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Ron Clark – the student whisperer

Ron Clark is the Student Whisperer

Every school needs a Ron Clark

How an ordinary man changed the lives of thousands of students and teachers – the fun way

So, who is Ron Clark?

Ron Clark is an educator. A very special one who is responsible for changing the lives of hundreds of school children, giving them a huge opportunity to lead fulfilling and successful lives full of the rich priorities.

Ron’s motivation comes from trying to bring out the successful student in every child. He started out working with disadvantaged school children

This innovative educator’s journey was turned into a television movie in 2006 – ‘The Ron Clark Story’ starring Matthew Perry in the main role of Ron Clark.

Watch ‘The Ron Clark Story’ staring Matthew Perry

Ron is the founder of the highly successful Ron Clark Academy. Along with Kim Bearden, the co-founder, they direct this unique, private non-profit Academy that is located in Atlanta, Georgia. It has about 119 students, and the education for each student costs $18,000. The costs are funded by the profits of teacher training courses and from sponsors. The school children are taught essential rules for success that are useful in and out of the classroom. All the while, in an original and highly entertaining way so the students truly enjoy learning from the heart.

It’s not all fun and games, but the students enjoy Ron Clark’s natural learning techniques, based upon respect, manners, higher thinking, all the while using engaging teaching methods.

Ron Clark came a long way. He started out as a teacher in North Carolina, later moving to Harlem, New York City. It was there in New York that Ron saw that he could make a difference in the lives of school children from difficult backgrounds.

  • 1: The Essential 55 (2003) – An award-winning educator’s rules for discovering the successful student in every child.
  • 2: The Essential 55 Workbook (2003) – Activities to fire up enthusiasm in the classroom. Fun role-playing excerises. Quizzes to discover a child’s strength.
  • 3: The End of Molasses Classes (2011) – 101 extraordinary solutions for parents and teachers, to help get kids unstuck.
  • 4: The Excellent 11 (2005) – An award-winning teachers guide to raising children who love to learn.

What is so special about the Ron Clark Academy?

Ron Clark engages this students 100%. He does this by forming a curriculum that is entertaining. Students learn at a speedy rate, throughly enjoying every moment. This is executed using the power of hip-hop, rap, dancing, and making lessons enjoyable.

Other schools have a lot to learn as they continue to churn out dry, dull lessons that follow the ways of the old – built upon a prison structure, spitting out students that are not educated on how to thrive in the real world. Not taught how to function amongst society. Not shown how to build upon their in-born skills and ability to learn any thing they put their mind to. Of course parents play a vital role, but the school system – school teachers can really make an impact on the lives of the youth that are sent to learn under their wing.

And Ron Clark knows how to take them under this wing. He trains teachers to go out into the world and spread his teaching method.

Ron Clark’s 11 traits of excellence are…

  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Adventure
  3. Creativity
  4. Reflection
  5. Balance
  6. Compassion
  7. Confidence
  8. Humor
  9. Common sense
  10. Appreciation
  11. Resilience

Have a peep inside the Ron Clark experience!…

Ron Clark has written some excellent books.

All Ron Clark Books

Get Ron Clark’s inspirational books on Amazon…

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This ‘Ron Clark’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

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Mr. Men themed birthday party

Mr Men birthday party

Have a Mr. Men themed birthday party

Have you already introduced your child to the Mr. Men and the Little Miss characters? Every child’s bookshelf deserves to be stacked with at least 6 Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

The Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves are such fun and lovable characters. With names such as Mr. Happy, Mr. Nosey, Mr. Bump, Mr. Small, Mr. Jelly, Mr. Greedy – and my all time favourite Mr. Tickle, children quickly fall in love with them and get immersed in their adventurous stories. The first books appeared shortly after 1971. The Mr. Men children’s series shot to fame on T.V’s across the U.K in 1974. It was narrated by the forever nostalgic voice of the English actor Arthur Lowe (1915 – 1982) The Mr. Men continue enjoying their well deserved fame, not just in the United Kingdom, but all over the world!

The Little Misses appeared in book form in 1981. Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Helpful, Little Miss Shy, and many more are out there to accompany the Mr. Men on their never ending adventures.

Once you know that your child is a Mr. Men / Little Miss fan – then it’s time to invite these characters into your home and have a dazzling children’s party with the Mr. Men and Little Misses as the guests of honour!

First think about making your own Mr. Men cupcakes!

Mr. Men and little Miss cupcakes recipe

Try this recipe for making perfect Mr. Men Cupcakes / Fairy Cakes

When you click on the link below, it will re-direct you to the official Mr. Men website where you will be able to view the recipe right away:

Mr. Men Little Miss Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Experiment with your icing designs!

Mr Men cupcakes Chucakes
Mr. Men cupcakes made by ‘Chucakes’
Mr Men Little Misses birthday party theme
Mr Men birthday cake toppers

For your Mr. Men / Little Miss themed birthday party you will need to go out in search for party supplies.

Please try to find supplies made from paper and recyclable material. There’s still way too much single use plastic out there! We definitely don’t need to use plastic straws any more.

Maybe you can get all the fun supplies at the shops in your area? If you are having difficulty to locate everything that you need, then all you have to do is search on Amazon, or use our link, and you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for to complete your Mr. Men / Little Miss party. The children will love it, and so will the adults that also grew up with The Mr. Men and the nostalgic voice of Arthur Lowe.

Mr Men themed party supplies
Mr. Men paper plates, cups and napkins

(Depending on your country) Amazon has lots of Mr. Men Party accessories to insure that the kids will have a great time having a Mr. Men or Little Misses themed birthday party.

Be sure to search Amazon for more accessories that display your child’s fav Mr. Men or Little Miss characters! – cake toppers, party bags, cups, napkins, tablecloths, banners, balloons, birthday cards, invitations, etc.

USA heart shaped flagAmazon US – Mr. Men party supplies

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Build wonderful memories for each child who attends the party – treat each one to a goody-bag with a Mr. Men or Little Miss Birthday book in it to take home with them!?  

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Amazon US – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

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Amazon UK – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

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Amazon ES – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

Mr Men Party theme
Mr. Men themed party supplies

Wanna know the difference between ‘cupcakes and fairycakes’?

Our article will quickly explain the differences between cupcakes and fairycakes! – And we’ll also give you some yummy recipes!

What is the difference between cupcakes and fairycakes?

This ‘Mr. Men themed birthday party’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

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Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters, tongue tied

Tongue Twisters that will drive you crazy!

What is a tongue twister?

A tongue twister is a sentence or a phrase that consists of a sequence of similar sounding words. The similarity makes them very hard to pronounce, especially if you say them fast.

Books with tongue twisters are an enormous aid for children that are having difficulty with reading.

The funny sentences make tongue twisters hilarious for children. This will get them practicing their speech, and once the children have a tongue twister book in their hands there’s no stopping them from unknowingly practicing their reading skills like true champs!

You have to try and say the words of tongue twisters not only as fast as you can, but also very clearly! Native speakers find tongue twisters difficult – imagine trying to say a tongue twister in another language! –

such as this Spanish tongue twister:

“El perro de San Roque no tiene rabo porque Ramón Rodríguez se lo ha robado.”
Translation: “Saint Roque’s dog has no tail because Ramón Rodríguez has stolen it.”

and this German tongue twister:

“Blaukraut bleibt Blaukraut und Brautkleid bleibt Brautkleid”
Translation: “Red cabbage remains as red cabbage and a wedding dress remains as a wedding dress.”

Tongue twisters can be used purely for fun, but remember, they are totally useful for practicing pronunciation. They are beneficial for fluency in a language, and a great warm-up exercise for vocal muscles.

Do grown-ups need to say tongue twisters?

Yes! – Newsreaders, public speakers, politicians and actors all use tongue twisters to practice speaking clearly! The trickier, the better.

Have fun getting your tongue twisted! Go and challenge someone to a tongue twister battle!

Boy with his tongue twisted

Let’s see if you can say these ones…

We’ll start off with a classic tongue twister:

  • ‘She sells sea-shells on the seashore’ – repeat it many times over as fast as you can!

Moving swiftly along…

  • ‘Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?’
  • ‘Would you like a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot?’
  • ‘How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?’
  • ‘Susie works in a shoeshine shop. Where she shines she sits, and where she sits she shines shoes’ (be very careful saying this one!)

Wow, you’re so good at this! – Lets continue with this tongue twister that I made up by myself..

  • ‘Moana and Maui momentarily got married on a massive, magical, mystic mountain, so Moana and Maui remained merrily married’ 

That was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! Wasn’t it?

Now that you’re a tongue twister expert, go to the next level

5 more tongue twisters that will truly drive you crazy

and there are a few wacky jokes at the end!

The Amazing Activity Handbook

By Parragon Books – Over 200 things to make and do!

Get The Amazing Activity Handbook…

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Here are the tongue twisters from the video for those of you who want to practice some more…

  1. ‘Red truck, black truck, red truck, black truck’
  2. ‘Mrs Smith’s Fish Sauce Shop’
  3. ‘A noisy noise annoys an oyster’
  4. ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pecks of pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?’
  5. ‘Betty Botter had some butter, “But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter. If I bake this bitter butter, it would make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter – that would make my batter better.” So she brought a bit of butter, better than her bitter butter, and she baked it in her batter, and the batter was not bitter. So ’twas better Betty Potter bought a bit of better butter.’


Want to know even more tongue twisters?

There are quite a few books full of crazy tongue twisters for kids. Here are the best ones that you might like to get for your children and have them practicing their reading skills and toning up their vocal muscles without even knowing it:

  • ‘Elmo’s Tricky Tongue Twisters’ – from the Sesame Street Little Golden Book series. It has very high ratings. For children aged 4 – 7, through some of the tongue twisters may be a bit difficult – practice makes perfect!
  • ‘Oh Say Can You Say?’ by Dr. Seuss – It’s available as an interactive book app by Oceanhouse Media Inc. It has tappable words, aimed at young readers and gets them mimicking and memorising words really fast! Aimed at children aged 3+
  • ‘Lots of Tongue Twisters for Kids’ by Whee Winn. A fantastic book packed with over 250 tongue twisters for both kids and grown-ups to share. ‘Lots of Tongue Twisters for Kids’  by Whee Winn can be pre-ordered now, but is available as from 5th February 2019!
  • ‘An Antic Alphabet of Tricky Tongue Twisters’ by Ruth Veres and Peter Veres. This is a colouring book. For each letter of the alphabet you will find a comical picture to colour as well as a 12-syllable tongue twister line. ‘Valiant Vera Vaulted Vats of Vicious Vipers’ – below some of the pictures you will find the definitions of unusual words that children might not know e.g Valiant – Courageous and determined. Vats – Tanks or tubs usually used to hold liquid. Vipers – Thick-bodied poisonous snakes. A very enjoyable book that is creative and educational!
  • ‘Halloween Tongue Twisters for Kids’ a kindle book by Riley Weber. A really fun and interactive book. You can also find the paperback version. Over 50 pages of spooky illustrations and tongue twisters such as 1: ‘Six spooky spiders spread a silky sticky web’, 2: ‘Ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Goblins, ghosts and ghouls. Ghouls, goblins and ghosts.’ 3: ‘Bizarre black bats barely bite’.
  • ‘Amazing Animal Alphabet of Twenty-Six Tongue Twisters’, by Robert Pizzo. 32 brilliantly illustrated pages. Aimed at ages 5 – 8. A very creative book that will get your kids practicing and practicing the vocabulary, thus increasing their reading skills at an alarming rate!
  • ‘Just Joking’, from the National Geographic Kids book series. Packed with over 300 hilarious jokes, tricky tongue twisters, and ridiculous riddles. 208 pages. Aimed at 7 – 10 year olds. This book has very high ratings – it’s loved by both kids and adults. ‘Just Joking’ is full of stunning pictures of animals, as you’d expect from National Geographic. It also has fun facts – there’s absolutely nothing not to like about this book – except that it’s so good that you might end up buying the whole series of six National Geographic ‘Just Joking’ books for the kids!
National Geographic Just Joking book set
National Geographic Just Joking book set
Amazing Animal Alphabet of twenty six tongue twisters
Amazing Animal Alphabet of twenty six tongue twisters ‘Fantastically fearless frog flaunts a funny fake-fur fez’  – Gigantic gawky gorilla gets to go in a goofy green go-kart’
An Antic Alphabet of Tongue Twisters
An Antic Alphabet of Tongue Twisters, colouring book

Discover funny books full of tongue twisters!!!…

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Does your child know a great tongue twister!? – Share it with us by leaving a comment!

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Mum! The Monsters!

Mum, The Monsters

‘Mum! The Monsters!’ is the perfect  book for little ones who are afraid of the dark

A fabulous book written by Liliana Cinetto and wonderfully illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Mum! The Monsters! helps small children realise that they do not have to be afraid at bedtime

Our Review:

Quite a few children are scared of the dark – they think there are monsters lurking in the bedroom, in wardrobes and closets, and under the bed. This is a book that can help them in a fun and adventurous way.

‘Mum! The Monsters’ defiantly gets an excellent review for us – and rightly so!

We purchased the paperback version which is 24cm x 24cm and consists of 29 pages. The words are written in lowercase. They are clear, and easy for confident, early readers to start tackling.

If your child cannot read, or prefers you to read the story to them, they will certainly have a blast observing the illustrations! (Make sure they keep an eye out for the little blue teddy bear on nearly every page!)

‘Mum! The Monsters! is a highly entertaining storybook, and the amazing illustrations help to relieve the tension that many children suffer at bedtime. 

The only thing is as it deals with monsters, the illustrations may scare younger, sensitive children.

Mum, The Monsters!

 But as the story goes on, the illustrations become very comical, and the aim is to get your child laughing at these scary figures and realising that they are silly and harmless.

The hero of the day is ‘Mum’ – Normally mum goes into her little boys bedroom, turns on the light and sings him songs until he falls back to sleep. But one day, she decides to tell him “You’re a big boy now. You shouldn’t be afraid any more”. Then she takes drastic action right before his wide eyes! Mum comes to the rescue armed with her very own special weapons to erase monsters from the home once and for all!

Mum, The Monsters


Mum! – The Monsters! – such a great story written by Liliana Cinetto, fabulous illustrations by Poly Bernatene. (The U.S title is called ‘Mom! The Monsters!)

This is a great story not only for Halloween, but also any time of the year. It is especially aimed at children who are afraid of going to bed at night. This book teaches them that there’s no need to be scared of hairy monsters with sharp teeth that smell of dirty socks. Ghosts that float around trailing dust and cobwebs. Witches with messy hair and yellow eyes. And huge ogres with mouths full of green drool. It’s these monsters who need to be very afraid, because tonight they have met their match, and this hero doesn’t need a cape! 

Always support your child, never ridicule their fears – help them to overcome their fears in a gentle way

Mum, The Monsters

See the video of our storyteller Sherry reading ‘Mum, The Monsters!’

Sherry has included a bonus feature that has questions to get your child talking and thinking about ‘being afraid of monsters’

Please drop a comment and let us know how your child reacted to the story!

Mum! The Monsters

NOTE: If you are experiencing trouble with this website, click the padlock icon in the address bar to see if  your browser/Firefox has blocked parts of this page such as images appearing as ‘broken’ 

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Mum! – The Monsters – UK

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Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga Tinga Tales – Folklore at it’s best

What is Tinga Tinga?

Tinga Tinga Tales…

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ was a very popular animated children’s series that was born in 2010 and ran for 2 seasons. By 2011 it was in full effect on T.V screens and being watched by children in Africa, America and the U.K

The colourful stories were based on traditional folklore tales, mostly about animals that live in East Africa.

But before we delve any further into the tale side of ‘Tinga Tinga’, we have to go back a bit.

Lets go back to the very beginning…



The bare origins of ‘Tinga Tinga’:

1968 was the year that Edward Saidi Tingatinga picked up a brush and started to creatively paint the animals and people from his corner of the earth.

Before ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ became an animated children’s series, it was the name of a talented painter in Tanzania. Edward Saidi Tingatinga started to paint the animals and people of Tanzania in the late 1960’s. His bright colours and style were a huge hit among the tourists who came to visit the big city of ‘Dar es Salaam’ where he lived. His vibrant art reflected the animals, people, and sounds of East Africa. Edward’s paining style quickly spread throughout the lands.

Edward Saidi Tingatinga painting


Sadly, Edward Saidi Tingatinga’s life as a new talented artist was cut short. He was shot by the police in a case of mistaken identity in 1972. His son Daudi Tingatinga carries on his wonderful legacy, along with other artists who have all been inspired by Edward Tingatinga’s art style.

Tinga Tinga Tales.

This animated British-Kenyan series was produced in Nairobi, Kenya. The animation was strongly influenced by the artwork of Mr. Tingatinga. 

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ was aired by the BBC for their CBeebies channel, and also by the Disney Channel in 2010.

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ mainly features strong, African animal characters. The central characters being Red Monkey, Zebra, Hippo, Lion, Tortoise, and Elephant.

Tinga Tinga Tales characters

Each episode tells the story of why the featured animal became the animal we know it as today, it’s origins and it’s behaviour – such as in the very first Tinga Tinga Tale – ‘Why Elephant Has A Trunk’. Or the very last episode, ‘Why Cheetah has Tears’.

Red Monkey is always the narrator. Monkey’s voice is voiced by Eugene Muchiri for the UK episodes, and by Geoffrey Curtin for the American episodes.

‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ are aimed at children as young as three years old and up to about 6 – 7 years of age. But older children still enjoy this series that features so much diversity among it’s English dialects and characters.

If you are from the UK, you will surely know Sir Lenny Henry – he is the distinctive voice behind Elephant and Buffalo!

Lenny Henry reading Tinga Tinga Tales

The opening theme song, sung by the animals of ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’ sets you in a very cheerful and positive mood right from the start

There are a total of 52 episodes that were made for the BBC and the Disney Channel. ‘The Tinga Tinga Tales’ episodes are under 12 mins long and so good to watch! Your children will totally enjoy every minute of them and get to know and enjoy the fun characters.

Many episodes were turned into book form and published. Sticker books, such as the ‘Why Tortoise Has A Broken Shell’ sticker book, and Tinga Tinga  puzzles were available too. But it seems as though they are being snapped up fast and not being published any more, so hurry and grab them as they are becoming scarce on the internet!

Tinga Tinga books are becoming scarce on the internet! See if you are lucky enough to grab some on Amazon!…

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Tinga Tinga Tales – US

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Tinga Tinga Tales – UK

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Tinga Tinga Tales – ES


Tinga Tinga Tales 4 in 1 puzzle

Look out for the ‘Read it Yourself’ versions published by ‘Ladybird’, for reading levels 1 and 2. 

Why Giraffe Has a Long Neck. Why Elephant has a Trunk

We have listed the names of all 52 books below.


Tinga Tinga Tales – Why Elephant Has A Trunk

What has happened to Tinga Tinga Tales now?

Tinga Tinga Tales still remain very popular. They have now gone a step further than the animated series. Claudia Lloyd is the creator, writer and producer. Claudia has teamed-up with the world famous singer-songwriter Eric Wainaina and Sheba Hirst. Together they have brought ‘Tinga Rain Productions’ into existence! It’s the Tinga Tinga Tales Musical! This musical of stories, songs and art has been so successful that it’s always being extended. The only problem is that you will have to live in Nairobi to see it! But we have a preview for you below…


Tinga Tinga Musical

(Produced by Tinga Rain Productions)

If you happen to be planning on going to Nairobi, or live there, then checkout the Tinga Tinga Tales Musical website to see if there will be a current performance! (The show officially ended on 30/09/18 but may be extended again due to popular demand)

Sing-a-long to the opening Tinga Tinga Tales song!

Tinga Tinga Tales theme lyrics

Animals of Tinga Tinga:
Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.
Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.
Tinga Tinga is a land
Full of stories and surprise.

Tortoise: Tell me about it.

Red Monkey:
If you like to wonder why,
Tinga Tinga is a land of whys.

Giraffe: You won’t believe your eyes…

Red Monkey: Why I swing from tree to tree.

Elephant: Why my trunk is long. (Breeee!)

Tortoise: Why I’m so slow.

Tickbird: Why I tick.

Hippo: Why my skin is smooth and slick.

All: You ask why, why, why, why, why?

Red Monkey: Why?

All: You ask why, why, why, why, why?

Hippo: There’s a story.

Red Monkey: Lots of stories.

Beneath the Tinga sky.
Tinga, Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Elephant: Tales from Africa.

All: Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Tortoise: Tales from Africa.

All: Tinga Tinga, Tinga Tinga.

Red Monkey:
Look at all my friends!
I’ll tell you why.

Jambo Everyone - Tinga Tinga Tales

The titles of all 52 Tinga Tinga Tale episodes in order:

  1. Why Elephant Has A Trunk
  2. Why make Has No Legs
  3. Why Hippo Has No Hair
  4. Why Tortoise Has A Broken Shell
  5. Why Hen Pecks At The Ground
  6. Why Bat Hangs Upside down
  7. Why Warthog Is So Ugly
  8. Why Owl’s Head Turns All The Way Round
  9. Why Monkeys Swing In The Trees
  10. Why Tickbird Sits on Hippo’s Back
  11. Why Frog Croaks
  12. Why Spider Has A Tiny Waist
  13. Why Vulture Is Bald
  14. Why Giraffe Has A Long Neck
  15. Why Porcupine Has Quills
  16. Why Lizard Always Hides Under Rocks
  17. Why Crocodile Has A Bumpy Back
  18. Why Jackal Howls At The Moon
  19. Why Hare Hops
  20. Why Mosquito Buzzes
  21. Why Rhino Charges
  22. Why Caterpillar Is Never In A Hurry
  23. Why Lion Roars
  24. Why Zebra Has Stripes
  25. Why Flamingo Stands On One Leg
  26. Why Woodpecker Pecks
  27. Why Ostrich Sticks Her Head In The Ground
  28. Why Camel Has A Hump
  29. Why Wildebeest Stampede
  30. Why Chameleon Changes Colour
  31. Why Leopard Has Spots
  32. Why Hyena Has Short Back Legs
  33. Why Ants Work Together
  34. Why Flea Jumps
  35. Why Hummingbird Hums
  36. Why Baboon Has A Bare Bottom
  37. Why Bees Sting
  38. Why Peacock Struts
  39. Why Aardvark Has A Sticky Tongue
  40. Why Whale Spouts
  41. Why Parrot Can’t Keep A Secret
  42. Why Bushbaby Has Big Eyes
  43. Why Guinea Fowl Has Dots
  44. Why Buffalo Has Horns
  45. Why Puffadder Sheds His Skin
  46. Why Eagle Rules The Skies
  47. Why Skunk Smells
  48. Why Cricket Chirrups
  49. Why Mole Lives Underground
  50. Why Squirrel Gathers Nuts
  51. Why Meerkat Is Always On The Lookout
  52. Why Cheetah Has Tears

Tinga Tinga Episodes on Daily Motion

Starting with ‘Why Baboon Has A Bare Bottom (one of my fav episodes!) Click on the video image below to watch


Want to discover even more about Tinga Tinga Tales?

Meet Claudia Lloyd and learn about the origins of Tinga Tinga!…

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Tinga Tinga Tales – ES

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The best apple & pear crumble in the world

Apple and pear crumble

The Best apple and pear crumble in the world

This is our own apple & pear crumble recipe, so yes, we have to boast about how yummy it really is

Your kids will enjoy licking their bowls and asking for more. If they happen to be picky eaters and this apple and pear crumble doesn’t sound too inviting for your child’s palette, then after the recipe you will see other options.

Now, let’s get ready to crumble!…


You will need…

Apples and pears

    • 3 medium/large cooking apples (any type of apple is actually also ok, it’s just that cooking apples are yummier due to their tart taste – Granny Smith apples are the best example of a sour, tart apple)
    • 4 medium sized pears
    •  65g of brown sugar and 65g of white sugar (You can just stick to white or brown sugar if you wish)
    • 55g of wholemeal flour 55g of white flour (Again, you can just use one type of flour if you wish)
    • 50g of butter (or margarine if you prefer)
    • A handful of raisins or sultanas
  • All spice for baking (Or a pinch of nutmeg)

Heat the oven to gas mark 5 or 109ºC. Place the shelf just above the centre of the oven


  1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in just 75g of the sugar at this stage!
  2. Cut the apples and pears into quarters, then remove the peel and core.
  3. Separate the apples from the pears (This is because the apples need to be stewed a bit and the pears don’t)
  4. Cut the apples and pears into slices. Place the pears into an ovenproof dish (approx. 1 litre dish)
  5. Place the apples into a cooking pot. Add a small amount of water just to barely cover the bottom of the pot. Add in the rest of the sugar. Add in the raisins. Add in half a teaspoon of all spice or a pinch of nutmeg. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the apples are soft, but not mushy.
  6. Pour the apples and sultanas onto the pears. Give it a little stir.
  7. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the fruit – then pop it in the oven
  8. Bake for about 40 minutes until the fruit is soft and the crumble is a pale golden brown.



Apple and pear crumble
The best apple and pear crumble in the world!

Best served with custard or ice-cream


Be adventurous! Next time make a crumble with a different kind of fruit…

(Use a total of 500g of fruit for each of these crumble recipes)

  • Plum crumble
  • Rhubarb crumble
  • Gooseberry crumble
  • Blackberry and apple crumble

Can you think of anymore types of crumble to try?



This ‘APPLE & PEAR CRUMBLE’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

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Yummy banana and raisin cake


Yummy banana and raisin cake

This delicious banana and raisin cake will be a sure winner with your kids

This cake banana and raisin cake is moist and oh so good. You can eat it sliced, spread with a little butter if you like – We personally prefer it without – as ‘operation bikini’ is still in effect. 

Here’s our easy to follow recipe for…

Banana and Raisin Cake

Banana and Raisin Cake


  • 75g butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 table spoon honey or golden syrup
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 medium, ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 150g wholemeal flour
  • 100g white self-raising flour
  • 100g raisin (or sultanas)

Prepare the oven – gas mark 4, 180ºC. Position shelf in the centre.

Grease a medium loaf tin or line it with grease-proof paper (of course you can use a rounded cake tin too)

Now get ready to do the mixing –  do you dare to let the kids help?!

  • Beat the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy
  • Beat in the egg
  • Mash in the bananas and mix well
  • Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. (If your mix is looking a bit dry, then stir in a tablespoon of water)
  • Now mix in the raisins/sultanas
Banana and Raisin Cake

Put the banana and raisin cake into the oven and let it bake for 1 – 1 1/4 hours approx.

Test it with a skewer – it should come out clean and not gooey. Leave this yummy banana and raisin cake in the tin for about 10 minutes, then let it cool on a wire tray.

Let us know how it went down!

Tip for parents – this cake is even yummier with a cup of your favourite tea, your feet up and the kids in bed! 

Banana and Raisin Cake

Feeling adventurous – go on and make some fairy cakes – jump to our recipes for Fairy cakes, Queen Cakes, Cherry Cakes and Butterfly Cakes!


This ‘BANANA & RAISIN CAKE’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want

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Cupcakes verse Fairy-cakes


Cupcakes verse Fairy Cakes

We’ll get to ‘Muffins – Scones – Cookies – Biscuits’ later on!

So, lets start with Cupcakes and Fairy Cakes – what is the difference?

When I was little growing up in England, ‘cupcake’ was a word solely used by Americans.

No English person would dare mention the word ‘Cupcake’ – it just sounded weird and very wrong in our corner of the world – We called them ‘Fairy-Cakes’.

What is the difference between a Cupcake and a Fairy Cake?

They are now pretty much the same! – I find it personally sad to admit, the word ‘Fairy Cake’ is now near – non-existant…

But, once upon a time there was a small difference.

Fairy Cakes were made from ‘Victoria Sponge’ cake mix. They were smaller and flatter than cupcakes as they were made in shallower tins. Fairy Cakes came with a blob of glace icing on top and would sometimes have coloured sprinkles on top or a bright red glazed cherry, and currants or raisins inside them.

As you can see, cupcakes are a whole new ball game. They are way bigger and naughtier. There are so many designs and ways to construct the topping – the only problem I have with cupcakes is how do you eat them! For Fairy Cakes all it took was small neat bites and nothing could go wrong, just a few messy crumbs – but Cupcakes! – you need to open you mouth as wide as a T-Rex and still you’ll manage to get icing all over your hands and on the back of your head. Alternately, you can just get a fork and eat it in a ‘civilised’ way – but kids are kids, they shouldn’t need cutlery to gobble-up cakes at a birthday party – they are allowed to get messy and give you lots of cleaning up time. 

Which ones would you prefer to eat – Cupcakes or Fairy Cakes? Me – BOTH! 

The difference Fairy cakes verse Cupcakes
Fairy Cakes
The difference Fairy cakes verse Cupcakes

It took me many years before I was able to use the American word of ‘Cupcake’ – and even now it still seems weird and hurts a little. And as for cookies – don’t get me started hahahaha – we had ‘biscuits’ – if our biscuits had chocolate chips in them, then they were called cookies! – otherwise – BISCUITS! (More about Cookies and Biscuits in my other Post)

Just in case you don’t have a yummy Cupcake / Fairy Cake recipe, here’s one for you…

18 pretty little cakes

  • 125g/5oz self raising flour
  • 100g / 4oz margarine or butter
  • 100g / 40z sugar, preferably castor sugar
  • 2 eggs

The oven should be on gas mark 4 / 190ºc. Place the shelf just above the centre. Have 18 paper cases ready to put in there.

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients. Beat well with a mixer or wooden spoon until light and fluffy.

Divide the mix between the paper cases. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are all well risen, firm, and golden brown.


Queen  Fairy Cakes…


The difference Fairy cakes verse Cupcakes - Queen cakes
Queen Fairy Cakes

Make exactly as above, but add 50g / 20z of currants or sultanas to the mixture


Cherry Fairy Cakes…


The difference Fairy cakes verse Cupcakes - cherry cakes
Cherry Fairy Cakes

Make exactly as above, but add 50g / 20z of cherries that have been washed, dried and chopped.


Butterfly Fairy Cakes…


The difference Fairy cakes verse Cupcakes - butterfly cakes
Butterfly Fairy Cakes

Make some Fairy Cakes as described above. Make some butter cream by sieving 100g / 40z of icing sugar, adding 50g / 20z margarine or butter and 2 tsp milk, and beating together until smooth and light. Slice the tops off the cakes. Cut each top in two to make ‘wings’. Put a little butter cream on each cake and replace the wings. Sieve a little icing sugar over the top of the cakes.


Have a Mr. Men themed birthday party

Mr Men Little Misses birthday party theme pack

Try this recipe for making perfect Mr. Men Cupcakes / Fairy Cakes

When you click on the link below, it will securely re-direct you to the official Mr. Men website where you will be able to view the recipe right away:

Mr. Men Little Miss Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Experiment with your icing designs!

Mr Men cupcakes Chucakes
Mr. Men cupcakes made by ‘Chucakes’


Mr Men Little Misses birthday party theme
Mr Men birthday cake toppers

Amazon has lots of Mr. Men Party accessories to insure  that the kids will have a great time having a Mr. Men or Little Misses themed birthday party.

Be sure to search Amazon for more accessories that display your child’s fav Mr. Men or Little Miss characters! – cake toppers, party bags, cups, napkins, tablecloths, banners, balloons, birthday cards, invitations, etc.

Build wonderful memories for each child who attends the party – treat each one to a little Mr. Men or Little Miss Birthday book to take home with them!?  

Amazon US – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

Amazon UK – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

Amazon ES – All Mr. Men and Little Miss books!

This ‘CUPCAKES – FAIRY CAKES’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want

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16 top jokes for kids!


This is our selection of 16 top funny jokes that children will love…

16 top jokes for kids

Kids love to hear and make their own jokes – some are pretty terrible! – You’ve been warned…

Most kids love jokes – some children’s jokes are so cheesy and might barely get a smirk or a light-hearted sigh or groan from an adult – the same joke can make a child roll around on the ground in fits of laughter – or leave them scratching their heads and trying to wrap their mind around the cheesy logic of the joke.

Kids jokes can be hilarious, or just so terribly bad that it hurts!


1. What do you get if you cross a centipede and a parrot?

– A walkie-talkie!


kids jokes - riddle - centipede and parrot



2. Where do astronauts hang out?

– At a space bar!


kids jokes - riddle - astronaut, spacebar


3. Which type of dinosaur could jump higher than a house?

– Any kind, a house can’t jump!


kids jokes - riddle - Dinosaur jump


4. What has a bottom at the top?

– Your legs!


kids jokes - riddle - bottom at the top


5. Why are Saturday and Sunday the strongest days of the week?

– Because all the rest are ‘weak’ days!


kids jokes - riddle - strongest days of the week


6. Why didn’t the teddy bear eat his lunch?

– Because he was stuffed!


kids jokes - riddle - stuffed teddy bear


7. How does a lion like his meats?

– ‘Roarrrrrr!’


kids jokes - riddle - lion eat roar meat


8. ‘Knock knock’ – ‘Who’s there?’ – ‘Cowsgo – ‘Cowsgo who?

– ‘No they don’t, they go MOO!’


kids jokes - riddle - cows go moo


9. How do you make a tissue dance?

– You put a little boogey in it!


kids jokes - riddle - what's a booger


10. ‘Knock knock’ – ‘Who’s there?’ – ‘Figs’ – ‘Figs who?’

– ‘Figs the doorbell it’s broken!’


Knock knock - kids jokes - riddle - Figs


11. Who won the skeleton beauty contest?

– Nobody!’


kids jokes - riddle - Skeleton contest


12. Two goldfish were in a tank… 

– One says to the other, ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?’


kids jokes - riddle - two goldfish tank


13. What type of plates do they use in space?

– Flying saucers!


kids jokes - riddle - flying saucers


14. What did the duck say after he went shopping?

– Put it on my bill!


kids jokes - riddle - what did the duck say


15. Why are ghosts such bad liars?

– Because you can see right through them!


Why are ghosts bad liars? Kids joke


16. And our favourite joke featuring Snoop Dogg!

– Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella? Fo drizzle!


Joke of the day - Snoop Dogg


If you love jokes for kids, and you would like your own children to learn even more cheesy jokes – then checkout these hilarious joke books for kids!…


Amazon US – Joke books for kids

Amazon UK – Joke books for kids

Amazon ES – Joke books for kids

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What Children Really Want

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What Children Really Want©


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A Hovercraft Elephant goes to Mars


I met Carrie Mortleman – and suddenly became acquainted with a flying pink elephant!

Well, it was actually a hover-crafting elephant…

I met Carrie Mortleman at her storytelling event in the centre of Barcelona.

It was a lovely December morning in 2017. I arrived early so that I could get a chance to speak to her.

She was preparing to read a Christmassy storybook to a group of young children who would be arriving for her storytelling event in ‘Come In’ book shop in Barcelona, Spain. (It’s a lovely book shop that stocks a wide range of English books and games, mainly for children – such a thing is hard to find in Barcelona)


Carrie Mortleman reading Hellie Queek
Carrie Mortleman at a storytelling event in Barcelona

Australian’s tend to have such a big, warming personality, and Carrie definitely lives up to this friendly stereotype. She now lives in Barcelona and seems to be heavily involved in writing children’s books and storytelling.

We had a lovely chat. Carrie generously donated her time to me even though her audience were now due to arrive at any moment.

She kindly gave me a copy of her new glow-in-the-dark book – it’s an amazing book that is full of blank pages! – and then you use a special pen that has a torch built into it that you point at the book, and the words appear like magic on the pages as the torch brings the invisible ink to life! It’s a book that will definitely get children engaged in reading for hours on end. But more about Carrie’s glow-in-the-dark book in a later post!

‘Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’ and ‘Queek’s Race in Outer Space’…

…were the books that Carrie also presented to me as a gift – Not only did the highly interesting titles catch my eye, but also the literally ‘out of this world’ illustrations – when I curiously leafed through the pages I got totally engrossed in these colourful ‘spacey’ pictures. It’s definitely something different – and being different is a often a good thing – it sets you apart from the rest.


Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek


‘Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’ and ‘Queek’s Race in Outer Space’ have an appealing quirky look to them that kids will love…

Your children will turn into adults and look back on these books with a smile as the quirky imagery revokes fond childhood memories and sensations – like when you suddenly see an episode of ‘Chorlton and the Wheelies’* on Youtube and it instantly sucks you in to another time from yesterday-year.

Let your children be introduced to Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’!

so they can be given fond memories of yesterday-year filled with this cute, fluffy, pink hovercraft elephant.

In the first book, Hellie makes friend’s with a little grey mouse called Queek.

Hellie is a pink, furry elephant who can fly/hover. Queek is a sugar mouse and nearly gets flattened by Hellie when she has a sneezing fit.

It’s a book about gaining confidence and making friends. The sentences rhyme, and although there are a few words that small children might not understand, it creates room for learning and expanding on their vocabulary.

Be warned that some of the illustrations look very yummy indeed!


Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek


In the second book, the two friends go on an adventure to Mars!

Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant and Queek the Sugar Mouse meet some green aliens from Mars.

Straightaway you are given a fun language lesson on the alien’s vocab! – The first page consists of a 10 sentence glossary so that you can understand the little lime green Martians – with words like…

  • Ig blawPlease come in
  • Bok blawLook here
  • Bok yoOK
  • Og, Boonk, Pooowwwww!Ready, set, go!

…your child will get a bonus novelty from this book as they learn these alien words that are highlighted in green.

Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek


On page 4 there is a witty knock knock joke that has been placed in the story, guaranteed to get kids off to an enjoyable start.

The Milky Way is made up of yummy looking multi-coloured chocolate stars, while Mars is depicted as a gooey, chocolatey planet.

Hellie and Queek meet friendly green aliens and are invited to a feast of green food. Afterwards they decide to have a race – will Hellie’s trunk power be enough to make her win the green treasure snacks!?

A lovely story about hospitality and getting along with fellow beings.

Both these books have rhyming verses on each page, and if you read it too quick, you may have some difficulty with the rhyme flow, but once you read it a few times, you realise that this actually aids your storytelling style, adding more creativity to your reading and delivery of the sentences.

If you’re looking for storybooks that are not filled with your typical mainstream characters, try introducing your children to Hellie and Queek!

‘Unique, interesting, wonderful children – that’s who we want to raise, not generic robots’ Carrie Mortleman

Give  your children something different to read!- The author Carrie Mortleman has just the thing for them!…

‘Hellie The Hovercraft Elephant’ & ‘Queek’s Race in Outer Space’ – Enjoy!

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The best kid’s programme theme tune in history is below!…

*’Chorlton and the Wheelies’ on Youtube.


This ‘HELLIE and QUEEK’ Blog Post is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©


What Children Really Want