Play and theme-based learning with our children

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy/Sad Airport Day

My mom and son ride the monorail at SFO airport. They look out the large window of the first car, watching the planes as the train travels between terminals. Sometimes my son and I enjoy the monorail as a rainy day treat, but today we're taking Mom to the airport so she can fly back to TX. Sniffle.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Candy Art Round 2

Lollipop art: flower pot
Right about this time every year when I was a kid, my older brother and I would sit down to count what was left of our Halloween candy. We were competing to see who had the most willpower to make their loot stretch until Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dance Party + Thanksgiving Dinner

Before you get the idea this post chronicles the spectacular Thanksgiving spread I made, let me be the first to say thank goodness not.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift Trees

Mom, whose been visiting for almost two months now, reminisces about her childhood while we take a stroll in the neighborhood. Trees are on fire with color. The crunching rustle tickles the ears. The sensory awakening vividly reminds her of walking to school as a young girl.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Expressive Sandwiches

The weekend is over and I'm packing school lunch. I'm not usually one to fuss over lunch prep. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Celery and Food Color Experiment

The day I gave up trying to keep our kitchen table stain free was the day I became free. That is, free to do science and art projects with my son without worry. Our kiddie "activity table" just wasn't enough space by itself.

I get inspiration for preschool-age activities from many sources, including Kiwi Crate.  You can find our celery experiment on the kiwi crate blog today. Go here to find out how your kid can turn celery into a colorful project about plant circulation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Saved by the Museum

Fussy baby? Check. Whiney preschooler? Check. Haphazard mixing of Legos and Playmobile on the floor? Check.  Ah, the natives are clearly restless. It's time for a good exit strategy!!

When the house starts to feel more like a pressure cooker than a loving environment, it's time to pack up a snack, hit the escape hatch, and land at one of our favorite local kiddie spots. With the colder weather, I'm not always up for walking or sitting on a park bench.

Thank heaven for the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How I saved us $60K

The smell of a new car - people love it, right? Not me. I imagine tiny dollar signs riding the vapor of whatever chemical is outgassing as I drive the car off the lot.

The problem is that our kids' car seats take up the entire backseat of our 2007 Audi A4 wagon. With my mom visiting, we've been driving two cars for our weekend family outings. Plus, we haven't been able to carpool with other families.

What to do? My husband is quick with a solution. Let's buy a new car! He seems to think we're flush with brain cells and cash. Never mind a little benzene sniffing when we can enjoy the thrill of a new Audi Q7!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall Leaf Printing

Were it not for fall, summer would be my favorite season. Summer fruits are divine, but the juxtaposition of warm fall colors and a cool breeze hits me just right.

There's much fun to be had with fall leaves. Today the kids at my son's preschool made leaf prints. I managed to snap a few pics this morning at drop-off.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Messy Fractions

We had a quick lesson in fractions this morning as I cut my 4 year-old son's pancakes in eighths. "Eight is enough!" he belted, ready to start chowing.

 Before we could continue our lesson, I went to the kitchen to get milk. When I came back I saw my son had hammered his blueberries with his fork, splattering blueberry juice all over the table. Geez. I made him clean up his mess and asked him to apologize. He cleaned up, fake crying the whole time, but he wouldn't apologize. So I gave him a choice between apologizing or going to his room. Guess where he is right now?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tea Reflection

Yogi teas have a little tab of wisdom attached to the tea bag. This morning my cup of tea said, "Let your mind dance with your body."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Integration, Integration, Integration.

I've picked up sticks and moved. Welcome to the new home for my prior blog "Nurturing Neurons" , now Noggin Mama.

I'm hoping to integrate Blogger with other Google products. Get going Google!

Thanks for visiting! You're cordially invited to subscribe.

Your friend,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Will we ever understand the brain?

At The California Academy of Sciences, surrounded by natural African scenes and live penguins, I (with my lovely friend Amanda) watched neuroscientists David Eagleman and Henry Markram discuss whether we'll ever understand the brain, and how consciousness emerges from it.

The short answer: For the engineering of the brain (working out the billions of molecules, circuits, and so on that make up the brain), very probably so. But maybe not for how consciousness emerges from the brain.