Monday, September 21, 2009

International Rock Flipping Day

When I told her we were going to flip a rock, E kept asking, "Do you have it all set up already?" I think she registered it as some kind of craft project. But I sat her next to my prized "pickle rock" (collected from Maine many years ago) and told her to wait there until I got the camera. When I came back outside, she was explaining to Baby m, "Don't flip this rock yet. Mommy said to wait!" She had nothing to worry about, because Baby m was not interested at all! Turns out our pickle rock was the cover for LOTS of ants and a few millipedes. But a neighboring rock, casually flipped on the way inside for dinner, found us the Ant Queen of Okemos, Michigan! Holy cow, she was big. I almost said "YUCK!", but then I realized that two toddlers were staring at instead I said, "Wow! Look at her!" Thanks to Wanderin' Weeta for sponsoring IRFD! Click here to check out other rock flippers' finds.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Unplugged - Sound

I told E that this week's theme was "sound," but she kept telling me that the real theme was "noise." Figures, since this house is never quiet...seriously, noise is the theme pretty much every day.

We kept it pretty simple with the first project, and made a telephone from red plastic cups and string. I figured that E would enjoy hearing me whisper from across the room, but in reality she only put the cup to her ear once. The rest of the time she shouted into her end, and totally missed the point of having the phone in the first place. But she did have fun screaming at me, and I didn't tell her to be quiet, because sound was the theme, after all.Our second project was a little more successful. I went around the house with my little digital voice recorder, and recorded snippets of sound from various objects. The toys that make music, the horizontal blinds, the light switch. Then E, Baby m, and Grandma listened to the sounds one at a time and went on a hunt around the house to find the source. E LOVED this...anything that resembles a treasure hunt, or involves clues or hints, and she's all over it. Baby m just trailed along behind her giggling.

Click the play button below to hear the sound that cracked everybody up...

Even Grandma laughed at that one. Check out the other "sound" projects at Unplug Your Kids!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unplugged - Ocean

Activity number one this week was to create an ocean under the kitchen table. From the start, I couldn't get the vision of the classic "Under the Sea" prom theme out of my head, so I adapted it for toddlers. I cut some fish out of construction paper and the kids colored them. I also gave them sponge stamps to stamp scales onto the fish, but that didn't really go as planned. They just stamped willy nilly...then we made jellyfish from paper plates with plastic bag strips as tentacles. That was a lot of fun....when I told E and her cousin that the tentacles could sting you, they began a jelly fish fight along with much giggling.
E and Baby m helped tape the creatures under the table, and added crepe paper kelp. Baby m really just liked tearing the paper off the roll and crumpling it up, and E just kept shouting, "We need more kelp!" I draped a tablecloth as a backdrop and the effect was pretty cool. They pretended they were swimming, and it made a fun temporary clubhouse. We also made our first lap-book, which I had been wanting to do for some time. I couldn't think of how to start, so I used this website (Homeschoolshare) for templates. There are some great ones there...I did a lot of prep work for it, but E was able to help cut and glue, and she especially likes the little envelope with counting starfish in it. If she shows any further interest, I will be making more of these. Check out other ocean themed projects at Unplug Your Kids!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Sample Size of Six

Last night I had a much needed night out with the girls. Now that I'm back to work, I have enough time out of the house, but not enough time with friends...I missed them, and I didn't know how much until I was driving home from the restaurant. Our conversations flew around the table like are some stats on the night:
  • At least 3 of us spent a good portion of kindergarten and 1st grade chasing boys. Literally, chasing them and trying to kiss them. We all agreed that what passed for cute in the 1970s would get us kicked out of elementary school today.
  • Five of us are married to men who watch little to no sports on TV. And 5 of us are married to men who rarely read a full length book.
  • Only 1 of us wears make-up on a regular basis.
  • Three of us need help cutting our own child's fingernails.
  • All of us thought that the food was good but the service was poor. Some of us regularly tip 15% for poor service, and some of us tip 15% for good service.
  • At least 4 of us do not have children who sleep through the night. All of us are tired.
  • Two of us are reading "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."
  • One of us went to Japan, London, and California this year!
  • At least 3 of us hope that next summer finds us less on the road and more on our folding chairs in the back yard.
  • Two of us are reading, um, literature of a questionable nature. Four of us remained quiet on the subject.
All of this while consuming 4 salads, 3 pizzas, one calzone (sauce late and on the side), one pasta dish, 2 bottles of wine, 1 beer, 2 cups of coffee (one with Bailey's) and a hot chocolate. Seriously, I cannot WAIT until next time. Thanks, Girlfriends.
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr