Bears & Bricks

Today Maya made a city for some small coloured counting bears (who have always been very popular!). She built some houses for the bears, and a “city wall”, a shop, a play park and swimming pool, a “wishing well”, a forest where a dangerous fox (orange brick) lived, and a bus stop with both a broken and a working bus, plus a river with a bridge, and a beach. Later a hospital was added when one of the purple bears got attacked by the fox.

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I suggested that she may need a police station or a town hall, but she insisted that a white cat (white brick) took care of the bears and would warn them if the fox was about – the only danger for the bears. Then I suggested a bank so the bears could get out money to buy food – but apparently the cash point (where you put in your bus card!) was enough.

All the bears had a job to do. The purple bear family “fixed things, the yellow bear family were in charge of the shop and the hospital, the blue bear family were the bus drivers, the red bear family cleared the rubbish, etc, etc. Kind of like a community. Or a cult.

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When I asked about the wishing well, I was told that all the bears dropped money into it just for the purple bears. When I asked why only the purple bears should have the money, I was told it was to thank all the purple bears.

Hmmm. A cult maybe?!

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Conkers

We have a great big conker tree down our road, so when we were out walking today, we decided to take advantage of it!

This is NOT a conker tree, but instead Maya's favourite tree right beside it - it often becomes her "home".

This is NOT a conker tree, but instead Maya's favourite tree right beside it - it often becomes her "home".

As you can see from the above picture – Maya has gloves on her – the weather has turned cold!

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Playdough

Alfie really loves to play with play dough, but as our normal shop bought stuff was all dried out, I made some of our own – with added cinnamon and ginger for a special scent!

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 tbs veg oil

1 tbs cream of tartar

1 tbs water

Food colouring & scent if wished

Mix it all, then continue to mix on medium heat on stove until firm, but not too rubbery!

Knead when cool enough.

Ready!

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Maya decided we had to light a birthday cake for Alfie!

Maya decided we had to light a birthday cake for Alfie!

When all else fails…

I think of us as a (fairly) harmonious family, with (fairly) harmonious children, but sometimes, just occasionally of course (!), all hell breaks loose. And on those days it’s always good to have something cheap and cheerful hidden in the cupboard…

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I found these fruit ‘n veg shaped beads in a local toy shop, and thought they would be fun to have for a little “harvest” twist as the dark autumn days draw near! The kids loved them, and my mad, chaotic home was “harmonious” once again …

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Transistor Radio

Leon was given a crystal radio kit for his birthday, and tonight Richard, Leon and Maya made it together. The enthusiasm spread and Richard got out his old radio from when he was a child. The kids thought this was great – especially when he tuned in to some people speaking english – “mummy come quick! They’re talking ENGLISH!!!!”

Chairs

Chairs are useful for many things in our house, and often a “koja” (den) is one of these things. This time however, Maya decided she wanted to make a tunnel with the chairs. Alfie wanted to join in, but found it too difficult to crawl through the “tunnel”. So we suggested that he used it for a train for his cuddly toys instead!

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Mushroom Party

Last week Leon took it upon himself to start inviting his friends to a “svamp kalas” (mushroom party), at 11am the next day. Imagine my surprise, when I had to explain to one mother that, actually there was no party, and it was just one of Leon’s eccentric ideas!

Eccentric idea or not, after seeing his lovely homemade mushroom invitations, and his enthusiasm with which he printed out some mushroom colouring-in pictures, I could not disappoint the poor boy. So, (with a little advance notice this time) today we had his mushroom party …

After starting off with a variety of mushroom colouring-in pictures, we went on to play a variety of mushroom themed games – magical mushroom ring, pin the worm on the mushroom, and musical mushrooms (cushions).

Here I am explaining the rules of "magical mushroom ring". I managed to find a small glass toadstool in a shop, which was filled with mushroom shaped chocolates. The child in the middle is the goblin (blindfolded), and another chosen child has to sneak round the circle and steal a magic mushroom from the goblin's pot without being heard. The goblin has to try and point at you if he hears you. If he points correctly, then you become the goblin! a

Here I am explaining the rules of "magical mushroom ring". I managed to find a small glass toadstool in a shop, which was filled with mushroom shaped chocolates. The child in the middle is the goblin (blindfolded), and another chosen child has to sneak round the circle and steal a magic mushroom from the goblin's pot without being heard. The goblin has to try and point at you if he hears you. If he points correctly, then you become the goblin!

Here is Mattias as the Goblin, pointing at Leon as he is JUST about to steal a magic mushroom!

Here is Mattias as the Goblin, pointing at Leon as he is JUST about to steal a magic mushroom!

I made a toadstool from coloured card, then stuck on a small brown circle for the worm's hole. The children then used a brown worm I had also cut out, to try to stick on the "hole" while blindfolded. The one who is closest wins.

I made a toadstool from coloured card, then stuck on a small brown circle for the worm's hole. The children then used a brown worm I had also cut out, to try to stick on the "hole" while blindfolded. The one who is closest wins.

After our games we went on to make our own mushroom shaped pizzas …

Maya spreading on her oil. We used soft flat bread for the bases.

Maya spreading on her oil. We used soft flat bread for the bases.

Busy at work

Busy at work

And after a quick play in the garden, we ate our pizzas!

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Maya ate hers dressed as cat-skeleton-girl!

Maya ate hers dressed as cat-skeleton-girl!

As a friend said to me, maybe it’s all those years of themed birthday parties which have rubbed off on Leon?!

Friday Mornings

Friday morning is very nice. It is the only day where, apart from picking up Leon from school, we have nothing to do for the rest of the day (apart from sometimes a friend to play with). It always feels very relaxing, and like an extra bit to the weekend!

For the last two weeks I have let Maya decide something special to do on a Friday. Last week, when Leon was at a friend’s house, Maya chose for us to take the bus to meet Papa from work and for us to eat out. Today she decided that we were going to have a “fika” (cakes and juice/coffee) at her favourite cafe, and then go and look at fish in the pet shop. So we did.

Simple pleasures!