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An Enchanted Fairy Birthday Party – Cheese Turns Four

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For the little Cheese’s fourth birthday party, she wanted a fairy theme. It seems to be a popular choice for preschoolers! Together we found a pretty invitation on Etsy that was more flower fairy than Disney, and we ran with this for the theme – an enchanted fairy garden party.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

This year was exciting as Cheese started preschool in January and wanted to invite some of her new school friends. It was the first party where she had a say in the invite list, and I feel confident that next year she will be ready to choose exactly who she wants – it’s a big step to see my little one making real friendships. Seeing her little face light up with joy when her friends arrived was just the most precious thing about the party. She literally couldn’t believe that her friends had all come. A magical party, indeed.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For the food, I had my friend Rosalie of Cakes by Rosalie make up this fantastic four tier white chocolate mud sprinkle cake. As per the birthday girl’s instructions, the inside was blue.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Rosalie also made 24 mini cupcakes with flowers piped on in buttercream. These were a big hit with the kids and adults alike – the perfect size to pop in the mouth.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Also on offer were cheese and vegemite sandwiches that my mum and I cut into flowers, hearts and stars, and fairy bread pinwheels. Both of these were made the day before and frozen.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
Popcorn was poured into tiny cups that were just the right size for kids to have about a few kernels at a time.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
Sweets wise, I made little fairy tea cups with marshmallows and other supermarket sweets, stuck together with sugar glue that I picked up from a cake baking store.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
A talented local baker, Love Lauren xx, made the sprinkle Oreo Pops.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me
My mum whipped up some old school chocolate crackles for a vintage childhood touch.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

I made some fruit wands out of grapes and strawberries for a healthy touch.

I’m not a fan of giving kids anything other than water to drink, so we found small personal water bottles at the supermarket and wrapped fairy labels around them. My smart mum printed out all of the kids names and stuck them on the back, as well as on the party bags, so kids would be able to find their bottles when they put them down. Genius!

On a nearby table for the adults was a big fruit platter, cheese and crackers, and hot pastizzi and quiches.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Gift bags were filled with bubbles, a fairy figurine, little toys like a ring, and custom fairy cookies by Love Lauren xx.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

For entertainment, I borrowed a jumping castle from a friend, hired a fairy from Fairy Wishes, and had some cute princess, fairy and superhero sticker sets and colouring in sheets for the kids to sit down and do if they needed quiet time.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Cheese’s super cute fairy dress was from Pink Poppy. Her flower hairband was from Cotton On Kids.

Enchanted #fairy #party via christineknight.me

Cheese had the absolute best day of her life at her party – the only reason why we keep on throwing her parties each year! (OK, I love them too. Kids’ parties are awesome!).

Are you throwing your kids a party this year? 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Read To Your Bunny Every Night

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior. Book-loving princess and all opinions are my own.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

When Cheese finished her 2s program in New York, her teachers gave her the cutest little book called “Read To Your Bunny” by Rosemary Wells. The book is really quite simple, it basically says read to your bunny every night, it’s only 20 minutes, but the most important 20 minutes of the day.

The book and its message comes to mind a lot when it’s book time in our house. We are a family of readers, and hope that Cheese will be too. We read together at bedtime, a minimum of three books, which are getting longer and more complex as she gets older.

The benefits of reading to your children are well known (I wrote about them in an interview with the amazing Australian author Mem Fox here). When your child is exposed to books it helps them to learn to read, as well as being a special time of day when your child has your full attention. We love books so much that we often read them during the day as well, not just at bedtime. Reading to your child at bedtime has the added benefit of helping kids wind down, ready for sleep.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

As well as loving books, Cheese, like all preschoolers, loves her iPad or watching a bit of TV. I definitely try to limit her screen time, but I’m happy for her to watch educational programs or play education games.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

I’ve been really excited about a new, locally-produced, interactive storytelling series called “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time”. It’s hosted by an Aussie actor and playwright named Kate Mulvany. Every day at 7:10pm you can tune into the new series on the Disney Junior Channel (it’s on Foxtel, channel 709) or, if you’re like me and don’t get pay TV, watch it anytime on their website.

The second season of “The Book of Once Upon A Time” launched this week (just in time for Book Week!) with one of Cheese’s favourite characters, Snow White in “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Upcoming episodes are going to include her BFFs Anna and Elsa in “Frozen”, and stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

Read To Your Bunny via christineknight.me

Cheese and I are highly enjoying watching the videos together. They are just the perfect length – around 5-8 minutes each – with an engaging storyteller and beautiful graphics. Each story is a new telling of a Disney classic, with a focus on encouraging early language and maths skills, healthy lifestyles and social and emotional development. At the end of each episode, a lullaby plays to encourage children to prepare for bedtime. We have been watching one or two of the videos before bath time, and we finish up our bedtime routine with a few books in bed.

If you’d like to get the Disney stories on your mobile device, they can be downloaded as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available from iTunes.

Be sure to tune in to “Disney Junior’s The Book of Once Upon A Time” series two. The premiere episode is Monday 24th August at 7:10pm.

What are you reading to your bunny tonight?

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

On The Town With The UPPAbaby G-LITE

Family Travel Must-have: UPPAbaby G-LITE #stroller #familytravel #framilyfriendly

When you’re travelling with a little kid, a good umbrella stroller is a must. We made the mistake of not taking one with us when we started our trip, thinking Cheese was big enough to walk everywhere. Big mistake. I forgot that when we travel we walk a lot – like upwards of 10km a day. Way too much for little legs to handle. So when we reached New York, I was so incredibly thankful to have the UPPAbaby G-LITE  to get around town.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

I’ve previously spoken about my love for the UPPAbaby series and have listed another of their models, the G-LUXE as a travel must-have on this blog post. The G-LUXE was a great stroller when Cheese still napped as it has the full recline feature that is important to nap on the go. Now that Cheese doesn’t nap anymore and the main purpose of the stroller is to get from A to B with the most ease, what I primarily want out of a stroller is for it to be as light as possible and extremely easy to maneuver.

The UPPAbaby G series dominate the lightweight stroller market for a good reason – they are excellent, affordable strollers. I’ve listed the reasons why I just love their strollers, especially the one I’m using at the moment, the G-LITE.

Lightweight and easy to carry
The G-LITE is their lightest model, at 11 pounds (4.9kg). This makes it so light that I can collapse it and carry it around easily on my shoulder. I can also lift it with the child still in it, up and down stairs.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Easy to collapse
The stroller does need two hands to collapse but it’s so quick and easy to fold down. Simply push a button near the handle and pull the ring on each side of the handles at the same time and the stroller folds down and clips into one piece.

Stays closed
The stroller has a neat little clip that automatically snaps the top and bottom of the frame together when it’s folded, so when you pick it up, it stays closed.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Stands on its own
The stroller has a little stand under the wheels so it stands upright on its own when closed.

Easy locking breaks
Little locks over the wheels are easy to push up with a flick of your toes.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Easy to maneuver
This stroller is made for fast walkers like me who like to dodge and weave among slower pedestrians. It’s also tall enough that I find it very comfortable to push, with no pressure on my lower back. My husband, who is 6 feet tall, loves pushing this stroller for the same reason.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Big canopy
As well as the regular canopy that folds down, the UPPAbaby strollers have an additional section inside, the UV canopy, which folds down to provide protection from the elements.

Decent basket
The basket under the stroller is roomier than you’d imagine. I can fit a fair amount of stuff and with the high edges nothing falls out.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Comfortable ride
Cheese is approaching 4, and 17KG (37.5 pounds). The UPPAbaby G-LITE is suitable for kids from 6 months to 55 pounds /25kg. It has to be said, Cheese loves this stroller. She finds is incredibly comfortable and is happy to sit in it for long periods. The seat length is perfect for a child of her size, letting her feet land on the foot rest at the right angle. Other strollers we borrowed had the foot rest at an angle where her legs couldn’t fold to touch it, leaving her legs to hang and feet to get caught on the ground.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Some extra info on the UPPAbaby G-LITE from their site:

  • Tall ergonomic handles for easier pushing
  • Hand level triggers for quick fold – no foot action required
  • Lockable front wheels for added stability
  • Shock-absorbing, 4-wheel suspension
  • Easy-open, removable canopy
  • Extendable SPF 50+ sunshade
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Stands when folded
  • Stain + water resistant fabric
  • Removable, machine-washable seat pad
  • High-performance, 4.5” diameter wheels
  • Convenient carry strap
  • 5-point harness
  • Large easy-access basket
  • Removable cup-holder
  • Weight: 11lb / 4.9kg

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Thank you to UPPAbaby for sending us this stroller for our around the world trip. I’m a loyal UPPAbaby stroller user and all opinions are, as always, my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

To Market, To Market! Market Basket Giveaway

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

I am so obsessed with bags. Not fancy pants handbags (although I love them too!) but mostly bags that I can use to carry all the stuff around that I have to lug now I have a kid. I’ve tried all kinds of backpacks and shoulder bags, and I’m currently really enjoying the Market Basket.

This really cute Market Basket was introduced to Australia by Lindy McLeod. The baskets have been used in France for a long time by women to carry their fresh produce in. I’m a strong believer in using recyclable bags for groceries rather than plastic anyway, so I really love that this basket does double duty for me. I can use it for my grocery shopping, and also for all of Cheese’s stuff that I inevitably need to take with us, like water bottle, snacks, spare clothes and toys.

These baskets are genuine French-style market baskets imported from Morocco. Each one is uniquely handmade using traditional methods, and is made of strips of woven palm leaves from a species of date palm – Phoenix Dactylifera. The strips are then sewn together and the basket built up in “rounds” into the traditional triangle shape, variations of which can be found in countries all around the Mediterranean. The handles are of genuine Moroccan leather and firmly fixed to the baskets so they won’t pull off. Handles are either short so the baskets can be carried in the hand or on the elbow, or longer to go over the shoulder.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The lovely Lindy send me a Market Basket “Mia” to test drive. I was full of intentions to use mine to get the groceries, but this happened when I tried to take it out the door. Cheese also loved my beautiful new basket and hijacked it to use as a toy carrier. It was so adorable I couldn’t resist taking a few photos (please excuse my messy apartment in the background! There’s nothing like spontaneous photos to show up when you need to tidy up.).

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The market basket is also great for the beach (not that it’s beach weather in Sydney right now!). The basket is fine to get wet, but needs to be hung up after use to allow for drying thoroughly.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

GIVEAWAY! WIN A “MIA” MARKET BASKET

Lindy at Market Basket is offering one lucky reader the chance to win their own Mia Market Basket. (RRP $49). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what you’d use your basket for.

Entry open to Australian and US residents. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Friday June 5 2015 to 11:59pm Wed June 10 2015. For full terms and conditions click here for Aussies and here for the U.S.

Thanks so much to Market Basket for sending me the basket for reviewing purposes. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

30 Things I Never Thought I’d Say Before Becoming a Parent

30 Things I Never Thought I'd Say Before I Became A Parent via christineknight.me #parenting #family #kids

I had all kinds of best intentions before my daughter was born. I was going to be kind, patient and wise. I wasn’t going to yell or swear or judge. I was going to be the very model of perfect parent who my daughter would adore. Sound familiar? So far, my sage words of life wisdom haven’t been heard by my preschooler’s tiny ears so much as this barrage of “please dont’s” and poo talk. How many of these 30 sentences have you said to your child today?

1. Good job on your poo, honey!

2. Stop calling me “poo bum.”

3. It’s not nice to keep yelling “poo poo bum bum.”

4. Wipe the poo out of your front business.

5. Keep your pants on.

6. Undies to sit on the couch, no bare bums.

7. Don’t put that in your mouth.

8. Don’t put that up your nose.

9. Don’t touch anything in the bathroom.

10. It’s not nice to “kill” people.

11. Stop licking my face.

12. Don’t sit on the dog.

13. Don’t kiss the dog’s face.

14. Don’t lick my jeans.

15. Stop carrying the dog by its neck.

16. You need to wear pants to school.

17. Don’t spit water in other people’s face.

18. Stop hitting me on the bottom.

19. Use your words.

20. Using myself in the 3rd person: “Mommy loves you!”

21. Don’t drink the pool water.

22. Don’t drink the bathwater.

23. Get your fingers out of your nose.

24. Can you please pee in the toilet today, not your pants?

25. Mommy doesn’t want your boogers wiped all over her face.

26. Don’t touch the poo on the floor!

27. Don’t wipe your snot on your clothes.

28. Stop yelling at me!

29. I know, it’s sad that ice doesn’t shoot out of your shoes like Elsa.

30. Mommy needs a break!

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

28 Signs Your Child Is “Spirited”

28 Signs Your Child Is Spirited #parenting via christineknight.me

If you have a child who is all systems go from dawn till dusk, and whose emotions run high 24/7, it’s likely you have a spirited child. If the giant bags under your eyes as you feverishly reach for your third coffee of the day aren’t enough of a giveaway that you’re living with a “spirited” child, here are a few other signs that might be familiar with…

1. Your child bounces out of bed every morning at 7am, 6am, 5am or earlier.

2. Food is consumed on the go because they don’t sit down long enough to eat.

3. “Sleeping through the night” is myth perpetuated by people with less-spirited children.

4. If you take your child to a cafe they get up and down from their place and generally run around until it’s time to go. Their bottom may or may not ever actually touch a seat.

5. Every decision is a battle. Yes, it’s raining and you need a jacket. No, sandals are not appropriate for a hurricane.

6. They bounce all day long and refuse to nap.

7. They even bounce into and on their bed at bedtime, and you end up pleading/begging/bribing them to go to sleep.

8. You usually get a visitor during the evening when you’re asleep—sometimes more than once a night.

9. No matter how active you keep your child during the day, it never wears them out.

10. Your child literally passes out asleep in the middle of singing, chatting and insisting they’re not ready for bed.

11. At preschool, your child is the one who wants to play chasing, hiding and dress up games all day long, when other kids like to draw, look at a book or have a nap.

12. Meltdowns are around every corner. It’s a minefield out there.

13. If you cut their sandwich in triangles instead of squares, they’ll cry like they’ve been stabbed.

14. You have to meet with your child’s preschool teacher yet again because he or she has been throwing things/stamping her foot/being generally defiant again.

 

15. Other people’s kids look pretty easy to you, even when there are three of them and you only have the one.

16. You answer the question “When are you having another child?” with, “Are you crazy?”

17. A trip to the playground is an activity that needs close monitoring as your child is always the one who wants to climb equipment for older kids, or tries to follow bigger children when they climb up giant trees.

18. At the end of the day, you are so exhausted that the mere thought of going anywhere, like, say, the gym, is a hilarious joke.

19. When it’s time to leave a playground, your child cries as if you’d told them they can never play again.

20. Saying goodbye to a friend? It’s like they’re never going to set eyes on their face again.

21. When things don’t go their way, the tears and foot stamping are almost enough to make you give in, just to shut them up.

22. Your child has extremely good vocal projection. Lovely when they sing, not so much when they’re yelling “no no no no no no!”

23. Playtime at home involves climbing over the backs of couches and on top of kitchen cabinets. It can also involve launching oneself off of these pieces of furniture.

24. You use words to describe your child like “intense,” “high energy” and “emotional”—and they’re only three years old.

25. You’re dreading the teen years because the toddler years and preschool years have been emotionally exhausting already.

26. When your child actually wants to focus, they can get so immersed in what they’re doing that disrupting them is a last resort (see #12).

27. You get sick of hearing the word “please” because the context is usually, “please can I?” and it’s repeated a million times until you give in.

28. You wish you could capture all that energy and bottle it. All of that enthusiasm could power your house for a year.

This article fist appeared on MommyNearest.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

New ABC Kids DVDs + DVD Giveaway

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

My daughter loves watching shows on ABC Kids. I think the ABC kids’ programming might be one of the best things we’ve discovered since moving back to Australia. It means Cheese is able to watch some really sweet and entertaining programs instead of rotting her brain with her beloved “Easter egg” YouTube videos she and all the preschooler set seem to be addicted to.

We had a very exciting week in our house watching brand new DVD releases from some of Cheese’s favourite shows. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway to win these exact same DVD titles for your own kids.

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
THE WIGGLES: ANTHONY’S FRUITY FEAST
We have a HUGE Wiggles fan in this house. Join Anthony, Lachie, Simon and, of course, Emma, in 12 wiggly episodes and over 40 upbeat songs. Episode selection includes recent favourites like “Cowboy Anthony” and “Captain’s Magic Buttons”.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 140 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
OCTONAUTS: GREAT ARCTIC ADVENTURE
Our other favourite show in high rotation in our house is the Octonauts. This fun DVD features 6 episodes, including a really sweet one with Captain Barnacles helping his sister and her new polar bear cubs learn to navigate the harsh conditions of the frozen arctic.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 82 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

BING: SWING & OTHER EPISODES
Bing is brand new to us. It’s an adorable new 10-episode TV series about a 3-year-old bunny named Bing. This playful, energetic and joyful bunny embodies life as a preschooler, and encourages kids to experience the world around them with equal enthusiasm.

Exclusive to ABC Shops and Centres
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 70 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
PLAY SCHOOL: COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW
The cast of Playschool has changed since I was a kid, but the educational content has not. This DVD explores the wonder of colour in nature, painting, culture, food and experiments. Kids will enjoy following the activities at home such as painting rainbows and staging a piggy opera.

RRP: $14.95
RUNNING TIME: 137 MINS

The kind people at Roadshow Home Entertainment are giving this exact DVD pack to one lucky reader. (RRP $74.80). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what your kids’ favourite ABC Kids show is.

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Wednesday June 3 2015 to 11:59pm Tuesday June 9 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Thanks so much to Roadshow for the review copies of these DVDs. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

How (and Where) to Teach Your Child to Share

Teaching Kids To Share #parenting via christineknight.me

Sharing has turned into a contentious issue. How do we teach children to take their turn, share and play nicely with others? With reports from schools and the press telling us both arguments—that we should and also shouldn’t be teaching our children to share—it’s hard to know the best way to handle this sensitive topic. Personally, I have different philosophies on the subject, depending on if we are at home (where my preschooler owns all of her toys) or if we are in a space where equipment or toys are communal. Here are three different ways, in three different spaces, I teach my daughter to share.

At home
When my daughter has friends over, the rule is she must share her toys with her guests. This is hard for a three-year-old to do (particularly one who has no siblings). She enjoys playing at other people’s houses with their toys immensely, but can be pretty bad when it comes to letting other people play with her things. Of course, other kids don’t want to come over and not be able to play with toys, so our rule is that if she wants her friends to visit, she has to let them play with her belongings.

We do discuss first, though, if there are any special toys that she doesn’t want anyone to play with, and I put them away for the duration of the play date. (I find that this generally eliminates most sharing friction, although there is the occasional fuss when two kids want the same toy.

As we are the hosts, I remind my daughter that her friend always shares her toys with her, and that she needs to do the same. This reminder is usually enough for her to agree that her friend can play with what she wants to. I also assure my daughter that the toys are still hers, and her friend is just playing with them for a short time—and that she won’t be taking any home with her.

The playground
This is where it’s a bit trickier to deal with sharing issues. If we are at a playground, several kids might want to use the same piece of equipment at the same time. On the slide, for example, I remind my daughter about taking turns. Everyone gets a go and joins the end of the line for another try. When it comes to objects just for one person (say a swing), it requires a different strategy. If my daughter hasn’t been on the swing for long, and another kid has a tantrum about wanting to get on, I let the other child know that my daughter won’t be long—and that they can have a turn when she is finished.

After my daughter has had a fair turn of the swing, I ask her if she is ready to play with something else, which she usually is, and let her know that she has five more swings until it is the other kid’s turn. Giving her a choice and warning that things are changing usually helps stop any meltdowns. It also helps her feel like she has a choice in the matter and I’m treating her fairly.

Play spaces
Play spaces are hard as they involve toys that do not belong to the kids, but the business. My general rule is if my daughter is playing with something, that toy is hers to play with until she is done and ready to move on to the next toy or game. If another kid grabs it from her, I am always on my daughter’s side. I am showing my daughter that I have her back and that her play time is important. If she is the one having a meltdown over a toy someone else is playing with, I let her know that the other child is enjoying playing with it and she can have it when he or she is finished. In this instance, I’m teaching her patience.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

MCA Light Show, Light Lab & Family Fun Day: Sydney Best Art Galleries For Kids

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Museum of Contemporary Art has continued to surprise and impress us since we moved back to Sydney. Not only does it have world-class exhibits, it also runs kid-friendly labs as part of the exhibits, and a variety of family programing every week for kids of all ages: from babies to toddlers, preschoolers and school kids. Literally something for kids of every age.

mca-18

Because of their family-friendly programs, we have been feeling brave enough to venture back into the gallery with Cheese. She is not that into art thus far, being more interested in running and causing chaos instead. With the MCA’s set-up, it means we can see the exhibit we are interested in, as well as having a way to engage Cheese that she enjoys too – win-win for everyone, and we also hope that by doing this, our child will grow up to share our love of art.

mca-2

The current exhibit at the MCA is Light Show (open until July 5, 2015). Light Show is a spectacular multisensory exhibition by artists all around the world, with the one theme in common – light.  The show features a variety of installations and immersive experiences that are suitable for people of all ages – including wiggly preschoolers like our Cheese.

We did see the exhibit at our typical break-neck speed, close on the heels of our speedy preschooler, but this exhibit caught her interest and we doubled back to see rooms and installations repeatedly at her insistence.

The immersive nature of the exhibit was hypnotic – the three of us were mesmerised by the glittering, twinkling lights, and visual illusions that lead us to believe we were moving, or falling, all by means of clever placement and design of light. We spoke with Cheese about the lights. See how if you move this way or that, the image we see changes? What happens if you put your hand here? Or stand there? When you look at these coloured lights, and then look at the white wall, what new colours do you see? She particularly loved anything interactive, like the dark room with the beam of light that she could dance in, jabbing her wand into the light ray to try and capture it.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Outside the Light Show is the free Light Lab for kids. Set up into two rooms, one has a light projected onto a wall which captures movement – perfect for entertaining kids and teaching them about their shadows. The second room had UV lights installed on the ceiling shining down into the art works kids were making with simple white paper and highlighters. Simple but enthralling concept: shine the light on paper and it glows. Cheese wanted more and more paper to keep creating her artworks for us, which were quite Miro in style, I have to say.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Also running when we visited was the monthly Family Fun Day. This free program gives kids activities to perform in the gallery, followed by a craft activity in the National Centre for Creative Learning next to the Light Lab on level 3. The program is aimed at school-aged kids, so around 4 or 5 and up, but there were a lot of younger kids enjoying the activities with their families.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

In the main gallery area, kids were lying on the floor with their parents, drawing pictures of the outfits worn in the artwork. The “MCA Sketch” sheet they were given with the Family Fun Day activities on it asked kids to find pictures of outfits in the paintings and then draw a new one on their paper. Upstairs in the learning centre was the craft area part of the day (which had a gorgeous view of the Harbour Bridge, by the way). Friendly staff handed kids a tray filled with craft materials and asked them to create their own superhero wearable artwork, like a badge, headband or the like. The art supplies were basic pipe cleaners, paper, sparkles and so on – perfect materials for letting kids’ imaginations run free.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

We helped Cheese with her outfit of crown, wand, necklace and wrist cuff. Her superpower, she decided, was “freezing” (thanks Elsa), and “flying”. After which she proceeded to “fly” through the gallery, stopping now and then to press a “button” on her cuff to power herself up again. Crazy cute. I appreciated the idea from the MCA staff to help fuel her imagination.

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary #Art, #Sydney  via christineknight.me

Museum of Contemporary Art
140 George St,
The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9245 2400
Get Directions

A huge thank you to the MCA for hosting us.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Mummy Make-up: Secrets To Looking Bright-Eyed & Awake

Mummy #Makeup via christineknight.me #giveaway

I’m pretty rubbish at putting on make-up on a day-to-day basis. I always have the best intentions to put on a bit of foundation, but I’m lucky if I remember to slap on sunscreen. Part of the problem is not knowing how to make myself look decent with minimal effort – because, let’s face it, who has the time to fuss with make-up when you’ve got little kids underfoot?

I’ve teamed up with L’Oréal and beauty writer and YouTuber Fadhila Prabu to bring you a simple tutorial on ways to use make-up effectively – and quickly – to give you that bright-eyed and awake look you used to have pre-kids. At the end of the tutorial you can enter my giveaway to win the exact same L’Oréal products for yourself. I love these make-up tips for mums on the go – thank you Fadhila for sharing your secrets with us!

Mummy #Makeup via christineknight.me #giveaway

L’Oréal and Adventure, Baby! are giving one lucky Australian reader the opportunity to win a make-up pack valued at $124.75, containing:

L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation RRP $29.95
L’Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer RRP $27.95
L’Oréal Paris False Lash Butterfly Wings in Black RRP $25.95
L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plumper 04 in Dark Brunette RRP $18.95
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Made-For-Me in 235 Nude RRP $21.95

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Saturday May 29th 2015 to 11:59pm Saturday June 6th 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Thank you to L’Oréal for providing the products to create this tutorial. All opinions are by Christine Knight and Fadhila Prabu.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.