Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Mama-Made Game

Mama-made games are becoming very popular at our house. And, we are learning!

Here is the latest mama-made game at our house (a small sampling of about 30 abbreviations in a variety of colors). We were struggling with abbreviations and multiple worksheets...well, that wasn't the answer. So, I took learning off the page and put it into their hands. What happened? They loved it! We matched the abbreviations and learned how to spell measurement words.

Side note: the visual-spatial child ordered the color shades (not shown here). Very cool!

Maybe there is a concept you can pull off the page for your child. Doesn't have to be fancy to be fun.

Here Chicky, Chicky!

(An exciting adventure for all ages, those who want to bring some country home.)

Our recent adventures began with a home school evaluation. Families come to us to discuss and review work samples from their year's accomplishments. In addition to paperwork, we often see models, dioramas, crafts and artwork. This particular family brought live items to document their school year.  In a cardboard box were two, eight-hour-old chicks. These puffs of black fuzz quickly attached to one of our daughters.  The mother who brought the chicks taught my daughter what imprinting meant and fast friends were made.  The result was "Can we keep them?"

Daddy gave the affirmative, highly-hoped-for answer and the chickens came to live with us, under the condition they had to go back when they became adults because the neighbors may not be so appreciative of our latest home school "project". 

The next day, initiated by an innate curiosity, we hunted books from our personal library, researched the Internet and called local feed stores.  We watched an Internet video of a hen laying an egg. 

On day two, we took a "field trip" with grandpa to the feed store (that was a sensory experience!) for chicken mash. We saw baby animals including pigeon chicks, compared the many kinds of feed, watched the man weigh the mash on the big scale, enjoyed the smell of the live tackle and took a stroll through the garden plants. 

Day three we read and compared several versions of The Little Red Hen. Later in the day we discussed diagrams of the 21-day embryo growth inside the egg, amazed by the transformation. We discussed why the eggs in our refrigerator would not become chicks, greeting us the next time we opened the door. This sparked a conversation about how many eggs are in a dozen and a half-dozen. We figured out egg carton multiplication and enjoyed egg salad for lunch. One daughter suggested we make a chicken book, a novel idea! We made the book over several days and then headed to the library used book store to find an old magazine with chicken pictures to cut out.

Internet Resources:

What a wonder we have experienced! We watched the baby chick's wings grow and then add feathers. The chicks chased us across the tile floor. We watched, amazed, as they took to flight for the very first time. We have learned that chicks need to have their bedding changed everyday or the house begins to smell like grandpa's farm. And alas, our chicks are now looking like miniature chickens. They will be heading back to their original family soon. 

We wanted to pass on what we have learned as well as the books we read, in case, by some circumstance, chickens appear on your doorstep. 

Chicken/Farm Books:
Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown 
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pickney
Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri
Field Guide to Chickens by Pam Percy
Chicks and Chickens by Gail Gibbons 
The Chicken Book by Page Smith and Charles Daniel
Where Do Chickens Come From by Amy E. Sklansky
Chickens by David M. Schwartz