Today was LEGO Club and this week, after flicking through our Unofficial Guide to Lego, Jenson had decided he wanted to make LEGO sensory bins and LEGO ice excavations.
Before all that though were our usual jobs of the day, the first one was to put the rabbits in their run. Sometimes Jenson and Wren help and sometimes not. This morning we all mucked in and it's always much more enjoyable with the children. Jenson topped up their bowl with food and gave them fresh water, he even tried to carry one, which is no mean feat with these wrigglers! Wren meanwhile did what she loves doing most in the garden: watering the flowers.
It was all a bit of a late start after the children gave me an impromptu puppet show from the comfort of my own bed! I was conscious that time was ticking and we still had to go to the shops to buy the rice for the sensory bins. We did make it to the Co-Op where we bought four kilos of rice, we also got a grilling from Pat about why Jenson wasn't in school. People's reactions are funny when you tell them you home school. I don't see it as a big deal in the slightest, but for some it does raise a few eye brows. Pat's only come back to this earth shattering piece of news was: "Is he going to count all the grains of rice in that bag?" Enough said.
And so when we finally got back home we had just enough time to set up. It was such a beautiful day I suggested to Jenson we might like to do LEGO Club outside in the garden. He helped, begrudgingly, and so together we laid all the LEGO trays out and filled up our containers with rice.
Jenson got stuck straight into the sensory bins while we waited for our LEGO buddies to arrive.
We had a nice turn out and it was great to see familiar faces. Arrabella and Sebastian are Jenson's age and he is fond of the pair of them. Sebastian in particular is quite a new friend. He has been to a few previous LEGO clubs but it was at The Giant Wiggle where the pair of them really hit it off. It was great to hear Jenson tell Sebastian today how much he liked him. The pair of them were having a super time giggling away with each other, until Jenson decided he needed some quiet time and so shut himself in the house. It was good he was able to recognise he was struggling before he lashed out too badly at Sebastian or another child.
The children all loved the sensory bins. It was a great opportunity for them to explore their senses while playing with their favourite toy. It provided endless possibilities, encouraging skills such as fine motor, sesnory input and pretend play. I also added containers of water after a great tip from Sebastian's Mum. This only heightened the whole experience for them all as they watched the rice swell up and their LEGO pieces submerge further. They also enjoyed the sensory feeling of the rice, both dry and wet, on their hands.
Wren in particular delighted in mixing more and more water to her rice until the whole thing overflowed! I was glad we had opted to do LEGO Club outdoors this morning!
Jenson had built a submarine and was pretending that it was submerging into the rice. This prompted a conversation about submarines and a bit of a test to see what he could remember from our visit to the Submarine Museum in Portsmouth back in January.
The fish pond also proved popular with Sebastian in particular. I'm not sure the fish could understand what was going on, but they kept surfacing trying to nibble on Sebastian's boat! It was delightful and a wonderful way to fire his imagination about boat's on the sea and circling sharks or other fish.
Finally, when the children were all done with rice and the patio looked like it had experienced a very isolated snow shower, we moved onto the ice excavations. They each chose a container and then filled it up with pieces of LEGO. Jenson was very particular about his choices: a warrior with various weapons. We had a chat about whether he might be a Viking, a Roman or someone else from another ancient civilisation. The children all carried their trays into the kitchen where they put them in the freezer ready to excavate next week.
After LEGO club, we spent the afternoon pottering in the garden with Arrabella and her Mum, who stayed to play. I can't say it was the best afternoon of my life. Jenson and Wren were both hell bent on making as much mess as possible, and when I say mess, I mean pulling out all the clothes in the wardrobes in their bedrooms, making dens in my bedroom and the lounge, tipping LEGO all over the dining room floor and pulling all the toys off their toy shelves. They both refused to tidy up, which tipped me over the edge to the point that Wren got thrown outside and Jenson, after deliberately hitting me in the foot with his wooden shield, got dragged out of his bedroom by the scruff of his neck and into the TV room for some very stern words that Arrabella couldn't hear. His shield got thrown in the wheely bin and shall remain there.
After Arrabella left Jenson tried to saw down a piece of wood to make a tree house and both children enjoyed dinner on our swing chair. It was an exhausting day, not helped by the fact that I have caught Jenson's rotten cold, which makes my patience run very thin. Roll on tomorrow.