Tag Archives: Deen City Farm

A Toddle for Charity

Most Tuesday mornings I take Ben to toddler group. It is at our local Salvation Army and I have been going since Jasmine and Thomas were a year old. It is a lovely group and I have made some wonderful friends there.

A few weeks ago, during a Wednesday session, a man named Andy Peddle visited the church. He is walking over 9,000 miles to every Salvation Army Centre in the UK and Ireland to raise money for The Salvation Army’s Homelessness and Anti-Human Trafficking work.

The lovely leaders at the toddler group were so inspired by Andy that they arranged a sponsored toddle for the group to do, to help Andy on his way to raising his £100,000 target.

This morning we toddled from Morden Hall Park to Deen City Farm with several other families.Toddle 1I have to admit that because we have done the walk several times before we didn’t stay with the group (who followed the signposts to the farm) and we walked through the wetlands instead. I love the wetlands as there is so much to see and today it was teeming with butterflies, damselflies and more.Toddle 2Once we reached the farm the kids were each given a certificate to say they had taken part, and an activity sheet to complete as we walked round. Jasmine particularly liked this and ticked off all the animals as she saw them.

We had arrived just in time to see Edna the Barn Owl have her daily flight session.Toddle 3Once we had seen most of the animals and had a look round the garden (where the kids enjoyed the maze) we went indoors to have a go at the craft activity that had been set up for us and the kids each made an animal mask.

We had our picnic lunch and then walked back to Morden Hall Park, with an ice cream to help us on our way! We saw more butterflies and damselflies and finally we found some caterpillars!Toddle 4*If you want to sponsor us for completing the walk please let me know!

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Reading and a Spring Walk

Thomas woke up this morning and wanted to read. So he did. Almost all morning he was either reading a book or reading something on the computer!

His reading has come on leaps and bounds recently. He is past the basic CVC word reading and has been doing “smile and squeeze”, soft C and soft G on Reading Eggs. (For those confused, smile and squeeze is what I used to know as “magic E” – bike, smile, make, late etc). These new “rules” have made him more aware that not everything can be simply sounded out one letter at a time in the order they are written in and he is decoding words really well now.

The other thing that is encouraging his reading massively is our DK Readers Star Wars collection. All 3 kids love Star Wars at the moment and Thomas has now realised that he can read almost all of the level 1 books we have by himself with minimal help, and quite a lot of the level 2 books as well. Today he read “Star Wars What is a Wookiee?”  and “Star Wars The Adventures of Han Solo”

It is amazing to see his confidence growing as he reads. The more he reads independently, the more he is learning for himself. If he is unsure of a word and has to ask me, when that word comes up again I have noticed him checking back to see if it is the same and then reading on happily. He is also learning to read on a little bit, to see if he can work out a word he is he is unsure of that way. A great example of this is when he sees the words Death Star and Darth Vadar. He has been getting these mixed up as he was reading the first word and then assuming the second word, but he was sometime getting the first word wrong and was reading Death for Darth and vice versa. Easy to do as they are very similar words! Today he started checking the second word to get the first word correct!

Bizarrely however, with Thomas progressing to these new “rules” of reading on Reading Eggs and gaining confidence and independence Jasmine has now decided she does not like Reading Eggs! I can’t decide whether this is because she is nervous of playing the games with the new reading rules in or if she doesn’t want to play her games of CVC words because she wants to move on to the ones Thomas is doing. She does watch Thomas when he is doing his games and she understands the new rules as well as he does, so I am thinking the latter is more likely, but I guess only time will tell!

So, after a morning of reading and computers, this afternoon we took scooters and bikes out and went for a walk/scoot/ride from Morden Hall Park to Deen City Farm, along the Wandle Trail.

We have been to both Morden Hall Park and Deen City Farm numerous times, but have only walked from one to the other twice before. I really have no idea why! It is a lovely walk, only about 20 minutes and there is plenty to see along the way. We walked through the Wetlands at Morden Hall Park and saw ducks, ducklings, coots, a centipede and frogspawn. The frogspawn was the highlight of the day for Thomas and Jasmine and I know I am going to be asked frequently over the next few days if we can go and see tadpoles yet!

Once we reached Deen City Farm we wandered around and saw all the animals before having an ice lolly, our first of the year. I know I have said it before, but it does finally feel like spring has arrived!

The walk back was a little more stressful as the kids were getting tired, legs didn’t want to work, scooters were too slow, bikes were wrong. You know what it is like! But we made it and by the time we got home and I asked the kids if they had enjoyed it, they all said yes 🙂

We ended the day with bubbles in the garden. Today has made me even more hopeful that this nice weather will stay put for a while longer. I am really enjoying it!

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