Thursday, 13 February 2014

A brief catch up

It's been a weird/tough week with one thing and another, so not quite as many photos taken or moments noted, but I'll attempt a bit of a blog anyway :)

It started with the trip to Chester Zoo (for which I already blogged the treasure trails we made). Sprout, whose interests tend to lie very closely with things he's already heavily interested/involved in, was actually hugely enthusiastic about exploring and about details of the animals: the huge wingspan of the Livingstone's fruit bat we saw; whether the antelope were carnivores or herbivores and how we might tell; why the Blue Morpho butterflies are brown when their wings are folded and bright when they're flying. All sorts. I also loved the story he came up with when we spied a few legs of a brittle star poking tendril-like from under a rock: I said it looked like someone had released a tiny kraken, and he told me a story where , rather than being released, the tiny kraken had been on his way to work when he got stuck under a rock, and it went from there :D

The boys went with Gruff to see a preview showing of The Lego Movie, and we did a wee charity shop haul for some new and interesting things. I do love that at our little local one we can spend a fiver and take home literally armfuls of interesting things to discover. 

Moppet has been watching more Peppa Pig (telling me about what's happening throughout all the episodes), her favourite one being about Peppa's baby cousin (after which she pretends to be a baby :) ) She's also been playing some more with the baked cotton balls we made last week. They're crunchy now so a different sensory experience :) Her other favourite things this week have been talking to her grandpa on the phone, throwing balls in and out of a big tub, and me telling her stories featuring her, Peppa Pig, and Baby Alexander Pig. 

Sprout and I had some one on one time where we went out for some lunch and looked through the newest issue of BBC Focus Science and Technology a little more, and he chatted to me about the various things he's been watching this week and his plans for our Minecraft server. I also interviewed him, and discovered that if he could choose to be any animal he'd choose to be a human, and that his advice to people would be to, "Have fun!" :)

Back at home Squidge has been playing with his alphabet puzzle again, along with lots of other toys and games that they rediscovered after I reorganised the lounge. He's also been watching Mr Bean films and Jack the Giant Slayer, playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes with Sprout, playing Minecraft online with his friends while skyping with them, and exploring the interactive Smithsonian Museum online.

We FINALLY had a bit of snow, and although it lasted less than a couple of hours on the ground we managed to get a bit of time playing in it, with the outdoor winter version of scratch painting...

...snow angels...

...snowball fights...

...and generally sitting investigating the strange cold white stuff that she doesn't remember ever seeing before...

Sprout spent some time reading our What on Earth Wallbook, and was excited about elements being made inside stars and that things like mercury and copper would be gases.

Moppet has been playing some 'tunes' on her giant piano, and thought it hilarious that the cat fell asleep on the demo button resulting in both snoring and jaunty songs :)

She's also been doing some art on paper plates.

We had a day at the Play Shed with one of the local HE groups, and despite it raining *inside* it was a really lovely day, for both me and the kids.

When we got home the boys made themselves some dinner, and decided to turn their chicken burgers and onion rings into pirate ships complete with flags :)

This morning Squidge got out some paint and he and Moppet did some painting (plates, the table, themselves...)

Moppet has been playing with letters a lot, both these magnetic ones and the ones on her current favourite app, Endless Alphabet (she thinks the letters are hilarious when they shout their sounds).

Sprout's had a bit of a struggle of a week due to various things, so once Gruff had finished work for the weekend Sprout and I went out again just the two of us, and chatted about Lego, Minecraft, the Lego film, insects, sea creatures, when he'd travel to if he had a time machine (answer: a time when Lego Universe still existed), and who would win if we had melee weapons instead of noses. Mine was a baguette while his was an obsidian sword, so really there was no contest ;)

Squidge received his Weekend Box, and with Valentines Day on the horizon he quickly did the scratch art heart for Gruff, then afterwards the kids and I sneaked away to the kitchen to use the mould we got with the Something Sweet magazine a couple of weeks ago to make him some chocolate hearts. Both the boys were interested in how we tempered the chocolate, and Sprout also had the idea of adding some sprinkles before the chocolate so they'd be on the top :)

When it's been difficult this week for various reasons (things not directly regarding the children but that affect them), I've been grateful to be able to think back on the wise words of the longtime unschoolers on the Always Learning list and have tried to focus on connection with Sprout, Squidge and Moppet. I haven't always managed it, and I think I have messed up probably more this week the usual, but I've apologised and will try even harder going forward to make the better choice in each moment, even (especially?) when I'm having a hard week for other reasons. I need to pull out the source of the idea, but it was on that list, that when my child is really struggling, that's my cue to bring out my best parenting skills rather than get upset myself. I'm so grateful for the people who've been there and done it who volunteer their time and words, and in turn have helped me make moments happy and joyful that I wouldn't have had the wisdom myself to turn round that way.

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