Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Storytime: Owls

Twit Twit Twooooooo. Whether it be in fashion, textiles or art, owls are very popular at the moment and we have to say that we are big fans too. Who could resist this cute little owl puppet?

I have a large collection of puppets for storytelling, and this Folkmanis owl is just perfect for little hands. It is great to see children interacting with stories and puppets really help to keep them engaged. There are lots of great owl books that children and carers will love in equal measure. My absolute favourite owl book is ' A bit lost ' by Chris Haughton. I bought this book because I just adored the illustrations and the story allows for a lot of expression when taking on different characters. The story follows a little owl that falls off his tree, as he falls asleep, so has to go in search of his mummy with the help of his forest friends. Children can mimic the actions of the animals and can make lots of noise, to keep them involved in the book and have lots of fun.

Another favourite owl book, is ' WOW! Said The Owl ' by Tim Hopgood '. This book was given to us by Bookstart and has been a firm family favourite. I think my daughter has read it a million times and it has really helped her to learn colours and put them into context. This book follows the story of an inquisitive owl on an exploration of daytime, after he decides to stay awake all day. Again, this book allows for great intonation and exaggeration, to really make it fun.

For a quieter tale, more suited to bedtime, look no further than ' Owl babies '. This children's classic is adored by many parents and it a firm bedtime favourite for lots of children.

If, like me, you like to incorporate crafts and activities to your storytelling sessions, there are lots of fun things that you can do. Use your imagination and whatever crafty bits and bobs you have in the house, or you can simply look for an owl colouring template and keep it simple

Have fun Twit Twit Twooooiing!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Carrot and Fennel Soup

Sofia always gets excited when our weekly veg box arrives and quickly unpacks it to see what goodies we have to cook with. This week we had a lovely big bulb of fennel in the box so after a quick rendition of Mr Bloom's theme tune ( Here I go again, I'm a beautiful fennel called Joan......) we decided to make some soup with it. We haven't been eating a lot of soup recently, with the warm weather, but we both felt like a cosy little dinner on a lazy day indoors. Here's our little recipe, if you want to have a bit of fun together in the kitchen, experimenting with new veggies


4 large carrots
1 Fennel bulb
Small pinch of paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 very low salt stock cube ( we use Kallo)
Pint water ( you may need a little more, depending on how thick you like your soup)
Teaspoon of olive oil
Pepper for seasoning


Simply clean and roughly chop the carrots and fennel then pop into a saucepan with a little heated olive oil, and stir until softened slightly. Add the paprika and cumin then the stock cube and water. Simmer for about half an hour, until veggies have fully softened, then blend until smooth.  Add pepper and a big slice of homemade bread to serve.


Friday, 9 August 2013

Storytime: Under the Sea

Scribbles had a fantastic storytelling session at Big You Little You this week, with lots of reading, singing and dancing about to an underwater theme. I always like choosing a theme when planning a Storytelling session, so that I can add a bit of structure and make links between stories, activities and crafts. A theme allows for a lot of imagination, for both the storyteller and the listener. I have a large collection of puppets to use for storytime, as they are a great way of keeping children engaged in the story, so I sometimes choose a theme around a certain puppet. As I was excited about taking my new Folkmanis Octopus puppet out and about for the first time, I decided to go for an Under The Sea Theme.

Storytime started in our usual way,with a few songs and rhymes, including ' one, two, three, for, five, once I caught a fish alive...' and ' row, row, row your boat' . Our first story of the day was Secret Seahorse; a short under the sea tale by Stella Blackstone that introduces us to lots of sea creatures and encourages the children to search the pages for the hidden seahorse.

After The Secret Seahorse, we moved on to a book about mermaids, by Usborne Books, then on to The Hole at the Bottom of the Sea for a little boogie! This CD singalong book is the latest in the collection of excellent audio books from Barefoot Books. With a funky Jazz soundtrack, this book certainly gets everybody up on their feet!After looking through the book and deciding on dance moves for each creature ( just use a lot of imagination) we all got up on our feet and danced our energy out.

After we were all danced out, it was time for a craft activity to finish off our session. Crafting is a great way to end a session, as the children can use their imagination and build on what they have learnt throughout the session. There is a great Secret Seahorse activity in the Barefoot kids section, if you get stuck for ideas.

Instead of the seahorse activity, we decided to create our own paper plate octopus. This craft activity was really cheap, easy for younger toddlers and quite quick if you do not have a lot of time. All you need is a pack of paper plates ( cut in half), scissors, glue, crayons and whatever crafty bits you have available, including long strips of paper for those wobbly legs. The great thing about crafts like this is that they do not have to be perfect ( like our 3 legged octopus below) but can be very colourful and creative.

Hope you all have some fun Under The Sea!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

World Breastfeeding Week

Here at Little Scribbles, we are passionate supporters of breastfeeding and regular readers will know that we champion breastfeeding wherever possible.  For National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, in June, we posted about our experiences of breastfeeding and spoke about some of the brilliant breastfeeding and babywearing books that we have available on the site. This week sees the start of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7th August) and the theme is ' Breastfeeding support: Close to Mothers. With traditional support from families not always available, women have an ever increasing dependence on various community support networks,such as lactation consultants, midwives and counsellors. This week will hopefully raise awareness of the difficulties that breastfeeding mothers face and promote the excellent work of peer counsellors that support thousands of women each year. To learn more about WBW, take a look at the website  and see how you can get involved.

Raising awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the support that is out there, is very important. When thinking about what books to stock on our site, those that featured breastfeeding images were top priority. Breastfeeding in, in our family, is the most natural thing in the world and is a normal part of our everyday life. Often, children's books are filled with images of babies with bottles and dummies with little focus on breastfeeding, which can make breastfeeding seem a little less ' normal ' for a lot of children reading picture books. There are some great breastfeeding books out there to help educate children, as well as lots of picture books that simply portray breastfeeding as part of everyday life. We have a small selection of books featuring breastfeeding on the site, with plans to build a beautiful library of books to cater for more people. Take a look at Little Scribbles' Stories and if you fancy winning one of our books, just enter our competition via the rafflecopter below. 

The competition will run from 1-7th August and winner will be announced 8th August. The winner can choose any children's book from the site ( does not include parenting books) , which will be posted out as soon as winners address is received.

To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week we are offering 20% off all products until 7th August. Just enter BREASTISBEST at the checkout.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barefoot Book of the Month : August

As you know, Little Scribbles is an ambassador for Barefoot Books . Barefoot have lots of amazing books for children and I will be highlighting one as book of the month, that I think you and your little ones would love. This month I have chosen the fabulous new addition to our ' Ruby ' series"; Ruby's Baby Brother ', by Kathryn White and Miriam Latimer.

Ruby's mum is having a baby, but Ruby is not very happy about it. She knows that babies are smelly and noisy, and she is sure that he will steal all her toys! When baby Leon comes along, will she change her mind about having a baby brother?

The book is suitable for children ages 3-7 years, but it can be helpful for toddlers or slightly older children, who may be struggling to deal with their emotions when there is a new baby on the horizon.

As a keen supporter of breastfeeding and a lover of Barefoot illustrations, this book is a joy to read: with positive images of breastfeeding and also of support from dad, which can often be lacking in new baby books. We are already seeing high levels of praise for Ruby's Baby Brother and it is currently being heralded by the School Library Journal as a ' classic baby story with a twist' and a ' refreshing take on the universal experience of an only child gaining a sibling'. They say that Kathryn White's writing captures a ' very real. recognisable child's voice and perspective'

Like the look of this ? Take a further look at Barefoot Books and get 20% off your first order using the code TWENTY13 at checkout.