Play and theme-based learning with our children

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trials and Errors Crafting Our Jellyfish

Watch the video first. Now, if you're planning to make your own jellyfish in a bottle with the kiddos, please learn from my mistakes. I made it look easy, right? Well, here's what really happened:

Watercolor Resist Paintings: Under the Sea

Inevitably, the afternoon lull arrives. It usually comes around the time my son would nap when he was younger. But since “big boys” clearly can’t take naps (even if they’re rubbing their eyes and getting grumpy), it’s a good time to do something peaceful together. I also like to have a few tricks up my sleeves to keep things interesting.
This time, I’ve prepared a watercolor surprise for H. The night before, I drew sea creatures directly onto contact paper, cut them out, and stuck them each onto a piece of thick watercolor paper.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Make Your Own Diving Fish: A Science Experiment

 In this "diving fish" experiment, your kids learn about bubbles and buoyancy.  I'm glad to see the video is getting a good number of views. My "assistant" was totally engaged and curious, and loved doing the experiment by himself.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Foam Packing Peanuts + Glue = Sculpture

Being a busy parent with an infant, I love the convenience of online shopping, but don’t always enjoy the packing material collateral. My favorite packing materials are long sheets of paper, since they’re perfect table cover for messy projects. My least favorite are foam packing peanuts since their recycling potential is more limited.  So today, I want to see if I can put them to use and hand my son a batch of packing peanuts plus glue. I invite him to get busy making whatever he wants. I set him up outside and let him run with it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Life Lesson in a Turtle Surprise

First thing in the morning, my oldest son exclaims he wants to go for a walk in the woods so he can find a turtle. No wait. So he can find 3 turtles. We've never seen a turtle in the "wild", so I'm not sure from where he gets this idea. Though we did rescue a box turtle off the streets of our neighborhood, right before it got nailed by a car. We named him "Logo", and he's now living in a turtle rescue haven.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Play Dough + Dental Floss = an Earth Exploration

For a great time, you can pair play dough with just about anything. Check out NurtureStore to get a year’s worth of play dough play ideas. I’d personally like to thank play dough for being a perfect way for my son to stay happily busy while I make dinner.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Moon Craters

"The moonscape is strange, but it doesn't look dangerous. The dust reminds you of cake flour. You wish you could take off your suit and play in it."  - From If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith Mcnulty

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best of 2011

For our final holiday reprise before getting back to work, we explored the California Academy of Sciences (one of my favorite places on Earth) and played at a park teeming with kids ready (or not) to get back to school. The weather has been gorgeous out here. If you're not jealous, you should be.

In small moments between, I've been checking out some of the "best of" posts spreading across blogs.  TinkerLab has their "Top Post of 2011" where you can add your own linky to your one top blog post of your choice. I'm looking forward to browsing those all week.

From Nogginmama, I picked "Gift Trees".