Spring days and home education in Wellington


One day we are tucked up indoors playing LEGO, reading, baking and making toy boats to float on the bath tub, the next we are walking in the sunshine, picking sweat-peas, and paddling our toes in the sea.

Walking in the bush

Walking in the bush

Beach explorations

Beach explorations

We are definitely ‘going with the flow’ this spring in Wellington (not to mention keeping sane with the earthquakes!).

Alice's sail boat

Alice’s sail boat

Sometimes we have laughed in the face of the rain and jumped into the spa pool, in the garden, to play. The little chug, chug, balloon powered boat was a bit of fun and science…

Balloon powered boat fun!

Balloon powered boat fun!

We have lots of vegetables, sunflowers, strawberries and herbs growing in the garden, providing lots of botany lessons for our two home learners. Young Alice has been watching grass seed grow in her fairy garden too.

Alice's fairy garden

Alice’s fairy garden

Our oldest daughter is joining in too and I sent off for a science activity badge on ‘Botany’, from the ‘Science Award Trust‘, which they are all getting dug into.

Alice's logo design for a Botany T-shirt

I Alice’s logo design for a Botany T-shirt

I anticipate many more trips to the Botanic Garden in Wellington and the various nature reserves!

Exploring the bush garden of the Botanic Garden in Wellington.

Exploring the bush garden of the Botanic Garden in Wellington.

We have already visited once this term and been very inspired by Maggie Garner’s exhibit of poisonous plants, inspired by the poisonous gardens in Alnwick Castle (as detailed in this article – ‘The garden that wants to kill you‘.)

Learning about the poisonous nature of some plants. An exhibition by Maggie Garner.

Learning about the poisonous nature of some plants. An exhibition by Maggie Garner.

We were also interested in all the different types of ferns we could find in the ‘fernery’ of the gardens (another ‘star’ for the girls botany science badge!).

Sophie is loving the ‘Large Animal’ science badge and has so far done a study on the evolution of horses, written a fun poem about her dog and taken a gorgeous photo of him.


I love Cocoa,

But he has some weird obsessions,

Like loving to hump,

But when he does a dump,

I get in a grump.

When he hears the soda stream,

He does a high jump.

When we serve his food,

I start to gag, but I see his tail wag!

Sophie's photo of Cocoa

Sophie’s photo of Cocoa

It’s only two weeks till our oldest daughter breaks up for the school year and her long summer break. I’m anticipating ‘Christmas’ preparations taking over soon and there are already lots of end of terms gifts and cards being wrapped and written. She has had such a busy school year, what with productions, choir commitments and performances. We enjoyed watching her in a fencing tournament the Sunday before the big earthquake too!

On guard!

On guard!

Our youngest daughter, Alice, is continuing her interest with dragons and drew this wonderful picture, which comes with an interesting story too!

Alice's shape dragon

Alice’s shape dragon



One day a shape dragon was born. It came through a dragon shaped portal. It was already 23 years old when it was born in this world, as it had spent the first 23 years of its life in another dimension. It was born with a very kind heart and lots of amazing powers.

By focusing on its tail it can predict the future. The brighter its tail the more into the future the dragon can see. If its flame goes out it can’t predict the future anymore, but can look into the past and see memories.

The shape dragon has power over shapes. He can open portals in shapes, for example the dragon can open a rectangle shape into a portal to make bricks. A triangle shape can be turned into a portal that makes roofs. A paper shape, will turn into a blue-print.

The dragon has some protective metal spikes around its face and its side, which protect it from predators attacking it. If the predators try to attack the shape-dragon they will have a burn forever, as the metal spikes are very hot!

The spike on the dragon’s head can get power from its predators. It can use the power to clear the weather. So if it is rainy and cloudy, the dragon can shoot energy from its spike to make it sunny again.

The wings of the dragon can drain the power of its predators.

Predators are bigger dragons. They are very competitive to little dragons. The shape dragon is little, only as tall as a pen.

It is very independent and helpful, but doesn’t belong to anyone and won’t be anyone’s pet. However, if you are very nice to it then the shape-dragon might become your friend.

The purple glints in his eyes are used to hypnotize people and stop them from fighting. The shape dragon’s purpose in this world is to make peace.

Sophie, as well as Alice, are spending time learning using ‘Osmo‘. It’s got so many great learning games, including maths, spelling, coding, drawing and creating. This video is a lovely over-view :

And then there’s the mission to get mini meringues to work… Sophie has been following recipes from an Usborne ’30 Easy things to cook and eat’ book and after two attempts and lots of ‘Googling’ there hasn’t been any success on getting them to rise… but she’s determined to succeed and next time she’s going to try an electric whisk and toss the bowl over her head to check the peaks are stiff enough! The first time was an error in misreading the oven temperature (degrees F or C – we quickly realised, with the burning smell, that we’d set it to degrees F, and not C, and had an interesting chat about the effect of heat on sugar and egg white!). Science in the kitchen! Learning on the go! That’s the way we roll!

I’m working on keeping myself sane with runs when hubby gets home from work and enjoying every moment I get to enjoy the beautiful nature around us.

Windy Wellington on the south coast in a northerly wind.

Windy Wellington on the south coast in a northerly wind.

We are definitely enjoying the longer days and looking forward to getting over to Martinborough more over the summer. We headed over last weekend, just for the day, to tidy up the garden – or make a start on it!

Hacking the weeds in the garden over at Martinborough, whilst the children play in the garden.

Hacking the weeds in the garden over at Martinborough, whilst the children play in the garden.

Our oldest stayed at home in Welly, enjoying a peaceful day with her friend and neighbour’s daughter, whilst the younger two had fun in the garden over in Martinborough. We headed out for a lovely lunch in the village and really wished we could have stayed over – but didn’t want to be apart from our oldest daughter what with the last week of earthquakes.

Here’s hoping for calmer days ahead and a wonderful summer!

Wellington from the top of the cable car, in the Botanical Garden.

Wellington from the top of the cable car, in the Botanical Garden.


Linking up with –

Country Kids
  • Zoe Holland

    I have fond memories of the gardens and railway in Wellington. I love the Kapiti coast region, you lucky things having it as your home! Enjoy the Spring! #countrykidsfun


  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    I love to see spring developing with you, it is so refreshing when the last of our autumn leaves are falling here. So pleased to hear the earthquakes haven’t directly affected you, but what a worry to so many. Looks like the kids have been getting stuck into some great projects. I love the boat and balloon experiment and the idea of working towards the botany badge.

    Thank you for sharing your latest fun and learning with me at #CountryKids


  • I’d love to visit the Botanic garden. It looks fascinating. Interesting idea to award science badges. Hope it encourages them to find out more. So glad you weren’t caught up in the earthquakes. Frightening time. #CountryKids


  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Sophie’s poem made me laugh out loud and I LOVE Alice’s story, so imaginative! The Botanic Garden looks amazing, I really miss the Botanics in Edinburgh, I used to visit regularly. Glad you haven’t been badly affected by the earthquakes (I’ve just read your post about them), fingers crossed that there is no further damage x #countrykids


  • Mummyconstant

    WOW looks like there is a lot to do. Love the fairy garden and boat. Great fun! Coming to you from #CountryKids :)


  • Oh wow – how incredible. It am slightly envious of those blue skies! It looks like you had have lots of fun and captured lots of beautiful photos along the way #CountryKids


  • Erin Vincent

    Oh Awesome! We are just entering winter here in the U.S. Your spring photos brought a smile to my face. Loved the doggy poem and that dragon drawing. My son loves dragons and is writing a story about them.