Tag Archives: Climbing

Isaac Newton and other Activities in Nottingham

Yet again I’ve left it too long between blog posts!  I will split the last couple of weeks into two posts so as not to make them too long.

We’ve been to Nottingham and back since I last wrote but just before Nottingham, we had a day of reading and climbing: I bought a set of books that were on offer from The Book People a while ago (I have since stopped looking at this site as it is far too good and I was spending far too much money there) and I decided to strew one of the books on slaves – ‘You Wouldn’t Want to be a Slave in Ancient Greece‘.  Anyway, no-one noticed it had been strewed so during our morning cuddle I just picked it up and started to read and the girls sat and listened with interest.  It is meant to be a light-hearted look at interesting aspects of history, but D and I found it very hard to read and we were both in tears by the end.  M however, who loves the macabre, was fascinated!  So I will be strewing more of these books in future…

In the afternoon we packed the car for Nottingham and went first to climbing, before driving up the M1 straight afterwards.

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While in Nottingham we had visits from and to cousins, my nephew’s bowling party and my niece’s horse riding party, and two sleep-overs.

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M played quite a bit of chess with Granddad, working out moves from her ‘Find a Mate’ book that we bought on a chess course last year.

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D played quite a lot of imaginary games with bunnies and dolls (in between watching Go Diego Go) and also put together this World Map with Grandma, which provided a base for her toys to travel the world.

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The girls put on a couple of shows for us (D’s dance show was quite amazingly like break dancing!) and they both did a judo demonstration for Grandma and Granddad.

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M also spent hours making a birthday card for her cousin with collage paper I had bought at Tate Modern a while ago.

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We also made a trip out to Woolsthorpe Manor, which was Isaac Newton’s birthplace and his home for a few years in adulthood.  It was utterly fascinating: there was a converted barn where you could experiment with Newton’s discoveries and you could also look around his house.  Because we were visiting mid-week we could experiment with the activities as much as we wanted and had one-to-one attention from a very eager retired physicist who works there.

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We came back home with all of us feeling a renewed vigour for ‘doing stuff’ – well, M and I were anyway – poor old D has been too full of cold to do anything!  It is wonderful to have the support of my parents – I know I’m extremely lucky to have parents who can see the good in HE, can give me the break I need and are very much adored – thank you Grandma and Granddad!

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Cans, Climbing and Codes

Well what a week it’s been…  Thank goodness for this blog – it helps me to have perspective and see the week as a whole rather than just good days and bad days…

There have most certainly been a few lows this week, M has been SO grumpy!  Lots of rudeness to me and D, lots of ‘I’m bored’ comments, followed by huffing and shoulder shrugging at all suggested activities.  Humph.  J and I are sure she needs more structure but she is unwilling to try.

Anyway, as I said before, it hasn’t been all bad, and here is a round up of all the activities we’ve been up to over the last week:

All 27 Sylvanian Family tin cans have been finished!  Wowsers that was a long job.  They look brilliant too.  M made a start on the cereal boxes which involves making a net using a set square.  She got very angry about it and gave up but I live in hope that she’ll want to try again as she seems more willing to have another go these days.

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The girls have really got into writing coded messages to each other, and to me.  M made one that had tiny symbols and pictures for each letter of the alphabet, which D loved decoding, but mainly we’ve been using a simple number/letter code.  It’s great for spelling practice and D wrote out all the letters of the alphabet in order, in capitals, which I’m not sure she’s ever done before.

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Games have continued on the iPad.  This week’s favourites have been Farmville (for M) and Slice Fractions (for both girls).

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M started a new climbing course at White Spider in Tolworth.  It’s fortnightly and she gets to experience climbing and bouldering and also has the chance of working towards climbing certifications if she wants to.  She managed to climb to the top twice!

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D was of course thoroughly bored while all this was going on, although there is a lovely climbing/play castle there too.  She made a comment along the lines of “why is it all about M?”.  So after I explained that she needs to tell me if she wants to do something particular inside or outside the house, we decided to write a list of all the activities she would like to do.  Telly was at no.1 so the next morning she merrily sat down to watch TV… ok…

On Saturday, J got the chance to see Arsenal play Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium and he took M along with him for her first football match!  She really enjoyed it and was in awe at the size of the stadium.

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Recently, D decided that she would like to learn a language as she was worried she wouldn’t be able to speak to people when she goes to another country – ahhh.  I asked if she would like to learn French (as we’re going to France next year) or Spanish like Go Diego Go and she immediately chose Spanish.  Phew, I have to admit I’m not a fan of learning French as nobody speaks it except the French – Spanish would at least be a bit more useful!  We tried a Duolingo app which had been recommended to me but it didn’t really suit D.  She decided to continue learning from Go Diego Go :).  She has learnt an awful lot of Spanish from watching it – she knows ‘amigo’ is ‘friend’ and today we had a little Spanish conversation!  I was trying to get her upstairs to ‘de-nit’ her hair so I said “vamos” and she said “por favor, no”.  Ha!

M made gloop, one of her favourite activities.  I suggested it, thinking it was soothe her during one of her angrier moments and I was right!  I also slipped in the fact that it is a non-newtonian fluid while she was happily playing…

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M is also very interested in Vi Hart on YouTube – if you’ve never heard of her then have a watch, they’re fascinating videos!  Whether or not M takes in the maths involved, she loves Vi’s doodles and it inspired her to start doodling her own, humming like Vi Hart while she draws…

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M has also started to like classical music – I’m still sticking it on in the background while they play and it seems to be sinking in.  The other day I put Peter and the Wolf on and M was talking about the different instruments being played and describing the characters.  I couldn’t believe it!  When I first started HE I wondered how on earth children would learn this stuff without it being taught to them, but it seems they just do, you just have to provide them with the opportunity to experience it.

The girls decided today that they were going to make cards for their cousin, M.  While they were working I decided to read the latest Aquila magazine to them, fully expecting to be booed off at any moment.  But they actually listened to me talking about Pompeii, volcanoes, tectonic plates and the Ring of Fire!  So after they had finished I got them going on making a Pompeii inspired name plaque which they really enjoyed…

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And lastly, our enormous sunflower has flowered!

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