Friday, January 29, 2010

Earth Activities

3 part cards for layers of the earth here
Ideas for teaching about the layers of the earth . This would make a fantastic centre activity

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keeping it all organized

I found this fantastic blog post today full of ideas of how to keep it all organized. I love the forms she has made for record keeping.

Mini Alphabet Magnetic Letters

I made a set of mini alphabet cards, laminated them and stuck a magnet on the back, and we have been using them for doing the worksheets I made to go with Sonlight Language Arts 1. We also use them for spelling and other activities.
In her book Sue mentiones "Paying close attention to the number of skills that will be necessary to complete the work" (pg 82). I have a child who hates to write so for her using the magnetics is focusing on the words and not on the extra skill of writing. It makes this activity achievable for her.
So far I only have the lowercase alphabet done. I need to get another box to put the uppercase letters in.

You can download the mini alphabet here if you want some too.

Science Centres

These two links were shared by another Mum on a yahoo group.

Science Centres here and here. These ideas would be perfect for a science centre or workbox activity.

The Homeschool Den has lots of science experiments here I wish I was at their house :) science is not my thing!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Never Ending Learning with Sonlight

I love the Sonlight books - of all the curriculum we have looked at or tried there are only 2 that I want to collect the whole set of - Sonlight and FIAR and don't ask me if you can buy them when I have finished because they are NEVER for sale. I intend to read these books to my Grandchildren one day Godwilling :)

I read the K Core with Zebra 2 years ago but we were new to homeschooling and we never did anything extra with the books we just read and discussed. Then we discovered FIAR and Homeschoolshare and realized that you could do more than just read a book and discuss it. You can lapbook it, you can go on rabbit trails, you can go where ever the book and child leads you, so we started to do the same with some of the Sonlight books. That is where this blog came from a place to compile the ideas we have used or seen that go with FIAR and Sonlight and now we are adapting them to the workbox.

Today in Australia is Australia Day. We went to the local park and spent a few hours participating in the local celebrations and then came home - forget school for the day, its a public holiday. But looking around Duckie has decided to redo her appalling copywork from yesterday (yes I said she had to redo it but today?), Zebra has pulled off the shelf 'Living Long Ago' and is busy hunting through the recycling box so she can make something from the book, Duckie read the book after her and then went off to make herself a tent for her dolls ... the list goes on.

The Usborne book of Living Long Ago would have to be one of the girls favourite books along with the Bernstein Bears Science Book (that one is falling apart). I do wonder how many of these books will actually survive until I am blessed with Grandchildren some are pulled off the shelf so often to re-read! Is there a law against hiding books from your children just so the books survive!

Sewing Finger Puppets

I have all these things in our sewing workbox but I just love the way Montessori teachers present things see here I wonder if I presented it like this on our sewing day if it would appeal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In case you haven't guessed it yet I am not a fan of worksheets but ...
these 2 sites are worth a look at.

Worksheet is a make your own worksheet so you are able to make the sheet exactly for your child.

Amazing Handwriting Worksheets - a free handwriting worksheet maker - It prints up well (the ones I have tried)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun and Workboxes

I have been thinking about this for a while and come to the conclusion that activities for the workbox should not be fun for the sake of fun.

Let me try to explain. I have just re-read Sue's book and found no mention of fun boxes just for the sake of having fun. She does mention fun teaching, fun work, fun and interesting materials.

Here is my conclusion we need to be thinking very carefully what we are putting in the workboxes and why. Are we just filling the work with worksheets or activities to fill in time? If so why?

"The philosophy of the Workbox System is to provide:
1 Structure
2 A firm foundation in discipline
3 A clear and visual presentation of their curriculum
4 A way to present expectations for their curriculum in a clear and logical way
5 Fun and interesting materials
6 Important educational repetition
7 An expectation of greater independence"
(From pg 23 Sue Patrick's Workbox System User's Guide)
Through out the book the emphasis is on SCHOOL and learning in the best possible way for our children. Does this involve fun? YES but fun with a purpose. I have been reading some discussions on a few different yahoo groups and this subject of fun in workboxes is causing burnout to both parents and children.
If you are having trouble filling your boxes and resorting to fun or worksheets to just fill them. Or are you struggling to get through all the work in the boxes? We were for us 12 boxes was just too much. That is why we planned the boxes based on time and what we needed to accomplish each day.
(I have a post here that explains in more detail how we planned the boxes)
Sue allows 4 hours for school work 8:30-12:30. (my oldest is only 9 and so far this time has been ample) So break up your subjects to fit this time and then in the afternoon (other than chores) it is fun time or extra activity time - we go swimming most afternoons in summer, sport with other families, extra art activities, sewing, cooking, the list is endless. For those who are more inclined to natural learning I suggest you find another name for this "school time". Learning never ends but for us this 4 hours is the time we focus on the book work side of school, the formal lessons of maths, writing and reading.
I would like to share another quote from Sue
"Homeschooling is not what we do when we don't have anything else to do. It's not what we do when we're not doing laundry and cooking and cleaning. Homeschooling is what we do first. In order to raise a generation of homeschooled children that are good representatives of what it means to homeschool, we must be committed. It is mission work and it is a full time job. Having it take any less position in your life will be to short change your children and yourself. You have been called to homeschool for a reason, and to do it well and to the best of your ability."
(from pg 51 Sue Patrick's Workbox System User's Guide)
Because of this I have removed all posts on my blog labeled as fun and relabeled them with the real work category they should be :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cutting with Scissors

There are printable pages here at DLTK kids to practice cutting with scissors.
More printables here at kinderprintables
Create your own cutting worksheets here
Otherwise just draw lines with a ruler and cut along them. allows you to make your own worksheets for practising cutting with scissors - you can make them as complicated or as easy as you like.

More ideas:

  • cut playdough
  • cut up straws to then thread and make necklaces
  • use the cut paper to make paper chains
  • cut up a magazine picture and then use it as a puzzle
  • cut up magazines

For those who want a more challenging project - fold the paper and make cuts to make a paper snowflake.

This is a Developmental Activity Idea from Sonlight K

Button Sorting

I have a small jar full of buttons, most came from my Grandma who had the most amazing button collection.

I gave them to Bunny and asked her to sort them - however she wanted. She sorted them by colour. We then talked about all the different ways she could have sorted them.

Of course Monkey wanted to play with them as soon as she saw them.
(This is a Developmental Activity listed in Sonlight K week 2)
Printable ABC Bible verses for copywork are available here. They match 'Sing the Word from A-Z

Compound Word File Folder game

File Folder Fun has put a Snowman Compound Words Game up.

This was perfect to use with our Sonlight LA 2. I printed up the blank one provided, wrote the Sonlight word list in it, laminated it and away we went. I didn't add Velcro dots to this one as Zebra asked me not to. We were able to mix the tops of the snowman around and see if it was possible to make any new words. I think I will also at a later date make up the one at FFF and add to our LA workboxes as a fun revision activity.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Australia Day Resources

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated on 26th January it commemorates the arrival of the first fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the hoisting of the British flag, and the proclamation of British Sovereignty over Australia.

Listen to the Australian National Anthem here

Australian Timeline from Downunder Literature
History of Australia Day in more detail
Maps of Australia here at A to Z Teacher stuff and here

Lots of Aussie things here at Teacher Planet
Australia craft ideas for younger children here at first school

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

We have just spent the last 4 weeks working our way through a Peter Rabbit Unit Study. The girls LOVED it. (A friend has boys and they did not like the book, not sure if this is a boy thing) There was so much more we could have done but unfortunately it is time to move on to the next book.
We started by reading 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit every day for the first week - we used a couple of different books and compared the differences. The story was the original one but some of the pictures were bigger or brighter coloured. We even had a pop-up Peter Rabbit (that was Hubby's when he was little - so maybe some boys do like Peter Rabbit!). At the same time we read a page a day from Beatrix Potter's journal. I LOVED this book. My darling Auntie gave it to me for my birthday and it was perfect. Beautifully written and illustrated with lots of pictures and photos. In the back was included a copy of her original personal printing of Peter Rabbit which we read later in the month. This was a great opportunity for the girls to see how the book was edited and made shorter in order to keep the costs down when printing it.

After the first week we then read a different story each day. There were many that I had not read before and we really had fun with this.

The journal lead into a study on Victorian England and we used the Horrible Histories books from Scholastics for this. I read a small amount out of them and edited it as it was really a bit advanced for the girls. I was really impressed with the amount of information in these books and will be adding them to our library as I find them for a reasonable price. The activity books that go along with the books were also fantastic. For really young children I would probably just get the activity book. (These would also have made a good work box activity). The timing of this was good as we had just talked about convicts and being shipped to Australia in time to celebrate Australia Day. After we finished reading the journal we watched the DVD Miss Potter. I felt from what we had read this was well done.

We finished up by holding a Peter Rabbit Party. I will try to post photos of this later. (At the moment I seem to be having trouble posting photos). Each of the girls invited one friend to join us. So we sent out invitations (made using rabbit stamps). We decorated by putting as sign on the door that said "Welcome to Mr McGregor's Garden - No Rabbits allowed). We also used a Peter Rabbit soft toy in a small watering can as the table centre piece.
When each guest had arrived we made a paper rabbit ears crown then went outside and played a game of trying to sneak up on Mr McGregor without being spotted. If you were spotted moving you had to go back to the start. After this we had lunch.
The menu included - lettuce, radishes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, french onion dip (rather than eating onions!), fresh homemade bread and black berry jam, black berries and currants and current buns. (we watched the Homestead Blessings Bread making DVD and added currants to their cinnamon rolls, they were really delicious and so easy to make). After lunch the girls watched the animated DVD's of Beatrix Potter's stories. We had such fun and was a great way to start the year.

Using the FIAR 2 Manual I had planned out activities to do/discuss every day for the 4 weeks - some we did and some we didn't do in the end, it depended on the day. Homeschool share has a number of activities to go along with the activities in the FIAR manual. You will find them here. They also have a rabbit lapbook here.

I was lucky enough to get a Beatrix Potter Lapbook from Hands of a Child when I had a super membership (I highly recommend this membership it is really worth it). This lapbook was great - we used a lot of it in Zebra and Duckie's Lap n-Notes. The other we used was The Tale of Peter Rabbit Project Pack. If you are reading The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit as part of Sonlight P4/5 and would like to make a lapbook or notebook I think this was fantastic. It was perfect for Bunny (6) and Monkey (4)

I hope to revisit some of this study in July (28th) which is Beatrix Potter's birthday.

We made Lap n-Notes for this book rather than traditional lapbooks. You can view photos of our Lap n-Notes here

Bunny ear crowns here

Rabbit Trails:

Queen Victoria - Beatrix Potter grew up during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Notebooking pages for Queen Victoria can be found at activity page here (a choice of 4)

A Queen Victoria Notebooking page here at Homeschool Share.

Beatrix Potter -
A Beatrix Potter Paper doll can be found at

With the younger girls we also rowed 'The Runaway Bunny' at the same time. Homeschool Share has a Rabbit Lapbook which lends itself well to this trail. Bunny began some of this lapbook and we will add to it as we row more books about Rabbits this year. There is also more on rabbits at First-school.

More Peter Rabbit Links:
There are literally hundreds of things on the web for Peter Rabbit. There was so much more we could have done while studying this book. These are just a few of my favourites.

Lots at Making Learning Fun (Peter Rabbit Page - including masks) I found this link after we had finished the unit study but I will still be printing up some of the games and adding to the Peter Rabbit Folder for next time and also to our Rabbit Unit Study folder. This site also included lots of maths games that would be good fun to add to the work boxes.

Download an audio version of Peter Rabbit here. This works really well copied to an ipod and put into a work box.

Peter Rabbit @ the Virtual Vine

Carnival of Homeschooling - Peter Rabbit Edition
Added June 2010 - I found a link for a Peter Rabbit Garden at Michigan State University. When we get our own home with garden I am going to try to recreate this. The girls LOVED our Peter Rabbit Rowing and still pull out the books and toys.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sonlight K Introduction to World Cultures

Here is a list of all the links we have used or made when reading the books. As we are currently working our way through the books this year I will be slowly adding to this page so check back often for more updates. In looking at the latest Sonlight catalogue I have just realized that the core had been updated some books are not in the new core so I will be providing links to some books that are from the old core as that is what we have at this stage. Books with a (new) next to them are ones that are in the new core and not in the old.

Please do not be overwhelmed by all the extra things we have added (we don't do them all ) Plus I am adding extra to make K books work for older children as I am doing 4, 5, 7 and 9 year olds together to make it easier for me :0 Some of the girls are doing these stories for the second time so we are going into more depth, if you are using K with younger children some of these activites may not work for you.

Copywork pages to match 'Sing the word from A to Z' can be downloaded from here
If you are looking for Lapbooks or other younger children's activities to go along with your bible Stories look at Bible Story Printables or look at Christian Preschool Printables or little blots

Lots of free Notebooking Pages for Bible can be found here at if you are wanting to add to your bible studies.

Language and Thinking for Young Children by Ruth Beechick & Jeannie Nelson. All my links for this book are here (This book should probably be in Language Arts K, but I have listed it here too.)

History and Geography
Free history timeline and other notebooking pages here at
Usborne Internet-Linked Children's Encyclopedia (New)
I Heard Good New Today (New)
Living Long Ago
This article has some good ideas on eating your way around the world. There are some ideas given as you read Living Long Ago but it wouldn't be hard to find and add more if you want to.
Wild Places

Hero Tales (This book is not in the 2010 Core K)
Free Missionary Notebooking Pages are here at There are some blank ones that would be perfect to record what ever you wanted to about the missionaries you studied.
Gladys Aylward
*For more info on foot binding read here I decided not to show this to my children as it made me feel sick but at least I can now explain to the girls how it was done.
I have been unable to find a DVD of 'The Inn of the Sixth Happiness' but from the reviews I have read the story line seems to stick closely to real life.
*Looking for images of Gladys for notebooking? Do a search for "gladys aylward pictures"
*Notebooking pages I made for Gladys Aylward here and here
*Hands of a Child has a lapbook called 'Christian Missionaries to Know ' item 1096 which includes both Gladys Aylward and George Muller along with others. (I was lucky enough to get this as a freebie at one stage and so we may use it as we read the book)
*Currclick has a freebie this week only for a mini unit study on Gladys Aylward.

The Apple and the Arrow
Lapbook here at Homeschool Share. There is SOOOO much here.
Here are all the things we did plus more when we read this book.

The Boxcar Children
Dolphin Adventures
Dolphin Treasures
Family Under the Bridge
Five True Dog Stories
A Grain of Rice
The House at Pooh Corner
The Hundred Dresses
In Grandma's Attic
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
Johnny Appleseed
The light at Tern Rock
The Llama Who had no Pajama
Mary on Horseback

My Father's Dragon
The girls have loved this book each time we have read it. So far we have read it twice and Zebra has lapbooked it twice (her choice!). There are 2 more books in this series Elmer and the Dragon and The dragons of Blueland. I would like to get these books but so far have not found them. The first time we read the book and lapbooked it I had to make all the bits for it. Now there is a fantastic lapbook at HSS, we used this the second time. Free lapbook at Homeschool Share
Lapbook example @ Walking by the Way.

The Real Mother Goose
Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You book
The Story about Ping
The Story of Dr Dolittle
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Twenty and Ten

Developmental Activities
week 2 - sorting buttons
week 3 - cutting with scissors
week 4 - Painting with string

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sonlight LA K

This page will be ongoing as we work through the program it will contain links to other activities I have made or used to supplement our Language Arts Program. I am altering the program to reflect the THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading And Spelling Skills) phonics program. So you will see this approach in the worksheets I have made.

Keep checking back during the year as we slowly add to these resources.

Resources we use for the year

Sandpaper Letters (I used the letter sheets from here) and cut them out of sandpaper and stuck them onto another sheet of cardboard. Confessions of a Homeschooler has lacing cards that would be possible to use to make sandpaper letters
(I teach the Upper and Lower case letters together by name and the sounds (phoneme) in a box so we learn all the grapheme (spelling choices) for this sound at the same time. We have a lot of fun with our THRASS chart.) If you want to learn more about what this is. Look here

Find the letter worksheets from I will print these up and laminate them and add them to the Letter Folder I am collecting for each letter so next child round I am all organized :)

Make a calender using the blank calender here This is the second year we have used this calender and the girls really like having their own calenders. They cross of a day each day and so keep track of the year.

Note to self - while this calender has been working ok for the older girls, I think the younger girls could do with more calender learning. On my to do list is make a calender board like this one here @ Our World Wide Classroom which is based on this one here @ 1+1+1=1

Favourite Websites for overall Language Arts activities are:
Hubbards Cupboard (check out the abc stations for activities that could easily be adapted for workboxes
ChildCareLand look under free printables. This site has a wealth of extra ideas for workboxes and so simple.

Weekly Letter Page or Alphabet Album

Sonlight has you make a letter page each week. Instead of doing that how about making a photo book? The Photo and idea is from Let's Explore
She has a new Let's Explore Blog here. You could allow your child to take photos and add to the book (and tick off technology for that day!)

Week 1 Letter Ff activities
My Letter Ff Worksheet

Lots of extra activities to do at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I don't do them all but they are good for ideas and extra games to add to the workbox Letter F activities here.
From No Time for Flash Cards - Letter Ff

Week 2 Letter Bb Activities
My Letter Bb Worksheet (note this worksheet contains 'lamb' & 'thumb' which really belong in the "m" sound box. If you don't want to explain this use this one Letter Bb worksheet edit. I didn't realise I had added these until we used it this morning!

Confessions of a Homeschooler - Letter Bb activities

From Walking by the way comes B is for boat

No Time for Flash Cards - Letter Bb

Letter Bb Fun Bag activities from Home Grown Hearts

Lots of fun Bb Activities at Delightful Learning

Language and Thinking Alphabet - we will be using the THRASS alphabet rap song and printed alphabet sheet. Bunny will be able to listen to it on the ipod and follow along on the sheet. This will be a daily workbox activity. You could copy any favourite alphabet song to CD or ipod and allow your child to listen to it independently as a workbox activity - a fun way to learn the alphabet letter names.

Day 3 Activity - Write an Invitation
There are some really nice letter writing papers for downloading here. They are printable letter and envelope in one.
Now would also be a good time to introduce a workbox activity for writing letters. Honey at Sonflower Schoolhouse has one ready to download and go. Letter Writing for the Workboxes (Scroll down the page it is no 67)

Day 4 Activity - Story Sequencing
3 Bears Story pictures printed from Sparkle box . I already have a felt board set for this story I made when I was working in Childcare so I will be offering the option of either or both on different days as a fun workbox activity.

The 3 bear bingo set also from sparkle box will make a good working with sibling fun workbox.
My Sequencing Cards for 3 Bears Activity - use if your child needs pictures to help them.
There are some really cute printables at for the three bears. They would make a good book bag activity for the three bears story.

Week 3 Letter Mm Activities
My letter Mm Worksheet

Letter M Fun From Confessions of a Homeschooler

Day 2 Activity - Cornmeal Letters.
I did this activity last time we did K with the last child but I ended up with worms getting into my cornmeal (not nice) so this time I am going to use sand - as soon as I can find a nice box. I want THIS ONE. How nice to write in orange sand and see a beautiful blue with each letter.

Week 4 Letter Tt Activities
My Letter Tt Worksheet (This week there were so many words on the THRASS chart that contained T that the worksheet is 2 pages (print double sided if you want) I actually prefer it this way as it looks like a real THRASS chart - I might have to redo the others!)

Turtle fun for the Letter T from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Day 2 Activities - 3-D Letters
You can download playdough alphabet cards from Childcareland. Scroll down the page until you come to the photo and download.

Day 3 Activities - Bean Bag Game
Make some bean bags (if you don't already have some. Easy instructions here. This would be a good sewing project for children.

Week 5 Letter Rr Activities

Lots of Rainbow fun from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Sonlight LA 2

Sonlight LA 2 Reading with Easy Readers
Here I am going to keep an ongoing list of all the extra activities we have used with this program. I am hoping to make Sonlight more work box friendly. Keep checking back through out the year as we update it as we work through it. You will need the Sonlight Language Arts 2 IG in order to fully understand the activities listed.

Reader Book List
The Beginner's Bible
Pompeii: Buried Alive!
Owl at Home
Frog and Toad are Friends
Mouse Tales
Greg's Microscope
Hill of Fire
Frog and Toad all Year
Daniel's Duck
Amelia Bedelia
Nate the Great
Frog and Toad Together
The Big Balloon Race
The Fire Cat
The Sword in the Tree
Wagon Wheels
The Titanic: Lost ... And Found

(Spelling) Word cards for first 4 weeks here

Week 1

(Spelling/Phonics) Compound Words File Folder game (game to use instead of the Activity)
(Writing Activity sheet) Worksheet for child to use when brainstorming and using Descriptive Words here

Week 2

Zebra really struggled with the spelling words this week. There were just too many long words for her to deal with.

**NOTE** (Added 14/4/10) We have persisted until week 5 with the spelling words but are giving up on the Sonlight spelling words part of LA2 for the moment so will not be adding anymore spelling activities. I don't have the finances at the moment to add in either the Explode the code or the Wordly Wise books. Instead we will be doing our own spelling activities based around the THRASS chart.

(Writing Activity Sheet) Verbs. There are lots of activities listed in this squidoo lens on Verbs.

(Writing Assignment) Worksheet for Like What? Assignment here

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

(Writing Assignment/Activity Sheet) Book Report - I made 2 sheets to go with this activity either a plain worksheet for use with the three little pigs story (here) or an Accordion Book report

Week 6

(Writing Activity) Journal Entry. Some ideas to make a beautiful journal that your child will treasure

(Writing Activity) Self-Assessment. Worksheet here

Week 7

Week 8

(Writing Activity) Communication. If you are wanting more information on the history of communication check out Wikipedia History of Communication scroll down until you get to 'history of telecommunication'

(Writing Assignment) Address book: Create an address book here are some quick and easy ways to make an address book - calendersquick, Kaboose, Donna Young and more Donna Young here

And my favourite: Correspondence a princess/prince mission. This lapbook would be perfect for teaching your child communication (topics include - How to use a phone and safety, How to write a letter, Personal address and phone book, email etiquette, and much more) for the princesses and for the princes

Week 9

Week 10

Tot School Week 1

Highlights from week one.

Monkey loves learning new songs so this week we focused on Baa Baa Black Sheep - we learnt the song and added it to her song book along with Moo Moo Jersey Cow. We made a play folder with the song on the front and inside the paperdolls from the song, number 1-5 cards and black and white sheep for making patterns. Also her black picture match which we made during the week. This folder will go into her workbox for her to pull out when ever she wants to. Considering I made the whole thing my self with only a black and white printer I am happy with our first play folder.

We used the bible matching cards Monkey was given for the first time this week she loved them.

She loves the felt map this was meant to be a waiting station activity but if she enjoys it who really cares :)
Stamping and cutting has been a real hit. She made party invitations for her birthday during this time one morning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Waiting Station #4

Big world map with felt pictures and labels to add to map. Girls also like using our plastic animals with the map.
I bought the map from Chalk Educated Toys for $60.00 Here is the direct link to the product. (If you still can't find it for some reason the product code is C9191) It comes with over 100 felt pieces - pictures of famous landmarks, animals, people, rivers and labels to add to the map.

Planning for the new year

Here is the link to my post on how I planned out my workboxes this year. I am too lazy to type it out twice so you will have to go to my other blog if you are interested. I combined Sue's schedule in her book onto my MOTH planner and used Flylady for the chores side of it. We have just completed our first week and it went so smoothly and the house stayed together!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Felt Crown Pattern

Balancing Everything has a very cute felt crown pattern which would make a good sewing project or great dress up for younger children. With 4 princesses in the family and 1 little prince I am sure it will be in high demand.


Not sure how you would fit this in the box but I just love the idea of making a miniature garden (Ideas here).

This was something we always did when we visited my grandma. She would collect sand from the river out the back of the property and we would then put it into old margarine containers or foam meat trays, dampen it and then "plant" it with plants from the garden. They never lasted for long but we had lots of fun making it. These gardens look more longer lasting. Could lead to a unit study on Bonsai if the child was really interested in miniature gardens.

This would also make a good go along when reading Milly-Molly-Mandy as from memory in one of the books Milly-Molly-Mandy and Billy Blunt make a miniature garden to show at the show.