List of books for children aged 4-7!!

Here is a compilation of books that are great for children aged between 4-7. Younger readers will love them as well and of course older ones love them too.

This is a great starting place for birthday presents 🙂


Books for Children Ages 4-7 (the following titles are suitable to be read to younger readers or can be read by beginning readers)


‘A.B. Paterson’s Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ by Kilmeny & Deborah Niland

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Animalia by Graeme Base

Aranea: A Story About a Spider by Jenny Wagner

Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman

‘Arthur’ series by Marc Tolon Brown

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault

Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell

Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall

Counting on Frank by Rod Clement

Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet

Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner

Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl

Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss

Granpa by John Burningham

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

Hubert’s Hair-raising Adventure by Bill Peet

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

In My Back Yard by Nette Hilton & Anne Spudvilas

Irving the Magician by Tohby Riddle

John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Lester and Clyde by James Reece

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

‘My Hiroshima’ by Junko Morimoto

No Kiss for Mother by Tomi Ungerer

‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Seuss

Petunia by Roger Duvoisin

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year of Colors, by Joyce Sidman

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola

Sunshine by Jan Ormerod

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola

The Banana Bird and the Snake Men by Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey

The Bears’ ABC Book by Robin & Jocelyn Wild

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

‘The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh’ by A. A. Milne

The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

The Fisherman and the Theefyspray by Jane Tanner

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allen Ahlberg

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda & David Armitage

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’ by Jon Scieszka

‘The Story of Shy the Platypus’ by Leslie Rees

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Tough Boris by Mem Fox

What Made Tiddalik Laugh by Joanna Troughton

Wheel on the Chimney by Margaret Wise Brown

Where’s Julius by John Burningham

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

‘Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein’ by Shel Silverstein

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Whistle Up the Chimney by Nan Hunt

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox



There is now lots of evidence to make us aware as ‘Parents’ that smacking or any other form of physical punishment towards children is damaging.

As a teacher I can always pick out the children that are ‘smacked’ at home. These children are the ones that generally ‘smack’ others or are aggressive (verbally and physically) .  They have emotional outburst (anger or severe crying). They can be very secretive around adults and when adults are out of view they can act out with other children.

They are harder to ‘defuse’, this means that when they ‘explode’ or hit they seem to not be able to reach a calmer state unless they have some physical outlet. Some children become reliant on that physical ‘hit’ to be able to calm themselves down. That physical pain becomes their focus not the emotion. As you can probably start to see these are not the sort of behaviours you want your child to exhibit. A smack is only an immediate stop to a behaviour but the lasting affect it has far out ways any immediate ‘fix’.

This is what the experts say:

It has been found that children who were spanked are more aggressive then the ones that are not. They are sometimes explained as tightly coiled springs. The effects are that it leads to loss of self-confidence and low self-esteem. It increases cortisol levels in the brain which can have a damaging affect on brain development (I will post a study on high levels of cortisol and brain development). It effects the way they handle their emotions. You are teaching your child to use physical control to stop a situation. I have heard many parents say “You deserved that, you asked for that”, what worries me about these statements is that I have also heard abusive partners say this to the abused.

Oh YES we were all smacked as kids and we all turned out fine!!! But did we?? Could we have learnt better ways of managing situations? Could we have become more emotionally intelligent about how things effect us? Would we have been calmer or less of a push over? Just because it was the way we were brought up doesn’t mean that it was the ‘best’ way. And now we now better!!

Have I smacked my children??? Yes I have!! And everytime I have I realised it was not something that can ever be done ‘calmly’.  As I do it I hear myself say “Now that’s because you hurt your sister”? (WHAT, that totally doesn’t make sense). If I believe that I am the best teacher for my child I have just taught them that I can hit but your sister can’t. Tell me how that makes sense????

So I ask us to all understand that we aren’t going to be perfect but we are going to try and understand the damage that ‘smacking and physical punishment’ does to our children. It is ‘personality’ changing. Discipline provides appropriate expectations and consequences for the child, it teaches self-control and how to behave, smacking does none of this!!!

I send this with LOVE and no judgement, just to inform…

🙂 Kara

Please share if you would like to see a world where smacking is seen for what it really is. Pointless and damaging.

Sibling Squabbles

Who doesn’t fight with their sisters or brothers?? It is a normal part of growing up!!! But when does it become not acceptable!!!
Hitting or hurting each other is a ‘non negotiable’ in our house!!! It is not allowed and not accepted. I do not hit my children and I expect them to be able to manage their arguments and emotions without the use of ‘physical violence’!!!
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So how do you teach a 4 year old and a 2 year old how to resolve conflict when most adults struggle to do this???
Here are some beginning points:
1. Role model appropriate behaviour in any argument. You must understand that everything you say or do is direct lesson to how your children will behave!!!
We cant be perfect all the time and that is absolutely fine. In any argument it is really hard to keep rational but try and label your emotions to your children. “Mummy is feeling really sad and frustrated”.
To this
2. Get involved and be the person to help bridge the gap. Mediate until they are able to find their own resolution. For example: when they have a ‘disagreement’ give them the words to help them solve it. “You are feeling frustrated and angry that your sister isn’t listening to you”….. Ok, lets have turns talking and listening.
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3. Understand that part of learning is to have the opportunity to work through problems in a caring, supportive environment. Sharing is a hard concept to learn. Why should I share this toy?? What internally makes us share with our siblings, parents, friends….really only the understanding that this is a social rule (I will explain about social rules in another post).
Ok so the points above are a few brief points on what to do when the ‘fight’ breaks out. But like everything Heidi and I talk about, it is more about the before!!! You need to teach your children how to interact with each other. If your children fight all the time then that is how they will learn to interact with others. If you teach them to interact to each other in a caring, supportive, empathetic and loving ways they will be able to make great friendships and choose to not be involved in the ‘not so good’ friendships.
As a family we do lots of ‘building’ of relationships and I offer ways for the girls to express their love for each other. Here are some pointers:
Find time in our busy lives to express our love to each other. Through touch, words and drawings.
After bath time we play ‘Incy Wincy Spider’.
One girl sits in front of the other and the girl at the back runs her fingers up and down her back.
It goes “Incy wincy spider, climbed up the water spout”. The fingers go all the way to the top of the head. “Down came the rain”, fingers run down the back “and washed poor Incy Out!” fingers run up and down back. “Out came the sun” Fingers creep up the back to head and make a sun. “and dried up all the rain” fingers down the back “So Incy wincy spider went up the spout again” fingers back up the back.
Then we swap. You can also teach your children some massage techniques, we also do ‘squeezing shoulders and tickling backs’.
“Goodnight, what did you love about “Miss 2″ ?” “What actions of friendship did you do today?”
DRAWINGS: We have a love wall, it has photos, letters and drawings to each other. This is what Miss 2 likes to have a look at before she goes to bed. We are about to make a book.
love wall
I would love to hear about how you and your family express love to each other!! These are just a few things we do but sometimes the ‘unsaid’ needs to be said ‘daily’!!!
Please come and like us on our Facebook page for little extra bits of information. Also don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you can get our latest postings emailed directly to you, so you wont miss any ‘pearls of wisdom’ 🙂
🙂 Kara

Heuristic Play!! What????

HEURISTIC  PLAY, What a mouthful! This ‘play’ is about giving children everyday items and allowing them to discover the properties.

How does it feel? Sound? Smell? Taste? Under 2’s are still very much in ‘discovery’ play mode. They are working out how the world works by using their ‘exploring and discovering’ skills. To help them further discover these skills offer a ‘treasure basket’ full of wonder!!!

Did you know that babies tongues are one of their best sense. This sense become less sensitive as our other senses take over but this is why babies put everything in their mouths.

How to make a Heuristic Play Basket:

photo 3Step 1: Find a natural basket! (I am  a little bit addicted to baskets). But it can be a box but remember we can stimulate the sense of touch by adding natural materials. We also dont want to add a brightly coloured box because we want the wonder to be of other senses not just ‘what you see’.

photo 1Step 2: Gather everyday items from around the house or garden. (I have added some foil into an orange bag, great to ‘scrunch’)

photo 4Step 3: Put them into the basket.

Now that you have all seen how hard it is to create a ‘Heuristic Play basket’, you can make them for your friends and use the ‘fancy words’ to impress! 😉

I would love to hear what you have as natural play baskets. I am sure you have all been doing this and didn’t realise you are offering ‘Heuristic Play’ to your little ones.


The Perfect Mummy Syndrome


Miss 2 as she was!

Oh my goodness, somedays being a mother can be one of the hardest jobs you will ever do. Yes, it has taught me to be selfless and what it feels like to have unconditional love for something but it has also taught me how to be so emotional and exhausted that somedays you feel so overwhelmed that tears are just not enough. Yesterday was one of those days!!

Now I have been to every behaviour management seminar and read numerous books and can control most ‘classroom’ situations but having my girls 24/7 puts me in a whole other realm. I know what I need to do and what the studies say but ‘seriously’ in your own house and life somedays its just about survival! Please don’t get me wrong I will always strive to do the right things but I (and you) need to know that to be PERFECT has its own downfalls and problems.

So this is how my day went…I will list them out so I can see how many incidents we sometimes deal with in a day!!

1. Miss 2 is getting those ‘monster’ molars and she has been anything but pleasant. Yesterday she found a large stick and as I tried to take it off her, she screamed at me ‘NO’ then managed to swing the stick around and smack Miss 4 across the face with it. As the anger bubbled inside I consoled Miss 4, then took the stick off Miss 2, who then began screaming.

2. Miss 4 needed to get ready for ballet. Miss 2 cried for 2 hours because she wanted to go to ballet too. There was nothing I could do to distract, explain or console her, so I persevered and so did Miss 4. “Mummy Ive got a headache from Miss 2’s crying”, “Yes, so do I”!!! The problem with ballet is that alot of the mothers I have had as parents in my class so I feel like my children’s behaviour reflects on my teaching ability. Does anyone else feel like they are judged??

3. Lunch time. Miss 2 is a very fussy eater (I love Heidi’s help on this matter but it’s still a constant struggle). So of course today was going to be hard. She usually says ‘YUCK’ and pushes the plate away but today she threw the food on the floor. It went like this “YUCK” throw, “YUCK” throw!! As it was avocado it created a nice mess. So by now my FUSE was nearly blown!!! However I had a saving grace being her rest time… so I pushed through. I counted to 10 and let it go, remembered her teeth and said “this will pass”.

4. After rest I was rejuvenated and ready for a walk. Get them out of the house, for my sanity. Luckily I had put a slow cooked meal on for dinner and I felt good knowing it would be all ready for when we got back. We went for a walk!!! On our way home Miss 2 fell over!!!! She was ‘screaming/crying’ the whole way home (felt like for hours). She had fallen over into a mud puddle and was wet, muddy and cranky!! AND BY 4.30 WE WERE ALL EXHAUSTED!!!!

5. Bathtime!! When we got home I straight away ran a bath and tried to get Miss 2 into the bath. But of course she didn’t want a bath and continue to scream. So as a way to calm myself and re-establish a calm child, I jumped into the bath with her. She was then happy to join me. Miss 4 had washed her hands in the kitchen sink and then came to join us. Our household had calmed down and we were all feeling alot better. But as I turned off the bath tap I started to hear some more water running……….

6. THE FLOOD!!!! YES, MISS 4 HAD LEFT THE KITCHEN TAP RUNNING!!! Which had caused the whole of the kitchen, most of the cupboards and, as we are in a two storey house with wood floors, all of the downstairs playroom. S@#$!!!!! So yes I DROPPED MY BUNDLE!!! Miss 4 was so sorry and worried. I went straight to getting towels and cleaning up. Miss 2 grabbed clothes out of their cupboard and proceeded to drop them on the kitchen floor, then get her cup of water and tip it all over the floor!!! SO I YELLED AT HER!!! “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING” Then I cried!!! Olivia screamed and cried. I picked her up put her in her room and closed the door, while she screamed and cried.

I hate losing it!!! Miss 4 was worried seeing me cry … but I let her and I told her why. “Im so sad and angry and that is why I am crying. I am so tired from Miss 2 crying all day and now I have so much work to clean up”. I wanted her to see me cry, I don’t want her to be a perfect person that doesn’t say “THIS SUCKS”!!! When I had calmed down I went into Miss 2’s room and gave her a big cuddle. I felt so much better from releasing that emotion. I even looked at my kitchen floor and thought “WOW, look how clean it is”!!!

Ahhhhh motherhood is a marathon but the journey is the real reward not the finish!!!!

Does anyone else have days like this?? Do you feel like our expectations of ourselves are so high? As women we are now able to have a career, be the perfect mother and wife and look amazing and happy while doing it!!!

Count the stars! Numeracy skills!

Projection of stars on the blanket

“Look at the stars Mummy, there must be 89 of them” (89 is the favourite number at the moment, everything must be 89, even poor Nanny).

“Hmmm I wonder how many there are?”

“I know, lets count them” (Great idea Miss 4)

So off she went, Miss 4 got to 46 without any help and then made it to 100 with a few reminders. I was very pleasantly surprised!! It made me think, how has she learnt to do this? I do alot with my children but I don’t sit down and make them learn; there are no structured  ‘learning sessions’ in my household.

However……What we do is talk naturally about numeracy as part of our life. For example,

1. Miss 4 is my speed limit spotter!!

She is able to read most speed signs and loves to tell me “Mummy now its 60”!!!

2. We talk about what is more, bigger, less, equal.

3. We also use our fingers, toes to get us to numbers higher then 10 and then use them to do simple addition and subtractions.

4. We talk about money and I let them play with coins (under my supervision), what the shapes are, what the value of each coin is and how to add money. Money is great to look at when you have a play shop.

There are a 1001 different ways you could add ‘numeracy’ into your life. Everything we do can in our day to day life relate back to skills that can be used for numeracy literacy.

What do you do to help encourage numeracy skills with your children?

Make your own Fairy Wands

Miss 4 had the deepest desire to have a ‘fairy princess’ party. So Miss 4 and I set to work planning the event. We loved looking over the amazing ‘pinterest’ parties, as I am calling them. I am not sure how you all feel but ‘pinterest’ has changed my world!!! After much planning with Miss 4, we had come up with some fun ideas for the party. This was one of them!!!

DIY Fairy Wands for all the ‘Fairy Princesses in the world’


You will need:  some cardboard (I used a box), bamboo sticks (I found these in our Bargain Shop), ribbon and spray paint.

wand Use a star template to draw around, you can find these easily by typing into google ‘star template’. Then comes the fun part, cut them out.

wands6Spray paint the cardboard stars and bamboo sticks.

'wide beehive inside'Make a hole, using your bamboo stick. Using ‘gentle hands’. I pushed the bamboo in about  5cms.

wands9Wrap your ribbon around, then add glue and stick the ribbon wrapped stick and glue into the hole in the star.

wands7You want to get some glue into the hole, so it will all stay nice and strong.

wand3This is what they will look like.

IMG_2905Use a vase or jar to keep them upright while they dry.

fairypotFor the party I had a table with ‘fairy dust and glitter’ and craft glue.

The children and adults loved decorating them and they were able to take them home as party favours.

‘Bippety bopperty boo’!!


Inspire their imagination!

IMG_3155It was such a warm, sunny, winters morning; so we took our play outside. I love setting up play environments, it makes the day feel magical. When the girls were busy, I quickly took some ‘props’ outside and set up an environment that would inspire their imaginations.

IMG_3160I love using pot plants in ‘play’. The girls and I planted these and today was a special day because our ‘strawberry’ was ready to be picked. But I didn’t tell them, I wanted them to find it for themselves.

IMG_3154A few baskets, a turned over wooden bowl and a doily soon turned the inside into a lovely tea party.

IMG_3158I added some ‘sparkles, sequins’. Oh and that cheeky cat.

IMG_3156 IMG_3161 It wasn’t long before the interest took place!!IMG_3159The strawberry was discovered and eaten quickly. (I didn’t get a photo, it was gone too quickly)

IMG_3162We had such a lovely morning playing outside. I couldn’t fit in the tent 😦 so I lay down and stuck my head in. Miss 4 remembered the story of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and said I was just like Alice, when she had grown to big. She soon set to work to make me a potion to shrink me again.

All it took was a bit of inspiration!!! Love my mummy days when they are like this!!

Does anyone have any other ideas to inspire? Like if you would like to see some more of our days play.


How to keep the lids on the felt pens!

Who gets sick of ‘felt pens’ always losing their lids??    ME!!!

This is how the childcare centres keep their ‘felt pens’ together. It also helps the children to put the ‘pens’ away!! Oh and Miss 2 loves to match the colours!!

So this is what you need:

‘Plaster of Paris’, a mixing bowl, large (thick) felt pens, a wooden spoon and some water.

You will need to choose a container to put the  felt pen lids into. I suggest something that is deep enough for the lids to be submerged into (not all the way, see pic).


The directions asked for 2 parts plaster and 1 part water but I found this was ‘way’ to runny.

This is my trick for making plaster…I added just enough water to the plaster for it to be the consistency of a runny paste or thickened cream. It sets alot quicker and you can put the pen lids into it straight away and it should hold them. Bang the containers gently to get the air bubbles out of the plaster.

IMG_2636 IMG_2638

Use any left over plaster in moulds and you can save them (these are great to pull out when we have friends come over and the children need a few minutes of quiet time).

IMG_2639 IMG_2640

IMG_2641Here is what the pen lids look like.

pen lids


Happy drawing!!! Ahhhhh and NO MORE MISSING PEN LIDS!


Dont become ‘Praise Junkies’!!!


My very good friend (who is also a very passionate teacher) and I were having a discussion of the importance of motivating our children from the ‘inside’.

“How do we get them to want to do it, without us constantly telling them they should do it”??? “How do we get our children to be happy with their achievements without them looking at us or anyone else to make their achievement ‘worthy'”

These are big questions but are very important. Child psychologists have long been talking about the importance of ‘intrinsic motivation’. This means that children internally understand that they, for example; ‘need to wash their hands after they have gone to the toilet’ compared to a parent constantly telling them they have to wash their hands. Or that a child looks for a reward after they have done something ‘good’ instead of just getting the reward of ‘keeping their bodies safe by washing their hands’.

The most important aspect of ‘intrinsic motivation is that this is something that your child will need and use for the rest of their lives. These building blocks are very important in raising a very balanced, self aware and self full filling child, teenager and adult. Dr Louise Porter goes further to say that it also will help to ensure children will not look for ‘external’ forces to make themselves feel better.

This is such a big parenting issue to take on so I am going to break it up into easier ‘to chew’ bits.

So we are going to start with ways we can change our rewards we give to our children. We are going to ‘ease’ off the praises and begin to encourage or recognise the effort. Does this sound weird?? Here is an example:

What would you think if I said ‘Saying GOOD BOY or GOOD GIRL” is not good for your child’s self esteem…..

The reason is because what happens when the opposite occurs??? Are they then a BAD BOY or GIRL???

The problem with labelling the child as  GOOD or BAD  is that you are not talking about the behaviour or achievement. So your child thinks that it is ‘them’.

So learn how to say “Wow, I can see how you have really thought about that”! “Those words you are using are hurting my feelings”. So if we all start with changing some of our simple phrases we can start to intrinsically motivate our children.

Here are some others to start with:

You made it!

You are so helpful!

Go for it!

How creative!

You showed lots of energy!

Please remember this is a lot to take in and just take little steps. Start reflecting on your rewards and the reactions your child has to them.

🙂 Kara