Friday, June 5, 2015

Alphabet House

Here is what I have learned from 2 years of using Mother Goose Time, NEVER underestimate a theme.  Alphabet house at first glance, may not sound as exciting as let's say Dinosaur Dig, but it is!

I have been excited about this topic from the beginning because my husband is a builder and I thought this could be a fun lesson to teach our sons a little bit more about building a house.  But then the conversation was started in the Blog Ambassador group about the new toys they decided to bring into the school to go along with this theme.  A few of them bought new dollhouses to set up for the children.

Of course I loved that idea.  I have always wanted a version of a dollhouse for the boys.  Maybe a castle or I have seen an awesome tree house dollhouse.  But at minimum you are looking at $100.  Then I thought I would try Craigslist.  Even the used dollhouses were spendy.  Again, my wheels were turning.  Maybe I could borrow a dollhouse temporarily from someone I know, but I wouldn't want to borrow dolls or furniture.  What if they were lost or broken?  But what are they going to do with an empty dollhouse, we can't buy doll furniture if we don't have a dollhouse to keep. (Sorry, you just went along on the whole thought process there.) 

My conclusion - Lachlan and Peter can make the furniture!  This week we are learning about different types of homes but next week as we learn about the different rooms in the house I am going to give the boys a little extracurricular activity.  I have saved aside cardboard from recycling and I will set them up a work station with tape and scissors and other odds and ends.  They can build beds, refrigerators, couches and anything else they can think up.

We ended up borrowing two dollhouses.  One wooden one for the older boys and one more durable plastic one for Adam to use.  It will be nice for him to be able to join in.

Lachlan already built his first piece of furniture for the house out of Legos.  He chose to build a piano.
I also ordered a custom set of peg dolls for our dollhouse from Little Peg Dolls.  She is someone I know and her peg dolls are out of this world.
 These are two of her sets.  Matching color peg dolls and the Disney princess peg dolls. 

Our set should be arriving any day and I can't wait to show them to you!

But for now let me show you some of the stand out lessons from this week so far.
This activity was from the day we learned about apartments.  The boys were fascinated by the concept.  Mother Goose Time gave us this amazing 9 story apartment page.  It included little numbered cards that they had face down and then chose one at a time to flip over.  If they flipped over a blue number 7 they would go up to the 7th story and find out who "lives" in the blue apartment.  Then they would practicing writing that letter on the writing sheet.

I knew instantly that this would be a tool I would want to use again and again.  So I made sure to put the writing sheet in a wipe off pouch. 
I was surprised that the boys weren't as excited about this as I was.  They only wanted to do 3 or 4 letters and then they were ready to move on.  But honestly, I think they just wanted to get outside. 
To package it up I slid the apartment page in the back of the pouch and the little number pieces in a bag tucked inside.  I am going to keep this in their drawers and pull it out a lot.  It makes writing practice a whole lot less boring. 
Meanwhile, Adam was rearranging.  Maybe he was organizing?

Next we did the lesson called City or Country Living.  I asked Lachlan, why do you think there are many apartments buildings in big cities?  Lachlan had no clue and I didn't give him the answer.  I knew the next activity would show him the answer.
MGT had us fold a paper in half, write 2 on one side and 20 on the other.  I gave him our wooden blocks and told him each block represented a house.  Then I had him put 2 blocks on the 2 side and 20 on the 20 side. 
 It didn't take long for him to figure out that if he wanted to fit 20 he had to go up!  I then asked him the exact same question and he answered "because they need to fit a lot of people in a small space."  That makes me so happy! Did you see that?  He figured it out on his own through experimentation, some might call it play!
The punctuation marks on the papers above are for the Goldilocks Leaves the City lesson.  We were to read through our new story book and have the kids jump on the paper of any punctuation mark they see in the book.  I think this is an excellent way to get children to first take notice of these marks in their books. 
This last one I just thought was fun.  Lachlan drew a cell phone tower.  He really is paying attention to all of the things around him. 

UPDATE:  On living room day, Lachlan added a few more pieces of furniture.  A super big couch, a regular size couch and a TV.
Peter is sitting on one of the couches at the moment.
The tree shaped thing is the TV.
Cousin Colton built the chair that is upstairs and a cloth baby wipe is making a bed for Mom.
It's slowly coming together.  Along the way Lachlan is learning a bit about scale.  The first couch he made of folded paper almost didn't fit.  

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