Day 2 St Andrews

Beanster had me up at 6.50 this morning and before anyone else awoke she did some colouring…

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…and we played a game of farmer lotto….

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….and she played with her story cubes.

When Moo awoke she helped to make her own breakfast.

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Beanster let Lyall do her hair then she settled down for her breakfast.

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Before we headed out for the day we used some charcoal that last night’s fire had made to do some drawings.

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We were off to St Andrews for a walk along the beach and a trip to the butterfly house in the Botanic Garden. 

We did the obligatory selfie before our stroll.

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Then we paddled in the water.
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We drew in the sand, looked at dead crabs and investigated the flowering plants that were growing in the sand.

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We even found some interesting caterpillars.

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Beanster managed to convince Lyall to give her a lift back to the car so we could head off to our next destination.

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The Botanic gardens at St Andrews is free the first Friday of the month which by happy coincidence was today. You pay a small fee to go into the special summer exhibition, the butterfly house but it was worth it to see the huge variety of butterflies flying around. 

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We didn’t spend too long in the rest of the garden as  the heavens opened and the rain was torrential, but it will definitely be a place to come back to soon. We decided to hang out in the education house and glasshouses until the rain slowed down and we could head back to the tent.

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Before leaving St Andrews though we just had to have some ice cream in the rain (typical Scottish summer delight). 

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Back at the tent, Mama did a good job of entertaining the girls whilst I braved the rain and  cooked our tea outside. We then needed to eat our tea inside the tent. A slightly damp and soggy affair.

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After tea Moo played with the travel connect 4, building a castle with the bits and Mama taught Beanster how to play Uno.

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I then played shops with the girls. They used everything inside the tent which they sold at their pillow counters and imaginary till.

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Beanster then built a model of our home town before we headed to bed.

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Today the rain taught the girls how to be resilient, adaptable and creative. I think they did well. Don’t you?

Lightning McQueen!

After a morning game of Lotto we decided to surprise the girls and took them to the cinema to see Cars 3. This was Moo’s first trip to the cinema so we made sure she had some ice cream and popcorn to help her sit through a whole film.

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Both girls chose to dress up for the occasion, Beanster in her Anna dress and Moo in her rainbow dress. Within about 10 minutes both dresses were covered in chocolate ice cream!  Moo sat very well for most of the film. She only needed about 7 trips to the toilet! Beanster was her usual fidgety self but managed to pay close attention despite this. At the end of the film the girls danced around whilst the credits rolled.

Back at home Beanster asked to do some more Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs. Her initial sound knowledge, ability to count and to recognise number words are all coming on a treat and she enjoyed shouting out rhyming words at various points in the day. 

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Mama played a modified toddler friendly version of ‘Guess Who’ with Moo and she absolutely loved this. It allowed her to practise looking for and matching pictures and she is extremely good at this. 

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The girls and I headed out to the shops to buy what we needed for tea, but of course a trip to the shops always involves more than mere shopping. Our girls manage to investigate nature in the car park, improve their gross motor skills in the trolley area and Moo looked like she was reinacting a scene from ‘Titanic’….’On top of the world’

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As I made tea, Mama got out the scales and compare bears for the girls to investigate. It is always interesting to leave the girls with objects like these to see what they do with them. They started off weighing them, finding the lightest and heaviest. This didn’t last too long however as Moo wanted all the bears so an arguement developed. Beanster decided to give up and went back to her computer and Moo started putting the bears to bed then she did some jigsaws. We will get the bears and scales out again tomorrow to see if any further investigation takes place.

I wonder if any discoveries will he made.

A busy weekend

We have had a very busy weekend with lots of variety and fun. We thought we would condense the highlights into one (rather large) blog post.

Saturday

I was at an outdoor education training session with Mike Brady and Jess from Under the Trees learning about tracks and trails. It was fabulous. Some of the best bits included practising tree identification and learning which leaves were edible, being taught how to identify which creatures had been around from looking at their poo/food remains, investigating different types of insects by looking under log piles/shaking trees and bushes onto a white sheet and looking for evidence of animal homes.

Whilst I was at training the girls and Mama were going to their friend M’s birthday party. This was being held at the same time as her street’s annual garden party. Before going, Moo did some playing whilst Beanster earned a Maths Seeds certificate for 2D shape work and counting and recognising numbers and words up to 8.

Then it was time to get all dressed up. They were raring to go.

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The party fun included a BBQ, sumo suits, art and crafts and an egg drop. The egg drop involved designing packaging to go around an egg which was then dropped from a high height. If the egg survived intact then a small prize was won. Unfortunately Beanster’s did not survive but she had fun making the packaging. She said she thought it failed because she didn’t include enough sellotape in her design. Here is a photo of how long the drop was. Wow! It is a wonder anyone’s survived.

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In the evening Mama and I were at a wedding reception for one of Mama’s work colleagues. The bride was very beautiful, the groom very handsome, the cake gorgeous and yummy and the burrito buffet fabulous. The girls slept over at Grandma and Grandad’s. This was Moo’s first independent sleepover. She did brilliantly. Well done Moo.

Sunday.

Mama, Beanster and Moo headed out to Craigie Farm for breakfast. I had a headache so didn’t go. They had some food then got up to nonsense in the park with cousin H, who was also there. Moo enjoyed playing on the bouncers and the tractor and Beanster headed for the chute and basket swing.

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Afterwards we headed to an LGBT celebration in Edinburgh and thankfully my head was feeling better.

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Moo got stuck right into some rainbow cake as Beanster drew a picture for the LGBT family wall.

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The girls then had a go of the lucky dip and won socks, a toy snake and some Lego cards.

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Whilst Beanster headed to the craft area to decorate a tote bag and make a flying unicorn, a ball and to get a temporary unicorn tattoo, Moo and Mama listened to the music and took selfies.

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After a bit of dancing the girls had some lunch and Mama chatted to someone she had not seen in about 20 years.

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We played some games, Beanster got some glitter face paint and posed in front of the love ball.

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On the way out we just had to stop by the photo booth for some photos. Moo was not for dressing up but Beanster enjoyed choosing her accessories and posing for the camera.

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Beanster declared it to be one of the best afternoons ever and dictated her response for the feedback wall.

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We were not quite ready to go home so we headed to a park we had never visited before, Victoria Park. It is certainly one we will go back to. The girls had a fun hour and I saw a chute I had never seen before, the roller chute.

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We headed home, had tea then Mama taught Beanster how to rewire a plug.

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The girls refilled the bird feeders and played in the garden until bedtime.

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Another colourful, rainbow filled weekend in the lives of Beanster and Moo!

Trip to the bookshop and Georgian baking

It was a VERY WET day today so we took a trip to our beloved independent book shop ‘Far From the Madding Crowd‘ to hear some stories and see BB the rabbit. BB joins in with the stories and loves a cuddle. We had a wee bag of kale for him as we have a dedicated BB patch on our allotment. 

A bit of the lovely reading nook where you can hear stories on a Saturday.

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Giving BB a cuddle.

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On our way back home we stopped to look at some classic cars. We compared this old Mini to it’s modern equivalent which we saw in the car park.

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Moo painted in the afternoon.

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Beanster asked to do some Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs.

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Later on Moo and I did some shopping and she loaded the conveyor belt for me.

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The girls enjoyed sticking Lightning Mc Queen stickers into their Cars collection book. Beanster is very good now at finding the correct box to stick her stickers on and has been practising reading and saying the numbers.

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We also baked, following the Georgian recipe for Indian Gingerbread which we saw at Callendar House. The girls particularly enjoyed using our metal weights and scales to measure out the ingredients. They packed quite a punch and both girls declared them yummy but a bit spicy too. ‘Less ginger next time mummy’ apparently.

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Geomag obsession

So today has mostly been about Geomags. As soon as they were up the girls had the box out and were constructing. They have made bunting and play parks, garages and racetracks, stunts and chutes, bouncy castles and diggers and some very imaginative play has occurred.

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In other news from today we checked out our bird cafe to see if it was being used and needing replenished. We discovered 2 of our bird cakes had been fully eaten and the third was finished off as we played in the park! More food cakes will be made this evening and hung out tomorrow.

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Beanster practised drawing, with her teeth!

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Moo made some soup and cake

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There was a lot of splashing in puddles

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We watched a Studio Ghibli film, ‘Arietty’.
And Beanster practised being a warrior in the rain.

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The rain doesn’t stop us

This morning banging was to be heard in our house. Beanster and Moo decided that bits of the house were broken and they were the ones to fix the problems! Beanster was the chief in charge and Moo was the apprentice, until Moo decided that she was quite capable of setting up on her own! Apparently you need to wear an RNLI helmet in order to be the boss.

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After everyone was breakfasted we headed to the allotment. We had literally just got there and the heavens opened. The rain didn’t stop us though. Mama and I tackled the weeds which were strangling our raspberry bushes, Beanster played with her friend H who was also there and Moo practised jumping out of the shed, ate some strawberries and sang in a very loud voice! She makes an excellent pigeon scarer. Moo also helped me to cut some rhubarb and bagged it for me and we watched some canal boats pass by.

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Later on we came home to dry out and everyone except Moo decided to put pyjamas on. For the rest of the afternoon we did some of the following things:

The girls did some Reading and Maths games

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We planted some sunflower seeds (very late, we know, but is our 2nd RSPB Wild Challenge)

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We made some banners to hang on our garden fence and to wrap on sticks to keep birds away from our mini allotment

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Moo made peg pictures

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I made roast dinner for us all

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Mama got out the Geomags and they investigated putting them together to make different 3D shapes, a play park(Moo), a telescope and rocket (Moo) and a stuntpark (Beanster). Mama taught the girls some basic principles of magnetism and showed them some magic you could do using opposite poles.

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Forever learning…even in our jammies

Beanster declared today to be a pyjama day, at least until the girls and Mama needed to do shopping later in the afternoon. 

As usual the girls rose early and they didn’t want to get dressed. This didn’t mean they just lazed about all day. Anyone who knows our girls knows they don’t enjoy doing nothing, they have an eagerness to learn and do so at 100 miles an hour. 

Beanster started the day choosing to do some work on Maths Seeds and Reading Eggs and Moo built some jigsaws and looked at books. She can now do 54 pieces in a jigsaw, with a little help. Beanster also learned how to use the points she had gained on Maths Seeds to decorate her character’s tree house. They then had a play about creating pictures of honeycombs using our wooden shapes.

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After a bit of breakfast the girls chopped up and mixed together some left over bits of food for the birds (improving knife skills) and also replenished the bird feeder with wild bird food.

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Beanster abandoned her pj idea in favour of dressing up. Her big friend Lyall had sent her a gorgeous dress from Malaysia so for the rest of the day this was worn in the house, round the shops and in the garden.

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In and around the above the girls also did colouring, bridge building, water play, Shopkins and figure play, listened to stories, listened to music, played recorders, checked on how their wildflowers were growing, categorised toy animals, helped with jobs around the house, had fall outs and made up, sang, did potty training (Moo), helped to encourage Moo with potty training (Beanster), and so so so much more. 

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