Sylvanian Families

I spotted an article this morning, written a few weeks ago, about Sylvanian Families. Squiggle loves them and they have been a great investment for her; encourages imaginative play, acting out social situations, retelling stories/ recreating events, creative play (she makes things for them) and creates topics for discussion. Here are some pictures of Squiggle playing with her collection…

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Acting out a trip to the seaside
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Possibly inspired by the idea of a roof rack?!
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Tree-house adventures
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Pulling a giant cracker!
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Acting out Apsley Marina including bridge, canal boat, play area and outdoor eating
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Cafe inspired by the Sylvanian catalogue
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I love how she has represented water coming out of the tap!
Caravan holiday
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Inspired by the catalogue, Squiggle builds her Sylvanian families a boat
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Acting out a playground she visited
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Pretending they are going on a cruise
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Limbo fun!
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Improvising, its a boat
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Having soup
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They are at a social group
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Climbing the mountain
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Canal boat
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Inside the canal boat
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Not sure what is going on, but its busy!
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Water and sand play
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Ice creams and gardening
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A day at school
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Skiing

 

Playing at home with sylvanians 29.11.14
Playing at home with sylvanians 29.11.14
Playing at home with sylvanians 29.11.14
I love that she has the baby in a wrap and one of the characters are wearing ear defenders like she does!
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Sylvanians are playing by the water

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Dressing up sylvanians
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Sylvanians at a restaurant
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Sylvanians 19.11.14
Sylvanians 19.11.14
Sylvanians decorating their Christmas tree
Imaginary play and construction 18.11.14
Imaginary play and construction 18.11.14
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Writing for a purpose, inspired by sylvanians

 

Father Christmas sylvanians
Father Christmas sylvanians
Rowing
Rowing
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Different types of boats in the water, including the ferry she built

 

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Sylvanians at the zoo watching the penguins

 

The article is here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wipe Clean Books

I must admit I am not a huge fan of the concept of wipe clean books, in my opinion they are too prescriptive and therefore have the potential to be very restrictive, limiting the child’s creative thinking, and have limited appeal. To be honest, I fully expected the novelty of them to be very short-lived.

However, they have actually proven to be quite the opposite in our experience at home. Squiggle finds unique and interesting ways to interact with them, coming up with ideas that, to be perfectly honest, I never could have imagined. They reveal her creative side and imagination beautifully and show off her wonderful ability to really think outside the box.

She has spent entire days recently making up stories about the characters from the books, combining a range of media to do so. Here is just one example of this…

Note: this is not the whole story, the actual version went on for several days!

She decided to draw the characters from the wipe clean book having a birthday party.
She decided to draw the characters from the wipe clean book having a birthday party.
The rabbit character from the wipe clean book opened a present. It was a mosaic activity.
The rabbit character from the wipe clean book opened a present. It was a mosaic activity.
She then drew a picture of them singing happy birthday.
She then drew a picture of them singing happy birthday.

Next she drew the same characters having the party buffet then watching fireworks.
Next she drew the same characters having the party buffet then watching fireworks.

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The next day they went to the beach.

The cuddly toy version of the rabbit character in the wipe clean book also became part of the game.
The cuddly toy version of the rabbit character in the wipe clean book also became part of the game.
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“They went to the funfair at night, before going to bed.”
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She wrote the names of all of the characters.

As well as doing detailed storytelling, drawing illustrations and role-playing inspired by these books, she also enjoys using them in other ways…

She enjoys writing her own ideas in the book.
She enjoys writing her own ideas in the book.
Completing the wordseach (upside down to make it more challenging!)
Completing the word search (upside down to make it more challenging!)
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Practising letter formation

Tissue Paper Flowers

Squiggle got a giant paper flower making kit for her birthday from her nan. It is a simple technique, she was able to do it fairly independently, but quite effective. It could be done easily enough with any sheets of tissue paper and pipe cleaners, the kit is not really a necessity but it was a fun activity (and a lovely present!) nonetheless.

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Choose 5 or 6 sheets of tissue paper. Cut the edges into a selection of zigzags, tassels or curves (as per picture)
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Stack the pile of paper neatly then fold it concertina style.
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Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle of the folded tissue paper.
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Fluff out the flower one layer at a time.

 

Here is the video of it from Alex Toys…

 

 

Decopatch

Squiggle saw Decopatch at Living Crafts and was very interested in the technique. Therefore she was bought some Decopatch for her birthday (she got a starter kit from us and then got some more lovely items to decopatch from a very kind friend too). Here she is hard at work (and thoroughly enjoying it)…

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Bubble Art

Today for our home ed art group one of the lovely mums brought along bubble art…

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Learning how to prepare the paint mixture for blowing.

 

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Blowing bubbles (Squiggle was particularly enthusiastic about this as it reminded her of the glass blowing demonstration last weekend!)

 

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Her first attempt, she was really pleased ūüôā

Origami Seals

Inspired by Living Crafts at Hatfield house, Squiggle has spent this morning learning to make origami seals…

 

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First of all, Squiggle and her dad made one as a team to practise, then she followed his step by step demonstration to make one on her own.

 

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She watched him carefully and listened to his instructions.
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Her finished seal origami. She is so proud of herself!

Living Crafts (Hatfield House, Hertfordshire)

On Friday afternoon we went to Living Crafts held in the beautiful grounds of Hatfield House. This is an annual event, celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year. Most of the workshops, demonstrations and stalls are in large marquees, which means the weather won’t spoil the fun. There was plenty to see (and do) of interest, way too much to list it all in fact! Just a few of our favourites included glass blowing demonstrations, origami workshop, soap carving, decopatch, watching maypole dancers and listening to steel drums. We actually had so much fun that we returned today for another visit, it is a fantastic educational experience and great for all ages too. We look forward to next year’s event already! For further details see¬†www.livingcrafts.co.uk

Here are just a few of the photos…

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Squiggle was really interested in the glass blowing demonstration.
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They demonstrated various glass blowing techniques and we watched the whole process of making this wine glass.
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Origami
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Squiggle learning origami.
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We will soon be doing some decopatching at home!
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We saw the paper making workshop so Squiggle wants to research more about how to make paper.

 

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Willow weaving.
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Shoe maker, Squiggle found this particularly entertaining.
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Pottery.
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Soap carving
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Squiggle doing some soap carving.
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Spinning.
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Old fashion wool machine.
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Weaving.
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A work in progress.
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Horseshoe dog sculpture.
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Steel drums.
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Squiggle dancing to the music.
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Maypole dancing.
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Living Crafts was a very educational event, we will remember it well!

 

 

Pancake Day

We made gluten free, dairy free, soya free and egg free pancakes for dinner, to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. This was partly based on family diet restrictions (both mine and Squiggle’s) and partly because we decided to rise to the challenge of using what we had available in the kitchen without taking a trip to a supermarket!

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1. 250g gluten free flour
2. 600ml alternative dairy free milk (we used almond milk)
3. Egg replacer
4. Mix together
5. Fry in sunflower oil or alternative (we used rapeseed oil)
6. Flip or toss the pancakes

And here is Squiggle enjoying the finished product….

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For more free from pancake recipes see the BBC good food website www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2920662/egg-dairy-and-glutenfree-pancakeshttps://livinglifeourway.files.wordpress.com/

Science Experiment: Egg in Vinegar

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Cover the egg in vinegar.
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Cover and leave in the fridge for one week (change vinegar after the first 24 hours)
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Carefully remove the egg from the vinegar.
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Gently wipe off the shell with a tissue.
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I am not entirely sure if this is supposed to happen, especially since it then dripped slightly from this bit. Perhaps we weren’t careful enough. Squiggle said the shell looked and felt like sand as it rubbed off.
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The egg is now quite squishy and rubbery!
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Squiggle enjoyed bouncing it around the table.
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Of course it is still an egg so therefore not entirely indestructible! When it finally broke from all the (over-enthusiastic) bouncing, the shell felt like latex but gritty and was almost whole. Squiggle found this very interesting.

Failed Science Experiment

We tried another experiment from the Eco Science kit yesterday. The idea was to discuss pressure and demonstrate how a submarine works. The instructions stated to fill the dropper 2/3 full then drop it in the bottle full of water. With the right amount in, the dropper should sink and float and the bottle is squeezed and released.

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Preparing the experiment

However it didn’t quite go according to plan unfortunately as the dropper seemed to go from too much water to too little in just one drop. After a frustrating half hour or so of emptying and refilling the bottle in order to get the dropper out and try again it got rather tedious so we finally gave up.

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Trying to successfully complete the experiment

She then enjoyed designing her own experiment and exploring the resources her own way instead.

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Exploring the resources using her own ideas

She was very disappointed it did not work out and we were both rather frustrated by the end. Think we would rather have given this one a miss!