Friday, July 15, 2005

A week of gas men and other excitement

A busy week, so here's a quick round-up


We both had a day's annual leave so we all went to our HE group meet together. This was a nice, low key meet up in a local park and the kids had a good time playing with friends. Unfortunately the high pollen count took its toll on Leo and me – we were very snuffly and sore.
In the evening Pearl did some dancing (largely consisting of cartwheels and arab springs) at the 'end of year' show of her Woodcraft group. This was a very relaxed event in the nearest park. Leo and I didn't get to see it, as we were hiding from the pollen at home – but Dani said she had a good time.


Dani was at work all day and Pearl and I took Leo over to the grandmothers' house for his weekly visit. He was joined by his cousin B this week – and they had a great time pond dipping together.

One nice moment to blog happened just as we left L. He suddenly announced to everyone,
"Do you want to know a fact about balloons? Well, if you blow up a balloon and put a tube in the neck then the air coming out will make no sound. I read that in 'How you body works' last night in bed."

I think this is the first time L has chosen to share some information he has read alone – though he and P often share information they have acquired by watching the Discovery Kids channel.

Pearl and I went home via the supermarket, as we had to buy drinks and food for the visit of D's knitting group on Tuesday evening. When we got home we made sweets (uncooked fondants) from this book. They came out very well but cleaning up all the icing sugar was a challenge. Somehow I seemed to just spread a sticky layer ever further around the kitchen.

While I was trying to clean up P went off to the computer. I helped her find a copy of the 'Quangle Wangle's hat' on the internet and she used Word to change its appearance – changing fonts, sizes, colours and using the Wordart thingy. She did this wonderfully – nice little touches like making the words 'bumble bee' appear in alternate brown and gold letters. She decided it would be nice if we wrote out the final two verses by hand – I did one and she did the other. P really enjoyed putting it all up on our notice board – adding little arrows to guide the reader between verses. Here is our finished hat and the poem - we're pleased with it.

In the evening the knitting group came and P hung around for a bit, showing the adults her knitted creations. After a while P, L and I watched UKTV history and the kids enjoyed a programme all about how the ancient Chinese made wonderful bridges, and traded silk. The kids amazed me with their casual remarks about how Marco Polo travelled the silk road. I know nothing of Marco Polo!


The kids and I had to wait in for the gas engineer to come and do the annual check on our boiler. This was pretty irritating actually as, though I told him there was a leak somewhere, he declared there was nothing wrong and was gone within ten minutes. But Pearl, Leo and I had a lovely morning. I fetched lots of construction toys – geomag, octons, lego and a set of some ancient german construction toy we got in a charity shop – from their bedrooms, and we all built things. We watched alternate Paddington and Trumpton episodes on the video while we played – and we all made things we liked. Leo suddenly seems much more dextrous and made a lovely hexagon with our geomag panels set. P built loads of things, including a very solid little house out of lego.

In the afternoon I had to work but D took them both to capoeira, where they enjoyed themselves and both played in the roda at the end. P has decided to do her regular capoeira sessions next year but then stay on for the older kids' group as well. This is a great solution for Leo, who will be pleased not to lose her company, and for Dani, who can keep them both happy!


Dani and Leo stayed in again to wait for another gas engineer, who actually fixed the leak. I took P over to the grandmothers' house and then went on to work. P seems to have had a great time, playing outside, bone hunting.

Leo had the kind of day he loves, where he can just potter from one thing to the next. When I got home tonight the kids were playing very happily together, and the house was covered with posters that Leo had drawn and photocopied, advertising a rocket launch which is going to happen on Friday.

Dani tried out a new knitting idea called 'illusion knitting' and produced a lovely little knitted panel with a hidden dalek on it.

So, that's enough I think. Must try to blog more often.

Two other snippets of L's developing mathematical understanding to record:
When reading 'The mousehole cat' with Leo he heard the phrase 'half a hundred'. He said the following:
"What is there that, when you have two sets of it, it equals a hundred?"
I liked this as, though he didn't know the answer, he clearly understands exactly what half means in numerical terms.
Leo dropped in to conversation that five more than ten was fifteen. I asked him how he knew this, and he explained that if you started with ten then you could count on five more and you would be at fifteen.

One other quick thing to mention, re. P's recent reading:
P really enjoyed 'Midnight' by Jacqueline Wilson, which had two teenaged characters and has themes around family, friendship and belonging. This is something of a departure from her usual tastes, though she is very eclectic as a reader.


Sarah said...

Love the Quangle Wangle stuff :)

Heather said...

We're big time Mousehole Cat fans here. Did you visit the Mousehole when you were in Cornwall- we plan to in September.

All sounds lovely, you guys *almost* tempt me to get sky ;-)