May 17, 2013

Children's Discovery Museum-May

Our monthly outing to the Children's Discovery Museum was great.  The new exhibit called "Native Voices" was added.  The kids explored five thriving New England communities (New England Tribal Families) as they worked to balance cultural traditions with life in a modern world.
Check out our group as they explored our favorite museum. 

When we first walked in, the kids all ran to dance in the theater, but once all the dancing with lights was done, we walked into one of the New England Tribal communities.  Check out J as he is camouflaged and then jumps out from under to play with the kids.

Anyone up for BBQ lobster?

Off to explore Native Voices
 Tools of the trade for jewelry making and such.
Plants grown in groups of 3 help each other out naturally.
Music is also a very important part of the culture.

Exploring pond life was fun too.

 Exploring their tools.
 Exploring the kitchen and schools for tribal families.
 Science with a couple of boys in the Wonder Cabinet.

Some toboggan down a winter hill with PattyKakesKidz

After lunch, a few flowers were picked and 
given to me as a thank you from this little girl.  So sweet.

Hope you all have a wonderful week with your little ones.♥

May 12, 2013

The Rainforest

We read a book on the Rainforest and wanted to make our own Rainforest poster.  At first, I sat all the children around the table so they could make their own, and then I realized, wow, what an impact it would be if they could make one huge Rainforest poster together. And that is just what we did!
Starting from the bottom, we must make the Rainforest floor so all the critters can hide.
Next, by adding our trees, we are creating the understory, the canopy and all the way up to the sky, we created the emergent layer.
Let's start adding the wildlife.  Oooh, I see some gorillas, some elephants and caimans (crocodiles).
 Here come the deadly snakes that are added to the floor and in the trees.
 Here you can see the red spotted tree frogs being made and added to the Rainforest.
Together the kids all work on the title as a group.  They are chatting about the Rainforest, laughing, being creative, listening to music and enjoying the afternoon. They have so much fun, they don't even realize this is a unit study on the Rainforest.  Teaching so learning is invisible is so much fun and not hard to do.
Now for the final unveiling:
Happy Learning everyone, PattyKakesKidz♥

May 3, 2013

Simply Simple "Earth Day Celebration"

This year our Earth Day celebration was a little different.  As the children are getting older, they become more inquisitive.  They wanted to really understand what and why we were doing things.  So, I explained everything in great detail.  

Child asks, what is earth? It's our planet that we all live on.  It is mostly water and some land, which is where we all stand upon.  Let's make an earth so you can see what it looks like.  I made die cuts of land, and a white circle.  The children took different hues of blues and turquoise water colors and painted the circle to represent all the waters on our earth.  They examined pictures of earth and our globe then took the green die cut pieces of land and glued on their circle.  They began noticing how much more water there was than land.  

Another child asks, what about ice?  He said, remember when you went to Alaska for vacation and you told us there was lots of ice and snow?  Ah yes, so we discussed the North and South pole and how it was so cold on parts of our earth where the the sun doesn't see often.  This time I sketched an earth image and the children glued beads on to represent water, land and ice/snow. 
One child said the ocean is cold too so I am going to put ice beads inside the water to show how cold it is.  Great I say, everyone's is perfect.

Another child inquires, why do we celebrate Earth Day?  Well, it's up to us to protect our planet because it's the only one we have to live on.  How do we do that? Many ways I say.  Like recycling, picking up trash, planting trees and loving our earth. I decided, how about making a mini book about our earth. 

This is the cover of our book.
This is the first page when you open.  I used free clip art online to help the kids make their book.  You can see the worms, which led to another discussion of our worm farm.  It also made the kids remember, hey, we forgot to feed the worms today.  And so we did.
Flipping up a page, you can see our recycle page which led to another discussion about all of us who recycled and   why we recycled. Also how things can be made into other things.  Did you know all those plastic bottles can be made into a park bench?  No?  Well they can and many other stuff too.  Wow!

Flip another page and see the boy picking up trash.  This led to the discussion about remembering when we went to the beach last year and picked up some trash from the beach.  We didn't want the sea life or birds getting caught up in trash or eating trash, right?  Another wow!

Now imagine beautiful music in the background and the children "free painting", meaning, it's up to them to paint what ever comes to mind.  This particular one (funny enough), was a picture of a turkey foot.  If you look closely, the orange in the middle does look just like a turkey foot. 

There were many colors, but somehow, red became dominant.  No worries, this little one loved her painting and she just couldn't stop, she covered every square inch of this paper.

This little guy sat near our library area and just listened to music while reading a book.  He was completely content to just hang out enjoying life.

Painting continues here.  Somehow this child was able to keep the colors separate and had distinction between them.  She also completed every square inch of her painting.  Music just makes you feel connected to art, I suggest everyone take one day a week, play some soft music that makes you feel loved and bring out the easel and paints.


This little one loved the idea of red taking over, so she proceeded to add more and more red.  She kept standing back and analyzing her painting.  Her mama is an artist and her papa is a landscaper.  Hmmmm, wonder where she gets the talent from LOL?

Later the children wanted to celebrate Earth Day by camping out.  Well, that meant, pull out the chairs and the large sheets and make tents and go marshmallow roasting. 

Here is a blurry close up of marshmallows roasting.  Lights out, some chop sticks, real marshmallows, and pretend candles in a circle that are lit up with batteries.  One of the children said, hey, I can really smell my marshmallow roasting, here smell it everyone.  LOL, oh the power of dramatic play!

Here is a picture with the flash on.  You can't tell that it is dark and kids are relying on 
candle light for vision. 
Everyone of our Earth, remember to love, care and accept every day as Earth Day.
We only have one Earth!
Keeping it simply simple!
The best times ever, with PattyKakesKidz