September 27, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up: Science Fun

We’ve had a really fun week in the Nibsy household.

Monday was quiet day at home so we enjoyed some board games and journal writing. Nibsy decided he wanted to play “proper” monopoly rather than his junior version so we did! Working out the money is harder in the full version but it’s really great for extending his maths skills. Fun and educational – what more can you ask for in a game?


On Tuesday Nibsy had his second Piano lesson. He’s been really good about practising since his last one and he was very keen to get to his lesson and show his teacher what he could do. I’m glad we’ve waited until now to put him in to any sort of structured lesson/activity because he is able to concentrate well now for extended periods of time, I think any sooner and he wouldn’t have been able to.

Wednesday was our home ed meet up. We took a break over the summer because people are always busier with partners off work, holidays, enjoying the (few) sunny days and it can make arranging a meet up harder but now the summer is behind us and we are back to our scheduled meets. This week we met at Levengrove Park in Dumbarton which was great for me and Nibsy as it’s our local park. The weather was looking a bit touch and go when we arrived with huge black clouds hanging over us but somehow we only got a couple of very light rain showers followed by some lovely sunshine – it was a great first day of Autumn.

Thursday we spent another quiet day at home, Nibsy has been quite tired from what has been a busy fortnight (we visited friends in England the previous week) so it was good to have a little down time.

Fridays activity I kept as a surprise for Nibsy. The science centre in Glasgow was hosting it’s annual Explorathon and we were lucky enough to get some of the free tickets to it. Since it was on from 6pm – 11pm we decided to meet Nibsy’s Dad in Glasgow for some dinner before heading over the Science Centre.


I do love the look of Glasgow at night, so many pretty lights!

The tickets to Explorathon gave you access to all the normal exhibits in the centre as well as a lot of stalls and workshops provided by the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde. We’ve visited the Science Centre once before as part of a home education group and Nibsy was really excited to be back.


In truth he wasn’t very interested in the stalls and I feel like a lot of them were aimed at children a wee bit older than Nibs but he had a fabulous time just exploring everything else the centre had to offer. Our friends were also there and their oldest child enjoyed the workshops…he even ate a cricket dipped in chocolate! Brave boy.


On the second floor they have section where people can write down their thoughts on some paper, roll it up and put it in to a thought wall. You can then read other peoples ideas as well as contributing your own, what a fab idea! Nibsy couldn’t wait to add his own thoughts to it.


Nibsy is working hard on his writing and spelling but it is still hard work for him so he drew a picture and I added the text for him. His thoughts focused on 4 states of matter: liquid, gas, solid and plasma. I swear this boy knows more scientific stuff that I do, thank goodness his Dad is good at these things!

We stayed a couple of hours and then Nibsy began to tire so we headed home. We could have stayed longer and there was a lot we didn’t have the chance to see but we felt there was little point in pushing it as an over tired child just wasn’t going to get much more out of the occasion.

I’m very excited that as a Christmas gift Nana and Grandad are purchasing Nibsy a year pass to the centre. I just have to purchase my own and then we can go as often as we like!

So that’s our week! Did you get up to anything fun?


So something fun has happened for us, our children’s book club has restarted. A friend and I ran it for 5 months in 2014 (before my family moved back to England for a brief interlude) and it’s taken us this long since we returned to Scotland to get it up and running again. Nibsy has been asking on and off for months now about it so he was naturally super pleased to hear that we had set a day, time, location and book.


Island of the Blue Dolphins (Puffin Books)

We’ve been having a book club meeting every 2 weeks and each meeting includes discussion about the chapters we’ve read in the previous fortnight as well as a craft linked with the theme of those chapters. When we ran the club previously we met at each other houses but as our group as grown in size a little since then we decided the best place to meet would be the library. We settled on the central library in Greenock and bless the staff, they haven’t batted an eyelid at a group of children completing somewhat messy crafts in the middle of their stacks of books!

The first week we created our own jewellery because in the book the people of the island were trading otter pelts for strings of beads and jewels. I will admit my friend and I actually left it to the very last minute to find purchase the resources needed which turned out really well for us in the end because in a little party shop we found a ton of blue dolphin beads…fate! The children had a great time with this activity and it really suited all our age ranges, the older children made more complicated patterns and our younger ones just enjoyed the threading of the beads. Nibsy created a necklace and a keyring just from a few beads and a couple of pieces of string.


At our second meet up we attempted a messier and slightly more difficult craft which turned out really well – making canoes. In that fortnight’s chapters the main character Karana had attempted to leave the island, where she had been left behind accidentally by her tribe, in a canoe but upon finding it too big  returned to the island and reworked it to a more manageable size.

Luckily my friend is great at organising things so she got together all the resources and even remembered to bring big plastic, disposable table covers so the children (and adults) didn’t get clue everywhere.  I’m pretty certain the librarians were very thankful for that.

This was a harder craft than the jewellery and our younger members, like Nibsy, needed some support to create their canoes but they all did a fab job and had a good time.


For our final meet up based on this book we decided to have a small celebration. We started by weaving our own baskets just like Karana did in the story, although we cheated a bit and use paper bowls to help us along.


This task was simple enough that all the children could have a go at it, it was a little time consuming however and that’s where the younger children got a bit fed up. I gave Nibsy a hand to complete his which was fine with me, mummy likes to craft too.


The older children did a fab job with their bowls and my friends daughter chose a really beautiful colour combination for hers, I’m sad I didn’t get a photo of it.

After the bowls were finished we enjoyed some Dolphin cupcakes and cookies that my friend had baked herself – she is very talented – they looked brilliant and tasted even better. We had a few left over so we were able to offer some to the librarians and I brought some home to enjoy after dinner. The children of thoroughly enjoyed them as did the adults.


The book was an excellent choice for our club, it offered so many talking points and activities to do and covered a broad range of ages. I will admit that Nibsy and I didn’t quite make it all the way to end of the book that’s to do with personal preference, the book was very heavy on a descriptive language which was lovely but Nibsy and I tend to be more action kind of people and we stalled on our reading about 100 pages in. Having said that, I’d thoroughly recommend the book especially if you would enjoy learning about life alone on an island and the nature  and survival tactics associated with it.

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