Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pirate Arrrrrrrt Project

I don't know if you all watch "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" on Disney Jr. , but my little guy LOVES IT!  I mean, he loves it intensely.  He has always been into pirate play, but this cute show has brought it to the point of obsession.
We recently took a trip to IKEA (the closest one is FIVE hours away- sad) anyway, we came home with plenty 'o boxes.  My husband mentioned how the pieces might make a cool fort or ship, and the seed was planted...
While this project was not so educational, it was FUN!  We woke up and got together our supplies...
drop cloth, paint, boxes, brushes, packing tape, double sided foam tape and our best pirate attitude :)
Then we began painting... we would have to do a coat of paint, and then go do something else (like get out of those pajamas and get some real clothes on) and come back later to add different colors or work on different parts of the boat.  Notice in the collage below ... He said he needed to look at his map to get the directions on what to do first :)
It became a family affair when daddy got home from work... he had ideas on how to secure the mast, which I couldn't figure out.  He helped and we all had fun working together.
This is when massive amounts of packing tape came in handy... way to tacky it up!
The fun began and you began playing... 
you played until it was dark out and we had to bring the ship inside where we were sure there was dry land.  
Your best naughty pirate face...
Arrrgh... mateys, thanks for joining us on our first cardboard box voyage...
See you soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

We do the Monster Mash...

We have loved playing with this great new card game that Nana gave us.  It is a game made by Hallmark, and can be found at Hallmark stores.  I am not sure what the actual directions are, or how you are really supposed to play it, but we have made up our own way of making it into a fun math lesson.
We put one of each number in numerical order, 1-10 in a line to start.  During this process, I help or challenge him by asking questions like, "here's 7 what number comes before it, or what is a number that is greater/bigger than it?"

Once we have the number line in place, we put all remaining cards in a stack.  I flip a card and we both yell the number as fast as we can, then he places it in the right pile.

 When he tires of that, which takes quite a while, we count out items (pennies, beads, sequins, beans...) to give a tangible way to experience the numbers.  Doing this often helps children to "visualize" the numbers better, and attribute worth to each number.  He is able to "see" how many "10" is, and how many "3" is, and then recognizes that 10 is more than 3.

After giving worth to each number in the number line, we clear away all the beads, and I count out a certain amount, then he uses a paint stirrer (stick, or whatever will work) to match the pile of beads to its correct number, as seen in picture below.

Thank you Nana for this fantastic game!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby makes me LAZY!

Been wondering what happened to me???  Well, I got pregnant, that's what!  This pregnancy has wiped me out, and I have felt as if I was doing good just getting out of bed for quite a while.  I'm 1/2 through right now, and feeling better.  I plan to get back to reporting the fun little projects my son and I do together now that my energy is coming back.  Thanks for being loyal, and sticking by me through my inconsistent posting.
Yesterday morning, we worked on blends and rhymes using his favorite subject... Dinosaurs.  We just finished Mardi Gras season here, so parades are all the rage, and are quite on his mind.  So, we decided to create our own book about a dinosaur parade.  Usually he can come up with quite the entertaining story, but he kept talking about the sounds made by dinosaurs... roar, stomp & chomp ("st" blend beginning sound, and the "ch" blend beginning sound) and we added thump  and bump (both rhying "ump" words, thump also containing the "th" blend).   This created a very simple word book.

I first wrote these words out on word strips.  He helped me sound them out as I wrote them.  Then I pulled out some T-Rex card stock that I had on hand and he painted each a different color with water colors.  After they dried, we went back to work, reviewing our words, and writing them on the dinosaur.
Then we punched holes and assembled the book.
It was a short and simple book, but one he can be proud of creating, and one that with a little repetition he can read on his own.  I took the word strips and hung them in our craft room so he could revisit the words when we are up there.