English Club : Hot Air Balloons…

We started the class with some parachute games outside…   

 I realise these children are 11+, but they still really like to play, and some of them get tired and restless sitting at our kitchen table for an hour and a half in the evening, after a long day at school. So I’m going to start the lesson with a game – as often as I can anyway…😊

After this we started to make our papier-mache hot air balloons…


We are moving on from the topic of ‘air’, to the topic of ‘fire’….. 😊


Christmas Presents

I havn’t really blogged much about the presents the children have made, but they have, as is usually the case, made some lovely presents. For their teachers they have drawn Christmas designs on cups, made bead plate Christmas trees, and homemade toffee sweets. And for their Swedish relative, with whom we spend the Christmas celebrations, they have been (again) designing cups, giving their homemade (at school) mustard in pots, sewing Christmas tree decorations, and designing motifs on candles.

And I just managed to snap a few pictures of the one Maya designed for her aunt….😊


Advent Calendars In Our Home

Two days later and the stomach bug continues to take its toll. First Ted, then Maya, now Alfie. “Who’s next?” I hear you say….

Stuck at home, with the Christmas cards already written and sent, the house decorated but no tree yet here to complete the decorating. We can’t bake with this bug on the rampage, and we’ve seen enough Christmas films and read enough Christmas stories to keep us going for a while…..but there is one thing that give us a little positive burst each day….

….our advent calendars!

I have always tried hard to make the kids one personal advent calendar between them. We’ve had the big cardboard tree with a sweetie for every day (I WON’T be repeating this one!) ; we’ve had the one with the green handprints in the shape of a tree where you turn a hand to reveal a photo of a favourite friend or family member (wonderful!) ; we’ve had the big cardboard tree where you glue a shiny coloured star over each date as a countdown (simple!) ; we’ve had the socks with an activity a day (hard to keep up with!), and this year, we have the advent boxes – each with a small treat like a chocolate coin, Β or a small toy like a bouncy ball, or an activity, like containing a stamp each to send a card to a special friend.


These advent calendars have always been recieved with such joy – even from our oldest, who is now 14, and one would think too old to enjoy such pleasures. Each day, a tiny spark of excitement is released from each and every child, as they ask “can I open the advent calendar?” 😊

But possibly the most fun, has been the children’s ability to repeat this joy for eachother. We have had copious years of the kids busy cutting windows, writing numbers and filling in pictures on their homemade calendars, mainly done for eachother, and sometimes done for me.

However, this year, we had something new. Advent boxes, made for eachother, obviously inspired by the boxes I made for them…….


Alfie’s for Maya, being the top one (with the larger numbers that tend to fall off), and Maya’s for Alfie, (being the slightly more organised and neater version)!

And what do they put in them? Marbles, and rubbers, and small paper hearts with “I love you” written on them, and a small lego man or a coin. And everything just taken from bits and bobs in their own bedroom. And each and every ‘door’ recieves just as much excitement and joy, as any shop-bought calendar which might contain sweets, or chocolate, or a new toy. Now isn’t that just fabulous? πŸ˜€ And not a penny is spent!

Oh! And just for the record mum – Maya did manage to finish sewing her Advent Calendar kit you gave her last year! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š






The Milk Experiment

While the older three were making their film, I decided to keep Ted happy with the milk experiment.

We’ve tried the milk experiment before, but it is so much fun, that we just have to try it again, and again… 😜

A tray of milk, with some drops of food colouring in – put washing up liquid on the end of an earbud, and dip it in to the food colouring….





 Mix it a little….

  Take a print…

  And try it one more time….








 And take a couple more prints….


 Love it! If you havn’t tried it, do! πŸ‘πŸ˜€πŸ”¬ 

An Invitation To Play ; Using Old Pens

Well, we had some old pens that barely worked – and I’ve noticed with old pens, that if you dip them in water, they work for just a little bit more time.

So, instead of throwing them straight in the bin, while Ted was having a moment of craziness, I used them as a basis for ‘an invitation to play’…..


It worked very well thank you! A moment of peace AND creativity! πŸ˜‰πŸŽ¨

Maya’s String Vase

Back in rainy Sweden πŸ˜‰β˜”οΈ we’ve unpacked, said hello to our animals, and settled in. Each child has already met up with a friend, Richard is back at work, and I’ve had a (failed !) driving theory test and a scout meeting to attend. Yesterday we took the little ones to an indoor play place to get rid of all their energy on a terribly rainy summer day – in short, we’re back to normal again. 😜

However, it doesn’t take Maya long to get crafting….

Using a craft book as a guide, some homemade glue (flour and water), string, and an oddly shaped balloon, she made this…..

She blew up the balloon, set it in a glass (to keep it still), dipped the string in the glue mixture, and wound it around the balloon. Then she left it to dry.

We didn’t know what to expect with this oddly shaped balloon. As I predicted the string probably needed more glue, and the top piece broke off easily when dry.

But that didn’t stop Maya from using her imagination….

…she made it into a vase….