Friday, September 5, 2014

Creative ABCs

Creative preschool alphabet learning

We have started our homeschool preschool co-op yesterday! During the last weeks of August parents discussed the goals and pathways, spent hours in searching for the best ideas and reading, and discussed and brainstormed again. Homeschooling is VERY time consuming, but well worth it!

Congratulations to all the parents of the busy preschoolers!
This is a huge milestone to send them to school!

Today I want to share with you some ABC learning activities and games that inspired us. The challenge is our kids have already learned letters and sounds, but make mistakes and forget them easily when not in use.

We are planning to review the alphabet
through fun games and hands-on activities.
 
Set aside 15 min of your busy life, play ABCs with kids, and have fun! The following activities are pictured in the collage below:

Sort your apple ABCs onto the apple trees from Life over C's.

Play Ping-Pong alphabet bounce from I Can Teach My Child.

Apply your creativity with ABC Dot Marker pages from 3 Dinosaurs.

Use Lego bricks and play-doh to build a letter from In My World.


Here are some more of our favorites that we'll make sure to use. So wonderful - I had to share.

Play "Tape letter stomp" from Mom Inspired Life.

Wash the alphabet with water and bubbles from Little Bins for Little Hands.

Hand Print through alphabet from Fun Handprint Art.

Get a workout climbing the stairs from School Time Snippets.

Hit a letter with the soft ball from Toddler Approved.

Make an easy beans matching game from The Imagination Tree.

What is your favorite ABC game?

Join in the fun:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fall Sensory Bins.

Fall Sensory Bins

We love sensory bins in this house for their wonderful fun and educational values for little kids. Exploring the world through all the senses, learning language and math without even noticing they are learning; fine motor skills and creativity - to name a few.

Fall, with its bright and beautiful colors, harvesting, and holidays, is the best season to offer sensory bins to the little ones. So much fun, laughs, and learning involved: colors, scents, textures, tastes, exercising and games! We'll be featuring some gorgeous creations.
 

Bright Ideas and Creativity - Is it easy to make a perfect sensory bin?

Let's discuss sensory bins as a community!

I would really appreciate everybody's ideas and tips. Maybe you'll find something inspiring for you through the discussion?

Through this Labor Day weekend, I am featuring the most beautiful and engaging fall sensory bins I could find. Please, take a look and leave a comment: link: Sensory Bins on Facebook.

Here are some questions to consider:
  • Which sensory bin featured on Facebook is the most inspiring FOR YOU? Why?
  • Which fillings for a bin are the most fun: corn, sand, salt, beans, pasta, rice, pinecones, leaves, acorns, anything else?
  • Which toys you would use for the bins? Activities? Games?
  • Any other tips, pictures, or blog posts you'd like to share?
Join in the fun:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Millie Waits for the Mail

Pretend Play Post Office and Rolling Giant Dice

Mail Carriers are the first to explore community helpers hands-on in our very new homeschool preschool - very exciting. We are setting up a pretend play post office and mail delivery services, learning about mail and how to send and receive a letter, and rolling giant dice for our favorite book of the month: "Millie Waits for the Mail" by Alexander Steffensmeier.


Poppins Book Nook

It's time for a Poppins Book Nook - a book club that goes live on the last Monday of each months.

The theme for this month is "When I Grow Up". This is a very exciting topic - it calls for all things pretend play. Visit the hosts of Poppins Book Nook to find out who the kids want to be and how they pretend play and discover the world around them along the way!


You can find our previous Poppins Book Nook books and activities here:
The Runaway Bunny
Little Blue Truck
The Little Speckled Hen
There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish

Millie Waits for the Mail

The kind mail carrier is delivering the mail to the farm. "Oh, that's boring," you'd say. Not on this farm, it isn't! Adventures, hiding and chasing, very charming farm characters, and more... are making this book fascinating and interesting for any age.

I think post office and mail delivery is an excellent first theme for the beginning of the school year! It encourages to read and write. A lot of symbols are used for communication which is great to learn and use to represent ideas in written communication! This pretend play is all about fun with sorting, matching, counting, drawing and writing.

Pretend play - post office

Camilla loved her new post office beyond any of my expectations. It took some time to set up, but so worth it!
1. I offered a set for desk organizing that I had.
2. Envelopes.
3. Stamps. I printed out stamps from here: USPS Store. Set them up in a small box with a glue stick.
4. Cardstock.
5. Peek-a-Boo Interactive Flash Cards from SchoolZone. This is a winner! Camilla had them for a while, but had not been that interested. It is different when you are writing on them to deliver the message to Daddy, or your favorite stuffed animal, isn't it? Since they have numbers on them, they can be used for delivering to an address, or sorting and matching activity.
The cards are laminated and can be reused for dry-erase. Affiliated link:

6. I had a set of USPS new boxes. We'll have to assemble them together and deliver the presents to friends.
7. The pocket chart: adds a lot of fun to pretend play!
8. A mail carrier uniform. For the hat, I printed out USPS logo and glued it onto the blue cap (white school glue worked just fine - I let it set overnight). I saw in another laminated logo onto my old diaper bag. The bag is Camilla's another very favorite (besides the cards). A blue and white outfit completed the look.
9. Newspapers and junk mail - we stuffed a bunch into the diaper bag. It turned out being interesting: I realized that Camilla never had these in her hands before and there are captivating back to school pictures in all the papers now, LOL.
10. Markers and stickers.
 

Roll a die - developing symbolic thinking

A simple game based on the book doesn't take any time to set up. I made a giant dice: an old box with pictures on all sides.
 
We are playing in a small group when players are moving around, talking and laughing. The box worked for us: the picture on top is clear and visible to all the players, and the noise of the falling box draws attention.
 
Roll a box - the picture on top is a call for action.
A pig and a chicken - players are to make animal sounds.
Mail carrier - deliver the mail.
Farmer - tell the cow to be nice to a mail carrier. Or milk a cow.
Cow - say "Moo" and scare the mail carrier.
 

A field trip to a mail box

Thursday, September 4 is a Newspaper Carrier Day... and a first day of our new and exciting Homeschool Preschool. Our first field trip will not be long, and we'll try to catch a mail carrier to observe and talk.
 
But until then, here is a set up for our mail boxes. I laminated small USPS logos and attached them to boxes with the tape. It is additional fun for kids to have movable parts. Camilla played with the pictures on boxes, and it made a world of a difference for her to accept that these are special mail boxes, LOL.
 

 When I Grow Up


I hope you enjoy following a group of these wonderful bloggers - hosts of Poppins Book  Nook!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

When I Grow Up Bundle Giveaway!
Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers
a chance to win a brand new storybook
that ties in with our theme for the month.
This month one lucky entrant will win
 
a bundle of fun for the theme of When I Grow Up.  This bundle will include a copy of the storybookWhen I Grow Up by Mercer Mayer, one copy of Community Helpers Puzzles by Trend, and one copy of Community Helpers & Careers Pocket Flash Cards by Trend.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Clip art by: Melon Headz

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Explore and Discover with Pirate Ships

Explore and Discover with Pirate Ships

We had fun exploring pirate ships and learning parts of a ship. These early preschool science experiments are priceless! I love watching little ones discover the world for the first time! This post contains many activities: building with cups, painting paper towels, sensory play with colored water, sink or float and melting ice activities - not intended for a great end product, only exploration and discovery.

Sorry, we moved!
Please, see the updated version here:
 
 
You are very welcome to follow us here:
 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Treasure Hunt and Story Time. Maps for Kids.

Introduction to maps

The treasure hunt was exciting for us this week: we built the ocean and island small world with the pirates' stuff in it. The awesome book that helped us out with learning about maps is "Maisy's Pirate Treasure Hunt" by Lucy Cousins.

Educational games, small world, pretend play, story time, preschool books

Maisy's Pirate Treasure Hunt

All the Maisy's books are great. This one turned out to be very special. It is one from the "Maisy's Big Flap Books". The treasure hunt is for finding 3 keys and a treasure chest. The simple map is provided on the first page. We kept returning back to the map with every next page to learn how maps can help.

Camilla somehow figured out the colors on the map: blue is for the ocean, green is for the forest, and yellow is for the beach. The only one that I don't think she understood was the cave. She was able to find all the keys!

Activities for kids, science activites for preschoolers, Charleston SC

Treasure Hunt Small World

It was a quick set up for pretend playing - nothing too fancy. I used construction paper to color code the areas and we outlined our new map together. Well, I drew the map while Camilla was watching and we were discussing the things on the map. Then I let her lead in treasure hunting and pretend playing. Fun!

Treasure hunt, pirates, preschool books, family vacation

Pirates' stuff and cannons

We've got to discuss the ocean animals and pirates' stuff and weapons (a sward and a cannon - new words) along the way. Recently, for our small worlds we are using Playmobil toys. Only a few smaller sets allow us to mix and match. Camilla loves Playmobil people much more then any other small figures she has! The cannon pictured above is from Imaginex pirate ship.

Activities for kids, story time, small world, educational games

We were lucky to have an opportunity to explore old cannons in Charleston, SC. Camilla was very interested (so much for a girl!). The cannons can be found at the Battery.

If you plan to travel with small kids, a nice non stressful day can be planned around the Battery. You can take a stroll along the Battery (there are stairs, not very stroller friendly) or through the neighborhoods around. The beautiful houses made Camilla think they are all "princess castles". So don't forget the camera to take pictures of the princess's headquarters!

Hazel Parker Playground is located a short distance from the Battery and kind of hidden. I would never find it if I didn't know the address in advance: 70 E Bay St. A small parking lot is in front of the entrance to the park. You can also have a picnic around there. I personally wouldn't though - those bugs of all colors and sizes just couldn't leave me alone for a second. Aw, and a beautiful carriage ride is available there.

Educational games, small world, pretend play, pirate games, introduction to geography, maps for kids.

Here is Camilla trying to operate the cannon. Such a great time we had!
You can find more of our pirates' activities here:
There was an old pirate who swallowed a fish
Pirates' hats

Friday, August 1, 2014

Foreign Language for Preschoolers

Foreign Language for Preschoolers

In short terms: beneficial for cognitive development, memory and concentration, important and necessary in the 21st century,  fun, natural for this stage in life, is usually not available or affordable.

The window of opportunity

The ability to speak a second language comes handy, and sometimes necessary in any professional field. As the process of globalization continues, I can imagine the importance of a foreign language will increase significantly. At the beginning of my child's preschool I keep asking myself:
Will she need a foreign language in her life?
Which language would it be?
How much time, money, and effort should we spend on it considering her speech delay and so many other things that interest her and occupy her time?
Is it realistic for us to accomplish with my husband opposing Camilla learning a second language?  
 

Motivation is the key in the long process of a language acquisition. A child has to stay motivated to use the second language; and not less importantly, parents need all the inspiration in the world to invest time and money in their child's learning a foreign language.

That's why I keep this inspiring book close by and have decided to write another post on it. "Bilingual is better" by Roxana Soto and Ana Flores provides excellent support and gives me some great tips in our bilingual journey. You can read my previous post, as well as find related posts here:
Cultural heritage and languages.

What is a window of opportunity for learning a foreign language? Scientists agree that the best age is 0-9 years old. The growing brain is like a sponge that absorbs all the sounds, words, and grammatical structures effortlessly and naturally. "This book comes at the perfect time to open up the conversation about the type of education we want for our children, how we can educate them, how we intend to broaden our horizons even if it means an extra effort for us as parents" (p. 17) - the authors of "Bilingual is better" explain.

The effects of foreign language on brain functioning, memory, problem-solving, creativity, and concentration.

The recent break-through discoveries in the field of neuroscience led to many research studies on the effects of the second language on brain functions. The results are fascinating!  Researches report significantly efficient brain functioning, enhanced language skills in a native language, memory, problem-solving skills, creativity, and concentration. Bilingual kids had higher SAT scores, which is nice. But how about quicker thinking and better decisions made as an adult?

In their book, Soto and Flores have described some of the studies to show that "bilingualism is better for your brain" (p. 68).

Which language to choose as a second language? The book is written from "two Latina Moms" perspective. If your choice is Spanish, you could find a lot of historical facts and modern views on the role of Spanish in America. Some other popular languages are German, French, Chinese, Russian, Italian. I guess, when considering a choice of a language, many factors are in the picture: parents' ability to speak a second language, cultural heritage, the resources available locally at a time, the popularity of any given language.

Challenges in learning a second language.

I think it is very sad that kids are about 14 years old when they start on a foreign language! This is way too late for the brain to start. That's why so many of us fear a foreign language! I asked my son's friends when they were 16-17 about their experience with a foreign language in high school. The responses were: "The most difficult subject I've ever had", "I hate it", "This is the only one subject I could never get a good grade at no matter how hard I tried", and so on.

That's why I've decided to offer a second language for my daughter. Doesn't matter which level we'd accomplish. At least, she'll get the experience that will help her at school and her future life. Of course, it is all about finding the resources and opportunities to speak a foreign language. The authors of "Bilingual is better" name dual immersion program at school as the first option in learning a foreign language, as well as offer many more tips on finding the learning resources.


There are many discussions available on the topic. I found this post by All Done Monkey very helpful and inspirational: Leanna: "Raising bilingual kids is a learning process".

As for the book featured here: "Just think about it, they have no idea of the gift you are giving them and of the incredible ways it will manifest as benefits in their lives, and the best part is they can't even complain or argue against it... yet." (p. 116).

What are your thoughts? Please, leave a comment - I'd be very interested to read any views and opinions!

It's my pleasure to join these great co-hosts of "Mama's Best Parenting Books" project. Please, be sure to come and check out the best parenting books of their choice!
The Explosive Child (B-Inspired Mama)
Wiring Kids for Success in Life (Trilingual Mama)
The Contented Toddler Years + Routines: The Contented Little Me Says 'Why' (Words n Needles)
Discipline Without Distress (One Time Through)
Mom's House, Dad's House + Parenting Through Divorce (Lemon Lime Adventures)
Positive Discipline A-Z + 5 Tips for Positive Discipline Parenting (Look! We're Learning!)
Real Boys (The Jenny Evolution)
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (Dirt & Boogers)
Smart Parenting for Smart Kids (Planet Smarty Pants)
Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World - A Parenting Book About Teaching Kids to Serve (This Reading Mama)
Foreign Language for Preschoolers (Camilla and Roman)
Awakening Children's Minds and Raising the Emotionally Intelligent Child - Emotionally Intelligent Parenting (Line Upon Line Learning)
Potty Train in a Weekend (Words n Needles)
The Out-of-Sync Child - The Ultimate Sensory Processing Disorder Resource (Sensory Activities for Kids)
12 More Books for Moms (Teach Beside Me)

Monday, July 28, 2014

There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish

There was an old pirate who swallowed a fish

The exciting summer pirate theme - there is a lot to learn and explore for the first time for our 32 months old: pirates, travelling by sea, ships and parts of a ship, using maps, a treasure chest, and more. Our book of the months is "There was an old pirate who swallowed a fish" by Jennifer Ward and Steve Gray.


We found several great pirate books suitable for 2-3 year olds. "There was an old pirate who swallowed a fish" is the best one to introduce the new vocabulary for the pirate theme in the easy and fun way. Funny clear illustrations are very engaging! The pirate's belly keeps growing while he is keeping ingesting stuff. What is around him? Fish, bird, gold, chest, gold, sails, plunk, ship... "Why did he swallow it? I don't know."

Pirate Ship - Children's Museum, Charleston, SC

We are lucky to find great pirate related things and places to explore hands-on. The best ever of them all is the pirate ship at the Children's Museum in Charleston, SC. Camilla was able to run around a giant pirate ship dressed up like a pirate.


The details of the ship are very impressive. Camilla spent so much time at the ship that she didn't see much of the rest of the museum.


The treasure chest is full of giant foam Lego blocks, the plunk is held by a spring at one side, you can catch fish and see a map through the looking glass, make a knot and operate the lever.


 There is a lot to explore!


We found Peppa Pig Treasure Hunt episode the best introduction to maps and a treasure hunt. After watching it several times, we made up our own treasure hunts outside and on the table with our pirate themed small world using simple maps. The video can be found here: Peppa Pig Treasure Hunt

This post is a part of Poppins Book Nook - a book club that goes live on the last Monday of each months. The exciting theme for this month is "Ye Old Pirates!" You can find our previous books and activities here:
The Runaway Bunny
Little Blue Truck
The Little Speckled Hen
Sensory Play with Quiet Bunny

Ye Old Pirates!


I hope you enjoy following a group of these wonderful bloggers - hosts of Poppins Book  Nook!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

 Poppins Book Nook Pirate Plunder Giveaway!
Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers
a chance to win a brand new storybook
that ties in with our theme for the month.
This month we are partnering with Jennifer Altman an Usborne consultant to bring one lucky entrant a chance to win a copy of either the Pirate's Handbook (recommended for 8 years old and up) or Pirate Stories for Little Children (recommended for ages under 8 years old)books. One of these books is sure to add to your pirate fun!

 
 The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Prizes will be issued by Jennifer Altman who is an Usborne consultant. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Clip art by: Melon Headz

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Party Time! A Mud Bowl - Fruit Punch.

Germany against Argentina, World Cup 2014, the final game!

It was exciting several weeks as we explored the wonderful German culture hands-on - toddler style! Every time Germany played a game, we offered activities related to some aspect of German culture. And here is the BIG DAY - the final post for the final game. GO, GERMANY!


Of course, we are partying today and getting ready for the game full of surprises tomorrow: this World Cup was full of surprises and unexpected results!

The best player of the World Cup!

Miroslav Klose is a forward for the national German team. He is 36, got married in 2004 and have 2 kids: Noah and Luan. He is currently Germany's all time top scorer with 71 goals. According to google, his salary was 2.1 million EUR in 2012.

But here is the main point: he is the best! With his last perfect goal against Brazil, he has overtaken Ronaldo! Miroslav Klose is the World Cup all time top scorer with 17 goals!

Does he look like
the mighty German pirate, Klaus Stortebeker?


“It’s a hugely emotional thing for me but people who know me will realize that my focus is already completely on Argentina, 100%,” said Klose in his interview to The Guardian.

Schlammbowle: A Mud Bowl

We are celebrating the final game with a fun Mud Bowl! This delicious punch brings lots of fun to any party. I thought it's an exact match for this occasion: it is made in no time, looks bright and brings people together, and best when all your creativity is used in process.

Choose your favorite fruits (fresh or canned). I froze berries covered with water in a Bundt cake pan. The ring of berries is a decoration all by itself. When the ring starts to melt in a drink, it slowly adds flavor to a drink changing the taste over time.


Make a mix of your favorite juices, add it to a punch bowl with the ring just before serving. Cover with ice-cream or sherbet.

Add mineral water or lemon-lime soda. Serve the bubbling solution with a ladle. Everybody's attention and smiles - guaranteed!


Explore Germany

If you live in this country or planning a trip there, you are very lucky to visit and experience the great places and things around. If travelling to Germany is not on the agenda, here are several exciting places to visit now!

Visit a city of Munich, the capital of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany. You can find beautiful and inspiring pictures of Munich here: World Culture for Kids: Munich, Germany.  Featured: Marienplatz is the heart of Munich. Centuries ago, this place was only a crossing of roads. A group of monks decided to start their tiny village here with the name of "apud Munichen" (with the monks).


Or maybe you'd like to stroll through the countryside instead? How about a tour through the town of Heidelberg? Please, visit Around Heidelberg via Mama. Papa. Bubba. They had a great family vacation and shared their lovely pictures with us.


Learn about German traditions and how they influenced the world's culture! Kid World Citizen made a lovely review of Christmas in Germany. Did you know that the Christmas tree was born in Germany? And what with these cute boots in front of the fireplace?


Make cookies with your family and friends! These Spritzgebaeck Cookies by Glittering Muffins can bring back your best childhood memories and some smiles and warm hugs with them. Don't forget to deep them in chocolate for added fun!


This post is part of World Cup for Kids project. You can read more about it here: World Cup for Kids
Monday, June 16 Germany - Portugal
The post can be found here: Invitation to explore and build: the Brandenburg Gate
Saturday, June 21 Germany - Ghana
The post can be found here: Bremen Town Musicians
Thursday, June 26 Germany - USA
The post can be found here: German Engineering. Playmobil.
Monday, June 30 Germany - Algeria
The post can be found here: Playing with Bubbles
Friday, July 4 Germany - France
The post can be found here: Dance, Sing, and Create with Gummy Bears
Tuesday, July 8 Germany - Brazil
The post can be found here: Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a mighty German pirate.
Sunday, July 13 Germany - Argentina
The post can be found here: Party Time! Mud Bowl - Fruit Punch.
It is always exciting to explore the world and cultures. Here is one of the places to visit: Planet Called Home: In our classroom, explore the world and culture, save your planet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a Mighty German Pirate.

Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a Mighty German Pirate.

We are having a month of fun with pirates in July! This week, we had an introduction to pirates and pirates' symbols, read a book, started watching "Jake and the Neverland Pirates", and tried to make pirates' hats to dress up Camilla's dolls. More pirate - themed posts are coming!

Klaus Stortebeker

Klaus Stortebeker is the most famous German pirate.  Many myths and legends surround this real historical figure. The name Stortebeker can be translated as "empty the mug in one gulp" which he could perform really well! Of course, it's like a 2 gallon mug we are talking about. The masts of the ship contained a core of gold. When the pirate was finally caught, he made a deal with the mayor of Hamburg. The mayor promised to realease as many of Stortebeker's companions as he could walk past after being beheaded. Stortebeker's body arose and walked past 11 pirates! Stortebeker memorial in Hamburg (source: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_St%C3%B6rtebeker).


The theatrical performance at the Stortebeker festival in Raiswiek was a huge success. Source: obs/Stortebeker Festspiele GmbH & Co. KG

Pirate Pete

We scored an excellent book as an intro to pirates: "Pirate Pete" by Kim Kennedy. The repetitive pattern and lots of humor and surprises - our family is in love with this book (Yes, Daddy found it more fun to read then Camilla).


All the main pirate's attributes are in the book with the excellent engaging illustrations. Pirate Pete and his parrot stole a treasure map from the Queen and set off to see. They visited Candy Island, Clover Island, Sleepy Island, Dragon Island, and Mermaid Island, and were finally caught by the Queen and her men.

Pirate's Hat

We made 3 different types of pirate's hats for play. All 3 are quick and easy - nothing fancy. For the first hat, I used the leftovers from our 4th of July party. Everybody called it "patriotic hat". Oh well, we'll do better next time. This one is definitely nice, easy to make, and sturdy.


I used a plastic bowl in the center, cut two plates in half, and stapled 3 of the halves to the bowl and  to each other at the ends. For the safety, I put clear packaging tape over the sharp edges of the staples.


Here is the second hat. It can be used as it is, or you can shape the top more.


I bent the top to make nice folding lines. Then, I pushed the triangle inside the hat following the lines.

 

The third hat. I drew the shape free hand on construction paper and cut it out. Then I traced it on the second sheet to make the second part. Camilla decorated the parts and I stapled them together.


It can be done with the black paper. I offered Camilla white to give her more options to choose the color. And she did, LOL: one side of the hat is black and red, the other side is pink and blue. She's got herself a unique, one of a kind pirate hat.


This post is a part of cultural hands-on activities for the  World Cup for Kids project.
You can read more about it here: World Cup for Kids
Monday, June 16 Germany - Portugal
The post can be found here: Invitation to explore and build: the Brandenburg Gate
Saturday, June 21 Germany - Ghana
The post can be found here: Bremen Town Musicians
Thursday, June 26 Germany - USA
The post can be found here: German Engineering. Playmobil.
Monday, June 30 Germany - Algeria
The post can be found here: Playing with Bubbles
Friday, July 4 Germany - France
The post can be found here: Dance, Sing, and Create with Gummy Bears
Tuesday, July 8 Germany - Brazil
The post can be found here: Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a mighty German pirate.
Sunday, July 13 Germany - Argentina
The post can be found here: Party Time! Mud Bowl - Fruit Punch.
You can follow us here:
Multicultural Kid Blogs - World Cup for Kids
Pinterest: World Cup for Kids 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gummy Bear Preschool Activities

Gummy Bears are fun looking and excellent for counting and manipulating. Did you know that Gummy Bears are German?


The most impressive king of European forests, a bear was a very popular actor at the markets and festivals circus performances. Hans Riegel, a confectioner from Bonn, was inspired by the circus bears. He created his "Dancing Bear" that was bigger then the gummy bears we know.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy.
Was he?

Hans Riegel's gummy bears (gummibar in German) entertained many generations of kids around the world even when they couldn't dance. Or they couldn't until the last several years. Have you seen the Gummibar - a dancing and singing green gummy bear?



I Am Your Gummy Bear
"Oh, I am a gummy bear.
Yes, I am a gummy bear.
Oh, I am a yummy tummy funny lucky gummy bear."
These lyrics are now famous around the world and translated to 25 languages. The song was written by German composer Christian Schneider, hit YouTube, and quickly spread out as a universal, understood by "young and young at hearts", cheering and hugging cutie.

La La La I Love You
Gummibar is green with blue eyes and one ear missing a piece. He wears orange underpants and white snickers with orange stripes. Moovin' Groovin' Jammin' was discovered and immediately loved by Camilla. Of course,  with fun colors, catchy songs with repetitive lyrics, and engaging videos, it is not a surprise. There are songs for every special occasion and everyday activities.


It's a Great Summer
This is our favorite song today. I made Camilla a play-doh gummy bear as an invitation to play. It worked like a charm! She made her own awesome purple bear.


Then we took our bears to the beach. Bears (and Camilla) had a fun day at the beach which gave me much needed uninterrupted time to get ready for our 4th of July celebration. Awesome!

 
This post is a part of cultural hands-on activities for the  World Cup for Kids project.
You can read more about it here: World Cup for Kids
Monday, June 16 Germany - Portugal
The post can be found here: Invitation to explore and build: the Brandenburg Gate
Saturday, June 21 Germany - Ghana
The post can be found here: Bremen Town Musicians
Thursday, June 26 Germany - USA
The post can be found here: German Engineering. Playmobil.
Monday, June 30 Germany - Algeria
The post can be found here: Playing with Bubbles
Friday, July 4 Germany - France
The post can be found here: Dance, Sing, and Create with Gummy Bears
Tuesday, July 8 Germany - Brazil
The post can be found here: Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a mighty German pirate.
Sunday, July 13 Germany - Argentina
The post can be found here: Party Time! Mud Bowl - Fruit Punch.
You can follow us here:
Multicultural Kid Blogs - World Cup for Kids
Pinterest: World Cup for Kids 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Playing with Bubbles? Playing with Bubbles!!!

We are playing with bubbles this week. Big and small, colorful and strong, and not so much - there is something magical in a process of finding the perfect bubble solution, and a great introduction to chemistry for kids! The basic solution is easy: dish detergent and water. Of course, you can add anything else you can imagine to it; and experiment which ingredient works the best.

While having our chemistry experiments, I thought how true it is to our real world problems: crushing economies.

Here is a funny part: What crushing economies and inflations have to do with the bubble solution?


Economic Bubble in Simple Terms

Remember the basic solution? Dish detergent - assets, and liquid - money, are all it takes to create a bubble. The more money (liquidity) is invested in particular asset, the bigger the prices, the bigger is the inflated bubble. Until there is too much liquid in the solution and the bubble burst easily.

Many bubbles that burst too easily too fast are no longer enjoyable by anybody, even if they are attractive and colorful. The prices that normally were regulated by supply and demand of a healthy market are no longer under any control and chaotic.

The crisis occurs!!! Should we discard the solution and start from scratch? Or  "quantitative easing" is still possible? In the picture below, Camilla is scared of the giant bubbles.


Germany warns about global risk of asset bubbles

We continue our exploration of the German culture. Hence, the post about one of the biggest problems in the modern world. Hence, the warning from Wolfgang Schaeuble, German finance minister. Germany warns about global risk of asset bubbles

"Global central banks' efforts to inject more liquidity into the financial system are feeding asset bubbles — which could eventually burst."

"We have too much liquidity in financial markets and should not resort to large scale bond purchases."

"The low interest rates in developed economies are pushing investors into riskier markets including real estate." Risky investments artificially inflate prices and create bubbles.


These warning are not new! Historically, "Germany has long been aggressive on combating inflation and cautious about big stimulus programs."

What not to love in this logic?

Chemistry for toddlers: Honey bubbles.

Making your own bubble solution is not only fun, it teaches kids the basic chemistry! I was unsure if I should "waist time" on making my own solution and so happy I did!

Our Honey Bubble recipe:

1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup dish detergent
2 tbsp. honey
I found Dawn dish detergent that was NOT Ultra Dawn. We made the solution at night and let it sit over night.


This solution brings lots of fun! The bubbles are different sizes and shapes. About half of them stayed inflated when on the floor.


Giant bubbles floated through the air very slowly. Camilla was scared of them at first, but then had a blast making and exploring them! Blowing into the wand is a great speech therapy exercise.


We also made our own wands from chenille stems. Exploring different shapes of wands in action and customizing them to your needs doubled the kids' fun!


This post is a part of cultural hands-on activities for the  World Cup for Kids project.
You can read more about it here: World Cup for Kids
Monday, June 16 Germany - Portugal
The post can be found here: Invitation to explore and build: the Brandenburg Gate
Saturday, June 21 Germany - Ghana
The post can be found here: Bremen Town Musicians
Thursday, June 26 Germany - USA
The post can be found here: German Engineering. Playmobil.
Monday, June 30 Germany - Algeria
The post can be found here: Playing with Bubbles
Friday, July 4 Germany - France
The post can be found here: Dance, Sing, and Create with Gummy Bears
Tuesday, July 8 Germany - Brazil
The post can be found here: Pirates' hats. Stortebeker - a mighty German pirate.
Sunday, July 13 Germany - Argentina
The post can be found here: Party Time! Mud Bowl - Fruit Punch.
You can follow us here:
Multicultural Kid Blogs - World Cup for Kids
Pinterest: World Cup for Kids