Thursday, 21 June 2018

Beans, volcanos and slime!

Yesterday we had another wonderful day of self lead learning and creativity .
Robbie helped me to pick our first broad bean harvest .He's been  very excited about this task for a week or so.Eva and Robbie both helped to pod the beans and Robbie excitement soon wore of and he decided it was much more fun to hit a small piece of wood over and over again and pretend he was a wood carver.
All in all we harvested just shy of a kilo of beans which Eva and I blanched and froze .We talked about the old wife's tale "A watched pot never boils " about how the process of  blanching and freezing keeps the nutrients in the veg ,and how we save some beans at the end of the growing season to plant again in November , the whole time she was  asking questions she was stood up to the stove on a chair with her spoon stirring and stirring .It's these simple moments that I love the most .

This afternoon I walked out in to the kitchen to find Eva and summer bent over a huge saucepan of gloopy blue slime .This slime powder was apparently a freebie from a magazine.

An hour or so later and the kitchen table was occupied by Charlie and  some plaster of Paris, volcano making. 

One things for certain mess and learning often go hand in hand and although sometimes it can get a bit much with so many of us in such a small space, I always try to allow the children as much freedom as possible with creative, science and art exploration. 

And that sometimes means a volcano is getting made whilst I'm Cooking dinner and we jostle for table space. 

I wouldn't have it any other way though. 

Love and light, 

Gem x

Summer solstice 2018

We have had a beautiful solstice day and the sun has shone brightly all day through.

Eva decorated our solstice sun cake using strawberries and lavender that we collected from the garden. And we talked about how our crops grow because of the sun.

Robbie and I made watercolour sun hanging spinners. Robbies actually worked out far better than mine as he didn't make his paper too soggy like I did!

The little ones also coloured some sun pictures.

We spent all afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful sun. And headed straight back out after dinner to soak up the last of the rays and have a bonfire . Eva and Robbie didn't get out of the pool until around eight thirty!

We send many a blessing from our home to yours this solstice evening.

Love and light,

Gem.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Friends, family and birthday celebrations

We have had a lovely few days.
There's  been a couple of visits to the park,visits to see both Grandad's on fathers day, and lots of fun making, creating,swimming, reading and baking.








Today we spent the afternoon with another home educating family. The little ones enjoyed the pool and the older ones played computer games and jumped on the trampoline.

On monday we celebrated Summers 15th birthday. We had a fairly quiet day as she didn't want a fuss but we managed to persuade her to invite my mum and dad to lunch.
I don't known how she's fifteen already! It's abslouly crazy how the years fly by. She's creative, funny, fiercely determined and one of the most caring people I know. Although she won't stop till she has achieved what she wants she also goes out of her way to help anyone in need.
When her grandad (Paul's father) had an accident last year it was summer that checked in on him daily, made him meals and did his shopping .
She rarely goes shopping without bringing something back for everyone else.
Just the other day an elderly neighbour told me what a kind girl she was and I had to agree, she's amazing and I'm truly so proud of the sympathetic, kind hearted,strong-willed young woman she's grown in to.


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Mud &bloom

This morning Eva and Robbie opened their first Mud & Bloom box.
 https://www.mudandbloom.com

Mud &Bloom is a subscription box for 3-8 year olds delivered at the beginning of every month which includes a couple of seasonal activities.
One which is  gardening and another which is a nature craft The activities have been designed by teachers and support the national curriculum but the thing that really made me subscribe was that it is influenced by steiner ,Montessori and forest school education.

For me celebrating each season and growing your own herbs and plants is pretty high on the agenda and I hope my children take these lessons in to adulthood with them .

I had opted for a sibling box which contained enough materials for them both to do all the activities.
June's box was so much fun .
They wanted to make lanterns first .Eva painted the day time on one side and the night sky on the other which I thought was very sweet .They both enjoyed sniffing the citronella candles too.




They planted the calendula seeds in to two big plant pots and gave them a good water .
And used the organic compost disks provided to plant the beetroot seeds .
They both had a great time .



We all decided to leave the nature walk activity for a sunnier day though .


Instead we plodded of to the shop ,trying to fly from our brolly's, for supplies.Eva saw an experiment in a magazine and  she wanted to try to make her own chocolate ice cream.It was a tad on the runny side so we froze it in lolly moulds and according to my little ones they are yummy !


I feel so blessed to spend my time with these two little ones learning and exploring every day .
And the four older ones too of course !

Love and light ,

Gem x

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Preparing for fathers day .

Yesterday amongst other things (like helping to load a van up with all the rubbish we had accumulated in the garden ,walking nannies dog,splashing in the pool and jumping on the trampoline)Eva and Robbie made cards and a certificate for their daddy .
The  best dad certificates were printed from www.skiptomylou.org and the little cards I found on a website called SquishyCuteDesigns.com. Both are free printable that don't require any time spent signing up for accounts.
I am of the opinion that time spent making or in this case colouring a gift or card far outweighs purchasing a mass produced one from the shop.And the children have something they are proud of at the end !




They are looking forward to giving them to paul on Sunday and I'm sure he will appreciate their efforts .

Love and light ,
Gem x


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Treasure hunt and theatre play

Today has been a lot of fun. Eva was outside early this morning with the treasure map she made from her toucan box. (you can get one free here http://www.toucanbox.com/friends/gemma-c8x6
She really wanted to find some treasure. Robbie asked me if I would make them a treasure hunt.
I drew a simple map of our garden and hid the treasure in the duck enclosure.
They had a wonderful time following the map and were extremely happy with there treasure which was a magnetic theater that cost me all of £2.50 in a charity shop a couple of days ago.
They played out the story's of Cinderella,sleeping beauty ,The three little pigs and little red riding hood and then they set up a talent show and a judging panel .
Robbie favourite little wooden character peg doll is Pinocchio.He tells me it's because he has a long nose and he's good at dancing .Robbie and Eva are not familiar with the story of Pinocchio so tonight I will rectify that .

The theatre garden picnic and the pool have kept them entertained pretty much all day long. We have had a beautiful day !

Love and light ,
Gem x



Our first Toucan box

Last weekend Eva received her first Toucan box in the post. I'd signed up just a couple of days before and hadn't expected it to arrive as quickly as it did.
She's a lover of art and crafts just like her mum so I knew she would be happy with her very own package of goodies.
According to the website www.toucanbox.com Toucan box is a flexible subscription encouraging crafting, creativity and learning in children aged 3-8.
Inspired by montessori learning and championing STEM each toucanbox is build by educational experts to help deliver key skills.
I was very impressed, mainly because you got everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you needed for the craft projects in the box. I can't count the number of times we have brought art or science kits and the children have excitedly opened them up to find out that we needs bits and pieces that weren't included like glue, paint, chemicals for an experiment and so on thus resulting in a shopping trip before they can crack on with the activity.
(So as I said everything was included, even the tea bag for staining the watercolour paper for making a map!!! )
As well as the high quality non toxic craft materials for your projects and instructions  you also receive a little magazine with suggestions for experiments, games, puzzles and recepies. Oh, and there's stickers, because who doesn't like stickers!?!
The fist box is free and because Eva enjoyed it so much iv chosen to subscribe to a monthly box (there's also an option for fortnightly). This box has a regular price of £5.95 which includes the postage cost.
Her kit was a pirate team and she made a beautiful bright feathered parrot and an aged treasure map. She was happy and engaged for a long while and enjoyed reading the little magazine aloud.
You can cancel or pause your subscription any time and manage your account online which Is very handy because Robbie has requested a box of his own next time too.
Eva was very kind and let him use her left over feathers to create his own parrot from which I'd cut from a cereal box. He was happy but he will be even happier when they both received their own boxes in a months time.
If you would like to try a toucan box for free then just use this link, https://www.toucanbox.com/friends/gemma-c8x6

Love and light 
Gem x