Monday, May 20, 2013

Nature Montage - Symmetrical Art

How do you entice boys to create art with nature?
Entice them with twigs, rocks, pebbles, shells...

At first they were a bit hesitant, but the vibrant colors worked their charm :)

I explained to them about Rangoli designs, and Mandalas, showed them a few pictures, and made a circle for them on the floor, and with some coaxing, they got started...

The word of the day that day was - symmetry, lol!!

The one on the left is Spiderman's, and the one on the right is Batman's - work in progress. Super-heroes need to get in touch with their sensitive sides as well! 

Spiderman had minimal help from me in perfecting his center. I rearranged the petals and shells a bit for him to make it look "tidy" per his instructions. 

Here is his finished Mandala.

Batman did not want any help. He used some twigs from his nature collection...

He also decided to finish it up as a "square" mandala...

We also did a mirror art inspired by this post.

 Batman placed a mirror on the yellow line a few times to get the hang of it...


He also realized that the shells (on & near the blocks) are not truly a mirror image, as the "swirly things" on the shell are not really mirror images. And he is right :)

This one was Spiderman's, he had mostly one level of things to replicate right next to the central line. He got the hang of it after a few times with the mirror as well :)

Linking up to:
Kids Get Arty, It's Playtime, Monday Kid Corner, Link & Learn, Montessori Monday, The Sunday Showcase, Stress-Free Sunday, Money Saving Monday, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Mom's Library, Artsy Play Wednesday    

Monday, May 13, 2013

Transportation theme - Week 1

Do you trip over hot wheels, get poked by helicopters while in bed, find Lego pieces in your purse?
Have vehicles, or transportation doo-dads all around the house? 
Think puzzles, toys, hotwheels, trains, tracks, building blocks, legos, car wash, remote controls...
Do I see some head nodding?
With two boys, and numerous birthdays and special occasions, I do. So why not make a theme out of it? 

We can combine numbers, letters, science, crafts, and good old fashioned fun! Win win for everyone!

Ever since Smelly Letters, Batman has been on a quest of trying to alphabetize everything! Wow, me the trend setter. So when he wanted to alphabetize our vehicle collection, I thought, why not? Might be fun!
 This is just a trailer. Stay tuned - Transporation A to Z is coming soon to a blog near you...

But while we find things inside our house for every letter of the alphabet, let's have fun with some other stuff!!  

How about Automoblox? Put the different parts together, learn their names, mix and match the wheels, rims, front and back ends, tops for cool cars, and shh, work on some fine motor skills. 

Or how about the Battat Take Apart vehicles? I have a 4x4, and both Batman, Superman and all their friends enjoy them! More taking apart and putting them together fun! When the drill runs out of battery, I just let the kids use the bits as screw drivers. Some lefty-loosy, righty-tighty review, and off we go...

The Geo-board set that I have (could not find it on Amazon any more) had template for quite a few that went nicely with our theme. After we made some impromptu sling shots with the rubber bands, we got down to business...

Spiderman wanted to soar into the sky as well. To infinity and beyond in the rocket ship with drill and design set...


And then Batman wanted wanted to do a Hovering Helicopter, because a plane/jet can't hover, you know Mamma? This a Quarcetti set.

Make some crayons for those spectacular drawing of the boat or train to follow. It helps that Spiderman likes to strip the paper. And of course, an exacto knife.

And then there are the classics, Legos!! We had plenty lying around to go with our theme...

Batman, my emerging party planner, commented - "with all the stuff we have, we can almost have a Transportation themed birthday party, Mamma. Remember, like the one we had for Spiderman last year, with small stations set up everywhere with all train stuff?"

But sadly, neither Batman nor Spiderman wanted a Transportation themed birthday bash, as "we already did all these stuff" ... 
Here Come the Girls

Linked up to:
Link & Learn, Monday Kid Corner, It's Playtime
, The Sunday Showcase, Montessori Monday, Tuesday Tots, We Made That 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Montessori Inspired Rhyming Work and Chutes and Ladders

I have an extensive collection of miniatures, and I love them as much (if not more) than the kids :)
I generally start with 4 groups or less, place one object from each rhyming group on the carpet/mat, and Spiderman's job is to find the matching ones.
So I placed bed, chair. oar, hook and swing on the carpet, and Spiderman followed up with the rest...

Montessori inspired Object Box

... of the items from the tray.

Rhyming with miniatures

Bed, head, red, sled, bread
Chair, bear, pear
Oar, door, four
Hook, book
Swing, king, ring, wing  
Here is our work from another day. We started out reasonably, but then Spiderman kept on adding more, and the mats got a bit crowded. 


As you can see, the bed (with its mattress and pillow, and monsters lurking underneath) and the pirate hook is a hit with Spiderman. They have to make a mandatory appearance every time we play with our Rhyming box!

What I have noticed is that Spiderman is not quite as adept at this yet. Let's say that bee is already placed on the mat or carpet, and he picks up a tree. His first instinct is to say as many words as he can think of that rhymes with tree, like me, he, she, gee... If he also said bee during this rhyming spurt, then it is a snap fpr him to put in the tree with the bee (group), but if he did not, and looks at the groups on the board, then it takes him much longer to match it, if that makes any sense :)

I always have to remind him to match it with what is on the mat/carpet. Yes, "he" rhymes with tree, but it is not on the mat. Is there anything on the mat or the carpet that rhymes with "tree"? And yes, "shy" rhymes with "pie", but we don't have "shy" on the mat.

So I needed to come up with something where in just thinking of a  rhyming word is good enough. 
So I decided to amp up the classic chutes and ladders by adding a rhyming element to it.
This way, all he needs to do is think of a rhyming word, and that's it :)

<Click on the image to view the pdf file>

Chutes and Ladders with Rhyming Fun

<Click here to download the game>

Added benefits:
Spiderman also needs to work on higher number recognition. Along with all this, I have seen more conflicts between Batman and Spiderman, and I thought they needed to take turns, be patient with each other, etc etc.

Linked up to:
It's Playtime, Mom's Library,

Tot School Gathering Place, Link and Learn, Stress Free Sunday