Fat Tuesday!

‘Fettisdagen’ (Fat Day) in Swedish ; Shrove Tuesday in English.

Semlas in Sweden ; Pancakes in England.

We’ll go for both thank you… 😂

  
  
Now my children want to give up red meat for 40 days…..😳

Valentines Fun

It started with a ‘maths’ table ; hearts with numbers on, red sand to write numbers in, beads and pipe cleaners for threading….

Ted started with lining up the numbered hearts….  

As yet, Ted doesn’t recognise his numbers very well, but just seeing and playing with numbers will give him a better grasp.

He then proceeded to try writing the numbers in the sand with a pipe cleaner which was great.. 
  
  And then Alfie came along…to thread beads…

   
 …and feel the sand…😉…  

Then we had some creating….    

   
 …and some cooking….    

Lots of fun! ❤️❤️❤️

Grown Up Time : Photography Exhibition

My friend Maxine came from London this weekend – just for a quick visit. She brought her older son Tate, who had a great weekend of freedom with Leon, playing minecraft and card games, and eating hugely oversized tubs of ice-cream.

So while Richard took Alfie and Ted to Skansen (a local swedish outdoor cultural museum and zoo), Maxine, Maya (because she had her piano lesson in town anyway) and I took to the ‘streets’ 😂.

After looking in a couple of favourite shops, and having a meal at ‘Kophangnang’, one of our favourite Thai restaurants, we went to the photography museum.

Esentially I wanted to see an exhibition about children who had been in Syria, and were now homelesss refugees – it was the last day, and I had heard so much about it. We saw it. It was very sad, but interesting. 

But there was another exhibition there – one I liked even more – by ‘Martin Schoeller’, a portrait photographer who had taken (mostly) celebrities close up pictures – and it was brilliant!

  
Here are some of my favourites…

  
  
  
  
  
An excellent exhibition, well worth seeing!

And the stroll along the quay home was pretty nice too…

  
😘

 

  

English Club : Constellations

I had plans to take the kids on a star walk in the forest, to try out our new telescope – but it was cloudy, and not to be.

So, as usual, starting off with a little treat (this time hot chocolate stars)….

  
We went on to read a little about some of the more well known constellations, and what a constellation is….

   
   
…before choosing a few constellations and making our own constellation lights…

   
   
   
      

      

  The kids also insisted on making up their own constellation! 😆

Before going on to make glow-in-the-dark constellation pictures…   

   

Another fun lesson with these lovely boys! 😘

 

Chinese New Year

We decided to celebrate a little Chinese New Year on Sunday. I know it was yesterday, but I also knew I had my english group, and a chinese meal wouldn’t be realistic. We couldn’t see the dancing dragon celebrations in town either, because it coincided with swimming lessons.

So a chinese meal at home it was….and very nice too!

We had red enevelopes for money gifts, from my friend Maxine…

  
..and made lanterns….

  …classic old decorations, going strong for years….

  
….and new ones…..

  

Chinese ‘joss lights’ (thank you Maxine again)….

  
…we used chopsticks (or tried to!)…

  
…and had a delicious chinese meal cooked by Richard…

  
…followed by my fortune cookies (which didn’t turn out so well! 😂)…..

  
We had some Chinese books on offer (thanks mum for the first one)….

   
 
…and some colouring sheets (year of the monkey – Maya’s year!)…

  
…plus a little sensory writing tray, with chinese numbers….

  
All in all, a lovely calm chinese celebration! 😃

 

English Club : Hot Air Balloons…

We started the class with some parachute games outside…   

 I realise these children are 11+, but they still really like to play, and some of them get tired and restless sitting at our kitchen table for an hour and a half in the evening, after a long day at school. So I’m going to start the lesson with a game – as often as I can anyway…😊

After this we started to make our papier-mache hot air balloons…

            

We are moving on from the topic of ‘air’, to the topic of ‘fire’….. 😊

 

Experiments & Potions…

Ted is really in to ‘experiments’ right now. Mostly he just mixes and tests randoms things – but he calls them experiments…..

  
This is what our kitchen table looks like a lot of the time these days.

Sometimes, having been elsewhere in the house for a short amount of time, I can come back to this….

  
….or this….

 
The other day he asked for Maya’s volcano experiment, so we took out her beautifully painted volcano, the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, and the red food colouring, and set to work with, yet another, ‘experiment’….😊            

👍😜😄

English Club : Making A Telescope

On Monday we talked about the stars ; about their brightness and their size, about the difference in their colour and their temperature ; about what they are made of ; about their different names and types – and about what happens when a star explodes….

   
   
We then went on to make a telescope together…

       

      Of course, typical boys, were tickled because it looked like a bazooka!

We went outside to test it with the stars, but unfortunately it was too much of a cloudy night! Fingers crossed for next week! 

 

 

  
 

  

 

Valentines Potions…

Ted loves to make ‘experiments’ and I often find strange mixtures of things in little pots, in various places throughout the house…

I saw this easy little ‘experiment’ on pinterest, and decided to set it up for Ted.

Quite simpy bicarbonate of soda, and (red tinted) white vinegar…with a Valentines twist….😉

 
  
  
Good fun! And easy to do! 😍

Open Ended Play

It’s soon February, and it’s dark outside, but the snow has melted, and it feels darker than it usually does at this time of year, so everyone is feeling very tired.

And having gone from -15C to +7C in a week, everyone is started to get colds too. February weather I guess.

So we’ve decided to take it easy this weekend, and other than a quick trip to the sweet shop, and a quick walk by a local lake, we were at home all day yesterday.

Often of course, being at home means being your most creative – and that is what Alfie and Ted were yesterday…..

I have a low wooden shoe-shelf down in the play room. It has different open compartments, and in each compartment I have put various open-ended things to play with – a plate of pinecones, a basket of wood blocks, a pile of wood rounds, a basket of conkers and acorns, some glass gems, etc. Most of these are nature items – but the ones that are not, are made from natural materials – and this includes a beautiful wooden ‘village’, with houses, trees, animals and people.

While I was doing one of those monthly cleans (secretly I quite enjoy doing this to the younger kids rooms, and the play room..), Ted busied himself with taking objects from the shoe-shelf, and making, what he called ‘a ghost village’….

  
In actual fact, it was a kind of maze, and you had to use a marble as your ‘counter’ and guide yourself through the ‘maze’ without touching anything – and if you did, you lost your life….

  
Ted also made an ‘easier maze’ on the train table, for people like me, with clumsy fingers….😂

  
On spying this, as he came downstairs, Alfie started to make his own version with some bricks, but soon he was on to something else….’writing’ his name….

  
…and also in lego…..

  
I love this kind of open ended play, the kind where children just use their imagination to create the most amazing things – things that might seem non-sensical to an adult, but perfect sense to the child (and often perfect sense to the adult once the child has explained it to them!).

I will miss these days of children’s creativity once they’re gone – let us just hope I can keep their imaginations going as long as possible….. 😉