Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Grandparents Wear Glasses - Toddler Craft Time

This is just going to be a quick little post showing just Adam working on a craft.  This craft is considered a Make and Play by Mother Goose Time.  This means that instead of it being an open ended art project it is a craft with a pretty specific outcome in mind.  This craft is then used as a prop and is used for lots and lots of play.

Many of Mother Goose Time's art projects in previous years were more of the Make and Play format but this year they have replaced about half of those with an open ended Invitation to Create.  I really like having a little bit of both.  There are people with strong arguments for or against each style.  For me the key is balance because I do not think anyone can deny that their are benefits to both.

Adam has been super obsessed with his green shades lately.  They were actually originally bought for little Lachlan.  He was so tiny.

Adam and I had so much fun sitting down working on the paper glasses that Mother Goose Time provided for Grandparents day. I set up the paper glasses myself by taping on the one arm that didn't come attached.  I placed the paper glasses on the tray so I did not have to worry about glue getting on my table.  I dumped the jewels on the tray and gave him an open bottle of glue.

He did awesome.  Just putting one spot of glue for each jewel.

 After he put this one down he threw his hands up and said "ta da".

I mean seriously how cute is he wearing shades while working on his paper glasses.

Eventually I just had to switch over to video and record him working away.  He was so proud.  There is so much going on here.  We counted, we talked about colors.  He did some major problem solving when he tried to put down a jewel with out glue and when he had something in both hands but needed two hands to squeeze the glue.  Not to mention the fine motor skills.

Warning - if a toddler chewing on a mouth full of salami while talking freaks you out, this may not be the video for you!

I also have to point out the amazing time we had together as he crafted.  There is a time to step back and give them complete freedom and independence and there is a time to just sit and enjoy the project together.  Most of the time my participation is based on how many dishes are in the sink.  Dishes, laundry, work, a friend or family member calling.  There are so many distractions and things to get done in a day.  Sitting with him didn't take long, but it was so valuable.  This I write as a reminder to myself.  The list can wait from time to time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Learning About Dads in Preschool

After we opened all the new learning toys we got in our Christian Book.com shipment, I spent some time setting up some fun for Adam 2.5 and Cody 3 almost 4 years old.  There were two activities I grabbed to get us started and they fell under the topic of "Dads".
The first was an Invitation to Create with a picture of shiny keys as the inspiration.  I thought it was neat that they had us talk about how Dads keep us safe, then correlated that to keys.  Mother Goose Time provided us with plastic keys, the key picture, gold glitter, and a plain piece of white card stock paper. I added glue, crayons and scissor for them to choose from.  Then I did a quick demonstration of how to do a rubbing of the plastic keys and how to trace the keys.  This was for Adam who is only 2.5 so he doesn't know these types of techniques yet.  But again, all I do is demonstrate and let him choose.

He chose to simply put glue on the paper and sprinkle glitter over the top.  Still he had tons of fun and loved it!

Once most of the glitter was on the paper he poured more glue on top.  I didn't stop him because well, it's his art and I am trying to allow him freedom.  But here is the problem I discovered.  When you stand the paper up to dump the excess glitter off, the glue that was poured on top of the glitter just rolls off and mixes with all of the still good glitter and makes a huge mess.  This wouldn't be such a bad problem if I didn't have another kid waiting in the wing to make his picture.  When it was Cody's turn he was able to get some of the good glitter out of the glitter glue mix and sprinkle it on his page but it was a mess.  So next time, I might intervene.

Adam also got a good amount stuck to him.  But of course he didn't seem to mind.

Cody was at the other side of the table working to put buttons on his T-shirt.  I first asked Cody if his Dad every wore a shirt with buttons.  He wasn't quite sure and since his Mom and Dad are both farmers, fancy button up shirts aren't part of their every day attire.  Although his Grandpa wears a lot of flannels.  Anyhow, he rolled the die and placed that many buttons on his shirt.  These are hard plastic sticker buttons, which are pretty awesome.
This was a great little math lesson.  My older boys walked up and saw that he had 3 on this shirt and that he had rolled a 6 and added them together quickly to tell me that he will now have 9 on his shirt. After they were each done with their project I had them switch.  Now it was Adam's turn with the buttons and he did it "all by myself".  
 Love this facial expression and his concentration.
 Here he was happily counting along with me as I counted out the number he rolled.
 He now had some more work to do.
While Adam was working on the buttons Cody was working on the glitter.  Look at how focused he is.
He made about three pretty distinct blobs of glue that were roundish on one side with a thinner area sticking out.  So he really was trying to make the shapes of the keys.

What is neat about this is that it carried over to the next day and of course I don't have a picture.  But I left the plastic keys, and the paper I had used to demonstrate out on the table.  Adam picked it up at one point when the boys were working on something and he wanted a task too.  He very carefully put the keys on the paper and traced them.  Of course this meant big circles around where the key was sitting.  But he knew exactly what they were and he called Daddy over when he got home to show him the keys he had drawn.  Now that is awesome.

Dino's and Robots from Christian Books

It was just an average Monday, except on this Monday, my curriculum order came in from Christian Book for my Kindergartner and 2nd grader.

We couldn't wait to open the box and of course I knew the two things they would want to do first.  Of course they didn't jump right to the books, but instead the two learning "toys" I got them.  I got Peter a Squishy T-Rex.  He is fascinated with anatomy and dinosaurs.  So I saw this as the best of both worlds for him.

The hardest part was waiting to open it.  I didn't want the box to be opened with out me and the parts being lost.


This dino came with some of it's parts put together.  Like the internal organs here were already in place, they just had to be put in his body.  Now that he has taken it apart and put it back together several times, I think I might challenge him by taking it all the way apart, every tiny piece.
Along with this "toy" came a book all about T-Rex.  We have only read the first 2 pages and absorbed and talked about all the information.  Like did you know a T-Rex has it's eyes on the front of it's skull instead of the side like horses and cows.  This allow for better depth perception which would be required to catch prey.

Next was the Air & Water Pressure Robot Kit.  This one stood out to me because it is a robot, which Lachlan loves, but it uses air and water pressure to move instead of electricity.  We had just been studying Isaac Newton with our Mother Goose Time curriculum.  Gravity and the laws of gravity.  It was there that we talked about force.  So I thought this would tie in well.
 I have to say, this toy thrills me.  There are directions to build three different robots - an inchworm, a dino and the robotic arm.

The robots move using a hydraulic system.  You use two medicine syringes and one tube connecting them.  You put 5 ml of air in one and none in the other.  When you push down on the 5ml of air in one syringe the plunger gets pushed out in the empty one.  First they have you use air and note how it feels squishy or soft.  Then you fill the syringes with water and note how it feels more firm and more powerful.

You can see our inchworm moving here.  

I would have never thought of Christion Book.com for homeschool curriculum.  My Mother in Law forwarded me an email that promised free shipping and at least 30% off for their big back to school homeschool sale.  I thought, okay, I will check it out, but I doubt they will have everything I need.  I started searching for my curriculum, first math, yep they have that, then science, yep.  They had everything I wanted to buy this year for the boys and at the best prices I could find.  These two learning toys I did not have on my list, but I just had to keep looking after I got everything else checked off.  I got what I needed and more.