Happy Home Edders


Animal bags!
April 7, 2012, 10:41 am
Filed under: create, junk art, reading | Tags: , , , ,

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I know these might look a bit ghetto, but the paper bag animals are perfect for toddlers. Ignore the pink and yellow bunnies. They are hellish! Trust me.

Our new local library is great. They have weekly song and story times, and unlike the libraries of my youth, kids are encouraged to explore, talk loudly, and have fun.

This past Thursday story time was replaced by crafts – we aren’t Christian, so Easter isn’t particularly on our radar, but then I suspect these bunny crafts also probably do not frequent church alters.

You need a small paper bag, some newspaper, crayons, glue, a bit of coloured card or paper, and cotton for a tail.

Colour your animal face. Stuff it with crumpled newspaper (bonus time if your kids elect to chop up the newspaper with their beloved scissors first!) and glue shut. Stick on ears, feet, and tail.

These were actually super fun and the kids could do most of it on their own. We will definitely be making more animals soon!

Red elected to stuff his bunny with a cardboard tray – totally confident it would work – and he was right. He was so proud of this bunny he carried it everywhere and it even went in our shopping trolley afterward! Yellow was more concerned with using the colour yellow as much as possible! She seems more interested in making things, while he seems more interested in the end product.

Either way is great because both are simple, fun, and cute with this great little craft!

(As an aside, you can also use libraries to check out books. Who knew? Both kids got their very first library cards this week. I can’t believe they are this old! They navigate the book check out machines like old pros. Sniff/beam.)



Experiencing the world at its bumpiest, noisiest, and quickest!
April 6, 2012, 6:17 pm
Filed under: explore | Tags: ,

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Anatomy.
April 5, 2012, 9:10 am
Filed under: music, philosophy, play, science | Tags:

One of Yellow’s signature phrases is ‘yummy in my tummy.’ This led naturally to a little game…

She was drinking water. I lightly touched her lips and made up some crazy song about water going in her mouth. I then tickled down her throat, her tummy, her bladder, and then finished the song with an overly enthusiastic reference to a ‘great big wee.’

She was quite taken with this. During meals now she says, ‘Where’s my food gone? Oh no! Where is it?…….IN MY TUMMY!’

I didn’t plan to explain this little bit of anatomy and bodily function to her. I was just playing.
Experiences like this really highlight the knowledge that can come from ‘just’ playing. Most of the times in my life things have meant a lot, and I’ve retained them, has been when I am simply doing something I like to do, because I choose to do it.



Fractions.
April 4, 2012, 9:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Orange/Red/TheBoy understands fractions. He consistently identifies and points out the basic concept when we have fish fingers.

I give him two at a time, then chop each into four pieces to let them cool down. As I chop, he counts higher and higher.

So while the term ‘fractions’ might sound complicated, he’s worked out at age two that by chopping something into pieces, you get more – smaller – pieces. His four little chunks are the same as one big fish finger.

I am always amazed at how competent, creative, and innate learning is. Making connections, exploring new (or old!) ideas, or even just suddenly ‘getting’ a new concept. I don’t need to consciously teach math, for example, because math is wonderful and math is everywhere. Children learn all the time, in so many different ways, and sometimes it’s my job to just stand back and marvel.



Chocolate bananas.
March 13, 2012, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

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When we feel like cooking and it isn’t time for a big meal, this is one of our favorite things to make.

We take one banana per person and place it on a baking tray. I then use a sharp knife to slice a ‘smile’ in the part facing up, removing that piece of skin. I then make on deep cut lengthwise.

Hand the kids some chocolate buttons to slide in the cut, stick in the oven for a bit, and enjoy the deliciousness!



The right tools for the job.
March 12, 2012, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

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Ah, tools. Such a good thing to explore, because you’ve got the tool itself – and the way it impacts on objects around it.

We spent a good chunk of time this morning playing with scissors (one pair dull, one sharp) and big, crumpled sheets of packing paper. Some paper wet, some dry.

Yesterday in a charity shop we saw an old fashioned sewing machine – wooden base, metal body. It ran by turning a crank on the side. I suspect Orange would have stayed with it all day.

And Yellow? Her most loved tools over the past month are those in her doctor bag. She’s got the mini plastic implements, but also real syringes and medication spoons. Hopefully my mom will be giving us a real stethoscope this summer (she’s a nurse).

We also like peelers (spent aaaages with apples after lunch. They each ate three!), tape, cardboard rolls, knives (making sandwiches, cutting food, etc)….just about anything, actually.

What are your favorite tools to explore?