Half term…

We’ve had a week off school, the weather’s been terrible, some kids have been unwell, and we havn’t done much at all….a trip to the cinema, a trip to the free local theatre, a library visit, and friends to play with, is all we have managed.

But it doesn’t matter. Because, despite what we grown-ups think – that we should be rushing around doing educational trips, and entertaining the kids…all the kids want, is to be at home, take it easy, do their own thing, and occasionally play with friends. I know, because that’s what they told me.. 😊

And what happens, is that siblings spend time together, and have fun, and laugh, and play, create…

Alfie spends hours drawing…

  
..as does Ted….

 
 
There has been open-ended creating from Ted….  

…from Alfie…   

    
 
..and from both of them together….  

(This is a playroom for our cat, in case you’re unsure….πŸ˜‰)

There has been bread making from all of them…     

  ..and lots of cooking from Leon and Maya…homemade pizza, meringues, smoothies, vegetable soup….but let’s not forget, fishfingers and custard, inspired by Dr Who….πŸ˜‚  

….and honestly, probably too much screen time too….because when you save your money for a Super Mario game, and you get to play it with your older siblings, it really is “the best day ever!!!” (Alfie). Plus he’s been ill all week. Sometimes you just have to bend the rules….. πŸ™‚

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˜‚

A Wet Froggy Sunday!

Yesterday it POURED with rain all day!
So we had a wet froggy Sunday – with froggy (mostly) fingerprint pictures….

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…with the (non-competitive) lily-pad hopping game (hop from one to the other, and freeze when the music stops)….

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..a froggy sensory tray…

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…using black water beads to represent the tadpoles (or eggs)…

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…and of course, the number rhyme ‘5 little speckled frogs’…

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πŸ˜˜πŸΈπŸ‘

The Elements Of The Earth

In the last week or so, Ted and I have been having a look at ‘the earth’ and it’s elements…
Starting with experiencing the rain (water)…..

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…a story about the earthworm, and how he likes to live underground (earth)….

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…which encouraged Ted’s own story telling skills….

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We dug up some worms in the garden and observed them in our worm habitat (earth)….

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…and cooked an ‘earthworm and bug’ dinner (spaghetti and chickpeas)…

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…and made a ‘playmobil world’ that included earth, water, fire and air – can you see them?

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Continuing with some nature bracelets we made from finding plants and flowers in the garden…

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We’ve been talking a lot about how the plants need soil, water and sunlight to grow, and we’re still continuing this topic… 😊🌱🌷🌻