Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Books, glorious books

I can't believe the first 7 days of December are gone already!

No Elf of the Shelf here, tree not going up until this coming weekend, but we are none-the-less in the Christmas spirit.  We've written all our Christmas cards and posted them, I still believe (strongly!) in doing this.  We've bought and wrapped all our Christmas presents - the kids have bought their own presents for family out of their own pocket money (I believe strongly in that too!  Christmas shouldn't be a one-way path in to the children, I feel it's important to teach them to sacrifice and give too).  They are really proud of themselves and happy with the choices they've made and the thought they've put in to choosing their presents.  They've wrapped and labelled them themselves, and it means so much because they are giving something of themselves 💖

We've got our advent calendars on the go 🎄😊  Mine is a wooden advent tree, with 24 tiny wooden decorations to hang on it - bought on holiday with DH in Vienna nearly 15 years ago now, and still going strong.   DS and DD bought their own advent calendars this year, I said no chocolate ones. So DS sold some of his old toys and bought himself a Lego City advent calendar, and DD followed suit and bought a cosmetics one. They are both thrilled with their choices 😊

I bought us a Book Advent from my fabulous Usbourne lady - who let me hand pick our books from a fab new range.  So far we've had these beauties -

I really cannot recommend them highly enough.  I'm a HUGE book fan, so it's such a treat to be reading these classics to my little book worms.  We settle down for Listening Time each morning, mostly with DS curled right in beside me so he can look at all the pictures, and DD drawing at my feet.  The Enchanted Castle (originally a novel by E Nesbitt) and The Canterville Ghost (originally Oscar Wilde) were both new to me and both really superb.  The kids favourites so far are Frankenstein and White Fang.  It sets our learning for the day as well, we've journied through the times of pirate, the Victorian workhouses to the Gold Rush and more besides!  Can't wait to see what we get tomorrow!

On the subject of Books, glorious books - some of you may remember the kids and I were lucky enough to preview a friend's debut children's book earlier in the year.  Well, on Monday it came in to print!  Of course we were straight on to Amazon to order our copy and read again about Maud and Dragon's adventures in glorious technicolour!  What struck me, receiving the hard copy in the post today, was just how beautiful Hannah Shewan-Friend's illustrations truly are.  To see them all together in the finished book was really quite a humbling experience.  We are so very proud of our talented friend 😊  If you have any children left to buy for this Christmas, I really don't think you could go far wrong with Inky Babble -

Other things we've been doing this week include a trip to one of our favourite libraries (uh-huh MORE books!!) for DD to meet up with her best friend and work on their Lapland geography project together.  They research about the Northern lights, the regions covered by Lapland and the summer's of 24 hour daylight.  They decided they would work on making a 3D scene to accompany their presentation.  For a first time of working together, self-led, they did really, really well.    And DS was excited to find a Terry Pratchett children's book - so we booked that straight out! And, of course, he looked up what he could about his beloved carnivorous plants!

We've also been playing lots of fun games this week :-)  Such as Lego Minataurus -

Given we are BIG fans of Lego and BIG fans of the legend of the Minotaur, this game is the best of both worlds! You can get it on Amazon - but my personal advice is have a look on Ebay first.  We recently bought this one second hand on Ebay (complete) for a fraction of the price.

We also picked up this little gem in a charity shop earlier this week -

Still available on Amazon - - and currently under three quid!! 

A great little game, simple to play, good for reading skills and also subliminal learning as the animals are grouped together in their families - mammals, crustaceans, reptiles and so forth.  Make a great stocking filler 😉

DD's been reading, reading, reading - a couple of new novels, re-reading some Harry Potters and we finally got our hands on a couple of the Goosebumps books for her to try.  So that's kept her going for a couple of days, along with re-reading the Malory Towers series.

And DS has been playing creatively and inventing -

Other excitement includes our new bean bags having arrived today!  Giant, waterproof bean bag floor cushions that can be sat on in a variety of ways.  Sensory heaven for my two 💙  So they've ridden horses, relaxed on life rafts and belly surfed on lilo's!  And, even better, they were delivered in boxes big enough to sit in!  So the rest of the afternoon was spent making and watching Christmas movies in their own houses! 

With books to read!

Happy, happy days :-)

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