Saturday, 5 July 2014

Monkey Forest Tramping and Home Ed Camping

Sprout and I started the week with a bit of one on one time at his favourite place for a drink and a snack, KFC. He's been watching some programmes like How it's Made, and was telling me all about the technical details of rainbow trout farming! 

We all had a really lovely day at Hanley Park with friends, and the kids took their twirling ribbon along which got played with lots and incorporated into loads of games.

Next day was a home ed group trip to Trentham Monkey Forest, which they all really enjoyed in various ways. They liked the lift up flaps on the signs with quiz questions about the monkeys, and Sprout in particular was interested in watching the monkeys' interactions with each other and the differing anatomies.

We were really lucky to see this little family with the baby feeding :)

We ended staying, along with a couple of other home ed families, almost until they closed, playing on the various playgrounds. Fab day!

We headed to Peak Camp the next day, and jumped straight in with some face/body painting...

...and making some loom band bracelets.

On the second day of camp Squidge was missing Gruff so we drove to find some phone reception, and found ourselves at Poole's Cavern. Sprout was completely rapt the whole time, and we had to leave the tour a bit early as Moppet fell asleep and I couldn't carry her the whole way, so we've promised him a return trip to do the whole cave. 

While they played on the playground later we phoned Gruff, and got the news that as well as Sprout's two female guinea pigs, another two little ones had appeared in their home! Exciting!

Back at the campsite, while I cooked dinner Moppet played driver...

...while Sprout read his new Minecraft combat guide and told me various snippets from it.

It poured down with rain that night and Moppet was delighted to find a whole selection of muddy puddles the next morning, and jumped in every single one for some time :)

She was also thrilled that there were some swallows nesting in the toilet block, and she enjoyed watching for them flying around.

We looked them up too.

Squidge and Moppet found a narrow walkway over some lethal lava...

...they all sheltered in the car from the frequent rain...

...and generally climbed trees and played with new friends :)

(this was what Moppet called her 'fairy seat' :) )

After a quick overnight trip home to recoup some sleep and change our leaky air bed for a functional one, we headed east to the first Home Educators' Camp Yorkshire. Sprout chose this spot 'by the big trees'...

...and once I'd got the tent up again the kids all found it very funny that the static made Squidge's hair stand on end (full effect not done justice by the photo!)

Moppet enjoyed taking her teddy round camp...

...they made some Illoom bugs...

...and Squidge made a lantern with a cyclops pattern.

It was really hot and sunny so we headed offsite to find some cold drinks and shelter, and Moppet donned her alter ego, Dr Hamster. 

Squidge let Sprout carry the lantern as he'd missed out on doing it last Christmas when he made one but there were no carrying sticks available at the last minute, so that was really sweet of Squidge.

They all paraded their lanterns up to the campfire and sang songs...

...then Moppet and Squidge went fairly quickly to sleep and this was Sprout and my evening...

And we found this little dude heading for the sleeping bag so we watched him for a while then evicted him back into the forest.

We had to leave a couple of days early as Squidge went down with something, and both the boys were a bit disappointed to miss the XBox night, bouncy castle, and roasting marshmallows that they'd been looking forward to, so Gruff set up a surprise for them that we'd been planning...

Sprout has been getting to know his two baby guinea pigs, who he has now named Snowflake and Sandy (gender pending!)

We've suddenly had a bumper raspberry crop again, and a few strawberries, so all three of them have been excitedly picking them out in the garden each day, and then today Squidge helped me turn them into a trifle, a flan, a crumble, and Eton Mess. A weekend of pudding-filled bellies ahead!

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