21 February 2013

Threading and Patterning.

Today we started with a couple of cut out cards Miss 3 brought home from Kindy this week. She wanted to stick them together. I suggested that she punch some holes in the side and turn it into a threading. She suggested threading beads on and started pointing out the patterns she was making so I decided to introduce her to Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,...) and mirror patterning to add to her patterning, she finished it all off with some extra enhancements glued and stuck on top.

The result doesn't look all that impressive, but when you think about all the design decisions, fine motor threading exercises, counting, patterning, sewing lessons and a little bit of semi sidewalk maths thrown in, not to mention it was a very pleasant hour spent in the making, it was actually a super activity.

Paint Powder and a Squirty Bottle

Ever since seeing something like this on Playschool, I've really wanted to try it. Such a simple and fun activity. Get some powdered paint (we had tempura paint) sprinkle it on the paper and squirt with water. Hang it up to dry. Fun!

Note: This is messy, so a great one for outside.

10 February 2013

Home made reader

Early readers are fantastic for helping kids learn to read. But once they've read them, they've read them. I thought I could write my own reader for my daughter who is starting to read.

I called the book after her.

She adored it. Not only was it all simple words she could work out by herself (or with a little help), it was about her. What more could you want?

When choosing words I was careful to try and pick words that were simple to phonetically sound out like run and jump, rather than longer words that would leave her stumped and not feeling like she could read.

I used 2 pieces of A4 paper, cut in half, and folded in half (so each page was A6 size).

The text goes:

Miss 3
I am Miss 3.
I can run.
I can jump.
I can hug.
I can dance.
I can sing.
I am Miss 3.
I am great.

It took about 4 minutes to make, and was worth every second from the smile she gave when she'd finished reading it.

08 February 2013

Bejewelled Candle Holder

A lovely little activity. Use air-dry clay to make a candle holder and then stick jewels on using PVA glue. 

We use a candle to encourage the kids to eat well at dinner (eat their vegies, use good manners etc.). Those who eat well get a turn to blow the candle out.

03 February 2013

The Science of Air

I saw this experiment here and it's one of the best science experiments I've done with the kids (and beautifully described too). Mr 5 in particular kept on telling me how cool it was.

The gist of the instructions is to take an old plastic bottle and put a hole in the side, put a straw in the hole pointing upwards and seal the hole with blue-tac. Have a chat with the kids about gas/air and what's inside the bottle. Fill the bottle with water (until it's at risk of coming out the straw). Blow up the balloon and talk about what's inside the balloon, and then put the balloon onto the bottle and watch the water squirt out.

Not only did the kids seem to get the talk about air, they loved everything about the experiment. They filled the bottle up again and again and again. Then Miss 3 asked to put a second straw in, so we did that and talked about water pressure. And of course plenty of flower petals and leaves were added (because they were there, and to see what would happen - which wasn't a great deal).

A perfect bit of summer science.

Lottie Doll Dress Pattern

I recently came across the Lottie dolls by Arklu. Miss 3 is just hitting the barbie phase, and I was a bit shocked to really look at a barbie again for the first time since I was a child, and be confronted with THAT body shape. Not that I think I was psychologically damaged by playing with Barbies as a kid, but the Lottie doll seemed like a very nice alternative. So I got her one. 

She liked it, but to be honest it wasn't pink enough (I got the one with the dress sense I wish Miss 3 liked, not the ultra pink dress sense she has). I could see she would be much more loved if she had some pink changes of clothes.

But I can't find clothes for her without buying a whole extra doll!

So I made this pattern. It's my first go at pattern making, and so I'm very pleased it worked.

Click HERE to download the free pattern. It's designed to print to A4.

The steps I used to sew it together:
1. Sew shoulders (A and B) together using a stitch that stops the fraying.
2. Turn over and hem the arm holes (where the dotted lines are)
3. Hem the neck and bottom edge of dress, and also the seams down the back of the dress.
4. Sew sides of dress together, stopping at arm holes, using a stitch that stops the fraying.
5. Sew on a rectangle of velcro (hook and loop) to the middle of the two back flaps to keep the dress closed.

That's it!

The dress should slip on over the front of the doll a bit like a painting smock and be fastened with the velcro at the back. This way it's easy enough for Miss 3 to dress Lottie by herself.

Lottie Doll Dress Pattern

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