Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fairy Houses & Bloom

"There is no such thing as
an Ordinary Girl"
                                  ~'Bloom' by Doreen Cronin
We took advantage of McDougall Cottage's Fairy House Day. For a three dollar donation, they provide a lovely wooden birdhouse and various supplies from nature (moss, bark, shells, twigs, pinecones, acorns...) and a beautiful garden space to create.

We followed up with a not-so-ordinary Fairy Tale, 'Bloom' about a Mud Fairy who teaches the importance of dirt to save an entire kingdom. Sweet read, particularly if you are seeking a female hero in your storytime.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Yes Day

"Say What?!"

"Yes Day" is beneficial in so many ways; a win-win for all parties.
Not only do I get to learn what kinds of activities are most anticipated, projects and outings I didn't consider are introduced, I'm reminded to avoid the "N" word, not to mention, instantaneous lesson plans, not written by yours truly! I don't even have to think about what to cook.

We begin by asking everyone what they would like to do today and the idea's start flowing.
C: "I want to go to a party...with dogs."
C: "I want to visit a Poop Sanctuary." (not sure what that is exactly!)
O: "I want to have mantou and a movie for breakfast."
O: "Then we can build in the backyard using power tools!"
O: "Let's have a lemonade stand and make money."
C: "I like the swings at the park."
O: " Can we do both at the same time? Have a lemonade stand at the park?"
M: "I'm pretty sure that's illegal without a permit."
O: "Can we buy candy!?"
C: "No, that's too sugary, right mom?"

There are general rules; nothing that is dangerous/illegal and no where that is too tricky to get to (for example, "Sorry, we cannot fly to Taiwan today to visit Emy.").

After trial and error, we've discovered 'Yes Day' is only enjoyable for all if we say 'yes' to everyone, parents included.

Mantou for Breakfast. Tang Yuan for lunch!

End of the day.
C: "Did we go to the Poop Sanctuary."
M: "Is that a real thing? Where is it?"
C: "Go this way, then that way, then this way."
(Mama laughing.)
C: (very serious face) "What?"

Popsicle Stick Polygons

The simple popsicle stick has many uses. One of those is for creating shapes.

We reviewed basic polygons and introduced the idea of angles with the book, 'Shape Up' before exploring the house for angles and triangles.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Land Art: Summer Solstice

If you look up Land Art, you will find a myriad of fascinating takes on how to use nature to create art.
We took a look at Richard Shilling Land Art for inspiration.

We took a look at an easy way to make a star with two triangles and did so using bamboo poles.

Then we noticed a giant pile of cedar boughs from Daddy's weekend chores and used them to fill in the space of our start.

Next we used flour to trace O's body.
She then found just the right sized rocks to outline herself.
She expanded the art project by adding facial features and cedar bough hair!

Vegan Bites: Simple Pickle

O is in love with dills lately, so we found a homemade recipe that received her high ratings!

The Beloved Box

After several attempts at beginning our Morning Circle Time, I realized I was the one receiving a lesson.
Yet again.
With the new boxes Daddy brought home, O & C are focused on self-made tasks and cannot even hear my words.
They are foraging supplies; flashlights, stickers, knives, pencil crayons, pillows and stuffed toys, leaving a trail to their whereabouts.
They are engineering with great ingenuity while I waste precious energy thinking that my planned project will supply them with more knowledge than their own idea's.
My prospective plans for the day go out the window, as I sit and learn yet another lesson from my bright babes; interest-led learning is paramount and the reason we are keeping them away from mainstream "education".

Boxes have morphed into strollers, beds, homes, car, elevator, jack-in-the-box, hide-outs and tunnels. A stationary box I stared at, suddenly raised up an inch and scatters across the floor!
They have been working as team or arguing about possession, labeling their names, making their mark and getting back together with a fresh deal and loads of laughter.

I take a few photos and resolve to walk away from my former frustrations and failed attempts to lure their attention.

They are happy and busy and learning all the time.

Memories comes flooding back into my mind as I watch them love the cheapest toy in town; the beloved box.

Personification & Word Combinations


...and Swiss Charlotte!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to Share with a Bear


Baby M was all for joking about until....

...we stuck him in the Bear Suit!

Friends that have a habit of gifting us the best books ever, have done it again with 'How to Share with a Bear'. This is a lovely sibling read with a sweet surprise ending;)

Baby M is not the first little bear to be unimpressed with the costume that doubles as a winter suit.
O came home in this suit in 2010 and the Chinese people thought we were carrying around an actual doll (very surprised to learn it was an actual baby!)

Place Value Rods

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Daily Doodle: Sad Fly

Q: What do you get when you mix a spider with a fly?
(this is not a trick question.)
A: A sad fly.

As flies frequent our home, we've been learning the importance of welcoming useful spiders and their webs.
Next up?
The Venus Fly Trap!

Parachute Twister

In Shanghai, we bought Finger Twister.
Very silly game.
So instead we used the Twister spin card to play a few rounds of 'Parachute Twister'.
Very funny alternative !
O & C were laughing and passing gas for a good thirty minutes!

Great practice for colour recognition as well as the difference between left and right, which I still need help with!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sprout, sprout, let it all out!

 Brown & Green Lentils
Sprouts are a fabulous growing project for any season, as you can grow them indoors and eat them year round. It amazes me that a seemingly dried out and 'dormant' legume, can turn into a nutritional powerhouse with a little soaking and sprouting. http://worldingreen.blogspot.ca/2013/05/how-to-sprouting-green-lentils.html


You can add them to soups, salads or in our case, Nori Rolls for a nutrient boost and strong dose of protein.

To learn more about sprouts, look no further than Ann Wigmore and the Hippocrates Diet.