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OK so I’ve missed a post or two but here’s a summary to date:

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  1. 9th December – the woodchips brought in something they love to show everyone and we drew pictures and sent them home to ourselves.

  2. 16th December – OUT – Tescos swings on the common, torches in the playpark and sparklers (done by adults) and then set off a fire lantern which went up and up and nearly set a tree alight (we could see the headlines now – Woodcraft Folk group sabotage tree etc etc).

  1. Tues 6th Jan – made each others faces in clay. Not messy at all…!

  2. Tues 12th Jan – Squeezed oranges with a juicer thingy and drank aplenty. Used the orange halves to fill up with bird seed and also squidged peanut butter into pine cones for birds, rolling in bird seed afterwards. Again fairly messy but nothing beats that glitter…

  3. Tues 19th Jan – we got funny plastic netting rings and used scrap ribbong from the scrapstore to weave bags, talked about basket making etc

  4. Tues 27th Jan – chinese lanterns from red shiny paper and Gabe showed everyone how to make dragons. Paula brought in a huge papier mache dragon head and some very loud dragon music and we stomped about, also some dancing and melon eating…

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Today was kind of chaotic! Lots of haven’t-been-outside sort of beans in the woodchips and end of term tiredness making things manic. We played sharks, put glitter on some pine cones for tree decorations (and most of the lobby carpet as well resulting in a not very happy Quaker Meeting House cleaner and lots of time spent trying to get it up first with a Bex Bissel (your grandmother had one) and then with a hoover (think one of the prototypes by the look of its age).

We’ll have a bash at rules next week – when asked how we could change things various answers came – one suggestion was to give up altogether, another to have Behaviour Monitors who punished people! The problem was that the singing bowl isn’t bringing order and without a way of getting order it’s a bit of a worry.

Sure just a temporary blip and Nige is there next week as I’ll be late.

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When we did the ‘dot voting’ exercise – the children could stick 3 dot stickers next to a choice of about 12 activities, cooking came out near the top. Given that we have about 20 smallish children and aren’t allowed to use the kitchen we decided to do more mixing than cooking. We had ‘Breakers’ who broke biscuits up into bits and ‘Tippers’ who added sugar, raisins, seeds etc and one patient grown up who messed about with microwaves, butter and chocolate.

We played ‘Sharks’ with the parachute and ‘Tidal Wave’ while the chocolate cooled, mixed it and put it in cup cake cases and then put on a little play using material and puppets in two groups and showed each other our stories.

As ever, slightly chaotic but lots of fun!

Nige led the session today and the children made dens out of cardboard, leaves and bits of leather and fleece. The dens were quite a lot bigger than had been imagined, apologies if they are now taking up your houses!

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We made pictures of out of coloured rice for Diwali, dyeing the rice with food colouring and then letting it dry (that’s the bit we prepared earlier) then letting the children make pictures or patterns on glued paper. At Diwali pictures are made with coloured powder, called rangoli, but coloured rice is slightly less messy and easier to handle. Here are some packets of powder used to make rangoli pictures.

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We were out and about today on a beautiful, crisp autumn day. We made a volcano explode out of a papier mache and plastic bottle construction using mints and coca cola. We made a huge mud and leaf painting which they worked so brilliantly together on and then played What’s the Time Mr Wolf. Noah told us a brilliant story at the end about a bunch of children at the park.

Nige took over today with the help of Laura and Ronnie and did a circle time followed by apple ring grabbing-with-teeth (is there a word for this?) and different-apple-tasting.

Paula arrived at the end to do a story about the Peddlar of Swaffham who found treasure under his apple tree and we had an apple map of Britain as if we hadn’t rammed apples and apple-themed things down their poor unsuspecting metaphorical throats enough!

It was quite manic today but very productive – we had 3 stations, one manufacturing lavendar bath salts (initially to sell at the table top sale but I couldn’t face telling the kids they couldn’t take them home!), a Sparkling Seahorse poster with lots of sparkling things stuck on, decorating posters for the table top sale, tying their T-shirts up. I did a story about a crafty pedlar buying the shade of a grumpy merchants’ tree and teaching him a lesson and we sang our song.

Circle time was great with everyone sharing their problems and worries, quite profound! Everyone listened to each other as well which was lovely.

It was a fairly mellow one today with paper aeroplane making, flying, repairing then flying again. Somebody (we couldn’t work out who) managed to get a plane right across the room and nearly into Noah and Felix’s mum’s eye, well done and beware at the same time!

Another round of Giants, Elves and Wizards and a dance to Coming Round the Mountain, a story about how the Robin got his Red Breast and a round of Sparkling Seahorses. Circle time was brilliant with everyone listening to each other and talking in turn.

We also found out what the kids wanted to do: did some voting on activities, decided we needed to celebrate birthdays and also have a space to be able to bring in stuff to show each other so we’ll do this every few weeks with an extended circle time for everyone to bring something in to show (otherwise it’ll take over a year to do individually!).

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Another lovely session making peace doves for International Peace Day, an air of calm and peace prevailed (possibly due to the increased number of girls!). After a very calm and orderly circle time, we played a great game called Giants – Elves – Wizards which was learnt really quickly given that it took Alex and I a fair while to work out who beat who:

Giants growl/roar beat their chest and take huge steps…. if faced with Elves they squish them (Giants win)
Wizards point and cast spells “k-pow” “zing” and jump…. if faced with Giants they cast spells on them and the Giants shrink (Wizards win)
Elves use hands to make pointy ears, go “eek” a lot and walk squat fashion to make themselves little…. if faced with Wizards they shoot an arrow and Wizards clutch their hearts (Elves win).
We sang our Seahorses song and Alex spiced up ‘She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain’ on guitar. Laura led some dove making and we massacred a feather pillow just to be authentic like (it’s now being composted by the way which feels right) and Paula told a story about a feather pillow with a small but perfectly placed message about not saying bad things about poeple! Aaah, big sigh… Thanks to all.