Trip to Falkland Palace…..twice.

We decided on Wed to take Granny a wee trip to Falkland Palace in Fife. It is such a beautiful palace set in the most wonderful grounds. We spent a happy 4 hours or so there investigating and learning. We didn’t realise at the time we would end up there twice in one week. During our first visit we lost Beanster’s favourite hoodie and despite kindly searching for it the staff couldn’t find it. We headed back the next day to look for it ourselves since we knew roughly the journey we had taken around the grounds and thankfully we found it. Beanster was relieved. Here are some photos of our 2 days. Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside the palace but the grounds are beautiful so there are plenty of outdoor photo opportunities.

20170809_135901

20170810_154436
Day 1

Sisterly love. After looking inside the palace and seeing how people used to live when it was once occupied by kings and Queens we ventured out into the grounds to explore. 

20170809_123017
20170809_123104
20170809_123108
Getting exercise running. Our girls love running and today they did it hand in hand.

20170809_123131
20170809_123223
Inside the glasshouse. Granny taught the girls the names of some plants. We also looked at the mechanism for opening the glasshouse roof.

20170809_123524
20170809_123555
20170809_123650
20170809_123723
20170809_123735
Watching the waterfall. Moo was fascinated with it.

20170809_124013
We played some games from the past and some newer games in the Orchard. Beanster used her technology skills to build an aeroplane model with the construction bits. We also discovered a small dog graveyard which Beanster and I talked about.

20170809_124427
20170809_124448
20170809_125150
20170809_125323
20170809_125345

20170809_124603

We read some animal track information signs and then discovered a wasp nest.

20170809_132504

20170809_132402

We found a wee bothy (where the hoodie was later recovered from) and the girls made a pretend meal for Granny and I. They included pretend spinach, kale, noodles and  rice in their offerings. We also found evidence that rodents had eaten in the bothy.

20170809_132729
20170809_133249
20170809_132716
We had a look for animals and plants we could identify in the wee ponds. Moo and I also had a chat about Pondskaters which there were in abundance.

20170809_133914
20170809_133933
We had a look at the real tennis court, the only one in use in Scotland….

20170809_134913
20170809_134921
…and we watched a mother swallow/swift feed her young. We couldn’t see the tail properly to identify the bird. You need to wait to the end of the video to see the mum come in.

20170809_135149

Day 2

After finding the hoodie and having another quick play with the outdoor toys we found a traditional ice cream cart….

20170810_153737
….and had some ice cream

20170810_153722
I then spoke to the girls about the types of houses found in Falkland, why the doors are smaller than nowadays and why there are letters and numbers over the door.

20170810_154427
We had a quick walk around Falkland before heading home. Granny and Beanster had a look in one of the antique shops.

20170810_155507
20170810_155703
It is a lovely wee town and we will definitely be back again. Next time we will explore the town more and look at all the different houses and their features. Watch this space. 

Day 3 Dundee Science CentreĀ 

A slightly less wet day was predicted but as we were heading to Dundee Science Centre it didn’t really matter what the weather was going to be like. 

First of all though domestic duties needed to be done. Beanster fetched more water so we could have cups of coffee.

20170805_091644
Then she made the lunch.

20170805_091903
20170805_092126
At the science centre the main theme was Space. We watched a show about rockets where we learned that rockets are heavier up at the top than the bottom and that this combined with thrust pushing the rocket up and the pulling down of gravity is what helps the rocket get into space. Beanster then recreated this in a little rocket experiment with the help of her glamorous assistants Katherine and Lyall.

20170805_120509
20170805_122505
20170805_122944
20170805_123043
Meanwhile Moo was learning about skeletons, cogs and practising weighing.

20170805_124236
20170805_124555
20170805_123513
One of Beanster’s favourite things to do is to go along the same journey a bogey takes as it is formed from the back of the mouth, up into the back of the nose and out through the nostrils. There is a large model children can climb into to do this.

received_890250471127159
20170805_123401
Soon both girls headed to the recreated moon landscape and did some investigating.

20170805_132255
20170805_132325
20170805_133619
20170805_132416
I got into role of the chief astronaut on our mission. I was reluctant to give up my uniform.

received_10213449206048293
Moo really enjoyed constructing pulleys.

20170805_134601
20170805_134654
One of the best interactive exhibits was the sandbox which you could construct different landscapes on. We spent a long time at this making contoured landscapes, volcanic landscapes and seabeds. Apologies if some videos are the wrong way round.

20170805_142437
20170805_141305

20170805_141924
20170805_141231

20170805_141839
20170805_141915
Moo said, ‘ I have made a volcano with an ice cream’ 

20170805_142034
Back at camp we ate our last supper as we are heading back home tomorrow.

20170805_184120
After tea Beanster headed out to the woods with Katherine and Lyall and got up to nonsense.

received_890250447793828
received_890250487793824
Moo and I played games, had a ride in our wagon, went to look for fallen apples and grasshoppers whilst Mama made a fire.

2017-08-05_11-04-39

20170805_203521

20170805_203520
When we got back the fire was looking grand.

20170805_210435
20170805_210501
Beanster helped to keep the fire going when she returned from her walk.

20170805_210640
20170805_210652
Moo and I headed for bed and left the others chatting by the fire.

Tomorrow we head home via cousin H’s birthday party. I guess we had better have a shower before we leave eh! šŸ˜‰

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.

2017-08-02_01-03-53
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. 

20170801_151046
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. 

20170801_151018
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’

20170801_161349
20170801_161340
20170801_162655
20170801_162732
20170801_162808
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.

Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve

Today we spent at Vane Farm RSPB Nature Reserve at Loch Leven, Fife. What a fabulous time the girls had.

First of all Beanster had her last Summer swimming week lesson and Holly, her instructor, said she did really well. Beanster has been trying hard to improve her breathing technique and breastroke legs. Today she managed to take 3 breaths whilst swimming before needing to grab onto Holly which was a great achievement. She and her pal R were also complimented on how great they were today at listening to instructions.

Back in the car we headed up the motorway to Loch Leven and the nature reserve. We needed some food so first of all we had a spot of lunch whilst admiring this fabulous view:

20170728_120819
As we ate we also watched the birds on the big screen live feed which was in front of us. Both girls also coloured in some pictures of birds, insects and wildflowers and Moo stuck hers onto the wildflower and bumblebee meadow wall.

20170728_120807
20170728_120241
We spoke to a lovely RSPB volunteer and hired some Explorer backpacks and set out on our adventure.

20170728_124755

First of all we stopped to watch the birds at the feeding stations through an observation fence. Beanster used the identification book which was in her backpack to identify a Marsh Tit.

20170728_125310
Also in the backpacks were bug viewfinders and we began to learn how to use these. Both girls caught coloured flies in theirs, but we need further practise using them and being patient, as they gave up on using them soon after. Apparently it was taking too long to find interesting bugs!

20170728_130114
We found an area with den building opportunities so the girls added some sticks to improve a den that was already there.

20170728_131042

Next we headed to the natural play area to improve our gross motor skills and coordination. There were lots of wooden pieces to climb over and ropes to pull yourself up. Moo particularly liked going through the tunnels and down the hill then climbing the hill to go through the tunnels again. Beanster made herself an obstacle course and Moo had a snack and was the audience for Beanster as she ran. Afterwards we listened to crickets in the grass and Beanster found one really quickly.

20170728_132659

20170728_132711
20170728_132904

20170728_133119
20170728_133140
20170728_134631
We next headed to the leafy loop walk where the girls found a seating area and put on a circus show.

20170728_140431
20170728_140437
We found a bug hotel and then used it as a reference to build our own one in an area designated for this. The girls worked really well as a team to build a lovely bug hotel.

20170728_141043
20170728_141308
20170728_141448
20170728_142816

We found a wind turbine and although we have seen these often as we go along the motorway both girls were fascinated by this one. Possibly because they saw it up close and were able to stand underneath. Beanster made up her own ‘turbine dance’ which she performed as she listened to the rhythmic hum of the blades as they went round.

20170728_143054

VID-20170728-WA0007

We had a quick look in the ponds but it was getting late so we decided to leave pond dipping til next time. Moo declared the pondweed to be yucky but it didn’t stop her investigating it with a stick!

20170728_145230
20170728_145242

Moo has everyone to herself

Beanster was away socialising with her teenage pals so Moo had folk all to herself. 

First of all we headed to Granny and Grandpa’s where she took Granny and I a trip to the park. A dolly and pram had to come too. She found it tricky to steer, but with a little guidance from Granny she managed to push it all the way to the park.

20170725_104918
Granny enjoyed the seesaw.

20170725_111624
We played sleepovers and cafe in the house at the park and pretended we were walking all around Edinburgh. 

20170725_112208
She watched a bit of TV with Grandpa.

20170725_120209
Mama and I then took her for a picnic lunch and a walk around the grounds of the House of the Binns, near Blackness.

20170725_144235
20170725_144205
20170725_130623
20170725_135146

20170725_135508
We climbed up to the Tower and admired the view of Blackness Castle and the bridges in the distance. Moo nearly landed in cow pats several times!

20170725_135549
20170725_140320
20170725_134823
20170725_140428
20170725_140133
Moo asked for lots of cuddles.

20170725_142408
And we said hello to the peacocks.

20170725_144630

20170725_144742
20170725_133723
On the way home we had some cake and ice cream at the lovely farm shop and cafe, Mannerstons.

20170725_151447
Beanster did not make it home until after 7 o’clock. She will blog about her fabulous day when she is a little less tired from it.

Dipping into water

Water featured highly today and as there was a rare sight in Scotland (blue sky) we spent a large amount of time outdoors. Mind you, when don’t we!

First of all though Beanster had a swimming lesson. Today was all about learning to do the front crawl and trying to retrieve an object from the bottom of the pool without assistance. These are very tricky to do, especially when your body keeps wanting to float back up to the top, but she did very well and is back tomorrow for more practise. As Beanster swam, Moo played games on her tablet and set herself up a mini picnic.

20170724_094853
When we arrived home we were in time to see the binmen emptying and washing out our bin. We had a wee chat with them and learned about how the bin lorry worked.

20170724_105246
A quick play in the garden and then we headed to Jupiter Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth with friend H and his mum Yvette.

The ranger let us investigate their nature table where we had a look for hidden natural treasures in the undergrowth. Beanster identified a rabbit skull and we had a look at some pellets that an owl had coughed up.

20170724_122145
We collected some pond dipping equipment then spent the afternoon investigating the large pond there and using a key to identify what we had found.

20170724_123731
20170724_130224

20170724_131529
20170724_130456
We found Stickleback fish, Minnows, Water snails, Damselfly larvae, Caddis fly larvae, Non biting midge larvae, Pondskaters and Water beetles.

20170724_131412
20170724_131502
20170724_131737
20170724_133713
Moo caught the most fish, 3, all by herself. H the most water snails, Beanster the largest variety of things and Yvette the biggest fish. Moo got upset when they all needed to be put back so we headed to the woody area and made a den to cheer her up.

20170724_140421
20170724_140353
She found herself a wee nook.

20170724_134947
We love all the bug hotels and recycled objects at Jupiter.

20170724_123203
20170724_122855
20170724_122740
20170724_122507
Back at home Beanster used her magnifying glass to look more closely at our wild flower tubs and talked about what she could see.

20170724_170807
20170724_170825
20170724_170909
Evening play included sleepovers, shopping, soup making at the mud kitchen using dead marigolds and water and pretend school. 

Another day in the life of Beanster and Moo.

Swimming and Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Museum

Today Moo went swimming with Mama.

2017-07-23_08-51-24
She was feeling confident and went down lots of chutes and did jumping in. The wave machine made her laugh a lot, even when the waves went right over her head. She has started to learn how to kick her legs and is happy putting her head right under the water. Clever girl.

Beanster and I headed to Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Museum.

20170723_110036
We had fun changing the points and signals.

20170723_111147
We built and played with the train track and trains (and an earwig unfortunately lost it’s life in the process).

20170723_111205
20170723_111945
We built our own digger train and train track.

20170723_113047
We enjoyed looking inside some of the old trains.

20170723_113302
20170723_113645
20170723_114945
Our favourite is always the night mail train. Beanster loves to sort the mail and we discussed what problems we thought the staff would find as they worked whilst the train was moving. We learned that if a piece of mail was filed into the wrong place it took a further 24 hours to reach the correct destination.

20170723_114525
20170723_114304

We talked about the following tanks and goods trucks. Beanster did not want to be a worker on the train pulling the Nitric Acid tank.

20170723_105809
20170723_114912
20170723_114927
20170723_115054
20170723_115239
Beanster compared her height to the height of different wheels.

20170723_115301
And we enjoyed reading these signs. 

20170723_113844
Beanster had a go at pulling the point and signal levers.

20170723_115847
And just like her sister she enjoys a good old walk along a wall.

20170723_120956

Before we left we visited the model railway.

20170723_122259
20170723_122314
And looked at one of the trains that was being fixed.

20170723_121436
After lunch both girls had a further go at their Roman Dig and unearthed a tablet and some coins.

20170723_131006
20170723_125423
20170723_125449
The rest of the day was full of pretend play, a shopping trip and tidying up. What will we be up to tomorrow?