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Stained glass crafts

Here is an easy and fun craft you can do with bits of clear plastic and permanent markers.

I have collected clear plastic trays from fruit and other groceries and yoghurt pot covers for this craft and a massive set of Sharpies was going cheap at supermarket.

To do this you need to draw the outline of your drawing on one side of the plastic and let the child colour on the other side (otherwise the outline will be smudged by other markers).

 

If you are not good at drawing – you can trace over a picture in a colouring book like we did, or just let kids do their own design.

We drew butterflies and glued them to some thin bouncy grass-type sticks and kids were playing with them all day “flying them around”.

Additionally you can do some nature studies and print real butterfly designs to trace and decorate.

Girls couldn’t get enough of this, they’ve drawn on all the plastic bits I’ve collected.

Just make sure you protect your work place because they are permanent markers, and don’t let kids draw on themselves. Good luck!

 

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Spring holidays activities

We had a relaxed and at the same busy spring break. I usually plan a lot over holidays, few different holiday clubs, several outings a week on top of that (I usually get overbooked as there’s so many different interesting activities going on and I just try to fit everything in). But I just felt so exhausted that I didn’t want to go from one thing to another and I felt May can use some breathing space too. So in 2 weeks we only done 1 holiday club and one theatre outing, which was received with great excitement by the kids. Other then that – I have introduced a new word into Mya’s vocabulary. Spontaneous. This is what we were in the past 2 weeks. We did whatever came to us whenever we wanted. I think it worked wonders. Another new word she loves now is “determined”. Or, rather a phrase “small but very determined”. It is from an audio book we took from the library. It is called “Sophie’s snail”. Highly recommend. And it is also in connection to Mya conquering mount Snowdon this weekend. It took her same amount of hours as she the years she has been on Earth. Six hours from the bottom to the top and back down again. Small, but very determined was my girl!

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I have been quiet for a while, not because we haven’t done anything I’d like to share, quite the opposite – I keep taking pictures of everything we do, and I am running out of storage space, but somehow I cannot get round to post anything, I don’t understand what is happening but I just can’t bring myself to do anything at all, a complete drain of energy. Everything seems a chore…

I will post some of our favourites from the past weeks in the next post.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Nature studies

On our rumblings through a nature park with friends we picked up some frogspawn on Sunday. I have never hatched or grown frogs at home before, all I remember from my childhood there were always tons of them in the country house, and a few were always swimming in our water butt (don’t ask me how they were getting there), so I had a chance watching them develop.

I was very happy to have found the frogspawn, so after we got home – I found an empty jar, added some rainwater, some pond weed from the local pond and scoured our home library for books and our toys for frogs.

Here’s our new Nature shelf

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And here are our future froggies on their 4th day

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Some of them are out of their slimey eggs and just floating about, and the eggs are floating about by themselves. I know they are supposed to eat their eggs but that needs to happen before they are out. So either I am misinformed or I accidently forced them out of the eggs while pouring them in, adding water and weed etc. Not sure what to do with empty eggs, leave it or take it out? Maybe they still need to feed on it?

Mya is keeping a journal and drawing spawn’s progress in it, as she doesn’t like to write.

 

 

Bribery learning. Yes or no?

I am still struggling with how to approach to pocket money and things that kids really want but it’s nowhere near their birthday or Christmas, which for my kids all comes pretty much at the same time, and then – whole year of  waiting for next Christmas. But kids interests change so often. And I don’t want them to get some presents just because they want them. I don’t want to give them rewards for doing chores – because things need to get done around the house by all family members without rewards. And I don’t want to give rewards for homework because this should be something of a habit and learning should be for the sake of learning and a feeling of getting better at something and not for rewards.

Mya wants a stunt scooter, and since I am at war with myself about how to get her one I thought of getting her collect rewards for extra learning that she normally struggles with – Russian and Maths. So in a space of two weeks she should do a bit of maths and a bit of Russian every day for 15-20 minutes. I know it might backfire, but I think if she struggles with these subjects and puts a bit more effort in with my help, of course it will get much easier for her in the future and she’ll feel less reluctant to do things that became easier to understand. This is my theory. Yesterday she asked me herself to do some Russian with her to get her stickers, and wanted to do few extra tasks in Mathletics which I didn’t ask her to do. She just got sucked in and started liking it! Same with Russian – we tried to follow a book with tasks to do, but then she deviated from the task and started to make her own words, which I didn’t mind, as long as she was doing it in Russian 🙂

 

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She was making words with letter blocks (Zaitsev’s blocks) first and writing them down, then asked me for Russian script movable alphabet and started experimenting with it. After struggling to find all the letters for her name (in Russian type face letters are significantly different from script, also capital and lower case look very different, all that an the fact that some letters look like English letters but sound and mean completely different) she adapted some of the letters to write her name with them in English 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in literacy and writing

 

Maths milk tops and “stained glass” geometry

Little person has been practising her quantity and number pairing with our milk-top dots

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and doing our favourite shape-sticking today when the sun showed up for a little bit. I have cut up some more file folders as the old one’s colours have faded from the sun. I like the stained glass effect. The brighter the colours the better.

We used these wallets. You don’t have to use geometric shapes, just any shapes you like that will inspire your child to make a picture. You will also need a small spray bottle for spraying on the window to stick the shapes on (can use a travel spray bottles from a pound shop) and a cloth for spillages or when water runs down the window.

I have been busy making some teen and tens Montessori boards (made from cardboard).  And I finally finished Sandpaper cursive letters, only mine are made from corrugated holographic card (anything shiny goes, and neither of us likes the feel of sandpaper)

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Maths

 

Little bit of maths

We have been trying to do a bit of maths here and there. It is not our strongest subject.

Here’s Mya’s picture using geometrical foam stickers. I bought a big bag of glitter foam stickers (yes, anything with glitter goes, no matter how much it drives me nuts!). This picture actually turned out the best and I didn’t help Mya at all. She thought it through and created a landscape with houses, trees and skies. She usually just puts stickers everywhere without a plot of a picture at all, just like a hungry person would eat anything that’s on a table. On the left – Neva 2,5 y.o. loves geometric stickers as well.

 

We’re nearing Halloween now and I dug up my last year’s activity books from Home Bargains. They didn’t attract any interest last year at all. Maybe I just didn’t open them on the right pages. This time Mya has successfully cracked the code on all four pictures and we did some maths with our trusted tiles, I explained how to do an exchange for 10’s for easy counting and seems as if some of it actually went in.

Earlier in the month we were practising Place value  and Number bonds using stickers, tiles, dominoes and a flip chart. She got bored at the end and just started to play with tiles. Ah, well, at least she understood what I was on about.

The lesson on skip counting in tens using Golden Beads made from Christmas bead garland – Mya was counting and cutting them herself!)  and flip chart went swimmingly and she was so proud of herself counting in tens so fluently that she kept telling everyone. She still keeps these on her desk and occasionally does this by herself, now backwards as well. The other day we were reading book I bought on Amazon Sir Cumference and all the kings Tens and we were using the beads and the flip chart along with the book to count the guests. I really want to buy all the books in these series!

 

We also love our 3D geometric figures. Hopefully I will install the light table for the girls so they can play with the transparent 3D shapes on it. Here – Mya made her task to match 3D shapes from all the sets we have

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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Time for cooking with kids

Somehow, during school year we don’t have much time or imagination for cooking. It’s mostly cupcakes. This summer break we have done some more adventurous (for kids) cooking, and most of it was initiated by Mya. So far – she wanted to learn how to cook potato chips, two-colored shortbread biscuits, sugared rose petals and marshmallows.

I really like the break from cupcakes.

For Potato chips (it was late dinner and I didn’t take any pictures) – she independently peeled a potato with ceramic peeler and I showed her how dicer works. She was very exited about it and immediately peeled another potato to slice it into rings! We’ve put it in a zip-lock bag with a bit of oil and herbs and she really enjoyed shaking it before pouring the contents on the baking tray. She then helped by topping and tailing runner beans with her ceramic knife. Mya was very proud of making contribution to the dining table.

She saw a picture of sugared rose petals and wanted to make her own. We cut a couple of the prettiest roses from the garden, then I found a recipe that used syrup instead of raw egg and she enjoyed making it, but in my opinion it didn’t turn out well – the petals stuck to the baking paper and completely lost their shape. If anyone have a good recipe for that – please share.

When making two-tone shortbread I managed to squeeze some maths on measurements and fractions. Really loving this trio of books Kitchen Table Maths by Dr. Wright . Really good guide for teaching maths for someone like me who was never very good at it.

Today we made marshmallows (cheating and using a kit from Sainsbury). Surprisingly – it didn’t have any unusual or difficult ingredients, so we might attempt these again from scratch, and Mya suggested that next time we could experiment by putting some flowers or berries in it.

On the crafting front – Mya has asked me to make her a map-printed dress. I’m onto it. I think I have to research digital printing on fabric. It sounds like it might be cheaper than buying fabric with prints that interests me..

 

 
 

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