Tot School 44mo -Apples & Zoo

We began the last week with reading the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. We talked a lot about sin and that both Satan and Adam & Eve told lies about eating the apple. We did some easy apple themed projects. We cut open an apple and used our magnifying glass to look at the core and the seeds. We did an apple tasting using one unpeeled apple slice, one pealed apple slice and applesauce. I showed the boys how to graph our findings and we counted on the graph different outcomes if other people gave their opinions too. We read The Apple Tree by Zoe Hall and 10 Apples Up On Top by Dr. Sues. Last year I made a small laminated set of apples and a small picture of each boy to go on our felt board. We spent some time adding the apples on the picture’s heads just like in the book. For additional counting fun we played Hi Ho Cherrio but called the fruit apples. Next we made a cherry pie. I don’t really like apple pie so we talked briefly about apples and cherries both being a red fruit. This time we took the short route. We used store-bought pie crust and canned filling but the boys had fun while working on fine motor skills during unrolling the dough and crimping the edges. Because the main point of Adam & Eve was that they lied to God, we read Eli”s Lie-O-Meter by Sandra Levine. Lastly we followed up with a visual about how God always knows when you lie. Nothing is invisible to God. We named several ways that we sin. I took a Q-tip, dipped in lemon juice, to write out a few of our sins on regular white paper. When it completely dried you couldn’t see the writing. When I held the paper over a candle, the acid in the lemon juice turns the writing a light yellow/brown color that reveals what was already there but invisible to us. I have to say, that experiment was challenging because at first Lance didn’t care about what we were doing, all he wanted was to keep blowing out the candle. So remember patience and safety with that project.
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We spent the second half of the week working on Noah and the ark. The boys are very curious as to why Noah was the only person that was doing good at that time so we’ve really had bunches of discussions about sin this week. We did a zoo and rainbow theme for this story. We made sounds and movements to match every animal we could think of, we took the kid’s doctor’s kit and became veterinarians to all the teddy bears in the house then did some exploring on our brother too. I cut out a small letter Z and taped it to the bottom of a box. I put a few drops of black paint in the bottom with a marble. The boys shook their box to make the stripes for a zebra. Make sure the bottom of the box is completely flat or the marble will not roll very well, do this even if you want to be lazy that day. Then I wrote their names out in a yellow highlighter. I gave them some crayons and asked them to trace their names in different colors so that it looked like a rainbow. We finished out the week by sorting colored goldfish before we ate them. For more ideas on either of these stories go to http://www.motherhoodonadime.com for her God’s Little Explorers program.
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Tot School 32mo Twins – Z is For Zipline

Have you ever ridden on a zipline before?  It’s great fun!  If I like them so much, I know that my boys will like it too.  I looked online yesterday to find out how to make a simple toy zipline.  Bingo, I found one that was super easy.  When I was talking to my husband about it, it surprised me to find out that he had never made a toy or real zipline before ,so the boys and I are doing something very special together.  This is not an elaborate zipline.  It’s very simple but with the way these boys are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if by high school they haven’t built a full-scale zipline in our backyard for their friends to ride.

I got a large sheet of cardstock, really any size will work.  I gave James the glue bottle and had him make a wave of glue down one side of the sheet.

 

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 I rolled it up into a tube and to make sure it stayed closed, I had Lance help me staple the seam.

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I took two paper plates and cut a triangle out of the plates and trimmed down the edges so I could staple them into cone shapes.  Then did a crazy job of taping them to the ends.

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I took two paper clips and unwound them.  I slipped the clips through the middle and over the top of two sewing bobbins.  I made a J shape at the bottom of the clip and pushed those into the frame of my shuttle.  At least that’s what my boys said it looked like.  So a space shuttle it is.  If you wanted to make a nicer, more durable shuttle, then I would opt for something better than paper clips and sewing bobbins for this step.  Or even bending the clip with wire pliers instead of just using your fingers.

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I blew up two colored balloons.  Well, I blew up three but I popped one in my face, to my boys’ amusement.  I gave each boy a balloon and tape and showed them where to put them.  This is not a necessary step, it’s just for wow factor with the kids.

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We found some thin string in dad’s shop.  I tied one end to a hand weight that I sat up on the piano and I tied the other end to the arm of a rocking chair.  I just used a simple knot.  Any two points of differing heights will work.  Just make the string tight.  Look real close in the picture and you will see the string stretched across my living room.

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Now the moment of truth, would our space shuttle fly when we set the bobbins on the string?  Yes it did!  Only one complete, flawless run though that mommy launched.

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When the boys tried their hand at launching the shuttle, it didn’t go as smooth.  James quickly caught the concept of a gentle launch.

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Lance never got the gentle concept and as a result, his shuttle runs usually crashed to the ground.

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In fact, Lance was so aggressive on one launch that he bent the paper clips and mom couldn’t get them back to a good enough position to stay in the bobbins correctly.  So when that happened, I took off the bobbins and our shuttle still ran well on just the clips.  Made me feel a bit like Houston.  “Houston, we have a problem.”  I proudly rose to the occasion and found a way to make our shuttle work.  I’m sure NASA will be calling me for a job interview any day now!

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Simple, basic, fun, silly, creative and engaging.  That was our Z activity for the day.  We all loved it.  Well done my little engineers.

Tot School 32mo Twins – Z is For Zoomin, Movin Colors

This is our last letter of the alphabet for this series.  The first activity for Z turned out to be really neat.  I told the boys that we were going to create colors that zoomed and moved all above the place.  This got their attention.  It’s a very easy science experiment to do with kids.  Gather up 1 round, shallow pan, half & half, food coloring and dish washing soap.

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I wanted this to be an experiment that the boys got to do mostly by themselves.  So I handed the half & half to James and asked him to take the cap off and pour it into the pan.

 

 

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Then I gave each boy a small bottle of food coloring and told them to squeeze a few drops into the cream.  Beware, they might get messy and now Lance has red stained hands for the next day or so.

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Then I helped them gently stir the colors into a swirl.

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Next I held the dish soap bottle and James helped me pour a few drops into the center of the pan.

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Then we just sat and watched what happened.  The colors amazingly shot out and zoomed across the cream.  Then it started to bubble and swirl around.  It kept doing this for about 5 min while the boys said Oh!  Awe!  Look mommy!  bubbles!”

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At this age, I didn’t try to explain the science behind this.  I’m just tickled to death that these two boys are curious and like to see cool stuff.  It gives me some encouragement that maybe they will love science when they get older.  This was our easy zoomin project.