Tag Archives: bugs

Lavender picking weekend

This weekend was our local lavender harvest fair, and we went on both days, as we do every year, because we all enjoy it so much.  We went on Saturday morning with Granny and Grandpa who were visiting us for the day.  We spent a lot of time cutting the lavender, enjoying the wonderful scent and watching the bees and butterflies.  It was very relaxing and the children were completely absorbed in what they were doing.  They also enjoyed the local honey stall, where they won some tiny pots of honey and a bag of homemade honeycomb in the lucky dip. lavender picking 1

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As well as cutting the lavender, the children helped to hunt for rosemary beetles which have to be removed or they destroy the lavender.  This was even more popular than the lavender cutting and kept them busy for a very long time.  Owl particularly enjoyed it.  He made friends with two older boys and between them they collected a lot of beetles.

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We went back today after church, and this time we bought some lavender and rosemary plants, lavender hand wash and bath foam and a jar of local honey.  We cut some more lavender, collected more bugs and spent time chatting to Mum Friendly Jo and her family.  (Jo of the many blogs – her post about today is here!)  We also saw our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick who arrived just as we were leaving, but came back to our house soon afterwards for a very late lunch.  We finished by learning how to distill lavender oil which was really interesting.  Owl is very keen to try this at home!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Paint, glitter glue and bug hunting

On Wednesday, we had home education group at our house again.  I was anxiously watching the weather, as I had planned a messy painting activity and was hoping to be able to do it in the garden.  Jennie asked earlier in the week if people could do some pink and purple messy play in the week leading up to Matilda Mae’s Mile in Memory walk which is taking place tomorrow, so I stocked up on pink and purple art and craft materials, as well as a multicoloured selection to give the children plenty of choice.  It was cloudy and wet in the morning, but by lunchtime the sun was out, and by the time everyone arrived it was warm enough to be in the garden.  There were five families this time, and a total of fourteen children ranging in age from four weeks to nearly nine years old.

I set up the pink and purple materials in one Tuff Spot and the multicoloured ones in the other.  We had glitter glue, paint, paper, feathers, foam hearts, fabric stars, pipe cleaners, water beads and a few other random bits and pieces.  I also had a big table with an assortment of boxes, cardboard tubes and glue for model-making, and a small table with finger paint and sponges for painting directly on the table as well as on paper.  And inside, I had pencils and paper on the dining room table for anyone who wanted a quiet place to sit and draw.

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It was a lovely afternoon, the children were busy and happy, the adults had time to chat, the artistic creations were wonderful and there was, as always, a good satisfying mess.  As well as painting and drawing, the children enjoyed climbing and swinging, scooting and riding bikes, and the inevitable bug hunting.  The children were also very excited to find a nest with four eggs in, right inside the “talking bush.”  This is a bush at the bottom of the garden which the children love to play in, and they think it is funny that from the outside we can’t see them so the bush appears to be talking.  By the end of the afternoon, the model-making had become quite elaborate and there is now an extensive and luxurious Matilda Mae Bug Hotel in our garden!  We will always remember Matilda Mae here, even if we show it in unusual ways.

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paint glitter bugs 4  paint glitter bugs 5

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We are also showing our support for Jennie and her family by walking a Mile in Memory for Matilda Mae tomorrow at the Rare Breeds Centre in Kent.  If you would like to help, you can donate here to support the work of the Lullaby Trust, and you can buy something lovely in the Matilda Mae Memorial Auction which will be launched tomorrow.  Sharing this post, and any of the posts I have linked to, would also help, so please do that too as much as you can.  Thank you.