Today we had home education group at our house again. It was a sunny day, hot enough for sunhats and suncream, and the children played in the garden all afternoon. It was really good to see our friends, including some who hadn’t been for a while. It was nice to have the old crowd back together (with the addition a very lovely baby boy who was born two weeks ago!) and the children had a brilliant time. We made the most of having two tuff spots, and set up one with pink pudding (strawberry angel delight) and one with gloop (cornflour and water), and an assortments of bowls, cups and utensils. I also added cake cases this time, and some of the children enjoyed making angel delight cakes. Between the two tuff spots and the play sink, the children were very happy and busy all afternoon.
Sometimes the best things in life are unplanned. This is certainly true of the best opportunities to play. This afternoon it started with the arrival of our second tuff spot – one just wasn’t enough for four children (and all their visiting friends!) As soon as it arrived, the children were very keen to unwrap it and take it into the garden. We put it next to the other one and started to discuss what we might play with, but it was time for the big three to go to Dramabuds so I told them they would have to wait until after supper. While they were out, Tiddler wanted to sit in it, but the plastic had got too hot so I put some water in. He really enjoyed sitting in it and just splashing with his legs, and for a while he didn’t really need anything else. When he seemed to have had enough of that, I suggested he added some rocks from our collection, and he split them between the two tuff spots to make two beaches. We collected some boats from the bath and I gave him some pots and bowls for tipping and pouring. He played with them for a while, then went inside to look for something else to add. He returned with a bowl of lettuce which he had found in the fridge, which was rather cheeky, but funny, so I let him have it and we decided it was seaweed!
When he had finished playing with his beaches, we combined the two into one tuff spot, and he and Supergirl played with playdough in the other one while I got the supper ready. When the others came back from Dramabuds we had supper, then I gave them a big bowl of strawberry angel delight in one of the tuff spots, with lots of spoons and other kitchen utensils. They had fun playing with it, making patterns, writing letters, drawing pictures and eating it! I think the big boys may have eaten most of it, so I gave them all a yoghurt afterwards to make sure they had enough pudding. Anyway, angel delight is a big hit and I’m sure we’ll be playing with it – and eating it again. I just won’t look too closely at the list of ingredients. After years of serving up organic fruit and yoghurt for pudding, with the occasional home-made apple crumble, it is a bit of a U-turn to be giving them angel delight. But they love it, and it certainly makes a good satisfying mess!