15 of the best parent blogging carnivals and memes

Ever been confused about all the carnivals and memes out there? Scribbling Mum (pictured) is on hand with this primer about them.

When I first started blogging over a year ago I wondered what the heck people were talking about, inviting me to join in with their ‘carnival’. Did I have to dress up? Would there be cake?

I can remember getting my first ‘meme’, being thrilled, but spending way too long thinking about how you’d pronounce it if you had to say it out loud. Was it mee-mee or memé? When I asked this of the seasoned blogger who’d tagged me she was like ‘Em. Not sure. Weirdo.’ and ran away.

And who was this McLinky they spoke of? As a Scot, should I be offended at this apparent stereotyping?


I now I find myself being a teeny bit more structured and have been noticing just how many of these regular activities are out there to inspire, share and get involved in. But rather than start a gigantic tracking spreadsheet, or set myself reminder alarms on my phone, I thought sharing this would be a good start.

So, here is what I have learnt so far.

‘Carnival’ = A carnival is a group of articles written by different bloggers, each giving their own take on a similar theme. These are planned events usually with a schedule so you can see the topics, or who will be hosting them, well in advance.

‘Linky’ = It’s simply a blog tool that allows readers to leave a list of links in a blog post. The ‘Mc’ has recently been dropped due to the negative associations with wee jimmy hats.

‘Meme’ (correct pronunciation still to be confirmed) = A theme for a post that can be started by any blogger. They write a post and then ‘tag’ some other bloggers at the end of their post. There are usually some rules that come with it but nothing serious and, unlike chain letters, there are no associated curses if you politely choose to decline.

So, what’s out there right now to check out and get involved in?

Writing

These are a great way to get writing inspiration and I find it fascinating how differently we can all interpret the same word or phrase. If you’ve lost your mojo then try re-visting some older posts on these sites. It can be a great way to spark your interest again.

•   Sleep is for the Weak’s Writing Workshop – Josie’s highly popular slot gives you prompts, in the form of single words, sentences or thought-provoking questions. Posted every second Monday and you link up your post on the Thursday of that week.

•   Mama’s Losin’ It’s Writing Prompts – US-based Kat posts a prompt every Tuesday and you link up to your post on the Thursday. You can also register very easily to get just the prompts emailed direct to you every week.

•   3 Bedroom Bungalow’s Dear So and So… – This is pure genius from Kat, I’m a big fan of this. Every Friday you can link up your own ‘Dear So and So…’ letters that you’re scribbled. They can be short, lengthly, heartfelt or just a plain old rant.

•   Notes to Self Plus Two’s I heart me – J Notes prompts us to think about ourselves not the kids, not work, not the daily grind. Every Friday we are given a “me” pondering question, ponder over the weekend and link up on Monday.

•   Mummy From The Heart’s Reasons to be cheerful – Michelle gives us our weekly shot of positivity and invites us all to do the same, linking up every Thursday evening.

•   Metal Mummy’s Movie Meme –  Hannah’s just started this one and it’s a weekly movie related theme to interpret as you want. A new prompt every Tuesday and you can link up all week.

•   Jenny’s Alphabe Thursday–  US based Jenny Matlock simply gives us a letter of the alphabet to play with. Posted weekly every Wednesday evening (I know, I know, it says Thursday right?  It’s a US time difference thing) with the linky staying open until Friday late afternoon.

Crafty

•   Thinly Spread’s Something for the Weekend – Christine invites us every Friday morning to link up any posts we’ve written which give us all some ideas for things we can do with children at the weekend. Could be something crafty, somewhere to go, something to bake, a game to play, some kitchen science, some garden ideas – all ideas welcome.

Photography

Don’t be put off, worried, in you don’t think you’re much of a photographer. These are all about exploring, sharing, having a go, capturing a moment. It takes all sorts. Go on, give it a whirl.

•   Sticky Fingers’ The Gallery – Tara gives you a theme every Friday and you’re invited to share your post the following Wednesday. You can post with words, without words, one photo, many photos; the choice is yours.

•   Mocha Beanie Mummy’s Silent Sunday – Jay’s weekly link up pretty much does what it says on the tin. No theme, no words, just a photo of your choice, post and link every Sunday.

•   Cafe Bebe’s Flashback Friday – Karin has just started this as a way to have a good dig about in your photo archives, dust them off and share the memories associated with that snapshot in time. No theme, you can link up every Friday.

Carnivals

•   British Mummy Blogger’s Bi-monthly Carnival– I’ve got to put that 1st on the list right? Our very own BMB carnival is hosted by a different willing volunteer every two weeks who decides whether there is a theme, or just a big writing free-for-all-fest.

•   Notes from Home’s The Friday Club – Ella puts a whole heap of work into co-ordinating these weekly themed posts so that, rather than adding a Linky, bloggers are inserting links to other posts in the carnival into their articles. If you’re interested in participating then check out the full instructions to ensure you get your post submitted to Ella in time for Friday publishing.

•   Nuture Store’s Play Academy – Cathy runs a themed monthly carnival based around different ideas for children’s play and learning. There’s also a weekly linky every Friday where you share lots of play, craft and activity ideas ready for the weekend.

And finally, there’s Mummy’s Little Monkey’s weekly Blow Your Own Blog-Horn which quite simply lets you link up to your blog every Friday and shout ‘Check me out, I’m The Shiz.’ My words not hers.

So there you have it. I know I won’t have covered everything, my apologies for those that I’ve missed. Please leave details of any more as a comment and I shall duly slap my forehead and shout ‘Of course! How could I have forgotten that one?!’

Now, go forth and participate people.

— Caroline (Scribbling Mum)

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About Jennifer Howze

Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at Jenography.net, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel, CNN.com, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.

20 Comments

  1. 08 March 2011 / 07:58

    Redtedart.com has a monthly craft link up for those of us who can’t do weekly crafts! She always has FAB stuff on there – my ‘to do’ list when my daughter is old enough is full enough that we’ll never have a dull day!

  2. 08 March 2011 / 09:12

    What a wonderful list Caroline! And thanks for including my Flashback Friday! I guess someone noticed! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Karin

  3. 08 March 2011 / 09:24

    I was going to mention Redtedart’s craft link up too – there’s also Monkey’s Doodles (http://monkeyingaround1.blogspot.com)which has a weekly children’s craft link-up on a Monday. And finally, I have just started a monthly children’s artwork link-up on Artful Adventures to show off your little one’s masterpieces. Next one is up next week!

  4. 08 March 2011 / 09:47

    What a fabulous list of memes and carnivals.
    Thank you so much for including my Movie Meme ๐Ÿ˜€ Superly chuffed for the mention!! x

  5. 08 March 2011 / 10:04

    Very useful. Thank you.
    Meme is pronounced ‘meem’ and it comes, originally, from Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene” ‘as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena’ [sorry, just copied and pasted that fron Wikipedia – very lazy of me] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme%5D
    I must try to get back into doing some of these, as it’s definitely useful to have a regular writing task to keep the writing juices flowing.

  6. 08 March 2011 / 11:05

    Thanks for the correct pronunciation of meme – I’d always thought it was mem, rhymes with phlegm.

  7. 08 March 2011 / 12:05

    ‘rhymes with phlegm’!? hee hee

  8. 08 March 2011 / 12:47

    Great post, nice for the all the newbies out there to have a round-up of what is available.
    Thanks so much for the Reasons 2 B Cheerful mention! Always really happy to have new people join up, the link up is open all week.
    Mich x

  9. 08 March 2011 / 12:57

    Thanks for including NurtureStore in your list (it’s on honour!). I think carnivals are such a great way to discover new blogs. Our Play Academy has a wonderful community of bloggers linking up to it and they swap fabulous ideas. I think carnivals can bring your blog to the attention to the wider (non-blogging) world too – I know we have childminders following via our Facebook page who go and visit the Play Academy links to look for ideas to use with their kids.

  10. 08 March 2011 / 13:04

    That is really helpful, thank you so much.

  11. 08 March 2011 / 13:09

    Great list, many of them are new to me. I do enjoy the odd meme, I can’t say I sign up every week but I dip in and out when needing inspiration.
    Another fun one to get involved with is Kate Takes 5’s Listography. I’m not a list writer at all in real life, but I find I can usually put something entertaining together based on her weekly idea. Worth checking out.

  12. 08 March 2011 / 14:10

    Wow! Thanks for including me on this great list!! I’d never heard some of these amazing ideas!!

  13. 08 March 2011 / 16:40

    The fact that I used to pronounce meme as “meh-meh” is a subject of great amusement. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 08 March 2011 / 16:49

    Thank you so much for mentioning my Something for the Weekend slot! I too was going to suggest Red Ted Art’s weekly craft link up which is brilliant!

  15. 08 March 2011 / 20:33

    Thanks for this post.
    There are some ones there I didn’t know about, so I’ll have a look.
    I’ve started a weekly link-up called Magpie Monday. Its, err every Monday, but I guess you figured that bit.
    A chance for aficionados of 2nd-hand to link up their finds, and a way to encourage people to reduce; reuse and recycle through the use of charity shops; carboots, ebay, freecycle etc etc.
    http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.com/2011/03/magpie-monday-raindrops-on-roses-and.html

  16. 08 March 2011 / 20:44

    Am off to weep into my book of lists…

  17. 10 March 2011 / 08:44

    This is an excellent find for a newbie like me. Now I’ve more blogs to read, I think I may have to give up my day job!

  18. 12 March 2011 / 09:26

    Hello! Sarah from New Zealand here (British expat). Wondered if you might be so kind as to add the ‘Lyrical Sunday’ linky I started up at the beginning of this year?
    I post up a theme at the beginning of the week and ask folk to link up the following Sunday with a poem. It was my daughter’s idea – after learning about poetry at school (she’s 7). She writes a poem most weeks and we occasionally have one from the Grandparents too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Check it out and see what you think… http://www.catchingthemagic.com/lyrical-sunday/
    Many thanks, Sarah ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. 02 June 2011 / 18:08

    Aaah thanks for the mention Luschka and Jude! Much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yes – I have a weekly with and for kids link up party – comes out on a Wednesday – open all week. Here is the latest: http://www.redtedart.com/2011/06/01/kids-get-crafty-london-city-postcards/
    And a monthly THEMED carnival – all submissions welcome – though based on “first come first serve” as it gets v full.. here is info: http://www.redtedart.com/get-crafty/
    And here is an example of the last themed get crafty: Weather Get Crafty: http://www.redtedart.com/2011/06/01/weather-get-crafty-weather-themed-crafts-and-tutorials/
    Thanks for a fab list!
    Maggy
    PS Chris doesn’t do her something for the weekend anymore but has a gardening/ outdoorsy one on Tuesdays instead!