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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Skating in the snow

Inspired by the Winter Olympics and Dancing on Ice, the toddlers Edmund and Louisa have been practising their skating at a local rink.  However snowfall on the first 3 days of spring meant winter returned to the garden and with the pond frozen, they were keen to try skating outdoors.

Miranda and Timothy tested the ice first as Edmund and Louisa watched
"It seems strong enough" said Timothy
The pond was too small for much moving about but they could do a spin together
Gingerly the toddlers ventured onto the ice
The bigger children encouraged them as they started to slide across the ice
"You're doing fine Louisa" said Florence as Edmund watched
Soon they had more confidence that the ice wouldn't crack and the bank wasn't far away if they slipped over
The other children cheered them on as they skated about
Florence and Timothy joined the toddlers on the ice, though it was crowded on the small pond
Nicolas James fetched the sleigh
"Does anyone want a ride?" Nicholas James and Trendon Elliott called to the busy skaters
Louisa's legs were tired and she was keen to have a ride in the sleigh

The boys dragged the sleigh with Laura walking alongside as they went to explore the snowy wastes
The intrepid explorers set off with tired Louisa enjoying the ride
Louisa waved as the boys pulled hard through the deep snow and Laura trudged beside the sleigh
It was hard work and the boys were feeling warm despite the cold air so they didn't make the journey very long before they were pulling the sleigh back to the pond

Edmund continued practising his skating for a little longer before they all went indoors for hot chocolate and biscuits

We planned this photo story as soon as we knew there was snow on the way.  We don't have a pond but that didn't stop us from inventing one from something which was normally quite hot!

The pond was actually a cast iron barbeque plate from a portable unit - it is a large round hotplate to go above the gas flames.  I laid it on the patio, made sure it was level and poured water on it which froze.  When it snowed we had to sweep the snow off it (about 2.5 inches overnight this morning after previous snowfall of about 2 inches) then watered it carefully again which froze quickly (the thaw hadn't quite started).  The doll skates did make marks on it though I didn't take close up photos to show this.

The 'pond' during the thaw later in the day
As anyone who has a Sasha toddler knows, they are notoriously hard to pose and with skates on in the snow there was an added difficulty, especially as we didn't want to spoil the snow close to where they were standing for the various parts of the story - we had to reach over untouched snow as far as possible without falling on our noses!

My younger girl was a willing helper, getting the dolls in position, moving them and attempting to get them standing and brushing the snow off when they fell over.

Setting up a sleigh shot