Monthly Archives: September 2014

Duck, duck, goose

Grace’s class played “Duck, duck, goose” at school earlier this week, and so she has been wanting to play the game at home too. “Duck, duck, goose” is pretty much the same as “I wrote a letter to my love…”

Everyone sits in a circle and the “goose” goes around the circle saying, “Duck, duck, duck,” and touching each person on the head until they decide that someone is the goose. When they touch a head and say, “Goose!” the person needs to stand up and try to catch the goose. The goose has to run around the circle and sit down in the open spot without being caught. If the goose is caught they are out. The new goose then goes around the circle saying, “Duck, duck….”

I wish we had a video, but words will have to do, so work with me to picture the scene. The four of us are sitting on the floor of our lounge, and Grace is the first goose. Round she goes, “Duck, duck, goose!” she says touching mommy. Up mom jumps and Eli jumps up too, and off they go around the circle chasing Grace. Grace makes it back to the seat and Eli plonks himself down with her. Next up Eli is chosen….and nothing happens. “Get up and chase mom, boy,” and up he gets to chase. “Aaaaaahhhhh!” he calls as he goes around chasing mom. Mom sits down, and Eli keeps going around the circle. “Stop Eli!” Okay, now let’s see how he does.

Eli walks around and gives everyone a good whack on the head saying, “Duck, duck, duck,” as he goes along. Eventually he chooses a goose and off he goes running (after a reminder). He gets to the open spot, and just keeps running. Round he goes for a second time and, “Sit down Eli!” and he’s down and chuffed with himself. And so we went on, running around and around, not quite sticking to the rules and just having fun.

I think Donné and I were thinking that the game would be a bit tricky with a small group, but we were wrong and it was a lot of fun with lots of laughing. Fortunately our heads made it through the bashing from Eli.

Having some fun together on the wooden toys at Vergelegen (this photo is from our last visit)


Hiding from the storm

A storm was on the way and Grace says, “Come boobee, come hide underneath here so that the rain won’t get us.”



Jungle gym up!

Stéfan very kindly gave up his Sunday to come and help us put up our jungle gym. Now Eli and Grace are both super happy – Grace because she has monkey bars, and Eli because there is a swing.

Heave-ho, let’s move this thing around. It took us quite a while just to decide exactly where to build it.


Little hands needed something to keep them busy, so Grace and Eli cleaned the garden


Hole inspection


It turns out that even after all the above ground planning, we actually had some issues below ground when digging the holes. There are French drains in the garden and we just overlapped with one of them. After some more adjustments we managed to mostly work around it.

The observation team taking a snack break and making sure things keep moving forward


Now the main part is up, with just the ladder and cargo net to do to finish it off – thank you Stéfan!

Learning to read

Grace has gotten very excited about learning to read. She has always loved books and reading, and one of the things she is currently working on in school is reading and language. We bought her a early reading book this week, and she sat and read it over and over again (she does memorise books, and also gets clues from the pictures). She was really excited about it and the possibility that she can learn to read, so we’re embracing her “sensitive period.” We took out a box of reading games that comes from my childhood and she has been loving playing the games, and doing really well at figuring out the words.

In the past she has really struggled to hear words as she sounds them out – which is probably a part of her dyspraxia – but she is getting better and better at being able to put the sounds together. She is also starting to recognise some of the puzzle (sight) words, so playing the games is exciting rather than hard work. It is always exciting to see her loving learning, and I love that she is in a Montessori school so that they can follow and embrace her excitement and learning.

Playing some word games with mom


Story time with Granny

Reading Charlotte’s Web


World of birds

Grace’s class went on an outing to World of Birds in Hout Bay, which meant she got to go on a bus (which she was very excited about). She also got to see a kangaroo, flamingos, eagle owls, tortoises, and more on a long list that she reported back on. She had a good time, got to sit with her friends on the bus, and enjoyed seeing all the animals.

We did expect to see her like this though (birdie noises have always bothered her a bit) [photo courtesy of Newberry Montessori]


A pig named monkey

Grace has had her sleep companion, Monkey, for a long time, and somewhere along the line we bought a pig, named Oinky, as a spare Monkey-like cuddle toy (Oinky is the same size, style and squishy-ness as Monkey). Grace never really took to Oinky and Monkey is going strong.

Eli on the other hand has become quite fond of Oinky, and now holds on to Oinky as his sleep companion. But he doesn’t call him Oinky, he calls his pig, “Monk,” which he has picked up from Grace’s Monkey. So now we have a monkey name Monkey and a pig named Monkey.

Cuddle time with “Monk”