Monday, November 26, 2007

Pretty Parrot Puppets and more

We were supposed to make sock puppets at playgroup, but it didn't happen. We did decorate some lovely birds though:A liked flying his around of course (I think he even added some shooters like on his airplanes).
Here's A and friend Callan in the rice boat.

Snake Skin

Remember those days in elementary school when you put glue all over your hand, let it dry, and then pretended your skin was peeling off? This is based on the same idea.
I mixed some clear glue with a couple drops of green food coloring, then had him paint it on a bumpy plastic cookie tray. Much later I peeled it of for him and he had green snake skin (well we decided to make it green gecko skin).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feeding the Birds

Putting together an informal bird feeder (bread crumbs and an egg carton). A took very seriously his job to crush the bread.
Not sure if the birds will like it, but we sure do.Testing out his eye crossing skills. This is a first ladies and gentlemen..lucky we caught it on film, or memory, or whatever you call digital photos.

B is for...

Butterflies, bats, blue, brown, black, and beach.

I figured the best way to learn about the beach was a field trip. Here is A washing some of the huge sea shells we collected and brought home. His favorite are the 'butterfly shells'.

This is a beach collage we both worked on. A did his pretty much all by himself. (I mostly pointed, he did the action.) Materials: torn construction paper, sand, shells, blue watercolor, and glue. It's a masterpiece.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A in the kitchen

Can you guess what we made? We followed a recipe. Here are the ingredients.
And here is the finished product: Blue Play Dough!
I know there are lots of recipes out there, but I happened to use this one I found on Montessori by Hand.

4 tablespoons of white flour
2 tablespoons of salt
1 dropper-full of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of water

Add the dry ingredients in a bowl. If you want to add a few drops of food coloring, make sure to add it to the water, otherwise it will be difficult to get a uniform color. Little by little, add the water. At first, stir with a spoon - once all of the water is added, start smooshing the mixture with your hands until it reaches the desired consistency. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge when not in use. Most likely, it will end up drying out after a day or two of heavy use.

I was surprised at how well A did in measuring, following instructions, and waiting until the right time to do things. This will happily be one of our frequent activities I believe.

water color again?

Really? You're sure you want to paint again? Yup.
Turns out what he really wanted to do this time was play with the colors, mixing and matching.
I was ok with that.

who knew tupperware was so fun

I bought a set of Tupperware type containers which are clear with different color lids. A got a hold of the stack and went to town playing with them. I never would have thought of it on my own. We made all sorts of towers: biggest to smallest, smallest to biggest, upside down, all red, all yellow, etc. Here is a quick series of photos from the activity.
Here A is doing a little dance after making a tower.
This is body language for "NO MORE PICTURES!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bubble B Quiz

No pictures for this one, I was too busy in the activity aspect this time. A is really into blowing bubbles now, and I say great! Heres why:
1. he gets out so many of those unending toddler wiggles while he chases around the balcony or the driveway catching bubbles.
2. The kinesthetic activity turns on his imagination: he loves to pretend he is a predator owl swooping down to catch his prey (yeah, those are all HIS words picked up from past learning times and wonderful books). Oh sometimes he's a crocodile catching the rabbits and mice.
3. He doesn't get frustrated at this activity, ever. It could go on for hours if I let it.

Today we started the letter B. I pointed out the Bubbles had two b sounds in it. I decided to take a chance and try making this an educationally challenging moment at the risk that he might just get mad at the whole experience. It turned out fantastic, so we might just pull it out again sooner than later.

Before I could blow bubbles he had to give me a B word--they all wound up beginning with b sounds, but I would have taken a middle or end B if he had suggested it. I gave hints for words, but I could tell by his responses that he was definitely thinking in terms of the B sound. He would give words that I wasn't even thinking of! We came up with a lengthy list of words which in turn gave me several ideas for other activities and conversations this week. It was a hit!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

chalk on black construction paper

First I wrote his name on the paper to show him how it worked.
He was into pushing really hard and making lots of chalk dust. Then he decided he needed to rub that dust with his hand after every mark he made. So his hand was covered in chalk.
Finally he somehow connected black paper with his black race car, ran in to grab one, and contented himself with coloring it with chalk.

food coloring paint

We pulled out the old food coloring and water in an ice cube tray trick for a bit of painting fun. I explained to A at the beginning that he needed to rinse off the brush every time he dipped it into a new color otherwise it would spoil the colors. For the first five minutes I would say "Rinse!" each time his brush approached the paints. After that he was great at it...when he wanted to. Sometimes he would start at one end and dip his brush in every color just for fun. So the yellow was a bit green and the blue was turning purple. Oh well. He loved it.
At first I let him be creative and do what he wanted. After five pieces of paper I started drawing simple pictures for him to color in. He enjoyed both types of canvases. Several days later we did it again, but this time I made some 'educational' pictures to be colored: the number and letter we were studying for the week. It was an easy and fun activity for us both.

counting hands

I traced A's right hand and left hand as templates and then made some counting hands. I did alternating colors to differentiate evens and odds up to 20. The left hands were blue and all odds, the right hands even oranges.
Activities: I laminated them so it would be easy to pull out of a bag one at a time for various activities. A can determine if a number is even or odd or put the numbers in order lowest to highest or highest to lowest. He can match 1-10 with the equivalent in 11-20, and we can use the hands in simple math problems.

Then I made another set to teach the concept of 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. I put number stickers on all the fingers and the ten set on the palm of the hand.
The project did require a lot of cutting for me (I still have a sore thumb from it), but we used the scraps for a fun collage project as well. It took several pieces before A realized they were cutouts of his hands. He was excited to see them in both forms.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

O is for...

Halloween Week
Letter: O
Science: Bats and Owls
Art: Orange
Geography: Ocean