art, Daily Lessons, Math, Science

Counting Rings | Bird is the Word

46 days have never seemed so long! It is 46 days, or 6 and half weeks, until our due date on May 3. (Although my husband is apparently hoping for a May 4th C-Section… I think it’s Star Wars related.)

Today we made a paper chain to help us count down the days. Everybody helped a little. Even my husband got in on the action. The 2-year-old helped by demanding I draw things on the paper, and he also colored some of it himself. The (almost) 4-year-old helped by putting tape on the rings.

I chose blue and pink because we do not know the gender of the baby and I thought it would be a happy coincidence if the color matched the gender on the day of the birth. I also numbered each ring to make it easy to keep track of and so the boys can practice their number recognition. When it was done the almost 4-year-old counted to 46 with only a few mistakes (“eleventeen” instead of seventeen, etc).

What else is new?

Mr. 4 has been asking me everyday to do math. He just asks me questions like “What does 20 and 20 make?” “What does 40 and 40 make?”.

We are also learning a bit about birds. Thank you to Grandma for sending us that bird feeder and motivating us to learn more about the nature right outside our house. With the addition of some figurines and a book, we’ve been able to identify a few different birds. We’ve only seen robins and black-capped chickadee near the feeder, but the figurines have taught us to identify Orioles, Cardinals, Blue Jay’s, Blue Bunting and Yellow Warbler as well. I’m pretty proud that he and I are able to name these birds and I open the book everyday to point something out to the boys and reinforce the learning. It has been fun!

Mr. 2 has been building up quite the vocabulary, and has even been making up his own songs. He sang “The Firetruck goes round and round” at the aquarium today. He’s also naming lots of body parts, although he has a tendency to confuse my breast with my baby belly. In the car the boys always point out the red and green lights and tell me when to stop and go.

It has been an educational and busy week.

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Science

Clouds

I’m learning so much from my kids’ obsession with Dinosaur Train. They’ve been re-watching the 3 seasons that are available on prime. In Season 7 there is an episode that focuses on the different kind of clouds.

I have read a few different books that talk about the different kinds of clouds, but with names like “altostratus” and “nimbostratus” and “cumulonimbus” it makes it hard to figure out what is what.

Dinosaur Train kept it simple and now I finally think I have an understanding of basic clouds: cumulus, stratus, and cirrus

Cumulus – Fluffy ——–Stratus – Large Sheets ———Cirrus – Streaky

Everything else is just a sub category of those.

More importantly, all clouds are made of water droplets.

Personally, I have always wondered what a cloud feels like. I recently learned that fog is a cloud that forms close the ground. If you’ve touched fog, you’ve touched a cloud!

My kids and I can now look at the sky and have a somewhat educated guess about what we see!

 

 

Science

Introducing Science to Mr. 1 & 3

I hardly use facebook, except to ask questions of the homeschool group. I asked them the other day what they use to explore science with their little people. I received a lot of recommendations but I was specifically looking for books. These are my thoughts on the recommendations I received.

101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments by Miller, Homer, and Harrington

This book is tied for first place in my mind. It has everything I want! It has scientific explanations, exciting experiments, and beautiful pictures to guide the way.

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The Everything Kids EASY Science Experiments Book – by Mills

This was not actually recommended but I found it while I was looking for the others at the library. I am so glad I found it because I love the way it is organized to answer your little kids questions about the world and themselves. It is split into 5 sections: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Body, Planet Earth. It is also written like a workbook, that the children can make their notes in and also includes a few puzzles and games like an activity book.

It doesn’t have the colorful pictures of the first book, but it does have more detailed explanations.

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The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book – Robinson

This one had multiple endorsements from the mama’s in the group, but it feels more suited to slightly older children. It is split into the same 5 categories as the EASY book and written in the same workbook/activity book manner. Instead of lots of colorful pictures there are excellent scientific explanations. This looks like a great book and I will probably buy it as soon as we master the “EASY” experiments first.

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Curious Kids Science Book by Citra

This one has interesting experiments and seem to answer a lot of detailed questions: Do seeds grow best when its warm or cold, how deep do seeds need to be planted to grow best, how much water, how much light, can a plant go through a maze to reach the light, etc.

The book also has beautiful pictures of all of the experiments.

The biggest drawback for me is the lack of scientific explanations. I don’t trust myself to be able to explain these things to my kids, and I want a back up resource.

What do you use to expand your curious kids knowledge about science? 

 

 

Geography, History

A Mystery in South America

My 3-year-old wanted a granola bar, some nuts, and 2 waffles for breakfast. As he was picking through our container of nuts, he would ask me what kind they were. When he came across the Brazil Nut he asked me where they were from and I told him I guessed they were from Brazil.

I then looked in our Amazing World Atlas book to read about South America and Brazil. I did not find any information about nuts, but Brazil does produce over 3 Million tons of coffee every year.

The thing I found most interesting was the Nazca Desert in Peru. According to the book the Nazca lines were scraped into the desert sand 1500 years ago. Some of them are pictures of animals and plants (“biomorphs”) and some of them are just shapes and lines (“geoglyphs”). The surprising thing? These pictures are so large that you can only see them from the air. How did they get there, and what do they mean? No one truly knows, but there are some interesting theories described in an article written by the UnMuseum. According to the article, the glyphs are actually dated to 200 BC and 300AD, and these are not the only breathtaking large-scale phenomena in South America.

I don’t know about you, but aliens was definitely the thing that crossed my mind first.

Science

We are 93 Million Miles Away

My 3 year old is very concerned with the weather lately. We have the book Weather and Climate an Usborne Flap Book at home, but I wanted to try another book just to compare and provide some variety. We checked out Little Kids First BIG book of Weather by Karen de Seve and National Geographic Kids.  Continue reading “We are 93 Million Miles Away”

Science

Happy Earth Day

Did you know that we drink and bathe in the same water that the dinosaurs drank and bathed in?

According to Usborne’s See Inside Weather and Climate all the worlds water has been around for billions of years.


Like the Usborne’s See Inside Your Body there are many interesting facts hidden underneath flaps that keep the readers invested and engaged. 

Mr. 3 enjoys this book and we refer to it over and over again as he asks me “Why is it raining?”,  “Why is it cold?” Or any variation there of.

Mr. 1 has a bad habit of destroying the flaps, so we try to keep it out of his reach. 

The fact that this planet has limited resources is one that is difficult to explain to a child who loves playing with running water, flipping the light switches over and over, leaving doors open when the heater is running, and more. 

We can only do our best to teach them good habits such as composting and recycling, gardening, and gently reminding them that we shouldn’t leave the water running. 

How did you celebrate earth day with your kids? 

Daily Lessons, Science

3 Days

I was encouraging Mr. 3 to go poop in the potty by reading to him from See Inside Your Body, an Usborne Flap Book by Katie Daynes and Colin King.  See Inside Your Body

We have had a difficult time potty training. He was doing great when he was 2 years old, but after we had the baby he started pooping in his underwear and we had to switch back to diapers. Clean-up in underwear is nauseating and best avoided. We’ve been struggling for the last year to get back on track. The low point was a few months ago when he would poop and pee in the diaper because “I like to go in the diaper”.

Sometimes his poops are a surprise, but other times he’s pretty stinky before it comes out because he does try to hold it until the very last moment. At those times we try to encourage him to go the potty and this time I suggested we learn about how our bodies make poop while he’s in the bathroom.

He had been asking a few questions about his body, so I bought the Usborne book for him. I betrayed my friend who sells books for them and just bought it on Amazon…free shipping!! The book is very engaging with bright clear pictures and “over 50 flaps to lift”.

Well he liked is so much that he forgot to poop, and I learned that it takes up to 3 days for food to travel through your body. 

We also read Maisy’s Moon Landing by Lucy Cousins. This is a simple “First Science” Maisy's Moon Landingbook with tabs to pull to launch the rocket ship and other exciting things. I do like the tabs and movements on the page, but the science is a bit lacking. The facts are as bare as “It takes Maisy 3 days to travel to the moon” and after she lands she “feels light and floaty”.

I was curious about the time it takes to get to the moon, though. 3 days sounds so amazing. It turns out that is not too far from the truth.

Apollo 11 launched from Florida on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong and sidekick Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon on July 20, 1969. They returned to Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean on July 24. That’s 4 days both ways on the first lunar trip.

While 3 days is a relatively short period of time, you can accomplish a lot in that span of time. (Even if you’re just sitting on the couch, your body is working hard the whole time!)