More Holiday Fun – Pictures and Movies

The other thing my kids spent ages doing while we were on holidays was making movies and taking photos.

I love the way our kids can play with video cameras and cameras today in a way we couldn’t when we were kids. With everything being digital, results can be instant and there’s no extra cost in developing or recording. We were even able to look at the kid’s work on the LCD TV in the house we were staying in that had a port for an SD card – amazing!

The kids were really fired up when they could see their work so instantly. They took a tonne of photos and put together some really nice movies too. I love that we have a record of their perspective.

Em likes to take in a whole scene

Or focus on people

Whereas Ed seems to be drawn to little things that catch his eye.

There were lots of photos of all their friends too.

Of course it wouldn't be a kid-photo-shoot be without a bit of crazy!

I love this little insight into the way their minds work.

There are lots of great benefits in this sort of play.

Taking photos builds on perspective and creativity and encourages the kids to notice what’s going on around them. It also works eye hand co-ordination and gets them planning and preparing as they work out where to put their hands, what button to press and not to cover the lens.

Making movies builds on extra skills too. At first the kids would just take random footage of their toys and what they were thinking of at the time.

As they got more into it, they started wanting to write out a plan of their movie and then practice it before they started taping. They gradually saw it as an opportunity to tell a story in their own voice.

We talked about how writing out a movie is called writing a script and how practicing it is called a rehearsal. We’re yet to edit the movies, but it’s part of the process Em is keen to be involved in. Ed is a bit young for that yet, but had a ball just putting it all together.

Holiday Fun With A Deck of Cards

We've just returned from a fabulous trip to sunny Port Douglas. It's one of my most favourite places to visit and this year we hired a house so that we could have a bit of space for just lounging around. I packed quite a few toys and things to do. I wanted the kids to be able to keep themselves busy so I could do some important things (like reading and sitting and looking at mountains and rainforest!).

One of the best things I packed (well actually, I didn't, my husband did) was a deck of cards. I spent many hours playing with cards as a kid; there are really a lot of fun things to do with them.

Here's a few:

Sorting the cards

It's fun to sort and classify the cards in many different ways. You can put all the reds in one pile and all the blacks in another. You can put all the hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs together. You can put all the numbers together and you can even put the cards in numerical order from lowest to highest or highest to lowest. Each time the cards are sorted in a different way, it builds on important maths skills and sorting and classifying is just as important as counting and ordering.

Playing Card Games

Good old “Snap” is a great game for kids to start with and children as young as 2 can often get the hang - even if you start by just matching black and red. It builds on concentration and reflexes as well as helping to identify numbers, colours and symbols. It's also heaps of fun and guaranteed to get participants laughing. Unfortunately it sometimes gets participants crying too, but learning that you can have fun without "winning" is also important.

Older kids will enjoy games that are slightly more complicated. My hub loves a good card game and has taught the kids to play something called "2's and 3's". It's something he used to play when he was a kid. There are loads of great card games for kids and I think the best thing to do is try to remember what you enjoyed.

If you have no idea, you could try these ideas from


I taught both the kids how to play “Clock Solitaire” and they both loved it. It was a real favourite of mine when I was young. It's the easiest to learn out of all the “Solitaries” and is great for concentrating, remembering, learning numbers and time as well as working motor skills when handling, shuffling and dealing the cards.

Here's a link to how to play "Clock "Solitaire" if you've forgotten the rules.

Building Card Houses

My kids had the most fun (and frustration!!) with this old fave. It was actually great for Em who sometimes finds it hard when things don't go the way she wants them to. It really worked on her patience, persistence and acceptance. Ed had great fun too, controlling his muscles and sense of balance to get the cards sitting just right.

Ed's Masterpiece