Sunday, 29 May 2011

Strewing - the beginning of Morning Activities

At the moment I am a full-time educator to my children. I don't know where the future will take us but I know I will follow the kids' inclinations and let them do what they need to do to learn and grow at heir own pace.
In the meantime, I have taken this educating job really seriously. Over the past year or so I have read as much as I could (= as much as I could fit in those very few spare seconds that I get to myself) on learning, homeschooling, craft, toddler and preschool activities, science etc to get good ideas for our homelearning.

I came across this post about strewing at Shae's Yay for Home and it really struck a chord.
My kids are young too, and the way she'll leave something as an "invitation to play" seemed just perfect for us.

So this week I gave it a shot. Every night before going to bed I prepared a little activity on the Yellow Table that they would find in the morning. And boy has it been a successful experiment!

This has been the week:

  • playdough: I didn't leave the whole bag of cutters that we have, but selected just a few things so they could focus on those actions (getting a little Montessori inspiration there...): scissors, cutting wheels, rolling pins and things to stick in (pieces of straw, toothpicks and popsticks)

Monday morning
Sunday night

  • Connect Four: or as S&L call it, "the coin game". Really good for hand eye coordination, and I noticed that L started understanding that if you jiggle things a bit then you should be able to fit them in a slot...

Monday night
Tuesday morning: this is the sort of photo I take before my coffee

  • bandage sticking: I have an injury obsessed child. S is interested in doctors, vets, hospitals, broken legs, cuts, blood and so forth. This is the treatment many of her little toys receive: 
  • Duplo polar bear with Winnie-the-Pooh bandaid
Character bandages are so expensive, so I started buying cheaper supermarket homebrand ones for when she needs to cure her toys. And this is what I learnt: cheap bandages have cheap glue, and cheap glue is a doozie to remove from toys and dolls. So we're back to using proper Bandaids for us and for the little toys. What to do with the cheapies? I do try to reuse before recycling or throwing out, so here's the idea I had: I set out paper teddy bears we made a few days earlier, a sheet for coloured paper and some twist crayons and all the cheap bandages.
And I had another winning activity! L stuck a few bandages on his teddies then lost interest (he is 18 months after all). S embraced the activity wholeheartedly, she got so excited and drew a very injured person ("it's a kid, she fell down the stairs, broke her head and there's lots of blood everywhere" I have a gruesome child...), then happily started patching her up with the bandages.
Wednesday morning
  • Thursday morning and Friday morning are a blur, I'm now stuck in front of the computer watching the Wiggles on Youtube with both kids on my lap, I'll update this post later when I can leave this desk to go check my diary...
  • stencils: Saturday morning activity. I left out S's dinosaur stencils (dinosaurs, another obsession...), paper and markers. Kept them busy for a short while, they were really not in the mood for drawing. We were supposed to go to the farmers' market but S didn't feel like leaving the house. I hadn't really planned for that, so started pulling out stuff without thinking that said mess would still be there in the evening...
  • and this morning, paper and crayons, a bit slack I know, but we left the in-laws at 10.30 last night, both kids are knackered and I'm not much better...

Both kids have already warmed up to the idea that there's going to be something interesting to do as soon as they get up, which gets the brain thinking and puts them (mostly) in a good mood for the day.

And because the kids and I tend to get up together, I need a few quiet minutes to prepare our breakfast and my MUCH needed coffee, so having a little something interesting to keep them glued to that yellow table is just great! Much better than 2 kids whinging because breakfast isn't ready yet ;)

I'll endeavour to post on a Sunday with a record of the week's morning activities.

Thank you for reading :)


Things I know

Shae's off this week, I cannot wait to read the recount of her road trip adventure! In the meantime here are the things we all know this week as hosted by the lovely Kate at Kate Says Stuff.

Things I know this week:

  • I missed blogging but have been really busy reorganising our activities so we can all be more efficient and spend more time playing and less time tidying up. I know there's a light at the end of the Clutter tunnel...
  • I know there's a big mess on my kitchen table that I haven't been able to tidy up because we went to the in-laws for dinner
  • I know that if we'd gone to market this morning like I wanted to, the mess wouldn't be there 
  • I know that eating chocolate cake just before bedtime isn't very conducive to good sleep... but it's so yummy...
  • D's working a 9 day shift. I know I hate his boss
  • I know I'm good at keeping secrets. I've known a big one for 6 weeks now and I've been so very good at not saying a thing and I so can't wait to be given the go-ahead to tell the world...
  • this week I've been so good at keeping the house (almost) tidy and the kids happy and my temper in check. I know I am very proud of myself this week!
  • now I know what a kangaroo's poo looks like. Thanks for picking it up with your bare hand and showing it to me Lucas (big groan)
Thank you for reading :)


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Things I know

Linking up with the lovely Shae at Yay For Home (will link up properly to Things I Know when stupid Blogger stops playing up...)

These are a few things I know this week:

  • "Mum am I never ever going to die?" was not the question I was expecting while watching Play School
  • I know that every time I tidy up the kitchen table, it always ends up being a repository for the family's junk by the end of the next day
  • the Old El Paso Medium Chunky Tomato Salsa is much hotter than the Doritos Medium Salsa
  • Lucas LOVES my homemade tuna dip
  • the kids are still too young to go out for 3 days in a row: The Pines on Tues, Playdays on Wed, Little Creatures on Thu, by Friday they were both ropable. Hhmm, not sure I was any better...
  • now I know that our vacuum cleaner can suck up an entire anklet stocking :(
  • Sofia recognises and can name the following: hand held blender, ice-cream maker, breadmaker, coffee grinder, laminator, dehydrator. She has asked "what's that?" to the following: microwave oven, iron, ironing board, vacuum cleaner. I know that that says a lot about my life choices!
  • having 1 blog follower has made me pretty chuffed... thanks for your lovely comments Deborah :)