Swedish Forest School : The Second Stage!

Learning about nature in Sweden is a big part of childhood.

Some of you might remember that I had the pleasure of going on one of Maya’s forest school trips last year.

This year Maya is in ‘Strövarna’, which is the next stage up, for 7 – 9 year olds.

Again I had the pleasure of a weekend trip to the forest….

…where the kids took part in the brilliant game of ‘hens’  where the kids hide in the forest, and the mother hen has to spot them…

(Here the leader is telling them how to play..)

….where the kids were told why and how to collect dried pine needles…

…to help light the fire…

….where they were taught how to whittle wood…

…to make a pointed stick to help cook sausages…

…plus lots of time for climbing…

🙂

(I must apologize for the disastrous photos…not sure what when wrong there! :))

A Garden For The Cat

Some of you may know we have a cat.

A beautiful cat called Blackie.

And some of you might know that cats love to eat grass.

But when our garden looks like this…

….the blades are few and far between!

So inspired by this post, Alfie and I decided to make Blackie her own little garden.

We managed to find a packet of cat grass seeds especially…!

We loved the idea of having a little bench, but Alfie decided Blackie really needed cat friends to keep her company…

Along with the decorative shells, pipe cleaners were also necessary – Blackie’s favorite toy…!

And so now Blackie has more than a couple of blades to chew on…!

🙂

A Tacky Ferry Trip

Stockholm is on the east coast of Sweden, very near to the swedish archipelago.

It is also a relatively short ferry ride from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Poland.

Many Swedes with children take advantage of these very inexpensive day or overnight ‘cruises’, simply to get away.

The winter season is Sweden is long (October to April), and sometimes a days break is all you need…!

🙂

Richard and I booked a 12 hour ‘cruise’ to Åland, an island between Sweden and Finland.

We had the kids in mind, and despite all my fears, they had a BALL!

We woke up early on Saturday morning to a snowstorm, and drove 20 minutes to the ferry departure.

It started with a delicious breakfast buffet…

…. enjoyed by all.

It wasn’t long before Alfie and Ted were spotted by this cat….

Who, you may wonder, is this?

This is ‘Ville Viking’, the boat’s mascot,  and soon to be ‘friend’ of our youngest two…

Yes, even Ted was taken by him – not a fear in the world.

Actually the tail got chased!

12 hours went fast.

Ted enjoyed the ball pool…

…and attempting to steal magazines from the gift shop…

Alfie enjoyed his free ‘Ville Viking’ glass with unlimited fizzy orange (which we limited!)..

… and the chance to take part in the limbo contest…

He and Maya enjoyed the chance to see ‘Tom and Jerry’…

They also had an amazing time in the mini disco, taking moves from the giant cat!

Maya took part in the hoola-hoop contest.

And had some arm-painting done…

All the kids took part in a treasure hunt.

And a ‘tips promenade’ (a trivia walk around the boat).

Leon had many good games of cards…

…and enjoyed practicing his skills in the ‘Wii’ room…

And did I mention the bubble pools, the children’s pool and the sauna?

Which were clean, warm – and which we had to ourselves…..

🙂

 The trip ticked all the boxes of things I detest about ferry trips.

Tacky and cheap. Yes.

Ongoing cartoons and computer games babysitting kids. Yes.

Organised activities to babysit the kids. Yes.

Fizzy drinks and too much sugar. Yes.

The stale smell of old cigarettes. Yes.

Terrible terrible carpets. Yes.

Being stuck in one place, going nowhere in particular, for no apparent reason. Yes.

The churning, rolling feeling of sea sickness. Yes.

But I don’t care.

Just once in a while it’s good to throw your cares to the wind and let your kids experience true gluttony, through all the senses!

And despite the bad weather…

 The kids had a fabulous fabulous time.

And because they did – we did too!

🙂

Easter Memories

Well, I’m giving in to the i-phone camera…for now….!

A Swedish Easter starts with ‘Skärtorsdag’ – a day when Swedish children dress up as Easter witches and knock on neighbours’ doors, giving out cards and receiving sweets in return.

It stems from Pagan times, and is actually a shockingly UN child friendly story (!) – you can read about it here.

In previous years my kids have dressed up as Easter witches, but this year things were different…

This year Maya decided to dress up as a chick…

 And while our little friend Lilly dressed as a witch, Alfie decided he would also be a chick…

While Leon and his friend were more contained ‘Easter men’…

The kids were spoilt with sweeties from the neighboring families…

Though I must say, our neighbors received some pretty nice finger print Easter cards in return…

The week was FILLED with Easter crafts.

A sensory box for Ted, filled with pink, yellow and white rice, feathers, eggs and chicks…

And bead plates for Maya and Alfie…

We made dyed eggs printed with stickers for a ‘batik’ effect…

And Leon and I used a fantastic metallic effect dyed egg kit…

We painted ceramic chickens…

And egg box chicks…

Rocking paper plate hens…

Marzipan chicks – and rabbits…

…for whom many marzipan carrots were made…

…ready for the top of the Easter cake…

….and we ate our Easter cake with three other families on our annual Easter egg hunt.

We hope you enjoyed a Happy Easter!

🙂

A Broken Camera

Yes, tis true.

The camera appears to be broken.

Sad indeed when I have swedish Easter witches to show you.

Chickens galore, and bead plate eggs.

And my precious baby having an amazing time in an Easter sensory box.

But there it is.

Who knows how long it will be till it’s fixed or we get a new one.

Perhaps the Iphone camera will have to suffice…..! 🙂

——-

I’ll be back….

xxxx