Thursday. No French today as our teacher is on holiday. So, ‘Wednesday is clean the house day’ didn’t really apply this week. Ah well, we cleaned up after the party, that will do until next Wednesday. In place of French, Astra decided to start a craft project, making a house out of a tea bag box. I now have a messy pile of tea bags in my cupboard, but her house is looking great!
We had Storytime today, an activity I started organising around a year ago. I now have three other mums who take turns at providing books and crafts, today it was my turn. The theme I had chosen was ‘Imagination’. We read some books together, ‘The Horse in Harry’s Room’, about a boy with an imaginary horse, ‘What Pet to Get’, about a boy imagining different possible pets, Dr. Seuss’s, ‘Oh, The Thinks You Can Think’, and a beautifully illustrated book, ‘Imagine’. I had chosen a very simple craft for today. I gave everyone a piece of paper and gave them 2 minutes to draw something before passing the paper on to the person on their left, who then had two minutes to add something to the picture, and so on. For the older children this worked very well, but for some of the younger children it was just too much to let someone else draw on their picture – or to draw on someone else’s picture!
I’d expected that might happen, and it didn’t really matter. I was happy that for a change, instead of creating something directed by *my* imagination, the children were just creating whatever popped into their heads. One child had never drawn a proper picture before, only scribbles, yet drew and coloured a wonderful picture for the first time today. It is so lovely when something like that happens. It sometimes seems awkward to engage the range of ages (from 2 to 11) but they all take different things from whatever is provided. The idea of passing pictures round came from something that Astra and I have done together many times - it’s our usual ‘waiting room’ game. If I were to do this craft again, I would pair the children up, rather than passing the pictures around the whole group. You live and learn!
After the library we went to the park with our Storytime friends and had some fun kicking leaves. I noticed there was a little maths going on today. The children always take their snacks and go and sit under the slide, to swap and share. Astra told me how she’d had two cakes and had broken each one into thirds so that everyone could have an equal amount. Fractions AND sharing! On the way home from the park I took Astra to get some winter clothing. It has turned really cold here and she is still in her summer pumps. So now she has some lovely furry winter boots, trousers that actually reach her ankles, and a new jumper. She is suddenly wanting to wear ‘grown up’ clothes, so I also bought her some lace up boots and a plain black top. She says she suits black (she does). She no longer wants pictures of butterflies or peacocks – are our pink days over?! It is so lovely to see her wanting to be grown up, and having an opinion about clothes, after all these years of only wanting to be naked!
We bought poppies today, because there was a lady set up with a stall in the supermarket. I stopped buying poppies a long time ago, for my own reasons, but Astra was fascinated by the lady’s display, and it felt churlish to not buy one. So of course we then talked about war, another one of Astra’s favourite subjects, this time explaining the significance of 11th November. And talking about the possible injuries that might lead people to need support. As I’ve said before, she loves the gory details….