Friday, 1 August 2008

Butterflies - visit, music, watercolours and more

The day started on an arty note. I coloured some rice which had spilt all over the cupboard and no longer looked edible. Miles used this to decorate butterfly shapes.

In the meantime Hermione and me looked at a book we picked up from the 'free table' at one of our local home ed gatherings about how to paint different things in nature.

This is the first time we have used any kind of painting 'instructions' as in the past I always felt this would stunt creativity. However, we were really pleased with the outcome. Hermione painted these butterflies after just a couple of attempts.

I think they're wonderful.

We listened to two clips of distinctly different butterfly music.

Afterwards I asked Hermione to describe how each one made her feel in one word. She described the Puccini one as 'calming' and the other one as 'calming but in a buffoonish kind of way'. Hmmm, not a one word answer and possibly not what I expected but in any event I think I met the 'learning objective' (bit of terminology practice there in case I need to account to the powers that be) in that she acknowledged that different styles of music can make you feel differently.

Moving on we made a start on our written activities about butterflies. We started by looking at a diagram of body parts and discussing it. Hermione labelled a diagram.

We talked about the differences between moths and butterflies and learned how to tell them apart by the shapes of their antennae.

This afternoon was to be the highlight of our butterfly study, a visit to Butterfly World. Well, no such luck I'm afraid. Miles didn't like the butterflies and wanted to leave within minutes. Thinking back Hermione was scared of butterflies at this age too. Hermione was much more interested and spent a while in there with Nana after we left - but the visit was still brief and in our case not worth the money. I think Hermione may ave enjoyed it more had it been quieter. Will I ever learn to stay home during holiday times?

Due to the fact that my visit lasted about ninety seconds I have no pictures of the butterflies but I did take a picture of a rather nice waterfall you could wander under.

We headed home after our disappointing trip and I pondered what to cook for dinner while the children busied themselves, heads down, bottoms up, in a waterlogged sandpit.

I decided upon Spinach Beet and Almond Soup with Dumplings. One I made up as I went along. It was surprisingly good.

All in all not a bad day. Not a bad day at all. I've still got energy to pop out into the garden and pick myself a bunch of sweet peas before putting my feet up with a glass of chilled white wine.


Bridget said...

Lovely butterflies, shame about the outing, my children have done that on fairground rides, you pay, they get on and last about 30 secounds and want the ride stopped. Don't you just love 'em?!

Lynn said...

Great butterfly project!!

The soup sounds and looks tasty.Could you share the recipe for it and the dumplings? I finally have some spinach beet to pick, YEAH!!! xx

Claire said...

I never measure anything when I'm cooking so everything is approximate.

Put three decent sized potatos and a couple of onions in a pan of vegetable stock. Simmer till poatatoes are cooked. Add a couple of big handfuls of spinach beet and leave it till it's wilted. Add carton of almond milk and stir well. Liquidise.

While soup was cooking mix dumplings - 6oz of SR flour, 3 oz veggie suet and a little bit of water.

Place a couple of inches of soup into a shallow oven dish (I use the lasagne pan) and place dumplings in. Keep lid on the rest of the pan of soup so it doesn't go cold. I've found that doing the dumplings this way, half covered with soup and half exposed makes them soft on the inside a crunchy on top. Bake on medium heat till golden brown (about twenty minutes).

Put soup in bowls and pop dumplings on top.

I've used this basic soup recipe for all kinds of veg - anything that is growing out of hand in the garden. Brocolli, ordinary spinach and even rocket works fine. I tend to use whichever small carton of cream I have handy too - soya, oatley or almond.