Sunday, 28 August 2011

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Blackberry picking and Birthday gifts

There are two reasons why I haven't been posting much lately.  The first is that we are really just laying back and enjoying the last days of summer.  The second is that my husband has become slightly addicted to playing poker on Facebook and has been hogging the laptop!

Anyhoo, last week our longtime family friend Uncle P came to visit us from England.  L really enjoyed playing with him since he is up for almost anything.

Here they are picking blackberries.  L amazes me with her dedication when blackberry picking.  She will stay out there for hours hunting down all of the 'low' blackberries.  She was the same last year.  It also surprises me that she doesn't eat them all! 

 After we pick them we wash them and freeze them on cookie sheets.  Once they are frozen I put them into Ziploc bags.  Perfect for smoothies etc.  I love free food!!!
 L is invited to a birthday party on Saturday.  My philosophy on gifts is that the person giving them has to be directly involved in the whole gift process.  We decided to make a little memory game for L's friend using rocks we found at the beach.  We had a great time trying to find round flat rocks together.  I painted on the little beach themed pictures and L painted the two rocks at the top.  We then modge podged them and put them in this little basket.
We tested out the game a couple of times to make sure it worked and may just have to make one for ourselves!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Summer of Science Part Two

Lately we've been learning about matter and how it can change.

I introduced L to the three states of matter with this tray.  We talked about how matter is anything that takes up space and how it can be in three different states.  Once we discussed this L looked around the house to first find solids and then liquids and breathed in lots of gas (air : ).  It's wonderful to see the delight in a child when they first discover something new and the whole world opens up to them.  L was excitedly running around the house pointing to things and saying "my shampoo is a liquid, milk is a liquid....."

We then talked about how some things can be all three states at different times.  We used water for our example.  L is examining a glass with water in it, ice cubes and the steam from boiling water.

We've also been talking about reversible change and irreversible change.  L could see and experiment with how water can change into ice when frozen and then melt back into water when heated, which is an excellent example of reversible change.
We saw an example of irreversible change when we did the "heat" experiment with apples.

We also did an experiment on decay and talked about how all living things will eventually die then decay and turn back into soil.  This led to some interesting discussions as you can imagine but I tried to keep it light and scientific.
We took a large piece of watermelon that had been in the fridge for a while and did an observation of it.  L drew a picture of it in her science journal and we dated it.
Here it is a week later.

Here is L doing her second observation in her journal and noting the changes.  She didn't last very long out there as there were too many wasps and she retreated to the kitchen periodically going out to "observe" from the deck.
We left it out there until it was so small and shrivelled that we just dug it into the soil.

Our weather has been the pits this summer so it's been and ideal time to do all of our science projects.  Before I found Sid the Science Kid I have to admit that I was really unsure of how to introduce science to L but the show has made it super simple and tons of fun.  I also have a wonderful book of 101 Science experiments that we will move on to soon.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

And the winners are.....

Thank you to everyone who entered the Australia classified cards giveaway.
The three lucky winners (picked very randomly by my husband) are

Natasha from Leptir, Sandra and Homeschool @sg.  Congratulations and I will try and contact you or you can email me at to get your classified cards.

To the rest of you who entered don't worry as I will be doing similar giveaways for all of my Continent Boxes as they are finished.  Next up is Antarctica.  Can't say exactly when I have it finished but hopefully sometime soon!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Australia Activites Part Two

Although we did these Australia activities ages ago I am only now getting around to posting about them.  You can see my first post with more Australia activities here and my Australia Continent Box post here.

I found these wonderful books at the library.  The first Sun Mother Wakes the World is a retelling of an Aboriginal creation myth with gorgeous artwork.  The second book Are we there yet? by Alison Lester was a huge hit and a must in my opinion for anyone studying Australia.  It is about a family who sets out in their camper and travels the whole way around Australia.  L was super excited to see the same pictures as her landmark cards and we looked up some others on google images to see the exact same picture.   

This is a picture of the materials I used to present the didgeridoo, Australian music and Aboriginal artwork to my music class.  To read more about it and for the link to True Blue Wonders see this post.

We also made our own boomerangs.  Your can find the template here.  I traced the template onto a cereal box and cut it out and then L used it to trace her boomerang and cut it out.  We decorated them and then tried them out.

These were a super fun outside activity and I would recommend trying different thicknesses of cardboard.

Included in the continent box are a few recipes.  One is for Lamingtons which is basically a few day old cake covered in chocolate and then dipped in coconut.  We tried out a bit more of a healthy option with bananas on a skewer and dark chocolate.  We LOVED them!  Warning this is a messy project but very tasty!
If you are working on your Continent Boxes and would like to win my classified cards you can enter to win here.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Australia Continent Box and Giveaway (Finally!!)

Okay the Australia Continent Box is pretty much done and I thought it was high time I posted about it since L and I finished covering it months ago.

So here we go.  This is the simple box which I found at a craft store and painted brown.  Eventually I will put a sand paper cut out of the continent on the top as well.

Inside we have four fabric folders of classified cards.  These are landmarks, plants, animals, and people.  The cards also have short definitions on the back.  I was debating on how to put the names of each category on the front of the fabric folders but luckily I learned in my Assistants course that the best thing to do is to have a card at the front with a few pictures of whatever the folder is about.  This way the folders can be used for readers and non-readers.  Since these Continent Boxes are ultimately intended for the classroom I am going to add them in.

Here is a picture of more of the contents.  At the top we have a tea towel with Aboriginal artwork and an Australian flag sticker.

Below we have some postcards of Aboriginal artwork, animal magnets, Australian coins, a wood carving of an Aboriginal boy, animal stickers, two magnets of Australian scenes in the shape of Australia, and an embarrassingly upside down felt cut out of Australia.

Here we have a map of the different states, some recipes, a tiny pewter koala with baby, Vegemite, a toy koala with boomerang, a real boomerang and the boomerang template.  I'm also still working on a CD with all of our Australian music.  We have the wonderful books from the Rebecca Johnson Australia series.

It's amazing how life works sometimes.  At the exact time we were doing our Australia unit I went to a small import shop that was going out of business.  To my delight they had this didgeridoo on for a ridiculously cheap price and I couldn't resist.  It was perfect timing to bring into my music class and have them all try it out.  At home we've all been learning through Youtube videos!
I've also pictured the learning materials that came with the True Blue Wonders package.

Wow looking at these pictures I'm amazed at how much I was able to fit into that tiny box!!  A huge thank you to our wonderful bloggy friends from Australia (you know who you are!) for sending us some of the cool things in the above pictures.

So now for the giveaway.   I've decided to share all of my files (via email) for my classified cards, definitions, pictures and recipes with three lucky winners.  All you need to do is leave a comment below.  You will get three extra entries if you blog or Facebook about this giveaway and leave a separate comment.  The giveaway will be open until Monday August 8th.  Good luck!
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