Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Preschool crowd

When we start school next week, Rosie will officially be a 'preschooler' Wow-what happened to my baby?
The last few months I have been busy making plans for my eldest, Elianna, but also for her 'big-little' sister Rose (big-little sister is how she likes to be known; she is not a 'little' girls, or a 'little' sister!). Rose is happy, as long as she is doing pretty much the same thing as her older sister, but sometimes her attention span wanes. so, here are my plans to keep her occupied:
this year, we will be begin studying The Mystery of History. For the most part, Rosie will be able to join in with us, but, if it requires too much of her, then she can have 'carpet time' - this requires her to sit on her little rug & quietly play with one of the items from her 'school box'. This is a tub I have put together that contains a selection of activities that dont require direct supervision. Each day, I will just need to grab one of the packs from the tub & away we go :)
here is our list:
coins & a piggy bank
Crayons & black construction paper
Scissors & paper(with no particular intention)
Lacing cards
Montessori Tower
Button box & ice cube tray
Magnet & paperclips, washers, nails etc plus non-magnetic items.
Post-it notes & pencil
Rosie’s notebook
Stickers & little book
pouring beans
File folder games.
Some beautiful shapes & a glue stick

Here is a must read article for parents of preschoolers. Lovely & inspiring.

The second major addition for Rosie is a Sensory Table.
Together, we scrubbed down & hosed off our outdoor water table & now it is sitting in our conservatory; just waiting to be filled with exciting things for little fingers to explore. My intention is to tie it in as much as possible with our monthly nature themes &/or the liturgical season.
For example, or first theme is a Beach/Seashell theme, so our table will be filled with sand, some wonderful seashells, spoons & little pudding bowls (to make sandcastles with, of course!)

If you are not sure where to begin making your own table, have a look at this amazing resource: Your ultimate guide to sensory tables.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Watercolour Kits

We officially 'go back' to home school next week, so my home has been buzzing with plans & preparations.
A huge part of our lives is Nature Study &, as such, watercolour & sketching. This book is hugely important to our study & creativity.
We are all furnished with new nature notebooks, the girls have new watercolours, & the pencils are all nicely sharpened. But how to store everything?
We have a nice big art cupboard, in which I keep all our paints, glues, collage materials etc; and last year & put each person's nature study watercolour & sketching supplies in their own backpacks, which hung at the ready from the dining room door handle, ready to grab when the need arose. The backpack thing didnt really work out. They were just too large for my little girls to realistically take out on nature walks. They were a handy way to keep everyones supplies at the ready should they spot something out in the garden, but on walks, I would always shove all their things in with my own.
So what to do this year?
This perfect inspiration was most timely.
Here is a picture of our kits:

It shows the little 'lunch' bags I picked up from Tesco; which are just the perfect size & £2 each. Waterproof inside & out, with a wee handle they are just the job. Inside go our pencil cases, paints, nature notebooks & small rectangles of watercolour paper - perfect for creating those mini-masterpieces. Not show are watercolour brushes, tiny water bottles & little cloths for wiping, dabbing & generally mopping up.
Roll on nature study...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Le Weekend

We have had an easy, simple, foody kind of weekend.
Our weekend always begins on Friday evening. The house is clean & tidy (or so I like to imagine!) the ironing is done & put away & hubby & I have dinner together, when the girls have gone to bed. Friday was extra special, as it was my hubby's birthday, so, following lunch out, I made for us a lovely summer curry, clean & fresh with coconut milk & lime; all washed down with a very dry pink champagne. Yum.
Saturday morning was spent baking; wholemeal bread, banana bread & meringue for Sunday's dessert. The afternoon was a warm mix of finding bugs;


hiding in the trees;

& knitting hedgehogs

(Hector was finished the same afternoon, but I have neglected to take his photograph)

Sunday, we visited our local Equestrian store, which brought back many happy memories of owning my own horse. I went to pick up some new walking boots; on our way home we stopped off at the woods for a good Sunday ramble; wet, muddy & lots of fun throwing a stick into the canal for our dog.

Lunch was delicious roast chicken with dill, tarragon & lemon; celeriac & parsnip puree & glazed carrots. To be followed by Eton Mess made with rhubarb & rosewater (remember the meringues?)
Can you tell I have a new cookery book!?!?! I cant recommend it enough.

Miss R & I had a saunter in the garden & picked our potatoes

What a lovely, gentle weekend. It is now 5.30pm, so time for the girls bath. Lots of lavender tonight, I think.
I have a new Bible Story Book with which we are so far satisfied. Then it will be kisses, snuggles & not forgetting sleepy nursing for one little girl.
With the girls all tucked up in bed & plan to crack on with reading this inspiring book & knitting a Lily of the Valley Shawl.
Have a great evening!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Rainy Day's

We are having a fair amount of rain here, so here is a repost from my personal 'Festivals Feasts & Family Days' book:

Rainy Days

The weather is never disagreeable, only our attitude towards it!

Psalm 147
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
Things to do:
Dress up in waterproofs & go puddle dancing!
Play dressing up
Use play silks & blankets to make houses, tents etc
Build a train or bus with chairs
Play pirates on the sofa (the floor is the ocean)
Have crumpets for afternoon tea, cuddle up & read stories
Open the rainy day box.....
Blank scrapbooks, Glue, Sellotape, Scissors, Pencils/Pens, Old Christmas cards, Magazines, calendars & catalogues for cutting up. Pretty papers, Stickers, Fabrics, Buttons, Beads for stringing, String, Pipe Cleaners, Lolly sticks, Natural materials: Pinecones, Feathers, small twigs, Seed heads &Shells, Pie dishes, Egg boxes & Envelopes.
The Rainy Day box is kept only for such days. It’s magic is soon lost if brought out at other occasions.

Mushroom in the Rain by Mirra Ginsberg,
A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney,
Rain by Marion Dane Bauer.

For Rainbow Days:
A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman,Rainbow and You by Edwin C. Krupp and Robin Rector Krupp
For Thundery Days:
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

Friday, 10 July 2009

Just Sharing

(click on the picture to view large enough to read)