Monday, 2 September 2013

The Last Week of Summer Holidays -or- Life as Normal

We started the week with a trip to Park Hill Farm, where we've previously been to lots of Open Farm Sundays and pond dipping sessions. The boys are always excited to see the free range Oxford Sandy and Black pigs in their woodland home...

...and to add to the fun there were donkey rides...

...Moppet's first time riding a donkey which she was very excited about...

...a ride on a tractor trailer...

...Squidge happily stroking a sheep (a very big thing for him!)...

...cake baking in a barn (a first I think!)...

...and general tomfoolery :)

Back at home Squidge finished his ancient Spiderman book...

...and decorated the cakes he'd made (these are his version of a cross between a jam and cream filled Victoria sponge, and butterfly cakes).

Sprout made his cake into a micro Minecraft world, here you can see a micro Minecraft forest with "Steve so small you can't even see him with your eyes" :)

We had a play around with the 3Donkulous pens I got them, which were quite fun...

...and they played with these Tetris ice cubes I'd made as a surprise :)

We spent an afternoon at Hungersheath Farm, originally to do some Pick Your Own, but the bank holiday the day before meant that the whole farm had been stripped fruitless (aside from the four teeny tiny ripe strawberries that Squidge very proudly found and carried to the shop to pay for). They tried unearthing some carrots but they weren't useable...

...and Moppet preferred picking her own straw instead :)

We went and enjoyed some Snugbury's ice cream, and then they each chose a plant to buy for our front border which has been looking at bit bare this year since the harsh winter killed off some of our plants. They also chatted to the really lovely lady in the farm shop about different cheeses and meats and where they came from.

Sprout wrote a title for a list he wanted me to make of things he needed from B&Q to decorate the wooden wheelbarrow that he made a few months ago at a Kids Can Do It class. His only question was how to draw the ampersand, so I told him how I do it but he opted for doing it a different way.

He rushed right out before breakfast the next day to make a start, while Squidge watched on.

All three of them have been really loving their new Flip-o-Storic book that I ordered after Sprout liked the look of something similar on the lovely A Day in the Life of an Unschooler group on Facebook. I loved the moment when Sprout told me that the prefix Mega- in Megatherium means large, and also that having looked at the size chart it was the largest creature featured in the book. As a big fan of the Omegalodon game, he was also excited to put together the Megatherium, the Coelodonta, and the Smilodon, to give a Megalodon :)
It's led to us watching all the Walking with Dinosaurs episodes on Netflix, having discussions about evolution, and moving on to Bear Grylls and what you should do in the case of a bear attack.

Moppet raided the science experiment box and decided goggles are the look for her :)

Over at their grandparents' house their grandpa was checking the birdboxes for the end of the summer. Sadly we realised that the baby bluetits, who we assumed had flown the nest, were actually dead, some unhatched; We're guessing that both parents must have been killed :( This little unhatched egg was still in the nest and the boys were amazed at how tiny it is.

Some of the other boxes had housed bees over the summer but were now vacated, leaving the combs.

Sprout was also excited to see that the seeds he planted had germinated...

...and uber excited to finally light his paraffin lamp that he's been wanting to try out! He spent ages experimenting with it, making the flame larger and smaller, and finding the best way to extinguish it.

Sprout and Squidge have both found a renewed interest in Lego Hero Factory and have been designing robots for battles.

Squidge had chosen a pack of rocket balloons at the local shop when we went to buy bread (do we ever end up with *just* bread??), so we went to the park to try them out. They were gone much too soon so I think I need to find where I can buy them in bigger packs!

Moppet has a new penchant for draping things round her neck like a boa (wii remotes, karate belts, ribbons...) while she plays :)

She's also still really enjoying the Cause and Effect Sensory Light Box app.

Sprout chose some painted heather to plant alongside the other plants they'd chosen for our front border, and we were surprised and disappointed to realise that far from being a descriptive term for a type of heather, the plants are actually painted. Ah well we live and we learn. At least they'll look colourful for a while.

Having again been reminded that the choice to go to school is there if they want it, the boys have again chosen not to, so this coming week it's Not Back to School again, and life carries on as normal for us :)

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