Saturday, 31 March 2012

Water beads

The girls have had great fun with this inexpensive sensory experience. First they enjoyed watching them expand and G enjoyed the science of this. Then they enjoyed playing with them this morning. They have been frog spawn, jelly, cake ingredients, 2D shapes and simply fun. They do feel strange. The girls have enjoyed playing with them, although several have been burst and some have vanished under the sofa!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Cake decorating

E and G wanted to make and decorated some fairy cakes today so we made some fairy cakes and coloured the batter pink.

We used
100g butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
100g SR flour
1tsp of baking powder
Red colouring

WE creamed the butter and sugar together and then added the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour. Then we added the rest of the flour and the baking powder and added the food colouring and stirred till it was all mixed in. Then we spooned the mixture in to 12 cases and baked in the oven at 170oC for about 15-20 minutes.

We let them cool and then had fun decorating. First we added some glace icing. Then we made some shapes out of Renshaw sugar dough which is described as "like play dough" which we had bought from Tesco. It is coloured with natural colourings and tastes yummy! The girls made a butterfly, a triangle, some flowers and a heart. They really enjoyed using it. The pack had 4 different colours in, but as I am not sure how long it would last unwrapped we decided to only use 2 of them.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Science Festival at Wandlebury

This afternoon, in glorious sunshine we cycled to Wandlebury,. First the girls did some pond dipping and caught lots of tiny creatures and then we went to the stable block. The girls enjoyed looking at frog and toad spawn and some bees. G enjoyed dissecting an owl pellet where she found lots of bones including a vole's skull. Miss I made a clay snail and E painted some flowers.

Then, to keep the husband happy, we went for a walk to the roman road. P enjoyed lots of walking, especially in the dead leaves (and has gone to bed very early tonight) and E walked all the way without once asking for a carry. We saw lots of signs of spring and lots of minibeasts out and about. The thing I loved most about Wandlebury is the amount of dead trees to climb on and tree stumps ti jump off - who needs a playground?

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Blossom trees

I am always torn between autumn where I love the colours and fruits  and spring which has such beautiful flowers and new life. I especially love blossom on the trees offering colour where for so long there was been none. Every time we cycle round the girls are busy pointing out all the different blossoms at the moment.

We decided to make a blossom picture. We painted the trunk and branches looking carefully at our naked crab apple tree for inspiration (although it was very hard to get Miss E just to paint a tree; she wanted to add sun and flowers and a cat etc). Then we ripped up bits of tissue paper and scrunched them up before gluing them on (great for fine motor skills).

Monday, 19 March 2012

stem ginger and dark chocoate cookies

Miss I and I have made these for her snack (although she is not sure if she will like them to the ginger???). They were very simple in the KitchenAid and took about 20 minutes to make.
345g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g butter
200g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 lumps chopped stem ginger

Preheat the oven to 160C (fan). Next in the KitchenAid, we mixed the softened butter and sugar together. Then we added a lightly beaten egg and vanilla extract. Then we sifted flour together with the cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda into the butter mixture and mixed until combined.Then we stirred in the chocolate and ginger. . Then we placed walnut sized balls of dough on a lined baking tray and baked for 12 minutes. Then we allowed them to harden on the baking tray before allowing to cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother's Day at Waddesdon Manor

We met up with both sets of Mums at a National trust place called Waddesdon ( We booked to go for lunch and although service was slow the food was yummy (I dread to think how much I'll weigh tomorrow!) including a glass of champagne for the Mummies. We then went to a run around at the huge adventure playground which catered for a wide variety of ages and was well spaced out through the woodland which the girls liked to explore. We then walked to see the aviary which had several species of rare birds and then to was time to say goodbyes and come home :(.  
It will be defiantly a place to go back in the summer. It is about 90 minutes from Cambridge so a good for a day out.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Science Festival 1st Saturday

This is such a great Cambridge event, especially if you have school aged children AND it is free! There is so much on - talks and demonstrations. For the last 2 years we have been to the chemistry department to make all kinds of goo so this year we decided to try something different. We went to the zoology lab to demonstrations given by CHOAS. We were warned it was busy (if you went early in the day you get a timed ticked) and there was about a 20-30 minute queue so we decided to wait. It was totally worth it; because they had limited people going in there was lots of space and you could easily find people who were free. The lab was divided into the different areas of science - physics, biology and chemistry and there were many different activities with a student to explain what was going on. We saw hot air balloons, exploding film canisters, crystal making, anti-counterfeit measures of notes using UV light, an amazing model showing the tendons in your hand, fruit flies and so much more! It was fab- but after about 3 hours Miss E had had enough! I think Miss I got the most out of it in terms of understanding the science behind the experiments but the others did enjoy it too! Defiantly one to return to next year.