December 06, 2014

Beat-Box Girls and Some Other New Skills

We have finally gotten back into the swing of regular life after our whirlwind November. This week, we stayed home quite a bit. We are taking a break from all activities except gymnastics, so our mornings have been calmer and easier to fit projects into.

Magnatiles continue to be a favorite activity. Sophie has been extra creative with them, branching out into some really interesting designs.



The girls watch a lot of BrainPop during the week. They pick out all of their topics, of which there are hundreds, so I am often surprised at their new knowledge during the day.

Sophie and I were walking around the dollar store the other day, picking up items for her upcoming birthday party, and I heard what sounded like beat-boxing happening behind me.

"Where did you learn to do that?"

"BrainPop."

Of course.

When Delaney returned from gymnastics, I asked them to give Cullen and I a demonstration.



I love BrainPop.

Sophie met a friend at the gym a few weeks ago while we were waiting for Delaney. He is about 7 or 8, and they hang out and play games on the iPad together...checkers, Temple Run, etc. He wanted to play chess this week, and she declined, saying she didn't know how. That night, however, she asked Cullen to play with her. She set up the board by herself, and made it through about half of the game before her attention span gave out. She asked to play each night this week, and now she is looking forward to a match with her new buddy.



We pulled out the paint after a long crafting vacation. I had a certain picture in mind for my Christmas decorations, and tried to commission Delaney to paint it. She wasn't interested, but Sophie was.

I asked for a snowman on a blue background, with certain specifications for his look. I don't know if I have ever told Sophie what to do while painting, and I was a little bossy about what I wanted this time. She was very patient with me, and did everything I asked.


It turned out perfectly! I made the outline of the circles for this guy, but she did the rest. I am so happy with the result.



Isn't my bathroom cute?


Delaney painted a cool view of Santa.



Once Sophie was finished with my picture, I set her free to paint whatever she wanted. She was quite happy with that.


We definitely need to get the paints out more often. The girls are so creative and have a lot of fun, and I need to increase my mess-tolerance back to its previous state.

And finally, my favorite picture from the week...Delaney's new favorite place to read. :D



November 05, 2014

{Stuff We Love} MagnaTiles

I have seen Magnatiles mentioned on several homeschool blogs that I follow. I'd looked them up several times, but they are pretty pricey, so I skipped over them and bought items like LEGO® instead. 

The girls have become very creative with the building blocks and and other such toys, though, and I want to keep encouraging those skills. I bought a set of Magnatiles in August, with the thought "I can always return them if they don't turn out to be as interesting as promised."

They are hands-down the most used toy in the house.

The girls use them every single day. They began building small triangular houses, then began experimenting with different geometric shapes.

Little houses...


 The "clock tower"


The Eiffel Tower...


Cool stuff...




Delaney built The Great Wall of China after learning about it on BrainPop...


Sophie made a checkerboard...


 And a firework...


 Delaney began using the tiles to make other types of designs, like this robot...


A girl with a ponytail, barrette, belt and various other accessories...


 A duck...


 Sophie made up a game with the triangles. If you step on a piece, you "fall down the chute to your bed".

These are just the shapes that I have remembered to photograph. Both girls have thought of more designs and shapes that I would have thought possible. Delaney created a whole subdivision the other day, with homes and walls. It was great.

Our living room has been covered with Magnatiles for about three months now. They are more sought after than the Ipad - which is saying something!



The company offers the translucent tiles that we have, a set of solid colored tiles, and some smaller sets. The 100-tile set is the best value, and I am glad that I purchased it. On the days that the creativity is in overdrive, 100 tiles are not quite enough. The tiles are definitely a good exercise in taking turns and dividing equally. :)  I will probably pick up an additional box around Christmas time. I can't wait to see what creations they'll make with 200 pieces!

This post is part of the GiftedHomeschoolers Forum “Resource Review” page. The links to products will take you the the GHF Amazon store, where prices are the same for buyers, but GHF receives a percentage of the sale. I benefit by supporting an awesome volunteer organization that supports gifted kids and parents around the globe!


October 11, 2014

Chalk Painting and Hieroglyphs


Back in March, Delaney went to an art day camp hosted by the Museum of Northern Arizona. She learned how to make many things out of natural ingredients like the Native Americans. One of her favorites was chalk paint.

Since then, she has experimented several times, playing with different colors and consistencies.

Directions: grind up chalk with a flat stone until is becomes a powder.


Add water until it is the consistency you desire.


Paint the house until Mom catches you.


Don't worry. It washes right off.

This week, Delaney experimented with her paint until she had created a thick consistency.

Painting Sophie's hands for some handprints
She painted a love notes to Sophie, and a little portrait.



She recently read "Seeker of Knowledge, The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs", by James Rumford.  She decided to paint her own story with original hieroglyphs.





After that, she went inside and did some research on Chinese symbols and Korean symbols. I'm interested to see how she paints her next story.

Meanwhile, this little one is really interested in addition and subtraction.

Eating M&M's is subtraction, right, Mom?

We have been playing lots of games, many of which include making up stories about giving her candy, her sister taking some away, or her mom giving her some more. She adds or subtracts, and figures out the answer.

She also wrote me her first love note.

I wrote her a note, "I love you Sophie."

She traced it. Then she sounded out "I love Mom" (I LV MOM), wrote it independently, and proudly came to show me!


I might have to frame it. <3


September 25, 2014

Science Festival, 2014

Our family went to the annual Science Festival in the Park last weekend. It is a yearly tradition here, and this year is the 25th anniversary of the "Ten Days of Science". We tend to only participate in Science in the Park for now, until the kids get a little older, but there are multiple interesting things to do every day in various places around town during the festival.

The festival was great. Most of the booths were the same, but Delaney and Sophie participated in more activities than ever before.

We started out at the Coconino Community College booth, where Delaney and Sophie made slime.



Showing off her icky creation.
 The girls painted some fish at the Grand Canyon Youth booth.


Delaney's is the yellow and black fish, and Sophie's is the one about to fall off the board. :)
 Sophie learned to grind corn with a rock.


While Delaney made a paintbrush with a reed from a plant and painted a picture with it.



There was some archaeology.


The girls made bracelets with UV beads, which change color when it is time to put on your sunscreen.



Delaney made a bird's nest with various materials.


And watched some experiments done with dry ice.


The Arboretum booth was fun. The girls investigated some different types of wood and plants.




The girls also got to climb into some of the heavy equipment that the County Roads department uses. I think Cullen wanted to climb up there too. :)


It was a fun morning, and I am looking forward to next year already.
 

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