Thursday, December 07, 2006

After the sad Monday (and many thanks for your lovely comments), the rest of the week has been really busy. I need to wind down now if I'm going to enjoy Christmas this year! In fact, after the group Christmas party on the 15th, I decided that's it for this year, break time! The children have been busy doing stuff, although it feels they're not actually doing any learning, which I know is daft because they learn from everything they do! It's been a very social week with friends over or K and B visiting friends, out and about - I'm sure you know what I mean.

Tuesday, after a struggle with maths (will certainly move away from fractions for K for the time begin - it's just not worth the upset), we read about Tree dressing weekend (last weekend) and decided to dress our tree in the front garden using decorative items from our craft box. K and I made mini trees with flowing leaves and plaited wools and B made lovely sparkly sticks to hang from the branches. He also decorated some material leaves which look rather striking.

We looked at silk/cotton and chopsticks to finish our topic section on China. We found a good website to help us learn how to hold and use chopsticks correctly, but it's an art I still haven't mastered but K and B had a good go at trying it! After lunch K and B went to their friends' house and I decided to do a few things in town as I had some time on my own. For obvious reasons town has been extremely busy, even before the beginning of December, so I parked just outside (10 mins walk in) in an hour only parking area! I was mighty impressed that I managed to visit a fellow blogger for some wonderful play wax visit three stores to pick up/exchange presents and get to Tescos for the necessaries before getting back to the car with 5 mins to spare!

Thursday was quite productive. K and B had made some Borax snowflake crystals with their friends yesterday and the crystals had really set overnight. They looked beautiful so we had a go at doing some more crystal experiments using our Usborne Science book. We've covered this before but we found it hard to produce a decent crop of crystals. This time we've tried using solutions containing Epsom salts, sugar (with colouring) and bicarbonate of soda. This last one is a solution in two jars with wool/paperclips to link the two jars. The water is supposed to soak along the wool and then evaporate to produce beautiful snowy crystals (as the picture in the book leads you to believe!). We did this last year with dissapointing results and it seems we won't be getting any success again this year - two days on, no crystals (or even wet wool for that matter). The Epsom salts have produced a nice icy effect on the dark saucer, but it seems Borax is certainly the best thing to use for quick, pretty results.

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what are we doing wrong?

The children have also made their penguin collages for a competition at the John Lewis store. I needed to help B cut out the penguins from cloth, but other than that, all work is their own. They're both hoping to win the £20 voucher!

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B and K's collages

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At 8:59 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

want to see some piccies of wax models soon! :-)


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