Monday, July 7, 2014

Learning Anatomy with Littles

Learning anatomy with littles is just a game away. 

Last evening, a little asked me to play a game.

"Great! I'd love to! Choose a game." 

Back she came, with Somebody.

Not somebody, Somebody, one of our favorite educational science games. We've owned this game for years, probably fifteen. Its helped littles learn parts, functions, and body systems in a fun, family-friendly way.

We gathered around the table, ages three to eleven.

We played. 
We learned together.

Somebody rejoined the rest of our favorites in the game cabinet. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bowling Lessons, Mom Style

Family bowling day. 

Love the summer kids bowl free program. Our busy week had branched us out, but today we gathered together, to reset, to enjoy one another. As I watched each child approach, toss, and celebrate their frames, I reflected on my motherhood journey.

I reflected:

  • High five when they score a turkey...and when only one pin falls. Each pin is worth celebrating!
  • Sometimes you have to use strategy. Other times use the ramp to guide the ball.

  • Love your husband well, even if the ball rolls to the gutter. No doubt there was effort behind the throw even if the end result was not what was intended.
  • One person's three pin is an another person's strike; everyone is unique. Celebrate the individual, not just the accomplishment.
  • Use the bumpers (a.k.a support network) when needed...and be willing to be someone else's bumper.
  • Everyone needs encouragement, even the pro bowler (a.k.a veteran mother)
  • Don't head to retirement too early; there is always a beginner needing some tips and hints to the game.

  • Use the right size ball for YOU. Heavier balls, ones suited for someone else can cause injury.
  • Approach the lane confidently...and focus on the pins.
  • Adapt your approach to your game. Some bowlers walk methodically and launch, others walk to the line and throw. Each approach is unique to the bowler.
  • Don't let the one pin left standing discourage your game. There is a reset button.
Family bowling day. A day of family togetherness and learning, for all ages, bowlers and non-bowlers. A day well-spent. 

Key Lime Pie, Muscles & More

Preparing key lime pie with little helpers, I realized our taste buds and our handwriting skills would benefit from our efforts. Little fingers reach for half a key lime, then squeeze citrus juice into a bowl, a perfect way for our littles to help prepare treats in the kitchen and strengthen fine motor skills needed to write. Thirty-five key limes later, we were ready to mix--another opportunity to strengthen muscles!

We strengthened muscles but we also built conversation skills and did a little learning. Here is what we did:

  • We compared the size, color, and taste of key limes to oranges, limes, grapefruits, and lemons. Order by size. (Math, Science)
  • Defined and discussed spheres in regards to the citrus. Found other spheres around the house.
  • Measure the circumferences of several types of citrus with a string. Then measure the strings on a ruler to compare circumferences. Lay strings in order, shortest to longest. (Math)
  • Count the fruit sections of an orange, lime, key lime, grapefruit, and lemon. Are they the same or different? (Math, Critical Thinking)
    • Read the book Each Orange Had 8 Slices, Paul Giganti, Jr. 
  • Draw still life pictures of the fruit, practicing shading techniques. (Art)
  • Set the oven at 375 degrees. Write the temperature on a piece of paper using numbers and degrees symbol. (Math)
  • Set a kitchen timer for the length of time the pie will bake. Write the ending time on the piece of paper with the oven temperature.(Math) 
  • When the pie cools, discuss the definitions of diameter and radius. Measure the diameter of the cooled pie. Divide by 2 to find the radius. (Math)
Looking for ways to connect preparing snacks and meals to learning for your littles? Check out my resource, Flip Three Pancakes with One Spatula.