Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pipe-Cleaner Poke

Baby C is warming up to big kid games, so O and I introduced the Pipe Cleaner Poke.
O is an expert!

Baby C preferred pulling out the pipe cleaners we were inserting, before using the colander as a hat!

Fleeing Oregano: Molecular Chemistry

We love when science is masked in a Magic Trick!
Every week, I receive a post to my inbox from 'The Kids Should See This' (link on 'Love Play Learn' column, right).
This mornings link particularly caught my attention
Not only is it a clever, intriguiging experiment, but it is exceptionally easy to set up!
Note: Be sure to show the video, post experiment so you can work your magic unbeknownst to your little (and spouse) scientists!

I played the first round to my advantage, much like Mr. Hound, pretending I had some super powers that the rest of the household lacks.
I assumed this would get my husband worked up;)
It did.
Once I let the secret out, we brainstormed several different liquids from around the kitchen that could possibly do the job of the dish soap; breaking surface tension of the water molecules.

Baby C rolled her sleeves up!
She has been completely involved in our projects this week and she was not willing to miss out on this one!

I am So In!

Little Scientist explaining the results

O explained that the (rice) milk and dish soap were the most successful (vinegar, apple cider and honey had no visible effect).
Then she went on to use pepper flakes and thought up several other spices that we should include.

Fortunately, the science does not end here.
The video led me to it's clever hosting site, where you can find plenty more magic tricks, I mean, science projects! (listed, as of today, under 'Love Play Learn' column at right!)

Magic Cup

Monday, March 2, 2015

Punching Bag Bread: The Artful Year is Here!

 The Science of Yeast!

I'm a blog fan and follower of The Artful Parent
The creator, Jean Van't Hul's first book, The Artful Parent, we collected for our home library. Our local library placed an order on request for her latest book that is taking over the crafty mom blogs this month, The Artful Year.
Hot off the press, The Artful Year is laid out in four seasons, with arts and recipes, as well as her family's favourite children's lit.
The photos are eye candy!

 The Artful Year

Today we opted for her grandmothers Bread Recipe, which we've now nicknamed 'Punching Bag Bread'.
Good for release of tension.

Bread-making can be classed next to play dough, beeswax and clay; an amazing sensory tool for exploring.
It also doubles (no pun intended!) as a science lesson.
This recipe was the first I've ever seen that suggests you place a bowl on top to let it rise (a bigger bowl, perhaps?)


Baby C often misses out on our arts, since she is still a fan of eating our supplies (crayons, chalk, stickers, glue, paper, you name it!)
However, for this one, I let her take center stage and she was one happy little girl!

 Punching & Pinching


She loved punching, pinching, patting and eventually picking off pieces to taste.
Of all the art supplies she chews and swallows, she actually spit out this dough!
She insisted on calling the dough her "Baby!" and motioned to hug it!
If we had let her, she would have taken 'Dough Baby' to bed!

We let it rest in the fridge overnight and bake baby in the morning.

Bread turned out very yum!
Dense and hearty from all that punching!

Daily Doodle: Scribble Art

 Funny Bunny

Simple and superb!
Always seeking out fun, mini projects like these 
Great exercise for the young, old and everyone in between.
I drew a random scribble to get the ball rolling.
O's one request was, "Draw it around my letters," which were already on the chalkboard wall.

Minutes later, O had worked completely outside of the box and created "three ghosts"; an angry one, a happy one and a made-up emotion that I forgot to write down!

Sandpaper Numbers


Sandpaper numbers is inspired directly from Montessori work.
Creating your own is simple, as it only requires some sandpaper and mounting cards.
I made these for my ESL students long ago.
Most recently, I added Chinese characters on the back

O started by taking the stack and sorting them in order.
Then we piled them up and she traced the rough lines with her fingers.

Halfway through 'finger-tracing', she ran out and returned with a crayon and paper, explaining to me that she would rather try writing the numbers out.

This is a fun tactile tool for early writing skills.
O is keen to learn to write, but always on her own terms.
When she bores of anything that resembles a formal lesson, she resumes to creating her own alphabet (which is also fantastic for practicing early writing skills, but I don't mention that bit!)

Crayon Rubbings. Since the numbers are slightly raised from the mounting card, you could easily place a piece of paper overtop and create crayon rubbings. Numbers will 'magically' appear!
You could further expand by placing out the same number of coins as the card displays and continue crayon rubbings. 

Go Fish. Much to my husbands dismay, this is the only card game I can play! I started this game with O a week ago. When playing with a beginner, keep in mind a large degree of transparency is required for the first few rounds, since you'll likely be looking at each others hand! 
Then the conversations that pursue, will keep you more amused than the game itself!
M: "Do you have a 5?"
O: "No, But I have a four. Pretend you want a four."

O: "Do you have a 1 & a 0?"
M: "You mean a 10."

Mirror Box Introduction: Four O's

 Multiply by Four

Enter, the Mirror Box.
A cube (missing three sides, so it's no longer), lined with mirrors.
A seemingly simple tool to teach symmetry, that hubby painstakingly put together, that affords hours of play and discovery.

Initially, I put out a bowl of cotton swabs and let O make her own discoveries.
The first of which, I heard her whisper,
"Four Olivia's!"
The only thing better than one O, is four!
After a good look at herself, she got busy arranging the swabs; throwing the bowl haphazardly onto the surface, arranging a line around the perimeter, ignoring any mention of snowflakes from her mother and then finishing with alphabet discovery,
"I can make an A. 
How do I make a B (with straight swabs)?"


The mirror boxes I've seen are simple acrylic lightweight mirrors that can be taped from the back.
These reduce the risk of breakage and are simple to set up and take down.
Ours are three $2 glass mirrors, that required something sturdier than masking tape to hold them together.
Hubby used leftover library shelves; 2x12 sheets cut to size and drilled with screws so we can store them flat when not in use.

Shapes & Patterns. Imagination Tree has some colourful tinker tools for discovery

Fine Motor Skills. 

Winter Mirror Box.