Term Four – Day One

IMG_20141013_125924418_HDRThank heavens, school holidays are over! A friend said to me last night that she couldn’t wait for today so her kids would go back to school and I had to pitch in that we couldn’t either – so nice having all those other kids back at school! We can enjoy everything again! (We’d be happy if her kids were out of school with us though lol)

We started the day out with some pottering around home, then had our normal swimming trip. The families we normally swim couldn’t make it so we went a little earlier in order to come home for lunch before our first afternoon at the hall. The kids were so excited when I unlocked! Shiny, fun new space to make the most of! Two days a week where they are guaranteed to see their friends!

IMG_20141013_145258871_HDRIt was a slow stream in, and no-one was entirely sure what to do to begin with, but it wasn’t long before a range of games had cropped up and the kids reconnected with friends they hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks.

There is so much space at the hall, that many things can be IMG_20141013_143416822happening at once. We’ve got a small river off to one side, bordered on both sides by a public walkway. A clump of bamboo to explore, a large field to romp in, a bank pre-strung with ropes for climbing up, and a fire-pit waiting to be used. And the hall, too, but honestly, we spent most of our time outside. It was a lovely day for it 🙂

IMG_20141013_155114660As well as celebrating our first day at the hall, we also got to celebrate the birthday of not one, but two of our awesome mamas! So it was a pretty special day. We brought some craft supplies and made some flags. The kids developed their own ideas as well, with some making jewelry, others turning pipe cleaners into keys, and Ivy making a tote out of a pillow slip I’d brought along.

IMG_20141013_155125301_HDRI think the most precious part of the day for me was watching my youngest reconnect with a friend she hadn’t seen in a few months. Nati has always been sure that this girl would be her friend, and today that solidified once and for all. They were off together, sharing special moments, fishing in the river with some string and picking flowers. It was really beautiful 🙂

IMG_20141013_145350700_HDRI can see lots of fun times ahead here. The kids can’t wait to get back there again and I almost said, yes, we’ll see everyone next week, then realized we only have to wait until Thursday! It’s just lovely to have a dedicated space with plenty of room for everything.

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Cardboard box creations

During ourWP_000391 time on the biscuit stand, one of the women who purchased biscuits asked if she could have the large empty box we had as she was using them to build some temporary shelving. She went on to say that her youngest daughter loved making houses out of boxes as well – thankfully, we had three empty ones of the same size to bring home with us. Ivy set out to make an arts and craft class in her room with all sorts of supplies, and then invited her sisters to build houses with their boxes.

WP_000388This happened over 3-4 days this week, with the first phase being cutting off excess cardboard, and making doors and windows. Ivy didn’t need any help, but Lauren asked me to do hers so that she could get to the next step around the same time as Ivy. Natalie did her own, in her own style, which I thought was pretty cool.

 

WP_000394After the cutting, came the adding of colour, and then embellishments – rugs and tvs and computers and anything else they could make from paper, including battlements and porches. Natalie was still doing her own thing, which was making a bed for various soft toys.

I was really impressed by how this engaged them, and that they kept coming up with different ways to add to their houses. The fun was most certainly in the making, though since they finished making additions, they’ve used them as houses for a variety of toys. I love that they all worked together, finding different bits and pieces that the others needed, and sharing the art gear, and eventually giving assistance when one needed help. Each house is different to the other, reflecting their personalities.

Ivy's interior

Ivy’s interior

 

 

What I love most of all though was that they chose to do this all on their own!! I did a little bit of helping here and there, but for the most part it was all them. I love seeing their independence blooming, and the fact that I get to watch them as they make decisions, and are able to be fully in control of their learning experiences.