The Preschooler is going to school

I can hardly believe the title of this post, but its true. And we knew it was coming. The email. The letter. The combination of exhilarated versus devastated Facebook status updates. The cold, hard truth- The Preschooler is going to school.

Our application was a little fraught a few months back, if I’m honest. And yes, I do feel guilty about the fact we both felt The Big One’s school was not good enough for The Preschooler. That we didn’t think hard enough about where she would go to school. We simply believed our choice was right. And for the whole of infants, it was. It was open plan, 100% child led and play based learning. She thrived, as her brother would too. But having infants and junior on a separate site with different teachers, different head teacher, different policies and even different rules… it just doesn’t work for us. The Big One is, luckily, very calm and easy-going and is doing really well. The faults with the school are placed heavily on our shoulders, not hers. But The Preschooler would not, we believe, flourish there.

The Preschooler is going to school~

The Preschooler is going to school~

So he is going to a different school. And I will have an interesting school run in September!

And a more empty house.

I cannot tell you how my son has opened my eyes to life. With a start that took me to the brink, to a state of mind I don’t ever want to go back to, and on to a journey that is probably only just beginning. Yes, his sister is loved, But I was not lucky enough to have the time at home with her. The Preschooler has been a learning curve. And it has been a wrench deciding that he should even go to school. I know that I could teach him at home, but he so wants to go to school. And I want my time with The Toddler. The same time that he had.

So, dear readers, please hold my hand. I am about to have two children at school. Two sets of uniforms, two lunch boxes, two Christmas Nativities and two summer fairs. Two children on journeys that I am not invited to. Two lives waiting to be lived.

I am going to cry.

Yellow and blue play: ice fish, water beads, jelly stones and lights

Lullaby TrustLast week the Lullaby Trust celebrated one year since they changed their name from the Foundation of the Study into Infant Deaths (FSID). I was part of their launch campaign, writing a lullaby alongside lots of others bloggers for one reason mainly. To remember a beautiful little girl who should not have died. A very real victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A daughter. A sister. A niece. A god-daughter. A grandaughter. A very special blog baby.

Matilda Mae.

So last week’s yellow and blue play was for the Lullaby Trust. But the pink and purple water beads could only have been for Matilda Mae.

yellow and blue play~ used one of the side trays from our sand/ water table to make a small ocean filled with blue jelly stones and water beads. We added some pink and purple water beads too, and some submersible lights for an extra sensory experience. I also popped in some yellow ice fish (we got the mould from Ikea and added coloured water before freezing) and a range of nets, pots and sieves.

At first, The Toddler loved exploring the water beads and jelly stones. We soaked them in warm water and she exclaimed that they were “nice!”. She obviously loved feeling them under her fingers and was happy to play like this for a while. Then we added the fish, and changed both the temperature and the colour of the ocean. Jelly stones quickly take on new colours and soon were a lovely shade of green, while the water beads retained their original colours. The Toddler noted that the ocean was now “cold!” and switched to using different tools to scoop and pour instead.

yellow and blue play sensory~ lights were a wonderful addition to this sensory play experience as The Toddler loved fishing for them with the net and the pots, and watching them change colour.

After a while, she concentrated hard on scooping the lights and fish and pouring them from one pot to another. This kept her amused for quite a while, as The Preschooler and The Big One had a wild time bouncing the water beads on the Tuff Spot and splashing the ocean around the tray!

yellow and blue play scooping the lights~ a while, we decided to add some warm water to the ocean to see what would happen. The Preschooler correctly guessed that the fish would melt- and they did! The ocean was a truly green fluid affair now and the play became quite messy indeed. The Toddler loved scooping and pouring even more with the ocean in its altered state, and announced “splash!” each time she transferred the ocean from one pot to another.

yellow and blue play scooping and pouring~ finish the activity, I brought out our frozen water beads and invited The Preschooler to melt them. He chose to use warm water and poured it quite efficiently from a large plastic jug. The water beads took quite a while to thaw and The Preschooler was amazed to see tiny ice crystals (“snowflakes!”) formed on top of them as the water began to thaw them.

yellow and blue play melting frozen water beads~ yellow and blue play was simple, messy and fun. Please take a look at Jennie’s yellow and blue play too, and do take a moment to read back through some of the posts linked up to Messy Play for Matilda Mae. Be inspired to get messy today!





Messy dinosaur exploding volcano play!

This activity is one that we actually did a few months ago, towards the end of Autumn when our conkers were still shiny and new- but you don’t need to use conkers. Any kind of sensory material for your dinosaur land is fine- cereal, moon sand, sand, rainbow rice, etc. The important element in this activity is the volcano and for that you need shaving foam, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. And lots of imagination! Which is what I’m going to ask you, dear reader to employ too. The photos on this post are not amazing. They were taken with my iphone since my camera was missing on this day, and so the quality is not amazing. I’ve done what I can and I hope you can see what fun we had!

Messy dinosaur play with exploding volcano!

Dinosaur play and the exploding volcano~ Continue reading