Shadows and Shakespeare

Yet again, my head was caught in another of my plans which neither sausage wanted to do so nothing really got done!  When will I learn?!  I think partly to blame was us spending too long indoors, I should have got them out for a walk this morning.

As it was, I was busy doing jobs and having a shower until 10am so the girls had occupied themselves by building a ‘raft’ on the lounge floor.  They had to pack on it all the essentials (make-up was included but food was not) and then M read D a story to pass the time on the long journey.  As usual with these games it was all in the preparation and nothing happened when they actually got to their destination.

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Then they did some colouring while I did a bit of research on an idea I had: last night the girls were having great fun playing with torches so I thought we could do a shadow puppet show!  I thought there would be some good printables online but I couldn’t find any so had to make my own.  I started with Tinkerbell and Peter Pan (of course) and if they’re successful I might graduate the sausages onto the characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I’ve searched high and low for Shakespeare resources for the girls’ age group and even though people tell me you’re never too young to start Shakespeare, there isn’t a lot out there for them!

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In the afternoon we went to David Lloyd so we could sit in the café and do their work books until it was time for their swimming lessons.  M covered verbs today and D was matching up the beginning two letters of words with the corresponding pictures.  They were both a bit restless though so after 20 minutes I announced (casually) that I was going to read my book.  Of course they were both immediately intrigued and I showed them ‘my’ copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  This book is a simplified version of the story but I would still say it would perhaps suit 8-9 year olds.  Handily there is a cast list at the beginning so we looked at it and I described each one’s character.  The girls chipped in with their views which were quite good considering they were based on the drawings.  They were both amazed that King Oberon and Queen Titania were there as they know these names from their Rainbow Fairy books.  I didn’t read the text in the book but started to explain the general plot.  They both listened intently and then I stopped before they ran out of concentration – always finish on a high!

This way of getting them to do something new usually works, however it didn’t work with my new Sparks Chinese course: I sat and played it this morning to try and pique their interest but they remained resolutely unmoved.  M says she doesn’t want to learn a language and if D isn’t aesthetically pleased by something then she won’t do it – she’s a very visual girl.  I think I’ll shelve Chinese and try again in a month.

Both girls were fed up about having to go to swimming lessons but in the end they were both really proud of themselves and evidently enjoyed it.  This week was the first time D didn’t cry during the lesson, though she did cry this morning: before she got on the raft she waved bye to me and I said chirpily ‘I’ll miss you!’ and then she started to cry!  I had just mentioned we’d be swimming later so I guessed it was about that, rather than going on the raft.  It was so sweet and sad that it brought a tear to my eye too.

The girls had fun playing in the little pool after lessons and then by the time we’d showered, changed, got home, cooked dinner and eaten it, it was 6.30!  I quickly put together the shadow puppets I had prepared earlier and we closed the bedroom blind, switched the lights off, put the torches on and played with the Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.  M immediately said it was boring (she doesn’t really ‘do’ playing with dolls etc.) but then really got into pretending to be an enormous Captain Hook trying to capture Tink and Peter – they loved it!

Another happy day.

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