Today is Sunday and I’m sitting here wondering where the week went! It feels like this week just zoomed by, but then we have kept pretty busy. There’s something about the run up to Christmas that makes time seem to speed up too!
Today was a day to do some errands. Usually I do our shopping online to save time, but as the girls have been making pretend price lists and playing with money recently, I thought actually going to a supermarket would be a learning experience. So all four of us went to Aldi and Tesco, with the girls helping to find things from our list and comparing prices of items. We even ended up going to Costco after lunch and a Chinese supermarket too.
Although grocery shopping isn’t a fun experience, it is essential that the girls know how to! Plus we do enjoy a look around Costco, particularly at Christmas. We found a really awesome Pacman arcade game that we all wanted!
Tonight was karate, as usual.
The day began with a trip to library, but we were mostly renewing the books we already have. Phoebe was feeling a bit poorly today with a cough and runny nose and was not impressed that I wasn’t prepared to drive there (for reference it’s a 12 minute walk). She was eager to go to the café for a soya babyccino so after she’d chosen a new chapter book for bedtime we were on our way.
After a drink and a chat, we came home and the girls decided they were going to throw a party for Dino (Phoebe’s favourite cuddly toy). They’ve been on about this since last week so I threw some snack into a platter for them, put on some My Little Pony music and let them carry on for a bit. They planned some games to play and brought down almost every cuddly toy they own.
After a while, they decided they wanted to go on their computer, but the computer was reminding them to renew the Magic Desktop licence so we decided to leave that until Andy got home from work. Their plans for relaxing with their Kindles was then somewhat scuppered as some guys outside cut off our phoneline with no warning (literally cut it off the telegraph pole along with everyone else’s then casually shouted through the bedroom window that it would be another two hours).
Makes you realise how reliant we all are on the Internet; they couldn’t connect to watch anything through Prime and some of their games wouldn’t work; the blog I was working on wouldn’t save and we couldn’t even watch Netflix!
Art class today; the girls really enjoy it and today they were finishing the paintings they started last time. It was so lovely when the teacher came over to me afterwards to say how lovely she thinks the girls are. Phoebe is doing well keeping up with the older children and Eleanor’s artwork is fantastic and way beyond what she’d expect for her age. The girls both need confidence boosts like that, and it made their day.
In the afternoon we played Monopoly as a family. I was hoping we’d play My Little Pony Monopoly but Eleanor wanted to play “the proper one” so we did. They both did really well handling the money which made me realise that even Monopoly is educational! We probably abandoned the game half way through when their attention spans waned, but Phoebe was the clear winner. Top tip: put the dice in a small snack box and they won’t get thrown all over the place!
Always a highlight; today was Forest School. We sat by the fire and had a chat (mostly about Christmas!) whilst the girls had the time of their lives. Today they built some dens, went on a hunt for some cuddly toys, toasted crumpets and made awesome wands by whittling sticks! They were sad that their friend wasn’t there today but still had fun together.
After that we went over to Merry Hill to get Eleanor some new walking boots. I put them on her that morning and realised that were getting a bit tight. This gave the girls opportunity for soft play (thank goodness I’d remembered clean clothes for them!). After that we had a wander around the shops, and the girls were thinking of Christmas decorations they’s like to make.
This morning I set up a couple of activities again like I did last Friday. The girls are free to choose whether they’d like to join in or not. I’m finding that they do like to have a go at things I put out and it’s almost reminding them of all the resources they have!
On offer this morning we had Bananagrams. We had this as a wedding gift and absolutely love it! It’s a great game to throw in my bag when we’re out and about for the day. We’ve played it at cafes, restaurants and even at The Eden Project. I just left the tiles out with no expectation of anyone playing a “proper” game. Phoebe likes to rearrange the tiles to make silly sentences (which I helped her with) or set them up like dominoes to knock over.
Next up was Osmo. If you haven’t seen this and your children have access to a tablet, it’s well worth the price. Our kit is slightly different as it’s the original one and the girls had it for Christmas two years ago, but the games are the same. What we all love about this is that it’s completely interactive and doesn’t rely on staring at a screen or tapping mindlessly. Plus everyone has their own profile so the games are based on our own progress. The tangrams game is my favourite but today we focused on the numbers game.
On the screen are numbers in bubbles. With the tiles we had to make the same total. Phoebe was using her number bonds to ten to help her make bigger numbers and Eleanor was adding numbers up to 30.
I took the girls into Sutton Coldfield on the train this afternoon as we had Home Ed Group. We left ourselves enough time to go to the library first and spent about half an hour reading (Eleanor independently and me to Phoebe).
At group today we made some lovely natural Christmas decorations from dried oranges, apples, cloves and cinnamon sticks. This prompted some conversation about what they’d like to do next week! After that they each made a Christmas card for Andy. They’ve been trying to put some real thought into gifts this year for him, which is lovely. So far their ideas are to make him a comic book and bake some gingerbread.
When they were both in school, we’d be asked to send in money for the children to buy family gifts. Every year I was annoyed by it; they’d basically be giving the school twice the retail price for Poundland kind of rubbish that nobody really wants. One year a member of staff “helped” Eleanor to choose some lip gloss for Andy, I mean really! I love that they’re away from all of that now; their ideas are so much better!
When we got home we carried on with Osmo for a bit and then got the Grimm’s Rainbow out. This was worth the investment as it’s such as open-ended thing to play with and great for all ages. If you look at my Instagram stories, you’ll see some of the things we’ve done with it.
As I’m sitting writing this they’ve got it out again and have set up a river, mountain and campsite for their small cuddly toys to play in. Often they make mini dolls houses, or try balancing it as high as they can. For Christmas we’re going to get them the semi-circles to go with it as it’ll extend their play even more.
We visited The Ancient High House in Stafford. Andy’s parents live in Stafford, and his Dad was there for an event with the Staffordshire Yeomanry, so we took the girls to have a look. Neither of them liked the waxwork figures but they enjoyed the mouse hunt!
So that’s our week! Next week we have a visit to Birmingham Museums Collections Centre to look forward to. Phoebe is also very keen to get on with making Christmas decorations too!