Monday, April 25, 2011

Traffic Jam

We had a traffic jam in our living room over the weekend. After a small discussion between the Punk, Daddy and myself, I decided to see just how many Hot Wheels (and Matchbox cars) I could find. I had bet they would stretch to the Punk's room, and Daddy said they'd only be around as tall as himself (5' 10").

I scrambled to get cars from the "car bin", toy box, living room toy basket, under the sofa, bed, and even the spares in Mommy's Bag. It was ON!

But... we were both wrong.

Using Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars only (no other small cars, boats, airplanes, helicopters, or train cars) we measured a total of 9 feet and 10 inches. The entire length of our living room. After a grand total count, we have at least 85 Hot Wheels and/or Matchbox cars.

Long, long line.

How did he get so many cars?

Driving under The Punk Bridge

Unusables - the cars that were not "allowed" into the traffic line.

What did we learn? Mommy can't estimate, and Daddy had no idea we had bought so many cars in only 3 and a half years!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inside / Outside Art

Today we went outside (in the rain) and collected a few textural items to bring indoors to play with. We also walked around the house (mostly the kitchen) to find objects that had interesting "feels" to them... and then we set to work!

Placing our Outdoor objects.

Covering with a blank sheet

This leaf was the loveliest of all. The Punk ooohed and ahhhed over how beautiful it was.

Then we went about our Indoor object placement.

The Punk is a "let's put it on like a hat" kind of kid :)

When we finished our rubbings we took the items out from beneath the paper nad matched them up with the drawings we had made. Sticks, straws, leaves, money - they were all very interesting to the Punk. I hope we can try this again on a dry day and take the paper and crayons on a nature walk!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hoppy Easter to all our Peeps!

We made a quick and easy Easter lapbook today. Some of the content was borrowed from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Some was borrowed from Squidoo. And some was just plain Googled and put together by Me!

We sorted Peeps, and then made Peep Patterns. The Punk had no idea what a Peep was, so I must make a mental note to get him a pack of Peeps for his basket.

We played the Egg Matching Game, and I was amazed at how well he did. Some of the patterns/colors are very similar, but he matched every one of them correctly.

We then helped the chocolate bunny find his way into the Easter Basket. this is a Word Template I created and I change the clip art to/from for whatever suits our lesson. He's getting much better at staying on the lines. I feel bad that he gets so frustrated with himself when he goes out of the line, but he's so darn proud when he does a good job that I keep giving him more chances to work on this.

Our first maze EVER. Look at that kid! He traced the path with his finger the first time, and then he "knew" how to get there. He is very excited to show Daddy this one.

Our cutting work today was a lesson on "fringing". It was hard for him to not cut all the way through, he loves snipping and shredding paper. He finally "got" it when I showed him we were making Easter Egg Grass.

I printed a simple egg template from Google images, and had him decorate some eggs. We picked his favorite ones, and hid them in the grass he had cut. Then we drew some happy clouds, and he asked me to make "some gwitter-y ones!", so I added a few glitter glue clouds to the back.

The lapbook came together fairly quickly this morning. We ended the lesson by reading Happy Easter Little Critter before his nap.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I have read about making cornstarch goo for a long time, but never had the cornstarch and the idea at the same time. Today it dawned on me that I had all the ingredients (cornstarch and water!) so I rounded up the Punk, and we made goo. Or Goopley as he calls it.

The Internet recipes vary. Some say equal parts water and cornstarch, some say 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water - we just winged it. We started with a little of each, and added more of this or that when we felt it needed to be thicker or thinner.

Plus we added blue food coloring. Why blue? Why not?

It is one of the strangest things I have ever played with! It's soft and powdery, but wet and gooey all at once. It's not slimy, but rather silky and slippery. The Punk was head over heels for this stuff!
One of the most interesting things about Goopley is you can form it into a solid - like a ball of clay almost. Passing it back and forth between your hands it begins to take shape... but the very second you stop moving it, the Goopley liquefies again and drips out between your fingers. Awesome stuff!

Cornstarch and water. Who would have guessed he would play with this Goopley stuff for more than an hour? Next time I want to add more colors, and the Punk wants to make some that looks like mud so he can play with his tractors. This is going to be a repeat activity for sure!

Workin' at the Car Wash

After playing outside in the sandbox (90 degrees in April!) we needed to cool off, and get the cars clean. So we set up a Car Wash in the bathroom!

The punk washed each car carefully, and made sure to get all the sand out of each one.

Then he set them aside to dry on a towel.

When he was finished he took his toothbrush cup and rinsed the sand out of the sink.

And took a big drink! Look how red those cheeks were. It was hot, and he enjoyed the cool water after playing so hard (and washing cars).

Happy boy, Happy Mom, clean cars - what more could you want?

This post linked to: We Play (Childhood 101)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Frugal Learning

I picked up a few educational things at the Target Dollar Spot a couple of months ago, and decided to bring some out and give them a whirl this morning. We started with a worksheet from a workbook called Pre-K Colors & Shapes. Even though the Punk is excellent at naming all of the basic and most of the more complicated shapes, he doesn't have the drawing skills mastered yet. In fact, he draws very lightly. You can hardly tell that he has outlined the heart and rectangle on this page. We will keep working on it, and see if we can come up with a way to learn to press harder (without snapping the crayons in two!).
The Punk and I went over the concept of rhyming today. We have talked about it some, and I think he "gets" it, but this game presented too many words at once, and I think he felt a bit of pressure to make sure he did it just right.

Next time I bring this out I think I will pre-sort a few cards so we have some matches right away, and not have to "draw another card" so many times to get the game started.

All in all, not bad for $2.00!

Feelin' Groovy

Slow down, you move too fast

You've got to make the morning last...

We did a little spooning work this morning. I love the sound of the glass beads plinking into the bowls. The Punk knows to be careful, and go slow with these, because we had a broken bead in our original package, and "glass is fwa-gile, Mommy".

His best friend, his confidant, his Pepper Cat watched us as we did our school Work this morning. She is irreplaceable, and the love of his life. I kick myself for not buying two of her when Ikea still sold them.

We moved on to beads and chopsticks. The Punk likes these chopsticks a lot. Other than beads and puff balls I don't know many other activities he could "tong" with them. It's time to get creative so he can use these more often! I love early mornings when he does work that helps him concentrate and take things slow. Sometimes we rush too often in the a.m. and it's nice to have an activity to do that lets us sit and listen to music while he works.

This post linked to: Montessori Monday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy: E

Eggs, Easter Bunnies, Ears, Eyes, Eyelashes, Elbows, Elephant's Trunk, and Ellen (The Punk calls her Ellen Magellan).

This post linked to: Tot School

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Here we grow again!

Someone gave us this little gardening kit, so we put it to use today, and planted the seeds that came with. If all goes well we should have cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet peppers at some point this spring/summer. The Punk is more enthused with the watering can than the rest of it. I think the little garden stakes (with stickers) are cute - but I'm afraid they won't last once the plants are transplanted outside.
As for our last gardening post - our herbs have sprouted! The Punk loves to check on them every day, and we water them with a little medicine dropper. He heard (on Charlie and Lola) that plants grow better when someone talks to them, and I have heard him whispering stories to them when he's playing behind the curtain.

I took a little nibble off that bent chive leaf, and I'm impressed! I hope the plants continue to grow so we can transplant them outside with the others later on. I have a tomato plant and a banana pepper plant growing outside now, and we want to add more in a few weeks when we get a "proper" vegetable garden set up in the back yard.

My thinking is that maybe, just maybe if the Punk helps grow the food he might just eat it too....? But since I can't grow a chicken nugget tree that might just be wishful thinking.

This post linked to: Montessori Monday