Tag Archives: Lego

The 7th Birthday

Its a quickie today for a few reasons.. I’m not on my laptop as my cooling fan is broken (or something like that) so I’m using the kids PC and I don’t like it! I’ve already spent half an hour just trying to remember my WordPress password and eventually I resorted to resetting it, the space bar on this keyboard is rubbish, the keys on the keyboard don’t feel right so I am struggling to type.. well you get the idea!

So today was Ben’s 7th birthday! I think he’s had a good day.. he definitely liked all his presents 🙂 He got some Lego Nexo Knights sets and a Pokemon TCG deck. I didn’t make a cake for today, (I’ll do that when I finally get round to organising him a party next week), but I made birthday cookies instead and they were delicious!

Other than birthday things, today has been the normal swimming and forest school for the kids. Thomas recently switched to the morning forest school group and today he came home and told me he’d really enjoyed it 🙂 This is huge as last week I wasn’t sure I’d get him back after half term. So that made me much happier 🙂

Jasmine did well in her swimming lesson again and did some more good diving (well, not really diving as she only started learning to dive last week, but she’s making a good start!)

Gordon, Thomas and I managed a 3.5km Pokemon walk while the others were at forest school this afternoon.

To keep it real I also feel like ought to be honest and mention the moments of meltdown and shouting we’ve had today as both boys struggled with the birthday idea.. but it was only a few moments really and a few calm words helped them both.

The day ended with Harry Potter aloud, excitement as we saw a Chansey on the Pokemon tracker I use, disappointment after Gordon went to get the Chansey but failed, and in the time it has taken me to type this Gordon has taken my laptop apart and discovered it is too broken to fix and needs a new part 🙁

Out in nature

We’ve had five children (my three plus two more) and two mostly nature-based days yesterday and today.

Yesterday morning the kids all played Lego and Jasmine re-potted her beans into larger pots. In the afternoon I had arranged a social meet-up at the local ecology centre with some of our home educating friends and we had a great time. We saw sunshine and snow showers! And lots and lots of wonderful creatures.

In the pond we found tadpoles, water boatmen, pond skaters, sticklebacks, damselfly larvae, dragonfly larvae and a water scorpion. Elsewhere, in the woodland, we found toads, common newts and a couple of slow worms.

Ecology Centre 1 Ecology Centre 2I’m not sure what excited the kids more; the snow or the creatures.. I’d like to think it was a bit of both! It was definitely different, pond dipping in mid-spring in the snow!

Today the kids played games this morning (Uno, Snakes and Ladders, Mastermind and Guess Who) because Thomas didn’t want some of his Lego models played with. We also did some crafts – Ben made a bed for his Furby and there were other crafts going on that included googly eyes and glitter! – and everyone played with the Geomag. Thomas made a diamond and one of our friends made a pretty cool helicopter!

This afternoon the kids all went to forest school and Gordon and I did some shopping and then went for a quick walk through Nonsuch Park. Back at home there was some more crafting involving more glitter, more Geomag play and finally some TV.


Swimming, Lego and muddy Forest School

So I have still failed to blog about our walk around Headley Heath on Sunday. But I will, some time this week! Today however, I will catch up on the home ed stuff we’ve been up to since Monday.

Monday started as normal with swimming for Jasmine and Ben. I had a total mummy fail when we arrived at the pool and I realised I hadn’t put the bag with towels, hats and goggles in the car! Luckily they had their swimming costumes on so we could go ahead with the lesson and deal with the other stuff as required! It turned out OK in the end as I bought goggles from the centre, borrowed a swimming hat for Jasmine from a friend (I decided Ben could do without for one week as his hair is short!), and another mum had a spare towel so I even managed to get them dry without the use of the hand dryer – which was my emergency option 😉

After swimming we came home for lunch, managed quick showers for the swimmers and went out to a birthday party at a friends house. Jasmine and Thomas were quite over excited to begin with and I struggled to calm them down. After removing them from the main room for a short time Thomas was calm enough to go back but Jasmine took a while longer and it was only really when the film went on that she stopped bouncing around.

They watched Horrid Henry The Movie while eating pizza.. a perfect party! And despite moaning about the film choice beforehand, they all said it was OK at the end (although not as good as Minions, which they also didn’t want to watch at first but now love!)

We left the party at around 7pm and walked home. The kids had to tidy their bedroom as they hadn’t done so before we left but they managed it in record quick time so we even managed a chapter of Harry Potter before bed.

Tuesday started with handwriting/English. It wasn’t as good as recent weeks and nobody was really keen this week. I tried all three around the table but it wasn’t working so I ended up doing one-to-one three times. They all managed a small amount of work in the end. Ben also did a lesson on Reading Eggs.


Thomas had his swimming lesson in the afternoon and started breaststroke. His first ever go at doing it and at the end his teacher asked me if he’s ever done it before because he was so good! I think Thomas is turning into a natural swimmer 🙂

Jasmine had Brownies in the evening and the boys watched TV.

Today we had two additions in the morning and they all played Lego upstairs. I think they were building dragons.. that’s what I gathered from snippets of conversation anyway! Forest School in the afternoon was wet and muddy but they all had a good time and had another good session. Jasmine even had a go on the rope swing apparently 🙂

After forest school was Lego play, Lego tidying, fajitas for dinner, Lego City app game playing, Harry Potter and bed.

Rubber band cars and a cardboard dinosaur

After a busy half term week last week we are back to our normal routine this week, although I’m not sure that makes us any more or less busy! We seem to be on the go all the time these days!

Monday morning saw Jasmine and Ben back at swimming. They both had a good lesson but it was yet another different teacher. I thought she was a little repetitive and just seemed to have them swimming backwards and forwards doing the same thing over and over again, but neither of them seemed to mind. For the last five minutes of the lesson she got the diving hoops out and they both enjoyed that, so all in all it was positive.

In the afternoon we carried on with our science topic of Energy, focussing on elastic energy this week. We watched the Mystery Science clips “How can a car run without gas”, then we made our own rubber band vehicles. I didn’t use the model from Mystery Science as I didn’t have all the right equipment but I found another model that we could make and it worked really well 🙂

The cars were quite easy to make, a bit fiddly in places but the kids all managed most of it by themselves. And they loved winding them up and watching them flip over or spin away!

eAfter we’d raced our rubber band cars a few times I got out the second activity I’d planned .. the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Book, which has a few rubber band powered models in it. I’ve had the book for ages but we’ve not done anything with it before, so the kids were very keen to have a go! I thought we’d start simple and make the “No donkey donkey cart”. I said Ben could have a go at making this one but soon realised that it was more complicated to make than it looked! So I ended up building most of it and the kids had huge amounts of fun racing it around the room!


Once everyone had taken their turn with the donkey cart we disassembled it and tried to build another model, the “Supercharged Speedster”. This looked slightly too difficult for me to make so Thomas tackled it while I gave Jasmine and Ben the final part of the afternoon’s activity – a balloon car kit I’d picked up from Wilkos that morning. I wasn’t expectiing it to be great as it was only £1.50 but knew they’d enjoy building it and playing with it no matter how good it turned out to be.

Thomas did quite well with the model and stuck at it until the end however, unfortunately it didn’t work when we tried it so something had obviously gone slightly wrong somewhere. Neither Thomas or I could work it out though so we decided to leave it until the morning when Gordon would  be home to help and he made his balloon car model too.

The models weren’t great (as expected) but they went together OK, the kids enjoyed the activity, and they did work a little bit! The concept was there so it kept the kids occupied for quite a while. Eventually though, when the cardboard started breaking and not fitting back together again, I suggested they go and try and build a lego balloon car and they disappeared upstairs for ages building fantastic cars 🙂


It was one of those really great afternoons where the kids got really into what we were doing, everything worked as it should, and we all had fun together 🙂

Yesterday (Tuesday) we started the day with handwriting. We didn’t do much but what they did get done was very good work. Once everyone had finished Gordon helped them build a couple more rubber band models from the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions book. This time they both worked first time 🙂 Ben also did a lesson on Reading Eggs.

In the afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson. He said he didn’t want to go but after a brief chat he reluctantly agreed to. He had a mixed lesson I think, partly brought about because he wasn’t 100% happy about being there but also because his teacher asked him if he wanted to go in the main pool instead of the teaching pool and this upset him a bit. He really struggles with self confidence, and change to routine. Luckily his new teacher is great and worked with him rather that getting annoyed. At the end of the lesson he told me how good Thomas is at swimming, how elegant he is in the water, and how he just needs more confidence in himself. We agreed that I’d talk to him and try and build him up to trying the main pool in the next couple of weeks. After just a few minutes of talking to him while he was getting changed I discovered that using the “water pressure” method might work (more water to hold you up!). Thomas was also much happier having heard all the lovely things his teacher said about him, so hopefully that was a bit of a confidence boost for him 🙂

After dinner Jasmine went to Brownies and the boys watched Nexo Knights.

Today we’ve had our usual Wednesday morning additions before Forest School. All five kids played well together all morning. They started building the model dinosaur we got for Christmas but it got a bit tricky so everyone but Thomas gave up and went off to play Furby. Thomas stuck at it with Gordon and they got it finished.


After Forest School all five came back here, plus one more after school.. making six kids for dinner! The kids played and watched Nexo Knights while I cooked, then four clear plates and 2 mostly clear plates made for a good end to the day 🙂

Library, Lego and Geocaching

Tuesday was another busy but great half term day. In the morning I took the kids to the library while Gordon started work on the new storage in Jasmine and Thomas’ bedroom. He is building an Ikea storage solution to our Lego problem (in that we have far too much of it!). We didn’t stay too long at the library because it was very busy, but we managed to get a couple of new books each.

In the afternoon we met up with friends in Nonsuch Park and the kids did some Geocaching. We set them off to find the two that Gordon and I managed to find last week. Thomas was in charge of the phone and navigated to both really well. He loves this, and because we had already found them once before the kids knew they would get the satisfaction of success (rather than searching for ages and not finding anything.. they are like me with that and get easily fed up!) Once we’d reached each cache we gave them a few clues (hotter, colder.. that sort of thing) and they found both caches completely by themselves 🙂 The second one had a couple of little toys in it so we took them and put some back in. Unfortunately we didn’t have a pen between us so they couldn’t write on the log, but I don’t think they were too bothered about that!

1 2After we’d found the second cache it was time for us all to go home, but there was just time to clamber up a log, relax on a tree and splash in a muddy puddle as we made our way back to the car park!


Wednesday was a much quieter day, spent mostly at home. We spent quite a lot of the morning sorting through Lego. Now the new storage is mostly built it is time to start filling it! The kids have decided that they want the Lego sorted by colour so we started on the huge box we have and separated out a few colours to fill the available boxes. We realised early on that we already don’t have enough boxes so we’ll need another trip to Ikea, but we’ve managed to start on black, grey, white, red, yellow, green and blue! Its a mammoth task but by the end of the day we’d made good headway.

After an hour or so of Lego sorting Jasmine did half an hours art with Gordon and I worked with Thomas on a history “show and tell” thing for our HE Group. It isn’t until next week but I didn’t want to leave it until the last minute as I think he’ll need to prepare well in advance. The suggestion is that the kids pick a famous historical figure and find out about him/her. Thomas has chosen Samuel Pepys, to fit in with our topic on the Great Fire of London. At the library on Tuesday I found a book on Pepys, so we used this as a starting point and Thomas (with help from me) typed up what he wants to tell the group. It made me think that I should get them typing much more.. I think it will really help their spelling and grammar. Something to think about anyway.

In the afternoon we had a quick trip into town, just to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I used the excuse that we needed to go to Asda and buy garlic bread for dinner! I knew they wouldn’t say no to garlic bread! When we got back home I did more Lego sorting and the kids helped a bit but then decided to watch TV instead. Its still all about Pokemon. I really must do some research on the trading cards and get some bought.. they all really love it and are remembering so much about all the different Pokemon it is amazing!




8th Birthday Week

It was over a week ago now that we celebrated Thomas and Jasmine’s 8th birthday and I still haven’t got round to blogging it. So here is a quick round-up of what we got up to..

They had a really great couple of “birthday” days. On their birthday they woke early and we opened all the family presents.  Jasmine got a Furby and some Lego Ninjago and Thomas got lots of Lego (Ninjago and City). As we were going out in the afternoon we managed to contain the building marathon to the Ninjago bits, so they both got on with building their models and AirJitzu sets. Ben had also been desperate for an AirJitzu set so he had used some of his pocket money to get himself one and they all played together for the rest of the morning.

In the afternoon we went to HE Group as normal, Jasmine and Thomas joined in French and played with their friends, and we had taken cake in so everyone sang Happy Birthday to them and we enjoyed cake.

On Friday our car was going into the garage again and we had a trip to Build a Bear planned for Jasmine. One of her friends came round and we (me, Grandma, Jasmine, Ben and our friends) got on the train to Croydon. Gordon and Thomas had taken the car to the garage and were meeting us at Build a Bear after picking Granny up at the train station. The plan was for Jasmine, Ben and their friend to get a bear and Gordon would take Thomas round the shops while they waited for us (Thomas had chosen to have a bigger, more expensive present and no other “treat”, while Jasmine chose a less expensive main present and a trip to Build a Bear), but when we got there we saw they had Toothless, the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon.. which just happens to be Thomas’ most favourite thing to watch at the moment. He asked if he could have one and it almost broke me to say no to him. He was so sad but he didn’t create a fuss and Gordon took him out while we carried on with the others. While Jasmine was choosing her bear I spoke to my mum and we both agreed we couldn’t bare Thomas not to have Toothless, so we went halves and got him one as a surprise!

Jasmine loved her experience 🙂 She chose a Reindeer, named it Dasher and dressed it in a sparkly cape and shoes. Ben also chose Toothless the Dragon.

When we’d finished we gave Thomas his Toothless and he was so happy he burst onto tears. It was so sweet! He really was over the moon!

On Friday afternoon we had a little tea party with some more friends. The kids made Muffin Pizza’s, we had a pinata and watched How to Train Your Dragon.

Birthday 1 Birthday 2The rest of the weekend was spent building Lego, playing with Furby and taking it easy not doing much.

Lego at WWT London Wetland Centre

Yesterday we went to WWT London Wetland Centre to follow their trail of giant brick animals and take part in a Lego workshop. We took one of the kids friends with us too. We arrived late morning and were immediately greeted by Mac the Mallard .. a giant model duck made from 11,200 bricks! We got our trail sheets and set off to find the other giant Lego animals. Each animal had a board with it giving details of the animal, how many bricks were used and how long the model took to build. The trail required us to write down the number of bricks used for each animal. The kids loved hunting down the animals and raced round trying to find each one.

WWT1They also had fun at the Lego table set up by the cafe and all spent time building models there.

After lunch we had one more model to look for and time for a quick stroll around the lagoon before it was time for our workshop.

The kids all loved the workshop! There were three challenges to complete in the hour.. the first was to build Lego ducklings against the clock and our team won! (I think having 3 “master builders” with us definitely helped!) The second challenge was to transport an animal down a ramp safely. Again, the kids had a great time building their vehicles and seeing how far they travelled down the ramp, although there were some tears at the end when Thomas’ didn’t go the furthest. Luckily it was one of his favourite members of staff that was running the workshop so he went to chat to him and soon perked up! That is one of the best things about the wetland centre.. the people who run the activities are so lovely and really take the time to engage with the children!

Lastly everyone got a Lego kit and instructions to build a pumpkin model to take home. This took a while to build as the model was actually quite complicated! I ended up building most of Ben’s and I struggled, but Jasmine did almost all of hers by herself. Thomas probably could have done it too but he struggled to concentrate so Gordon did quite a lot of his.

WWT2After the workshop we stopped off in the shop where they had “make your own Minifigure”, which of course we had to do! And then home.

Today has been an at home day. After a week of seeing friends almost every day I think the kids needed to spend some time by themselves and they spent all morning playing really nicely together with Lego. This afternoon they all went on Reading Eggs, played Plaumobil and more Lego and then we started Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone as the bedtime story. I have a feeling the next few days and weeks will be all about Harry Potter!

Library Trip and Life Cycle Learning

Who else had rain (lots of rain?) today? We were supposed to be meeting up with our HE group at a local park as the hut we normally meet in is unavailable for a couple of weeks, but after discussion on Facebook it was agreed that it was too wet to be enjoyable so most people, us included, decided not to go.

But it turned out all right as we went round to a friends house instead and the kids got to play while I got to chat 🙂

Yesterday afternoon we went to the library again, this time for the Lego session, but we also returned 4 books and borrowed 5 more.. not too bad I didn’t think! Thomas also read a Pokemon book while we were there. and the boys both had a quick game on the computer.


Both yesterday morning and this morning we’ve been doing “work” at the table. The kids have been really keen on the Life Cycle topic and yesterday we did a couple more simple life cycle diagrams and also worked on symmetry (linking in to butterflies!), while today I used the Schofield & Sims KS2 Animals and Plants workbook and did the plant reproduction section with Jasmine and Thomas. I have to admit I am re-learning all this as well so am finding it as interesting as they are 🙂

I have also printed out some worksheets from Twinkl but was struggling to find anything on the site that explained the parts of a flower well, so even I would struggle to answer some of the questions on their worksheets! The Schofield & Sims workbook, and an Usborne book we got from the library, have explained it really well and in a way we all understand so now we’ve done that first I will use the Twinkl sheets as revision in a few days.

While Jasmine and Thomas were doing their work, Ben went on Reading Eggs. He hasn’t done any reading for months now but he has definitely picked up a lot recently and is much better at letters and sounds now so I tried him on the Map 1 quiz (he has completed all the Map 1 lessons twice but last time we were doing it, it didn’t seem to be clicking with him). Well, today I was right in that he has come on in leaps and bounds recently and he got 15 out of 15! He did really well with the reading parts of the quiz too and didn’t once use the “I can’t read” excuse 😉

Finally, our ultrasonic detector (bat detector) finally arrived today. We ordered it about 10 days ago so it has taken its time but we finally got to try it out late this afternoon. While we couldn’t test it on any bats (!) we took it in the garden and listened to some bees and flies, caterpillars walking and leaves rustling. It was fascinating and I can’t wait to test it out on our next night walk!



This morning we took Jasmine to her first ever Brownie Pack Holiday! It is her first sleepover, her first time sleeping anywhere we are not, the first time we’ve been apart from each other for more than a few hours. It is strange!

She has been nervously looking forward to this day for weeks.. planning which of her (hundreds of) cuddly toys to take, asking me what it will be like, telling her brothers all the things she is looking forward to doing while she is there. And this morning, although she did tell me she was a bit nervous, she was quite obviously very excited too!

She packed her own bag – she had to in order to get her badge. She narrowed her cuddly toy choice down to two so I let her take both! She made sure she had her “pompom friend” (a pompom with googly eyes that we made a while ago and that she says will remind her of home). I reminded her to try and get at least some sleep! And that was it.. we drove there, had a look round and said our goodbyes. She gave Thomas the biggest hug, it was very sweet. I think he will miss her a lot. I’m not sure how much she’ll miss him! She’ll be too busy having a great time!

PH1The previous couple of days had been spent practising getting in and out of the sleeping bag and learning how to roll it up and pack it away .. she needs to do this too for her badge – and great fun was had with this job!

PH2Sunday and Monday also saw lots of Lego play – Thomas is rebuilding his Lego City Arctic collection -, some Hudl time with Angry Birds Star Wars, and plasticine modelling. Ben and I also stripped the lavender flowers from the stems as it was dropping all over the floor.


And back to today, while Jasmine’s milestone was going away with Brownies the boys had their own and agreed to watch Jurassic Park! They’ve never been film fans before and we’ve always struggled to get them to watch anything new really. But recently they’ve been branching out and we’ve finally moved away from Cbeebies and NickJnr to CBBC and CN. Ninjago has become the new favourite thing to watch and they are finally realising that most TV and films are not scary! So as we’ve been talking about the new Jurassic World film (as Gordon and I would like to see it) they suddenly decided they would like to watch Jurassic Park, so we jumped at the chance! And they loved it 🙂


Playground and Nerf

Yesterday and today have both been fairly easygoing days. Yesterday started with lots of Lego play and all three kids were busily occupied creating a beach scene on their Lego table. There were, of course, lots of spaceships and ninja’s also involved!

After lunch we walked to a local playground to meet some friends. The playground was pretty busy when we arrived as a lot of the local schools broke up for the summer at lunch time yesterday, so they had all headed there too! The kids had a great couple of hours playing (ninjago again i think) while the adults chatted and took it in turns to go to the shops. I walked over to the charity shop with my friend (leaving Gordon watching the kids) and picked up a chemistry set which looks unused, a brand new Meccano set and a games compendium which will be perfect for taking on holiday, all for £10!

The rest of the day was spent playing with Lego and watching Lego Ninjago (definite theme there!)

Today started much the same way (Lego), but after lunch we needed to go shopping for a couple of bits in town. The kids all chose a workbook in Wilkinsons so maybe we’ll do some table work over the next few days, or maybe they’ll just gather dust on the shelf like the rest 😉

Back at home and they asked for their Nerf guns so we had a Nerf session in the garden. Gordon put some targets up round the garden and that kept them occupied for a short while but not very long, so I suggested a tin can challenge. They all liked the idea and I then realised we didn’t actually have any tin cans! Luckily Gordon came up with the great idea of using plastic flowerpots and he stacked them on the swing for the kids to knock down! They loved this and spent quite a while shooting the target. We also changed it round a bit and put a rubber duck toy on the top for them to try and knock off!

1After Nerfing had finished the boys came inside and watched TV but Jasmine stayed in the garden for a bit longer looking after her bug houses. Eventually she did come in too and they all watched Cartoon Network and CBBC until dinner.