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MTM – weather!

We’ve had a lot of hot weather and thunderstorms recently, including the largest hailstones we have ever had, I think. (nothing like what you get in America of course, but still the size of large marbles).

So here is our tin – I think these ideas were my own but I’ve seen so many other tins that maybe I have been inspired elsewhere and forgotten it. If you’ve done a weather tin let me know and I’ll link to you! and don’t forget to click here to see what everyone else did this week.

Pickled onion hailstones, yellow nasturtium-sun in blue banana-yoghurt sky, bread and marmite thunderclouds and yellow pepper lightning, white bread/cheese/marmite cumulus cloud. Served on upside down lasagna tray for thunder noise!

Froglet absolutely loved playing with this meal.

Look Mummy, the thunderclouds have arrived…
*bangs them together while making thundery growling noises*
I’m going to dip it in here to make blue thunderclouds. Why are you writing down what I said? … what’s a blog?

The great thing about pickled onion hailstones is they accurately portray what a hailstone looks like inside as well as outside! Marmite is British yeast extract (Aussies and Kiwis also have it but theirs is slightly different).

We can take the flag out later and stick it in the muddy ground where the plants are growing.
*When asked what for:* For fun! And to show that it’s windy.
The hailstones are dropping out of the thunderclouds…
bang! It went in the sun!… bang! It went in the blue sky!

We were meant to have snow too, but I hadn’t had chance to make it so we had it as a snack later instead:

Chocolate and coconut snowman, strawberries hidden under cream snowclouds.

Look Mummy, I made an eye and a nose for the snowman.
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Weather mark II

Our studies have been interrupted by a visit from the grandparents, followed by some bouts of flu and another visit from my sister, but we have had several thunderstorms during that time. Froglet isn’t too keen on thunderstorms – especially when the wind blows our balcony door open with a bang! But I think it was good for him to see all the adults enjoying the lightning and watching the hailstones. The storms also gave us the chance to collect some rain in our rain-catcher, cunningly crafted from a glass and the top of a water bottle. I couldn’t use the bottom of a water bottle like you’re supposed to, because they aren’t flat here. Froglet was excited about this activity because he’s seen them do it on CBeebies. We have been measuring how much rain we’ve caught each day with the help of a wooden spoon with a face on it, christened Spooncle Luke due to its resemblance to Froglets uncle. I write down the number in his lapbook in pencil and then he traces over it in felt-tip.

Also in his lapbook, we have made a little chart to colour in, listing what sorts of weather we have seen each day. The grandparents being here means he hasn’t wanted to colour it though (after all, who wants to colour when you could play with cars?) and since they left we haven’t gone back to it, but now we will probably start over. Froglet is very much a people-person, but he has a task-oriented mother (and father too!) so this is a good reminder to me that relationship is really ever so much more important than colouring a weather chart, or any other task I set him/myself.

We’ve talked quite a bit about clouds, the different types and what they mean. He soon cottoned on to which ones were cumulus clouds (“like sheep”), but it took him a while to learn the others, possibly because he doesn’t find it interesting. He’s taken some photos of them though, and will now point out of the window and comment on the weather we’re having and what it’s likely to do later. We’ve bought a tiny weather station from Tchibo – barometer, thermometer and one of those that measures humidity, I forget the name. The barometer needs resetting, it thinks we’re at sea-level and as a result always tells us we’re on the brink of a thunderstorm.

Froglet being such a fan of YouTube, of course the most obvious thing to do after reading about how tornadoes are formed was to watch some videos online. The Stormchasers have a lot of great videos complete with tornadoes, storm clouds and hailstones, which he loved. We also made our own little tornado with some coloured water and washing-up liquid in a jar.

One last thing in this rather disjointed post. The British Met Office have a nice little children’s section with some basic games, one of which involves rearranging some puzzle pieces to form snowflakes. It’s surprisingly complicated (for a three year old!) and I wasn’t sure if it was worthwhile at first but then realised that rather than letting him touch the computer screen I could get him to tell me where each piece went by saying bottom right, top left and so on. As directions aren’t his strong point, this was a good exercise and he really enjoyed it – we played it again the following day.

I still want to make a windsock with him, but I haven’t had chance yet. This should be interesting for him because helicopters use them and he is very into his flying machines. I’m hoping he will start liking the wind more as a result.

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Weather – a book review

We started studying the weather by reading a book on the subject from a series of which I am inordinately fond: Usborne Beginners. As the name suggests, the series is aimed at beginning readers, ages 4 and up. Nonetheless, it has been my first port of call when looking for a new factual book for Froglet ever since he got given one about aeroplanes when he was around two. He loved it – still does – and I learned a few things too. I think we now own about ten of the books from this series, covering various topics. The explanations are simple but not overly so, the illustrations are a nice combination of drawings and photos, and there are always interesting snippets that a small child can relate to (e.g. the air above the clouds is 6 times colder than the inside of a freezer).

This particular book, succinctly entitled Weather, didn’t disappoint us. It discusses pretty much everything you might expect a younger child to understand (avoiding hot and cold fronts and air pressure but covering tornado formation, clouds and the water cycle) and makes it interesting. No mention of rainbows though, now I come to think of it. Perhaps most children already know about those?

As in all this series, the end of the book provides a brief vocab list with accompanying pictures. I was rather pleased when we got there and Froglet pointed to a picture of a hurricane tearing the roof off a house and said “That’s a twelve” (meaning a force twelve wind). He obviously retained something.

I don’t think this book will be a perennial favourite like Firefighters or Planes, but that’s more down to Froglet’s areas of interest, and it’s not going to sit on the shelf unread for the next year either. We give it 9/10.

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Bits and bobs

I don’t seem to have had time to post recently, not sure why. We have been very busy with gardening and so on, so maybe that’s it.

I have about 5 minutes until Froglets programme finishes, so this will be brief.

Nutmeg sleeps beautifully, drinks well and is learning to grab her dangly toys. The potty training is going ok, but as we’re not being very serious about it I don’t expect her to really be potty-trained any time soon. We put her on the potty during every nappy-change, for about 2 minutes, maybe more if I can tell she really does need to do something. As a result, messy nappy changes have been incredibly few, in fact I think the last one was on Friday. All nappies are always damp though, and judging from the time she spends au naturel I would have to put her on the potty every 20 minutes to avoid that!

Froglet is looking forward to his grandparents visiting later this week, but we are keeping him busy in the meantime. He has been learning /er/, as described in my last post, and is very much enjoying our work on the weather. So far we have learned a bit about clouds, made a very basic rain-catcher with a glass and a wooden spoon, started charting how much rain has fallen each day, and watched a lot of YouTube videos about tornados and water spouts. Froglet is a big fan of YouTube, although usually he only gets to watch aerobatics displays.

And that’s the end of my time. More will follow, with photos.

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SNOW??!!!!!

It is APril 11th, right? I didn’t, like, go to sleep and somehow miss summer and autumn?

So why is it snowing? Not just snowing, but snowing heavily. We have about three inches so far. The snowploughs have been out and everything!

The ski season here actually ended two weeks ago… and we’re not even at skiing height – they’ve probably got a foot or two of the stuff up on the slopes. Wonder if they’d reopen the resorts for a couple of weekends?

Anyway… so Andrea, no worries about the clothes being too warm!!!! LOL

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