English Lesson : What does Fire Need?

Last week we had our second lesson on fire.

We started the lesson with an experiment. Three candles (stuck in playdough for safety) in a metal tray – what does fire need? 

We sprayed one candle with water, and the fire went out :  Fire needs heat!

We put a glass over one candle, and the fire went out : Fire needs air!

And we let the last candle burn down until the fire went out : Fire needs fuel!

We then played a game that we often play in scouts – a safety with matches game. 😉

We sit in a circle in the dark, with a candle in the middle. We all have a match. The first person lights the match on the matchbox, and then each person in the circle, in turn, lights their match from the last person’s – the last person in the circle lighting the candle in the middle.

The kids loved this (and it was evident which kids had been scouts, and were safe with fire!), and we each had a turn lighting the first match, and then lighting the candle….

We then took a long time observing the flame, and talking about the colours within the flame and its various types of heat….

…..before going on to do observational drawings (using either oil pastels or chalks) of our own candles…

Lastly, we talked about how fire (the sun) gives us light, and the ones who had finished their pictures, made ‘house lights’…..

 Next week we will talk more about fire giving us not only light, but warmth…. ☀️🔥

English Group : First Lesson With Fire

We are moving from air, to fire now.

We started the lesson with a walk down to the lake, followed by the grilling of marshmallows over an open fire. We built the fire, lit the fire, kept it ‘alive’ by blowing it gently from underneath, we discussed the colours in the fire and how the sparks flew, and generally just enjoyed it…   

 Then we lit a hot air balloon! Yes, I found one – a big one – of about a metre long – and we managed to get it up into the air! And it was magic! We cheered and clapped our hands, and watched it fly away…..

Typically my phone has ran out of batteries by now.. 😐

But what did we learn?

That fire needs air.

That warm air rises (thus, the fire warming the air and helping the balloon to rise).

That bodies can shelter fire from the wind.

And that teamwork is important!


English Club : Star Walk

We finally managed to go on our star walk tonight (the heavens were good to us, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky…).

Armed with hot chocolate and biscuits, we walked down to the forest, where we looked at a variety of constellations, particularly the winter ones…

I had found an excellent book in the library on ‘first constellations’. It gave you the details about what each constellation looked like, and how to find it, and the mythical story behind it – which I, of course, translated in to english. Fascinating!

Later we started making planispheres, which we will finish in the week…

A Snowman In The Freezer…

Ted loves ‘Charlie & Lola’ books, and this one is his current favourite…..

…especially when they find a snowman in the freezer…. 


So I had gone ahead, and when it was really snowy, put a snowman in the freezer….  

….which we proceeded to experiment with….


Ted waited and waited for him to melt, remarking all the time about the little ‘caves’ that were beginning to appear…

….but in the end, he didn’t want him to melt, so we put him back in the freezer….

…just like Charlie and Lola… 😆

English Club : Constellations

I had plans to take the kids on a star walk in the forest, to try out our new telescope – but it was cloudy, and not to be.

So, as usual, starting off with a little treat (this time hot chocolate stars)….

We went on to read a little about some of the more well known constellations, and what a constellation is….

…before choosing a few constellations and making our own constellation lights…



  The kids also insisted on making up their own constellation! 😆

Before going on to make glow-in-the-dark constellation pictures…   


Another fun lesson with these lovely boys! 😘


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’….. 😊


Experiments & Potions…

Ted is really in to ‘experiments’ right now. Mostly he just mixes and tests randoms things – but he calls them experiments…..

This is what our kitchen table looks like a lot of the time these days.

Sometimes, having been elsewhere in the house for a short amount of time, I can come back to this….

….or this….

The other day he asked for Maya’s volcano experiment, so we took out her beautifully painted volcano, the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, and the red food colouring, and set to work with, yet another, ‘experiment’….😊            


English Club : Making A Telescope

On Monday we talked about the stars ; about their brightness and their size, about the difference in their colour and their temperature ; about what they are made of ; about their different names and types – and about what happens when a star explodes….

We then went on to make a telescope together…


      Of course, typical boys, were tickled because it looked like a bazooka!

We went outside to test it with the stars, but unfortunately it was too much of a cloudy night! Fingers crossed for next week! 






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….😉

Good fun! And easy to do! 😍