Friday, 5 June 2009

Bumble-Bees and Beaches

On Tuesday morning we found out "what bees eat". Well, I was pretty sure it was pollen but you know when you start doubting yourself and you think you are really quite dim and that you should know the answer...? No? I guess I'm alone on that one then! Hee hee.

Anyway, we looked on-line to investigate this burning question to discover not only that they did eat pollen and nectar but they were also related to Hornets and they (the Hornets) eat smaller insects as well as plant-produce! It lead onto a clip on You Tube of 30 Hornets slaughtering a 10 thousand strong colony of bees! They are quite formidable insects but the Bees really put up a fight. We halted the clip quite prematurely as it was becoming somewhat barbaric. And that was all before breakfast! We printed off a factsheet too... It has a great picture of a Bee on it!

After brecks the girlies made clay models of Bees which they have since painted and they used reference books with Bee pictures in them as a guide.

When we were looking for the Bees in the books we found out lots about many other species too, particularly wasps (there are SO many different ones) and their killing and eating habits. We also looked at and discussed Lion Ants. They make conical hides and wait for prey to fall in... great!

Before lunch the girlies put on a show for me in the garden. They took it in turns for one to sing whilst the other danced with ribbons on sticks. It was all done to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star... Milly made up her own words and much of them related to the Bees we were studying all morning.

Hettie was given a lovely Peter Rabbit floor Jigsaw puzzle for her Birthday and they set too with this. There was an unusual amount of co-operation from Milly though at one point when they had completed it, she really did want her own space to do her own (much smaller with fiddly bits) Jigsaw puzzle. I think Hettie is learning to allow Milly some space.

As they were doing puzzles I was preparing a small picnic to take to the beach at Mersea. I told them when I had finished and it was a great surprise for them... and it was a complete privilege too as I really think hard of Martin at times like this. He's stuck in an office and we're sitting on a beach, the sun is hot and there are only a handful of bods on the beach... A real sigh! Martin would love the calmness as did the girlies as they ate most of their lunch in silence. A nice time for processing all they have done that morning.

After our nibbles, we wandered further towards the water to do some 'treasure digging' in the sand! I asked them to hunt for different coloured stones. Milly asked "how do we know which direction the wind is blowing?" We did the wet-finger-above-our-head-method... "that direction, Milly" pointing towards the beach huts! Well... there wasn't a weather vain nearby!

We had a lovely afternoon at the beach and this continued at home when Milly's pal from school came round for tea. There was no awkwardness as I had anticipated and they played as though they had spent the day together... fabulous.

In the evening, Milly and I read a page each of one of her books.

The day was peppered with moments of art but for the most, she was 'at play'... and exceedingly happy.


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