Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pantry Schooling & Lego Fun

I spent the morning organizing and cleaning.  I went through the pantry and went through all our homeschooling supplies chucking anything we hadn't touched in the last year or so and had no desire to touch in the coming year.   We were heading out after lunch to join our homeschool group for a fun Lego themed learning afternoon.



We discovered (or rediscovered) some fabulous finds:
  •   Ian was happy to see his gem excavating set and once he was all ready for the day got right to work prospecting for gems.  I later found out he carried his rocks around with him all day in his pocket!  


  • When he was finished he played with the pattern blocks for a while making different designs and roads and things.



  •    I found some more alphabet cookies and today Evan practiced making sight words using them.   We had cut these cards out of the Star Wars book but we had never used them before.   He'd build the word out of cookies, read the word, and then flip it over to read the sentence on the backside.  Then the boys gobbled up some of the cookies when he was done. 


  • We had rediscovered our  Magic Science for Wizard's Only kit and Evan and I ran started one experiment before heading out the door.  We made a magic wand.  We mixed water and the color changing tablets to make green water.  We added polyacrylamide to the tube and set it aside on our counter.  It was supposed to grow into crystals and absorb the water while we were gone.  It worked beautifully and we enjoyed seeing the changes when we got back.  


  • We also all worked together to complete a chart on the planets.  We used the clues on the paper to try and figure out the order of the planets.  When we were done we talked about using silly sentences to remember the order of the planets.



Alec spent the morning reading his new Wings of Fire book.  We started chapter one at bedtime last night and he's just about finished it.  He stayed up late reading last night and was engrossed in the book again this morning.  When it came time to load up the car Alec made sure he had his book as well as the Lego structure he wanted to bring today.



Lego day with our homeschool group was awesome!



They had spoon relays with loose Lego pieces.

relay race with spoons 

Another relay race using chopsticks and loose Legos.

chopstick relay 

They designed their own Minifigs on paper using colored pencils.  Alec made a camper from camp half- blood, Ian chose a Star Wars guy and Ian made a construction worker (complete with chest hair!).  


They also had a fun storytelling activity where each kid picked three loose Lego pieces and they went round robin around the circle building a creation while adding one sentence onto the story.  Alec's crew had a demolished drive in that a car hit when the plane crashed into the yard and lost a few pieces.  The stories were great and it was a "new" way to use Legos.

Making up our stories 

They also broke into smaller groups and had another tallest tower building challenge where all 5 or 6 people got to work together.  Working on person at a time, one brick at a time they had to build the tallest tower.  They had to communicate with one another on what they thought the best design would be.

deciding on a group strategy 
comparing the team's towers for height and stability 
The winning tower! 
We had a "fire walking" Lego area where kids could walk across a pile of Legos in their socks. We timed them to see who would be the fastest.  There was a mason jar of Lego pieces and Alec ended up being the one with the closest guess-- there was 129 pieces in the jar and he guessed 120!  The day ended with some Lego cupcakes since one of the boys was having a birthday coming up soon.  It was great fun and my boys met some new people as well as reconnected with friends.

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