Monday, 11 August 2014

Florette tour, Hula Hoops and more...

An awesome start to the week when we heard that Churnet Valley Railway had Peppa and George visiting! Gruff stayed home with the boys and their friends and I took Moppet along to meet her very favourite character :) She was very VERY excited.


We got on the train at Froghall...


...she played cars with our tickets...


...coloured some Peppa pictures...


...played with a dinosaur finger puppet...


...got very excited about going through the 'wowwist'...


...and rode her power ranger round on her car.


Consall station was waterlogged so all the activities had moved to Cheddleton. We watched a magic show...


...she turned into a very roary dinosaur...


...we watched a Punch and Judy show...


...then got the train back to Froghall with her new balloon :)


She met Peppa a second time...


...then went and ate a Peppa cake in the Peppa cafe :)


She got the little Thomas to run along the track...


...and then wanted to stick around to meet Peppa and George for a third time :)


She even gave Peppa a hug!


This was the engine that took us for a train ride.


And she was zonked out on the way home.


Back at home there was the tail end of a hurricane that wasn't as bad as we'd been expecting, but it was definitely windy, although this didn't deter anyone from playing out!


Moppet collected rose hips in a hula hoop, as you do.


We tried a film canister rocket but this photo shows the total of everything it did. I think we need to work on the amounts of vinegar and bicarb! Or Gruff has said use water so we'll try that too.


The kids and their friends and I picked the apples and pears, the last couple of raspberries and the first couple of handfuls of blackberries :) It's the first year the pear tree has fruited so even just a couple of pears was exciting!


This is Moppet, doing circuits of the trampoline and shouting, "Hewwowwww!" every time she comes past :)


We've put a pineapple top in some water to see what happens.


Sprout and I had an evening of watching Nature's Weirdest Events. There were exploding toads...


...clever crows...


...and tongue-dwelling isopods. Sprout remarked how much they look like trilobites did, and wondered if they were related, so we looked it up. Turns out they're both arthropods, but no closer than that. 


There was a section on mouse plagues and where they occur and the comparison with the UK where numbers are much lower than in past times. Sprout wondered whether the mice in China and Australia were trying to increase numbers to stop them dying out because of low levels in the UK, which led to chatting about the urge to procreate and in evolutionary terms why species would have not survived without it.
Throughout the programme Sprout shared his thoughts with me on the various facts and happenings, from his amazement at the size of a red dust cloud over Sydney, to how he thought a town could have become covered in ten inch thick ice overnight, to how he felt really bad for whales that got stranded on beaches. 


He then asked me to find an app that could take a photo and 'make things that are nearly red all red, and the same with all the colours, and all dark bits black'. The closest I could find at the moment was this pop art app where you can choose the colours for each of the sets of dark colours, lights colours and highlights, so we've been playing with that.




Squidge and I played a few games of Moshi Monsters memory game and he completely wiped the floor with me.


Then he played with his puppet eyes for a bit :)


I got a notification that the International Space Station would be coming over (sign up here http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/index.cfm and they'll email you each time it's headed over your way) at a reasonable time on Monday night, so we all headed outside and, with the help of the Night Sky 2 app so we knew which way to look...


...and there it is! (Little star thing in the middle of the pic.) It was the first time I'd managed to see it because last time all the kids spotted it with Gruff I couldn't see it for some reason. Exciting! If you've never seen it before, you're looking for something bright and pretty fast :)


We had a look at the live stream here http://m.ustream.tv/channel/live-iss-stream when we went in to see if we could see what the crew were up to as they orbited over our heads, but it was on external view. Still cool! 


The next day Squidge watched some Raa Raa with Moppet and they sang along to the songs :)


Later, while Sprout has an iPad gaming session at his grandparents' house, we headed to Fordhall Farm to help rebuild their cob pig. Moppet had fun squishing her feet in the mud to prepare it...


...then she squashed a few handfuls on to help rebuild him. 


Squidge wanted to sit on the tractor.


And they loved watching the real pigs too.


In the cafe afterwards Squidge was asking about and experimenting with the shapes he could make with various combinations of triangles and squares (napkins ;) ).


Back at their grandparents' house they played some games including this Angry Birds-esque Duplo contraption.


Part Moppet-part dinosaur caught up on sleep...


...while I read the Cars story to Squidge.


Moppet got the little anatomy dummy down off the shelf and wanted to keep taking the organs out and watch me put them back in again.


Sprout had a gaming session with a bit of CoD and a bit of Magic The Gathering.


Squidge and I played the board game our of his Moshi Monsters annual.


Sprout made a likeness of our cat on Toca Mini.


We played outside with Peppa and bikes and loom bands and impressions of frogs (the last one was mostly Moppet).


We did some plaster cast handprints and painted them.



Squidge did some balloon modelling.


Sprout spent some time setting up a Bakugan battle arena for him and Squidge and Gruff.


We had a trip to the Florette factory in Fradley courtesy of the Tesco schools healthy eating thingy (the official term for it) and it was FAB! They all designed their own salad and packaging...




Sprout won a prize for his (this is his crazy excited face).


This is Squidge's loom band salad where all the ingredients match his loom bands.


Sprout's meticulously designed bag.


Moppet's bits of green :)


And Squidge's, for which he was art director and I was head crayon-girl.


They all got a goodie bag (my fridge is now bulging with salad), and Moppet turned the headbands into a very fetching outfit :)


They had various friends round one day and did a lot of gaming, trampolining, water fights, skittles assault courses, and rocky road making.



On Saturday Green Door (you can find them here https://m.facebook.com/greendoorstokeontrent ) had a community event on at Central Forest Park. Squidge and Moppet started by making pebble monsters. 


Cute!


Sprout whizzed up the climbing wall.


They all went on this ride, I was slightly dubious about Moppet going on even though she was keen, but she LOVED it, laughed her little socks off the whole time :D


Sprout made a smoothie with bike power :)


Squidge and Moppet made some musical shakers.




They all planted some herb seeds...


...and made their own hula hoops!




We ended the day with a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 film night :)