Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beanstalk....

Um...these are growing like crazy. Tomorrow it will be time to take them home and plant in your yard somewhere....Somewhere sunny, and you might want to give it something to grow up or against. The beans are super tall and the sunflowers are a little shorter. We planted 2 types of sunflowers...the short kind and the tall kind...I think. We also planted chives...sorry, I LOVE onions...that one was for me...but you might get one of those as well. We are going to read 'Jack and the Beanstalk' tomorrow, so ask your kiddos about it.

around the room...

We got a new top for out sensory bin....cuuuute! We also got a new, smaller, sensory bin, so we use this one for water. Water bins on wood floors is a tricky thing, but so far they are very good about wiping up thier spills. With this bin comes a smaller tray that sits on top with tubes that the children can manipulate water flow. Sometimes I put one color in the small tray and another color in the bin. They get excited when they are mixing up the colors.
I added a net this week over the slide table. I also gave them an extra table...they were getting pretty cramped when they all (yes, all 8 of them sometimes tried to fit on the little checkered table) tried to climb aboard. I also added a long plastic tube with funnels on each end. One side is on the table and it goes through the box over to the kitchen area. They use it as a phone. 'Can you hear me now?' Here is the small sensory bin. It has bird seed in it right now.

The light table has clear plastic boards on it that the children love painting on. 'What happens to red and yellow when you mix it together?'
When I was in Canada I found the cutest toy store!! No shoes for this girl...it's all about the toys. I found these blocks with printed ants on them. It's a little like a puzzle...you are supposed to put the blocks together to form an ant trail. I Love them!....oh, so do the kids. They are on the table in front of the maps.
If you look close...you can see the chair that Connor painted for me. I will tell that story later. I am sure it will be worth a fortune some day!

Spit....

We found a spit bug today. I have seen many of spit on plants, but the bug has already vacated. This time we caught him. "why is he spitting?" Very good question. So, we looked it up. They are also called froghoppers. They spit to hide themselves from preditors and keep themselves from drying out. We even found out that the childrens author 'Eric Carle' http://www.eric-carle.com/has written about a spittle bug in his book 'the very quiet cricket'. Which is one book I do not own...hint, hint, but will find at the library soon. This tells more if you are interested. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Froghopper

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boardwalk

I set up 2 long 2by8s on top of crates. I sat on the grass (with camera of course) and watched. Which I often do...sit back and watch. The kids don't need me to tell them what to do, because if I did...they wouldn't learn it for themselves.

They used about 10 more peices to create a 'boardwalk' through the sand box. The kids were so engaged that they were having a hard time leaving when their parents came to get them. The next day they were excited to go outside and work on their project.

The longest board that runs along the back of the sandbox is nailed down, but all the other boards (minus the two I started) were set up (and down and up and down and up) by the kids.

Your children were being creative and using their noggins to figure out how to solve the problem of creating a path that would go all the away around the sandbox. They had to figure out how to balance the boards and where to place them and which sizes would fit in which spots. After they figured all that out...they needed to listen to their bodies as to how to balance while on the boards because some of them were rockety.
They would fall....and get up...and refigure...and try again.
Your children were working together. They were communicating with each other to fix a problem. They were helping each other to get across or when they fell off, they were helping each other get back up.
This, right here, is what is most important in your childrens learning. Compassion. Problem solving. Helping each other.
I love watching them and how excited they get when they are creating something fun together.



Binoculars

We are learning about birds. What are birds, what do they eat, what do they do, where do they live, how do they fly, what do they look like, etc....

In order to see what they look like, we needed to make these nifty binoculars to see them with. The only part I really helped with was the punching of the holes in the side and tying the string....however their were a couple that could do that part also.

We taped, painted, holed, and tied...and then, we were ready for a bird watch.

We found some cool crows....they eat anything...really, anything.

We found some finches, so we put up a finch bird feeder.

We found some Steller Jays. Some people call these Blue Jays...(my mom did, so I did, growing up) but Blue Jays are cute little quiet birds while Stellar Jays are obnoxious crazy mean birds. We found Robins, seagulls (I don't know why they fly over our house....we are 30 miles from puget sound) an Eagle and I think a Hawk.

We will be making a chart of the birds that we see.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wide Awake

As the children are settling into their warm, comfy, sleepy state, I lay on the end of the bed with my computer, and check out all my favorite blogs. I emerse myself into other peoples worlds for awhile, and forget a little, where I am.
As I was finishing, I was looking around the room to make sure all your little dumplings were sound assleep, in sleepy time bliss, like the angles they are. As I was turning to the back left of myself, I came upon this. A child smiling with their mouth and eyes wide opened. I was a little startled and my first instinct was to gently say, "shut your eyes". Then I giggled....quietly....and got my camera. I do have a little baby that shuts it's eyes when laying down.
Tomorrow we will use that one.

Monday, May 5, 2008

paint jobs and worms galore

"I'm paintin my car pretty." "I'm paintin mine blue" "can I have blue?" "No, I'm using it. You can have it when I'm done."....(They are just using water) I have green (Jesse's favorite color). wanna trade green and blue?" "Ummmm.........Okay!" "My car is princess pretty" Such detail.....Anyone need a paintjob?

I found a piece of half rotted cardboard behind the bush. I picked it up to throw it away, but instead found a treasure. Worms....rolly polly bugs, and slugs. Slugs....not so much a treasure, but the other 2 were. I called Connor over to show him what I had uncovered and slowly they all started gathering around. I stepped back to watch and then of course had to run and get my camera. These are not your typical little worms....they were huge....nightcrawler types.
Pretty cool!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

bungie cord togetherness...

These guys were cracking me up. When they first started this game they were pulling each other (with great force) to the ground. They were laughing sooo hard it would take them a moment to collect themselves, stand up, and yank the other one to the ground. In the previous video you can hear them screaming with delight with the power that they possesed over each other.
As they tired of being jolted, they started communicating with each other as to where they were going and what to do to keep themselves upright. "No, you go this way, I'm going over here, so you need to walk the same way I do." "But I wanna go this way." "Okay....(Yank...he falls)...now, go this way with me (she already has the girl over boy power...)"
They stayed hooked up like this for about 45 minutes. Open ended objects (items without a specific way to use them) have unlimited possibilities. Love them!


Digging...

I was having such a good time watching her, I thought I would share. She broke off from the rest of the kids and just started digging. She was filling up the dump truck. She is usually getting into her sisters way, so I found this scene very angelic of her.
In the video clip you can hear the craziness of the kids behind us. They are the ones that are having fun with the bungie cord.

video

Boxes!

Boxes.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes are brown.
Boxes are fun to play in and flip upside down.
Boxes are big, boxes are small, boxes you can get into are the funnest boxes of all!
You can pretend you are driving in a car,
You can pretend you are flying a plane,
You can pretend you are in a submarine,
Or just hiding from the rain.
Big, small, shortI, tall,
I like boxes of all kind,
But the best box of all,
Is a box that is mine!




OUR GARDEN!

I went to the garden show in February and fell in love with one of the gardens. Our garden was supposed to include a chicken coop....but certain family members were not on the same page as me, soooo...we compromised on just the garden part. We used a company called www.seattleurbanfarmco.com. Colin is the one in charge of our project and he and his farmers did a great job! This is the before picture.....
Getting up all the grass.... adding the bricks (not an easy task as the side dips down quite a bit) and the compost.
The veggies are in. We have sugar peas, carrots, arugala (sp?), broccoli, etc... They will come back in a few weeks to add some other veggies.
They also added a grape vine....3 different types of seedless grapes, AND....kiwi. Yup, you can grow Kiwi here. I had no idea it would grow here and am soooo excited! The kids will love to pick fruit and veggies and eat them! We also have blueberries and strawberries in the front yard. YUM! Hurry up sun!