Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We FINALLY Made it to the Beach!

(41 Months)

It took three and a half years, but we finally made it to the beach!  At first they were too little, next it was that the beach is an hour away with no traffic, then throughout her ones and twos Little Miss didn't like sand touching her toes and fingers, but we were finally ready for the beach.  So after an hour-long drive, we were finally there!

Of course, Wild One ran straight to the water, "c'mon Grandpa".  He loved the feeling of the water pulling the sand from under his feet.

Meanwhile, I was convinced that Little Miss would want to search for tiny sea shells, but instead she stayed by the water's edge and scooped sand into buckets.

Wild One loved the feeling of the waves carrying him to and from the shoreline.


Little Miss didn't move from the time she sat down.  She just continued to scoop and pour.

After we played at the beach, we went on a dolphin tour (our first boat ride).  I discovered it's not easy to take pictures of dolphins while holding an excited three-year old.

We had so much fun! It was even a perfect morning, slightly overcast to cool down the hot summer sun. I'm so lucky.  I love my little ones and my Dad.  

One would assume that after five hours of beach and boat, that the kids would nap on the way home.  One would assume incorrectly.  They closed their eyes for maybe 20 minutes.  Why don't my kids like sleep?  I love sleep.  

This has nothing to do with today's post - The wall of rain!  No matter how many times I see that it still amazes me.  We were lucky, that it didn't rain on beach day, it rained the next day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Math Fun with Bugs

(41 Months)

Ok, so they aren't real bugs.  I was cleaning out the pantry and found a box of bug-shaped pasta that expired.  Instead of just chucking it, I gave it to the kids for a quick math exploration.

I made a quick bar graph template (minus the titles), poured some bugs onto two plates and then invited Little Miss and Wild One over.  I love how excited they get when I invite them over.  Although this time I knew it had to do with, "who wants to play with BUGS?"

 After a really brief explanation of our modified bar graph, including which bugs go into which column, they went to work sorting bugs by type and adding them to the bar graph.  When they finished we counted all of the bugs on the graph.

We took a few bugs away from each column, then reinforced vocabulary more than, less than, equal to, greater than, fewer than, same as and altogether.

It was interesting watching how the two of them played with the bugs.  Little Miss would search for all the butterflies and as she found one would add it to her graph.  Wild One would locate each butterfly and put them aside, then he added them all to his graph.

Little Miss and I practiced an AB pattern with two of the bugs.  After she completed a row, she just continued the pattern on the next row, and the next.  Wild One decided at that point, he was done with the bugs and started building with his jumbo cardboard blocks.

I wanted to also work on ABBA patterning, but she had other ideas of just playing with the bugs.  For the younger ones, a simple sorting the bugs into piles would be a great math game.

Sometime later (when there's time, there will be time sometime, won't there), I'm going to dye the pasta different colors.  We'll use it for art and more math fun.  Meanwhile, I'm glad that we got in our 10 minutes of dedicated math fun time.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Giant Rainbow Ice Blocks

(41 Months)

I have such vivid memories of the giant ice blocks that my parents made when I was little.  They would fill empty milk cartons with water and freeze them.  We'd have huge ice blocks that would last for hours.

A few days ago I started making my own ice blocks, except I added a few layers of color! The first was done purposeful - one measured cup of each color (10 drops of liquid food coloring to one cup of cold water).  I put in the first color, three or four hours later I poured in the next color and repeated.

The second block has the three primary colors.  If you look closely you can see the a thin layer of secondary colors.

Little Miss loves the hot tub, she calls it "the little pool".  She played with both of the giant ice blocks  until they melted away.

I wasn't able to get any clear pictures of Wild One.  He was practicing swimming underwater and wouldn't stay still long enough for a non-blurry shot.  He just learned how to swim underwater this week and he loves it.  The first time he did it.  He jumped in and swam all the way to the steps by himself.  When I told him that he did it by himself, he was so excited.  "I did?  All by myself?  I can do that?  I'm gonna do it again!  I'm going to take a deep breath and swim all the way to the steps."

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Foamy Rainbow Ice Play

(41 Months)

We had so much fun playing with the little rainbow dinosaurs that we knew we'd be playing with rainbow ice in foam (shaving cream).  My two love swirling food dye in foam, playing with water beads in foam and finding hidden letters in foam.  I knew they'd have a ball with this!

I put four drops of liquid food coloring in each of the tiny flower cavities, filled with water and let it freeze.  The next day I filled the water table with an entire can of foam and invited the kidabunks to play.  Hee hee - we had fun!  Soft, squishy, icy cold fun.  Messy, clean 'em up with a hose - heh heh, fun.  Can we do this again Mommy?  Fun!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rainbow Ice Art

(41 Months)

We love playing with ice.  I use our empty milk and almond milk cartons to make giant icebergs for the pool.  The kidabunks love watching it bob across the water, dunking it underwater and watching it float back to the top and excavating dinosaurs and sometimes Toy Story figurines.

Yesterday, we decided to make colored ice dinosaurs.  Using the primary colors -again with the hopes that they can discover secondary colors on their own- we added five drops of liquid food dye to each mould and filled the rest with water.

Today, we covered their table with white paper towels and let them experiment away.
"Ohhhh!  Dinosaurs!"
"Look, there's a stegosaurs for you!"
"Can I please have all the red ones?"
Then, they noticed that as the dinosaurs melted the paper towels changed colors.
"Are they crayons Mommy?"

Both kiddies liked playing with this.  It's a great work out for fine motor skills.  Ice is slippery.  Especially tiny ice shapes.

Wild One stayed until they were almost all melted, then he decided to play "soccer".  Little Miss asked for a new white towel to finish playing and then asked if she could do it again.

So... did we get a chance to learn about secondary colors?  Not this time, they were fascinated by the colored ice melting and staining the paper.  I had to keep forcing myself not to say, "look what happened to that blue spot when you put the red ice on it."

I have a batch of colored flowers in the freezer and I'll be making another batch of dinosaurs in a few minutes.  Tomorrow, we'll fill the water table with shaving cream and add the colored ice flowers.