Monday, 30 April 2012

Doctors & Nurses

Wow, it's been longer than I realised since my last post!
Here's a little of what we've been up to in the last 6 weeks or so...

On our trip to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, we bought some Heirloom Purple Broccoli seeds. We planted these in an egg carton, using proper seed raising mix, sat them on the warm sunny living-room windowsill and watered them constantly (they seemed to dry out very quickly). After nearly 2 weeks we still didn't have anything starting to shoot... and the I accidentally knocked them off onto the ground! Oh... so we will have to try this one again another time soon. Though perhaps we may wait for spring time which is about 3 months away.

We've spent time learning about what Doctors and Nurses do, for humans and animals too.

I found a Doctors play set at the cheap shop for only 95c and Little Mister has been 'checking' hubby and I LOTS to see if we are OK :) I added a plastic syringe, a small glass medicine bottle, a screw-top plastic medicine bottle and a scrap of fabric for Little Mister to use as a bandage. There were also band-aids for a while, until I had to clean Dolly from head to toe... multiple times!!!

We used some of the worksheets and ideas from Homeschool Creations Doctor preschool pack...

Shadow Matching

 Size Comparison/Sequencing

Simple Puzzles

Learning what the tools and instruments actually look like and how they work
(I dug around and found the real-life version of most items shown on naming cards)

We also practiced fine motor skills using the line tracing sheets, and I guided his hand to write his name on the Name tag strips.

I found a YouTube video of the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed... after which we had to add an old mobile phone to the Doctor's kit!

Finding simple children's books at the library on Doctors, Nurses Hospitals etc was quite a challenge! Here's what I came up with:

We read/repeated the quote (from Homeschool Creations pack) each day a couple of times "A cheerful heart is good medicine" Proverbs 17v22. This quote also worked really well to tie in with the Emotions/Feelings and Facial Expressions from a few weeks before, to help Little Mister understand how someone might be feeling when they are sick or hurt, and then how they feel when they are all better. Here's 2 more books I found on the subject at the library:

This is just a snippet of what we get up to... there's so much I could add; but it all takes time and we would rather be 'doing' than 'blogging' :)

Thanks so much for stopping by...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A visit to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens

When I was a young girl, my Poppa (grandfather) used to work at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. My 2 brothers and I have many fond memories of my Grandma taking us into the gardens to have a picnic lunch with Poppa on the days when he worked. So many wonderful things experienced, and memories made. I even remember the metal cups that we used to share the can of drink between us all :)

Yesterday we took a trip down memory lane.

Little Mister and I met up with my Grandma (Poppa passed away some years ago now) and my cousin and her "charge"... at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, for a picnic lunch and a meander through the Bicentennial Conservatory and other garden buildings, over the lawns and stopped to interact with the ducks and cod in the lake.

It was a lovely day with beautiful weather and friendly company.

Perhaps, with enough of these visits, Little Mister will have fond memories of this special place too.

Inside the Bicentennial Conservatory at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Little Mister and his Great Grandma standing in front of a Pandanas plant in the Bicentennial Conservatory

The Simpson Shadehouse

Inside the Simpson Shadehouse (it was HOT outside, but so cool in hear)

Great Grandma with Little Mister sitting on the edge of the Amazon Waterlily Pond

A Waterlily in the Amazon Waterlily Pavillion

Palm House

 We finished our morning with a picnic lunch on the shady lawns overlooking Nelumbo Pond, which is an outdoor pond so much covered with waterlily's and other plants, that it looks like grass!

Come (later) Autumn, I would love to take Little Mister back again, to see all the gorgeous colours that come with the season. One fond memory from childhood for me, is skipping through all the fallen Autumn leaves :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Emotions/Feelings & Facial Expressions (Little Mister is 28.5 months)

Since our last post we have continued to work on visual & verbal recognition of Shapes and Colours, and the verbal order of Numbers (no visual recognition of numbers at this stage). We think Little Mister may have finally sorted out Triangle and Rectangle in his mind, and thanks to his own thinking, he's remembered the Pentagon because it looks like a house (and he loves building houses with blocks, or anything else that will stack)!

Aside from the above, we've focused on emotions/feelings and the different facial expressions that people show when they feel these emotions.

Firstly we used part of the Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1.
Little Mister loved looking at all the different expressions and trying to copy them.
I printed and laminated them to help them last.

Have you ever considered that Thomas the Tank Engine and his Friends, show emotions!! Yes, they have happy sad, surprised, angry (etc) faces. So I went searching the net to see if anyone has created activities/games to use as a tool for teaching emotions/feelings.
Here's what we found and used:
  1. Thomas and Friends official website has many interactive games to play online. Yes, there's one for emotions too :)
  2. Also this page of Thomas showing different emotions. (It was in an article about using Thomas with autistic children.) I copied the pics to a word document (and made each picture larger, so there's 4 to an A4 page), printed them out, covered them in clear contact... then we used them to talk about emotions and ask Little Mister to pick out certain ones "Can you find a happy Thomas?" etc.
One afternoon, we sat down with a couple of old catalogues and Little Mister picked out the happy faces (it's probably a good thing, but there are nothing BUT happy faces in catalogues!) on people and also toys. Then we cut them out together (just started teaching him how to hold and use scissors) and he stuck them onto a piece of coloured card. As with most titles on pages, he held the texta and I guided his hand to write "Happy" on a left-over space on the page.

We had one VERY wet day also, and I copied an idea seen in other places (one of which is Modern Parents Messy Kids) and used sticky tape to create a series of roads on the study floor. Little Mister had lots of fun driving all his small vehicles around and setting up road signs (etc) for the afternoon.

Finally, here's some of the books we read, with the focus on Feeling/Emotion & facial expression.
Photo 1 (L-R) The Unhappy Goldfish by Paul Dallimore
                          Mr Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves
                          The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
                          The Grumpy Goat by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright
                          Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves
                          How Do You Feel by Anthony Browne
Photo 2            It's Lovely When You Smile by Sam McBratney & Charles Fuge
                          and, of course, lots of Thomas and Friends books

My favourite book was It's Lovely When You Smile because of the lessons to be learnt by the story line. A baby Roo wakes up grumpy, and his mum spends time trying to make him smile and be happy. I really loved to watch Little Misters face as I read this to him, again and again :)

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Jenny's Surprise Summer & Shapes

Since our last post, Little Mister has been learning shapes more and more. Just this morning we had a breakthrough with getting Triangle and Rectangle named correctly!!! Yay!

We have been using his shape activities lots (see our recent post), and he has picked out shapes in everyday life, ALL ON HIS OWN! Love how all of a sudden he excitedly points and says "Circle mum, look Circle!" etc.

I posted a lot of the ideas we would use to learn shapes, some we have used, and some are still to be used. We will keep on with shapes until he can tell me them all without any help. Yes, it may be another month (or more!) but Little Mister is still enjoying it, so we'll keep on going :)

For the previous two weeks we 'rowed' Jenny's Surprise Summer by Eugenie. A beautiful story about a little girl, Jenny, who is holidaying by the beach at her Gran's place, when she finds 2 kittens. At the end of the summer holiday she has to decided which one to take home with her, and she decides based on the character of each Kitten. In this time, we also spent a 4 day weekend camping near the beach, and so Little Mister was able to 'get inside' the story with exploring and finding rocks, shells and seaweed etc, and chasing seagulls, and swimming in the ocean (unfortunately we didn't find any stray kittens).

We used:
Printables from Homeschool Share
Observation Ideas from Before Five In A Row Manual

Our fortnight in  pictures...

Will it sink of will it float? Daddy did this activity with Little Mister about 3-4 times through the fortnight. Little Mister loved the idea that there was a difference between things floating and sinking, pretty sure he understands the concept, just gets the words confused!

I can't remember where I found these colouring pictures... we coloured one in grey for Smokey and one in orange for Pumpkin, the two kittens in Jenny's Surprise Summer. We talked about why they had these particular names and about their different characters. Then we found each kitten on the pages of the book.

We looked through and talked about different kinds of cats, looks personalities, oddities etc. It's hard to tell how much Little Mister understands at this age (almost 2.5), but we talk about it anyway and he picks out different things in the pictures that interest him also.
We also sang cat songs and read cat poems/rhymes etc.

Here's Little Mister exploring the beach and building a car wash with Grandma and Grandpa. He loves to see the waves race up he beach and fill the holes he has made. It was Little Misters imagination that turned the hole into a car wash! We spent a few hours one day exploring the beach and ocean. In Jenny's Surprise summer there are seagulls, shells, crabs etc, and we did our best to find everything in the book. We collected about 30 flat smooth pebbles to bring home, which Little Mister has had a great time using as "bumpy roads" for his cars, and seeing how high he can stack them etc.

We spent a half hour or so watching remote-control gliders at a cliffs edge. Little Mister's first time seeing such a thing, and he was thrilled!

True bush camping. Lots for Little Mister to explore, lots of wildlife and lots of creation to just be amongst. The Kookaburras came in each evening for a nosey, the kangaroos came in also for feeding, and we even saw a Joey climb into it's mother pouch!

 Good, old fashioned, do-nothing relaxing was on the "activities" list :)

Little Mister is telling the Kookaburras to "get in cart, Kookaburra". Very cute. We think he thought they would do as they were told, like when playing with his hens and goats at home!

All in all, a wonderful fortnight with lots of fun memories :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - January 2012

So it's the middle of February already and I still haven't finished this challenge!
I suppose it's because things of more importance that a good bit of fun came up. We are enjoying a week of special fellowship with our Bible Students Group (Ecclesia) with something on almost everyday.  I will endeavor to complete this challenge by the end of February :) (mostly because I hate to see things unfinished!)

day one - YOU
taking in life, one day at a time

day two - BREAKFAST
for Little Mister and I, its the same every day
only Little Mister has Yoghurt on his

lots of things! particularly printed and published

 day four - LETTERBOX
which one!

with red and more black

the heart smiles too

 day seven - FAVOURITE
what to choose! one of many

day eight - YOUR SKY
summers evening

 day nine - DAILY ROUTINE
lots of routine trips here at the moment
can you guess what we're up to?!

 day ten - CHILDHOOD
a memory from

 day eleven - WHERE YOU SLEEP
between the sheets

 day twelve - CLOSE-UP

day thirteen - IN YOUR BAG
Little Mister's

from the library 

day fifteen - HAPPINESS
magnet memories 

day sixteen - MORNING
every morning they greet me 

day seventeen - WATER 

chicken feed

day nineteen - SWEET

day twenty - SOMEONE YOU LOVE

day twenty1 - REFLECTION

day twenty2 - YOUR SHOES

day twenty3 - SOMETHING OLD

day twenty4 - GUILTY PLEASURE

day twenty5 - SOMETHING YOU MADE

day twenty6 - COLOUR

day twenty7 - LUNCH

day twenty8 - LIGHT

day twenty 9 - INSIDE YOUR FRIDGE

day thirty - NATURE

day thirty1 - YOU, AGAIN