A Week of Unschooling: Videos, Toys and Parks


Busy busy busy. We’re always busy learning and living. Lately I’ve been trying to save some money so I’ve restricted our activities a bit and we’ve spent a lot of time at home or at the local park. Which is cool. We’ve also visited lots of friends and met some new ones too. Here’s what Nookie has been doing and learning over the last week or so:

* Seeing a full-sized globe in a shop and having a look at it. Pointing out where our country is in relation to the world.

* Helping me to pick out a birthday present for someone.

* Riding up and down the house and garden on her scooter, making me chase her.

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* Watching YouTube videos about dyeing eggs.

* Having her (very detailed) book about the human body read to her. Discussing how bones work and what kidneys do.

* Playing with her Scooby Doo and Peppa Pig toys, castles, houses and vehicles.

* Taking her toy dog to the park and making him go on all the equipment.

* Listening to Gorillaz and singing along.

* Watching Peppa Pig and Scooby Doo.

* Playing at the park with all her friends.

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* Doing some jigsaws together.

* Building with wooden blocks.

* Having sword fights and shooting “zombies” with her toy gun.

* Visiting our town centre and looking around the market.

* Looking around a graveyard with her Nannie at all the “dead peoples’ graves”.

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* Meeting a newborn baby for the first time. Talking about how small babies are and that they can’t eat food or sit up or hold things yet.

* Practising writing letters in a workbook she got with a kids magazine.

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* Practising counting in the same workbook.

* Cutting out shapes with plasticine.

* Playing with musical instruments.

* Helping me to cook dinner by chopping vegetables and grating ginger.

* Watching YouTube videos about Play Doh sets.

* Watching old Betty Boop videos on YouTube.

* Sticking stickers all over her new scooter to jazz it up.

* Cutting and sticking shapes from a kids magazine.

* Playing with Play-Doh.

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* Pretending to make meals for us all with her toys.

* Improvising a skate park with an empty water-play toy and making her little toys with scooters and skateboards ride around it.

* Experimenting in the bath with funnels, different shaped cups and various other containers. Making whirlpools in the funnel.

* Exploring the park: looking at berries growing on bushes and trees, various fungi growing on the ground, and different plants. Picking blackberries.

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* Playing games on the CBeeBies website, mostly The Big Bug Show.

* Watching Laputa Castle in the Sky over and over.

* More practising writing letters and numbers in a new workbook (completely of her own accord).

* Making a Play Doh man using a skull-shaped cookie cutter and adding bits to him.

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* Singing along to music with her music player and microphone.

* Taking an evening walk to the shop and talking about the most random things, from what bricks are used for to why I sometimes shout. Both buying sweeties at the shop and eating them on the walk back home.

* Discussing how to cross roads safely and practising it over and over.

* Building a skeleton from a set she got for her birthday.

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* Watching Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea over and over.

* Having teddy bears picnics with her new food play sets, toy kitchen, and various toys and teddies.

9 Comments

Filed under Play, Unschooling

9 responses to “A Week of Unschooling: Videos, Toys and Parks

  1. Rebecca Beesley

    we’ve just had a couple of days away but I’ve been looking forward to getting home to get started on blackberry picking! Sounds like you are having a lovely time. xxx

  2. Oh * My * Goodness * She is growing up! It sounds great aNony.

    D’you know, Cupcake still loves to play with her playdough from time to time. Do you ever make your own? Cupcake’s favourite home made one was when i added lavender oil and glitter. It also proved to be a great conditioner for my hands too!

    We watched Pom Poko recently, have you seen that? Another Studio ghibli one, with a real strong eco-theme. We both loved it. It’s on Cupcake’s birthday list – they’re nearly the only DVDs we buy new/nearly new. Each birthday I buy her two and they watched over and over… They’re pretty hard to get very cheap, although we did pick up ‘Spirited Away’ for £1 at a car boot sale (lol, I know, I know, I sound like I practically live among car boot sales!)

    Oh yes, a little website Cupcake used to love (and still appreciates) is Poisson Rouge. It’s a French website but the activities don’t require literacy. Might be worth a look at for Nookie.

    Also, we went blackberry picking too. I made jam for the first time since Cupcake was born. As for the strawberries, bought on sale, they didn’t exactly turn to jam so well (despite my using a jam thermometer!) I think they were a bit too ripe and I addd a bit too little lemon juice for pectin… still we now have the most tasty pancake/ ice-cream syrup ever! Just wish it had fewer calories!

    • Tell me about it. I can’t believe she’s three! And she comes out with the most random stuff now… Proper sentences and observations and questions. Sometimes I’m just stunned by her.
      :) I made my own once but it dried up really quickly and I couldn’t be bothered making more. It’s so cheap to buy and she has so many tubs from all the sets we’ve recently got. Glitter sounds cool though! Maybe an idea for the future.

      Ooh no we don’t have that one. I didn’t realise there were new ones coming out! I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      There’s nothing wrong with going to car boot sales! I wish I had the time to go to them. Maybe one day when Nookie keeps more civilised hours. (At the moment she goes to sleep somewhere between 1 and 2am and gets up around 9 or 10).

      Yeh I’ll have a look, thanks. She can’t do the games on the website yet really. She tells me what to click and I do it. :)

      Yum!! Yeh I always get a huge haul of strawberries on the market. I always get there towards the end of the day when the sellers are trying to shift all their bulk. Usually they’re selling two huge punnets of strawberries for a pound. I can never turn it down so buy them and then wonder what the hell I’m going to do with so many strawberries! So far I’ve made ice-cream and cakes with them. Not tried jam yet though. It always seems so much messing about and the strawberry jam you buy is perfectly nice and really cheap. I might have a go at blackberry jam though actually! You’ve inspired me.

      • The blackberry jam is to die for! Really. Astonishingly flavourful stuff. We picked elderberries to mix with the last lot. It’s not difficult to make, jam. I used to follow all sorts of fancy jam recipes now I just make sure I have some cooking apples (25% to 50% of the overall weight) added to any low pectin fruit, like strawberries, as they help it set (or you could buy commercial pectin if you want unadulterated strawberry jam). Other than that, I use what’s available. Prep everything (peel and core your apples), weigh it all, measure out the same amount of sugar (or a little less if you know you’ll use it up quickly) put in a pan on low, bring to the boil and boil for around 20 minutes, do a setting point test (cold plate, trickle of jam, if there’s a skin when it cools then you’ve reached setting point, if not continue boiling for 5 more minutes then try again). Make sure your jars are washed in boiling water and warmed in the oven, pour in jam (a jam funnel really helps) and stick a waxed disc on top with a lid or fabric cover and there you go!

        If you get impatient or you know you’ll eat it all soon you don’t even have to go for a full set jam.The runny stuff is ready after 10 minutes cooking and is great on pancakes, ice-cream, rice pudding, with plain yogurt, on crumpets (it soaks into the holes!) to mix with other fruits when making crumbles or pies, or to add to milk for a home made and healthy milk shake! You can even pour it into small moulds and add lolly sticks once it’s cooled. If you want to keep the sugar content *really* low then just freeze it in small amounts and use as needed. Easy way to use up a bargain fruit mound before it goes off!

      • You’ve really inspired me! I might have to make some in a recipe for my new blog. I’m thinking up a fig tart-te-tan this week (after picking up figs in the market cheap!), but maybe the week after if I could get a haul of some sort of berry from the market. Or maybe I could talk Nookie into blackberry picking again (I think she’s a bit sick of it! Ha ha.)

  3. Yippee!!! Thanks so much Lily! I made some jam today with the figs I’d got instead of the tart-te-tan, using the recipe you gave me, and it worked perfectly! It took a lot longer than 20 minutes, but it did work. It’s delicious! Yay! I’m gonna make some sort of squidgy honey cake I think and drizzle the jam over the top. :) I’ll credit you on my blog if I make it into a recipe. :)

    • Aww, thanks sweetie!

      Yes, if the fruit is very ripe or has just naturally has a high water content it can take a looooong time to reach setting point. I always rue starting jam making late in the day because you can bet that’s when it is most likely to take forever! The thing is with preserve making, it’s another of those skills many women used to have but it’s been appropriated to commerce and the intricate recipes in cookbooks and magazines make it seem real difficult. And modern cookbooks that take three pages to describe the making of one dish just *do* *my* *head* *in*!!!

      I have a magazine article from the early 80s that sums up 45 cakes, tarts, puds and flans (flans were very ‘in’ then, lol) in three pages! Yes, I have been a bit of a recipe collector in my time!

      As for tarte tatin, I’ve made the conventional apple sort before (many moons ago). Now you’ve got me thinking I should have another go at that but with figs. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked figs before so it will be an adventure – isn’t it sad what passes for adventure in my life? Ha ha!

      • I totally agree! That’s why I’m trying to simplify the recipes on my blog, and not phase people. So many recipes I used to read would phase me so much until I wrote them out myself in a simpler manner. Ha ha, I’m a recipe collector too. Most of my favourite recipes come from two cookbooks from the 70s that I stole from my mum. Ha ha. I’ve a cupboard full of recipes pulled from magazines too that I occasionally now use for ideas and inspiration. :)

        I made caramelised onion tart-te-tan a little while ago, which was delicious. But I’ve never made a sweet one. I’ll get around to it one day. I’ve seen them make fig tart-te-tan on Masterchef loads of times… I think you just have to be careful with all the liquid figs have in them.

        Na, cooking is an adventure! I get dead excited about it. :)

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