London Trip 2015

So while the little ones stayed home with pappa, I took the big ones to London….

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…where we are staying with our friends Maxine, Natalie, Tate and Jude.
On our arrival, invited to a Chinese New Year meal…

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Day 1 ; ‘Mamma Mia’ musical…

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….followed by a trip to Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross St Pancras station…

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and a browse at all the scarves, ties and wands in the Harry Potter shop next door…

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..before settling for Luna Lovegood’s wand (it was a tricky choice between hers and Hermione’s, but Maya likes the Ravenclaw costume the most…)

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..while Leon stayed with the boys, being introduced to the characters of Warhammer in Games Workshop, and cards at Leisure games (as was his wish!)…
Day 2 took us to the amazing…

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…exhibition at Truman Brewery in London’s east end.
Neither words nor pictures can describe how fantastic these lego sculptures were, so I’ll just show you a few of my (many) favourites….

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The day ended with a curry on London’s famous Brick Lane, with a wonder around the vintage markets.
Day 3 ; A visit to mormor and Patu, where the kids were treated to a shopping trip, hot chocolate in a cafΓ©, ice-cream and lunch – (while I had a funeral to attend)…

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Here they are playing chess at mormor & Patu’s house.
Day 4 ; London Zoo!

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Maya took the above photos. London Zoo is one of the world’s oldest and famous zoos, working directly with environmental issues such as saving habitats, and breeding programmes which help save rare animal species.

Day 5 ; An easy day as we were leaving for Sweden. Just a traditional english pub lunch…

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…and a play in the local park…

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This trip to England was lovely, but with a tint of sadness, staying with a good friend who has recently found she has breast cancer, as well as myself attending the funeral of the father of one of my best childhood friends.
We made the most of it however, and are now home in Sweden. ✈️🌍

Pettson & Findus

Last weekend I took Alfie and Ted to see a theatre production of ‘Pettson and Findus’, who, if you don’t know, are some of Sweden’s most famous story characters – old man Pettson, a bit of an inventor and a lover of nature, and his curious cat Findus, and their adventures, written by Sven Nordqvist.

The theatre production turned out to be more of a musical – but none the less, loved by the kids…

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…and when we got home it was time to treat ourselves to an array of ‘Pettson and Findus’ stories! On dvd..

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…and our book ‘Pettson goes camping’…

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..with its incredible detailed and wonderful pictures…

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..particularly loved by Alfie.
I managed to get this fantastic book from the library, based on nature activities throughout the year, ‘Crafts With Findus’ (also available in English)…

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..so of course we looked straight at February..

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…and decided to try one of February’s experiments…

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..now just to wait and see what happens!
I can recommend the ‘Pettson and Findus’ books highly. Several have been translated into english, including the above one about nature facts and crafts around the year. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸŒΏπŸŒΌ

A Little About China & Chinese New Year

When we lived in California, the celebration of Chinese New Year was rife and wouldn’t go unseen, so naturally we touched on the celebration – and we usually continue to do so today….
I set up a discovery table. A globe where we found out where China was, a Chinese New Year dragon puppet, a toy panda, an abacus, some noodles, some tea, a book about China, and two classic books with stories based in China.

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We read four books – the first an excellent basic, but informative, fact book about China…

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….the second, the classic story ‘Tikki tikki tembo’ about the first born son with the long name…

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…and thirdly ‘The Story About Ping’ about the duck who lived on the Yangtze River….

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Lastly, a rather fun pop-up fact book about pandas…

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We made Chinese lanterns…

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…and of course we couldn’t go without trying out a Chinese recipe…

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…vegetable and prawn wok stir fry with noodles – delicious! πŸ˜€πŸœπŸŽ‹

Pancakes & Semla

Our pancake day is always a mixture of pancakes and semla nowadays , being a ‘Swenglish’ family…
We started with the reading of one of our favourite traditional tales….

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…a little like the ‘Gingerbread Man’, where everyone wants to eat him, and run after him to try to catch him, until eventually a clever pig outwits him and eats him all up. The kids love this one!
Followed by the watching of ‘The pancake cake’ with our present favourite story characters ‘Pettson and Findus’ – we don’t have the book, so the televised version had to suffice….

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…the story of the making of a pancake cake, and all the events that happen along the way.

Later, Alfie tried his hand at a little sight reading on pancakes (flip the pancake over when you can read the word) – and I’m happy to say he got every word without a problem! Not bad for a second language! This idea came via ‘Nurture Store’.

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We ended the day with Ted helping with the making of pancakes…

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(the setting of the table was an important process too, complete with extra paper plates, and napkins for each person..)
And finally, the eating of the swedish semla…

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Happy ‘Fat Tuesday’ (as they say here!) 😊!

A Valentines Week

It’s been a week of Valentines here, starting with the making and decorating of heart shape cookies in English Club….

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…with the change of the sensory tray to a Valentines theme…

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..with various books. This one, a very basic one for Ted, explaining what Valentines day is…

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..this wonderful story, also for Ted, about a baby who is just loved SO much. Alfie loved this when he was smaller, especially when the baby’s cousin loved him so much he wanted to fight him! ;) It seemed Ted shared this love of the book, and asked me to read it many times! Excellent!

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This one, for Alfie’s age and older, a humorous story about the facts of love. What is love? How does it feel? Who can love? What can you love? Is love a good or a bad feeling? Brilliant! And yes, there is an english translation!

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Finally, this book, for Alfie’s age and older. A factual book explaining about the organ ‘the heart’ and how it works. This was detailed, but simple, and a very good first human biology book.

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Then, of course, we painted hearts…

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…and decorated them…

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We played ‘keep the balloon off the ground’ with our lovely heart shaped balloons…

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…and had a simple Valentine themed math ‘centre’…

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I thought I had bought small decorative hearts (I found these in a garden shop), but it turned out they were made of chocolate – and it didn’t take Alfie long to find out! So now we just have the paper hearts left!
Finally, we had a Valentines waffle breakfast..

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…and our lovely Maya, arranged the traditional family Valentines dinner, all by herself….

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…burgers in heart shapes, pink pasta, red ‘love’ sauce, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers in heart shapes…

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…lets just see those heart shaped peppers again..

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What a wonderful surprise!
We hope you had a happy Valentines too! ❀️

A Valentines Bath!

It’s going to be a Valentines week this week, so we started with a Valentines bath…
…I picked up a couple of cheap heart shaped bubble baths, and some heart shaped confetti, and added red food colouring…

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The result? Two small boys and a lot of fun and laughter!

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πŸ˜†πŸ‘β€οΈ

Touching The Antarctic!

This week we’ve been looking at the antarctic…
Alfie can now point out both the arctic and the antarctic on the map, and give basic differences – thanks be to David Attenborough and ‘Frozen Planet’, but also to his world sticker book…

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We have been reading about penguins – both of these excellent books are full of factual information, however, the second one is a fictional story…

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We filled our sensory box with salt and penguins, and Ted has been having a good play, with a the more basic polar animal book beside him….

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Maya, Alfie and I have been painting penguins, and making finger-print penguins…

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I think Ted did the ‘northern lights’…

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…and Alfie and I have briefly touched on explorers…reading about ‘race’ to the antarctic….

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..in this book of ‘important maps’…

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Plus, ironically, on the back of our milk packet this week we have a little information about polar explorers..

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..which includes a website (with english translation) ‘polarforskningsportalen.se’ about recent research and expeditions to both the north and south pole, including blogs by researchers, and some very interesting photographs… πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

A Fabulous Book!

I got this book from the library recently. Originally I got it for Ted, but having read it, I realised it was more appropriate for Alfie (7), particularly due to the incredibly detailed, unusual pictures.
My version is in Swedish, but I’ve seen there is an english translation…

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‘Where Is My Sister?’ by Sven Nordqvist, is written and illustrated by the same person who wrote the ‘Pettersson and Findus’ books ; books with crazy, old fashioned details, unexpected surprises and – in this case -fabulous colour….

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The story of a brother mouse, who loses his sister mouse, in a world of imaginative wonder….

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In each sentence you can feel the sense of love the brother has for his sister, and the sense of excitement he gets from his sister’s fantastical journeys….

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..and as is with all the Sven Nordqvist books, one can spend ages just looking at the amazing pictures – something which of course, Alfie, our ‘detailed’ artist, certainly did! πŸ˜‰πŸŒˆπŸŽ¨

‘Griffindor Common Room’ from Gingerbread!

We had some gingerbread dough which needed to be used up. Maya really wanted to make ‘Hogwarts’ but we knew there wasn’t enough dough, so she settled for ‘Griffindor Common Room’!
First drawing a simple design…

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..measuring, cutting, baking, cooking the sugar, and piecing it together…

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…and thus it was finished! Four walls, a long table, four chairs and a fireplace (with wood)…

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…and I secretly added characters to make her smile.. ;)

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A fabulous maths lesson to boot! πŸ˜†