Theme parks, playgrounds and yet more snow!

Well, we thought the snow was gone, but alas we were wrong. This weekend it returned again!

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We mostly kept warm indoors and it didn’t matter because this had arrived through our door on Friday.

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The morning had been spent with the girls building a theme park from Duplo so when the playground engineering set arrived we decided to continue the fun.

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The playground kit is trickier than it looks and needed Moo, Beanster and I to all work together following the instructions to make some of the models.

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Today (Sunday) we decided it was time to give the carpets a deep clean (wash).

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As Mama and I did this the girls got musical.

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Moo got out the fuzzy felt and made her own story picture.

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We finished our weekend with a nice roast dinner and got all the furniture back in place. Even the fairyland windowsill got a wee tidy up.

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Snow!

We had a lot of snow that led to no work for us grownups for a week so lots of fun was had!

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There was science:

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Snow volcanoes

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There was art:

Salt art

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Snow painting

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Moo drew her family

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There was baking:

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Stories:

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And of course lots of fun in the snow:

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Snow monster

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Helping

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Trip to the park

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And mummy and the girls created an amazing snow, ice & light art installation in the front garden which attracted lots of attention from passers by

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Monday 

Still feeling cold lethargy, the girls had a relaxed day. 

It started with some telly… 

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…and then some monster making.

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There was colouring of patterns…

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then we got out the Lego and made towers and castles. 
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Later we got out our magnets and the girls  did some of their own investigations whilst i played with a childhood favourite.

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The girls baked… 

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before heading upstairs to see if Moo could climb up to the top bunk yet by herself. The answer is YES! 

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Beanster then headed out to her weekly swimming lesson. Sticker week this week. Wonder if she will have achieved any more of her level.

Our Weekend 

Moo has been choked with the cold and on her inhalers this weekend so has been rather confined to quarters for the most part.  However, she did make it out for a wee bit today and found lots to occupy her when she was inside. 

Yesterday she played with her Bing toys

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and dressed up to play at doctors and vets.

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She and Beanster decorated some flower tubs and planted Spring bulbs in them.

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Beanster learned a new skill, French knitting

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and she practised counting different animals and objects to 10. She can do this easily now.

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There was also the usual daily drawing.

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Today the girls spent largely separated as Beanster had friends she wanted to see and i also needed some things at the Garden Centre. 

Moo had a lazy start and played with her Superbear and tea set. She then convinced Mama to take her to McDonalds before they did a quick food shop and headed back home to the warmth.

Beanster and I headed to the Garden Centre before meeting her best pal H at the allotment. 

The garden centre we go to is such a wonderful place for a young child and it is one of Beanster’s favourite places to go. It is not a place to buy plants and tools. It is…. 

a place where you may encounter fairies and magical wizards

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There are hidden dangers to deal with

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You can make a wish which may come true

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Where you can interact with the Woodland Muse 

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and make a feast for the fairies. 

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It is a place of wonder, where anything can happen when you enter through the hidden gates and portals. 

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And wildlife is abundant due to all of the surrounding woodland. 

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Today we spotted amongst others some  Grey Squirrels, Robins, Chaffinch, Tree Creepers, Sparrows and Blue Tits.

Up at the allotment we dug the soil

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and watched geese fly overhead.

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Beanster and H played for ages with some canes. They became witches’ broomsticks, a canoeist’s oars, giant spider legs and ski poles.

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Later this evening Mama and Beanster headed to a roller disco with friends M and A. They had a fabulous time and then headed for pizza after. 

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Whilst the other two were away Moo made her own spend, save and give jars.

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We then settled down to watch Frozen and a bath afterwards featured her Frozen themed toys. 

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Life is busy

We have been so busy we have not had a chance to blog. Finally got some time to create a wee taster of some of things we have been up to and places we have visited over the last couple of weeks.

Almondvalley Heritage Centre (Mill Farm)

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A great place to learn about life in West Lothian in the past and to have lots of fun. It has a great mix of historical and outdoor learning opportunites, animals and park equipment to play and climb on.  We stayed until closing and the girls had the best time.

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Frankie and Benny’s 

The girls love to eat out and Beanster chose F & B’s for a treat. 

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Edinburgh- Diwali celebrations and National Gallery of Scotland 

To end our work on Diwali we visited the celebrations in Edinburgh. As we arrived early we went to the gallery first to look at some of our favourite paintings.  Beanster loved the ballet scenes and Moo the paintings with animals. After we headed to the Diwali celebrations. Beanster made up her own dance at one point, a sort of break dance meets robotic Bollywood.

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Halloween

Halloween is a big deal in this household as it is one of Beanster’s favourite times of the year.  We decorate the garden and living room window, play games and are open to guisers whom get a treat for ‘doing a turn’. This year we invited cousin H over too and we all went out guisin. The girls sang songs and told ‘jokes’ and came back with a bag load of sweets. We also celebrated Halloween at Townhill too.

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Making a terrarium

Beanster asked to recreate the water cycle via a terrarium so we constructed one. It is working well. New plants have even started to grow inside it. 

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Bird Cafe and garden feeders

We finally got round to hanging our feeders outside and we refilled our bird cafe feeders too. 

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Art appreciation 

Both Moo and Beanster are into art in a BIG way just now. Here are some activities we have done and we also watched a graffiti artist create one of his works. 

Fireworks picture for pal M

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Lascaux cave paintings 

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Tape resist monet 

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Frida Kahlo 

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Paul Klee

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Michelangelo 

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Random 

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Graffiti artist 

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Music

We have started to buy better musical instruments and this week a glockenspiel and xylophone arrived. The girls have been enjoying experimenting with them.

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Fireworks night 

We went to a fireworks display with the girls’ friend M and her parents and had a brilliant time.  

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Five Sister’s Zoo

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Grandpa came on a trip to the zoo with us and we especially enjoyed watching the leaf cutter ants, the rescued circus lions (looking healthy and happy) and the wolves.  

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The Scottish Deer Centre 

The girls are all about animals just now and Beanster asked to go and to the deer centre to feed them and learn more about them. Granny came this time. One of the great things about home ed is the girls get to see their grandparents often instead of just little bits of time around school and homework.  

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Writing

Beanster has taken to writing this last week or so and is wanting to copy letters and words. 

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Diwali

One of the things I love about home ed is that you can learn alongside your child.  It is good for them to see that you don’t know everything and that sometimes you need to learn at the same time as they do and research together.  As I am not particularly religious I don’t tend to know much about different religions so this year I am setting out to change this. I am going to learn about some of the major festivals of different religions at the same time as the girls. This week we have learned about Diwali.

Diwali is a 5 day festival and on each day different activities take place. In photographic and caption summary here are the first 3 days, the days we have focussed on with the girls. What a lot of fun we have had.

DAY 1

We practised using stencils and rangoli powder to make rangoli patterns. It was too windy to do outside so we practised on paper instead. 

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DAY 2

We decorated diva lamps we had made a couple of days before. 

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Made our rangoli patterns outside our front door. 

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We found this to be a tricky business as it was still quite windy and our stencils kept bouncing about. 

We selected some flowers at the shops to use to make a table decoration on day 3. 

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We tried to make Burfi (an Indian sweet). Our first attempt didn’t work out well as it was too hard and tasted too much of cardamom, but never give in at a first attempt. View it as a chance to learn and improve and if it is still rubbish after a few attempts don’t become a chef! We will have another go soon.

Beanster made the cardamom powder.  

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Beanster made the mixture. Only half the sugar went on the cooker! 

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The finished mixture tasted lovely. Setting seemed to intensify the cardamom however. Maybe half the amount next time.

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Mama and i finished the evening sampling proper Indian sweets from these guys. Would recommend. 

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DAY 3 

This is the day that most Hindus and Sikhs  celebrate Diwali with family and they have lots of lovely food.

We dressed for the occasion, well Beanster did and Moo chose her own unique outfit!

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Curry cooking away.

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Table decoration made.

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Food enjoyed, whilst listening to Indian music. 

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Playing with Glowsticks before bed.

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Tonight we read more of Gobbolino,  Mr Uppity  (will the Mr Men obsession ever end for Moo) and Elmer.

A trip to IKEA can be a place where you learn too

Really?  It is amazing how many people don’t realise that you can turn any place that you go to into a place of learning. Take IKEA for example. A lot of people say shopping in IKEA is their idea of hell. To Beanster and Moo it is a wondrous haven of fun and practical learning potential.  We have never once used the creche.  The girls have never asked to go there. They would in fact think they were being denied fun if not allowed to come with us. At times it does feel like herding sheep for us,  but each visit the girls get something new out of the experience.  So here is our visit in summary.

As we didnt arrive until lunchtime Mama went to buy our food and we watched a Diwali video on YouTube then looked at the IKEA catalogue. Beanster read out prices of different items and we talked about how some things cost more or less than her pocket money. Moo practised turning pages.

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We talked about the different countries our food came from. Swedish meatballs for Beanster and Italian for Moo. I had an Indian style curry and Mama a mixture of Italian and Swedish.

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I am sure the staff and customers wondered where the ‘musical’ noise was coming from when they started gently drumming on various objects. No objects were damaged in the making of said music. Time to break out the drum kit in the loft (permission please Lyall)

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Motor skills were practised with the kiddie trolleys. Very few ankles were biten by the trolleys although I did get a few strange looks from other shoppers when i turned it into a driving lesson and got them to park in imaginary Tesco car spaces! Oh and we did look out for various sites of tourist interest on our journey. We passed Blair Drummond Safari park (the cuddly elephants), Blackpool illuminations (the lighting department) etc. You get the idea. 

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Moo made her own video when Beanster went to the loo. 

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Other highlights included selecting various Swedish foods from the food shop to try; briefly playing with children’s toys (they find them a bit dull now); practising writing lists; discussing and selecting appropriate plants for a terrarium Beanster wants to make…..

Of course no trip to IKEA is complete without a wee snack  at the end. 

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At other points of the day we….

Discussed the weather

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Played Diwali bingo 

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Drew

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Did more Okido magazine. Robots today and Beanster was wire obsessed.

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Emptied the dishwasher and put everything away. Beanster compared cutlery size to correctly sort them into the adult’s holder and the kid’s holder. 

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Pulled faces 

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Made Diva lamps 

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Watched the Wizard of OZ 

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Bedtime books were more of the food non-fiction book, another chapter or two of Gobbolino the witch’s cat and Mr Tickle.

Wonder what we will learn tomorrow…..