Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week Of Play!

After Rebbeca Rupp's speech at the Minnesota Homeschooler's Alliance (MHA) Conference, I payed a lot of attention to PLAY this past week or so. Noting all the things that I could that the kids did for fun and fun alone. Here's some of the list:
blocks, mud soup in a planter pot, forts, read library books (Leaves, Fun With Verbs, Construction Equipment, etc.), lots of painting, lots of games, lots of puzzles, play money, parachute games, parks, made soup, read Bob Books, Art class, fed ducks, cleared the garden, guitar, keyboard, took pictures, wrote letters, Ranger Rick magazine, watched beetles, chatted with ALL the neighbors, dug in the ground, played hide-and-seek, played tag, made a garden marker for next year (Ava made me one for my tomatoes), card games, scooters, computer games and ABC Mouse, made bubbles, listened to music and sang and danced to it, Ava plays guitar to music she plays, made up their own songs and danced to it, played restaurant, played dress-up, video game (bowling), pretended, played in the sprinkler, played T-ball, made fresh juices in the juicer, made smoothies, checked out online to see asteroid craters in the U.S., read about the solar system, raked leaves for the neighbors, play-doh, Linkin Logs, decorated baby pumpkins, and asked about 24 tons of questions...Yup, a successful week, I'd say!

On top of that we visited the Children's Museum again, always a favorite. This time the theme rooms included the Rainforest and also a Children's Books exhibit which included some of their favorites, like "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Peter Rabbit, and A Snowy Day, among others.


In the museum's Activity Center, the kids got to build boats out of different materials and then see if they would float or not. This was so perfect for them. Noah is drawn to water like a fish. All summer long we were trying to keep him from leaving the hose on all day playing in water, watching it form "rivers," making mud, floating things in it, jumping in it, etc. And Ava loves anything creative and hands on. They both made several different boats and floated them. Meanwhile, Amora painted and played in the water!

Ava's very artistically designed boat didn't float the first time. So she was going to add something to it to see if it would float. After testing different materials, she decided on a big wooden base for it. I loved watching their faces when their boats floated!

Ava's toothpick boat!

Oh oh!


One of my most favorite things about watching the kids learn is the looks of intrigue, of joy, of interest and amazement on their faces. I love how their faces light up when they discover something new. I know that each time that happens, it is making an impression on them that will last forever. Plus, it just makes me happy to see them loving it all. Life is one big experiment!

Ava's art class had given us some extra paper they had on hand. It's the really durable tag-board type paper great for painting on which the kids have taken advantage of. I also used it this week as backing for play money that I printed off of the computer. I filled their cash register with it and we talked about the values and which was which. John worked with Ava that night on the values and adding coins together also.

When we were at the grocery store, the kids wanted to play one of those claw games to (not) win a stuffed animal. It took 50 cents each so we took that opportunity to see how many quarters that was. When I was out of quarters I gave Ava a dollar to bring, all by herself, to the cashier for four quarters (apparently not as easy as it used to be). After the cashier called over service managers and such to get the drawer to open without a sale, Ava finally came back with her four quarters. I've explained several times about how many quarters are in a dollar, but this is the first time she's really remembered it. She got to do it all on her own, for her own game she wanted to play. It had a use and an importance that no worksheet can create. And, of course, that's what the key is! That's real learning! I love seeing it every day now that I know what it looks like.

Ava's been loving art class now that it's started back up. Last week she learned about Picasso-and his ear, haha...talk about a lasting impression. In her art journal she has a picture of Picasso she drew with a bloody ear. This week she is learning about drawing still  life.

We had read a book this week called "Perfect Soup," which is one of those books I just might have to buy. It's about someone trying to make soup and asking friends for ingredients and they keep wanting to trade him the ingredient he needs for something they need. In the end, another character works it all out by giving him something he needs as a gift which allows him to pay the others their favors to finally get to finish his soup.
After art class, Noah wanted to make soup. So he helped measure ingredients, open cans, and shake in spices to make a wonderful "Goblin Soup," (Pumpkin). Cooking is great for learning measurements and I like to show the kids what is 1/3 of a cup and why, and how much a tablespoon is etc. They get a lot from simply making soup, including a tasty meal!

Hoping soon we'll be making some yummy vegan fall treats now that autumn is upon us!

Goblin Soup--And my teeny tiny contribution to VEGANMOFO.

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