Sunday, February 21, 2010

By the river

We went for a walk by the river while we were visiting at a local's house. Her 4yo daughter played rope games with Kalea at the other end of that rope in the picture. Tyger and the 7yo boy pulled and pulled on the rope which was tied on to a floating ramp in the water. It was very large and heavy but those two boys managed to pull it around to the dock! This kept them entertained for a good 30 minutes!

Other interesting things found on the walk through reeds and mud next to the river were grasshoppers, golden orb weavers, the occasional butterfly and dragonfly. Around the muddy water near the docks, the children found water spiders, blue dragonflies, loads of tiny toads or frogs, and tadpoles in different stages of development.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Castles, dragons & unicorns


After reading about dragons, unicorns, knights and castles during the library reading session, the kids were given the task of making their own castle. Now we know what to do with all those toilet paper rolls, paddlepop sticks and aluminium foil!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beach

Kalea and Tyger had a great time at the beach today with the homeschooling group. There was quite a big turn out with a couple new people.

Tyger spent his time playing ball games with some older boys, exploring, climbing trees and playing with toys.

Kalea spent her time playing on the swings, reading her book with a few other kids, climbing trees and exploring. We nicked off for a quick swim as well which was refreshing given how hot it was!

A good day all around, bonus being one of the new people is local to our area and we can organise local meets on the side of the larger group.

Water Dragon species

This is what we found on our front stairs this morning. Definitely not a goanna, it seems to be a type of dragon. Unfortunately the photo wasn't good quality (phone photos!). A young homeschooling friend has identified this as an Eastern Water Dragon - see here for a better pic and more info.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Power cut

We had the power out for more than half a day today. It was aggravating as it was hot and sunny. We made it til noon then headed to the library for airconditioning only to see the street chock full of electricity company trucks and lots of people fiddling with the power lines. Sigh. When we got back home, the power was still out and it started thundering and raining hard so I sat down on the couch outside to watch the rain.

Kalea came out, sat next to me and muttered so darkly "I hope THOSE people get wet!". It was hilarious as I was just thinking that I hoped they electrocuted themselves while working on the lines in the rain. Just to clarify I asked her what people she was talking about and she said "The ones who broke the power!"

Glad to know I'm not the only one thinking sour thoughts about the power company!

On the plus side, we got a lot of reading in at the library, plus a lot of cleaning and art stuff done this morning.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Science experiment website

http://www.sciencebob.com/experiments/index.php

A friend just sent me this link. It has some interesting experiment ideas on it! The children want to make the duck call one to call some ducks! I don't think it quite works like that if there are no ducks in the immediate area!

Golden Orb Weavers

We have heaps of those outside our windows. Even had one living right over the washing machine but it wasn't having much luck catching food so it moved!

No pictures unfortunately. I did try taking some with the phone but they were crap quality, not worth putting up. We had a google around and here are some websites we found on the Golden Orb Weaver;

Learning Spark Orb Spider
Spiders in the Wet Tropics

And curiously a few sites said those spiders don't actually eat birds.... had a chuckle when we then came across this news article - Spider Eats Bird

Tyger counted 5 spiders, Kalea counted over 10. Turns out there are 5 large golden orb weavers with quite a number of other smaller spiders living in a symbiotic relationship sharing the big webs. Or they might be the male species of the golden orb weaver. I'm not getting close enough to look!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Reflections and Rainbows

Tyger was outside playing with a spraybottle filled with water. Suddenly he came running to me to tell me he had 'found' a rainbow. He showed me how if he sprayed in a certain place it would reveal a rainbow!

Kalea was telling him it was because of the sun, so Tyger tested spraying in other places out of sunlight and announced there were no rainbows there. We talked a bit about how water and light reflects images, and how white light is made of different colours which are seen when the light is refracted by a prism.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Misc

We've been all over the place in the last few days. Lots of to'ing and fro'ing with tiresome errands but in the middle of all that we managed to get to the library twice and to the beach once. We have books on cicadas and cassowaries that we ordered in and the kids are engrossed. They want to visit a beach where a pair of cassowaries can usually be seen wandering up and down the beach but it is a ways away so we will have to plan for that - maybe a camping trip.

Of new interest are the large spiders that have taken up residence outside the windows. We've got one over the washing machine as well but that one doesn't seem to catch much as it is still the same size it was when we first saw it, compared to the ones outside the windows. The kids have been watching the spiders catch their food. I've offered a few times to help them identify the spiders on the net by pulling up some pictures for them to look at, but they were more interested in youtubes of Astroboy cartoons. I didn't even know Astroboy was STILL around!