Saturday, 9 August 2014

July 2014: Winter, Wattles & (un)school Holidays!


Golden Wattle

Golden Wattle, fairy stuff 
Little balls of yellow fluff 
Hear the bees how loud they hum 
To say they're glad that Spring is come 

When the stars begin to peep 
Then the wattle falls asleep 
Like a tired child in bed 
It droops its pretty curly head

How time flies! I can’t believe another fortnight has slipped away so quickly. It was school term holidays in Tasmania, but that doesn’t really make much difference to our routine, except that we can catch up with our schooling friends midweek, which is nice. It also means lots of school holiday programs and activities around, which we’ve enjoyed. 

Our Winter Nature Table
We’ve spent gloriously fine Winter days outside, playing with water, digging in the sandpit, exploring the bush, learning to light campfires, and working together in the garden. We’ve been frog collecting, bird watching, lizard hunting, and spent long days playing with friends.  Handwork, sewing, knitting, woodwork. Baking, books, stories, puppet shows, plays, and a trips to the real theatre! 

I am catching up on a month’s worth of blogging over the next few posts, so rather than add lots of writing, it will mostly be a quick snapshot into our activities over the last few weeks.

{ Celebrations & Special Events }

‘Little Red Riding Hood’ at the Theatre Royal
‘Little Red Riding Hood’ at the Theatre Royal
Winter Wassailing Festival,  Willie Smith Organic Orchards  
Morris dancers at the Winter Wassailing Festival, Willie Smith Organic Orchards 

Winter Wassailing Festival, Willie Smith Organic Orchards  
Wassailing the apple trees, Willie Smith Organic Orchards 

{ Language, Literature, & Literacy }

Jack Frost

(by Gabriel Setoun)

The door was shut, as doors should be,

Before you went to bed last night;

Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,

And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;

And not a single word he spoke,

But pencilled o'er the panes and crept

Away again before you woke.

And now you cannot see the hills

Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;

But there are fairer things than these

His fingers traced on every pane.

Rocks and castles towering high;

Hills and dales, and streams and fields;

And knights in armor riding by,

With nodding plumes and shining shields.

And here are little boats, and there

Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;

And yonder, palm trees waving fair

On islands set in silver seas,

And butterflies with gauzy wings;

And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;

And fruit and flowers and all the things

You see when you are sound asleep.

For, creeping softly underneath

The door when all the lights are out,

Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,

And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the window-pane

In fairy lines with frozen steam;

And when you wake you see again

The lovely things you saw in dream.

* * * * * * *

Many tales, some original and some borrowed, have been told this fortnight. We retold a simpler, gentler version of the  Grimms tale of The Star Money for our evening story time.

The Star Money puppet created from a playsilk and scraps of material
Recently we’ve moved story time to last thing before bed, snuggled together on the lounge room floor wrapped in warmed PJs and with a mug of warm cocoa to drink. The lights are all turned off, and the tale is told by golden candlelight. It’s a very magical time, especially when we can hear the wild Winter winds howling outside and the rain (or snow!) pattering on the roof <3

Practising letters for Stop and Go signs :)
New mini chalkboards for letters and drawing

{ Numeracy & Mathematic Concepts }

Exploring numbers and shapes
Mental adding and subtracting
Board Games
More board games...

{ Artwork & Handwork }

Celebrating National Wattle Day by making our own beeswax wattle tree
Mr 5 makes his very own felt stuffed teddy using a pattern he designed 
Hammering nails and woodwork with Daddy
Mr 4 practising button sewing onto his cushion
Mr 5’s first adventure in knitting (the continental method)

Mr 5 sews himself an apron
The finished apron!
Creating an artwork with the boys

{ Local History, Culture, & Geography }

NAIDOC week was celebrated in Tasmania with workshops run by the local Tasmanian Aboriginal community. We visited one of the children’s workshops: making kelp water carriers.

Making kelp water carriers with members of the local Aboriginal community
Making kelp water carriers with members of the local Aboriginal community

{ In The Kitchen }

Dehydrating apples

Making naturally fermented ginger beer with a ginger beer plant 

Beating the eggs the old fashioned way :)
Mr 5 cooking his own scrambled eggs for breakfast
Helping chop veggies for dinner
Jam drop biscuits!
‘Snow for your dough'
Pizza makers
Warming Winter soups <3

{ Science & Nature }

BushKinder: Fleurtys Sculpture Trail, Birchs Bay
BushKinder: Fleurtys Sculpture Trail, Birchs Bay
BushKinder: Checking out the Tasmanian Pepperberry harvest at Fleurtys Farm, Birchs Bay

Backyard science party! 
Backyard science: The vinegar and bicarb volcano
Backyard science: Foam rockets! 
Learning fire safety
The lizards are waking up after their Winter rest
Gardening begins!
Repotting broad beans and studying the roots
Planting our own Tasmanian Pepperberries
Winter sunrise

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