Learning with Patrick Petite
Hello chestnuts, you’re all looking rather smart today! I’m excited to announce the beginning of rehearsals for the annual Sylvanian Village Christmas concert. It may be early but there’s an awful lot to do - we’ll be practicing every week until Christmas, so that we can play the most beautiful tunes for everyone to enjoy.
First things first, who would like to play the piano? Freya! You look rather keen, have you played before? Wonderful, you can have a tinkle on the keys while we decide on the rest of the instruments. Now we need someone who likes making a lot of noise to play the drum. Joanna, you’re a little chatterbox, do you think you could manage it? Jolly good, just remember to keep a steady beat as we’ll all be looking to you to keep us in time!
Next we need a talented little Sylvanian to play the xylophone. How about you, Toby? Excellent, why don’t you ask Freya to start teaching you some of the keys? *tinkle tinkle* And finally, we need a violinist, a trumpeter and a flautist to complete our little band. Piers, Tiffany and Felix, I think you can get your paws into the tunes! Everyone else grab a bell, a shaker or a triangle and we can start!
Now, let’s learn an easy song first - happy birthday. Did you know it’s Veronica Cakebread’s birthday next week? It would be extra lovely to play this for her to say thank you for all the delicious cakes she makes us, don’t you think?
On the count of three, we’ll try the first verse. One, two, three!
“Happy *screech* birthday *whine* to *plink-plonk* youuuuu!”
Oh dear, I need we need a bit more practice! Wonderful start though children, I’m already looking forward to the next music lesson. Your only homework this week is to practice your instruments, as after all, practice makes perfect!
Gelato with Georgina Maple
Making Strawberries and Cream Gelato
Hello there and a very warm welcome to my Creamy Gelato Shop! I’m going to share one of my very favourite recipes with you today. Are you ready to lend a paw?
Before we start, you’ll need to gather up all your ingredients:
450g of fresh strawberries
175ml of milk
2tbsp of fresh lemon juice
120ml heavy whipping cream
You’ll also need a large spoon, a bowl, a whisk and a blender.
First things first, you need to wash your strawberries. Once they have been rinsed in cold water, remove all the stems and leaves. Using a straw is the easiest way for little paws to do this!
When the strawberries are ready, get out your blender and pop in the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Whizz it all up until it’s liquid and then it’s time to add the milk. Pour it in and whizz, whizz, whizz until you have a smooth mixture.
Now for the fun bit - whipping the cream! Get your paws on a whisk and mix up the cream until it’s thick and creamy. Then gently stir the cream into the strawberry liquid, until it’s all a pretty shade of pink.
Your gelato is now ready to pop into the freezer! Now, the trick to avoid lumps of ice in your gelato is to stir it every 30-45 minutes. Sometimes I have a little taste when I stir it, just to make sure it’s extra, extra creamy!
When your gelato is ready, use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to serve it. I love adding fresh strawberries and other berries as a topping for this flavour but you could add sprinkles, chocolate buttons or a sauce to. You could even serve it as a fancy dessert in a sundae glass. That’s if you can resist eating it all straight away!
In the Playground
Planting a Flower Patch
Hello there blossoms, I’m so glad you joined us today. It’s lunchtime and I’ve got a wonderful activity planned for you all – we’re going to create our own little flower patch in the playground! If we plant them now, by spring time you’ll see some colourful little shoots popping open.
First things first, can you tell me what flowers need to grow? That’s right; sunshine, a cosy bed and lots of water. Who would like to be in charge of the watering can? Millie? Wonderful, I’m sure you’ll look after them very well.
Now we need to make the perfect little bed area for our flowers. Who has the spade? Ralph, you start digging and once you’re done, we’ll plant the seeds. We have sweet peas, cornflowers, daffodils and primroses. Won’t the playground be so pretty and colourful when they all grow? All done, Ralph? Now, make a little hole in the soil, gently place your seed inside and then cover it back up with the soil. All we need now is a sprinkle of water to get them on their way and a little bit of patience.
Ok little ones, it looks like all of our flowers are planted and there’s still some time left! Shall we count all the different coloured leaves in the playground before we go back inside? I can see red, orange and yellow already! If we collect up some of our favourite leaves, we can spend the afternoon making some pretty collages out of them.
Oh I would love to stay out here with all of you children, but it’s time to go back inside now. Don’t worry though, we’ll be out tending to the flower seeds tomorrow lunch time, and in no time we’ll have the prettiest playground in all of Sylvania. We can also rake up the twigs and leaves ready for a bonfire! Who wants to bring chestnuts for toasting?
Day Out With The Walnuts
Trip to Town
Oh, hello dear! How lovely to see you. Have you popped by to hear about our day trip to Town? It was rather exciting! Have you been yet? No? Oh you really must go! I’ll tell you all about it.
We caught the tram into Town bright and early, as we didn’t want to waste a moment of our day. Theodore Maple is the new tram driver and he’s such a lovely fellow. He gave us some helpful tips on where to visit and he knows all the fastest routes, so we arrived to Town quick as a flash.
Our first stop was the Grand Department Store and it was just wonderful! It has everything you could possibly dream of – pretty dresses, delicious chocolates, sparkly jewellery, pretty make up and much, much more. Saffron found the sweetest yellow dress and as it’s nearly her birthday, we treated her to it as an early present. She hasn’t stopped twirling in it since!
I took a peek in the Chocolate Lounge and everything looked so tasty, it made my tummy rumble. I tried a nibble of a hazelnut truffle and decided to treat Cedric and the children to a little bag each. They were so surprised and gobbled the lot!
There was a little incident when we were about to leave, as little Ambrose had disappeared! We searched and searched for him everywhere until we eventually found him in the lift, going up and down, up and down. The naughty thing was giggling away so it was hard to stay cross at him for long, but I was awfully worried.
Next, we popped into the Designer Studio to say hello to Stella. She’s a very talented designer and she even showed us some of the original drawings she’d made of Saffron’s new dress. Saffron wants to become a designer now when she grows up, so Stella gave her some pencils and told her to “keep practising!” Wasn’t that kind of her?
Ralph’s tummy was starting to rumble so off we went to get some food at the Delicious Restaurant. For starters, we had the yummiest butternut squash soup. The little ones spilled it all down their fronts but Cedric and I were too busy enjoying our own to notice. For mains, we all had fresh fish from Sea Breeze Cape with roasted acorns and spring greens, apart from the little ones who had chestnut puree. We didn’t even have room for desert, which was a shame as they had a cake nearly as big as Ambrose!
After lunch, we went for a wander around the Town. It’s so pretty, especially now all the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing in the trees. We bumped into Millie and Jasper Maple outside the Creamy Gelato Shop, so Saffron and Ralph had a quick game of tag with them while I got us all some gelato to cool down. Georgina really is the best gelato maker in all of Sylvania!
There was still so much to see in Town but the little ones were starting to get tired, so off we went back to the Tram. Theodore’s driving was so gentle, everyone fell asleep almost straight away! We had such a wonderful day and can’t wait until our next visit!
Our Summer Plans
Oh it’s so exciting, summer is just around the corner and I have so many plans! Stella knows how much I love to draw so has said that I can help out designing some new dresses with her. As it’s the summer holidays soon, I’m going to go and visit her Designer Studio to see what it’s like working as a designer. If I work very hard, maybe one of my dresses will even be sold in the Grand Department Store – just imagine that!
That’s not all I’ve got planned either, Grandma. Mum and Dad have planned a trip away for us on the Seaside Cruiser Houseboat in Sea Breeze Cape! I can’t wait to splash in the sea, do some fishing and go exploring in the row boat, then at night we can count all the twinkly stars in the sky.
Coco and Breeze are coming too – it will be their first summer holiday at Sea Breeze Cape and Breeze is so excited to visit where she was named after! I’m going to take them on the Splash and Play Whale first, as they love to build sandcastles.
Do you think you and Grandpa will visit us soon? I know! Why don’t you come on holiday with us? There’s still room in the car if we all squeeze up nice and snug, and the Ice Cream Shop has Grandpa’s favourite flavor, hazelnut and raisin! You can take mine and Coco’s room and we’ll use our Seaside Camping Set. I’ve been wanting to try it out for ages, and what could be better then sleeping under the stars?
I must dash now, Ralph’s waiting for me to go rock pooling!
Well hello there, poppet, what can I do for you today? You’d like to spend all day long beside the sea, taking in the fresh air? That sounds like the most perfect day and I’ve got just thing for you! Let me show you around the Seaside Restaurant – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!
You can go right inside if you like, after you. As you can see in the corner, the restaurant has its own fully-fitted indoor barbecue which means it’s easy to rustle up something quick and delicious for guests. Just peer outside to spot the jetty; customers love to nip out here after they’ve eaten, to feel the sea breeze after dinner. Isn’t the view just dreamy?
The Seaside Restaurant attracts a lot of friends and families so I’m sure it’s right up your street; the little ones love going outside and playing on the Splash & Play Whale while you’re making them something scrumptious. It’s the loveliest place to dine in the evening – don’t worry, the light works perfectly so the dining area will be as bright as a star. Take a stroll down the beach after dinner if you like, it’s rather lovely and peaceful at that time.
You like the sound of it, do you? Well that’s just delightful to hear. It’s all yours!
On the Lake
Hello there, my little sunflowers! The sun has got his hat on, so why don’t we go on an adventure to the lake? The water will be sparkling in the sunshine and there will be lots of fun things to do!
What shall we do first? I know, let’s go for a paddle in the Canoe Set! It’s mustard yellow and comes with a set of oars to row ourselves around with, plus a tie so we can moor it up when we need a break. There are also some cute life jackets in blue and pink – safety first, after all!
Next, let’s go for a ride on the Swan Boat Set! There’s a big one for mother or father to go in, a smaller one that’s just the right size for me and then a little swan toy, which trails behind us. Isn’t it cute? There’s a camera to capture our fun times forever and even a bear shaped water bottle, as relaxing can be very thirsty work!
All this fun is making my tumble rumble. What shall we have for lunch? How about something delicious from the Scrumptious Sandwich Set? There’s something for everyone, from baguettes and bagels, to rolls and croissants, all with a choice of tasty filling.
What a fun day it’s been! Can we come back next weekend too?
The Delicious Restaurant
Good day to you! And how are we on this fine afternoon? I’m so glad you popped by, I have something which I think you will just LOVE.
Please, feast your eyes on the Delicious Restaurant. Word has it that this is the best restaurant in Town and it could be yours in a flash.
Featuring classic wooden dining table and chairs, as well as plates, cups, saucers and glasses for the best dinner in town. But wait, there’s more to see!
Make your way upstairs and you will find the kitchen, fully equipped to suit all your cooking needs. We have pots, pans, spoons, spatulas, the lot! And since I’m feeling particularly generous today I will get you started on your way and include some delicious food. There might even be a rather fabulous cake, that’s if I haven’t already eaten it… Yum!
If that isn’t enough, then just for you I’ll throw in something to wear too. We have a crisp set of chef whites for any budding young chef who wants to work in your kitchen. I must say this is a rather popular spot, probably because the food smells so good. It’s lovely to look at too, with the minty green walls and cute red canopies. So, what do you say? You’ll take it? How wonderful!
The Designer Studio
Stella Chocolate is a busy young lady – she runs her very own Designer Studio. It’s her favourite place to hideaway from the hustle and bustle and design some of her most fabulous creations. It’s no wonder she loves her little studio so much, with its fancy gold doors and pink walls, which even matches her dress!
Inside you will find a beautifully carved chaise longue and a table for Stella to work from, as well as a few home comforts to keep her ideas flowing. There’s a teacup and saucer, as well as a plate, fork and cake for her to nibble on.
And let’s not forget the rather fabulous Stella herself! She looks splendid in her pink and purple dress (which she designed herself) and she is usually carrying the cutest pink handbag, as well as a white hat with red ribbon trimmings perched upon her ear.
The Designer Studio can be connected to other buildings to create your very own townscape, and you can personalise it by swapping out the window frames and fences with other buildings.
A Guide to Sea Shell Spotting
Paws up if you can’t wait to go to the beach now it’s summer! There’s so much to do at the seaside it can be hard to decide between swimming in the sea, building sandcastles or sunbathing. Something that can be fun on the beach all year round is collecting beautiful sea shells on the sandy shore. Beaches are very special places with loads of wildlife so it’s important that you stick to a few rules when you go…
1. Always make sure there are no little creatures living in the shells you find, or you might both be in for a surprise when you get home!
2. Don’t leave anything behind; It is important to keep our beaches as beautiful as they were when we found them
3. Safety first: always keep a parent or responsible adult in sight!
So now you know the basic beach guidelines let’s have a little think about what you need to take with you. Now, there are a few essentials: sun cream, sensible shoes and a hat are all very important, and it is a great idea to take a bucket for your collection and a camera to take pictures of things which you can’t take home.
What shells can I find?
There are lots of different types of shells which you can find at the seaside. There are three types of shells you can find at the seaside: swirly shells, shells with two halves and shells that are neither of the two! The most common type of swirly shell is a whelk or a winkle and you will probably find these easy to find. Slightly more difficult to find but very pretty are the topped shell and the pheasant shell: both of these are small spiral shells with stripes, patterns and colours on them. There are all sorts of different types of scallops which are shells with two halves. They come in all sorts of colours and sizes from pink to blue, from smaller than your little finger nail to bigger than your whole paw! Make sure you keep and eye out for other types of shells too, as there are all sorts to discover.
What else can I find at the beach?
Shells aren’t the only treasures which you can find at the beach. Keep an eye out for the bright blues and greens of sea glass; this is glass that has been in the sea for such a long time that the edges are smooth and rounded. Sometimes they look like the precious jewels which Stella Chocolate uses in her special dress designs. The sea also does something special to any branches and sticks which get washed off the shores. When wood has been in the sea for a very long time all the creepy crawlies are gone and, just like the glass, all the splinters are smoothed away. If you look hard enough you might even find some pebbles which are worth adding to your collection.
What can I do with my beachcombing treasures?
When you get home, give all your shells a wash with some warm soapy water and leave them out on a tea towel to dry. Now what shall we do with our shells and treasures? Let’s hide them down on See Breeze Cape so the other Sylvanians can do their very own beachcombing, or you might want to make a pretty necklace or decorate a picture frame as a gift for someone special.