Once a teacher always a teacher!

We are so very lucky to have a huge play room in our new house, and I just love setting it out for the kids and their friends! Now I have to show it off!!!!

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And just to show you how anal I really am, I will introduce you to my different areas …

"Home corner"

"Home corner"


"Baby corner"

"Baby corner"


"Table top stuff"

"Table top stuff"


"Small world" (& some construction!)

"Small world" (& some construction!)


Dressing up

Dressing up


Lego area (specifically for Leon where he can lock his models inside the cupboard!)

Lego area (specifically for Leon where he can lock his models inside the cupboard!)

Do you think I need to go back to work?!

Blue

Maya asked me why blueberries were called “blue” berries, when they really were not very blue. This started  a discussion as to the many different colours of blue, how different shades of blue are made, and why different kinds of blue have different names!

We decided to collect different blue things, make some blue collages from magazines, and mix paint to make different shades of blue! This is the outcome …

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“Barn Sjön”

On Tuesday it was a beautiful sunny and warm evening, so we decided to go to our favourite lake and grill sausages for dinner.

Richard shows Leon and Maya how to start a fire ...

Richard shows Leon and Maya how to start a fire ...

... While Alfie had fun throwing stones into the lake!

... While Alfie had fun throwing stones into the lake!

Brown baby went for a swim (here Maya is drying her with grass!)

Brown baby went for a swim (here Maya is drying her with grass!)

The men whittled the sticks for the sausages!!!

The men whittled the sticks for the sausages!!!

... And Maya cooked the first sausage

... And Maya cooked the first sausage

Later we had more adventures with a ball which Leon found….

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Eventually, after some wet feet and soggy trousers, the ball was rescued!

Food for Winter

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It’s so fantastic when kids pick up on things you have told them, or books you have read to them! I’m not sure if this came from the book “Blueberries for Sal”, or from when I was telling Leon and Maya how in the olden days people would have to store food for winter, but when I asked Maya why she had filled the cat stand with bricks, her reply was “It’s hay. I’m storing food for the horse for winter”. Of course!

Later on today, at the play park, there was more storing food for winter – this time because “we have no supermarkets or shops we can go to”.

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This storage also went on to include wood for the fire, and hay for a cosy bed to keep warm.

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Plus imaginary overalls sewed using leaves!

I just love kids imagination – it’s fantastic!

Blueberry books

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Books are such a fantastic way to introduce or enhance learning!

“Peter in Blueberry Land” by the Swedish author Elsa Beskov, is  a beautifully illustrated book with an old fashioned style! It is a story about a little boy, Peter, who goes into the forest to pick blueberries and cranberries as a surprise for his mother, only to find there are none. All ends well when the Blueberry King turns up, shrinks Peter, and takes him into his own little woodland world to find some.

“Blueberries for Sal” by the American author Robert McCloskey is another beautiful story with an old fashioned style. Sal and her mother go off to pick blueberries to can for winter. Meanwhile a mother and baby bear are also busy filling up with blueberries for the winter. Somehow the mothers and the children get all mixed up with each other – but it all turns out well in the end!!!

“Boo and Baa in the forest” by the Swedish Olof and Lena Landström is a very sweet story about a couple of sheep who decide to go blueberry picking in the forest. On eating their packed lunch they are disturbed by some ants – who eventually lead them to the blueberries!

Blueberry Muffins & “Saft”

So we started with the muffins …

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Delicious! (Note the little hands!!!)

Delicious! (Note the little hands!!!)

To make blueberry muffins – makes around 16.

500g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp custard powder

250 g caster sugar

185 g fresh blueberries

2 eggs

185ml milk

185ml sunflower oil

butter to grease tins or paper cases

icing sugar to dust

1) Preheat oven to 190 C / 375 F. Grease muffin tins with butter, or set muffin paper cases into tin.

2)Sift flour, baking powder & custard powder into large bowl. Add sugar and then blueberries.

3) In separate bowl mix eggs, milk & sunflower oil.

4)Make a well in the dry ingredients, add milk mixture and combine, but do not over mix.

5) Spoon batter into muffin tins/paper cases and bake for 20 mins until golden and springy.

6) Sift icing sugar on top when cooled.

And we finished with the “saft” (juice) …

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Ready to drink!

Ready to drink!

To make “saft” – You need around 3 cups of sugar per litre of “saft”.

1) Rinse berries, put in saucepan with around 4 cups of boiling water, then let simmer with lid on for 10 mins.

2)Squeeze berry mixture against side of a fabric sieve, letting drip into a large bowl. Leave to drip for 30 mins.

3)Measure saft liquid, and add appropriate amount of sugar into large saucepan. Put onto cooker, and boil  until sugar dissolves.

4) Take off cooker and pour into clean bottles.

5) Leave to cool.