Mummy Laid An Egg

That’s what the title of this book is called…

My friend Anna lent it to me, and it’s just fantastic! A funny, but very sweet story about how babies are made – but the tables are turned when the parents attempt to explain everything by making up ridiculous stories, and the children just laugh at them, and tell them how babies are REALLY made.

The kids loved the book. It has brought up some questions, and discussions, but also, because of the last page…..

…. where the animals who make babies in a similar way come in. Due to this picture, and the title, the question of “which animals lay eggs?” was asked.

And so we took our small toy animals and started to sort them into groups – those who lay eggs, and those who don’t.

The shark caused some question, being as some sharks give birth to live babies, and some lay eggs (therefore he sits in the middle), and the whale was also a matter of concern (looking like a fish, but of course being a mammal).

Even Alfie proudly exclaimed his knowledge of ducks, chickens, and the egg. He made us laugh when, holding up a pig, I asked “is this a mammal?”, and he answered “no, it’s a pig”!

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Amusing Events Of The Day

Leon and Alfie decide to test spoon efficiency when eating dinner…

Maya loses her first tooth (hooray!)…

Alfie attempts to put air into a toy car’s tires using a balloon pump…

And the meaning of lego takes on some serious discussion….

Congratulations Sweden!

Yesterday, the 6th June, was Sweden’s national day.

The Swedes don’t celebrate with parades, such as in the U.S. but instead with lots of smaller events going on in the parks. We chose to go to ‘R√•lambshovsparken’ where there was, among many things, music being played on the stage…

… where the kids were given flags, and they played the national anthem “…I want to live and die in the North” (I didn’t sing this bit!)…

I couldn’t resist putting an old world cup t-shirt on Alfie!

Afterwards the kids really enjoyed the ‘park lek’ (park play) nearby, where there were LOTS of things to do!

So much, in fact, that we pretty much didn’t have time to check out the other special events for Sweden’s national day!

Ducks, Ducks, Ducks…

Alfie and I try to visit the ducks every week. He is really fascinated by them, and loves to feed them, and has recently begun to tell the difference between the male and female ducks, counting them, and matching ‘mummy’s and daddy’s’!

Two of Alfie’s favourite books right now are…

Make way for the ducklings’ (Robert McCloskey), and ‘Daisy and the egg’ (Jane Simmons), are both wonderfully sensitive books about duck families finding safe places to lay their eggs, laying them, and bringing up their ducklings. Another favourite book, also by Jane Simmons, and equally wonderful, is ‘Come on Daisy!’ about a duckling who loses his mother, and after a couple of scares, finds her again.

Of course, through his love of ducks, a little duck play is essential. We have a tiny paddling pool which we filled with blue tinted water, some leaves, a few stones and some ducks.

‘ 5 little ducks went swimming one day, over the hills and far away,

One little duck went quack quack quack, but only 4 little ducks came back…’

Maya and I also made some ducks for Alfie to go on his wall, using his feet to draw around as the ducks bodies!

All you need his some blue and yellow construction paper, a little orange for the beaks, an orange pen for the legs, some feathers and some googly eyes, and of course glue and scissors. Drawing around his feet to make the bodies continued in Maya and her friend doing the same to make a bunch of ‘feet characters’ (!), but that’s another story….

It’s All Rhubarb!

And she pulled and she pulled and she pulled….

Until ‘pop’, out came the rhubarb!

It’s amazing what fun rhubarb can be, with it’s GIANT leaves….

And here is our recipe for ‘Rhubarb Crunch’ ;

Ingredients : 1 lb rhubarb

piece of orange peel

water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs

2oz golden syrup

2oz corn flour

145 ml milk

2oz butter

2oz brown sugar

3oz rolled oats

1) Chop up rhubarb into 3cm pieces, put into saucepan with piece of orange peel, cover with water,and simmer for 5 – 10 mins.

2) Pour rhubarb into oven dish (taking out orange peel) and add teaspoon cinnamon.

3) Whisk together eggs, cornflour and butter, and then stir in milk in heavy bottomed saucepan. Put onto a low heat, and whisk until custard thickens.

4) Leave to cool slightly, then pour over rhubarb.

5) Melt butter, and stir in sugar and oats, then sprinkle over custard topping.

6) Put in oven for 25 mins at 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F.

And here are my slaves at work…chopping, chopping, chopping…..!

The Wonder Of Swedish Play Parks

I have experienced play parks with young children in various parts of the world, but Sweden most definitely comes first. Where else can you not only play on swings, slides and climbing frames in a clean and safe environment, but also borrow bikes, balls and hockey sticks, buy homemade cakes, biscuits, fruit, coffee and juice for a cheap price, or play inside with the toys when the weather is bad?

Some parks have paddling pools and showers in the summer, and ice rinks in the winter, and often during the week there are organised activities for the children – crafts, baking, woodwork and games. Perhaps even face painting, a place to grill sausages, a song and story time for the younger children, or help to take care of the animals who live in the park – pigs, rabbits, goats and chickens.

And how much does this cost? Well it’s free – of course.

Yesterday we went to ‘Blecktornsparken’, and had LOTS of fun!

And what’s the difference between a play park in Sweden, and in other parts of the world you ask? The difference is, in that in Sweden people are employed to work at many of the play parks – to take care of the toys, to put out the cakes and the coffee, to clean the inside play area, to light the grill, and to organise activities to do with the children.

Of course there is a down side – these people usually only work in the week, and it isn’t every play park that has this excellent service – these are specific parks with a specific name – ‘park lek’ which literally means ‘park play’ – but what I think is wonderful is that everything is free, and that ‘play’ is seen as important. Important enough to pay people to do it, even though no profit is made.

Colours In Nature

I challenged Maya to find all the colours of the rainbow within our garden and she came up with a pretty good selection…

Which then led us to read this fantastic book which is all about planting flowers of all colours of the rainbow, and watching them grow. ¬†And this book then led us to this….

…. potato printing colourful garden of flowers!

Later orange and purple flowers were added, after which the inevitable took place…

… Maya mixed all the colours, started hand printing and soon covered the whole paper with a dark purple brown paint…

… which is exactly what Alfie was up to the whole time!

One forgets how much kids love to cover their bodies with paint!