On Being An Artist

Ted got some chalks from the Easter bunny, and he hasn’t put them down since.

He says he’s an artist….

   
    
   
Spring is just around the corner….😊

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More Spring Things This Week!

This week we (Maya and I) have continued with Easter crafts, mainly in the name of pompoms…

   
 
And Ted has been continuing with Easter eggs…in clay form…

   
…and biscuit form…

  
  
  
  
Alfie has, as always, been drawing drawing drawing…..

  

I love our tulips…

  
…and as well as playing lots of lego (and some Mario!) with Leon, he has been enjoying lots of outdoor play with his friend Lilly… 

 

Alfie so much prefers the sunshine. 🌞

The kids have played with friends, and yesterday Ted and I truly enjoyed a neighbourhood walk to feed a neighbour’s rabbit…

Admiring neighbour’s decorated Easter houses…
 
Having fun with a neighbour’s cat in the sunshine…

   
    
 (Ted just happened to have a rope with him 😏)

…feeding the rabbits in their posh ‘hutch’ – though they didn’t want to be seen….

  
..playing on the rocks…

  
…and watching the water in our neighbour’s backyard lake…..

   
    
 
We are so lucky to live in an area where wildlife is so ripe, in so many different ways – and I’m so happy the sun is finally starting to shine! 😄

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….😉)

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….😂  

….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….. 🙂

O is for Octopus

Ted enjoyed focusing on cats so much when we did letter C – so we’ve decided to focus on (mostly) simply an animal beginning with that letter, in our alphabet. 😊

This week we did letter O, so apart from ‘orange’ (both the colour and the fruit)…

  
…we focused on the ‘octopus’.

We read some books with octopuses in (as well as other ‘O’words)….  

  
  
  
  
Ted liked the last book the best, ‘Zebbe Dyker’ (Zebbe Dives), but I was less keen. It depicts the octopus as a scary, dangerous animal, instead of the intelligent, amazing animal it is. However, stories with octopuses in were hard to come by…

To counteract this however, I showed Ted some short educational clips about octopuses on ‘Youtube’, which he loved, and then inspired him to draw a picture from….

  
  
  
I love it. ❤️

We learnt that octopuses have eight legs, can squeeze through tiny holes as big as their head, are incredibly intelligent, that pacific octopuses grow to an enormous size, and that they eat scallops and other shellfish, and change their skin colour and texture to communicate. 

We then made some octopuses from salt dough…..

  
  
😄😄😄😄

Ted’s octopus only had six legs. We’re still working on counting! 😘

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… 😆

Valentines Fun

It started with a ‘maths’ table ; hearts with numbers on, red sand to write numbers in, beads and pipe cleaners for threading….

Ted started with lining up the numbered hearts….  

As yet, Ted doesn’t recognise his numbers very well, but just seeing and playing with numbers will give him a better grasp.

He then proceeded to try writing the numbers in the sand with a pipe cleaner which was great.. 
  
  And then Alfie came along…to thread beads…

   
 …and feel the sand…😉…  

Then we had some creating….    

   
 …and some cooking….    

Lots of fun! ❤️❤️❤️

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’….😊            

👍😜😄

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….😂

  
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….. 😉