Friday, 21 October 2011

Playdough and hand therapy

Some of Henry's hand therapy exercises involve playdough.
I made some myself using the following method:
I mixed 3 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of salt and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in a bowl.
Meanwhile, I boiled 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and then added the liquid slowly to the dry ingredients.
I divided the dough up and coloured the portions using Morrisons natural food colourings. The colourings were quite wishy washy and it took quite a lot to get a decent amount of colour into the dough. But I quite like the earthy tones that were finally produced.

And all three kids, from age 2 - 10 years couldn't wait to get playing with it...

Honor and Henry got bored after about fifteen minutes, but little Hope needed coaxing away from it when it eventually became time for dinner and was not at all happy when I cleared it all away!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Waldorf toddler group.

I think I mentioned before that I take Hope to a toddler group arranged by the local Waldorf Steiner private school. It really is a very nice, natural play experience for little ones and this time I took the liberty of taking a few pics of their gorgeous displays.
At the moment, a lady from the school brings all this stuff over to a village hall and sets it all up for us parents and toddlers to enjoy, but soon it shall run from the school itself.
Here is Hope playing in one of the many playstands - this one has been set up with this beautiful wooden kitchen set.

And this mobile, if you can see it clearly in the photo, was made there from natural materials (seeds, leaves, sheep's wool, feathers, etc) brought in by one of the teachers.

Another trip to London

What a busy week it's been so far.
On Monday, Henry had his long awaited appointment at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Kings Cross, London with a specialist doctor to discuss the apparent problems with the nerves in Henry's hand following his accident. The doctor thinks his hand will improve with plenty of physio and probably won't need to have another operation. So that is good news.
We decided to travel up by car because the train is outrageously expensive but the journey up there during rush hour was pretty bad and we only just made the appointment on the dot. We were straight in and straight out again and as Henry has found all this 'arm palava' a bit of a nuisance, and he is very fascinated by London, we promised that we'd take him to The Museum of Natural History.
Having recently visited The Doctor Who Experience, we decided to go back to the same car park by the Kensington Olympia which cost us £15 and take a taxi (costing an average of £9) to the museum which was not too far away. Entrance to the museum was free.
The dinosaur exhibit was, in Henry's words, awesome!

Here is Henry face to face with a King Cobra!

The three of us really enjoyed this part of the trip and it was great to be able to talk to Henry by himself about what we were looking at. Usually, we do stuff all together but Honor and Henry tend to behave like loonies when they are together (Hubby has now dubbed them Berk and Hair after the notorious duo Burke and Hare) and it's often difficult to have sensible conversations with them. And I commented to Hubby about how, if we homeschooled, I'd come to places like this all the time. But then I remembered that I'm the mother of three very crazy kids and there were a couple of times when we had to prevent Henry from launching himself over the balcony of the blue whale exhibit and so I'll let some other teacher worry about that for a while!

On another note (sorry Hubby!) just thought I'd mention that I really like the latest single Paradise by Coldplay. I'm sorry - but I do!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Secondary school transfer

I'm not long back from visiting another secondary school for Honor. We've so far been to visit two faith schools both of which we were impressed with. The two girls that gave us a tour were fantastic - so chatty, informative and brimming over with personality. A good sign. I don't feel much like looking at any more but we have to list four choices on our application and I think transport to these two schools that we liked is going to be a problem...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Last weekend - pilgrimage to Bruges

Last Saturday, 1st October, Mum, Honor and I joined a group from our church and from the catholic churches of Canterbury and Herne Bay on a pilgrimage to the beautiful city of Bruges in Belgium. Honor and I had to get up very early, 5.30 am to be on time for the coach which took us on the ferry to Calais, France and on to Bruges. As I said, it was the 1st October and it was, well, very hot! Pushing 30 degrees in fact which made the coach journey a little unpleasant. I didn't think the air conditioning was up to much!
But once off the coach, we had a very relaxing time browsing the many chocolate shops and having a nice, leisurely lunch before gathering at a chapel for Mass.

I bought some nice handmade wooden toys to bring home for Hope and Henry, though everything was very expensive.
This weekend we are doing a lot of clearing out and moving the children's bedrooms around and Hope will soon be going into a room of her own. I'm looking forward to being able to decorate that! So far it has been hard work and the state of Henry's room has had Hubby rather displeased. I'm glad to say that the weather has got seasonally cooler, though a pleasant day has been forecast for tomorrow, so perhaps we'll do something nice then.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Roald Dahl themed book week

This week was 'Book Week' at the children's school and today they had to dress as Roald Dahl characters. I must admit that when the parentmail email arrives to say that it's time to come up with an outfit, I'm not usually overwhelmed with excitement. The headteacher appreciates that not everyone will be up to sitting up all night papier mache - ing (what is the verb for this?) a giraffe's head and so the option of wearing yellow (apparently Dahl's favourite colour) was given to us as an alternative... gawd bless you, maam! However, Honor was absolutely defo that she wanted to go as Veruca Salt - the spoiled brat, ahem, I mean princess, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She loves the original (Gene Wilder) film, more than the Johnny Depp version and does a superb impression of this character.
I thought it might be quite tough to find a similar red and black outfit to the one Veruca wears in the film, but my mother found the red cardigan on sale in ASDA for £1.50!!! and the skirt was from Matalan for £7. Not bad. And they are clothes that she can wear anytime.
Henry went as Mike Teavee, another golden ticket winner who wears a cowboy outfit. Simples!
My favourite part of the whole thing is arriving at school in the morning to see how everyone is looking. There were indeed some very impressive papier mache props and other amazing outfits and hats off to them for the effort. (HM, incidentally, got picked to have her picture taken for the local paper).
Great fun!