Tag Archives: Home Education Group

Sports Day in the Park

This time of year is the traditional time for kids to take part in Sports Day. This afternoon we went to the park with our home education group and had our own races, including Egg & Spoon, running and an obstacle race involving water pistols!

We met later than normal to try and take advantage of the cooler weather so we all took a picnic and enjoyed the whole late afternoon/early evening at the park.Sports Day 1After some races we sat down and enjoyed our picnic tea, before a couple more races and a game of Rounders.sports day 2The kids all did really well today and joined in with all the races, and even had a go at Rounders. It was really nice to see them joining in, listening, taking turns and enjoying the organised activities. It makes me realise how much they have changed in this last year and how their confidence is building every day. They had their moments of course – Thomas ran off with the hula-hoop batting circle during rounders and Jasmine didn’t join in with the first running race as she hadn’t listened properly to how it was being done (we did it in ages) – but generally they were really good and we didn’t even have any tantrums about not winning (although I think the “taking part sweets” may have had a role to play in that!)

All in all it was a very sucessful Sports Day and a really lovely afternoon spent with friends.

We ended the day with some giant bubbles!sports day 3We were having such a good time we didn’t leave the park until 7.30pm – the time my kids are normally heading off to bed! Sadly the combination of heat, excitement and tiredness meant that Ben was sick in the car on the way home. My poor little one was very good though and didn’t complain once bless him. By the time I had cleaned the car and car seat and showered Ben, it was so late Jasmine actually asked to go to bed! 

We are trialling a new Dance class tomorrow morning so I really hope that, after the success of today, Thomas and Jasmine aren’t too tired to join in..

watch this space!

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Lots of water play

This afternoon we had our home education group meeting at our house. Being so hot (again) I put out lots of water for the kids to play in and with. We still had the paddling pool out and I put some water beads in the tuff spot. I also put out a large bowl of water and the water table. 18.07.13Jasmine spent a long time playing with the water beads while the boys found the water pistols in the shed and a water fight began! Actually mostly what it looked like was the kids against Gordon! They also squirted the slide and enjoyed sliding down a little faster on the “water slide”

We ended the day having dinner with Caterpillar Tales. Hot Dogs and Lego Star Wars on DVD. The perfect end to a great day!


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An afternoon in the river

This afternoon we met up with our local home education group and went to a local park. Beddington Park is only a five minute drive from our house and we drive past it often. We have talked about going there often too, but for some reason we never have. So when it was mentioned as somewhere to go today I was quite pleased!

I was told there was a place in the river where the kids can paddle and fish. What a perfect activity! So I loaded us up with spare clothes and beach shoes for paddling in, but I was determined to get there on time so I forgot the fishing nets! Luckily someone else had remembered theirs!

We had a brilliant time! Somehow all 6 families arrived at almost exactly the same time so we all walked through the park together. The kids played in the sprinklers for a while, and enjoyed exploring the park with their friends.Beddington ParkBut the best part of the afternoon was the paddling! All 3 kids had been looking forward to going in the river so at the first opportunity they took their trainers and socks off, put beach shoes on and were straight in! Beddington Park 2I didn’t go in myself but apparently the water was very cold! Ben’s paddling adventure didn’t last long and he decided it was better to stay on dry land. But Thomas and Jasmine were so busy playing and exploring they didn’t notice the temperature.

Jasmine spent the entire time we were there fishing. She caught water louse and shrimp, lots of shrimp! Thomas did some shrimp catching too but he also had great fun wading over to a small island, walking down the river to help build a bridge with some of the other kids, splashing around. He got soaked and he loved it!Beddington Park 3For a large part of the afternoon Jasmine stayed close to the side of the river but she kept running out of shrimp to catch! I explained that if she stayed in the same place all the shrimp would run and hide so she would need to move and eventually she did venture further out. She even went on to the island in the end.

They had such a fantastic time I’m sure they would have stayed all day if it was possible!

But we couldn’t stay all day and so to coax them out of the water we got the bubble wands and bubble mixture out and blew some giant bubbles. Giant bubbles are great fun and I am sure all the adults enjoy them just as much as the kids. Well, I know I do!Beddington Park 4But then it was time for us to get dried off and walk back to the car because Jasmine goes to Rainbows on Wednesdays, meaning an early dinner is needed. We said goodbye to all our friends as they went to the cafe for ice cream and as I was packing all the wet clothes in a bag Thomas had a go on the rope swing. He hadn’t been on it all afternoon but as soon as everyone had left he was straight on! He did really well too. He is getting much more confident in his abilities and its really lovely to see.

The kids also found a great tree to explore on the way back to the car.Beddington Park 5Now I know how much fun there is to be had at Beddington Park we will definitely be going back. I still can’t believe I didn’t know what a wonderful place it is, and right on our doorstep!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Pond dipping and perfume making

I was beginning to worry this week that I’d never get a #countrykids post written. Our week so far has been pretty boring really!

But then today we had our Home Education group get together and we all met at the home of a family who live on a smallholding. So this afternoon there was plenty of wonderful outdoor stuff happening!

As soon as we arrived Jasmine headed for the pond. They have a wonderful pond in the garden full of tadpoles, frogs, fish, newts and (to Jasmine’s delight) pond skaters! A large part of the afternoon was taken up pond dipping. Pond dippingThe pond does have a “no net” rule at the moment because it has been over-pond-dipped by the kids, so today it was buckets and hands only. Not that that stopped anyone and they were still catching tadpoles, frogs and newts. At one point there was a frog in a watering can and a newt in the underseat compartment of a ride-on toy train!

Whilst Jasmine was busy at the pond, Thomas did some digging and ran over the obstacle course that had been built.ThomasThe other activity that was planned for this afternoon was perfume making, using herbs and petals from the garden. All the kids loved doing this and gave special thought into what they wanted to put in to their mix. Thomas chose to use just mint leaves, whereas Jasmine and Ben both used a combination of different herbs and petals. Once they had selected the ingredients, we added a little water and used a pestle to crush it all together. Making perfumeWe have brought the perfume home and Thomas has asked for a squirty bottle to keep his in! I think I’ll be hunting three out tomorrow!

The final thing we did before heading home was to collect the eggs from the chickens.Chickens

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Pond Dipping and Wildlife Spotting

This afternoon we met up with our local home education group and visited Sutton Ecology Centre, where the amphibian and reptile charity Froglife were hosting a Life Under the Surface Exhibition, all about pond life.

Froglife is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles – frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards – and saving the habitats they depend on. The exhibition is running from today until Sunday 9th June and is totally free and suitable for everyone, kids and adults alike.

I knew this would be popular with my bug-crazy kids, especially as we haven’t been pond dipping anywhere but the back garden yet this year, and as soon as we told them about it Jasmine went to find her net so she could take it with her to catch a pond skater! Luckily we managed to convince her she wouldn’t need it because they would have nets there!

All the way there the kids were talking about the animals we saw at the Ecology Centre last year. Strangely it seems the one that stood out the most for them was the leech and both Thomas and Jasmine kept saying they didn’t want to find one today in case it tried to suck their blood!

As soon as we arrived the lovely lady running the session asked us if we’d like to do some pond dipping first. Well, of course the kids said yes! So they got their nets and bowls and off they went. We had a really good catch today and saw lots of different pond animals including tadpoles, sticklebacks, pond skaters, whirligig beetles, water boatmen, mayfly nymph, damselfly nymph and a smooth newt.Pond Life

As is always the way with an activity like this one child fell in the water and today it was Jasmine’s turn. She just lost her balance and wobbled right at the edge of the platform (despite the fact that we had told her numerous times not to stand right at the edge!) and she had no choice but to either fall or jump in the water! Luckily it is only waist deep for her so Gordon pulled her out and after a few seconds she had got over the shock and was right back at the edge of the platform dipping her net in again, only without her trousers this time as they were drying over the fence!

After a long pond dipping session we released all the animals back into the pond and went to do the craft activity. The kids (or grown-ups) cut a pre-drawn tadpole shape out of a piece of card and covered it in black fabric. Then the kids stuck on a googly eye and painted it with some gold paint. It was a very simple, effective activity which kept most of the kids busy for a while.Tadpole Craft

Whilst most of the kids were making their tadpoles, Thomas had made his way back to the pond to do more dipping. Because the nets had been put away he was just using his hands! Impressively though he caught several tadpoles and a nymph!Pond dipping by handAs the craft activity was coming to an end I suggested that we go and see if we could find any slow worms. The ecology centre have several pieces of what look like old carpet tile dotted around the grounds, and if you lift these up very carefully you can usually find several of these legless lizards lurking underneath. Slow worms are neither a worm or indeed slow! Once they are warm they are in fact very quick! We didn’t manage to catch any today but we did see 3 under one carpet tile.Slow worm

After the slow worm hunt, Gordon took some of the kids off for a wander around the grounds. The final catch if the day was a lizard, and Jasmine held it! I wasn’t there though because Thomas was still pond dipping by hand so I was watching him, but she was very pleased that she had not only been, but held, a lizard!

We had a great time at the ecology centre today and it has definitely re-sparked our passion for pond dipping. We’ll definitely be going back soon to hunt out more bugs, both in and out of the water.

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Wednesday Fun with Friends

Today has followed the pattern of Monday and Tuesday. We spent the morning indoors and then went out this afternoon, this time to Morden Hall Park with our Home Education Group.

We wandered through the wetlands and peered into several pools spotting tadpoles, water hog louse and leeches. We played Pooh Sticks, had fun in the natural playground and ended the afternoon chasing and popping giant bubbles.Wednesdays adventuresAll in all, a great day 🙂

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