The Living Train

Today we went on an exciting train ride, but not in the conventional sense! Jenson's old train set provided the inspiration and his love of Lego fuelled the activity. 

We began by making lots of different mini figures. Jenson only has a 'small' selection of his Lego collection with him on holiday, which is still a lot, but by his standards, he was rather limited with what he had available. It did however encourage great use of imagination. Where we lacked a head or pair of legs, another more unusual piece made a good substitute. I don't like building Lego models normally as I don't find much satisfaction from it. I did however very much enjoy making these slightly odd figures with mutant arms and legs. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit of an oddball so could relate to them!! 

All the little figures then boarded the train. Jenson's sense of the world and geography unravelled brilliantly. The world, different countries and places are all very jumbled up inside his head but it made for an utterly fascinating journey not just aboard the train but also through Jenson's mind. The people in the first carriage were off to Africa and in the second carriage they were off to Scotland. Some were off to climb mountains and others were going ice skating. There was even a junk carriage, filled with odd bits of Lego, so passengers could recycle along the way.

In terms of learning, we covered a lot of subjects. First stop was the recycling area, where all the rubbish was dropped off. We had a little chat about recycling and why we do it before the train moved on. It's next destination was the mountains. I asked Jenson if he knew the names of any, to which he replied no. Sadly what Jenson learns only extends as far as my knowledge, which isn't extensive. I plucked a few names out of my memory banks: Snowdon and The Pyrenees, and explained which countries they are in. And so our little figures disembarked the train and began their climb up Snowdon. At the top they all enjoyed a picnic with their friends. 

The train moved on to its next stop: Scandinavia. The odd looking figure below had originally been made by me but improved by Jenson. He removed the original legs I gave it and replaced them with skies. The items of furniture he associated with different parts of the world was fascinating, particularly in this case. Jenson liked how one of our white, reflective Habitat coffee tables replicated shiny sheet ice. It was lovely to see him making connections between different materials, colours, textures that could mimic different temperatures and landscapes around the world.

The train's final stop was the moon! It was a pretty rough section of track by all accounts: our little mini figure fought space aliens before he played a game called star catching. He managed to catch two stars and put them in his pocket so he could make belts out of them later. He then had to run over an invisible octopus and used its tentacles to jump onto the ceiling where he got stuck. Apparently that was the end of the train ride because The Living Train had delivered all of the people to the different countries.

The name of the train was all Jenson's idea. I had simply put the question to him: What is the train called? It seemed totally appropriate.

This activity took us up to about lunchtime, at which point I thought it might be good to get some fresh air. We had to go into Woolacombe anyway to get a few bits and so we wrote a list of things we needed. Jenson then stuck the pen up his nose, as you do when you're five years old.   

As so often happens, our little trip out to the beach lasted for a good two hours. We timed the weather well again today. Having rained all morning, the sun slowly came out and we spent the afternoon playing under its warm rays. 

There was much sand throwing, rock climbing and frisbee playing. Jenson is so at ease on the beach with all the freedom it offers. It is a world away from the confines of the classroom. 

I particularly like the picture below: man power vs. machine power!

One of our favourite games was playing chase with our own shadows. Again, it was all Jenson's idea and what a fun one it was. Of course none of us escaped them but that didn't stop us trying!

Finally, while Wren and I played frisbee, Jenson wandered off to build this: his own castle complete with moat and turrets. Here King Jenson I sits!