Tag Archives: French

Chromatography, Flags and a Slip Knot

As I’ve been saying over the last few posts, J is now self-employed and this week has enlisted me to help him update his database of contacts.  I’ve probably been doing the odd hour for him most days but it’s interesting to experience the effect my unavailability has on the sausages: I’ve always thought they are quite good at entertaining themselves but if I say I have to work for an hour, all of a sudden they don’t know what to do!  Interesting.

So, apart from me doing a bit of work we’ve been mostly around the house as I’m preparing for my parents’ visit and I also like to have a major clean up before going on holiday so that the mess/dirt doesn’t depress me when we get back!  So the house is looking pretty good now, and the girls (M in particular) have been really keen to help.

We’ve managed a lot of activities in amongst the cleaning though.  The girls have been in the garden a lot this week:

20150526_101724_5 20150526_101845_1

I think M is beginning to get too big for the trampoline!  I’m seriously considering installing some sort of climbing equipment indoors for M – she gets so active in the evenings I think it would be really good for her to have something to stretch herself on.  I’m thinking monkey bars in the hallway or some sort of pull-up bar, maybe even some climbing holds on a wall somewhere!

J managed to take a few hours off work on Monday to visit some friends: we all had a really good time there and the girls were all busy playing together for most of the time which gave us grown-ups lots of time to chat.  I love it when that happens. 🙂

The girls are really busy at the moment, they’ve got tons of ideas of what they want to do – so many that I can’t keep up!  The other day I wrote down all the things D wanted to do so that we didn’t forget (this is in addition to our main list on the lounge fireplace).  It’s a very cute 6-year old list:


We did manage a game of pirates (a make-believe game where I’m the ship and D’s the Cap’n and she steers the ship to different places in Neverland to find treasure.  It’s very cute.

D has also finished her picture for the kitchen window:


They’ve both been wearing their princess dresses for the past 2 days, and have put some life into their old crowns by adding glitter.  They also began some beading (which they quickly got bored with) and D made herself a ring with a bead and pipe cleaner.

20150526_123616 20150526_125346

While beading, M started playing around with the string and making various knots.  She realised that she could make a knot vanish simply by pulling it and when I told her that is a proper magic trick and showed her a YouTube video she was so pleased!

I had a great, stimulating day with M yesterday: while D was watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, she came in the kitchen wanting something to do so I quickly put together a chromatography experiment.  We have done something similar before but so long ago M didn’t remember it.  This time, I got the idea from here.  There are so many good ideas for simple experiments on that site.

M really enjoyed it and was full of observations about it.  I don’t usually do the ‘science part’ with the Sausages, I prefer to let them explore what they’re doing without me interfering with facts and ‘knowledge’.  However, this time I did ask M if she would like to know more about it and her answer was ‘no, it will only make me angry’.  Ha ha.

20150526_164025 20150526_200640

Afterwards, M was really giddy with happiness.  So giddy in fact that she asked if she could read her rabbit book to me?!!  She hasn’t offered to read to me in a long long time so it was lovely to be asked.  After she’d read a few pages, she then wanted me to test her on rabbit facts so I did but then it all went a bit pear shaped.  She got one of the questions wrong and there were quite a few tears.  We had a cuddle and I suggested we try again after dinner.  So half an hour later she had another go and got the answer right.  I love that she now has more persistence – in the past that book would have been thrown on the floor, never to be mentioned again.

She then seemed to get a thirst for knowledge and said she wanted to read a space book.  I was a bit dubious as space is D’s territory and M really isn’t interested in it.  We read about one page before she wanted to stop.  So I found our Book of Knowledge instead.  M spotted the flags section and said she wanted to memorise some flags!!  By this time, D was sitting with us too so they both memorised the Australia, USA and France flags.

And it didn’t stop there.  By this point it was time for bed and M wanted to memorise some French words so while I read a bedtime story to D, M read through the few that she has already written down to check that she knew them and then wrote a few more including ‘Je m’appelle’, the numbers 1-3 and a poem I taught her (remember this?) ‘Excuse-moi, S’il vous plait, Shift your bum, It’s in the way.  Classic.

This will be the last post for a week or so as my parents arrive tomorrow and then we’re off to France!  Yay!

Baking, Films and a Cold

We’ve had a quiet few days, partly because of the rain and storms but mainly because of M’s cold.  J took the girls to meet M’s best friend B on Saturday and they were out for hours, allowing me to get on and do ‘stuff’.  But on Sunday morning, M came down looking decidedly ill so we decided to take it easy.

Apart from taking D out to see his parents, J worked all day so I looked after the girls.  We made crumble and chocolate chip cookies:

20150518_114533 20150518_120627

M also wanted to learn a few French words in readiness for our holiday so she added a page in her homemade Spanish dictionary:


While D finished her rainforest picture.  We looked up the patterns for a Blue Morpho and Monarch butterfly, and I helped her a bit with the wing shapes!


By the afternoon, M was feeling a bit perkier and their Aunt Sh took the girls to the park.

On Monday I had planned for us to visit Raynes Park library (because the girls love climbing on the barrier outside!) but it rained all day so we stayed in and watched endless films!  Over the last few days we have watched: Cat in the Hat, Black Beauty (is that the saddest film ever made?), Secret Garden, Annie, Matilda, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Mulan and A Series of Unfortunate Events.  The girls are also getting into an Amazon series called Annedroids too.  As usual, there were countless questions arising from these films!

On Tuesday, M woke up in a very odd mood: kind of tearful but also angry and out of sorts.  By the time we arrived in Ashtead for her art class she was saying she had a tummy ache.  She still wanted to go in because she was worried she wouldn’t finish her Van Gogh picture in time.  I assured her that even if she doesn’t finish it before the summer term ends she can still carry on next term, so she decided not to go in.  Then we drove all the way home again!

The afternoon was spent watching MORE films but they also found time to do a Sticker Picture Atlas of the World and finish a card for Aunty S.  We have a lot of birthdays in July in this family so M (following my suggestion) has started making cards well in advance so she avoids the stress of not having the time to perfect them.


I also made a pin board for M to do her times tables on, having been inspired by this blog. She really enjoyed it and grasped the concept quickly.  She has been desperate to learn the times tables recently so this tied in nicely.


M was feeling ready for Brownies by the evening and we drove her there (storm still going strong).  They were doing an activity about pets so she took in a picture of Morris to talk about.  I have no idea how it went as M struggles to understand what’s going on or how to communicate it back to me (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – how on earth she managed day after day at school is beyond me).

On the way home a rainbow came out!  Me and D got very excited and it inspired D to make this!


We really need to get ourselves to the library today.  M has finished The Magician’s Nephew (she really enjoyed it!) and we’ve tried returning to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and A Series of Unfortunate Events but neither felt right.  What we need now is Prince Caspian and the Return to Narnia!