Kandinsky Lapbook

The girls were up earlier that I imagined they would be and spent the morning playing Just Dance and Horse Life on the Wii, trampolining, ‘schools’ amongst other things. They also discovered that CBBC were showing back to back Horrible Histories (thank goodness for Sky+)! πŸ™‚ Once I was up and about and finished my housework I made them all pancakes for breakfast – yum πŸ™‚ A’s Dad stopped for a quick cup of tea before taking her off home.

We had decided to continue the Kandinsky theme from yesterday and do a short lapbook project study on him. We began by thinking from the things we had learned yesterday, of words associated with Kandinsky and got quite a list going. Unfortunately Poppy didn’t last long – very tired – so I sent her off to rest for half an hour and when I went to check on her, she was asleep on the sofa!! Bless πŸ™‚ Skye by this time was getting rather into the swing of things and had created a lovely acrostic poem. Once Poppy had woken up, we all looked at some examples of his work, selecting one of his paintings, Improvisation 30, and discussed and wrote a list of what they could see in the painting.

Kandinsky Improvisation 3 Cannons

I was very impressed with their observations. They both spotted the cannon in the bottom corner and thought it may have been inspired by the war; fire, explosion, boat, people screaming.

Skye also wrote a lovely explanation of what it is about Kandinsky’s work that she likes.

Once both lapbooks were complete, in between Club Penguin and watching Horrible Histories, Skye started to work through the first chapter of a new Letts Science workbook on Inventors and their Inventions together with the dates – it gives a list of them with lots of blanks that need filling in. It requires a fair bit of research which she tried to do without the aid of the internet but was proving rather difficult! Time was getting on and so I suggested she leave it for today and get back onto it in the morning πŸ™‚ Poppy also has a new Letts Spelling Workbook (10-11 yrs) which she is keen to use and completed the first section almost without error.

Went off to bed to had a bit of ds time – well deserved as they have both worked really hard today – I am very proud. πŸ™‚

Poppy’s Kandinsky Lapbook…

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And Skye’s…

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Kandinsky Art Project

Sunday night our friends dropped A off to stay with us until Tuesday which meant I had 3 tired girls to get up on Monday morning for an early start with the Puddles. Very annoyed with myself at forgetting my camera – so photos on this post are all courtesy of Merry πŸ™‚

Skye, Fran and Amelie went off to a Tim Noble Dance Workshop.

Merry and I referred to ‘the plan’ and started a rather intensive Kandinsky art masterclass! It all worked rather well, Merry, armed with a laptop, showed examples of his work whilst I read excerpts from the Usbourne Art Treasury book which is rather fab in that it gives a page of information about the artist and follows with a simple idea to recreate something of your own in the style of. We learned that Kandinsky often thought of colours as music and so we played a little game where Merry played a chord on the keyboard and the girls thought about what colour it reminded them of which was rather successful πŸ™‚

Merry had printed off some colour wheel worksheets so we spent some time discussing primary, secondary and tertiary colours and how they worked, then got them all to colour one.


Our main aim for the day was to recreate our own version of Kandinsky’s Concentric Circle painting.

We gave all the girls a sheet of sugar paper, folded into 6 sections, then asked them all to create their own concentric circles with gel pens, focusing on colour contrast. These pens are fantastic, very versatile – they are very smooth going on to paper, not unlike drawing with lipstick!



The result was fantastic πŸ™‚


They also did another version using poster paints again on sugar paper.



If that wasn’t enough, we gave the girls some watercolour paper and asked them to draw yet more circles in oil pastels and wash over them with a watercolour paint. This also worked really well.


So with one group’s art done, it was time to go along to watch the girls dance. Skye had a lot of fun but found some of the moves a little tricky – she did a great job and certainly didn’t look out of her depth; she recently decided that freestyle isn’t her dance of choice. I was completely mesmerised by Tim’s dancing – he was fab and seemed to be a hit with the dancers too – he had a very enthusiastic manner about him (apparently reminded Skye of Louis Spence!) πŸ™‚


Once we had all the girls back to Merry’s and they had been refueled – we did the whole thing again with Skye, Fran and Amelie with equal success πŸ™‚ The other girls kept themselves entertained in the garden.


All in all the day was a total success – looking forward to the next project. Will need to refer to the plan for that – once Merry has found it!! πŸ™‚ Ooops!

Whist all the girls played happily together Merry and I Hama Beaded…..more circles for me πŸ™‚ I just can’t help myself!!

So, home for tea, girls played top trumps and ds’ in bed and fell asleep rather late (again!).

The last few days

Spent the day at the seaside on Sunday with Mum and Dad, who were there for the weekend. Had a lovely day – the weather got surprisingly warm! Sat on the beach for a couple of hours and the girls had a paddle and went looking for crabs. Dad found a rather large one and Skye couldn’t wait to get hold of it! She certainly does not get her bravery for crab holding from me!!

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On the walk back to the campsite we stopped off for an icecream which was melting far quicker that it was being eaten – there must have been a problem with the ice cream machine struggling with the demand and not freezing quick enough!! After our BBQ tea we helped Mum and Dad pack up as they wanted to leave in the evening rather than the morning – had we have known they were intending on leaving a day early, we would have taken our overnight things and advantage of a nights camping! Had a relatively traffic free drive home, driving very slowly past the embankment at Peterborough where JLS were performing at an open air concert, so the girls could get a glimpse of them on stage – not that they are fans just that we had friends going and they wanted to have a look!

Monday morning the girls and I looked through some of their old learning logs that they used when they were at school – its no wonder really that they dislike writing so much, given the amount they had to do since they were 5 years old!!! After flicking through the books, we worked together on some acrostic poems – which they really seem to enjoy and its a good way of getting them to think of some interesting adjectives.

Merry and the girls arrived shortly before 11am and the girls spent most of the day playing and dressing up whilst Merry and I came up with a ‘plan’ for the next few weeks. From reading Merry’s blog entry for today, I’m hoping that I’ve not put too much pressure on – apologies if I have Merry. But I do feel happier with a plan πŸ™‚ Most of the girls sketched ‘something from a kitchen drawer’ which was the Sketch Tuesday theme for this week.

Skye’s contributions…

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July 2010 Sketch Tuesday and other sketches 005

..and Poppy’s…

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Some of us, namely Merry and I, got distracted from this theme and sketched something else instead πŸ™‚

This was mine, which i rather like. Was not too sure about using the pastels but once I got going, decided that I quite enjoyed them πŸ™‚

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Skye also used pastels to create a beautiful still life drawing which she is rather proud of…

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Skye went off with Merry and the girls to dance, Poppy watched an animal documentary whilst I prepared something for tea and had a tidy up.

Wayne and Skye arrived home, had tea then took the girls to my Mum and Dads for the night as I have got to go into work tomorrow 😦

The girls did a really good job of completing all the work I had asked them to do whilst at Nanas. Both continued to work through CGP literacy books, do some sketching and more acrostic poems. Amongst all that they walked Merlyn and had a water fight with him in the garden πŸ™‚ Skye’s Scouts session was at Hinchingbrooke Park for games and ‘backwards’ cooking. They had to make an open fire then after wrapping their food in foil, cooked it in the fire – Skye loved doing this and had a lovely evening. Wayne and I had a very pleasant stroll round the park whilst Poppy zipped round on her bike. Finished the evening with a play at the park before getting the girls home, showered and very late to bed!

Other stuff

Going through the many, many photos and have realised that I haven’t blogged about all the other stuff we have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Aside from the normals, we have had some fabulous art filled days with the Puddle chicks. In the absence of any proper ‘art’ books, I raided my bookshelf to find some beautifully illustrated books to inspire the girls and had some lovely results, I particularly like Poppy’s recreation from The Elephants Ears book cover…

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Skye took her inspiration from a lovely book called ‘Where the Fairies Fly’…

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..and generally had fun experimenting…

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Merry and I had a play about with something we had seen from the lady who hosts Sketch Tuesday which turned out rather well and think it would be something the girls could try out without getting too frustrated.

We made a type of squiggle picture using the oil pastel pens Then drew a grid on the reverse using a 30cm ruler, cut out the squares, then glued them back on randomly to create a collage.

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Merry’s collage turned out better than mine, mainly because of the way she had created her original pattern, she used solid blocks of colour in a squiggly patterns, whereas I did more of a scribble. I was good though to compare the two ideas.

We had a lovely evening geocaching around Ferry Meadows where the girls had to work out the answers to clues to locate the cache and managed to figure it out without us πŸ™‚ It was our first multicache too πŸ™‚

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Skye has had her dance show which was fabulous. She was great and looked gorgeous πŸ™‚ The first half of the show was the musical theatre bit, Mary Poppins. Skye looked very nervous but held a smile through her performance. The second half was themed ‘Dance Around the World’ – Skye took part in a Beatles Medley and looked very comfortable up on stage, she was very relaxed and danced beautifully. Skye loved it so much that she wanted to do it again the next day! We were very proud of her.

Poppy spent an hour or so in the garden with my camera and took some fantastic photos of flowers, butterflies and bees.

Skye blogged about geocaching with the Beans – a lovely little read.

The girls have both been working through Literacy CGP books – they seem to be comfortable with these and seem to be able to be left to get on with it. Poppy is using Year Five and Skye is whizzing through Year Six. Maths is a bit of a mixed bag – haven’t really found anything that we use regularly but seem to dip into many. They quite enjoy BBC Bitesize and we continuously work on times tables, number bonds etc.

Wayne met up with Daddy’s Puddle and Bean and had a fabulous day kite making. I am hoping that Daddy CielRouge will blog about it in detail. Unfortunately our camera battery wasn’t charged so he didn’t get any photos – thankfully the others did (struggling to find out how to add them to my blog but will try to figure it out!).

What else, erm, oh yes, there was a local Heritage Festival encampment, performing reenactments, storytelling and demonstrations. Some of the tents were fantastic with very ornate furniture – I would have quite happily lived in one :). There were a number of demonstrations, some hands on, showing skills such as making cannon balls, tiles, arrows. There were lots of stalls selling beautiful hand-made outfits, jewellery and fudge (which was yummy :)) and various toys and gifts. The girls tried their hand at tile making – the lady was very knowledgeable and explained where the designs originated and took the girls step by step how the tiles were made. They helped her make a tile, pressing the clay with the wooden template to imprint a design, in this case it originated from Kent, they helped load the slip into a cow’s horn which was used to fill in the imprint on the tile. It would then have been left to dry out, sanded down and painted. Unfortunately this was not the type of tile they got to make themselves to take home, instead they were given some clay and cutters and both girls made crown shaped tiles.

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Girls have watched various animal documentaries and Roman Mysteries, lots of role-playing, mainly Dr Who games, shops and families with the Puddle chicks.

Skye is still reading through her Horrible Geography series and thoroughly enjoying it! We have recently got Poppy a few books from the Olga da Polga series about a guinea pig – books that I read and enjoyed as a child and I hope Poppy will too.

Well I think I’m about up to date with all the other stuff that’s been going on πŸ™‚ Yay!

Getting creative

Woke up this morning feeling like we needed to get on with something academic! The girls have had a lot of days out these last few weeks, mainly due to having such fantastic weather that it would seem silly to be sat inside. Today being overcast thought it would be a good excuse to get out some workbooks again. Both girls worked from the CGP Literacy books and although it seems to be going over things they already knew, did them good just to sit for an hour and concentrate and focus on something quietly. They both also did some reading – Poppy has started one of her Olga books and Skye is sticking with Horrible Geography.

After lunch we went to the Puddles house, the girls played together for a while whilst Merry and I had a cup of tea and a catch up. Shortly after we got out the oil pastel pens so they could get started on creating their own collage picture. Poppy rushed hers a bit and ended up with mis-shaped squares and struggled to fit them all back together so picked out the ‘squares’ that were actual squares and made a smaller version which turned out well πŸ™‚

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Getting creative 009

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Poppy also did some stencilling with Amelie’s Djeco stencils.

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Then it was a quick dash for Merry to drop Fran, Skye and Josie to dance and Amelie to gym whilst I stayed with Poppy and Maddy who spent the hour playing Dr Who or something or other – they were quiet and happy anyway πŸ™‚

Merry returned with the girls and we went home. Girls both went on Club Penguin, drew their entry for this weeks Sketch Tuesday which was ‘Something beginning with J’ – Poppy and I chose to draw a jigsaw and Skye drew a Jack in the Box.

Poppy's jigsaw for Sketch Tuesday - Something beginning with 'J'

Skye's Jack in the Box sketch for Sketch Tuesday - something beginning with 'J'

My Jigsaw sketch for Sketch Tuesday - something beginning with 'J'

Before bed they watched an animal documentary on television.

Tuesday morning did more literacy from CGP books, reading and more art. After lunch we went to a local-ish Creative Writing group which was fab. We arrived at Melanie’s house where the girls took a seat around the table. All the other girls there were of similar ages and made them feel very welcome. Melanie got them all thinking about using adjectives and they all had to go out into the garden, find an object then write a few lines describing that object depending on who or what had discovered it. Both Skye and Poppy chose a feather and these were their descriptions…

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The aim was for the other girls was to firstly guess their object and secondly who or what was describing it. I was very impressed how Skye and Poppy immersed themselves into it all, reading out their descriptions and contributing to the group.

Once all the girls had a chance to share their work, they selected one item from all the things that had been collected and used it to create an acrostic. The object they selected was a candle; Melanie sat with them and asked them to think of as many words as they could associated with the candle, which they did brilliantly. They were then able to use those words to complete their acrostic.

Ancient Spells
Never-ending brightness
Dripping wax
Lively flickers
Enchanting light

They then had a go at creating their own…

This was one of Skye’s

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And this was Poppy’s

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After all their hard work, all the girls went out into the garden to play and I had a chance to chat to Melanie. The girls had a great afternoon and have made yet more new friends.

Skipped drums – had far too busy a day!! Skye still managed to get to Scouts though and had a fun evening.

Wednesday; unfortunately I had to work today so Wayne took the day off with the girls and from what I can gather didn’t have the most productive of days 😦 although they did go out on a nice bike ride in the afternoon.

Thursday they went to Wayne’s Mum’s for the day – CGP literacy, reading, more acrostic-ing, Wii sports and club penguin πŸ™‚

Friday with Daddy – today went better than Wednesday and they managed some maths – Skye is continuing with Singapore maths and seems confident just to get on with it without much guidance or supervision. Apparently when checking her answers Wayne pointed out that she had one wrong and she got upset as she disagreed – turned out she was right all along and it was in fact correct!! Oops!

Saturday Skye spent a couple of hours car washing with the Youth Club fundraiser whilst Poppy played with our friends dog Star, who was spending the day with us. Wayne and I tidied up the study – so much paperwork that really needed sorting and organising. Skye arrived home, we all had lunch, girls walked Star about four times round the brook, I went food shopping. Got home, had tea, watched tat on television. Girls went to bed reading some dog magazines that my Mum’s friend had donated and I blogged.

Paxton Pits

I was up bright and early this morning, thankful for a lull in the beautiful weather as we were instructed to wear long sleeves and long trousers on our visit to Paxton Pits and didn’t fancy walking round with the sun beating down on us.

Girls breakfasted and dressed appropriately, packing waterproofs, towel, spare clothing, sun hats, suncream, etc…picnic done and off we went.

Although I have never been to Paxton Pits before, I had a good idea where it was, but to be doubly sure hooked up Katie (our satnav) – big mistake as she clearly didn’t know where she was going so after arguing with her for a bit, switched her off – HA! Arrived on the dot – surprised that the Beans beat us after we passed them going the wrong way!

We all gathered together outside the cafe, as well as meeting up with the beans, we were joined by the deependers, gina and family and a number of other home edders, most of whom I had never met before, some had met the girls on trips out with Wayne. We waited for our lady to arrive and guide us whilst we stepped back in time… She did start off very teachery-ish but seemed to settle with the group as the activities wore on and was very knowledgeable when it came to identifying bugs, birds and pond life which was useful πŸ™‚

The description provided for the day was ‘Children undertake a wild journey through time, equipped with time travel wristbands, explorer kits and time dials to discover how Paxton Pits became so important for wildlife. The children β€˜stop off’ at key points in time in the history of Paxton Pits to undertake activities, including fossil hunting to discover the remains of creatures that once lived in Jurassic seas; pond dipping to catch the creatures that colonised the holes that filled with water after the gravel pits were excavated; sweep netting to find the creatures that have moved into the meadows that established after the site became a nature reserve; log-rolling to discover who lives under the logs at the β€˜pingo swamp’; bird watching to spot some of the residents Paxton Pits is famous for; and journeying into the future to discover what the site will be like in years to come.’

So that is basically what we did and these are some of the objects and creatures they found…

Fossil hunting from the quarried stone – Belemnites, ammonites, bones/tusk remains which, once found and dusted off, they had to sort into the relevant tray. Poppy found a rather large piece of ammonite!

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Log rolling – spiders, woodlice, centipedes, millipedes, caterpillars and various other creepy crawlies.

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Tree tickling – a moth, grasshopper, some black bug things

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Bird Watching – they were all given binoculars and spotted cormorants, a heron, chaffinch, blue tits, tern, crested grebe and swans

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Pond Dipping – Dipped into tanks and the river and collected lots of pond life, lesser water boatmen, greater water boatmen, leeches, tiny swan mussels, water stick insects, pond skaters, newts, pond snails, caddis fly nymph, caddis fly larvae, beetle larvae, flatworms, pond scorpions, freshwater shrimp, pea-shell cockle and water worms.

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Sweep netting – huge crickets, grasshoppers, spiders and other buggy things. Poppy said it reminded her of bug hunting on animal crossing πŸ™‚

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Finished off our busy day at the cafe with an ice cream for the girls and an ice cold drink for me πŸ™‚ Fabulous day although not sure I agree that it was aimed at 8+, seemed perfectly pitched to the younger members of the group but saying that, Skye and Pops had a great time, especially when it got to pond dipping and bug hunting. They also enjoyed spending time with SB and BB and making new friends along the way.

Girls seemed pretty exhausted after their action packed day and so relaxed by playing with their ello and each had some time on Club Penguin before dinner. Dropped girls over to Mum and Dads for sleepover as its back to work again for me in the morning 😦

Ouse Valley Way Geocaching

Met up with the Beans (minus Daddybean) at Houghton Mill for an afternoon of geocaching πŸ™‚

Had a lovely stroll along the Ouse Valley Way hunting for caches. Managed to find two of the four that we set out to locate and moved our TB on – which was picked up immediately by the beans – and we picked up the one they deposited!

Logging our find and swapping our swaps and TBs!

Stopped off to look at the foal with her mummy πŸ™‚


Had a bit of fun on the walk back to the cafe…almost got them all hanging together – if only Wayne was a bit quicker lifting them up!

Hanging around Ouse Valley Way

We all had a well-earned rest at the cafe under a huge cherry tree – couldn’t resist picking some cherries – very yum πŸ™‚

Cherry picking at Houghton Mill

After their refreshments, P, SB and BB did a spot of drawing with the watercolours Helen had thoughtfully bought along.


Before we left for home, we had one more try at finding cache number 3. Didn’t find it which was very frustrating – we must have been digging around for a good half an hour – and got stung lots in the process!! 😦 Oh well, we’ll just have to go back for another look.

Home, girls syvanianed whilst Wayne and I got dinner ready, ate, tv, bed. I blogged and now off to watch Wimbledon highlights.

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