Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Kites, Bumble Bees & mud

At last the holidays have finished! After all the bank holidays, festivals and celebrations it was so nice to get back to normal life. Today was our monthly Home Ed meeting at the local nature reserve. Due to budget cuts we weren't sure whether it was going to continue. Luckily it will continue, but sadly not with our current ranger. Chris is brilliant, she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about nature and the monthly nature activities she plans are brilliant.
The morning session was to survey different areas of water looking for signs of pollution. A special net was laid on the bottom of the stream. Further upstream the bottom was gently aggitiated to disturb the creatures that live there.

The contents of the net analysed.
We were sent to look in a clean area of water: if the water is clean it will have high oxygen levels and therefore contain creatures such as Mayfly nymphs and Caddis fly larvae. That is exactly what we found!
If the river is midly polluted it will have medium oxygen levels. Here you'll find creatures such as Dragonfly nymphs, shrimps and diving beetles. We did!
If the water is dirty and polluted, the oxygen levels will be low and the only things you'll expect to find are wormy things!

We had an expert with us, which was very helpful!
Oh oh Mud, we can't go over it...
we can't go under it...
we'd better go through it!!
The kids had so much FUN, getting stuck, falling over, making squelchy noises.
On the way back for lunch, look what we found -a bumble bee nest. I've never seen one before. The bees looked so sweet huddled up together. Even so I was not getting any closer for a better photo!!

After lunch was kite making. They are so simple to make: a kite shape cut out of a black bag, a couple of sticks, string and all held in place with gaffer tape.
Rosie-anna having some acrobatic fun! Today was her first outing to a group wearing pants. She decided to potty train herself at 19 months. She's doing a really good job of it too!
Welcome to the Home education kite flying festival.
It was a lovely sight to see the children running free, enjoying the sunshine and flying their home made kites.

Mima getting in a tangle.
Rosie going off for a snack - I found her eating dandelions.
Immy spent ages flying her kite ...
... until the field was empty.


  1. Wow, you guys are so lucky to have such a great home ed meet like this. How interesting to read about the pollution levels. My insect enthusiast son would be in his element there! And the kite flying festival - wonderful!

  2. Wow, what a great day out. Things like that make me wish we were home educating too!

    And that is serious mud!

  3. Hi
    The mud was thick, very thick. There were lots of children with muddy bottoms, and I was very close to falling in too!
    We are so lucky to have this group, so really hope it continues.

  4. That mud looks rather appealing, wouldn't mind playing in that myself ;o)
    Looks like a fab time was had, what a great meet!

    B xxx

  5. Really great pictures. Looks like everyone learned a lot and had a great time!


  6. Following you from the Monday bloghop, you can check out my site at

  7. glad no photos of me being stuck then ;) Shall try and keep up with your blog now :)

  8. Hi Kirsty
    I could add some if you're disappointed!

  9. Wow what a great learning experience for you all! Looks like a great day!

  10. Wonderful summer day!

    But I'm not too crazy about the...water scorpion...!!


  11. Your trip to the nature reserve looks like so much fun. My boys would love it.

    I'm visiting from Alphabe-Thursday. Have a great weekend!

  12. Wow, it all looks like so much fun! I have never seen a bumblebees nest, I don't blame you for not wanting to get to close!!

  13. What a day! The mud and muck would be right up Daniel's alley.

  14. Kool! Kids are so fun to watch when they're having fun :)

  15. When my children were small I had a friend that was a geologist. She tooks us on amazing field trips and taught us astonishing things.

    Reading your charming post brought back so many of these memories to me.

    I love that you let your children be children and play in the mud!

    You are really a cool person.

    Thank you for linking this week.


  16. Thank you everybody. All the mud came out in the wash!



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