Sunday 15 September 2013

Downton Abbey

Only seven more sleeps until series four of Downton Abbey begins...

Saturday 14 September 2013

Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby!

 Reuben and Rosanna really enjoyed this new story book about the royal baby. We've read it several times and it's very amusing, 
even contains Auntie Pippa and Uncle Harry.

After reading the book, Reuben made a card to send to Prince George.

The Royal Armouries museum, Leeds

A while ago we had a lovely day out to Leeds,

 to the Royal Armouries.

The suits of armour are amazing, so much intricate detail.

Until Feburary 2014 there is a display of swords from Middle-Earth.

Stories from old of Robin Hood.

Fun times dressing up.

Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I presented Henry VIII with the armour that included this extraordinary ‘Horned helmet’ in 1514. This helmet was chosen as the symbol of the Royal Armouries in Leeds because of its extraordinary appearance and association with Henry VIII.

 We all found the gallery with suits of Armour worn by Henry VIII very interesting and we spent most of our time in this gallery.

 Imogen found it hard to believe that these suits had been worn by Henry VIII, in portraits he looks quite plump, but when he was younger he would have been slimmer and much more athletic.

 By Henry’s reign (1509-47) tournaments presented the finest sportsmen – skilled contestants who trained from a young age – and were often held to celebrate marriages, births, alliances and victories. They had become fashionable, courtly displays of power with glittering parades of rulers and noblemen. The spectacle of tournament continued to provide an opportunity for entertainment and sport, training with weapons and even diplomacy.

We had a quick look around the other floors, but we have a museum rule that we only look around one section in detail. In the past we felt frazzled after reading too many information boards.

Well worth a visit and it's free entry too.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Legoland Windsor

Trying to catch up with my blog posts, here's our visit to Legoland Windsor.

We stayed in the Windsor travelodge and had a great view of Windsor castle.

After worrying delays waiting for the bus 
(only half an hour actually but it seemed a lot longer),
 we arrived at Legoland and instantly fell in love with the place.

At last a dog that Rosanna dared to stroke!

The first place we visited was the Star Wars mini land.

Reuben loves Star wars. He thought the models were great
and enjoyed pressing the buttons to make them move.

After escaping from Darth Vader, we headed for the rides...

exploring dino valley

The Fiat garage and driving school.

First driving lesson.

 Outside the Atlantis ride.

This is the world-first lego submarine ride,
 which takes you on a  magical underwater adventure. 

Join the LEGO divers on a mission, on a journey to the bottom of the sea. 
As you travel along you get to see amazing creatures and incredible lego models in your search for the ancient ruins of the Atlantis.

It started to rain heavily, so we went and did the inside activities.
Lego building workshop

4D cinema which was lots of fun. 
A great day out and I hope we get to return soon.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Autumn Ideas,Crafts and experiments for kids

Autumn has inspired us ...
 to do lots of fascinating activities!

 We made chocolate truffle conkers

 Yes, inspired by Autumn, not sheep droppings!

 We had lots of fun cleaning the bowl.

 Next, we added green food colouring to marzipan to make the 'conker' shell.

 Yummy dark chocolate 'conkers'.
We also made chocolate leaves by melting chocolate and painting onto rose leaves from the garden. They look great, but some leaves are poisonous, so check before choosing them.

We then did looked into the science behind autumn.

 We re-visited photosynthesis,

defining the relevant scientific terminology.

We found out about chlorophyll 
and the other pigments involved in the colours of Autumn.

The leaves have orange and yellow pigments, but during the Summer we don't see them, because Chlorophyll (the green pigment) is dominant.

 We made symmetrical leaves and then dipped them in marbling inks.

 Abstract Autumn leaves
made from layered tissue paper.

 Dipped water colour Autumn trees.

Dying pasta with Autumn colours,
string them to make bracelets and sticking to make pictures.

 We collected leaves from the garden, to separate the pigments in leaves using chromatography.  Tear up the leaves into a little surgical spirit.
We chose ...
 Green leaves
red leaves
 purple leaves

 Next dribble the liquid onto strips of coffee filter paper.

 Young Scientist!

 Wrap the top of the paper round a kebab stick or similar and place strip in a jar with about a cm of surgical spirit. Leave for a few minutes. We didn't see much from the leaves, so we tried with food colouring and felt tip pens as well.

And they gave a much brighter result!
Jemima could remember back to over three years ago to when we went to Weston Perk musuem for a Science afternoon. The girls did some chromatography (not Rosanna, she wasn't born!), and Geoff spoke to the professor - a conversation which led him to embark on his research studies!
Back to the chromatography, Jemima wondered if you could use water. Imogen thought this would smudge rather than separate the colours. Which led to more experiments.

We also enjoyed lovely Autumn walks, 
now with a greater understanding of what's happening.


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