Tag Archives: Morden Hall Park

Parks, Cards and Half-Term

We made it to Morden Hall Park the day after writing my last post.  First of all we went to the garden centre so that M could choose some seeds to grow plants for her Brownie gardening badge – she’s decided to work towards a few badges in her own time!  In the shop, D was like a dog straining on a leash so we made some quick choices (mint and coriander) and headed for the park.  We ran around the playground, swung on the zipwire, played chase and cracked ice on the puddles.  M found a few daisies and made a chain and D showed me around her ‘house’ (a den in a bush).

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When we got back D put on a show for me with her toy bunnies.  At the moment, if she’s not doing maths, she’s watching films or playing with her bunnies.  The other night she was working out the 7 times table so she could figure out how many days were in 4 weeks. 🙂

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On Saturday, the girls were meant to have two play dates but one cancelled and only M went on the other one because D was in tears about her wobbly tooth.  So D stayed with me and worked on her favourite maths app.  M had a wonderful time with J and her friend B at Mercedes-Benz World.

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D’s tooth finally came out later that day – hurrah!! However, we’re not totally in the clear as her second front tooth is hanging by a thread and it’s still affecting her mood.

M has been busy on Minecraft – we both learnt how to build a minecart station using redstone this week – we haven’t really done a lot with redstone yet and it’s pretty amazing stuff!

M has also begun creating a few cards so that she has a ready made ‘stock’ for peoples’ birthdays:

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And she made this pot in clay:

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This week is half term so I planned a few other activities instead.  On Monday, I had hoped to head into London but neither of the girls were wowed by my chosen destination and as it was freezing and dreary we stayed in.

Today I had planned to go and see some snowdrops at Gatton Park but D had an accident in the lounge and has been hobbling around ever since so I cancelled that too.  What was supposed to be a busy week is turning out to be the opposite!

However it has meant that I’ve had time to follow a few of my own interests:  I watched another episode of Shipwrecks (and M watched with half an eye too), I’ve done quite a bit of baking, and I finally finished my cross-stitch design!  I’m determined to get it finished by the end of the year…

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Subsidising Greggs

So D really knew what she was about on Wednesday (refusing to go out) and by Thursday she was ready to face the world again!  We needed to go into Wimbledon to get some clothes and shoes for the girls and as I had planned to go to Morden Hall Park the day before, I tagged it onto the end of our shopping trip instead.

In the car I told the girls I would buy them a doughnut from Greggs if they wished, which delighted them both.  D was asking why we had to pay for them so starting a dialogue on all the people, produce and services that go towards making a doughnut!  M went further down the line of questioning and wondered why the government couldn’t pay all these people so we could get doughnuts for free.  Smart girl. 😉

We whizzed around the shops (the sausages have no patience for shopping) and then drove over to Morden Hall Park.  I had remembered to put their bikes in the boot, thinking that there are some good paths for D to practice on and M to get up some speed.  As you can see by the picture below, I had no hope of keeping up with them…

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It was really really lovely to be out in the sunshine, and I did feel rather smug that we were outside, and then sad for all the school kids that were inside on such a gorgeous day.

We’re now on week 2 of our nature curriculum and this week is all about mini-beasts.  Urgh.  I was planning to fail on this one as I’m not a lover of bugs.  As we’re unschoolers, I’m actually following this curriculum for me, and if the sausages show an interest then they can join in too.  So back to the bugs, actually I figured I didn’t do too badly on that front because we came across so many while doing the gardening: M spotted a few and asked what they were called so I happily named them for her and that’s about as far as I’m willing to go on that one!

We stopped for a minute or two so D could climb a log and M could run around in a field, then M spotted some fungi growing on a tree and remembered (from our Wimbledon Nature Club days, 2 years ago!!) that it only grows on dead trees.

We then headed over to the playground and had fun on the zip wire (including me!), tyre swings and tree climbing.

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The sausages have been great friends lately, which is lovely as they’ve been getting on each other’s nerves for a long time!  When we got back home, they both got stuck into playing on Minecraft together (either sharing the iPad, or one on the iPad and the other on the laptop).  M has also been showing D how to play Super Mario Bros on her Nintendo and after a lot of tears, D finally made it to the end of level 1!  There was much rejoicing. 😀

This morning D wanted to make her current favourite thing to eat: brownie in a mug.  Sorry, no recipe link because it was copied from my sister’s ancient cookery book.  It’s amazing though because it only takes a minute to cook in the microwave.  D is getting very handy with a knife!

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There has been more Minecraft (so much so, that Equestria Girls has only been played once.  ONCE!!) and we also went out in the afternoon to our lovely social group, Curious Minds.

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And so endeth another week!

Fun and Stress

We’ve been out of the house a lot in the last week, in fact we’ve been out for at least half of all but one day: a lot for us! Three play dates; J took the girls to London; we had another celebration and a meal out for my birthday; M had her art class; we had a pyjama day; and we went into Wimbledon to get M some sandals.

More fun at Morden Hall Park. with J this time:

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Fun in London with J:

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Making bath crayons:

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Playing outside:

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And of course, lots and lots of art:

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Both girls have been struggling with their emotions this week.  D has been upset because she won’t be spending her birthday with any Nottingham relatives and we won’t be having a ‘proper’ party either (the fact that she’s already had a party with all her Nottingham relatives didn’t placate her).  She’s also been upset by M’s behaviour towards her.  M has been getting very stressed over the pressure of getting D’s birthday card perfect and finished in time.  Because she struggles to understand and express her emotions she’s been taking her frustrations out on me and D.  Thankfully, after 3 tortuous days, the card is finished and is, of course, utterly amazing!  It again highlights for me how much stress she must have been under with the pressures of school.

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Birthday Celebrations!

Hey all, we’ve been away for two weeks with my parents in Nottingham.  We seemed to be on a permanent playdate and the girls didn’t want to come home!  We visited cousins in Birmingham, had sleep-overs at my sister’s house in Nottingham, and had cousins over for sleep-overs at my parents’ house.  We also had an early 6th birthday party for D because she wanted all her cousins to be there but her birthday isn’t until next week.

The party was very basic with the standard party games, a treasure hunt and a game of Twister but D said it was fantastic!

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We can’t go for long without some form of art being done and luckily, Grandma had invested in a new set of watercolours which the girls loved.  D was inspired by Creative Galaxy to produce a pointillism rainbow and a Fauvism picture.  Seriously, why would anyone restrict screen-time when there’s this stuff being absorbed?!  Thanks to this programme, D is also keen to paint a mural on our lounge wall but I’m not so keen.  The girls have also been watching lots of Mr. Peabody and Sherman and thanks to that film have gained an awareness of Leonardo da Vinci, Agamemnon, the French Revolution, Tutankhamun and George Washington.  Their interest in the French Revolution has been backed up by Aquila this month, who did a feature on it in their magazine.

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The sausages love playing schools and Grandma was asked to set one up for all the toys, which she duly did.  The girls spent hours on sums, spellings, reading, P.E., history, Spanish, space and art. 🙂

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Grandma also bought them both a book for Easter and M wanted the Frozen paperback.  She proceeded to read almost all of it to herself every night in Nottingham!  I think it really helped that she knows the script by heart which helped her to understand what was happening in the story and not panic when she couldn’t read certain words.

My sister also taught the sausages something while there, she is an Environmental Health Officer and happened to have been showing a class at school how to wash their hands properly to stop germs spreading so she had her glo-light thingy with her.  The girls loved putting the special lotion on their hands and then testing to see how much was left after a hand-wash.

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M also produced this incredible pencil drawing of a rubber plant while on a visit to my cousin in Birmingham:

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Since we’ve been back, J has played with the sausages a lot, having missed them tremendously.  He took them swimming for 3 hours at the weekend!  He has also had them in the garden a great deal.  Me and the sausages need a bit of a shove sometimes to get in the outdoors, me in particular.  It’s something I’m determined to change, partly because my sedentary tendencies just aren’t healthy, and partly because I know how much the girls need me to do it.  So with that in mind, I chose to take the girls out to Morden Hall Park today, for my birthday!

It was really hot and as we haven’t really explored it properly it was quite exciting to be somewhere that felt new.  We played frisbee and fetch (the girls were pretending to be dogs) and explored the different fields, gardens, play areas and the River Wandle.  It’s really lovely and I can’t believe we haven’t used this great (and free!) resource properly before.

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More birthday celebrations tomorrow as J has the day off!