

Our most recent invitation to Artplay was to join Melbourne artist Tai Snaith for a drawing/making workshop called Sticks and Stones. Tai Snaith is the author of The Family Hour in Australia, a book all about Australian animals and their habitats and family units. It’s a beautifully illustrated and educational work and is the only […]

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HOT: Cupcake Decorating Workshop with Cupcake Central, Highpoint Shopping Centre, 200 Rosamond Rd, Maribyrnong

April 15, 2014

In the second week of school holidays Highpoint Shopping Centre are holding free cupcake decorating classes for kids with Cupcake Central. It was a fun event for little ones with delicious results for mum and dad! As Lady AB decorated an apron at last week’s school holiday activity at Highpoint she insisted that she wear her […]

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