We got a little behind on our 30 Days to Hands on Play because of our trip out of town. Actually, we didn’t get to do the activity on Wednesday (when we were home) because we were busy playing with our friends (and packing). But we’ve spent the last two days playing catch up. Here are some of the things we’ve done.
Hunt (day 16)
The last couple of weeks we’ve been playing with some colorful buttons and bug erasers that I have and in the course of that play they have spread themselves out all over the house. So when I saw that we were supposed to have our kids go on a hunt, I decided it was a perfect activity that didn’t require any set up from me! And the bonus was that I wouldn’t have to do it myself before family comes on Thursday. Score! It was actually a lot of fun. I pretended like the buttons and erasers (we hunted each separately) were alive and we had to sneak up on them or they might run away. They also attempted to escape a time or two. When we did the bug erasers there were done finding all of them before they were done playing, so I threw some out when they weren’t looking and they had a blast pouncing on them. Definitely a sneaky way of making clean up fun!
Reading Tent (Day 17)
I didn’t actually make a tent. I have in the past, but just didn’t have the inclination today. But we did read quite a few books. Skippyjon Jones: lost in spice, What is Thanksgiving, Alice in Wonderland (Jon Scieska version), Baa Baa Bedtime, and several others I can’t think of at the moment. Of course, reading throughout the day is nothing unusual in this house, so I’m not sure if I should count it. But for the purpose of catching up, I’m gonna. Sue me. 😉
Kids in the Kitchen (Day 18)
This morning the kids and I made chocolate cake (from a box). I got all the ingredients together and let them take turns putting them into the mixing bowl.
I made a mistake, though. I should have waited until the ingredients were all added before putting the bowl on the mixer. As a result, their aim needed to be a bit more exact than it would have had to be otherwise. So Lucas spilled water all over the counter. But it was easily cleaned up and we moved on. I think the most nerve wracking for me, though, was allowing them to crack the eggs. This is the first time they’ve ever done it. Their individual methods were very telling of their personalities. Lucas smashed the egg on the side of the bowl and threw the whole thing in, shell and all (thankfully, the shell came out easily and didn’t leave anything behind). Kyla, on the other hand, was so timid about cracking the egg that the tiny little taps she attempted did nothing towards breaking the shell. I helped her to crack it, then she opened the shell and poured the egg into the bowl without an shell.
I had to let them lick the beaters, of course.
And what kind of mom would I be if I had them help me make chocolate cake first thing in the morning and didn’t let them have it for breakfast? LOL
Making Music (Day 19)
I’ll admit we haven’t done this one purposefully. We make music with everything in our house all the time, but I’d forgotten that this was one of the suggestions when I was trying to cram it all in the last two days. However, I can tell you that Kyla used straws as drum sticks (as she often does) on more than one occasion both yesterday and today. And when I told them they rocked, we all played air guitars and sang about big hair (if your kids watch Fresh Beat Band, you probably know what I’m talking about). Also, the whole weekend, N has been playing a song for them that they love to sing along with (and ask for over and OVER again). I’m not sure what the actual words are, but N taught them “Sayin’ Ay-oh, I’m a LEGO!” Lucas is particularly enthusiastic about this song.
Yes, music is a big part of our every day activity. As a matter of fact (now, don’t tell the twins), I believe Santa may be bringing a few musical instruments to our house this year. He just has to figure out which ones.
Paint (Day 20)
Okay, I might have cheated a little with this one. I don’t mind paint. We water paint frequently and we’ve painted with finger paints a few times, but always outside and naked (remember, I’m pretty twitchy about messy stuff). But I just didn’t want to deal with the clean up this time around. So I took an idea I saw on Pinterest (along with a few books I’ve read) and put paint into a plastic zip bag and taped it to the window. I let them pick which two colors they wanted and Kyla picked blue and red while Lucas picked green and white. We tried to direct Lucas to colors that would blend into a new color, but he was insistent. At first they weren’t sure what to do with it, but after I played with it, squishing it around in the bag and “writing” on the window they started to join in. They both continued to go back to it throughout the day. Kyla did put a small hole in one bag with her fingernail, so I covered the whole bag with packing tape (the same tape I used to put it on the window) and felt much more secure.
It was really neat to see the light shine through the colors, especially where we would “write.” It didn’t work nearly as well when it got dark.
Party (Day 21)
Yesterday’s suggestion was to throw a party. I was weak on this one, but I did give it a try. Kyla had been dry all day long, so for dinner I stuck a candle in her chicken nugget to celebrate. She thought it was great (and Lucas was motivated to do the same the next day, so bonus!).
I sang “For she’s a really big girl. For she’s a really big girl. For she’s a really big girl, who stayed dry all day,” as I brought the plate to the table. It was totally unexpected by everyone (even N, who had not been in on the plan). I wish I’d put more thought into it, though. Because that was the gist of our “party.” Looking back (and I may have to do this some time) it would have been fun to have the kids in on the party plans. Have them make “invitations” and decorations. We could have made a huge deal out of it. The more I think about it, the more I want to do it up big for them. I think it will be a good motivator for staying dry (which both Kyla and Lucas did today. Woot!)
Investigation (Day 22)
Today’s suggestion (though by the time I post this, it will probably be yesterday’s) was to investigate something. Some question your child has, or a science experiment of some sort. I had no ideas, so I followed a link to Kids Science Experiments and got an idea. I decided to have fun investigating “Float” or “Sink.” I had the kids gather objects from around the house and I filled a bucket with water. I placed it on a blanket in the middle of the living room (bravery, my friend!) and we talked about what the words mean (though I’m pretty sure they didn’t listen and just wanted to splash in the water). I showed them how to place an object into the water and asked them “Did it float or sink?” Every time, their answer was float. Even when an object sank. But they still had fun. I tried having them put the objects into two piles, one for float and one for sink, but they weren’t interested. They just wanted to put everything in and out of the water. I do think they were sort of getting it. And even N thought it was neat and joined us for a bit.
This wasn’t any of the suggested activities, it was just one I came up with on my own. I’ve seen lots of Tot School blogs talking about using tongs to transfer objects. I’ve been wanting tongs for a while now, but have yet to feel justified in making the purchase. I do have some on the kids’ wish list, so hopefully someone will buy them for Christmas. Anyway, Kyla found a chip clip somewhere and was playing with it. I asked her if she could pick up her sock with it. After a few tries, she did. And was SO proud of herself. 🙂 So she and Lucas picked things up with chip clips for a little while. Then I got to thinking about the cheater chop sticks we’ve got in the back of a kitchen drawer and pulled those, the egg cartons, and some pompoms out. Instant hit! I’ll admit, I’ve attempted to use the chop sticks with them before, but clearly it was too difficult at the time. This time, it kept them busy for quite some time and they returned to it later.
Overall, I’d say we’ve done quite a lot of hands on playing the last couple of days. Tomorrow I hope to get back on track. The kids and I have both really enjoyed being involved in this challenge (even if they don’t know they are! 😉 ).