|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|
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|