We've had a real wintery few days in Perth this week with blustery winds and rain pelting down, followed by icy cold days which have seen us unwilling to brave the outdoors and instead forced us to retreat to the warmth and cosy-ness of our home. Being the second half of holidays after what has been a busy school term, quiet days have been welcomed all round... indulging in the luxury of a few slightly later lie-ins, rediscovering the excitement of old forgotten toys, baking treats for afternoon tea together with my girls and my favourite winter pastime - curling up with a collection of books and whiling away the afternoons.
One gem we've been enjoying this week is the lovely Claire Chadwick's book 'So Many Sounds'. It has been part of several afternoon reading sessions enjoyed by the warmth of our heater and is a great 'read-aloud' which combines cleverly chosen words and eye capturing illustrations. With Grace's passion for 'creating' (especially when the words 'paint' and 'glitter' are involved), yesterday we used Claire's book as a jumping point for an art activity, working on a fireworks inspired painting using pipe-cleaner stamps (an idea from Juggling With Kids).
Another book we've been enjoying is 'Ten Little Wrens' by Elizabeth Honey which we recently borrowed from the library, a uniquely Australian counting book incorporating meat pies, gum leaves and lamingtons. While Grace enjoyed the story and the counting aspect, I was enchanted by the stencilled illustrations. We followed up this book with a related art activity using a wattle stencil, sponges and acrylic paint... perfect for a rainy afternoon 'trapped indoors'.
These are the days I enjoy most at the moment.... filled with simple pleasures such as reading with my little ones and getting involved in art activities - both of which give us opportunities to spend quality time together, to be entertained by a clever story line and to be inspired by a world beyond the pages of a book...