Nicki * coloring page

Father's Day Coloring Pages - new "T-shirts" for Dad!

We have added some new Father's Day coloring pages based on T-shirts - great for your kids to make their own cards. And we have a series of blank T-shirt printables too, and all sorts of ideas for using them this Father's Day.

Father's Day coloring pages

Father's Day printables

Gorgeous online dress-up dolls

These beautiful online dress-up dolls - or rather doll, bunny and robot - are so gorgeous that mothers may spend more time enjoying them than children! We enjoyed designing Bunnyfur's room, too.

Cinderella * coloring page

Adam and Eve * Bible coloring pages

Vintage Fashion * coloring page

Princess * coloring page

*more Fashion HERE!

*36 dazzling floral paterns to color HERE

Moo Cow Fan Club - fun online magazine for children

This site is well worth a browse with your kids. The past issues page (link below) offers interesting articles on all sorts of subjects for (older) kids - examples include Ancient Egypt, baby animals, sports, Aztecs, space, nature, etc. A good read!

Moo Cow Fan Club past issues

Teddy Bees

Summer Flower Coloring Pages - New Additions

We have added a sunflower, poppy and hollyhocks to our summer flower coloring pages - perfect for all sorts of pretty projects with your girls.

Summer flower coloring pages

New Father's Day coloring pages

We have added 6 new Father's Day pages to the website, and we think you'll like them!

Father's Day coloring pages

Hansel&Gretel * Coloring pages

You have here the STORY!
And now you can color all these pages:

Hansel&Gretel by Grimm Brothers


About the story:

Engelbert Humperdinck who wrote Hansel and Gretel was born in Germany in 1854. In the 1890s, his sister, Adelheid Wette, had written a libretto based on the Grimm fairy tale, and asked her brother to set it to music as a Christmas entertainment for her children. Later, Engelbert and Adelheid decided to turn this modest home project into a full-scale opera. Hansel and Gretel premiered on December 23, 1893 at Weimar. It was an instant hit and remains an everlasting masterpiece. The composer Richard Strauss, who was the assistant conductor for the premiere, called it "a masterwork of the first rank."

Act I, Scene 1

Once upon a time . . .

. . . a brother and sister named Hansel and Gretel lived with their mother and father at the edge of a huge forest. When our story opens, they are alone in their poor cottage, hard at work at their chores, and very very hungry. Gretel teases Hansel for being a grump, and promises to tell him a secret if he will cheer up -- there's milk in the jug, and their mother will make them a nice pudding when she comes home. Hansel sneaks a taste of the milk, but Gretel warns him that their mother will be angry if they don't get back to work. Hansel refuses; he prefers to dance. Gretel thinks that's a wonderful idea, and they begin to dance ("Brother, come and dance with me"). In the middle of all the fun, Mother comes home in a very bad mood, angry at them for not having finished their work. She gets a stick to hit them, and, as they escape, she accidentally knocks over the jug, spilling all the milk. She angrily orders them out of the house to pick strawberries. Then she despairs, and begs God for help in feeding her children. Exhausted, she falls asleep.

Then Father is heard singing in the distance. He reels into the house and gives Mother a big smacking kiss. She is not amused, and accuses him of being drunk. He ignores her nagging and playfully asks for supper. She tells him that there's nothing to eat, but, to her surprise, he pulls out a sackful of food. It seems that he had gone to town to sell his brooms, and there was a festival going on, so he managed to make a
huge profit. Mother toasts his success, and, as they begin to dig into the food, he realizes that the children aren't there. Mother tells him how Hansel and Gretel were misbehaving, and how she broke the milk jug trying to get at them. Father laughs heartily at this, and Mother can't help joining in. He asks again where they are, and she replies, "For all I know, at the Ilsenstein." Father is struck with horror, for the Ilsenstein is the mountain abode of a horrible witch who rides on a broomstick, lures children to her gingerbread house, and -- bakes them into gingerbread. They rush out of the house in search of the children.

Act I, Scene 2. The Forest

It is now sunset. Hansel is roaming about in the forest picking strawberries, while Gretel makes a crown of flowers and sings a little song. They begin snacking on the berries as they listen to a cuckoo singing on the distance. Soon they begin fighting over the strawberries, but Hansel grabs the basket away from Gretel and eats them all. Gretel is horrified; now they'll have to pick twice as many as before. It's getting dark, and they realize that they are lost in the woods. Hansel tries to reassure her, but they begin to see strange shapes and lights. When Hansel calls out, "Who's there?" only an echo replies. Gretel thinks she sees ghostly figures coming for them and cries out for her parents. Out of the mist, a little man appears with a sack on his back. It is the Sandman, and he sprinkles his magic sand on them to help them sleep. The children say their Evening Prayer ("Now I lay me down to sleep") and fall into a deep sleep as angels watch over them.

Act II. The Witch's House in the Forest

It is dawn. The Dew Fairy sprinkles dew on the children to gently wake them. Gretel wakes up first and greets the morning with a so ng. Then she tickles Hansel awake. She tells him that she dreamt of angels; Hansel is surprised, for he had the same dream. Suddenly, a beautiful gingerbread house e appears in the forest. They run up to it, inspecting the candy and cake trimming the h ouse, eager to start eating and hoping that whoever lives in the house will invite them in. Hansel k nocks, but no one answers. Gretel stops him from opening the door, but he argues that the angels they saw in their dream must live in the house, and that it will be all right if they just start eating. As Hansel breaks off a piece of cake, they hear a strange voice from inside the house:
Nibble, nibble, mousekin,
Who's nibbling at my housekin?
The children freeze with fear, but then, concluding that it must be the wind, go on to taste the treats. It is heavenly! They grab more sweets off the house, but again stop dead when they hear:
Nibble, nibble, mousekin,
Who's nibbling at my housekin?

They answer the voice, saying that it's the wind. They go on eating and laughing, but soon someone else is laughing with them:
a horrible Witch. She takes hold of them, eyeing them hungrily and telling them how much she loves children -- to eat. Hansel and Gretel struggle to escape, but the Witch laughs at them, describing all the goodies she will feed them to fatten them up and make them tender and delicious. They manage to break away, but she freezes them with a spell that she casts from a magic stick:

Hocus pocus, malus locus, bonus jocus!

Hansel is led into a cage, and the Witch goes into the house, leaving Gretel frozen in place. Hansel tells Gretel that he has a plan, and that she should do whatever the Witch tells her to.

The Witch returns with a basket of sweets, ordering Hansel to eat. She unfreezes Gretel with another spell --

Hocus pocus, elderbush,
rigid body loosen, whoosh!

-- and orders her to go into the house to set the table for supper. Hansel, meanwhile, pretends to be asleep. The Witch gloats over her plan to eat Gretel first by having her look into the oven and pushing her into it, baking her into gingerbread. She gleefully dances with her broomstick ("So hop, hop, hop, galop, lop, lop").

Now the Witch wakes Hansel up to see if he is fat enough. She tells him to put out a finger so she can feel it, but Hansel pokes out a twig instead, and the nearsighted old hag is sorely disappointed at how skinny he is. She calls for Gretel to bring more sweets for him. While the Witch is feeding him, Gretel, seeing the magic stick unattended, grabs it and recites the unfreeze spell. The Witch suddenly turns to her and asks what she said, but Gretel merely replies that Hansel will never get fat. The Witch stops her mouth with food. As the Witch goes to check the oven, Hansel tells Gretel to be careful. The Witch calls Gretel over and asks her to look in the oven to see if the gingerbread is done yet. Gretel pretends not to understand, and asks the Witch to show her how. Annoyed, the Witch sticks her head in. Hansel, meanwhile, has crept out of the cage, and he and Gretel shove the Witch into the oven and bang the door shut. They dance with joy at the Witch's destruction.

Hansel rushes into the house and comes out again with all sorts of delicious food. Then the oven explodes, and the gingerbread figures around the house are suddenly transformed into
real children, frozen in place with their eyes closed. The children ask Hansel and Gretel to touch them to open their eyes. Then Hansel grabs the magic stick, recites the unfreeze spell, and the children are free. They joyfully thank Hansel and Gretel and dance with them.

Then, Father is heard in the distance sadly calling for Hansel and Gretel. When he and Mother arrive, Hansel and Gretel rush into their arms. The other children take the Witch, now a huge gingerbread cookie, out of the oven. Everyone thanks God and dances triumphantly.

Click here for coloring pages!!!!

Music for Kids - Catch The Moon

Fashion * coloring pages

more coloring fashion

Sadako Sasaki - a sad but inspiring story..

'I will write "peace" on your wings, and you will fly all over the world'.

Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl who lived in Hiroshima, in Japan. In August 1945, When she was two year's old, the atomic bomb was dropped about one mile away from her home. She and her family managed to escape, although her grandmother ran back to fetch something from their house and was never seen again.Sadako had a normal childhood and was a very good runner. Her class, which won the school's relay race, was very proud of her running skills. But it was during a running race that she first fell ill, when she was 11 year's old.

Read Sadako's story, learn about the Children's Peace Monument, and fold your own origami crane.

Japan For Kids

Well, it's still not quite finished, but we have been having so much fun with our new "Japan for Kids" theme that we wanted to get it up on the blog anyway! Come and have a look at our new Japanese craft ideas, traditional Japanese origami for kids, Japanese printables, Japan-themed jigsaws, and lots more fun and educational activities to enjoy with your children.

Japan for Kids

Make your own Sock Pharaoh

This is a super craft to make your very own pharaoh from a sock (very similar to the famous sock monkey, but simple enough for children to make). Lovely clear instructions make this very easy to follow.

Make a sock pharaoh

Look out for the new Ancient Egypt theme page coming to Activity Village soon.

Fashion * coloring pages

more Princess

Healthy Kids - Printable Activity Sheets

There are four fun activity sheets here to print - to encourage your kids to eat well, take exercise etc. If you click around you can also find some posters, stories and other printables on the same "healthy" themes.

Eat Smart Play Hard

Fashion * coloring pages



Float or sink?

Play this fun online game (from the BBC) to learn whether objects float or sink, and why - then follow it up at home with a collection of things from around the house!
Float Or Sink?

More science ideas for very young children

Free printable flash cards, number cards etc

There are some really nice - and useful - free printable flash cards, number cards and clock faces here

A Visit To The Library

We found this video - and many others - at - You Tube for teachers!

Laughing horse

click for laughing horse
more coloring horses

Geranium * Adults therapy coloring page

Light *Adults therapy coloring page

Volcano * Adults therapy coloring page

Folding a TShirt the Japanese way - speed up laundry time!

Put Kids In Good Moods Naturally

The moods that kids experience aren’t simply related to whatever is happening to them during the day. They have a lot to do with the chemicals running around their brains and bodies.

Brain chemistry has as much power to shift emotions as does a happy or sad event. Adrenaline and cortisol are brain chemicals that parents want less of in their kids.

Adrenaline is partly responsible for the revved up, ‘cordial high’ and extreme activity that some kids experience. It is very powerful as it causes the flight/fight part of the brain to take over.

When a child gets an adrenaline rush it is a waste of time trying to change their behaviour until adrenaline decreases. That’s why you need to either give amped up kids some space or the time to calm down. Physical activity can help dissipate adrenaline. Having a family life where there is lots of repetition and rituals is one way to lessen adrenaline.

Cortisol is the other brain chemical worth watching out for. It is the stress hormone that gets released with adrenaline. It lowers verbal ability so stressed kids often can’t verbalise their thoughts.

Too much cortisol and you will have an inflexible, stressed out child. Ridicule, put downs and fear can increase cortisol so a psychologically safe environment helps reduce cortisol. Less sugar and more water also controls cortisol. Plenty of sleep reduces both adrenaline and cortisol.

What about ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals?

Read more of this excellent article by Michael Grose ...

Ballerinas * coloring page

Happy Children's Day!

It's Children's Day in Japan - Happy Children's Day to all our Japanese visitors! Celebrate with our Children's Day crafts, printables and other activities.

New Kids Crafts at Activity Village

We have just added lots of new craft projects for kids to the website - some using up odds and ends from around the house to fit in with our new Recycling for Kids theme, and some perfect for Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts.

Take a look and get crafty this weekend!
Recycling Crafts
Gifts Kids Can Make

Children's Day in Japan, 5th May

Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) is celebrated on 5th May in Japan. It is a national holiday on which all children are celebrated and their mothers are honoured.

There are many colourful traditions, including the hanging of koinobori (carp kites) and the display of warrior dolls. Rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves are eaten, and everybody enjoys the holiday.

At Activity Village we have enjoyed learning about Children's Day so much that we have created a number of crafts, activities and printables for you to enoy too. And we are working on a theme page all about Japan, for kids, too.

Cinderella * coloring page

More Cinderella HERE