Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Great Kite Rescue

This story is a classic tale of childhood - the kite that got stuck in the tree.
Lachlan got his new kite on Easter.  We took it to the park a few days ago and he got his first real experience with flying a kite all by himself.  Since then he has been obsessed with flying his kite.  An obsession I can fully support. Thankfully our neighborhood doesn't have power lines, everything is under ground.  So he can fly in our front yard and in the street.  There are a few trees though, so we warned him and warned him again - keep your string short and don't get close to trees.

Well, a warning is one thing, but don't we all learn better by making our own mistakes?  I think it is safe to say, Lachlan has learned his lesson.
I tried pulling on the string to see if I could get it loose and it was not budging.  It looked too high for a ladder and Lachlan, who normally loves to climb trees, was a little nervous about the height.  I knew my husband would have some ideas when he got home from work but I couldn't stop my wheels from turning.  I even put it out there on Facebook for my friends to give some advice.  One idea was to train a squirrel to fetch. ;)

I said to Lachlan, I wonder if we could call someone to help.  His first idea was to call Mayor John, because he can solve any problem in this town.  We had a special meeting with him a while back.

But my first thought was a cherry picker truck.  Hmm ... do I know anyone who would have one.  Don't think I do.  That's when MINET fiber popped into my head.  I knew they had some because I have seen them working around town.  I also knew that they were a local company with roots in this community and we have always had great experiences with them.  So I sent them an instant message through Facebook.  I figured I didn't need to tie up the phone lines with this request, but if someone happens to see our message for help and wants to lend a hand, then great!

The next thing I know I get a message back asking for our address, then they let me know they would send a tech out AND there happened to be one in the neighborhood.  Not even 10 minutes later he was here and rescuing Lachlan's beloved kite.

I really couldn't stop laughing.  It was such a fun and special moment.  I am just so thankful for our wonderful community and it warms my heart when we humans help each other.  I would even bet, that when this gentleman got the call to save a kite and make a little boys day, it brought a smile to his face.  He seemed happy to help.

Once the kite was finally safe and back on the ground we asked for a picture with the kite rescuer - our hero.
Everyone wanted to be in the picture with him, so they crowded around.  The sad part is, I didn't even ask him his name!  Thank you, to whoever you are and to MINET for saving the day!
Thanks to you, the kite got it's chance to fly once more!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

E is for Eggs

I am trying really hard to challenge Adam with more Mother Goose Time each week.  I am the first to admit that my focus usually falls on the big boys.  But Adam is a smart little guy and it's not fair to him when I don't give him his own learning opportunities.

I often don't get Mother Goose Time out because I don't think I can complete a full day.  But even if I just get out one or two lessons from the day, he can learn so much.

On egg day we played an awesome game called E is for Egg.  Mother Goose Time gave us a sheet of paper, covered in eggs, and each egg had a letter or number in it.  They gave us cube cards to go in our pocket cube that matched these letters and numbers and the idea was to roll the cube and then search for and color in an egg with the matching letter or number.
The first letter he rolled was the lower case e.
He found one on his paper and colored the whole egg in perfectly.
 Also included in the pocket cube was a picture of an elephant and an egg which both start with an E.  If he rolled the elephant he had to stomp like an elephant and if he rolled an egg he had to roll into a ball and pretend to be an egg and then he popped open to hatch.  I would have pictures to show you, but we are wearing big boy underwear these days with no pants as we learn to go in the potty.
What's great about this big movement and dramatic play that is mixed in with this writing and letter recognition learning is that it actually helps him stay focused.  Little kids aren't meant to stay in one place for too long.  The mixture of getting up and moving and sitting down and writing kept him focused on this game for a long time.
Not only that, but mixing movement and learning brings the mind and body together and creates a powerful link.  I know from previous experience that it helps the knowledge to "stick" (that's a technical Early Childhood Education term) and makes it easier for them to recall when it's needed at another time.
Then Adam lead the way and took this activity into a new direction.  Instead of coloring in the eggs he chose to trace the letter or number inside the egg.
 Following his lead I got out our Muscle Mover Cards by Fundanoodle.
Now, if he rolled the capital E, he could find it on the egg sheet and write it on the Muscle Mover card.  Funny enough, the move on the other side of the Muscle Mover card was "stomp like an elephant".

The last activity from Day 2 was simply called Egg.  They gave us a paper egg, an egg carton to put a variety of colors in, clothes pins, large pom poms and an inspiration photo of speckled eggs.
Thankfully I had just purchased a set of 18 different colors of tempura paint from Amazon.  The ones I poured for him were the pearl colors, they are so pretty.
Look how well painting with pom poms works for this.  His paper egg, looks a lot like the inspiration photo.
 Another Invitation to Create that is Adam approved.

Friday, April 14, 2017

There is Always Something New with Mother Goose Time

Part of my role as Blog Coordinator for Mother Goose Time is to read through all the Blog Ambassador's posts.  The only major issue with this is that it always gets me excited to open up a bag and have some fun with my kids, so I can never seem to get through too many posts at a time!

One of the other bloggers, using Mother Goose Time at a preschool, showed how she used the what we know, what we wonder and what we learned page that is at the front of each week.  She had written the three columns on a white board and asked the students to fill in the first two columns.  I have been using Mother Goose Time for years now, yet I still find something new to try.  The curriculum is so rich and deep that you can always find a new area to add another level to your teaching.
First I asked Peter (6) what can be found in a bird's nest.  He said "baby birds and eggs".  Then I asked him what he wondered about bird's nests and he said he wants to know the different ways birds build their nests.  Next I asked Adam (just turned 3) what he knew about nests.  He said "birds nests are up in the air" (translation, up high) and that they are a "birds house".  See!  Look at that!  I love his answers.  Now what does Adam wonder about nests?  Since this is a new concept to him I got some fun answers.  He said he wants to "know about Jesus", horses and dogs.  I can't wait to ask them both what they learned at the end of this week about birds.

I started by setting up two trays at the table for the Nest Invitation to Create.  I didn't set up three because Lachlan has been opting out of participating lately.  To my surprise, he made a nest and Peter did not.
After getting the table set up I made a nest out of blankets in the living room for the Circle Time song.  It was quickly occupied by an adorable little hatchling.
 Who made silly faces.
I quickly reminded Lachlan that the tops of the paper bags can be rolled down to make it look like a nest.  I could have stepped back and not said anything, but Lachlan does not like making things unless they turn out like he envisions them in his mind.  He would have gotten really frustrated if it didn't look like a nest. Adam was mostly interested in cutting the little pieces of crinkly paper that Mother Goose Time provided as part of this art project.
The inspiration photo had hatchlings in the nest with their yellow beaks open and waiting for food.  That's why the yellow paper was provided.  But neither of the boys chose to do anything with the colored paper.
Next I grabbed the "nametags" for this month which are paper eggs.  I had each child write their name on their egg and I wrote Mom on the extra one.  The nest says "Who is in the nest today?" and it's a way to see who is in class each day.  If a person is not their, their egg can be placed outside the nest.  I need to make one more egg and put Dad on it so that we can move it in and out of the nest when he goes to work and comes home.  I think Adam would have a lot of fun with that.  I have it right at Adam's height and he asked me just once, which egg said what.  I read them to him and he had them memorized instantly.  He goes to the nest each time a new person comes over to visit and "reads" the name on each egg.  I say "read" in quotes, but maybe I shouldn't.  He is actually reading and recognizing the names, letters, and also the colors and drawings on each egg to tell them apart.  Such a great pre-reading exercise for his brain!
 Lachlan added glue and then crinkled paper to the top and inside of his nest.
 Adam continued to cut.

 This is why Peter was not making a nest.  He was making creatures out of construction paper.
Lachlan then decided he would make a real nest and went out to gather sticks.  He said that some birds make their own glue by chewing and spitting up something.  That is why it was okay for him to use Elmer's glue to make his nest.
 It didn't quite stay together.  Later he decided to add them to the top of his paper nest.
The last activity on this day about nests was called Stick Stack.  We were given numbers for our pocket cube, a picture of a nest and Popsicle sticks.  The numbers we could use in the pocket cube included negative numbers.  I used -1 and -2.  The idea was to roll the cube and put that many into the nest, or if they were negative numbers, take that many out.  I set it up, as you see here, but we never did play it.  So when we were heading out the door to go to Great Grandma's house, I grabbed it and packed it along.  GG has many beautiful and breakable things at her house, so if Adam started getting wrestless I wanted something to do.  This was a perfect solution, and we did use it!  Another win for Mother Goose Time.