Saturday, 29 November 2014

Lantern Making and Marshmallow Campfire-Baking

Well we've done lots this week that I've either forgotten to take a photo of or forgotten altogether (due to not taking a photo haha), so I'm going to cobble together a bit of what I can remember!
We pretty much finished the kitchen renovation, which the kids were very happy about, and they now have a breakfast bar which they sit at together chatting and snacking :)

We had our last forest school session where they collected firewood, made pizzas, and whittled sticks to cook marshmallows on. 

A trip to Come Into Play afterwards for a friend's birthday.

Sprout wanted to know what a South Park reference to Nagasaki was about, so we looked it up.

Home ed meet at the park...

Sprout made a plaster volcano and set it off...

And we did a lantern making workshop for the upcoming parade...

...and took a detour on the way back soMoppet  could see the diggers on a building site.

Lots of play together for the boys (they're getting on more and more at the moment, and becoming more proficient at dealing with annoyances).

There's been lots of make believe this week, and songs with our own lyrics and silly dances, and lots of Sprout freezing water in various moulds and melting it again, and various videogames and board games, and the odd bit of arts and crafts, and conversations about game design and story progression and construction techniques and Ebola and AIDS and whether guinea pigs have tails, and gravity and deep space and mass and momentum, and jokes about eggs, and a couple of showings of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, along with a bit of cooking and a noticeable amount of both boys writing (Squidge his name and Sprout things he wants to tell me about games). 

I was smiling the other day about how proficient a reader Sprout is now. I think it's been just over a year (here ) since reading suddenly clicked for him, and he reads fluently now, and some of the long and complicated words he reads without ever having been taught them or 'sounding them out' made me smile with the ease of it :) We were playing the Diversity Map on Minecraft, and he was reading the instructions out to me so I knew what to do. He even added a yadda yadda as he skim read what he realised wasn't entirely necessary :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

'Don't Starve' Progress and Squidge-Rules Chess

Lots of house renovations again this week, so the kids and I spent as much time out of the house as possible. We spent an afternoon with their grandma, reading stories with Moppet and 'Squidge Rules' chess, where the rules, aims and moves change from minute to minute :)

On the way there and back, and in fact every journey this week, they wanted to firstly play I Spy, and then sing The Wheels on the Bus, but changing the words to people they know and the things they'd say or do. It was fun!
We had a trip out to find some diy supplies, and looked at the Christmas decorations.

Squidge played some Fix the Factory and worked the puzzles out.

We all went to the cinema to watch Earth to Echo which they all loved.

Afterwards we headed for the Trafford Centre for a birthday day out for me, and the kids were entranced by the fountains.

We stopped for a drink...

...and went to the little Christmas market and carousel.

Sprout played a round of Laserquest, and scored 92 points.

To round it off we went for a gorgeous Italian meal at Zizzi, which was lots of fun. Sprout turned the Mona Lisa colouring sheet into a moustachioed member of the illuminati (as you do), while Squidge told me about things from his Italian cook book that were similar to things on the menu.

Sprout showed us his Laserquest score sheet and told us about people's tactics.

Back at home he and I played Don't Starve and he explained his current tactics to me in terms of day length and temperature as he's progressed to survive for seven days now...

...and ate the surprise birthday cake that Gruff bought me from Selfridges :)

Squidge and I made some loom band bracelets...

...then Sprout showed me the things he was making on Createrria.

Squidge, Moppet and I sung some camp songs, and improvised some accompanying instruments out of a cup of chewing gum pieces, an empty plastic bottle, and a remote control...

...while Sprout perused the games he wants at the moment, adding up how much they would be to buy in different combinations and thinking when we could afford them. There have been lots of questions from him about various spellings of words he needs this week for his games and naming things in game designs and messaging various people, and questions about calculations for money and xp.
Other than that we've just played and watched films and helped Gruff with the kitchen.
Moppet very carefully painted her nails, as did Squidge.

She also spent some time on the ceiling, which she thought was very funny :)

The boys played Transformers together, and asked me some questions of various calculations as they were allocating health bars and hit points to the various characters.

And lastly we did lots of dancing at their grandparents' house, and Sprout showed his grandpa how to use Skype :)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Elder Bead, Mermaids Freed and Space Garden Seed

Carrying on from the end of last week, here's Gruff on his evening out with the weeest two :)

Forest school this week was mostly making elder bead necklaces, which they LOVED. All three of them used loppers to cut the elder branches into shorter lengths, then whittled them down to the wood, then took the insides out with a palm drill. 

Sprout then threaded his own necklace, Squidge started his off and asked me to finish, while Moppet wanted me to do all her threading. They were so proud of the results!

Hanley park the next day. Sprout stayed at home ill, but Squidge and Moppet braved the showers :)

Moppet spent lots of time looking for pirate treasure...

...and when she found it it was invariably treasure chests full of mermaids whom she then released back into the ocean so they could go home :)

Sprout discovered a business in the US that had similarities with a name from one of his current favourite games, so he wrote the details down for me to look into.

Squidge played some TocaLab and showed me the things he'd made.

We saw Boxtrolls with IntoFilm. Sprout disliked the darkness and peril which made up most of it, but then was won over by the last couple of scenes and now loves the film. We stopped for a festive drink and snack afterwards too :)

Sprout stayed at home after with Gruff to work on the kitchen, while Squidge and Moppet and I headed to Hanley for I See Magical Creatures, run by B-Arts.

They decorated little creatures...

...then came up with a backstory for them. The idea is that at some point they'll leave them somewhere public for someone else to find joy from, but we'll see if they'll progress to that!
Meet Candypede...


...and Scorpichu.

Moppet loves (LOVES) diggers, so we stopped for a while to watch this one on our way back.

Back at home we played games and did puzzles and had a friend round.

Squidge decided to categorise his collection of sycamore seeds, so he sorted them into small, medium, large, and broken. He also kept his tiniest one to give to Moppet as a present as he said it was so cute :)

We watched Frozen.

Sprout had a train trip to MOSI with his grandpa, his favourite thing being the different viscosity fluids that you could pump bubbles through. He bought some experiments in the shop, and couldn't wait to try them all out as soon as he got home, so he started off a crystal kit, and made some growth medium gel for a futuristic mini garden.

Squidge helped Gruff build some kitchen cabinets.

Sprout played a bit with his pin art which was his other thing from MOSI, which he's been coveting for a while!

We navigated some giant puddles!

We visited the dentist, and played with the usual favourite toys in the waiting room.

On the way back, we saw loooooads of diggers and chatted about them. Also Squidge is really interested in roads at the moment, what they're made of, the different surfaces, rumble strips, all aspects, so we chatted about things he asked and he made lots of observations.
Sprout saw this cloud that he thought looked like a cheetah, and took some photos.

Back at home Squidge watched some Junior Masterchef...

...then Sprout found details of an Easter Egg on BlackOps and wanted to try it out.

Moppet drew this picture of Gruff (he's her favourite subject).

We went to a friend's birthday party at a soft play area, although Sprout still wasn't feeling 100% so stayed home and watched some Five Nights at Freddy's videos.

In the evening we went to the little exhibition of I See Magical Creatures, and  they all made even more magical creatures...

...saw the pictures of theirs on the wall and looked at other people's too, and did a little scavenger hunt of pictures...

...and listened to some creatures' stories too!

It was Newcastle Christmas Launch Spectacular the next day, at which Peppa Pig was appearing so I'd planned to take Moppet and surprise her. It turned out there were rides too so the boys leapt at the chance to come along too.

She was so excited!! She's told everyone all day since that she held Peppa's hand and have her a cuddle and a kiss <3 

A couple more rides (look at those ecstatic faces!)

And cuddles at home :)

Sprout went and played some AirMech while Squidge played a bit with his physics kit that he picked up at the charity shop, including a kaleidoscope device and this air cannon (which led to mention of air molecules and wind too).

He also played with his cat beard app :)

We had tickets for Walk the Plank's Fire Garden at Hanley Park which all three kids were looking forward to.

Fire sculptures...

...fairy light umbrellas...

...Sprout reading me the list of safety and enjoyment suggestions...


...Sprout as photographer... and Squidge and Moppet dancing...

...more photos...


...and selfies :D

Back at home we warmed up with hot chocolates, and Sprout watched some Smosh games videos and told me about Prototype 2, while we all watched Avatar.

It was shelter making day at forest school, so all three of them collected branches...

...used a bow saw...

...and built their shelters. Squidge and Moppet built one together while Sprout built one with his friend.