A Possum Magic Birthday Party

possum magic book

Last month, deep in the Australian Bush, we had a little Possum Magic themed birthday party! Every Easter we go camping with my two sisters, their partners and children and my Mum.  We go to the same camping spot every year.  No amenities and no one else for miles (apart from the affectionately known “bogans” that set up camp with their loud music,  generator, dirt bikes and dogs every year about 1 km down the road and who get kicked out by the rangers every year).  You can see pics of previous Easter camping creativity here.

australian bush

While we were camping my niece, nephew and husband all celebrated a birthday, so inspired by our location as well as Jackie from My Little Bookcase (thanks Jackie!!!), I organised a little joint birthday party based on a favourite Australian children’s book Possum Magic by Mem Fox.  My family all rolled their eyes of course, knowing that I just couldn’t help myself where birthdays were involved.

We read the book and played pass the parcel with questions from the book.

reading possum magic
SONY DSC
possum magic party
pass the parcel
pass parcelpass the parcel
pass the parcel
A chocolate koala for the winner!
We went hunting for minties in the bush …
… and had a competition (with filthy ‘camping fingernails’) to see who could tear the longest wrapper.
mintie wrapper
We ate pumpkin scones and vegemite sandwiches as a pre-dinner snack.
We ate a dinner of Steak and Salad from Sydney and Mornay from Melbourne.

dinner prep

After dinner was finished darkness had fallen and we ate a dessert of mini pavlovas, lamingtons and pumpkin scones.  A candle in each.  One for each of the birthday peeps.  If you know the book, you’ll know the significance of these particular Aussie foods.
At our birthday parties when my sisters and I were children, we would decorate brown paper bags every year in a very simple way and write the party guests name on them.  We would hang the paper bags on the back of the guests chairs and throughout the party they would collect lollies and prizes from the games and by the end of the party would have a full goodie bag to take home.
We did the same for this party but added a few goodies as well: some Australian animal activity sheets, a balloon, bubbles, Australian animal shaped cookies and a gumleaf bookmark with their name on it.  To make the gumleaf bookmark I wrote the children’s names on the gumleaves with permanent marker and then laminated them.
Possum Magic
Have you had a party themed on a book?  Have you had a party in the bush?
You can see the camping party I did for my husband when his birthday fell on Easter a few years ago – here.
more-party-ideas


P.S.  This is one of the first posts with my new blog address - www.froggooseandbear.com.  If you have previously followed this blog using a feed reader such as bloglovin, feedly, etc. you will need to adjust your records so you don’t miss any new posts!

Make your own Hot Chocolate this Easter

Continuing with our series on Easter, here is an adaptation of a post I wrote two years ago about the Cocoa-in-a-jar gifts that we made as Easter gifts.  So yummy!  They’re not really just for Easter though.  I’ve made them a number of times since as Christmas or birthday gifts as they are a great little gift for any time of year and so very simple to make!


You can find the recipes to make your own mocha, peppermint, mexican or classic cocoa over here.  I halved the recipes to fit in these jars which are roughly 375ml.  Each of these particular cocoa blends are really, really delicious, but the beauty of these is that you can play around with the recipes to make your own perfect blend.  It’s a great activity for the kids to be involved in as well.
When we made our Christmas cocoa mix we filled the jar to the very top, making it tricky to combine the contents in order to make the hot chocolate.  The contents had to be emptied into a bowl, combined and then returned to the jar.  This time, I didn’t fill the jars as high so the ingredients could be combined by simply shaking the jar.
As chocolate is such a big part of the easter tradition, I thought maybe it could be fun to gift some Easter hot chocolate!

We go camping every Easter holidays with my extended family.  It is one of our favourite times of year and the kids have such a wonderful time getting dirty and finding their own fun in the Australian bush.

This is the perfect camping drink as it doesn’t require milk.  Cozy cup of hot cocoa by the fire in the evenings.  Can’t wait!

We love making things in jars here at FGB.  
If you do too, you might like to check these out:

I actually think I may have a pathological problem when it comes to jars.  I can’t throw them out.  There are those who think I am rather strange, but you just never know when a jar might come in handy!  Do you have a cupboard full of empty jars?  Boxes full in the garage?  Please tell me I’m not the only one….
I even found a post with 40 DIY Easter gifts in a jar if you’re interested!

 For all of the other Easter related crafts, recipes and activities in this series, click here.  If you’d like to share an Easter craft with the lovely FGB readers, I’d love you to do a guest post (email me if you do!).

Another Weekend in the Country…

We seem to have enjoyed quite a few weekends away lately.  It is so good spending time outdoors.
Last weekend we were with my extended family in southern NSW on one of my favourite properties.   My parents no longer own the farm where I grew up, so being able to share with my own kids, a space where I spent quite a bit of time in my own childhood was pretty special.


 The gastro that slowly passed from one family member to the other on our return home was not so special.  Amazing how much kids really can fend for themselves!  It was my turn on Tuesday and thank goodness Goose was home from school as she managed to get breakfast, lunch (sandwiches) and dinner (baked beans) for all.  I couldn’t have been more grateful or proud.  Four movies later and they are still sporting fake tattoos all over their bodies (the crab on Bear’s forehead is my particular favourite) but they survived just fine!  

How gorgeous is this property.  I could easily live here permanently.

21 adults and 8 kids, tents, tennis, long lunches on the lawn, dessert making competitions, kids style party games for Mr FGB’s birthday, bagpipes, food fights, the annual Australian poetry competition to win the prized golden rabbit trap…
but for the kids, catching yabbies was by far the favourite activity of the weekend.
Do you have a favourite place from your childhood where you love to take your own kids?

Mini Aussie S’mores

Ever since tasting my first S’more in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, USA 17 years ago I have been lamenting the lack of the Australian equivalent.  However, it seems that all this time I have been living unaware that there actually was one!

After being introduced to the answer a few weeks ago, I was keen to try it out on our Easter camping weekend.  

Instead of the American Graham Crackers, here in Australia Arnott’s Chocolate Wheatens or McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives serve the same delicious purpose.  After coming across some bags of mini chocolate digestives in the supermarket, I thought it would be fun to make a mini bite sized version of the classic camping treat using mini marshmallows!
MINI AUSSIE S’MORES

Place 2 mini marshmallows onto the perfect marshmallow stick that you have scavenged somewhere on the ground* and cook them to your liking in the coals** of a campfire.

Place a mini chocolate wheaten on your lap***, chocolate side up.  Then place your marshmallows, still on the stick, on top.  Then on top of your marshmallows, still on the stick, place another mini chocolate wheaten, chocolate side down.

Slide your marshmallow stick out, leaving the marshmallow behind so that you have a delicious marshmallowy, chocolatey biscuit sandwich.

Indulge in the mini bite sized moreish treat!


Of course we also made the other classic campfire dessert choc bananas wrapped in foil.  I think we might be adding Aussie S’mores to the camping repertoire from now on!


Do you have a favourite camping treat?

who knows where it’s been?!
** coals really are the best for cooking marshmallows.  I’m sure you’re all aware of this.  There are those who do like a charred marshmallow, I am not one of them.
*** Also filthy from a days worth of chocolate and fun outdoors with children.
I was always taught that a bit of dirt is good for the immune system…..although this recipe would no doubt work deliciously well, and more hygenically on a gas stove.

A Creative Camping Weekend

We had such a lovely time camping over the Easter long weekend.  Four nights with my Mum, sisters, their husbands & kids.  7 adults & 5 children.  The weather was perfect.  It started to rain as we were driving out of the camping ground.  Timing.


There is a strong creative influence in our family, so we got up to quite a bit of camp ‘art & craft’ over the weekend with not one of them organised by me!  Going camping with  aunts & uncles who are artists, sculptors, builders & crafty mamas can be quite a bonus!  So much creative fun to be had outside with nature!

They made their own paint from dirt, charcoal & leaves.


They made their own charcoal in fire, using sticks, foil & coals



and did some sneaky grafitti…


They carved sculptures using rocks (children) 



and knives (the sculptor uncle) 


and even chainsaws (the builder uncle)
 This cricket set below was made with the chainsaw, freehand!

Climbed cubby houses.


 Rubbed paper with crayons to discover the secrets beneath.


Children waking at the crack of dawn and long days meant that there was still plenty of time for other non-creative pursuits …

firewood collecting

reading in the hammock

climbing trees

nature collecting

eating potatoes overcooked in foil in the fire

Sack races
making even more easter baskets and hunting for easter eggs

Eating too many easter eggs
Some Bear Grylls re-enacting

and lots of precious quality time 

spent with those we love


and the absolute highlight – learning to ride on two wheels for the very first time!

I love my little family, I really do.  Now I’m home.  Never more keen to have a shower!    Exhausted and doing load upon load of dirt encrusted washing!

What did you get up to over the Easter long weekend?

Are you a little addicted to taking photos like me?  I took over 500 photos….(!?!)


A CAMPING PARTY!

I know, I know, I just can’t help myself…

but it was Mr FGB’s birthday and we were camping…

Party bags contained:

- box of sultanas
- muesli bar
- marshmallows on a bamboo skewer
- words to a few ‘campfire songs’
- camping coloring page
- camping themed activity sheet
- small box of crayons
- coloured bandaid

Fire on top of chocolate mudcake made from mini chocolate flake bars & cellophane.

If you happened to be interested in throwing your own camping themed party, then head over here for some ideas.
If you have blogged about a party, why not head over here and join our DIY party linky!

Later Addition – Check out these camping themed ideas for 7+ age group over here.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


Otherwise entitled… ‘Easter Camping – My Favourite Shots’

More Wordless Wednesdays here.




P.S. If you are interested in knowing more about those plaster of paris nature creations, head over here for an explanation.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...