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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Writing with magnets

I have been decluttering recently and came across a big tub of mixed magnetic construction sets that are not being played much with nowadays. I watched them playing with it and realised why. While it seemed like a good idea to me to combine all magnetic sets into one box (MagMax, Geomag, Magnetix and other assorted bits of unknown origin) because the parts looked very much the same, it didn’t work because there were subtle differences (just a few mm) in ball, rod and inserts sizes which meant that the figures that girls were trying to build kept falling apart if a part of a different set was used. It was very frustrating for them, so they quit it altogether.

I will be getting read of the lesser quality ones and will keep the better ones of one brand only and will build up the collection overtime instead by combining sets from the same brand.

But, before I have passed unwanted ones to the charity shop – we have done this fun activity:

Not all the letters could be built, letters with angles are the most difficult ones as magnets don’t stay at an angle, they tend to snap back

 

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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in literacy and writing, Maths

 

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Pop the letter!

We really like Styrofoam! We save white and black underlays from pizza and trays from fruits, and this is what we do with them:

First, we write on them with chalks (if black) or markers (if white), then we take a cocktail stick or something pointy and we start popping small holes along the lines, or drawing over the lines with the sticks.

It works great for fine motor skill development! They like the popping sounds, and after they are done with drawing – they usually entertain themselves with breaking the trays. Each time it breaks with a loud pop they squeal and giggle and keep going until only small bits are left.

At some point we used those bits as well to make wind chimes / outside tree decorations/ bird scares on a veggie patch together with the cut-up bits of drinking straws that we made when doing straw cutting exercise . They make a soft bell-like sound or maybe a whisper if you listen carefully.

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We tried cutting them with scissors for cutting practice – it works too!

Really want to try doing some Styrofoam etching with them next. Need a half decent roller for that and pigment ink. Anyone got some knocking about they don’t need?

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Crafts, literacy and writing, Maths

 

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Hot days in the garden

Hot days in the garden are definitely over. It turning very blustery here, but we’ll remember the fun and will repeat it next summer.

I have prepared this one day in advance with my younger child. She enjoyed pouring water into ice lollies moulds, choosing food colouring and dropping the colours in, watching the colouring drop to the bottom (when we shortly talked about density) then stirring the colour to dissolve it in the water. We didn’t have many colours of food colouring, so we used some old dried-out markers (washable) to make the colours that we wanted by dipping the nibs into ice-lolly moulds. I was expecting them to draw on paper, so I thought it would be ok. Don’t use anything that cannot be ingested if your child still puts everything in the mouth. I didn’t tell her what it was for.

 

Then we put them in the freezer. Next day I taped a piece of paper on a cardboard in the garden brought the ice moulds out, warned girls that these were not for eating and demonstrated how to draw on paper. They were very involved to begin with. As ice started melting slightly we did a bit of Pollack – I showed them how to do splats.

It was very hot and they were running around with not much on (hence not many pictures in this post), so it didn’t take much time for them to try painting with ice lollies on themselves. They wrote ABC and numbers on themselves, taking turns to write on each others backs and guess the letter or a number, then just started crazy painting their feet and hands and doing prints. You should’ve heard them laughing!

Definitely something I recommend doing!

Some colours came out very dull, I seem to be very unlucky with my food colouring. Can anyone recommend a brand of food colouring that produces great bright results?

 
 

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