Our Unschooled Fortnight #41

We've had a busy couple of weeks, including our first holiday of the year.  We always aim to get at least one in before Easter!  Although our plans had to be slightly rescheduled due to the snow, the girls enjoyed a bonus day at Nanny's with their cousin, Johnny.  They played in the snow, and loved playing their first games of Twister, one of Lara's Christmas presents.

First thing, before most of us were even up, Sophia and Tatiana went on a trip to the common with Steve, where they spotted bird and animal tracks in the snow, gathered sticks, threw snowballs and made a mini snow creature.

Back at Nanny's, they helped hang out the washing and played all day long.

The next morning, we headed north and had a lovely easy journey to Blackpool.  I think most people were still staying at home, wondering whether to venture out on the roads or not.  The next morning we had a very empty sunny sea front to ourselves which the girls loved.  The last time we were in Blackpool, Lara was 2.5 years and Sophia just 8 months, so it was lovely to be back.

The Comedy Carpet was a huge hit, before we headed up to the top of the Tower.  The views across to Liverpool and north to the Lakes were amazing, although the girls weren't entirely sure about seeing the workings of the structure as they went up and got a little nervous.  A few days later Sophia was keen to go back up though, so not all bad!

We had a quick look at the ballroom, and admired the d├ęcor on the stairs.  Lara and Sophia were fascinated by these relief tiles.

Our next stop was Madame Tussauds, which proved a bigger hit than the London one as there were far more people/characters the girls recognised, a more laid back vibe, and more interactive things to do.

Luckily, Tatiana won the World Cup for the nation, so no need to play that this summer.

Whilst her sister made a very convincing Lady Gaga...

... before having her head chopped off by guillotine, although she does look surprisingly hapy about that...

Sophia's highlights were finding out about the French Revolution and the history of Madame Tussaud herself, and seeing one of Darcey Bussell's actual tutus.

Lara was fascinated by the whole process of making the models, and watched this video of Alan Carr explaining how his was made several times on each visit (oh yes, we went back 2 or 3 more times).

After lunch on the beach we stopped at one of the ubiquitous amusement centres on the prom before taking an ice cream break.

The sun shone again the next day, so we headed to the beach at nearby Fleetwood.  The tide was right out in Morecambe Bay and the girls were fascinated by the idea of quick sand and fierce tides, having seen a documentary recently which interviewed a guide who had been leading walks on the sands for decades and new every bit.  Luckily, they didn't fancy trying and contented themselves with digging, sand castle building and hunting for treasure.  There were plenty of dogs to be entertained by too.

We were staying in a caravan and had plenty of games and books to entertain us, although Tatiana was as fascinated by a new van being parked next to us as anything else!

The amusements on site were welcome on the one rainy day we had, with Tatia doing her best to wrangle horses like she'd seen on TV.

She also loved meeting resident elephant, Anxious on an under 5s sensory morning where she carefully made a dinosaur mountain out of cotton wool balls and water.

The day after the rain was overcast but dry so we explored the lighthouses of Fleetwood.  After our studies around The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch the girls are keen to see different lighthouses, although finding ones that open to the public more than a few days a year is proving challenging.  Luckily, there are two close together in Fleetwood and another out at sea.  Much debate about why the three were positioned where they are, how they work together etc.

They loved all the different monuments and we learnt lots about the history of Fleetwood, from its Victorian origins, role as a fishing port, and wartime losses.

This lovely piece commemorates all the families who waited in this spot waiting for the first glimpse of their husband/father's fishing boat coming home - and those that never saw them return.  Lara was fascinated by it, and desperate to go to the Fleetwood Museum when it re-opens.

After a car-nic we headed back to the sea front play area, before exploring the beautiful sand dunes.

Sophia was very proud of her hair, which was achieving maximum ringlet after daily trips to the swimming pool.

An after-dinner visit to a local playground:

On the Saturday, the girls' Godfather came over to visit us for the day, so there were more playgrounds and a visit to the sea front at Cleveleys once the sun came out again.

Tatia was in her element with dozens of dogs to pet and talk to, and got lots of kisses, licks and cuddles, from the littlest to the largest dogs.  She now wants a Great Dane...

The next day was glorious again, so we headed into Blackpool to the beach which was wonderful.  The tide was out and we were early, so had the vast expanse of sand almost to ourselves.  Buckets and spades at the ready!

After the beach, we visited Madame Tussauds again, where the new superheroes exhibit was now open, which the girls (and geeky Daddy) loved.  Sophia discovered super-human strength, removing Thor's hammer and lifting a car, while Tatiana tried to out-anger Hulk and waited for Spider-Man to rescue her.  While Steve was just scared, much to the girls' amusement.

She then had her Gaga moment, and they both discovered a love of One Direction - yikes!

Back at the beach we made a waterfall, and Tatiana ate the world's most enormous ice cream

Although it was Sunday and everything had closed early, we wandered through town to admire the architecture. We found a great toy shop to investigate on our next visit too!

On the way home, we made a stop at Cbeebiesland and Stoke-on-Trent, but that's another story!

And this is the effect all that busy-ness has on the smalls!  Till the next holiday...

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