Monday, 4 November 2013

Story Telling Sunday 3 (on a Monday) - The One About The Penguin

Today is one of those horrible days when I just have to do something that I really want to do and everything has to wait for the clouds to clear.  What did I want to do today?  I wanted to share something positive and Story Telling Sunday seemed like a good place to do that.

My story this month is not about a precious object really, well not one that we can keep anyway, but we do have photos.  Can you spot him here?

Nestled between Louis and Bella is a rather large stuffed penguin who is the mascot for Louis's class this year.  His name is Picatoo and as class mascots go he was one of the more unwieldy ones, standing as he does at nearly 2ft.  Louis was able to take him for the half term week because when he started at Junior school he had a little behaviour blip in the first week.  Since then he has worked really hard to turn things around and try his very hardest both in terms of his behaviour and his actual work.  My boy is full of ideas and great sayings but he falls down a bit when it comes to committing those things to paper IYKWIM.

I cannot express the horror on my face when he appeared on the Friday before they broke up.  Our car was already rammed for the journey to Wales without a 2ft penguin and his rucksack.

Anyway, the need for Picatoo to have wondrous activities with which to fill his diary mean't that we took a lot of photos we wouldn't normally have bothered with (especially with me in my wobbly phase) and it gave the children a focus for their activities too.  We celebrate Samhain / Halloween with gusto (but no Trick or Treating) and we made bunting, cut out bats and ghosts to stick up, we played spooky bingo and pin the nose on the Jack-o-Lantern and did lots of seasonal colouring.  We made biscuits in spooky shapes and made cupcakes with very chocolatey topping and little witches hats from an idea from Deb.

Of course we had balloons and pumpkins and lots and lots of sweeties too.

When we go to Wales we try to visit Folly Farm as it has so much to do and there are plenty of things inside as well (which is great when you are being threatened with being blown across the sea to Ireland!)  Just this year they have developed a new area so that they could have penguins so of course that was a great place to take our guest to!

The staff there were good sports and during the feeding session they took Picatoo into the enclosure so he could be with his friends.  He got a very wet bottom on that rock I can tell you!  And yes he is wearing a sou'wester, courtesy of Grandma...

The resident penguins were very interested in him too, despite him being a different species than them and also a LOT bigger!  It was really fun to see the public reaction to this enormous stuffed penguin sitting there and he got his picture taken by lots of people that day!

It took me back to when we had the first class mascot in Reception, a thankfully much smaller squirrel.  We only had him for the weekend but we had absolutely nothing planned other than trips to Tesco and B&Q!  We ended up going for a bracing walk in a country park with the bikes and Louis suddenly learned to ride without stabilisers!

The moral of my story is this - although we may dread that soft toy coming home, especially when he is sometimes so big, they usually end up encouraging us to have more of a fun time than we would have had without them.  I'll definitely be scrapping about this enlightenment.

That's quite an achievement for an object really isn't it?!

Bye for now


  1. Oh, I hope you know just how worthwhile your doing this post has been! I have laughed out loud and I was in need of it. The photos are brilliant, the story a hoot: when my big girl gets home from school today I'll be telling her about the giant penguin :)

  2. This is a wonderful story and it looks like everyone had a great half term x

  3. Oh I love this story. Of course, you had me at the first mention of a penguin ( I do have a liking for them) and the thought of adopting one for a week to take on holiday, well I couldn't wait to see what you got up to. Love that picture of him in the penguin enclosure! He certainly added to the half term fun!

  4. Oh I loved reading this! And how nice of the staff to let hi. I the enclosure. Some great photos to take back to school :-)

  5. Well, you've definitely managed to add some fun stories to Picatoo's diary. We never had "mascots" when my kids were little, but it actually sounds kind of fun.

  6. I love the idea of a class mascot to look after for the week/end. It's an unknown phenomenon to me. Thanks for sharing. It's cleared my clouds for a moment x

  7. I know a teacher who will be delighted you gave Picatoo such a great adventure...I DID laugh at the thought of your face when you realised you had to find space for him in the car!!
    Alison xx

  8. The class Mascot will be making quite a few children jealous with stories of his half term adventures :)

  9. Lovely post!!! I love the mascot! Even though a bit large, still fun, it appears. My daughter had Flat Stanley as a school project and traveled with us one year. He is based on a children's book. We also hosted other Flat Stanley's from around the country. We had several that year.

  10. LOL this made me smile - I totally agree that the arrival of the class mascot encourages extra fun ... we took a teddy to London (but the kids were actually auditioned beforehand so that he wouldn't spend half-term languishing at Tesco/B&Q)


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