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October heat wave shadows…

A collage of some of the early October heat wave shadows, first thing in the morning.

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Penguins…

I made both boys their own Lego penguins and Jac was carrying his around all day and Jamie loved his black and white version. Jac even put a yellow snorkel on the side of his penguin!

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Scuffles and toy snatching…

I started this post as a draft a few weeks ago following a month or so of some fairly sustained toy-snatching by Jac. He had been going up to Jamie and stealing whatever toy or Lego model he was playing with at the time.

Our first thoughts were that he wasn’t getting enough attention from us, or certainly not enough positive attention. It’s easy to fall into lazy patterns where not enough attention and focus is given to the boys, so this was a kind of wake up call for us.

We are going to try and spend more time interacting and playing with the boys to avoid some of the scuffles and arguing + toy snatching by Jac. It’s probably a lack of direct attention so there’s an easy way to solve that one!

So, we gave that a go with some success but unless one of us was sitting right by Jac, he would just go back to stealing things, so obviously not a very sustainable solution. I had an idea that instead of being some more complicated reason, that it was more likely to be something simple. It seems most things are simple at their source and tackling that source issue can solve a whole range of related problems.

The problem seems to have been to do with Lego. Jamie was getting a lot of positive attention for the great models he was building but it was also something which we were stopping Jac from getting involved with, given that the Lego had been given to Jamie over the last couple of years. Jamie was also saying that it was special to him and getting upset when Jac even touched any of it. Making Lego models was also something I was doing with Jamie which Jac was obviously picking up on.

There were obviously a few quite emotional connections to the Lego, so instead of constantly stopping Jac from getting involved, we started making little models for Jac at the same time and over a short amount of time, Jamie got used to Jac having a little go. This was much better for everyone than the snatching, so everyone accepted it easily. Jamie even started complimenting Jac on his models and playing with him more, as it was something which they could share and play with together.

What I might introduce is the idea that as soon as the original Lego model is built and then subsequently taken apart, everyone can use the pieces to build whatever they want. The new model only stays together for a matter of days anyway.

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Lego train & bus…

Following the rocket lego session, another big lego (Duplo) construction session, during the evening when Jamie seems to be at his most creative and energetic! Shame it’s the opposite for the parents!

So, Jamie made a people transporter with train at the front, and I made a long utility train, with helicopter landing pad, raised bed, wall holder, ladder, crane, slide and two coal trucks!

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Jac’s crocodile, tower and games…

Jac’s been building more things with Lego and created a whole crocodile with a long row of bricks.

He was also using the CBeebies website and growing plants on the Big and Small site!

I also set out lego bricks on a board going from 1 to 8 bricks, so Jac could have a visual representation of the numbers. He’s still saying 1, 2, 3, 6…!

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Legoland adventure…!

On Friday we went to the amazing Land of Lego, also known as Legoland!

This was an early birthday present for Jamie’s 5th birthday at the end of October, and we went with Claire’s parents. Claire’s Dad kindly drove us all over there and we got them their tickets – but not the lunch!!

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So, i’ve been wanting to go to Legoland since I found out about it, so I was really looking forward to it (as were the little kids!). It took about 1.5 hours to get there and we got there a bit after 10, which is when it opens. We got actually into Legoland at about 11, but overall there weren’t huge numbers of people – but there was some kind of Inset Day for local schools which pushed up the numbers.

Everyone was really excited by it all and there were lots of cool introduction things before the main rides, like slides, playground equipment and large lego models to look at. Also a great view over the park from the entrance area, with a view of Windsor Castle and the big wheel.

We went to the model village first (Miniland), which was amazing. Lots of recreated countries, with landmarks from different places, like the Houses of Parliament, or the space shuttle launch area. They had the Angel of the North, complete with Newcastle fans at the base and Jamie liked the little camp site. The boys were just staring at this for ages. We could easily have spent a couple of hours there. It was all very neat and tidy, with miniature plants and hidden things.

We went on the JCB diggers, cars, self-drive boats, merry-go-round (carousel), remote control trucks, submarine ride, safari ride and the large playground area. Jamie also loved the water park area (Waterworks), where there were water cannons.

The lunch was also great – glad I wasn’t paying for this bit! At one point, the screen on the till read £41.00!! Then there was a discount taken off for a Merlin Pass which we didn’t even have. Claire’s Dad nearly had a heart attack!

We didn’t even have time for the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, Knights’ Kingdom or Land of the Vikings! You could easily get 2 full days out of the park and we’re certainly going back there, probably with a stay in a local hotel.

Overall a very good day out and I was impressed with the quality and variety in there. It only cost us £30 for 4 adults and 2 kids (with Claire’s amazing voucher collecting), which was a really good deal.

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Wall-E Jamie 2…

Since watching Wall-E for the first time last week, Jamie has really got into the theme!

He used my collection of badges and pinned them onto his lego PJs, pretending to be Wall-E. He’s started talking like him and has a little bowl with his collection of interesting objects.

Claire and I have both made Wall-E related lego models and he loved the one Claire made!

I also showed Jac how to play Downfall. He was getting slightly frustrated at first but then picked how to turn the wheels and line up the adjacent holes really well. He sees to like detailed technical activities.

Also a super-hill train track!

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