All choked up

Beanster has been all choked up and running a temperature the last few days so has not been able to do much. Mama became doctor to the ailing one whilst I took Moo out and about on Saturday.

We always love a trip to Hopetoun Garden Centre. It is not a garden centre to a young child. It is a place where you can observe and listen to wildlife, see works of art, run about, hide amongst the trees and nooks and crannies and you may just encounter a fairy or two.

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Afterwards we went shopping to get Beanster a present to cheer her up. Moo chose well.

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We paid a wee visit to Granny and Grandpa before coming home to check on how our Spring flowers were doing now that the snow has gone.

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A wee delivery had come which will help the girls with their reading, but at the moment Moo enjoyed pulling the pups apart and combining different colours.

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We also enjoyed playing a couple of games and making up stories with these story cards.

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Beanster was feeling up to starting her minecraft lego.

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Later the girls and Mama had an early night as all were now feeling the effects of the cold so i took part in Earth Hour and tidied by candlelight.

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The candles had been made by the girls during our last powercut so i decided to make a few more to replace them.

Hopefully everyone will be back to full health soon as neither girl enjoys sitting for long and they are already bored of the bugs.

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Harry Potter and STEM club

One of the great things about Home Ed is the freedom to sit in your pyjamas, eating your breakfast, as you have your favourite books read to you and on Monday that is just what we did. Moo chose a book about Amelia Earhart written for children and Beanster wanted more of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read. She is currently loving acting out her favourite bits of the book which usually feature herself as Hermione Granger. We love looking at the pictures in the illustrated hardbacks. Beanster has been particularly excited about getting to the one below and learning all about the diary of Tom Riddle.

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After some more of the novel Beanster did some of her own reading practise using the Teach your Monster to Read app whilst Moo had her Amelia Earhart book. Later there were some mysterious Hogwarts riddles and potion recipes made…

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before we headed out to STEM club (dressed up in witch costume in Beanster’s case!). Today we were learning about acids and alkalis, testing the ph of different types of water and how to record our results.

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After club the girls like to go into the garden with their friends to play and to explore. They let their imaginations go wild as they invent intricate games, learn to share, to take turns and resolve arguments. Moo set up her own little house whilst Beanster played witches and wizards with the boys.

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Before swimming lesson we looked for signs of Spring at Granny and Grandpa’s.

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Afterwards Beanster was very excited to get home and show Mama her latest findings in Minecraft. I am clueless on all things Minecraft so it all goes over my head!

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A festive summary

So….we have been absent for a long time. We have been so busy throughout December and the beginning of January that we kind of forgot about our blog. Here is a summary of the last month or so, mainly in photo form. We aim to get back in the swing of things now the festive season is over.

Beanster, Granny and I went to the theatre

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We made a family of snowmen

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We visited the Chinese lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo then made our own silk paintings

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We did some fun Science

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Decorated our house. Beanster designed our window display.

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Played with our small world winter things.

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Had afternoon tea, story and dancing with Santa

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Built and painted…

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…read stories and did puzzles.

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Went on the Big Wheel when we went to the winter wonderland.

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We built and decorated an edible house

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There were parties with friends and fun family gatherings and presents galore to unwrap. December was exciting and busy but so far in January we have …

…played board games

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Observed butterflies and handled snakes and tarantulas

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Been to the museum

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Learned some more about technology playing Animal Crossing and with our new spider (thanks Vic and Jacinta)

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Built a snowman and sledged down a hill (on our one day of snow)

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Made a collage together…

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And started to learn how to sew (Beanster’s top, Moo below)

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We have even eaten space food and declared it to be ‘yum.’

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We have played, written thank you letters, bounced on trampolines, been swimming and fed the ducks (peas and bird food), amongst other things .

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Yeah, I suspect January is going to be just as busy as December. ūüėĀ

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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Stepping back in time to the 17th and 18th century 

On Monday i headed out with the girls and granny to Culross in Fife. This picturesque village with its cobbled streets is the most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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We were planning a visit to Culross Palace, but first we had a rather wet play in the park. 

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We headed on into the palace using our National Trust membership cards and the girls were given a free quiz sheet to do as we went round. Beanster enjoyed listening to the clues so she could work out the locations of hidden chickens and then writing the letter found beside them. The letters eventually spelled out a word connected to the palace. Moo gave it a good go too. 

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We meandered through the rooms looking at all the furniture and objects and talking about how life then compared to now. The girls found the commodes pretty fascinating and lots of toilet discussion soon took place. The part of the palace they spent most time in was the garden. It seemed to go on forever,  going higher and higher and there were lots of hidden nooks and crannies. As you are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace rooms in case the flash damages the artifacts then most of our photographing took place outside. 

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Beanster and i enjoyed discussing all the things we saw around as. She was especially interested in the twisted plant stems we saw in the flower tunnel.  

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We almost missed the orchard which would have been a real shame as we wouldn’t have seen the Scots Dumpy hens. 

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Back inside the palace we came across the dressing up room.  We had a lot of fun dressing up in period clothing and dancing to music of the time which i played via youtube on my phone. At one point we were even watched by tourists. 

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We finished our visit around the palace by making some tissue flowers and having a look in the bakehouse and kitchen. 

Granny wanted a cup of tea so she kindly treated us all to cake and a drink before we headed back to her house to play.

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Later on the girls made models of Culross Palace: 

Beanster’s 

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Moo’s 

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Woodland wildlings

Our girls love being outdoors and woods are one of their favourite places to be. Where better to see nature up close and activate all of your senses at once. 

We have been to two woods this weekend: Devilla Forest in Fife and Callendar Woods in Falkirk. We took our friend Stacey and her wee dog with us to Devilla. We did the red squirrel trail and learned some squirrel facts as we walked. We didn’t see any red squirrels but that is no surprise given the heavens opened and the rain came pelting down upon us halfway round. No doubt the squirrels were all tucked up warm and dry in their dreys. We did however discover some puffball fungus and Beanster enjoyed learning about how they worked. 

Today we went to Callendar Woods for an event with Jess of Under the Trees. She was doing activities based around the story Room on the Broom. We made brooms, wands, potions, lanterns. Beanster had a go lightning her first fire and Moo toasted marshmallows. A fab time was had by all.

Devilla 

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Callendar woods 

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