Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rosh Hashana and Foregiving

Forgive and Forget Forgive and Forget
Recently I noticed that my girls are having a hard time "letting go." They will stay angry a little longer than usual and continue to be upset even after all the apologies and talking it through has happened.

With Rosh Hashana just around the corner, I figured this was a perfect time to start a unit on foregiveness and the importance of not holding a grudge.

I will start with some children books that address this topic.

The Association of Jewish Libraries has a value finder. It is a great resource which searches for Jewish books by values/middot.

Here are the search results that came up for forgiveness:

 On the site, you can click the title and see a short summary and age range

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shaving Cream and Water Beads Sensory Play

I've read tons of blogs talking about water beads and wish I purchased these little guys earlier. If you are not familiar with water beads they come as tiny balls (look at balls in center of picture below) and after sitting in a bowl of water for a few hours they expand to about the size of a marble.

Watching them grow is pretty cool, but their texture is the best part. They have a smooth and gelatinous texture. I got a ridiculously big bag of them from Amazon for around $13.00. They will last us a lifetime.

The water beads are fun to play with just as they are. Throw them into a bucket or water table and have kids run the beads through their hands. Squishing them is fun too.

I filled an aluminum tray with shaving cream and threw some water beads in.
The girls had fun searching through the cream to find the beads and spooning them out into cups. 
This can be turned into a science lesson on dehydration. If you leave the water beads out in the sun they will begin to shrink. When you soak them in water they will grow again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wild Card Wednesday: Homemade Finger paint and Sensory Exploration

Found this recipe for homemade finger paint on Pinterest:
July 22 2010 229

The creator of the recipe did mention that the texture might be lumpy if you add too much cornstarch and advised to thin with water.

My paint did come out lumpy:
So I thinned with water, but still not satisfied, I ran my immersion blender through it. 

Sooo much better:
We had fun doing some plain old finger painting:
 Some arm painting:
 I then put out a piece of aluminum foil and bubble wrap to contrast painting on smooth vs bumpy surfaces.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Torah Tuesday: Forensic Science for Kids and Parashat Shoftim

This week's parasha discusses the importance of crimes being carefully investigated and evidence being closely examined before convicting and punishing a person.

What a perfect time to turn your home into a mini crime scene and use some forensic science to investigate the crime.

Here is a list of activities you can incorporate. 

1. Blood typing: 
2. Who's marker did it
(scroll down to middle of page)
3.White substance:
4. Fingerprints
5. Dna extraction
6. Glow in the dark blood
7. Identify the unknown substance
8. Candy DNA

Math Monday: Preschool Geometry

I've mentioned loving this game before:

It's a set of magnetic shapes and 50 picture cards which targets visual thinking and fine motor skills.

But here it is again with a little change. 
The pictures that come with the set are about the same size as an index card making it a little too challenging for very young kids to work off of.

So to help my little one out, I constructed a few of the pictured items onto a piece of copy paper and then outlined the shapes. So she now has a true to size picture to work on:

I was actually really surprised and excited to see how nicely the girls engaged in cooperative play by helping each other figure out and find the pieces they needed. 

You can recreate this activity even without the Imaginets set. 
You can draw or print out pictures like the one below and have your kids glue on construction paper shapes. 
house math game
Get this template here has a great resource for printable pattern block animals like this one:
Pattern Block Mat

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Science Sunday: Homemade Marble Run

 Using bottles and paper towel rolls I took out of our recycling trash, we were able to construct this makeshift marble run. (Ignore the ugliness that is my wall).

I cut the bottoms off of plastic bottles and cut paper towel rolls in half then taped them to the wall.
Lots of trial and error work needed before we got a successful marble run. 
Kids did need to climb a chair to insert marbles.

For much older kids, you can use this activity to demonstrate a variety of concepts from physics including: 
projectile motion
gravitational force
kinetic energy
potential energy

Here are some other fun ways to make your own marble run:
cut open a pool noodle from Family Fun
Marble Launch


Use a cereal box and toilet paper rolls from This Momma Loves

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Phonics Fridays: Smashing Good Time

I am slowly realizing the different styles in which my girls approach the world around them. When my oldest was two she preferred to talk about and listen to books about things that interest her, while my current 2 year old would much rather get  her whole body involved by touching or jumping or breaking the things that interest her.

So when thinking about introducing her to some letters, I initially presented them in the same way I did for my older daughter. I used books and pictures. That obviously was not for her.

Pounding the letters with a hammer which led to the smashing of some Magna Tiles...totally for her!

So we built Magna-Tile cubes, placed magnetic letters on them and she smashed the structures as I called out the letters.

She then turned the activity in to an exploration of what placements of her magnetic letters would stick the best with the magnets inside the tiles. 

Thoughtful Thursdays: And Baby Makes 5

We are now a family of 5!

I have to say it's not as hard as I anticipated. 
Now let me clarify that statement: it actually is ALOT of work and I'm REALLY tired and the juggling is ENDLESS, but with the right perspective it's manageable.
See my post about re-framing complaining for more information. 

Its been a smoother transition to baby #3 for several reasons:
1. I am not returning to nearly as many hours of work as I was with my other kids
2. My older kids are in camp for a good portion of the day.
and I think the most important reason:
3. I am not resentful of the changes a new baby brings.

I remember with my first child I was resentful that I had to hold and nurse her so much. 
I was angry that I wasn't able to eat a meal  like a civilized human. I often ate cold food with one hand. Or if I had both hands available I worried about spilling food on the little head that peaked out of the baby carrier.
I was frustrated that I couldn't leave my house when I wanted to 
and of course all I wanted to do was SLEEP!

These feelings lessened with my second daughter and now with my son, these feelings although present at times have nearly disappeared.

I still hold and nurse him almost all day
I still eat like a caveman: I just finished eating cold sweet potato  right out of the skin--I practically slurped it out :)
I am still pretty home bound
I still don't sleep

But the difference is I have willingly accepted this new reality. 
The work is hard, but like my mother says, "Be thankful that you can do it!"

Wild Card Wednesday: Ice balls

I originally saw this idea posted on QueenVannaCreations.

I altered the recipe by using Crayola Washable Tempera Paint instead of food coloring. 

You will need:
1. Balloons- any latex kind
2. Washable paint
3. Kitchen faucet
4. Freezer

To do:
1. squeeze a little paint into the balloon
2. stretch neck of balloon over faucet and slowly fill with water
3. Once the size of a grapefruit, turn off water and tie balloon
4 Place balloon in freezer overnight.
5. Once frozen, cut balloon and peel off

What you do with your frozen creations is up to you:
play soccer, bowling, hide little trinkets in them before freezing or just watch them melt in the bath tub like we did:

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