Day 3: Imagination

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  Did you know that by working out the right hand side of your brain you can actually rest your mind? Yes! By working out the creative side of your brain you can either activate(energising), or refresh (calming) your brain. That’s right! This … Continue reading

Say it with leaves! – Dilo con Hojas!

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We did this activity some time ago. It was actually to send a message to Papa via mobile wishing him a Happy Father’s day but it could obviously serve you for any type of message and best of all in … Continue reading

LITERATURA para ninos – The pleasure of Reading with children

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How to make our children read for pleasure… It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I really “got into” reading, I just couldn’t stand reading as a “have to”. The obliged duty of handing essays to my teachers was … Continue reading

Week PUZZLES -A puzzle with a story

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What to do with a torn story book… Have you ever had your toddler tearing a loved book and then thought “It’s such a pretty book and story, I might be able to do something with it”. Yes, that’s what happened … Continue reading

Week AGUA- ice melting experiment

After playing with water this week, we thought of using an ice melting story for our bath-time activity.

Ted, Bo and Diz is a story about three little friends who, on their dinghy adventure, come across 3 polar bears and a seal floating on their melting iceberg far far away from home. It can easily be turned into a learning session about climate change and the consideration for those creatures relying on the right weather conditions for their survival. Not only that but you will even end up talking about states of matter. If you, like me, need a clearer way to explain these states to your little ones you will certainly enjoy this interactive video

On our activity we let the children be witnesses of the change that takes place with water going from liquid to solid and then from solid to liquid again. Sooo much to talk…

and for the long talk:

  • solido = solid
  • liquido = liquid
  • gas = gas
  • lento= slow
  • rapido = fast
  • caliente / calentar = hot / heat up
  • frio / enfriar = cold / cool down

We first did 2 mixtures of water, one orange, one greenish by mixing food colouring in a tub and a jug, then placed in the freezer.

By bath time we had

A blueish mini iceberg for the toy turtle

and the orange melting ice ring

A was fascinated first with the ring loosing colour in the water

and then with the quickly downsizing ice

He was also amused with the shape left from the blue block of ice

And how quickly it came to this.

All what was left from the mini iceberg experiment!

Happy ice melting!

Nancy

Week SEEDS – of stories and teas

This is a wonderful story about nature preservation. It could easily be described with the following quote I found here :Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.  ~William Ruckelshaus, Business Week, 18 June 1990

Having said that, you can probably imagine what the story is about, dandelions and preservation.

Christopher is a friendly little guinea pig who saves the day after his hungry greedy town goes through a dandelion total wipe out. Even though it is extremely unlikely that we run out of dandelions one day, it clearly gives children an idea of where plants (even weeds) come from. It especially gave us a lot to talk about; seeds, leaves, roots. It made A so curious about the way in which dandelions could be turned into soup, juice and tea. I had to google a lot of information for him and he got so excited with the idea of growing his very own dandelions that he is now waiting for his “future crop” to give him enough leaves to make soup. For the ones who haven’t read about it in earlier posts, A planted around 120 seeds that we counted on a single head of dandelion he picked on our way from school.

So far we have tried tea, but apparently there is a bunch of other uses for the leaves, flowers and roots. With medicinal and nutritional properties, no wonder Timmy (A’s hamster) looks so healthy. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. So now you know some of the culinary uses you could give to those sometimes unwelcome “weeds”.

And after talking about the different parts of plants and the so many uses for them, I explained to A that while  dandelion seeds are not used for tea, many other seeds are, like the ones I so often have in the morning:

Aniseed; great when waking up

I just need to put 1 teaspoon of seeds in a tea-strainer, pour boling water and wait 2-5 mins Couldn’t be more practical!

I have sometimes fennel tea with our lunch as it aids digestion

Even W knows where her herbal tea is coming from 🙂

As for the night-time tea, I like having lavender tea, but that’s talking flowers, so I will have to tell you all about pink lavender tea when we dedicate a week to our petaled friends.

Happy brewing!

Nancy 

Mood pebbles

I was supposed to write more about stories and the easy short-cuts to hand-puppets. However, we had such a fun time with our new pebble friends that I felt I needed to share this.

It all started with the bowl of pebbles we have on the table and the story my dear W was listening from my lap –  “Miss Tiny”.

I was reading it to her when it came to me the idea of colouring one of those pebbles to show W how tiny “Miss Tiny” appears to be. The result: Miss Tiny on  a pebble.

It was such a hit! Miss Tiny got to sit on a chair,

have a bath,be IN the looAnd even got in a car, as she had seen in her book 😉

But that wasn’t enough, later on W brought me Miss Whoops book. By then, A had returned from school, so we decided to create more little friends on pebbles.

A and W seemed to enjoy working on them,

And we ended up with a bunch of little friends,

I particularly liked A’s alien ones (they’ve been talking about space at school  this term)

When we were all done, not only did we go over Miss Tiny and Miss Whoops stories all over again, but we also ended up playing silly mood games. Where I pretended to be upset (with the red pebble) and they would have to come up with a good reason for me to change my mood. W approached me and gave the red pebble a kiss and I felt obliged to change that moody face (I painted a happy face at the back of the grumpy one),  so in the end, all the faces had a 2-version mood, most of them with a happy face at the back. It made me think of the lovely talk you could have with your little ones about feelings and the way our mood changes. A great way for children to understand and recognise an emotion behind “facial expressions”.

Today’s vocabulary:

  • Feliz = Happy
  • Triste = Sad
  • Enojado = Upset
  • Preocupado = Worried
  • Sorprendido = Surprised
  • Asustado = Scared

Now go and turn some pebbles into emotional characters and have some fun!

These ones stay at the table for when the ocassion calls for them. Maybe a silly argument over a toy will call for Mr Happy to come to the rescue! As for how to change my mood, I would write on pebbles uplifting words only to remind me life is so worth living! And you, how would you use pebbles or what would you write on them?

Happy smiling! Happy playing!

Nancy