Snow Lanterns & ‘PinnbrΓΆd’

We had a magical time at scouts this week, making snow ‘lanterns’, and cooking ‘pinnbrΓΆd’ (stick bread) over the fire….

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What a wonderful experience for the scouts! πŸ™‚

Building Marble Runs

In last weeks english club, I set the kids the task of making their own working marble runs – much more difficult than you think!

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With a variety of materials on offer, and doors as their ‘base’, the kids set to the task…

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First the beginning…

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…to the more complicated…

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…to the final structures…

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…not forgetting the added details…..

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The kids really enjoyed this – and were so proud of their completed (working) structures! I think we might be doing this again some time! πŸ™‚

Pet Week

This week we’ve had a little bit of a mini-theme regarding ‘pets’.
A vet’s surgery….

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….with rabbits, cats, dogs, chickens and turtles …

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…..masks….

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…drawing of favourite pets…Ted drew a cat…

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….with the tail on the other side of the paper πŸ˜‰

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Alfie learnt about graphs…..(calculating who has which pets and how many..)…

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…and read some ‘animal words’….

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We read books about pets….

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….a little fact as well as fiction….

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…and the most interesting activity (for me anyway), was the ‘invitation to play’ that I set up ; paper on the train table, pots of pens, and groups of toy pets (from a pet ‘toob’ I bought years ago)……

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I had envisaged ‘ringing of groups’ (as in sets), but instead, this happened….

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…a little ‘observational drawing’ from our artistic Alfie πŸ˜‰ ☺️🎨
Wonderful!

Playing With Ice

If there’s one thing that my younger kids love to do, it’s play with ice. An activity that can literally last for hours!
So, after freezing a few jugs of ice (with hidden toys inside), we extradited the ice from the ‘shells’, and added some ‘polar animals’ and some glitter on a tray…

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Some time was spent trying to ‘hack’ the toys out of the ice….

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…before I added a bowl of salt and a bowl of warm water…

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It wasn’t long before both the salt and the warm water was emptied upon the ice…

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However, the ice didn’t melt quickly enough for Ted, and he wanted to add LOTS of water – so we moved to the sink..

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…where, ultimately, the ice began to melt quicker….

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Of course, it’s then a fantastic thing to be able to go outside, and see that the snowman made yesterday…..

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….had also melted….

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πŸ˜‰β›„οΈβ„οΈ

The Stockholm Pet Fair

We decided to visit the ‘pets fair’ on Monday….

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…and were surprised by the sheer volume of pets on show…

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…and aside from the usual cats, dogs, hamsters, fish, birds, guinea pigs and ponies, there were also…..

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…yes, that’s right, poisonous snakes, frogs, polecats, snap turtles, lizards and spiders… Oh, and not to forget, chickens, sheep, goats and cows…

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…but the favourite, by far, were the rabbits and their rabbit jumping competition….

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Wow! Those bunnies could jump!
Now Alfie has a whole list of new pets in his mind…. πŸ˜‰πŸ°πŸΈπŸΆπŸ±

King’s Cake (Plus Recipe)

Last year we made our first ‘King’s cake’ , and the kids thought it was so fun they wanted to do it again this year.

What do you need?

250g self-raising flour
250g sugar
250g butter
4 eggs
100g crushed nuts
100g chopped glacier cherries
Rind from 1 lemon (grated)
Pinch of cinnamon
1 dried bean or pea
Honey (for top)

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We actually didn’t have a lemon, or glacier cherries on their own – so instead added a small 100g box of chopped dried fruits (which included both glacial cherries and lemons), and it worked just fine.

1) Cream the butter and sugar together
2) Add the well beaten eggs and stir
3) Fold in the flour
4) Add the cinnamon
5) Add the glacier cherries, nuts and lemon rind and of course the bean/pea!

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6) Pour in to well greased cake tin

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7) Set in oven at 160C for about an hour (the recipe actually said 11/2 to 2 hours, but that would have been way too much for our oven!)
8) When ready, spread top with honey when cake is still warm, so that it melts in to cake.
9) Don’t forget to add the King’s crown!

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When it’s time to eat the cake, gather everyone round and cut a big slice for each person. The person who gets the bean/pea in their slice gets to be ‘King’ for the rest of the day, and decides what everyone should do, bossing people around and generally behaving ‘Kingly’!

As we ate our cake in the evening, I told the kids that s/he who got to be King could be King until 2pm the next day. I did, of course tell them the historical tale behind King’s day, when the three wise kings finally reached the baby Jesus by following the star (which I reminded them was the reason we had the star as a decoration in our window)….

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Last year, Leon was ‘King’. This year, however, Alfie is ‘King’ – so who knows what he will come up with – as he himself said, “I don’t care about the crown, I just like deciding over everybody!” Hmmm… πŸ˜‰πŸ°

Learning About Illusions

This last week has been a slow one. Lots of hanging around at home, people for dinner, playing with friends…and it’s been quite nice. Nice to have that time to sit down with individual children and have some quality time.
This week we’ve played board games and read books, built with lego and knex, watched children’s films from long ago, made baking soda volcanoes, painted porcelain russian dolls, and so on…
The nicest thing this week, however, was having an extended time with Leon, discovering his new ‘Illusion Science’ kit…

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…a brilliant book of tricks of the eye, and tricks of the brain, with explanations included…

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…the possibility of drawing 3D pictures (3D eyeglasses included)….

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….and a spinning top with different patterns…

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“Why can’t we do this kind of thing in school?” Leon asked..
An excellent learning resource, and a lot of fun! Highly recommended! πŸ‘€πŸ‘

Plans For 2015

I can’t remember if it was the day before new years day, or on the day itself, but talk about our individual plans for 2015 we did!
If I remember correctly, Teddy’s plans were to play and play and play ; Alfie’s were to swim and to go to more indoor play places ; Maya’s were to teach me to knit (see below) and build a lego city and sew up Ted’s cuddly toys if they break and to have a sugar free week ; Leon’s were to visit England and to stop school (well, that’s another post altogether!) ; Richard’s were to run three times a week and to holiday somewhere warm. Mine?

Mine were as follows….

1) To eat more vegetarian food.
This is not because I want to be more healthy (although of course I do) but because I actually realise, that I just don’t like meat all that much…..apart from fish that is…. 🐑

2) To run twice a week.
For obvious reasons… it’s just not always easy to make time…πŸƒ

3) To get Alfie swimming like a fish!
Alfie is 7 now, and despite swimming lessons, just doesn’t seem to have got that grasp on swimming yet…🏊

4) To learn to knit!
Yes, it’s true. Despite the ability of both my daughter and my mother to knit amazing things, I’ve just not learnt that skill yet! 🎨

5) To learn to make really good bread!
Yes, another skill I’ve missed out on learning! 🍞

6) To take Leon and Maya to London again.
Last year we had so much fun! Plus, of course, we have to see our friends! πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

So that’s it! Plans for 2015!
Let’s see how many we can accomplish! πŸ˜‰

Teddy Tries To Skate..

So the lake has frozen over, and we wanted to try Teddy with a spot of first time ice-skating…

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Alfie wanted so much for his brother to skate like him, and waited patiently…

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There was a lot of falling – from Richard too, as he tried to keep Teddy upright. Teddy kept trying to sit down while skating – we kept telling him “there’s nothing to sit on”… πŸ˜‰
Eventually Alfie’s patience ran out and he skated off…

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..and after a while Teddy, who desperately wanted to skate as fast as Alfie, had had enough for one day, and shoes were decidedly better for ‘skating’ on…

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…much easier to go further ‘afield’… πŸ˜‰
Soon, time for hot chocolate and saffron buns..

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…and a little climb…

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..while we admired the beauty of the ice and the sun went down..

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Hope you get a chance to skate too! 😘