Friday, 23 August 2013

Day 70 & 71 - Creepy House Horrogami & Allegorical Self Portraits.

I apologise for failing to post last night but I was exhausted after a day spent enjoying summers last hurrah with the children.

Theo attended the 'Horrorgami' workshop at our local library yesterday morning. Tristan and I spent the hour reading in the children's section downstairs. He found a story about a whale which resulted in him looking for a non fiction book about whales. He made me read every single page of the non fiction book and asked questions related to the text. He has borrowed both of the books and I will encourage his interest with some related activities next week.

When we went to collect Theo from the classroom he was still engrossed in the Horrogami task. He was taught how to make a skull and a bat from paper and thoroughly enjoyed it. The lovely lady running the course took a photograph of Theo brandishing his origami skull and has promised to put it up in the library. We shall have to look around for it soon. 

The summer reading challenge this year has been fantastic. There is something enticing about spooky themes to children and it has certainly caught Theo's attention. He loves the Creepy House website where he has spent days adding all the books that he has read recently to his book list. He has played the games and left messages for other children on the challenge. Theo is excited about entering his story for the story competition although he needs to rewrite it as there is a 500 word limit and he has written four chapters so far! If your children have not been involved this year then I encourage you to find out about the challenge when it comes around again next year. 

The weather was beautiful so we decided to have a quick lunch and then head to the park for the afternoon. Theo played with one of his best friends for nearly three hours. They ran around in the trees making dens and fighting imaginary baddies. I helped Tristan convert the old oak tree into a house. He had a roof, a place to sleep, a fridge and a shelf for his cup. It was so much fun.

We went back home when the boys needed refuelling. They sat quietly and looked through a book of mazes together whilst I made dinner.

Theo also read nearly all of his latest library book.

Paul arrived home at a normal time which excited the boys tremendously. Tristan really wanted to go to the park again and was over the moon when Paul said that he would go with them. We spent the next couple of hours playing with the boys and some of their friends in the park. Theo spent some time with his favourite girl which was adorable to watch. Tristan would not leave his dads side even when his friends asked him repeatedly to play with them. He just wanted Paul to push him in the swing and chase him around the round about. He loves his dad so much.

We were all shattered when we arrived home. Paul got the boys ready and put them to bed. 

Paul stayed at home and had breakfast with the boys this morning before going to work. It was lovely. Theo read his book once Paul had left whilst Tristan and I cleaned up. Tristan loves to help me tidy things away and polish things with his duster. 

We were all a little weary so we decided to watch a film and have a snuggle on the sofa before contemplating any other activities. We watched 'Spy Kids' which was actually rather enjoyable. 

Theo drew various mazes for his brother to complete whilst I sorted out the activities for the day. He has been drawing mazes and maps since he was tiny and he loves being able to share his creations with his brother.

Theo had fun completing puzzles in his Maths Explorer book. The first task was about money and once he had completed it he was inspired to invent his own currency. He spent an hour drawing the system of planets that his alien civilisation would inhabit and inventing coins and writing systems for them. It is wonderful to see how engaged he can become with a subject and how creative his thought processes are. 

Tristan and I played the flower growing game which involves lots of counting. I was pleased to see how accurately he can count from 1-11 and will spend next week focusing on helping him count up to 15. We had lots of fun playing the game. He went on to sort the cards by colour and exclaimed 'look they make a square!'

We played the 'Gruffalo Domino' game next. He was fantastic at figuring out which numbers he was able to place and he also learnt how to read the word 'six'.

Tristan used the glue stick and some scrap paper to make a picture for his dad. 

The boys helped to prepare lunch and set the table. They went and played in their bedroom for half an hour before starting the next activity. 

Theo read a page from our Art book about allegorical painting and we discussed how we might use various objects to symbolise ideas within our work. I gave Theo a piece of paper and drawing pencils from 2B to 6B. I explained to him about how each type of pencil might be used. I then asked him to sit in front of a mirror and draw a self portrait. 

I set Tristan up with the same equipment and sat him in front of another mirror. I loosely drew the outline of his face and eyes and then asked him to complete the drawing himself. I asked him to draw an object with his self portrait that would explain what he liked doing. He concentrated on the picture for half and hour which I thought was brilliant. His finished piece includes his bunny rabbit because it is his favourite thing. The portrait is wonderful.

Theo spent an hour drawing his portrait. He took time observing his face and tried hard to place the nose, mouth and eyes in the correct places. The background comprises of a extinguished candle to symbolise death but he has crossed it out and linked it to a lit candle in order to express his desire to live and never die. The lit candle is linked to musical notes and symbolises his love of music and the arts. He has drawn a bookshelf and explained that the books symbolise his love of reading and his desire for knowledge. I was amazed by his ability to imbue his piece with so much meaning. It is a lovely, expressive piece of work. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent engaged in constructing a 'Wallace and Grommit' porridge slinging machine. Theo carefully read the instructions and successfully wired together the motor, switch and battery compartment independently. He also followed the instructions to make the cardboard exterior for the machine. Tristan helped to decorate it with stickers before the grand switching on ceremony. Theo was triumphant when the machine whirred into action. He worked very hard to build the machine and was delighted that it worked. They spent a long time firing polystyrene balls across the room. 

Paul came home on time again to our delight. We held a movie night and munched our way through lots of chocolate treats whilst all cuddling up to Paul on the sofa. The boys went to bed a little later than usual which meant that they were asleep very quickly. 

We are all looking forward to spending the long weekend in each others company and I am sure that we will have a few splendid adventures to share with you all soon.

Prudence Clarke