Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Activities Updated

Although I haven't been on top of blogging about them, we have been doing our Wednesday activities. Some go better then others, but I continue to enjoy having this time set aside every week to spend with my kids without all of the usual distractions. Even if I wanted to (which I don't) I couldn't stop now. Little Man knows that Wednesdays mean "Mommy pre-school" as he calls it. If we do have something else Wednesday morning, I have to make sure to sure to reschedule this time somewhere during the week. I am going to just quickly summarize some of the things we've done lately. And because I've gotten a couple of comments asking what we use to do yoga here is the information on the book.
Yoga Bear: Yoga for Youngsters by Karen Pierce. We don't always follow it exactly, but I really like this book and it's easy enough for even Kiwi to do most of the poses.
Fruits and Vegetables
Today we learned about fruits and vegetables. Before starting, we walked down to the store and got a couple of fruits, including a lime which is what the kids chose when I told them to choose something they'd never tried before. We started by talking about fruits and vegetables and then made a collage of pictures; fruit on one side, veggies on the other. I found the pictures for this online.
I then made a chart of each of the seven fruits we were going to try. We talked about each fruit, whether it grew on a bush or a tree, and examined the outside of it, and cut it open to see if fruit was on the inside. The kids would color what color the fruit was on their chart and then we did a taste test. If they liked it, smiley face, if they didn't frowny face.
Our plate of fruit.
Little Man's face when he tried the lime.
Kiwi liked the lime an asked for more (after taking a bigger bite, however, she changed her mind)

Little Man's chart is on the left and Kiwi's the right (I drew the faces for her). I was impressed how well they both did with this; probably helped that eating was involved. All the fruits got smiley faces except for the lime. I was most excited that they liked and ate the kiwi, which is a fruit that they previously turned their noses up at because of it's appearance (all the other fruit was familiar and favorites, but it was still fun to talk about and compare them.

The Pirate who tried to Steal Spring
Top left: Kiwi announcing the play, Bottom left: The pirate and the parrot, Right: the "puppets" we painted
For the first week of spring, we headed down to the craft store to see what kind of springy activities they had. I let the kids each choose a magnet from the dollar section to paint and we got the above masks; a pirate, a flower, and a princess. We painted them Wednesday and Little Man said he wanted to do a puppet show. So, Friday Little Man and I wrote a simple script, we printed out a picture of a pirate ship, castle, parrot and put them on sticks and viola! we had our first family production. I had a lot of fun writing the script, but had to stop myself from going overboard and remember that Little Man was helping also. We ended up with just about a page and a half. I was the narrator and the flower, Kiwi the princess, and Little Man the pirate and parrot. Our opening and closing performance was put on that evening for Mike when he got home from work. Little Man loved it, and Kiwi was so excited that she was kind of bouncing all over the place throughout the performance.

You could really do this with anything; sock puppets, stuffed animals, dolls etc. I think it was the idea of putting on a performance that was so magic to Little Man. We will definitely have to do it again soon.

The Scientific Method
One day we were scientists. We talked very basically and briefly about the scientific method and then did two experiments. We made a small ramp inside and rolled a small car, a big car, and a ball down it making predictions about what would go the fastest. We then went outside and repeated it on the slide.
We also did this cool apple experiment I found here which has a lot of great ideas. The smiley face was dipped in lemon juice, the sad face not. We left them alone for about 10-15 minutes and then came back to make observations. The lemon juice helps the apple from turning brown (it did work, but it's hard to see in the picture)

A Musical Experiment
We filled five glasses up with different amounts of water and lined them up from the least to the most amount of liquid. Food coloring was added to make it more fun. We then played our musical instruments and compared the higher and lower pitches made according to how much water was in the cup. I also got this idea from the previously mentioned website.
Day and Night
Using a basketball as the sun and our globe as the earth (another smaller ball could work for this) we talked about how the earth rotates and when we face the sun it's day and when we are away from the sun it's night. We then painted little sun catches like the one above (less then a dollar at Walmart).

Reading Rainbow
We talked about the importance of books and everything we can learn from them. I even busted out the old Reading Rainbow theme song on u-tube. "I can do anything... take a look, it's in a book..."
We then made bookmarks with foam stickers for ourselves and to give away to some friends and family members.
We also made a foam crown and Little Man made a visor with foam football stickers (all the stickers were purchased at Walmart and were inexpensive...doing an activity every Wednesday has taken a toll on my already low supply of craft supplies and I have discovered Walmart has a nice aisle full of kids crafts). This is a picture of Kiwi wearing her Princess crown in time out. This was one of those mornings where I wondered why I was putting in the effort to have my children bicker and whine. I think it's worth noting that no Wednesday activity is complete without at least one kid losing it.
Wednesday activities work for us. They might not work for everyone. But I would really recommend setting aside some time to spend with your kids without allowing yourself to do anything else doing that time (laundry, dishes, phone). One of the most surprising thing I have found about being a stay at home mom is how a day can go by where even though I have been with my kids all day I haven't really been WITH them. I have found that when I give them my undivided attention, even if it's just playing Candy Land for fifteen minutes on an afternoon that they are better able to entertain themselves (although this is not always true) and that I don't feel guilty when I can't play with them when I'm making dinner or doing something else, because I know we have spent time together.
As crazy as the whining and the fighting can make me at time, I am truly enjoying my four and two year old. With Little Man starting kindergarten in the fall, I am feeling especially anxious to soak in this last few months of time with my baby boy.

1 comment:

  1. So fun! I can't wait till Josh and Annabelle are old enough to do activities like this.