Valentines Potions…

Ted loves to make ‘experiments’ and I often find strange mixtures of things in little pots, in various places throughout the house…

I saw this easy little ‘experiment’ on pinterest, and decided to set it up for Ted.

Quite simpy bicarbonate of soda, and (red tinted) white vinegar…with a Valentines twist….πŸ˜‰

 
  
  
Good fun! And easy to do! 😍

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Open Ended Play

It’s soon February, and it’s dark outside, but the snow has melted, and it feels darker than it usually does at this time of year, so everyone is feeling very tired.

And having gone from -15C to +7C in a week, everyone is started to get colds too. February weather I guess.

So we’ve decided to take it easy this weekend, and other than a quick trip to the sweet shop, and a quick walk by a local lake, we were at home all day yesterday.

Often of course, being at home means being your most creative – and that is what Alfie and Ted were yesterday…..

I have a low wooden shoe-shelf down in the play room. It has different open compartments, and in each compartment I have put various open-ended things to play with – a plate of pinecones, a basket of wood blocks, a pile of wood rounds, a basket of conkers and acorns, some glass gems, etc. Most of these are nature items – but the ones that are not, are made from natural materials – and this includes a beautiful wooden ‘village’, with houses, trees, animals and people.

While I was doing one of those monthly cleans (secretly I quite enjoy doing this to the younger kids rooms, and the play room..), Ted busied himself with taking objects from the shoe-shelf, and making, what he called ‘a ghost village’….

  
In actual fact, it was a kind of maze, and you had to use a marble as your ‘counter’ and guide yourself through the ‘maze’ without touching anything – and if you did, you lost your life….

  
Ted also made an ‘easier maze’ on the train table, for people like me, with clumsy fingers….πŸ˜‚

  
On spying this, as he came downstairs, Alfie started to make his own version with some bricks, but soon he was on to something else….’writing’ his name….

  
…and also in lego…..

  
I love this kind of open ended play, the kind where children just use their imagination to create the most amazing things – things that might seem non-sensical to an adult, but perfect sense to the child (and often perfect sense to the adult once the child has explained it to them!).

I will miss these days of children’s creativity once they’re gone – let us just hope I can keep their imaginations going as long as possible….. πŸ˜‰

Gender Differences : Ice Play

So Ted used to love singing songs from ‘Frozen’, and a little over a year ago he used to long for the plastic ‘Frozen’ magic wand in the toy shop – the one where you press a button, and the ‘Frozen’ melody plays, and the ball with Elsa the princess in it, turns around….πŸ‘‘

But I draw the line at paying nearly 300kr for a piece of plastic where you press a button. Even for his birthday. So however many times he rushed to it whenever we went there, I never once considered buying it.

And that was just over a year ago. And now he’s 5, and things have changed. His older brother Alfie (8) has delicately explained that “Frozen is for girls, and you are a boy”. Sad though it may seem, Ted has been ‘indoctrinated’ – just as Alfie was, when he learnt not to wear his pink t-shirt in the first day of school. πŸ™„πŸ˜

So now Ted rushes to the ‘Star Wars’ lego section in toy shops – because he knows “Star Wars is for boys. And I am a boy”…. 😜

However, Ted’s best friend is a girl, Alice. And Alice’s little sister Noelia, is also a good friend of Ted’s – and on Wednesday they came to play.

I had pre-prepared some ice blocks in shapes of towers, bricks and stars, and added gold, silver, blue and purple glitter to the ice beforehand. And when I took them out, I added Ted’s ‘Frozen’ characters, which he had last year…..

   
    
    
   
And what happened?

Indoctrinated or natural – who knows? But out came the lego men, and out came the pirate ship. The ice was promptly removed from one tray and firm round stones were placed there instead, and the pirate ship was plonked on top.

There.” I’ve made my point” he seemed to say. Hilarious! πŸ˜‚

Letter S

I’m trying to teach Ted his letters, in a playful manner, before he starts school after the summer. It’s not that I don’t really think he’ll learn them eventually – it’s just that I think he needs just a little ‘nudge’ in the right direction – and I know that, despite it being ‘fΓΆrskoleklass’ (aka Reception, or Kindergatan), they definately do letters….

Ted certainly has shown interest in the last six months with letters. He knows that letters mean ‘reading’ and that you go from left to right in english, and he can recognise and form a handful of letters (mostly always) correctly. He can also recognise his own name, and knows what letters his families names begin with.

So we started with S. Because S is easy to recognise – being like a wiggly snake – and of course, snow begins with S – and we had lots of that around!

So I cut out an S shape, and he covered it with STICKERS of SNOWMEN, SNOWFLAKES and STARS…  

We made SNOWFLAKES from paper (admittedly mostly me! πŸ˜‚)…..  

…and marshmallow crispy SNOWMEN (which I unfortunately forgot to photo).

We have obviously played a lot in the SNOW, and have been reading books about it….  Charlie and Lola is his favourite. 😊

We have of course already been SLEDGING…  …and SKATING and SLIDING on the ice….  …and reading books about things like that too… We also made SNAKES from plastercine….  ….ate SAUSAGES and SPAGHETTI, and continued STAR WARS lego play with Alfie…..   

 And now they have gone to get SATURDAY SWEETIES…. πŸ˜„

I think I might be succeeding, because yesterday Ted wrote an S for the first time and proudly showed me! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

English Club : The Sun And The Earth

Yesterday we tackled the basics of the sun, and its relation to Earth. 

We talked about how it creates our night and day, and did the classic ‘torch and globe’ experiment…

 
And we talked about how the sun creates our seasons, and I challenged the kids to make a poster explaining this to a ‘young child’….

    

 …and we talked a little about our sun being a star, and the different stars in the sky, and how they have different colours because of their different temperatures – and we observed the flame of a candle to experience how the blue light is the hottest, etc. We will do more on stars next week.

I also bought them an english ‘milky way’ chocolate bar each – just for fun…πŸ˜‰  

Saturday Sledging

At the weekend we met up with some old friends, Lotta and Per, and went sledging with them in Haga park….

           

As you can tell, it wasn’t a sunny day! But fun it was – and this park is great to sledge in as the hills are long, but not too steep. 

This is actually known as ‘The King’s Park’ because it does infact belong to the Swedish royal family – but the public are welcome to use it.

We had ‘fika’ (coffee/hot chocolate and cake) in one of the beautiful ‘copper tents’ afterwards – but unfortunately my camera ran out of battery before I could take a picture! πŸ˜¬πŸ˜œπŸ˜†

This Week : 18th Jan…

This week Ted started back at playgroup, and the others are still settling back in to school and other activities, in their second week. Darkness still prevails much of the day, and it is still absolutely freezing outside (on average around -10 C), so everyone is still feeling pretty slow and tired.. πŸŒπŸ’€

Alfie started at ‘Star Wars Club’ at school this week, which he thought was absolutely brilliant! This has inspired a lot of lego Star Wars play, along with Ted…..

  
On Wednesday evening Alfie and I went sledging with the scouts, and although he enjoyed it, he was probably more enthusisatic about the amazing snow crystals that had formed…which we observed in the evening…

 
….also in the day….

 
…and writing in the frosty crystals on the postbox…

  
As always, Alfie has been enjoying ‘Geometry Dash’ and designing is own levels – on paper as well as on screen….πŸ˜„

  
 And as always, Alfie has had lots of friends to play!

This week Ted has been much inspired by Egyptian drawings (although he keeps calling them Indian!), and insists on me printing lots out for him to colour in…

 

….which inspires him to draw his own…

 

He also has a fun day out at an indoor play place with his friends Alice and Noelia…

 
Leon and Maya have been working hard at school and english lessons, afterschool activities and spending time with friends – and Maya starts her first piano lesson tomorrow! πŸ˜„

So that is this week so far! πŸ‘πŸ˜†

English Group ; Air & Windmills

We talked about air ; how we know it’s there, how it reacts and why, and how we use it.

If I don’t have any books on the subject in English, I translate for myself and write it down – good for my Swedish too! 

I then read this out to the children, translating where neccassery and asking questions to make sure they are understanding.

  
We then went on to make windmills, using visual instructions to help us along…

  
    
 Some kids wanted to paint their sticks, but the ones who didn’t got to design a paper aeroplane and test it, to see which one would go the farthest. Then they had to write a sentence in English about what they had learnt – I asked the sentence to be simple as many children at this time of the evening are tired, and I don’t want it to be like school. πŸ™‚ 

  
    
 Another successful lesson – I hope! πŸ˜‚

English Club : The Solar System

I love English Club. 

I love working with older kids – especially the teenagers. They are so full of laughter and joyfullness! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

I used a book with a chart of the solar system in it for the children to use visually, while I read a description to the kids about each planet – the size in relation to eachother, where the planet lies in relation to the sun, what materials each planet is made up of, and how each planet looks.

  
  
Using fruits and food pieces, the kids tried to make our solar system, according to how the planets are in relation to the sun (the orange slice)….

    
   

We then went on to use playdough to form our planets – the size they were in relation to eachother, and how each planet looked….

  
When we had done this, we went down to the playroom, and using toilet paper, and a chart, we measured how far each planet was from the distance of the sun….

  
   
    
 A fabulously fun way to learn about the solar system! 

And doing this topic with older children also makes me realise how much more meaningful it is to them, instead of doing it with preschool and kindergartan children, which I have done before – and who really can’t be expected to grasp this at all! πŸ˜³πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ƒ