October started out with 11yo's bestie staying for the weekend and them asking if we could wander around Perth for a bit after visiting a store they wanted to browse. 9yo requested my phone to take a couple of photos of things that interested him:
The city has been trying to do more fun and interesting stuff so we tend to find random things whenever we go there. At the time they were celebrating the arrival of spring so there were these random bird cages there, which were apparently great for photoshoots.
We finally went back to the Naturescape playspace at King's Park (which we had actually tried to visit previously only to find when we had walked in from the city that it was under development), it was a hit with the kids though we have planned to return during the week when there's less people there.
One of 13yo's chosen activities was to hit up the Armadale Reptile and Wildlife Centre which we have been to previously many years ago. 11yo was initially a bit reluctant as she claimed she didn't like reptiles, but came along anyway. As it turns out, she likes lizards and turtles and tortoises (and possibly frogs) but not snakes because they're creepy (though as of even more recently she now likes them). The boys loved everything and I lost my phone temporarily as the two younger ones wanted to take photos of everything.
As the name suggests, they don't just have reptiles.
It was mostly reptiles and amphibians though.
The centre is pretty small so the only concern was making sure youngest didn't wander into places that were supposed to be fenced off. The older two did their usual thing studying the signs of the things they were particularly interested in, and 9yo was reading more of the signs than he usually does now that his reading fluency has increased dramatically. We had some amusing conversations regarding snakes vs legless lizards, and the boys also compared and contrasted and shared information they'd learned from people on Youtube that keep snakes and lizards.
The centre also had an impressive wedge-tailed eagle (that I couldn't get a decent shot of despite my best efforts), emus, kangaroos, dingos, various flying birds (including one that could fly but was a bit clumsy doing so according to 13yo who actually read the sign).
Sometime in the following week 11yo bought more makeup supplies and gave her younger brother a facial scrub thingi.
and made a video of herself setting off a bath bomb.
I recorded the video on my phone and she edited it and made the thumbnail on my computer (and probably spent longer on the thumbnail than the entire video) before uploading to dtube.
My in-laws have my nephew for the day at least once a week, so a thing we've started is going on an excursion with them once a week. The kids love showing and teaching their toddleer cousin about things, and he seems to enjoy their company as well. The first place we went to was AQWA (another place where the previous visit had been a few years ago).
That underwater tunnel is always a massive hit and totally worth the entry price just for the looks on the kids faces.
Getting to see this is one of the main reasons I homeschool.
We went around twice and then I ended up going around a third time with 9yo (who may well grow up to be a marine biologist if his chef aspirations don't end up working out) partly because we didn't realise everyone else had gotten off at some point and mostly because he told me he really wanted to go around again.
While the underwater tunnel is probably the main attraction, there were plenty of other things to marvel at. The entrance and upstairs area had tanks galore of smaller things that would be extremely easy to miss in the gigantic tunnel aquarium.
As the rest of AQWA is a lot less directed than the tunnel, with so many directions to go and so many things to see in each direction, 9yo and toddler found it hard to focus, with 9yo occasionally having choice paralysis about what to go look at first
while the toddler tried his hardest to be everywhere at the same time. 9yo eventually saw the words "Danger Zone" on one of the areas and that's where we started the big section.
The touch pool is another thing everyone loves. The water was freezing but the kids found it fascinating to be able to safely handle some of the creatures that can be found in the water.
There was a quiet area that was under what looks like it was an amphitheatre at some point where one could sit and relax, listen to soothing music and stare at the gigantic aquarium. 13yo said he could have quite easily sat there for a few hours if we were to stay there for a few hours.
Toddler of course had other ideas. We headed out and across the bridge to what used to be Stingray Bay but has at some stage been replaced by another aquarium ccontaining a school of fish. The older kids watched the fish school and occasionally turn into a baitball before the younger two retreated to go play with their cousin on the little kids' play equipment.
The top of the amphitheatre contained sand play which got used by everyone. Toddler was tired as we were leaving and 13yo was carrying him so I jokingly told him to take the toddler to the car (which was parked a fair way up but not nearly as far as I'd parked the first time we'd gone, toddler is a lumpet). 13yo said no problem and did so.
A day later we were trying out Latitude for the first time. They had a couple of things on the trampoline side that were different to Bounce but otherwise more or less the same. Also similarly they had their own version of a Ninja Warrior course (Bounce's is called X-Park and I forget what Latitude calls theirs but I'm pretty sure the section had a name). The interesting and different thing for the kids was the rock climbing section including the Skywalk.
The wobbly climb around to the right of where 13yo is climbing in the third picture, 9yo was absolutely determined to get up. Several attempts later he got there eventually by "cheating" (using the cable to assist, told him it wasn't cheating it was using what he had at his disposal). They all had a great time testing their strength, coordination and courage on the various types of climbs, and then practised their flips and things on the air track and the trampolines.
A couple of days later we rounded off the month by going to Pt Walter, a place we used to frequent weekly for homeschool playgroup from when the kids were preschool aged. The main reason for going was because 9yo wanted to swim and it was closer than the beach, but I figured we could once more at least vaguely observe the ecology of a river system while there (the bits of river we go to have varying degrees of human impact from "not too much except for the dam a long way upstream" on one of our bushwalks all the way through to "well looked after parklands"). Plus it was going to be a little bit nostalgic for me and the older two who remembered going there many times before, and a new place to youngest who was a baby at the time and doesn't remember.
The tide was out and the first thing 11yo noticed was that we could walk across the sandbar to the island, so of course they all wanted to do that.
The wind was up and the big two felt the wind chill (unlike their little brother who takes a lot longer and with noticably lower temperatures to get cold) and hid inside 13yo's towel that he had decided to bring along while the rest of us had left the stuff in the car.
Along the way we observed the tidelines formed by the shape of the sand and many shells in various stages of being bleached, and a floating seaweed that 9yo decided were "sea potatoes".
When we got to the end of the island, it was fenced off as it was nesting season for the shorebirds.
We looked over seeing what we could see, which was not much, and after looking around for a little bit we eventually headed back to the main bit.
Back on the main part of the river foreshore we found a nice spot to set up camp and 9yo finally got to swim. As the slope to the deeper water is extremely gradual, he was initially disappointed because it was so shallow. As he's reasonably good at swimming I told him he could go out up to his neck but he had to watch out for boats especially if he wanted to swim around under the water.
My 11yo waterbaby had decided she wasn't going to swim as she thought it would be too cold but as the day had warmed up she still didn't swim but couldn't resist going into the water.
Then we had another "can't take gynnasts anywhere" moment when 11yo had another great idea for a photoshoot.
All in all this month turned out to be quite a lot busier than I initially thought (and for once I actually knew it was a busy month!), guess I was really trying to make up for the couple of months that were missed while I was closing down business.
This work by bek (ryivhnn) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.