Monday, 27 August 2012

Busy times

Well, we have been busy lately!

Outdoor painting on wallpaper.

Harry has been really good at keeping himself busy, given the materials! Fish peeking from shimmery water, playdough 'bread', felt elephant and latest hama bead designs.

Mini 'olympic' games sack race with our home ed friends in Durham.

Brotherly love at Ouseburn farm.

Harry and Peter playing with their cousins in Lancaster.

Painted stones for granddad's birthday collected from the river.

Enjoying the muddy puddles at Wallington.

Windswept beach at St Mary's Lighthouse.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Our potatoes are here!

Finally, after what seemed like an age, flowers appeared on our potato plants! We dug down and tipped them out today. Everyone was very impressed and, although we have the allotment now with the chance to grow many different things, it was so great to have grown food in our own garden.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

River fun

We went to visit my mum and her partner, Loz, at their caravan holiday yesterday and it was near a wonderful river for the children to play in. We spent a good couple of hours pottering in and around the river (Harry would have stayed much longer!). Peter loved throwing stones with Granddad most of all and Harry waded up and down with Granny a couple of times with a boat on a string, letting it go to see where it floated and then started building a 'harbour' for his boat by piling stones to enclose the flowing water in a pool. It became quite a family effort! These are the kind of trips out I remember as a child - lots and lots of messing around in rivers and the boys loved it just as much as I used to!

Culture box - Mexico

We have really enjoyed looking through the first culture package we had received from a Mexican family. There was quite a lot to talk about so I covered it in two sittings. First of all we looked at the flag and there is a lovely story behind the eagle image which appears on the flag and the coins. The story goes that the ancient Mexicans were told by the Gods to build their capital in the place where they had seen an eagle eating a snake while perched on a cactus in a lake. It took 200 years to find this! 

We also did the paper craft, which involved folding and cutting tissue paper squares to make colourful segments of bunting, which are used to decorate homes and streets for festivals.

The family had sent a 1 peso coin with a printed sheet showing the other Mexican coins. We looked up the exchange rate to see how much it was worth and it was around 5p. We compared it to our 5p coin and looked at what is on the back. Our coin shows the Queen and the Mexican coin showed the eagle eating the snake. We talked about how both of these pictures are different but show something important to that country.

We looked at the rest of the contents at the weekend so that Stuart could join us. We did the 'God's Eye' craft, which is started when a child is born. More yarn is added each year until the child is 5 and then it is hung up. We have been using some Spanish greeting words and phrases from a sheet included in the box.

We decorated the kitchen with our bunting, a large Mexico flag, postcards and the God's Eye for our Mexican themed dinner of fajitas. 

Harry coloured a Dahlia picture, the national flower of Mexico.

There was a small Mexican football shirt included and some stickers, so Harry stuck one of the stickers on his 'Olympic Harry' to make himself a Mexican footballer!

He tried his first chewing gum, which is made with gum from trees in Mexico - he was not impressed!

We also found this book at the library, which we have read lots of times and it is lovely. It also includes some Spanish words and a map at the back so it was really useful to support the package.

We have really enjoyed these activities and have all learnt from them. I think Harry will always remember the story behind the flag and he actually spent a lot of time during the Olympics closing ceremony looking for the Mexican flag! I love the God's Eye craft and I think it is a really nice thing to do for a young child. It has also been fun using a new language at home.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Olympic activities

Well the Olympics are almost over and we have loved following it all. It is difficult with small children around to watch extended amounts of TV but we have managed to watch some of the main areas of interest. Harry and Peter have both liked cycling, gymnastics and equestrian and we have been watching athletics every evening when they have gone to bed. Harry has been especially interested in Usain Bolt, as he too likes to run very fast, so we have been watching his races on iplayer the next day!

We have had quite a strong Olympic theme in the house over the past couple of weeks, starting with our great trip to London which got us in the spirit and these are some of the things we have been doing.

We used a roll of wallpaper to make 'Olympic Harry'! We drew round him and he decorated himself in red, white and blue colours. He decided he would be a footballer (strange choice as we have not watched any football!) so he drew a goal in the background and then made a gold medal for himself.

Harry enjoyed making his own Olympic torch, which he proudly stuck on the kitchen wall.

We have been using some printed resources from the Twinkl website - Olympic rings showing the day have been up on the kitchen door each day and we have looked at some pictures relating to the Olympics and matched them to the correct word. These little cards were really popular with both boys.

Harry has been working on completing an Olympic letter book, where he practices writing each letter of the alphabet and then sees it related to the Olympics, such as 'a' for archery. He has been doing 2-3 every day and will earn a chocolate medal when he is finished.

We have been reading details of the Olympic torch, rings and motto. Peter actually thinks the picture of the torch is an ice cream and it's pretty funny when he comes over holding it and saying 'mmmm'! We have looked up the continents represented by the rings in our atlas and looked at Brazil, where the next Olympics will be held, in a bit more detail. Harry has declared it easy to travel there - 'all we need to find is a passenger ship'!

We iced some mini ring doughnuts in the colours of the Olympic rings and then ate our creations!

A bit of Olympic ring face painting and quite a lot of chocolate mascots and I think we have all really enjoyed the Olympic experience we have been able to have this year! I am making up a scrapbook to preserve the memories.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

More water

We had a wonderful beach trip yesterday - it was completely impromptu - Harry woke up from a nap and asked to go. I was feeling energetic so we did!

Peter didn't follow Harry in very far - there were some strong waves and some good surfers out there! 

Harry excavated lots of channels and pools for the water to flow into and drew a lovely sun in the sand. He really enjoys sand drawing.