The Baby Hedgehog Who Was BornOnce upon a time there was a mother hedgehog. It was nearly time to give birth to her babies. One baby got out the first and that hoglet was called (DS2's name), and then another one came out and that hoglet was called (DS3's name). Then another one came out and that hoglet’s name was (DS1's name). One night the hoglets played water gun fights in the garden, because the night was pretty warm, until their mother told them to come inside the nest, and the babies sucked their mother’s milk out of her tummy. Then in autumn they were cuddling up with their Mum and it was another night so they played water gun fights again but their Mum said it was too cold and she asked them to come back inside the nest, and my amazing thing about hedgehogs is that they sleep the whole winter, and then the whole family lived happily ever after.
I tried not to interfere too much, so as not to make it a negative experience for him - but as we went along I did make a couple of suggestions (eg he was going to have them play during the day, but I reminded him that they sleep in the day and play at night, and I also told him they live in nests when he suggested dens). However, I left it there so it could be as much his own story as possible (I particularly enjoyed the way he mixed the birth order so that his older brother became the youngest hoglet... ).
So much of HE is about spotting the learning opportunities as they come up... we hadn't planned to learn about hedgehogs, but when such a perfect opportunity presents itself, it seems daft to ignore it! Another perfect opportunity presented today was because it was Grandma's birthday... they had already made some lovely cards yesterday, and today DS1 had a go at wrapping a present all by himself, plus they all helped Mummy to bake a cake: DS 2 & 3 helped make the cake itself, DS3 also helped make the icing - and DS1 drew a design of how to decorate the cake with chocolate buttons and sprinkle stars, which all 3 boys followed - one doing the orange buttons, one doing the pink ones and one doing the stars. DS1 cheerfully announced "I'm going D&T!" (design & technology) - he was right, too :) Of course, cookery is also a valid life-skill to learn - and while I'm not sure baking is as vital a 'life-skill' as learning to cook a meal, in this house it comes pretty close ;)
DS1's design with the finished cake