Friday, May 12, 2006

w/e 12th May, 2006

We have been looking at Madagascar, mainly because the kids loved the film and until very recently, watched it night after night after night. In fact we'd watched it so much we were, I'm embarrassed to say, quoting from it in public on a regular basis!. We have been studying the numerous unusual creatures of the island aswell as the foosa and lemurs which are the most well known of this area. The kids enjoyed finding out about the amazing baobab trees, with their spongey trunks and fabulous branches that resemble roots. We had a go at doing some paintings of the trees together with lovely drawings of lemurs which we stuck onto the paintings using mini sticky squares (used for making cards). This gave the effect of 3D animals which looks quite something. There were dinosaur bones once found on Madagascar and we found a lovely website asking "what's inside the egg". The kids each drew what they thought would have been in the egg, once they'd compared the huge size of it against others, and then researched their creatures to find out more about it. K chose a crocodile, B a gorilla - he was surprised to find out that gorilla's don't appear from eggs like this! Once they'd found out that the actual egg once belonged to a dinosaur, they imagined what it may have looked like, described it and drew it. K of course saw this as a perfect opportunity to draw a horse/unicorn style dinosaur! A-Z kids stuff gave us most of the information we needed on this topic.

B has been into measuring this week for his maths, probably because he'd measured his long wiggly line of toy cars last week. He's successfully been converting his centimetre measurements to metres. K has been baking rock cakes all by herself, weighing accurately and understanding the fractions used on my electric scales, knowing now that 7/8th means she needs just a tiny bit more ingredient to bring it up to the next ounce (sorry we still prefer ounces in our house), etc. She's a good cook too - the rock cakes she made for last weekend quickly disappeared when we took them along for my birthday bash at Grandma's!

Weather has been great this week, getting hotter as the week has moved along. Spent time at the park, seeing if the numerous tadpoles we'd previously found had yet grown any legs - not yet! Played lots of footie and used the climbing frames. We also played with B's huge space ship style frisby which catches the wind and flies all over the place - wonderful excerise! We noticed afterwards that it said on the box not to use it in windy situations! Whoops!

National Pet Week this week. Our four pets are very dear to us so this was something we couldn't pass up on! We each took photos of a pet and decided to turn them into characters. We looked at a lovely Beatrix Potter site which features the popular books and all the pretty drawings and then set to with our photos to turn them into "people" using the photoshop software on the PCs. B did Jasper the cat as a knight with sword, helmet and shield, K did Billy the rabbit as a pirate with jewellery, dagger and a parrot and I did Herrance the guinea pig as a fireman with helmet, cloak and carrot hosepipe! We all found this fun and the kids have asked to find more characters to do!

Finally, we had another group session at the local stately home, this time in the gardens looking at the new sculptures. Weather was glorious and the kids all enjoyed learning about the sculptures and talking about what each piece of art meant to them. After the tour we all used clay to make our own sculpture. Steve, our leader for the afternoon, told us not to just make something but to "feel" the clay by gently moulding and smoothing it until something forms in it. No pots, sausages or dollops of poo allowed in this session! Kids had a burn off session playing together for another couple of hours afterwards and were exhausted once they'd reached home. The friendly deer which approached us for feeding, rounded off the afternoon perfectly. B loved getting close to them with his friends and feeding the deer grass and leaves.

Have a fun week!


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