Apparently Pluto isn't important any more?
I know I learnt this stuff at school but my memory has failed me.
When Dimples got his Tag reading system on his 4th birthday I also got him a solar system booklet, he loves it and often plays, well "reads" by himself so it shouldn't have been a surprise when he told me that Venus was the hottest planet.
Silly me jumped in and said "isn't Mercury the one closest to the sun" well yes but Dimples was quick to tell me Venus is hottest because its cloud keep the heat in.
This conversation lead to my 4 year old teaching me all these things about our solar system that his tag reader had taught him. Fancy That! Then this lead to putting together a large floor puzzle we had and pulling out a space poster with matching stickers then some extended learning through Extreme Painting; The Salad Spinning technique.
Using a salad spinner, some circle paper and paint. We put the paper in with the right colours on top, shut the lid and spun. Dimples though that was the best part, he was rapidly spinning the planets around with wide open eyes telling me this one is going to be awesome! This one is going to be the best, I am spinning it so so very fast. Its a pretty easy painting technique and all the mess is confined in the salad tub making for easy clean up. We went through pointing out the planets on the floor puzzle, the tag reader diagram, the poster and then the ones we put in the salad spinner reading all the facts as we went. Dimples really engaged in the process, even to the extent of repeating anything I read to him.
All the Salad Spun Planets were put out in order and he set out his own solar system drawing rings around Saturn and the asteroid belt between Mars & Jupiter. Saturn and Earth worked the best in the salad spinner, it works best with running blobs of paint and with some even spread over your planet otherwise the paper can end up flying up the side of the salad bowl.
I think I learnt more doing this then I did at school, or my memory has failed me. One thing I noticed was the Pluto wasn't even on any of the solar system info anymore, apparently it is a dwarf planet with several others.
Things have been quiet around here, Miss Cherub is now 4 weeks old and we are still settling in. Dimples has been a great little helper and his usual active self. We have been having lots of fun, so although the blog may be getting a bit quieter we certainly aren't and life is very busy at the moment until we find our new rhythm.
In recent months we have been experimenting with mud.
Here is a round up of the Muddy Posts to convince you its not so bad :)
Dimples loves to get messy and loves the outdoors. In the backyard he has his very own mud pit, right next to his sand pit and a very cool mud kitchen (see below) this feed the messy outdoor play addiction. It provides endless avenues of play and learning experiences, playing with mud doesn't have to end with mud pies!
I realise not every one is keen on letting their child play in the mud but we here in the Australian country are used to the dirt and mud, we embrace it. You wont see a door step that doesn't have a muddy pair of gumboots sitting by the door.
Let me try and convince you that it is a good thing with a round up of our Mud play. Take note, as you look through, to the lovely happy and cheerful expressions on Dimples face as he plays away.
This was one of the first adventures we had with mud. I was sceptical and had to do a little research to reassure myself it was OK to give him free range of mud. We started with the classic mud pies and gumboots. Dimples had a ball, he enjoyed it so much; This post has info on why mud is good for kids to play with.
If you aren't comfortable with free range of mud and after a quick clean up, or if you're in an apartment or city where mud just isn't easily accessed this one is for your children. A mud sensory tub, keep it all in the tub and it can be tipped out and washed after the play is finished.
Another post that includes information on why it is good to let the children get messy and play in mud. Its a free and endless resource with many benefits, check out these 8 reasons.
This is the marvellous Mud kitchen that Dimples Adventurous Dad built him. It is awesome and has been one of the best gifts he has. He loved his outdoor play and this kitchen, which cost next to nothing has provided him with so many memorable play experiences already.
Something different where the child gets to explore mud without getting absolutely covered in it. This post was Dimples mud painting, or should I say splatting? Art is all about the process and this one, done with mud was really process art. Have a look at the different tools we used to create it.
The most recent Mud adventure that is by far my favourite is How we made and played with Mud bricks. Dimples really enjoyed constructing mud brick huts, houses, walls and stairs with the mud bricks that he made himself. It was also a good lesson on how materials are formed.
So there you have it.
Lots of muddy fun in lots of different ways.
Mud play doesn't have to be simple mud pies, it can be what ever you want it to be.
Have I convinced you yet?
Dimples had lots of fun with this one.
He loves cars, a typical boy! When he is asked what he would like to do his reply is usually ride bikes or play cars. When he goes to Nannies and she asks what are they going to do, as always his reply is just play cars. Usually he draws up roads or sets up car parks and makes awesome glug glug sound effects as they get petrol. To make the usual car play a little interesting with a dash of learning I quickly threw together this car park.
You will need: A large piece of paper or cardboard as your canvas, markers, dot stickers numbered.
I drew up the car park and numbered the car spaces. Use as many or as little numbers as your child is comfortable with. I added some different coloured spaces, to coordinate coloured cars with and labelled some dot stickers with corresponding numbers.
Instantly Dimples got to work, with no instructions he understood the aim of the game. Pretending to make engine sounds as the cars drove through the car park to find the correct space. This was a good activity for number recognition, ordering and matching numbers. I went through and practised counting with him.
Dimples is great at pretend play, it was delightful watching him and listening to him chatter away as engines revved, trucks had reversing beep sounds and the cars precisely drove around the car park and then reversed into the right spot. Next he would chant as he grabbed another car. At first it was any old car but then he started looking for the one that came next and we started counting through the ones that had been parked playing "what comes next?"
Just for the fun of it I numbered the spaces 1-15 and then 15-1. I must remember to identify 6 & 9 the right way up and to write clearly and large enough as there were a few numbers he asked what is that! whoops! I did say it was a quick throw together activity didn't I?