Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Colourful time ....

Carnival (Maltese: il-Karnival ta' Malta) has had an important place on the Maltese cultural calendar for just under five centuries, having been introduced to the Islands by Grand Master Piero de Ponte in 1535. It is held during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, and typically includes masked balls, fancy dress and grotesque mask competitions, lavish late-night parties, a colourful, ticker-tape parade of allegorical floats presided over by King Carnival (Maltese: ir-Re tal-Karnival), marching bands and costumed revellers.

King Carnival
This year K and L dressed up in various costumes on Carnival days and we visited the big Carnival floats in Valletta. Unfortunately the weather was not good and the parades got cancelled. But we enjoyed as much as we could the happy atmosphere created by children and all the young at heart.

Dressed up as Spanish girl and Superhero

Visiting Carnival floats
Huge Spiderman float

Dessed up as Angelina Ballerina and Lazy Town Superhero Sportacus

Carnival float dedicated to Elvis

K and L with a famous local Carnival float creator

more Carnival floats

more Carnival floats
with friends near King Carnival

more Carnival floats

This is the song for the Carnival in Malta

and this is a funnier version but with pictures related to the Carnival

The food related to this period are

Look here for interesting Recipes and information

To keep in theme with this colourful time of year K and L did some craft.

To end it all up mum and dad attended a Gran Ballo in a Venetian theme and it was a wonderful experience.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Widnet il-Bahar - Malta National plant

Every month K and L's school chooses a topic for the children to work on. They also have to produce a craft or writing related to the topic. This month it was about Malta. This is a vast topic so for this project we worked on the National plant.

Widnet il-Baħar - Maltese Rock Centaury 

This is the National Plant of Malta and in Maltese it is poetically known as Widnet il-Baħar (ear of the sea). It is endemic to Malta, possibly dating back to the era before the ice-ages.

K and L worked on a Craft activity of the plant which they loved doing.

Fist they did leaf rubbing 

Next they inserted a dry flower stem of an actual flower

Crepe paper was used to do the flower

Paper flower glued to the craft

Final product

The school also created 5 books about Malta for the children to read. One of them was actually about Widnet il-Baħar. Here is the link to the book about Widnet il-Baħar. The text is in the Maltese language.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Countdown 2012

This year we plan to have an exciting count down for Christmas Day. To start with I organised a Children's Christmas Book Advent Calendar. To do this I gathered 24 Children's Christmas Books collected over the last 5 years and some new ones too, all wrapped up and marked for each day leading up until Christmas. This way, we will be reading one Christmas story a night!

We are also following this very interesting blog about Christmas around the world. For 32 days(from November 23rd - December 24th, 2012) you will get to “travel” to a new country each day learning about how the holidays are celebrated, making a creative craft, trying a new recipe, whilst learning a little something about geography.


Click Christmas around the world link to see how interesting this is.

Inspired be this we wished to share information about our Christmas in Malta so we participated in a Christmas Culture Swap through Worldwide Culture Swap. We have been linked to a family in the UK. Our packs have been posted and now we are both eagerly looking forward to receive each others pack. This is a photo of the pack we sent.

Our pack included:

  • Some information about Christmas in Malta
  • A homemade traditional grotta with nativity figures
  • Qagħqa tal-għasel – a traditional Christmas sweet
  • Recipe to do the Qagħaq tal-għasel
  • Ġulbiena seeds
  • Instructions how to grow ġulbiena
  • A Christmas Cracker covered in the Maltese flag with some gifts inside
Our packs have arrived and our UK partner has done a wonderful description of the swap. You can see the post on her blog.

We are also following Creative with Kids and Red Ted Art who are featuring a new creative Christmas activity right through the 24 days of Advent. There will be crafts, songs, activities and food. A great mix of things to do, brought by 24 experience Kids Activities Bloggers!

Other links I like for Christmas activities

24 Lunchbox ideas
Advent Calendars
Christian Advent Calendar
Nativity Printable
Sensory Nativity

I am also including my Christmas favourite activities on my Pinterest Christmas Board

This year I would also like to list our 24 Christmas Songs with a significant meaning for our family. This will be updated daily.

1. When a child is born - K's song for Christmas Concert
2. Baby's First Christmas - Reminds me of K and L's first Christmas
3.Joy the Christmas Mix - K's dance song for Christmas Concert
4. Ninni La Tibkix Izjed - Traditonal Maltese Christmas song
5. Ninu Ninu tal-Milied - Traditional Maltese Christmas song (old)
6. Caro Gesu Bambino - an Italian Christmas song
7. Feliz Navidad - a Spanish  Christmas song
8. Australian Jingle Bells - all about an Australian sunny Christmas
9. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer - a favourite for children with lyrics
10. The Polar Express - songs from this popular Christmas story
11. The Coca Cola Christmas song - This song reminds us of christmas family cheer
12. White Christmas - Michael Buble' (one for the mummies ;-)
13. Do they know it's christmas - Do we?
14. Last Christmas - one to remember my youth!
15. Jingle Bells - with lyrics
16. S-A-N-T-A - Santa is his name oh
17. Hush there's a baby - Cute Christmas song
18. Mickey and Friends - Disney characters singing
19. A Natale Puoi - An Italian cute song
20. Merry Christmas - Merry Christmas in 30 languages
21.Lonely this Christmas - A song I used to here at my dad's house
22. Thank god it's Christmas - Queen classic
23. Helu Bambin - A beautiful Maltese Christmas song
24. Instrumental Christmas music - 51 mins of Relaxing Christmas Music

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Virtual Book Club - Charlie needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaula

The book we worked on for our November Virtual Book Club is 

Charlie needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaula.

Charlie needs a cloak, and this book tells the story, from start to finish, of how he goes about to make one from raw material. It takes readers through the year. From spring sheep shearing his whimsical sheep who help him with his work, to weaving, to dyeing, through sewing the new garment  by the winter fire. Too bad Charlie doesn't notice, as soon as he puts it on, that his favorite sheep is already chewing on his hem!The story is fun and educational, while the pictures are delightful telling a hidden story in themselves. The illustrations are humorous, which dePaola is famous for. 

The following are activities we worked on related to the book.


We decided to work on a Lapbook for this book. We used the pack from Homeschoolshare to download the resources.

Step by step how Charlie got the material for the coat: Shear, Card, Spin, Weave, Sew

Learn to draw a sheep

Learn to draw a sheep

Jesus is the good shepherd colouring and Bible verse

Different Red Coats

I had prepared various printouts of characters who wear a red coat and with a simple clue K and L had to choose the character asked for. Finally we glued the pictures in our Lapbook.


I wished to introduce knitting to my daughter. The best person to do that was my mum so we used a pack she had got as a gift to make and took it to grandma's house to guide her. The pack included a knitting wheel a crochet needle and balls of coloured wool. K was very happy to try it and is still in the process of producing her first knitted project.


We used the printable from the homeschoolshare pack and laminated the sheet to do threading.

Multi-sensory  Fun Activity

I printed a picture of a sheep on a blue and a pink paper and laminated them. I put shaving foam on them. K and L had to close their eyes before touching the material to use their sense of touch and smell and guess what is on the sheet. After this activity they thought of other stuff we could use to do the activity and their anwers were white liquid soap, marshmallow, popcorn, cotton .... We did actually try the liquid soap and the popcorn.

Follow this Blog hop for more activities related to Tomie dePaola books