Friday, 9 November 2012

How To Make Your Daddy's Christmas Present

I didn't feel like school, today. The whole violin/English/maths schedule didn't appeal. Once we'd dropped Elizabeth at Playgroup, we kicked through the autumn leaves and wondered what fun we could have.

Then I hatched a plan for Francesca to start making her daddy's Christmas present, since he was away this morning. And we already had a brilliant idea in mind... More on that in a moment.

Basically, we ended up doing a morning of baking. My friends commented that it still 'counts' - think of all the maths and English involved in following recipes. They were thinking of all the specific mathsy tasks you could tick off whilst baking.

Home education is like that - the learning takes place during all the activities, even if it's not actually designated 'maths' or 'English'.

But there's more to it than that.

What about the whole (Science!) conversation we had on the way to Playgroup, about why the autumn leaves don't just pile higher and higher? What about the songs we sing as we play? Or the music we listen to? We did singing lessons in the car on the way to Tumbletots yesterday and we listen to Vivaldi at breakfast (sometimes!) I'm just saying: learning takes place much more subtly and much more continuously than people imagine (or, indeed, than I had envisaged before we started down this route).

So, yey! It's going well.

Now, onto the daddy Christmas present.

It was something that Francesca was able to get on with pretty much unaided. Alas, she was hampered by Sebastian's 'help' so I mixed him up some cookie dough to play with, which occupied him very well while Francesca got creative.

So, if you want an easy home-made Christmas present idea, it's here but I'll have to hide it under the jump.

Important: Don't tell Seymour
Seymour: No peeping


Marzipan creations

Francesca cut and rolled her own (pre-made, by which I mean 'bought') marzipan to make Christmassy shapes.

She used Christmas tree and star cutters to make little sweets.

Then she made snowmen. There are five, being models of each of us.

Then she decided to make marbles, so I used food colouring to make three colours of dough, which she squidged together to make colourful marbly patterns.

Then she rolled them into little balls.

While we had the coloured marzipan, she made little carrot-noses and blue eyes for the snowmen, then delicately made dints with a skewer for mouths and buttons.

I'm really pleased with the overall collection. We're planning to make a nice box for them all and I think daddy will love them.

They're hiding in a secret location to dry off slightly before we box and wrap them. They'll keep nicely until Christmas (and beyond) in an airtight container.

Now, shhhh! It's a secret, ok?!


  1. That sounds like a really lovely day.

    1. It was! Very satisfying and I love Sebastian's little concentration face as he works :)