Friday, 9 January 2015

Strandbeest and Mexican Feast

Sprout doing whale sounds led to a really cool (and very long!) conversation with all three of them about whale noises (we found some audio online), the 52-hertz whale...


...the definition of a mammal, homeostasis...


...temperature regulation...


...congenital analgesia, stuntmen and circus acts...



...the Eustachian tube...


...they played on the Tinybop human body app...


...listened to dog whistles and looked up the reason for the difference in hearing range...


...looked up why chocolate is toxic to dogs...




They all looked at Sprout's 8000 Awesome Things You Should Know book, and once the boys went to play Little Inferno, Moppet carried on looking at it and asking me to tell her about all the animals and find videos of them all (easier for the manakin than the extinct andrewsarchus, but we managed it!)






Sprout played some more Little Inferno and googled some combos and looked for why they were called what they were (eg the Yellow Brick Road Combo)...


...and Moppet watched Walking with Dinosaurs.


Squidge played on his Build a Body, Human Body, and DeAgostini human body apps...


...then built a Strandbeest, which worked and was rather awesome!


Moppet went back to the 8000 Awesome Things book, and the requests for corresponding videos continued, so we read/talked about and watched kangaroos...


...armadillos...


...Italian Chianina cows...


...wombats...


...dolphins, chimpanzees and gorillas, and then she watched some Diego for a while, while the boys watched a couple of films.


Sprout played for a while on the Build a Body app, and completed all the organ systems, only having to ask me what a bile duct is, where an oesophagus is, and where the coccyx bone is. He then told me what he thought the evolutionary basis for the coccyx was. Next, he had been excited about the new Bear Grylls series, so we watched that while Squidge watched Ninja Turtles and explained to me which one was which. 


Sprout asked whether Bear Grylls and Channing Tatum would be at risk from eagle attacks sleeping openly on a cliff face at night, so we looked up whether eagles hunt at night and whether they ever attack people. 


Seeing the Ninja Turtles reminded me that we have an NES and the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles game upstairs, so we went and played it, and then some Simpsons: Bart vs the Space Mutants and then some Super Mario Bros (original and 3). 


Later Moppet watched some Peppa Pig,  Squidge watched more Ninja Turtles while playing Headless Zombie 2, and Sprout played some Createrria. Squidge then helped me to make tacos, nachos and Mexican rice (using this fail safe recipe here http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/708/mexican-rice.aspx ), and we all watched Sharkboy and Lavagirl which has seen a resurgence since Moppet found the socks we decorated with them with Sharpies in the summer :)

Next day Moppet played with dough for the morning...


...Squidge and Gruff had marathon Skylanders session...


...while Sprout played the online game of, built some figures of, and watched videos of Hero Factory.


While Sprout worked out a budget for the new Hero Factory figures he wants, we all watched Agent Fox. He and I then played some old NES Megaman 3...


...then Moppet and I looked at the Animal Atlas magnet book and put all the animals on the right continents.


While she then watched some Umizoomi and told them where to put all their triangles, the boys had a really long play together making Hero Factory. I especially loved the one of Sprout's that he explained had a slight excess of charge remaining in the claw after the laser fired, so there was an energy dump that took it back up its arm to power the central brain battery :D


Squidge played some more on the Human body app...


...Sprout and I played a Hero Factory battle game of his invention...


...and Moppet played with the little dough extruder robot figure that came in her kinder egg. 


Later Squidge and Moppet helped Gruff wash the van and car.


We postponed a planned day of building dens in the forest at Cannock Chase as we all got a cold and wanted to stay warm. 
Moppet dressed up as me, and when asked informed me that mummies "erm... walk round." :)


Squidge and Gruff had another big Skylanders gaming session and upgraded some more characters...


...while Sprout dressed as an Enderman and watched some Yamimash videos of Five Nights at Freddy's.


He wanted to know if ants were herbivores, so we looked at a few things that different ants eat, and watched a bbc video of ants farming and 'milking' aphids. 


Afterwards he read his new Lego Club magazine, which had a Lego version of Escher's waterfall, so I showed him the real one too, and mentioned the bit with Relativity in the new Night at the Museum film that I thought he'd like.


Gruff had a day booked off work so we could take Squidge to the dentist. He's not yet comfortable with people he doesn't know, but is getting more confident as he gets older. Each time we've been to the dentist in the past, he hasn't felt confident enough to sit in the chair. We have an amazing dentist who's been understanding and encouraging, and has assured us the main thing is to not pressure him as it would be counter productive, and this is exactly as we'd approach it so that's great. Last time he *did* sit in the chair and let him look, and he needs a bit of work doing on one tooth (he has an extremely sensitive gag reflex until the past few months, so brushing his teeth thoroughly has been difficult, but again with age this has become much easier!) so that is what we were going to sort out. He sat in he chair again but then he was too worried to let the dentist seal the tooth, but again the dentist has said it's not urgent, come back for his check up in three months and we'll try again, and trying to force him would again be counter productive. 
So Squidge and I went out for a sandwich and a chat, and hopefully have worked through a couple of things, namely reassuring him that the dentist wasn't going to hurt him, and we've offered an incentive for him to focus on too, which might help but I guess we'll see.
Ok that was long, but the upshot is that there are other ways of approaching things rather than forcing a child to do them. An understanding professional helps too :)


The next day Sprout played on Disney Infinity Lone Ranger map for the morning, and he wanted me to look up what a flintlock is. He also showed Moppet how to play, which was very sweet.


The boys spent some time going through all their Nerf guns and ammo to check what we need for their upcoming nerf day, then they had a big gaming session together on the Disney Infinity Toybox.


Moppet played for a while on her Endless Reader app, then watched some surprise eggs videos, some playdoh videos, and some episodes of Sid the Science Kid, then had a lounge picnic.
Sprout played on his build a human body app, and asked me if I knew there were 206 bones in an adult human. I didn't, and asked him if he knew what the smallest bones were in the human body, and when he couldn't guess I showed him this:


We looked up how many bones are in a newborn human...


...and why...


...and chatted briefly about the functions of the skeleton (and when we had chicken for dinner later we showed him the marrow inside the bones)...


...and talked about why I set off airport metal detectors...


...and why sharks' skeletons aren't made of bone!


Later we all watched Robosapien again and Sprout played Minecraft and downloaded Flan's mod and content packs, then we all watched some more Sid the Science Kid :) 
Sprout remarked that the 'roly polies' on there looked like woodlice, so we looked up whether they're the same thing, which apparently they are. 


Then he laughed at me trying to pronounce this. Only took me nine or ten tries haha :)


In one episode they were making charts, so Sprout made his own chart detailing the toys he wants at the moment and the relative amount he wants each of them :)


He then made the data into a pie chart, and looked at why if one is half as much as the other it will take up a third of the pie chart, not a half.


Jumping on the chart bandwagon with great enthusiasm, Squidge wanted to chart all his Skylanders by game and element, so I helped him do that. He was surprised at some of the results but loved how he could see them easily from how we'd drawn it.


Sprout and I played a few games of Briscola, then a couple of races of A Neon Race, then got our butts kicked at Infinite Creep Maze 3D, all over LAN with each other.


The boys and I made a roast dinner, then Sprout took all the pie charts apart and created a creature...


...and explained to me his evolution,  predators, prey, behaviours, and mimicry. It was awesome!!


Squidge made a tree too which he was really proud of :)


When we were getting ready for bed Sprout wanted to know 'why everything changes', and when I asked him to narrow down the question for me, he clarified 'you know, from the whole universe to the smallest particle'. So you know, just the easiest questions for late at night! :) We chatted briefly about the tendency of things towards disorder, and he linked that back to some stuff we'd watched about decay, and bananas, and then he moved onto telling me about the world's roundest object.


Moppet played some more on Endless Reader...


...Sprout wanted to work out 7 divided by 3 on a calculator, and was amazed by the recurring point three and wanted to know what it meant, so I went through the basic arithmetic of how many threes are in seven and what's left over, and he remembered what a third is, and I explained how that translated into decimals.


Moppet had a little Peppa picnic.


They had a friend over to play, and played Skylanders together...


...NES Super Mario, went on the trampoline, ran about in the street for a while, then played some Five Nighs at Freddy's 1 and 2.


Sprout found some little unit cubes and made a Minecraft landscape with a mini Steve.


Following the convo about tendency to disorder and him linking that to decay, we went and checked out our Hallowe'en pumpkins which we've left to break down to see what happens.


We went and picked up Squidge's Skylander figures that he's had on order, and the boys carried out an 'Epic Unboxing', including Unboxings with a Nerf gun, and what Sprout calls 'rampage unboxings'!


They both built some Lego.



Then Squidge tried out his new Skylanders and Sprout really sweetly made me a coffee while Moppet had a sleep on me.


Sprout played on the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney Infinity map and asked me which way port and starboard are. Later he played more Skylanders with Squidge, then they built some Lego hero factory together, then we all watched Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Next day was the long awaited Nerf Day that Sprout had organised and planned (with some help from me to put it on Facebook to invite people etc). 
Camo-d up Squidge eyeing up the enemy...


...discussing strategy...


...and Batgirl :) I was especially proud of the confidence with which Sprout approached things, even reiterating to an adult he didn't know, who had decided to try and organise everyone her way, that actually he was sorting it out.



It was a really cold day so we took Moppet home after three hours as she needed warming up, we're going to plan another (for hopefully a warmer day!) as everyone had fun :)

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