Thursday, 17 September 2015

Packing list...

Our holiday is coming up super fast, so today I got the kids to think about want they want to take in their hand luggage. I printed two packing lists from for their travel journals; one as a kind of wishlist, and one that they can fill in with what they are actually taking.

Here's Wiyots, I like that he wants to take his comb and fishpaste for his hair! hehehe

And here's Shoshone's, think she really enjoyed figuring out how to spell the things on her list.

Shoshone's gone off to play with her old pal trixi the trunki, but Wiyot has got out his Dragonology book and is currently deciphering a message written in runes. :)

He's enjoying working out the secret message, but finding it a challenge when one rune could be one of two letters. 

Here Shoshone has found a tape measure and is practicing counting to 150. :)

Below are some of the pages I have printed for their travel journals.

I love this Mickey Mouse one, was very tempted to print out a set for myself! Who knows, if the kids don't use theirs, I might nab them anyway! :)

And some of the others. I decided to print a variety and let them choose a page depending on their mood. Some have spaces with lines for you to write, others empty boxes so you can draw or write, and some a combination of both. I think I'm also going to put in an envelope to hold tickets or other things they might want to keep. Also thought I could use card as a cover and as somewhere they can stick down any stickers they might get. :)

Friday, 11 September 2015

Secret Colours

Today we should have been going to our weekly sports group. However, instead we have been traped inside waiting for a delivery... *sigh*

Wiyot has been keeping himself busy with his new passion for all things dinosaur, which is all because we watched Jurassic Park the other day... and people criticise kids watching TV ;) Today he has made his own dino scene out of card board. Complete with incoming asteroid, as well as a seperate dino inards piece for when the T-Rex catches one of the other dinosaurs! :/

Here he is colouring in the scene. In the background you can see Shoshone has built various scenes with the Jenga blocks. :)

And the finished scene. :)

He also got out his experiment book and chose an experiment to do. Today we did secret colours. Very simple, but good fun. All you need is some filter paper, coloured water based markers, and water. 

I dicided to print out some science experiment worksheets I found online. Wiyot loves all things science, so thought it might be a good time to begin introducing him to the scientific method. :)

Here they have numbered their papers and are colouring a dot in the centre.

These are the colours Wiyot chose. We did four at first and then hunted dow extra black markers to see the difference. 

Wiyots results. The two extra black markers hadn't finished doing their thing yet.

Shoshone's colours (sorry its upside down, I will try to rotate it when I get on the PC)

Shoshone dripping water onto her alternative black marker. :)

Wiyots finished paper, the filters just need sticking down. He's drawn his various made up characters around the boarder.

Shoshone's results, she still needs to do the writing bits. Drawing in the margins is apparently way more fun! :) Shoshone has drawn the Team Titans characters. :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Learning about USA

We are off to Walt Disney World in just a few weeks time! WOOHOO!! I... I mean, the kids are super excited! 

I had been searching the inter webs looking for travel journels for them to complete while we are away. However, I also found some Country activity sheets at that I thought would be good. 

Some of the questions were a bit tough for the kids to answer, specifically:

What is the climate in the USA?
What is the terrain in the USA? 

"All of them!" 😅

Other bits were easier though, like what is the currency, language, who is the leader, what foods do they eat, etc...

I'll have to post more pics later. But here's a few I took already. 😄

Love Wiyot's picture of Barack Obama! 😁

Not back to school...

Over the last week, my news feed has been full of the obligatory "back to school" pictures. So this year, for the first time, we decided to do our own NOT back to school pics. :)

(As it's been a while since I've posted on here, you may notice the kids have grown quite a bit!)

Obviously had to do the standing by the wall/door as is standard procedure! :)

This is them, before I so rudely interrupted them for a photo. Wiyot was doing an observational drawing of me... I let him finish first of course! :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


I think I said on one of my recent posts that Wiyot has suddenly exploded with activity. So as before I felt the easiest option would be to photograph some of my favourite bits to share with you. Yesterday he wrote some lovely messages on our scrabble board, unfortunately I wasn't really having a good day and forgot to capture them on camera to share with you. :( Thankfully I've generally been more on the ball!
Sonic & Minnie, plus Daddy & Mommy asleep underneath.
Daddy has one eye open! lol
Mommy & Sonic, complete with his green eyes and red shoes.
The detail is increasing in his drawings :)

If you look at these you can see that his writing technique has already improved. Again he did all of these without any input from me, the letters are becoming clearer, generally facing in the right direction and also the spelling is getting slightly better. It's amazing to witness him literally teaching himself! :')

For those of you who aren't fluent in Wiyot-ese the last one says "and I Luv eevu" - and I love Eva (his aunty)

A message for Daddy:
I no les pla fitng aftu dinu
I know lets play fighting after dinner.
On the above message he attempted to correct a mistake by scribbling it out and putting a cross under it! Not sure where he's got that from?

A couple of cute little drawings:

The first pic is Wall.E and Eve (with her arm gun out) and the second is Darth Vader. I love the detail of Darth's mask :)

On September 9th Wiyot found an activity book in our bedroom. One of the ones you get at restaurants to entertain the kids... Well straight away he got out his crayons and completed all the exercises in the book. Seeing how much he enjoyed it, we tried to find him some more to do. Unfortunately the shops seem to have a fairly poor sellection these days... or we're looking in the wrong place? We did however find this fantastic book in WHSmiths. Here's some of the pages that he completed on September 10th:

All of the colouring pages are colour by numbers. Not great for creativity, but it is refreshing to see the lovely colourful pictures... you know not just RED! lol

The dot-to-dots and other activities where what we were really after. Unfortunately there was only these:

There are so many different activities, bellow are two he decided to do:

Drawing the ingredients on the pizza and filling in the missing letters. I was really impressed by the letter one, I didn't think he would do that one... It looked much better before he scribbled over it! Loving the zzZZ's for the "sleepy" person though! lol

As well as all of the above, there are many other things to make and do. The only one we have done so far is the cat mask:

Shone's been watching Cinderella and so Wiyot wanted to
make a 'Lucifer' mask
At this point it had already had a thorough playing with, so the fluffy nose is looking a little shaggy! He calls it his cat beard.

And finally, some little bits from today!

A message for me:

mumeey I am Hgreey soE les go get froot
Mummy I am hungry so lets go get fruit
Followed by:

I'm sure you can work this one out!
A pretty detailed drawing:

He tried to write his name on his belly too,
And some construction work:
Building his Thomas Duplo train set
He built the entire set all by himself, including station (above), water tower, windmill, signal box and a tipper thing (I don't know what its called!). Again I forgot to take a picture... :(

I didn't want to leave out our littlest learner! Here's Shone showing me some of her latest works of art and holding them up to be photographed:

She liked the new coloured papers I bought and was matching the crayons to the paper colour! Bless :D

He's also been doing a lot of reading over the past couple of weeks. So much so that he has pretty much read all of the books in the library... at his reading level of course! I think we may have to venture to one of the other libraries to see if they have a different selection!

On September 9th (this day was pretty much the beginning of the learning spurt!) we went to the library to get some new reading books for him. In the car on the way home he said the most wonderful thing:

When I've finished these books, can we go back to the library
 and get some more?"


Very Happy Mommy!

Monday, 12 September 2011

September 12th

Have you noticed the moon tonight?
Tonight is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, when the moon is said to be at it's brightest and, for one night only, perfectly round. 

This year we decided to go all out celebrating the festival. Out came my Chinese festival book and I decided what we were going to do.

The main activity is eating moon cakes... which we will get to later! The book also mentioned that families get together and watch shadow puppets telling the story of Chang'e and Houyi... I don't know whether thats true, but it seemed like a great project to do with the kids! There were directions in the book, but we decided to do it our own way! :D

1. Get a largish box and remove any tape so that it is open at both top and bottom. The larger the box the bigger your theatre will be, meaning you can do larger more detailed puppets and also you can fit more characters onto the screen at a time... assuming you can hold them all!

Here's ours.
2. Cut one of the large sides off the box.

3. Cut a window in the other large side. remember to leave at least an inch or two to support the rest of the box! 
The box with the removed pieces.
NB: This is "back stage" where the puppeteers will be!
4. Cover the window and your shadow theatre is complete! I used fabric from an old bed sheet, but you could also use paper.
I stuck the fabric on with sticky tape.
The front of the finished theatre.
Shone's dolly was performing at the back! lol
I'm hoping that at some point we will decorate the theatre, even if that just means painting it black! I chose to use fabric as it is obviously more flexible, meaning it is less likely to get ripped! I was also thinking it would be easier to remove when we're ready to refurbish the thea-e-tarrr! (said with a posh English accent! lol)

Next up was the puppets!

1. Draw your puppet design on a piece of paper, Wiyot decided to do a dragon. This is just a template so it doesn't need to be too detailed.

Wiyot demonstrating his ambidextrous tendencies!

You only need to draw an outline, Wiyot got a little carried away!
2. Carefully cut around the outline of your drawing.

3. Decide if there are any parts you would like to be moveable and cut those sections off.  For the dragon, which had now become Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon, we decided the wings should be the moving parts.

4. Lay the pieces on thick paper or card and trace around the edges. Remember to add extra where the movable parts will be connected to the main body. I added about 1.5cm.
You can just about make out the extra card at the edge of the wings.
As you can see above, I forgot to cut out the eyes and mouth on the template, so I got Wiyot to draw them straight onto the card. You can very intricate designs by cutting into the card, check out this image to get an idea of what I mean. Not something Wiyot could do yet, but great for older learners. You can also create more joints to the puppet to make the movements more realistic. For example, a human puppet could have a joint at the shoulder, elbow and wrist, a rod attached to the hand would then be able to control the movements of the arm. This youtube clip will give you an idea of what I mean!

Ready to cut out
5. Carefully cut out each of the puppet parts. I used scissors for the larger areas and a craft knife for the details. Wiyot hasn't had much cutting practice yet, which is why I did this myself! Also the card we used was pretty thick and so fairly difficult to cut.

6. Now you re-attatch the movable parts. Piece a hole through the pieces you are joining and secure with a split pin/brad.

BONUS: To add some colour to our puppet, we covered the eye and mouth holes with sweet wrappers. I'm pretty sure coloured tissue would also work, but I haven't tried it myself!

7. Attach rods to the back to allow you to control the puppet. The only thing that I could find (around the house) was bendy straws! They worked pretty well, not too dangerous for little ones, and also you can change the angle on them to help you control the puppet. The drawback being that they are not very strong, so not good for a larger (heavier) puppet. Also they are not very long, resulting in puppeteer-hand shadows if you are not extremely careful!

The finished puppet:

From the back
And from the front
NB, you can use whatever colour card you like and can also decorate the puppets. The shaddow will still be black though! lol

And now, in his debut performance...

Pretty cool, eh?
Oh yeah, you also need some sort of light to create the shadows, a multi positional desk lamp is good for this. I used my solar power one from Ikea. (Also comes in handy for knitting/reading in the car at night.... not while driving obviously!)

Behind the scenes!
The kids loved it! Wiyot spent ages acting out scenes with Toothless, making Shone roll with laughter! :D They then held various toys up to see what their shadows looked like, the dinosaur figures were a big hit! I think its going to be pretty versatile too, we can make props and scenery as well as all different characters. The kids can then act out their favourite stories, or create their own tales. I'm thinking it will be great for halloween too!

Lanterns are also popular for the moon festival. They are used as decorations, children carry them hanging on long poles and also sky lanterns are released. I really wanted to do the sky lanterns, but I left it a little late to order them (I wanted to get the more environmentally friendly biodegradable one's) so we just made decorative paper ones instead. 

The ones we made were from a kit I got free. The card is pre-cut and scored, plus all different colours of tissue are provided. They are very quick and easy to make, but look really pretty.

Shone sticking down her tissue
Daddy giving Wiyot a hand
Very proud of her creation
No surprises in Wiyots colour choice!
Pretty! :)
I lit them with rechargeable tea lights... less of a fire hazard!

And to finish, what moon festival would be complete without a mooncake and a cup of tea!

Lotus seed paste with two yokes

I'm pretty sure this is the first time Wiyot and Shone have tried mooncakes...

Say, "Mooncakes!"

Lets just say they weren't what they were expecting! Danny and I enjoyed them anyway!

Sorry about the rather looooong post!

Thanks for reading! xx