Friday, 21 March 2014

London, baby!

The week started quietly with Moppet adorning herself artily with more stickers and felt tip drawings... 

...while her brothers designed characters on Toca Mini.

Spring appeared to Spring, and Squidge wanted to plant the beans out of his Weekend Box. We planted the two it came with into an egg box, and I added a couple of broad beans as we had compost left over. I found another runner bean too and we planted it in a CD case so we can watch what happens as it germinates.

Squidge asked for 'some of those little paper things that go bang', and luckily I had a stash of them from last time they enjoyed playing with caps.

He and Moppet had a great time throwing handfuls of them and making loads of noise :) Squidge wanted to know what was in them so we looked that up too.

There was a world record attempt by Age of Ascent for the largest PVP gaming battle ever, as part of the alpha testing for the game. Gruff showed Sprout and Squidge who were keen to join in, so the three of them took part and played on opposing teams that night. The record wasn't broken but it was fun anyway, and Sprout was excited that he brought some ships down :)

I took Squidge and Moppet to a free showing of Tangled. We had to wait a while outside and they hopped up on this pillar and Moppet shouted, "Cheese!" so who am I to refuse?

We went for some juice and a snack later where they both bundled onto my knee, so this was my view of Costa. :)

Back at home Moppet joined in some games on the PS3 with her dad and brothers (the controller isn't plugged in on this occasion but she loved it anyway!)

Squidge started one of the crafts out of his Weekend Box...

...while Moppet danced to some music :)

Sprout and I went out for some time together, he chose going to KFC as he'd enjoyed us going there the last time. On the way he chose the new issue of PC Pro as it had an article on robots, specifically the robotics companies that Google has bought out. He wanted to see some of them in action so we found them online...

He wondered about robots in the home, and said his ideal robot would clean up while we were out, which led to roombas, which led to kittens on roombas...

We somehow got onto the subject of nuclear power, how it works, what the waste products are, how much water is produced, the Top Gear episode through Chernobyl, the Japanese disaster, Sellafield, and whether there were any nuclear plants near us.

And then somehow onto Google search Easter eggs...

On the way home he wondered what gives blue diamonds their colour...

...which led to the question of what boron is...

...which led to borax...

...which led to why boron is nothing to do with pigs :)

Later on Squidge finished off his craft...

...and they both watched the Space Live broadcast from the ISS that Sprout had seen an advert for.

At some point during that he asked if radioactive things really glow like on The Simpsons...

...and how long the ISS had been up in space and who built it...

...and where the places were that they were going over...

...and if there was an 'Egypt' was there also an 'Agypt', a 'B-gypt', a 'C-gypt etc, and if not where did the name come from?

Later on Roblox he came across a yellow flag with a Red Cross on it and wondered what it was the flag for. 

The closest we came was 'Norland'.

Sprout chose a day in with Gruff while I took Squidge and Moppet to a home ed group...

...and then back at home we set up for our home ed Lego Day the next day.

Moppet played some hide and seek :D Where could she be? I just don't know.

And then the kids and I went to London for a couple of days!
They were bubbling over with excitement while waiting for the train...

Sprout made some very artistic food on the train...

Then after a train journey and a fair walk to the British Museum, he fell asleep. Fair play to him, could have done with a nap myself :)

We headed for the Ancient Egypt collection, where Moppet spent a lot of time pointing at statues with breasts and shouting, "Milk! MILK!!" And also at statues without breasts, shouting, "No milk! Where milk?"

She also found these ancient drinking cornets and pronounced them to be ice lollies :)

And the bit the boys had been waiting for, the mummies.

Oh, and the reason we'd come to the British Museum, this Viking ship, the longest ever found. (Well, the wooden bits in the bottom were found, the rest was built. ;) )

More excitement ensued with the ride in a black cab to their auntie and uncle's house, which Squidge declared to be just like riding in a monster truck :)

They spent the evening playing video games and telling their auntie and uncle about them, and this was Sprout's favourite part of the trip, he loves seeing them :)
The next morning we headed to the Natural History Museum, which had been the reason for the trip following the David Attenborough Museum Comes Alive programme at New Year, the boys had asked to see the actual skeletons. 
We started with a coffee though, and while we sat there Sprout pointed out the symmetry of the ceiling to me.

Then first stop was the moa, which was even bigger than it had seemed in the programme.

Next we braved the *enormous* crush of school parties in the dinosaur section, but escaped rapidly for fear of being crushed underfoot.

Next up, the one Squidge had been desperate to see, the Sabre Tooth Cat. After having coaxed Moppet that way with promises of seeing a cat (she likes cats), she have me a very stern look and told me, "NOT cat." Fair enough.

The human body zone next, much hilarity with the wiggly mirrors...

...then Sprout and Squidge went to investigate while I fed Moppet.

Sprout had asked to go up the coccoon as he'd noticed on a video on the ground floor that there were actual scientists up there you could chat to (we took him up years ago but he couldn't remember). He thought the view from up here was amazing!

I liked this bit of writing at the entrance as it reminded me of Sprout so much :)

He watched a video about molecular testing on corals to distinguish visually similar species.

Speeding up once he saw where the scientists were...

We chatted to the two biologists about the research they were doing into diatoms, and Sprout told me afterwards that he thought it was amazing that they produce a third of the world's oxygen. We're going to try and find some at some point and have a look under the microscope. 
On the way down the coccoon Squidge found this coconut (and it's resemblance to a bottom) very funny :)

The view from the ground :)

We had plans to head straight for the science museum but Sprout saw this lady and her box of bones and had the chance to hold a lion skull.

We headed to the Science Museum for some lunch, which I'm preserving photographic evidence of as for the price the pizza must have been infused with gold ;)

First stop after lunch was The Garden in the basement, where they explored and played and made noise and then put on a puppet show :)

They worked as a team to hoist beanbags up a tower and drop them down the other side. They had quite a good cycle going :)

They all played a bit with the water too, until the urge for an ice cream arose...

Upstairs we went and found the answer to what the internet sounds like. The answer, according to Sprout, is a robot.

We watched this rather captivating contraption for a while too, it contained water, air and oil, and it was really quite hard in some parts to distinguish them. 

Up in Launchpad they all had loads of fun experimenting. This is Squidge behind the bubble wall...

...the three of them on heat cam...

...and playing with pulleys/wheels/scoops/levers to move plastic pellets around. I was quite struck by how Sprout's leadership skills came out in organising people (who wanted to haha) with the different tasks to get it running smoothly.

This spinning platform was a highlight too, Moppet in particular loved it.

We had a bit of a wait at the station in the evening, and the place was heaving, but luckily we eventually found somewhere to sit and Sprout spent the time helping Squidge build his puzzle globe. 

Today had been spent recouping some energy, which happened faster for them than me ;) Sprout and Squidge started their mummy from the set they bought at the British Museum...

...and they all blew lots of touchable bubbles (which I now realise are made of PVA, and am wondering if I can make some somehow?)

And lastly, fab moment of today: Last weekend Squidge and his friend shovelled all the sand out of the sandpit onto the patio. I was going to sort it out this weekend, but this afternoon the boys came in from playing outside and asked me where the garden shovels were. They wanted to put the sand back :) Awesome boys!

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