It’s Saffron Bun Time Again…

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….and I’m happy to say, a ‘whole family event’.. πŸ™‚

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Animals In Winter

We’ve been talking a lot about animals in winter…about hibernation, about collecting and finding food to store, and about keeping our bodies full and fat for energy…
We made beds for bears to sleep in…

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We’ve been looking at and discovering acorns…

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I’ve been working on ‘concentrating’ with Ted, and noticed that he’s starting to enjoy fine motor, and ‘montessori’ type tasks… lots of picking up and transferring with tongs here…

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See the relief on his face in the last picture when he gets the acorn in to the jar? πŸ˜‰ It’s not easy!
…before the squirrels finally got the acorns…

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We also collected pinecones, took them home and discovered their sizes, their smells, and talked about where their seeds were, and who liked to eat them…

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Elsa Beskow’s book ‘Children of the forest’ gives a beautiful illustration of this…

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…we were even lucky enough to find an already nibbled pinecone..!

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And then of course we had to make the classic ‘ spread a pinecone with peanut butter and roll it in birdseed’ craft….

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πŸ™‚

Feeding The Birds At English Club

In English club we read this book…

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..a very old fashioned book, based on Peter Bruegel’s painting ‘The hunters in the snow’. It’s a story about a young girl, who works for her parents in an inn, serving mean hunters, and longs to be free like a bird. One day she finds a small bird with a broken wing, and has to secretly nurse it back to health, before letting it free in the mountains.
This is a picture book, but not a particularly easy read for those for whom english is not a first language.
We talked about the picture that the book was inspired by…..

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…talked about how the picture made us feel, about the darkness and the cold, the harshness of the winter, and about who might suffer from it… Which brought us on to birds…
And then I gave them ingredients, and instructions, to make their own bird feed…

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It was then just to read, follow, and work together (speaking english of course!)…

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The kids really enjoyed this…so much that Maya made an extra, ‘fancy’ one for the chickens…

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πŸ™‚
We later hung them up for the birds to enjoy…

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Traditional Swedish Christmas Market

Christmas is fast approaching and the traditional Christmas markets are opening….last weekend we went to one of the oldest, in Stortorget, Gamla Stan..

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Through the dark and narrow streets, to where the little wooden stalls are scattered, selling traditional, handmade wares…

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‘Pippi Longstocking’ style sweet shops…

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…and old fashioned candyfloss….

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A beautiful place…

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…a lovely evening…

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πŸ™‚

Lanterns At English Club

We were supposed to make these lanterns last week to celebrate martinmas, but due to unforseen circumstances, english club had to be cancelled – however we used the lesson to talk about November, and its darkness, and all the festivals of light which happen to occur doing this time.
We started off by reading this poem…

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…before discussing it, and the lack of life in November. We then talked about the jack-o-lanterns used at Halloween, originally made to ward off evil spirits, and we talked about the historical reason behind Bonfire Night in England, the meaning of Diwali, and finally the story of Martinmas.
Then, using this diagram….

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…which came from this lovely book….

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..,we measured, cut and designed…

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….our lanterns…..

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Leon, whose school schedule has unfortunately changed, so he arrives a little late to english club, is still working on his – and he has put so much work in to his mathematical design so far – I must make sure he finishes it! πŸ™‚

A ‘Bear-y’ Nice Morning!

There’s a famous swedish children’s song called ‘BjΓΆrnen Sover’ – ‘the bear sleeps’…

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Today we sang the song, and pretended to be bears sleeping in our dens, before decorating and making our own dens…..

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There was lots of sleeping going on…

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…and some munching of berries in the den too…

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πŸ˜‰
We read books about animals in winter…

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…did puzzles with woodland animals in….

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…and pictures with woodland stickers…

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…and we played with woodland animals in the ‘tree house’…

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…it was a ‘bear-y’ nice morning…

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Teddy’s Woodland Tea!

We decided to have a simple birthday tea for Teddy’s birthday, with just a few close friends.
The theme was ‘woodland’ and we started with a brown table runner, with bears paw prints…

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We used slices of cut wood (usually used in the play room) as plates…

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..paper straws, ‘bug’ print napkins, and some wooden confetti of ladybirds and toadstools…

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The food was woodland themed, with wild berries…

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…’logs’….

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…’sticks’…and ‘flowers’…

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…toadstools….

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…and a ‘forest’ cake…..

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We thought it looked just lovely ! πŸ™‚

Ted Turns Four!

Yesterday Teddy turned four…

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It seems strange that my last child of four, out of the toddler years, is growing up so quickly….
…Ted. An eccentric ‘performer’, who loves to sing, and to tell stories, to dress up and to make you dinner in his kitchen. A ‘forever happy’ child!

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He had a lovely relaxing day at home playing with his new gifts, a day topped off with a birthday meal of cheesy ‘cars’ pasta and a ‘fish’ birthday cake entirely baked and designed by Maya…

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…and ending with our family film night, cheesy snacks and juice included.

Happy 4th Birthday Ted! We’re looking forward to what you’re going to surprise the world with! πŸ˜‰