Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bubble Painting, Mystery Writing, and Melted Wax Suncatchers

 Our day started out pretty good.  After the usual coaxing from me to turn off screens and get ready for our day, we jumped into our homeschooling. 

I get some grumbling but usually once I mention a few of the day's projects that quickly turns to excitement. 

Every morning when Ian gets up he asks if we can do science first today.  I find this funny since we've been doing science first almost every day.  It was a beautiful sunny morning and our activity was outside so I, of course, said sure! 

We headed outside where we, once again, played with bubbles. This time they used a tin pie plate and a regular drinking straw to make a mound of bubbles. I put a tiny bit of paint in each tray in the hopes of making bubble prints too. 

 However, it seems like you need a ton of bubble solution in each tray (or else it was the wind messing us up). The bubbles kept popping before the mound got over the lip of the plate and making prints was just too hard. So, I ran in the house and grabbed a wand for each of them, then they took turns using different colored bubbles and blew them directly onto the paper. They came out with some pretty neat artwork too.

However, that wasn't art. Just science. After blowing a few bubbles onto the paper they started chasing each other around blowing bubbles at each other, or trying to get them to land in the lake again today like they did yesterday.  I let them run around and have fun with it.

 My husband questioned me last night what they were learning by blowing bubbles for a week so I turned to the boys and said, "well, boys what did you learn by blowing bubbles?" Their answers:  

  • "All bubbles are round no matter what size and shape you start with"
  •  "bubbles are round because it's a strong shape and can hold lots of air inside it" 
  • "some bubbles that are bigger and more oval wobble when they move and have a harder time than round ones"
  •  "sometimes bubbles are made up of more than one bubble" 
  •  "you can catch bubbles if your hands are wet but not if they're dry!" 
 Pretty good for a few days of playing!             





 After our bubble making we had a silly string fight; just for fun!  But they noticed it was wet at first and then the air helped it to dry.  They also commented on how it felt like squishy, soft, foamy string. 
But mostly I knew they were making wonderful childhood memories.  Especially once they each started piling on their heads making clown hair, or when they ran around me in circles trying to tie my legs up with it giggling like mad.  It was great!  Even better, they decided to try and make balls and wigs out of all the string afterward and ended up cleaning up 99% of the silly string out of the yard so I won't have to hear about it later! 



For math today we made our own paper plate clocks with flaps that lift up to show the "real" time" underneath the number.  My two older boys know that you count by fives when telling time, but I really want them to get to the point where they don't have to start at the 1 and count by 5's all the way around so after I saw this post on pinterest I thought that sounded like a quick way to reinforce and build this skill.

 I drew the numbers around the outside of the first paper plate to make the clock, then I cut flaps and clock hands.  We assembled the clock using brads after I poked a hole in the middle of the both plates.  They used brads to stick on the hands and hold the two plates together and then they used a marker to write the numbers under each flap; for example under the 1 flap they wrote :05, and worked together all the way around the clock labeling each time increment. 

We then took a few tries using our clock by each taking turns yelling out a time and moving our hands to match.   Ian really needs to practice using the terms quarter of, quarter past, half past, etc so I did challenge him to try and use those terms.  I tried to help him by drawing lines on his clock face to divide it into quarters.  We'll keep these for use throughout the year since they are so sturdy.


For spelling we played a game called break the code.   I found this and the simile game idea in a book called 101 Reading Activities, which had some really fun ideas that don't involve a ton of writing, which is something my boys just hate! 

We assigned each letter of the alphabet a number and wrote out a sentence using the numbers then swapped paper and filled in the words to the code.  I was so excited Evan asked to play; I took him into another room and he gave me a sentence to write and we sounded out the words.  I was surprised to learn how many letter/sound combinations he already knew! 

Then to break his brothers code we had to look for the number and I then asked him to tell me the name of each letter we found.  It was great practice for him and now I know which letters he still needs to work on too.  I'm thinking we'll repeat this activity when we do out week of "spy camp." 

Evan's sentence "Batman is in his cave"

 I sat down with the boys and read poems with similes and talked about what similes are, then we did a fun and very silly simile activity. I took a bunch of items and placed them in a bag; as they pulled an item out they had to come up with a simile for it.

Some of them were quite funny! I think my favorite was when Alec pulled out the green airplane and said "this airplane is as green as the Joker!" I let them get as silly as they wanted.

 Having fun while learning is just priceless.

 While they may not have always made a good comparison I'm thinking they'll remember using like or as when comparing and they'll definitely remember all their giggling! Even Evan came up with some pretty awesome comparisons like "this ball is as soft as a mushroom!"

 We turned our attention to art and made some melted crayon sun catchers. 



The kids sharpened crayons in some cheap pencil sharpeners and we placed the shavings onto wax paper.  We layered another piece of wax paper on top and ironed them together using a pressing cloth.  This, of course, melted all the crayon shavings, sometimes causing really neat color mixing.

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