Saturday, 24 August 2013

I'm rolling down a volcano!!

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Kelowna was getting to visit Mount Boucherie which is an extinct stratovolcano.  L was really looking forward to it and we tried to explain to her ahead of time that it wouldn't look like her idea of a volcano as it was millions of years old and extinct. 
On one side of the mountain is this beautiful winery called Mission Hill winery.  L couldn't contain her excitement at be able to visit a real volcano until we got there and then couldn't hide her disappointment!  She couldn't grasp the fact that there was a winery on top of the volcano!!
However she soon got over it when she realised there was a wonderful grassy hill to roll down.
 All we could hear was " Mommy I'm rolling down a volcanoe!"
Here she is doing a cartwheel.  She also did some highland dancing while she was there.  Dancing, cartwheeling and rolling down an extinct volcano can officially be checked off her bucket list lol!
One a side note when we arrived we asked the girl booking tours if there was any information about the volcano.  She asked what we would like to know so my dad asked her when it last erupted.  She looked at us seriously and said I think about 60 years ago.  Well that was the end of our questions and my parents and I had a good laugh for the rest of the day!!
It was an amazing view and so romantic.  I for one would love to go back there some day sans kids to have a romantic dinner and sample the wine....

Friday, 16 August 2013

Rocks-Classification and the Rock Cycle

Naturally after learning about volcanoes our conversations turned to rocks and their different forms.  The Internet is an amazing thing and I can see why so many people are homeschooling now.  In just a few seconds you can find an infinite amount of information, activities and handouts on any given subject!  Amazing!
We started with this cool rock cycle activity.  We grated some different colored crayons into piles.
For the sedimentary rock L layered the colored shavings on top of each other on some tin foil and then folded the sides up into a little package.  We both applied as much pressure as we could.

For metamorphic we made a little tin foil boat and L put the shavings into it.  We dipped it into a cup of boiling water for about 10 seconds and then folded up the tin foil again and pressed on it.
To make the igneous rock we once again put the shavings in a little boat but this time L stirred them around until they were completely melted.  We then folded up the tin foil and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
These were the results.  A truly effective way to demonstrate the rock cycle.  Thank you to all of those bloggers that share their brilliant ideas!

While we were perusing our local book store I stumbled upon an absolute gem.  I found pamphlet called A Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles all about the pebbles on Vancouver Island.  It has pictures of all of the different rocks and their classifications.  It is brilliant!
We took a stroll to the beach and collected our specimens.
 Once we got home L classified them using the pamphlet.  She also did the Mohs scratch test on some of them with a screwdriver to check hardness. 
 On our travels this summer we were lucky enough to visit a wonderful rock and gem shop with little caves that held gems that L could pick out and put in a little bag.  She was able to match them to the card that came along with them.
 I think a rock tumbler is now on the birthday list!!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Magazine bead necklaces-the perfect gift!

L was invited to a friends birthday a few weeks ago and we were trying to think of a present we could make.  We came up with these beads made of magazines.
Super easy to make we just cut long triangles from different pages from a magazine, rolled them tightly around a wooden skewer and glued the ends.  It took L a couple of tries to get them right and then she was a bead making machine!

 After the beads were finished I covered them in Modge Podge to make them sturdier and give them a bit of a glossy look.  We left them on toothpicks and let them dry in the sun.
L found a necklace shell on the beach with a hole in the top and threaded the beads onto some cord.
 Here is L modelling the finished product.  We also made one for her auntie's birthday and are hoping to make matching ones for ourselves.  We have been combing the beach for more necklace shells.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Making a fairy house in the fairy woods

One of the things on L's summer to do list was to build a fairy house with mommy.  We started collecting items for the house at the beginning of the summer and we planned a day when Granny could look after LJ for the morning.
We had a beautiful morning so we packed up our snacks and some fairy house materials.  Once we got to the fairy woods we had to find just the perfect spot.  Not too close to the path but close enough that hikers with sharp eyes could spot something magical.

Here is our fairy house nestled against a tree.
 Some easy chairs with a little coffee table on the first floor along with a table for entertaining outside.
 A lovely shell bed with soft moss and a leaf blanket to keep warm.  A little ladder to climb up, of course they could just fly!
 L putting in the final touches.  She was very concerned with making them a dancing ring off to the left as well as a bathroom which is on the far right in the next picture.
 It's hard to see but if you look closely to the left of the ladder there is even a little swing for them to enjoy.
It's been several weeks since we made this fairy house and we only returned to see how it was doing a few days ago with some friends.  To our delight it looks as if someone had been playing with it.  Of course it could have been the fairies!!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Little J 14 months

Summer is such a wonderful time to be 1!  Little J is taking full advantage of the beautiful weather and exploring and experiencing the world around him with tremendous enthusiasm and joy.
Every Day Life
He loves to be one of the big kids and just jumps right in to join in the action.
Little J adores the water just like his sister.
Checking out the baby piglets at the petting zoo.
Practical Life
 Little J is at the age where he is understanding so much and is able to follow simple directions.  He likes to take books out of the book basket for me to read and then will return them.  Now that he can walk confidently and can carry things at the same time we have started "putting things back"  We will start to put the stacking boxes back into each other and I can ask him to go and find the missing ones in the kitchen. 
We keep his shoes on a shelf in his bedroom and if I tell him we are going out and ask him to get his shoes he will get them and bring them to the living room and start trying to put them on.
Little J likes to help to unload the dishwasher and will pull out the plates and cutlery from the bottom drawer and hand them to you.  He also enjoys pulling the clean diapers out of the bag and handing them to me as well as the laundry.
This guy is a born cleaner.  If he sees a sponge or cloth he will get to work wiping.  He is also obsessed with the broom and will sweep the deck and kitchen any chance he gets.
He is using the watering can to water the bushes and flower pots on the deck as well.
We've come to the conclusion that Little J has a shoe fetish : )  Any shoes he sees he will try on and if successful will try to walk around in them.  He also loves to dress himself.
On the shelf-activities
I have introduced a mat to Little J.  I have two activities that are on a higher shelf which we do on a mat now.  He cannot access these himself and we have been so busy that we haven't done them much but I think this is the way we will go with the mat until Sweetpea returns.
Putting pieces of spaghetti into a sugar container.  I like this activity because it not only works on fine motor control but also has a great control of error.  If he is not very gentle the stick will break.  Little J enjoys putting in one stick and then taking it out again until it breaks small enough to drop into the container.
Lacing chopsticks.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be too early in introducing this one but he got it right away.  
Brings me back. It seems like yesterday that L was doing the same activity.
Little J has always enjoyed this activity but he surprised me today when has showed me he was able to put the pieces back on the right pegs.  So he can either sort by color or shape now.  I'm guessing a bit of both.  This has inspired me to add more sorting activities to the shelves.

Little J has always been super vocal and loves the sound of his own voice no matter how loud! He is a great communicator and can now say several words:
mama, dada, door, uma(for Granny), ya, eye, keys, doll(for ball), da(for bath),clo(for clock),dog,go(for goat) DO DO DO!!! for bird with a vigorous pointy finger and car.
However the most amazing word that has totally opened up his little word is more!  He has realised he can ask for more and also point to things he wants and say more to get them.  Yes he has also realised that this word can be totally abused!
Car rides are also hilarious as our conversation every time we get in the car goes like this
LJ: mama
Me: Yes LJ
LJ: car
ME: yes there's a car
LJ: mam
Me: yes
LJ: car
This goes on for most of the journey unless he sees a dog, deer or bird.
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