Sunday, 3 August 2014


This is my project on scratch .scratch is a computer coding website which allows you to make games and animations. Scratch is an easy-to-use website that uses simple codes but comes out with really good results. When I want to make a project I go onto you tube and I search cool projects to do on scratch and I comes up with some great results but sometimes if I want to do something simple I have a book with some simple codes in to mess around with. I am also doing scratch at school and I completed the Monkey Mayhem game at school in under 30 minutes go check Scratch out. It is easy to use and fun .

Saturday, 2 August 2014

A solar cooker

Cookies in the Solar Cooker!

The main idea is that a foil lid reflects sunlight focusing it into a black box.
I used a metal tin for my black box because I thought metal would heat up better than cardboard.
I put the tin in a cardboard box and filled the space between them with insulators. I use polystyrene chips. Make sure to seal up all the holes so no heat escapes. I used cling film to make a clear lid but as it heated up it collected condensation.
I left the box in the sun to heat up so that when I added the cookie dough they started to cook straight away. I could hear the dough sizzling as soon as I put it in.
When the sun moved around we had to keep moving the box to trap the sunlight.
It took at least 3 hours to cook the dough.
They tasted OK but the texture was weird.
We cooked the rest in the oven.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

How to make a teabag fireball

I am in the process of completing a Kitchen Chemistry course online run by the University of East Anglia. This week I have been messing around with molecules and taking off with tea bags! 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weekend Box Club

I had a fabulous surprise today when I found a weekend box in the postbox. First of all I had to open it. That was a bit tricky. I tried not to rip it but I didn't quite manage. I like the way the box folds up and all the colouring pages inside. 

Inside the box there were a number of coloured packages and instructions for lots of activities.

First of all I made the green pancakes. We had to buy a huge bag of spinach but all the spices were in the box. We also used one of our lovely blue chicken eggs. We actually added two but the recipe only said one. 

We had to fry the mixture.The pancakes were easy to make and were OK. I think adults would prefer them because there were a few too many spices for me. We had them with roasted vegetables.

Next I followed the instructions on the sound Explorers sheet. We used balloons to make funny robot sounds in our mouths. We followed the link on the sheet to a video that was  fun to watch. I thought this was a bit too educational though and quite hard. 

The creative activity in the box was making a bird. There was even a glue stick in the box. I followed the instructions all by myself and added a few other bits from my making box.

I liked receiving the box. It was exciting getting something for me in the post. The box is aimed at 3-8 year olds which I think is perfect. 


Extra bit.....for parents.....

Inside your Weekend Box you’ll find four activities, one from each of the following categories:

Something to Cook
Something to Make
Something to Explore and
Something Green

Each activity is designed to build sensory exploration skills within little ones aged 3-8 as well as help teach them about different life skills in a fun and engaging way.

At the oldest end of this age range Oscar managed to do the activities following the instructions by himself which gave a real sense of achievement. There was a good variety of activities in the box to keep his interest. 

Andy decided to set up Weekend Box after getting frustrated when he was buying gifts for his niece and nephew who are 5: he wanted to buy something educational yet fun, something that stimulated creativity and not something plasticky made in a factory in China; he couldn't find anything so his quit his job and started developing!

I have been given a unique code for my blog readers. 

Use this code to get a free weekend box including delivery.

Your unique promo code is APRYL39 and can be redeemed at

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Emil and the Detectives

This week we went to see Emil and the Detectives at the National Theatre in London. Emil and his friends were great actors even though they were only children. . I was also amazed at their confidence to stand up to a crowd of over 1000 people.

The basic plot was about Emil going to visit his Grandma in Berlin. He starts on the train with two nice normal ladies, a sheep,  and one very suspicious man . The man turned out to be  called... Mr Snow. His character was obnoxious  and his voice very patronising. On the train he tells Emil to try and get some sleep but being an criminal he steals 140 Marks from Emil's pocket.  Emil was taking his mother's savings to Grandma as a gift. The rest of the story was about Emil and his friends going on an adventure to  get the money back. The play was set in Berlin in 1929 when kids were seen as a nuisance.

My favourite parts were when Emil went down into the sewers. Ladders came up from the floor and down from the ceiling which gave the impression that he was climbing down. Other scenery that I really liked was the lighting in the sewer tunnel. It looked like the tunnel of doom went on forever. 

There was a lot of tension in the play. Scary stories about Berlin were told at the start to warn Emil about the dangers of the city and his nightmares soon came true when flick knives appeared. The music helped to create suspense.  There were funny parts too, for example when the cast ran through the audience. I was also surprised when at one point money fell from the ceiling.

One of my  favourite characters was actually a girl called Pony. Her character was  really feisty and she  stood up for herself. I was a bit surprised at some of her strong language though. 

During the interval we asked the members of the audience who didn't have children with them if they were enjoying the show. They replied that it was a great show for all ages and that they liked the music.  It was a bit like a pantomime as there were some jokes that were for adults that I didn't really get.

I had a brilliant evening and would thoroughly recommend this show to people of all ages.


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Natural dyes and paints

Yesterday I went to Firstsite, Colchester and worked with natural paints. First I needed inspiration so I headed to the roman mosaic to look at the patterns. I created a design of my own that represented water and lightning. 

Then I transferred the pattern onto special foam using a cotton wool bud with no cotton wool on. I choose a blue dye which looked like the night sky.

 I printed it onto different colours of paper.
The artist, Nabil Ali, told me that the dyes were created using natural materials. He used stinging nettles, madder, and egg shells.

When I got home I made my own dye. I picked some beetroot from the garden then cleaned and chopped it into little pieces. Next I cooked it and then waited for it to cool. 

It was quite runny and the image didn't really work well.  I tried it on different paper and that worked better. I was surprised that it was red and not purple as I expected.

Next time I might try a sharp pencil for the lines and normal lino painting ink as it seems stickier. 

Another great day at Firstsite.

Friday, 14 February 2014


My avocados are growing well aren't they? The tallest one from tip to pip is 51cm. The tree can grow up to 20 m. That's 40 times more. That won't fit in my house!

They are known as The Alligator Pear because their skin is rough like an alligators and it is shaped like a pear.

Mexico produces most of the worlds avocados.

Weird fact
In Ethiopia avocados are made into juice by mixing with sugar and milk and then served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. Yuk!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Willow Pattern Story

I've discovered stop motion animation this week. 

I was surprised that after hours and hours of hard labour the whole video only lasted 55 seconds.  I took 271 pictures. 

I used free 'Stop Motion'  on my ipad. It was easy to us. You could easily edit and upload the scenes. 
The hardest part was getting the people to stand up. It was also really difficult to add music. I also found it hard to move the birds. I would use strings next time.

I can't wait to see the new Lego movie. i wonder how many shots that took.

Review of Aquila Magazine

Aquila Magazine Review by Lex

The blogging brothers were sent a few Aquila magazines last month to review. I've finally got around to looking at them after reading all my Christmas books. ( By the way my favourite was Hunger Games) The magazine is aimed at bright 8-12 year olds. It is 'designed to provide children with challenges and of course, fun'. Aquila Magazine

I'd seen an advert for Aquila  inside other magazines but was not keen on subscribing as the drawn front covers looked like the magazine was for children younger than me. I received one with a photo on the cover and was more drawn to that one.

Each issue has a particular focus. I particularly enjoyed the one on Planets because this was my topic at school. There were space facts and lots of science activities but also maths puzzles, stories, making activities and games.

The magazine is aimed at smart 8-12 year ols. I don't think many 8 year olds could read this. Also a 12 year old wouldn't be seen dead reading a magazine with the drawn front covers. The cover and the contents do not match at all.

For me there was far too much information that was not really that interesting. If the same information was in smaller chunks and presented differently I may have read it and enjoyed it.

I really liked the joke section and I'd not seen these before.

Book titles:
Danger by Luke Out
Sweets by Candy Cane
In the garden by Rose Plant

The back page has a article called' Who told you that? ' and the idea is that it tells the truth about sayings. For example. ' Dogs only wag their tails when they are happy' We all think this is true but it is not the case. The article explains that dogs are trying to communicate with you. I really enjoyed these.

This magazine would make a great alternative to Google to find out homework facts on a particular topic.

I think this magazine would work in schools. In my classroom we read after lunch and I think being allowed to read a magazine (educational) would make a change. Even reluctant readers might be interested. 

To sum up... give it a go, it might be for you.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Queso Blanco!

by Oscar 

Today I made some cheese.


4 pints of full fat milk
3/4 teaspoon citric acid 
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 muslin
1 thermometer
big pot

First of all I made the citric acid solution with 25ml of boiled water. Then I heated all of the milk and stirred it so it didn't burn. I clipped the thermometer onto the pan and waited until it got to 185 F. Then I added the citric acid solution and stirred it until the curds and whey separated. The acid makes the protein tangle up to make the curds and the whey was the watery stuff left behind. I  I poured the mixture into a muslin cloth over a colander. I squeezed the bag of curds to get of the liquid out. I then hung it over the kitchen tap to make sure all the liquid dripped out. 

After an hour it was ready to eat. BUT we needed crackers! 

While we waited I made some savory crackers.

100g butter
1 egg
100g self raising flour
grated cheese

I used mums electric mixer to mix the egg and butter. I love using this machine it's fun. Then I added the flour and mixed it. I grated then added some cheese and made little balls of mixture. I baked them for 15 minutes. Mum made me use half of the mixture for mine and she added chopped sun dried tomatoes to her mixture.Mum's was really wet though and we weren't sure it was going to work.


Our queso blanco was really plain. It did not taste of anything at all. Next time I will add some herbs maybe rosemary.  

The biscuits were really cheesy and delicious. I ate three straight from the oven. Next time I would push the shapes flatter as they were more like lumps than biscuits.