Monday, 14 May 2012

Green men

We made clay green men to welcome (finally) the arrival of spring/May (belatedly). Green men are a traditional symbol of spring representing rebirth and new life, although I think they look slightly scary! We made ours from air drying clay. We made a flattened circle and pinched out the face parts. To this we added ivy leaves we had cut out using an icing cutter. Care was taken to ensure no parts got too thin (they would just snap) and to join the leaves on carefully.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Garden Fun

A rare event - sunshine! The girls had swimming lessons and then the mother-in-law came round for Sunday Lunch. In the afternoon we all played in the garden. The husband mowed, I weeded and the mother-in-law entertained! G, E and P really enjoyed chalking on the ground. They made some beautiful patterns and pictures - rainbows and castles were the order of the day.  P did mark make but also enjoyed chalking on various bits of her body and eating them (does that mean she is deficient in some key nutrient?). I even got E to practise some letter formation - so much more motivating than writing in a boring bit of paper and I do love large scale writing!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Pigs and Parties

So many exciting things happened today. For I's birthday we decided to get some guinea pigs so today we went to Woodgreen ( - a rescue centre to see if they had any we could adopted. We found Doodoo (to be renamed) and Dash - 2 males and we have reserved them We have all had cuddles - even the husband who isn't that keen. G held dash and true to his name he lept off her lap and escaped! Lucky the lady caught him and didn't think we were that unsuitable!  No photos yet - but hopefully lots when they arrive! Now just to find and buy a cage and run.

Then later on Miss I had her 10th birthday party. We went to Lush ( The girls started off playing party games with various products - throw the bath bomb and how much glitter can you rub over yourself. Then they made a bath bomb. As part of the package the girls got £10 to spend which they all thought was brill! They all had a fab time and the staff who ran the party were excellent with the girls. Tim made the most amazing cake (a giant cupcake and everyone went "WOW thats amazing") - so all in all a very successful party. The only slight issue was that you had to buy a £45 pound box of stuff for the birthday girl when she would have been quite happy wiht the £10 she spent! We now have more lush stuff than we know what to do with and since it smells sickly I hope we use it up quickly.

Monday, 7 May 2012

May Day at Audley End

We rarely go to Audley End ( as we are National Trust members and as this as English Heritage we have to pay but it is nice to have a change. Today they had a special May Day festival on with lots of things in addition to the house so we decided to brave the rain and go and have a look. We enjoyed looking around the house which is amazingly opulent. They have lots of stuffed animals which are fascinating to look at.  The grounds are also expansive but because of the drizzle we didn't explore. They had an amazing falconry display where a peregrine falcon was whizzing over our heads at 150 miles an hour (according the falconer). G was really inspired and now wants to be a falconer herself! We also enjoyed a cavalry display, some Victorian side-shows (G is really good at the coconut shy) and a play in the play equipment.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


We have a lot of Brio, but it hasn't been played with in a while. We had some friends around so we gave them the pleasure of track designer (as the kids often need help to move from the simple circle layout and we do have some rather interesting (but difficult to set out) pieces such as bridges and bits that go from 1 track 1 to 2 tracks out (am sure they have a more technical name).  E and P had a great tine; although P kept breaking one of the bridges and then saying " elp me elp me" when she wanted it fixed! Brio is so good for collaborative play, imaginative play and problem solving.