Monday, 28 May 2012

failed experiments and new friends

Well, the forecast was for lot more sunshine again today, so we set off to the library nice and early before it got too hot!  (there's nothing quite like new books to inspire interest in reading!)  DS2 was a lot more confident about choosing books this time, DS1 chose his selection really quickly (non-fiction of course - all on the natural world, animals & habitats etc), and DS3 was also really fast picking his books, but mainly because he just grabbed the first armful of picturebooks he came across, so we went through them and weeded out a couple of the less appropriate ones.  All three boys loved scanning their own books again and taking the receipts - very exciting :)  We also picked up some comics at the shop as they are a great way of inspiring reluctant readers.  Sure enough, DS2 loved his Club Penguin comic, and was more keen to read that that his 'new' library books, but I couldn't really get one for him and not the others, so DS1 & 3 got one each too - that was the best part of a tenner gone!!! When did comics get so expensive???
On the way back to the car we played hopscotch to avoid the cracks, and made echoes in the tunnel under the main road - then we stopped off to buy some white carnations and eggs to do a couple of science experiments on: with the carnations we put the stems in food colouring to see if the flowers would change colour, and the eggs were so we could immerse one in a glass of white vinegar for several hours and rubberize the shell (in theory)... neither experiment were particularly successful, but we'll check the flowers again tomorrow - and maybe try a different vinegar on another egg.  Ah well, an experiment that fails is just as important to learning as an experiment that works first time (even if it's not as exciting to an impatient child!)  We can try another egg tomorrow - maybe even boil it first - and we can use different concentrations of food colouring with the flowers, and DS1 & 2 can take notes to compare the different results - that's practical science for you!
Anyway, after our busy start to the morning, we had a mammoth house-cleaning session (weekends generate SO MUCH MESS, especially when camping trips and picnics are involved!), which involved DS3 practicing sorting skills on his toys, DS2 learning to use a hoover, and DS1 learning further lessons in the pitfalls of procrastination.  By then it was getting very hot, so it was time to stop for a rest & lunch, while we watched the 'love to learn' section on CBeebies... I've said it before, but I do love that channel!  DS1 is too old for it really, but DS3 - and even DS2 at times - really benefits from it, and it's good for DS1 to learn to consider his younger brothers' needs as well as his his own.
This afternoon we had some new friends round to play, and had an absolutely lovely time, with the children charging around together, playing (mostly) really nicely, and the mums thoroughly enjoying the opportunity for a good natter...  I must say, these socialising lessons are going really well! ;) There are different social skills involved when it comes to making new friends as opposed to playing with old friends, and I am really enjoying the fact that my boys are currently doing both on a regular basis.
Apparently the weather is going to change tomorrow and get cooler - it will be interesting to see how that changes the boys' enthusiasm for learning indoors over staying outside for the majority of their day, which has been the norm for the last week or so.  Not that it matters really - after all, I reckon today has been another really good day :)

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