Friday, 24 January 2020

Polar Regions and Colours

I set up our sensory tray with a variety of animals from both polar regions, we have made a start reading through some of our polar books.  We have also been working our way through the Frozen Planet documentary and on Curiosity Stream we found a wonderful penguin documentary called Penguin Central, looking at 4 different locations around New Zealand.

L spent some time building an igloo out of lego

and then attempting to make one out of marshmallows, not easy!

On twinkl we found some lovely polar yoga cards, so I have printed and laminated them. I have also bookmarked cosmic yoga polar bear and penguin sessions to use later on.

I have found out some more books for L to read, I've also bought her Eve of the Emperor Penguin, I hadn't realised that the magic treehouse now do books for the older reader as in 7+, we have read lots of their younger series and enjoyed.

We've also mapped the climate across the world using a Mystery Science lesson.

We have also been looking at colours, starting with primary colours, the secondary etc, L loves to mix and experiment with colours, so thought we would have a play again with skittles. Place skittles on a plate in a pattern, add some water and wait and see the colours emerge.

We have used some of the sheets from Evan-Moor's Teaching Children Art, looking at how overlaying colours can create new ones.

 We have also been creating a colour wheel, starting with primary colours and then working through to tertiary colours. Then on another session we had the paints out, my idea was for L to enjoy mixing the different colours and painting her own picture but actually she wanted to recreate the colour wheel with paint, drawing it all out by hand.

We have an amazing games shop in our town, we popped in before Christmas and asked for some recommendations, they are spot on with what they suggested. Game one was Carcassonne, a strategy game that we are all enjoying playing and then Timeline, a brilliant game causing lots of interesting discussions and time after researching various facts!

Our art class this week was based around Gyotaku fish, it apparently dates back to the 1800s when Japanese fishermen wanted to create a record of their fish they caught, so they literally printed the fish. Printing in today's session used cardboard, foam shapes,bubble wrap and textured wall paper. L also made a cat shape but then decided to she didn't want to ruin it with paint!

Monday, 13 January 2020


Just after Christmas L did an outschool class on blue animals, we both learnt lots, how most animals aren't actually blue it is how the light reflects of them, how a chameleon changes colour. It led to us looking at rainbows and how they are formed and then spending a lot of time having fun mixing colours, starting with primary colours and then secondary colours. L created her own colour wheel and we talked about warm and cool colours too. Then did some art using only warm colours and then one using only cool colours and comparing how they made us feel.

Before Christmas we had been reading bits about the Romans, lots on the myths and legends, which L loves. I introduced L to the first in the Roman mysteries series, The Thieves of Ostia, missing the bits when it got a bit gory or upsetting around the dogs dying, then read The Secrets of Vesuvius, which she found fascinating, we have since watched so many you tube videos on volcanoes and enjoyed reading Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters. This led to L asking if we could make a lapbook and learn all about volcanoes, this spread out to earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides, how mountains form and then looking at Yellowstone National park and their geysers etc. I love the Super Earth Encyclopedia the photos in it are amazing, to say the least. We have made a model of the earth using play dough, recreated earthquakes, using a tray with rice in it, adding some blocks and people and shaking it, starting gently and making a note of what happened and then shaking it stronger, to demonstrate the different strengths. Photo below of some of the other books we have read, not all of them cover to cover but we are getting there.

 L's lapbook.

We created an experiment to demonstrate how acid rain can cause erosion, using vinegar and chalk, you can't see clearly from the photos but it bubbles really well producing the gas carbon dioxide, we then dried the chalk out and compared the difference, see holes where there weren't any before.

Setting up an experiment to show how stalactites and stalagmites are formed, we used epsom salts mixed with water, weighting the string down in each jar and

2 days later we have our stalactite. Think I might have to find out our copy of Caves (One Small Square)  as we have been talking a lot about where you would find stalactites and stalagmites, the one small square books are really informative and beautifully illustrated, we have a read few around different habitats.

My plan now is  to look at the polar regions, using Ls interest and love of penguins! We have started watching David Attenborough Frozen Planet and then used this Mystery Science lesson to map the climate around the world, it means we have a large map of the world with its climate, might end up looking at weather and climate change too.

Some of the books I am planning on using, as L loves adventure/mystery stories I am hoping she might like to learn about some of the explores, as well as the animals.

A few stories to read and drawing book, L loves these, though when she first opened it up she said she liked the drawing but wouldn't do the writing, which was fine with me but actually nearly every time she draws a new animal she copies the writing too.

Now for Christmas Evie was given Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories, it has a 2 to 3 pages story about an artist, some paintings etc so thought it would be nice to use in conjunction with the art group we go too. Then came across the  Usborne Art Activity Pad , it will go very well together and can't wait to start using them both, hoping L feels the same!

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Reading for Advent.

I love the run up to Christmas, its and extra special time to curl up and share some magical stories, enjoy time crafting and catching up with friends.

Our Advent reading this year is the Advent Storybook, the story of little bears journey to Bethlehem. The Christmas Mystery a journey through time and countries starting in 1950 in Norway and heading back in time to Bethlehem, to the time Jesus was born, lots of interesting facts added into the story. The an all time favourite, The The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but the first time L will of heard it, we read The Magician's Nephew earlier in the year and she loved it. I have the BBC series and the film to watch once we have finished the story. We also have a basket full of other Christmas stories to enjoy.

I have enjoyed making some cross stitch Christmas cards and decorations.

I have had a lovely little German paper craft book for a few years and every year I will say I will make something from it, this year finally got round to it. Thoroughly enjoyed making this owl, though it did take a lot longer than I expected it too.

More paper craft fun, making a various different hanging decorations.

The design below, I have made a few times and couple of years ago I put together step by step directions to make this pretty snowflake star.

I have been busy knitting, our lovely local independent craft shop closed down in the summer, so I stocked up on some wool and other craft bits, L wanted some wrist warmers like mine so she can wear them when we play sport.

L chose this stylecraft pattern for the rest of the pink wool.

I have made this sirdar cardi  so many times, it knits up so nicely in whatever type of yarn I use.

L has moved up to the older art group, she was resistant to the idea of change to start with but now is enjoying the different projects we are working on. Last week it was using newspaper and card to make sculptures, L made a lovely dragon, we finished painting him at home.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

October Crafts

Art group was based around the book The Lost Words, they had black ink and lots of leaves to print with or create whatever design you fancy.

Then onto some printing, Ls view is you should say yes to words, not remove them from the dictionary.

Halloween crafts, including a black cat made out of a paper plate.

Bats made from cardboard rolls and enjoying trying out new pens on black card.

Watercolour night sky.

Birds are enjoying our new bird feeder.

Friday, 23 August 2019


August we made the most of sunshine, lots of time spent in the garden, which is producing a nice lot of veg for us.

The girls have been enjoying different art classes put on by our local art centre, M attended a couple of teen classes which she really enjoyed and L attended the younger group, she made a diorama with her favourite animals in it.

The following session she made a penguin puppet with a fish for his supper.

All the years of watching me set up various tuff tray scenes, L now does her own.

We have adopted a new rescue bunny, he's another mini rex, not the best photo of all 3 but its very difficult to get them all together! So going from left to right, here is Lucy, Rosie and Jack.

L has started a nature journal, she has spent ages drawing and decorating various pages.

I know its upside down, I have deleted the original and can't work out how to rotate it the right way but wanted to share it anyway as L spent ages going through her bird books and then drawing all their eggs.