Day 48 – Ice Cream Floats & Invisibility Cloaks.

In Outdoor Learning, Physical Education, Subjects by PrudenceLeave a Comment

The title sums up the kind of child led, laugh out loud summers day that we have experienced together today.

Paul tried to sneak out of the house so as not to wake us all but his attempt failed as we all heard him shut the front door. By 6.45am the boys and I had eaten breakfast and were ready for the day. We decided to take our science lesson outdoors so we dressed accordingly, packed a rucksack with waterproof ‘just-in-case’ clothes and ginger nut biscuits and headed for the woods.

Theo was put in charge of a mini beast spotting  sheet and Tristan was given a similar sheet concerning dragonflies. I printed these from the ‘Nature Detectives’ website before we went. The website is part of the Woodland Trust organisation and is full of excellent learning support materials. 

Our nature walk lasted for over two hours as we followed various trails and pathways through the forest. Theo commented on the growth of all the plants since our last visit and he explained to Tristan how the hot sunny weather combined with the recent heavy rain had been ideal for the plants. The boys noted down all the wonderful creatures that they happened upon from slimy slugs to brilliant, electric blue Damselflies flitting about in the morning sunlight. We visited the wildlife pond to check on the progress of the tadpoles. They have grown fat and swam about frantically much to Tristan’s amusement. Theo made notes about the environment and how the habitats had changed since his last visit.

We came across the ruin of an old gatehouse which sparked both of their imaginations. They wandered around the remains making up elaborate scenarios about who may have lived there and what might have happened to destroy the house.

Further along the trail which followed a meandering stream we came across a couple of sculptures. Tristan spoke to them explaining to Theo and I that they were forrest guards. Later on he heard a noise and whispered to me that it was the squirrel guard chasing the wicked witch from the dark bit of the wood. He has a vivid and interesting imagination. 

We finally emerged from the undergrowth near to the play park and decided to have a brief go on the swings. Much to Theo’s delight his girl friend danced into the park announcing that her dad was still putting suitcases in the car and that she could play for a little while. They giggled and played together both relishing each others company. When her mum beckoned her Theo went along too and as they drove away he sprinted alongside the car waving and bidding her goodbye. We heard her shout ‘see you in 3 weeks Theo!  I will send you a postcard’. Heart warming stuff.

We had lunch and once his heartache had eased he wrote about his nature adventure in his science book explaining about the various habitats. He also stuck in some images of the creatures he had seen and made a snapdragon from coloured paper. Both boys were entranced by the snapdragons that we had seen on our walk as I think there is something quite magical about not only the name but the unusual look of the flower. His work was beautiful.

Tristan drew a picture in his diary and told me what to write. I suggested that his entry should relate to out nature walk. He drew a ‘blue strawberry’ and when Theo said ‘ how did you see a blue strawberry ?’ Tristan responded indignantly ‘because I have got super eyes!’ This made Theo hysterical with laughter and I admit to finding his angry response rather funny too. He coloured in his blue strawberry with an orange pencil. Neither Theo or I were brave enough to question him about this choice.

Tristan also stuck some images of mini beasts to some green paper and then stuck on strips of green tissue paper to create a mini beast hunt activity for Theo and I to play. It was fantastic.

I found a dinosaur website for Theo to have a look at. He played a game and went on to find out all about one particular dinosaur. He wrote about this in his history book whilst drinking an ice cream float.  Tristan also partook in the same delicious beverage and gave me a great big kiss to say thank you.

I had planned to watch a documentary next but a knock at the door quickly ended that plan. Two girls asked if Theo was going to the park and of course off he went. I accompanied him with Tristan in tow. 
Tristan wore a piece of old voile over his head and body and told me that it was his invisibility cloak. He crept around the park trying to sneak up on people. Some played along whilst others just giggled at him. When the cloak restricted his ability to climb properly he ditched it preferring to just wear one wellie and his Indiana Jones hat instead. 

Theo had a massive water fight with five other children. He returned to the play park to meet Tristan and I later on, and was absolutely sodden. He had an ‘awesome’ time apparently.
At home he had a shower and got changed before practicing piano for a while. 
Theo also independently made a display piece about Buddhism and asked if he could put it on the timeline. It went straight up there as I was so pleased that he went and found out the information himself without my knowledge. Self motivation is kicking in and is fabulous to behold.

Theo completed a maths exercise in his book as I cooked dinner. Tristan played with his toys whilst singing various movie soundtracks.

I unusually allowed them to eat dinner in front of the television because I wanted them to watch a bit of the David Attenborough documentary ‘Flying Monsters’ which is about flying dinosaurs. Theo was gripped by the programme and we will continue to watch it over the next few days. 

Paul arrived home and was very tired after a stressful day at work. He ate his dinner whilst talking to the boys about their day and then collapsed on the sofa with the newspaper whilst I took them to bed.
Sleep took them quickly after all the fresh air. I had to remove Theo’s book from his hands as he fell asleep reading. 
We all had a great day although I admit to being rather tired tonight. I cannot decide whether to visit the museum tomorrow or wait until the rain comes as predicted next week. I will decide in the morning when I see how energised or not they both are. 
Prudence Clarke

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