Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Elementary Kid Activity: Weeks Nine and Ten

This is it!!

Last week, baby C.J. was in the hospital. It was a trying week, and blogging was no where near the top of any to-do list. She is much better now, and our follow-up appointment is in a few days. We hope that is it.

I didn't get to do much of a "word of the day" with the kids. We started talking about nouns a bit, so I will show you what we are doing this week in addition to what we did a bit of last week.

Noun: a person, place, thing, or idea

Verb: an action word

Last week the kids and I talked about nouns, and pointed them out when we saw them. Examples included themselves, floor, ceiling, television, pictures, dolls, toys, puzzles, windows, etc. Every noun was very concrete, something they could see or touch.

I wanted to introduce them to abstract nouns (mostly ideas or concepts) without making it too technical for them yet. When we read the story Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, I did. The conversation was basically:

Me: Love. Hmmm, do you think love is a noun?

Kids: No, yes, no, we can't touch love.

Me: Right, but is "love" a thing? an idea?

Za: No!

Ty: Yes!

Me: Why?

Ty: It is a thing!

Za never understood it, I don't think - she said she did, but I don't know. I do think Ty understood. I was ok with this though, because I wanted to start the conversation about grammar early in my children's lives. We are at least talking about it.

This week we are working with verbs - action, not linking.

The work eventually turned into rhyming! Za adores the whiteboard. I think she will practice any subject if I allow her to practice on the whiteboard.

Those are our modified "word of the day" for our unfortunately hectic last days of summer vacation. Having a baby in the hospital is miserable and our "formal" learning was very limited.

I hope you enjoyed our word of the day series, elementary school edition!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum is located at 222 SW Washington St. in Peoria, IL.

Ty and Za at the old museum.
Once, Peoria had a museum, and the children's area was teeny-tiny. The above picture shows the "block" area. My kids liked it, but they love the new museum.

My favorite part is the tot area, for ages baby through kindergarten.

The tot area has soft padding, small balls, and tubes for kids to climb in/ on.

C.J.'s favorite part is the window, however. She crawls to it, looks out, and is thrilled that she can see out a window. (Tall windows probably frustrate babies). She also enjoys the mirror.

Ty and Za especially enjoy the water areas. (I believe the museum has two specific ones, always open. The picture below is in a science lab. The lab is sometimes closed). They are fitted with pipes and other manipulatives for the kids to explore how water flows the best, and in what ways. Another section has a barge area with explanations as to how different river contraptions work. My kids play at the water areas most of their time, and really enjoy it.

The water play places have dryers and plastic shirt covers, but my kids end up with wet sleeves in the cold months. I suggest bringing an extra shirt if your kids have long sleeves.

Ty and Za exert lots of energy (yah! especially during the cold, indoor months) at the block area. This area has an assortment of blocks, different sizes and shapes, for kids to build. My kids normally trap each other in a building.

Another favorite part is the sand and bulldozer area. It is away from the areas pictured above. Instead, it has "sand" (recycled plastic container pieces) and bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks. This area also has a Automoblox section. Kids can assemble and race them.

Finally, the museum has many special days, such as coloring with homemade paint or engineering day.

We are members and that pass is good for a year. The special activities keep the museum fresh with my kids. They want to go frequently, which is wonderful. It is a learning experience and a nice trip. The workers have been very helpful, and always polite to my kids. They take time to explain activities and are patient with them.

The museum has a theater, and movie-type food. The food is not healthy (and has movie-theater prices), so we normally eat before we arrive.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is great for kids. I am not particularly intrigued by it as an adult, but my kids will play for hours, and they learn from their experiences there.

I was not compensated for this post. This review is my honest, unpaid opinion. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Elementary Kid Summer Activity: Week Eight

Two weeks after this! Crazy.

Ty and I will be signing up for first grade in two weeks. That is hard to fathom. I look at him and still wonder where my baby went. Am I the only parent who does that?

Any-who, here are our words of the day, inspired by another set of questions that I never know where my kids get the ideas to ask!

Words of the day: (theme: birds)

Incubator: an apparatus in which eggs are artificially hatched

Bird: has a body covered with feathers, forelimbs (wings), scaly legs, a beak, and no teeth!

Egg: oval or round reproductive body laid by the female of birds

Nest: a structure of twigs, grass, mud, etc, formed by a bird normally high in a tree to lay and incubate its eggs (we spoke about "incubate" being an action or verb, and an "incubator" being a thing, or a noun)

Fly: to move through the air using wings

(We are going to continue only doing word of the day. My kids are busy with VBS and playing outside. We are modifying the plan as we go!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Elementary Kid Summer Activity: Week Seven

Three more weeks. 

Summer has flown by. I am done working, so these postings will become more regular. Here's hoping, at least.

My kids are busy. They play with neighborhood kids, read library books, or raid my refrigerator. Anyway, here is an abbreviated version of our daily activities.

We read Great White Sharks by Sandra Markle this past week. The book has real pictures, and Ty and Za had me read it more than once. It is full of vocabulary and that is where this week's words of the day are from.

Words of the Day: (theme: sharks)

Gill: a body part that allows the shark to breath

Pup: a young shark

Nutrients: the chemicals food is broken down into for use by the shark's body

Prey: an animal that a predator catches to eat

Predator: an animal that is a hunter

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elementary Kids Summer Activity: Week Six

I apologize for not blogging! I have worked two weeks out of June and this week and the next for July. Any extra time, I've been catching up on laundry or playing with the kids. Plus, I'm exhausted.

Here are this week's words of the day and other activities. We skipped last week (sorry!) but we needed a break, and I couldn't bring myself to research them. ;)

Here is the sixth installment of weekly activities:

Words: (theme: advertising)

Media: the means of communication (radio, TV, magazines) that influence people widely

Brand: a kind, grade, or make of a product

Marketing: the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling

Commercials: a paid advertisement or promotional announcement

Endorsements: approval, normally from a famous person or group, for a product or service

(My kids ask lots of questions about advertising, mostly because my husband is in the business. They are around these ideas, and these words are familiar. Also, I believe in honest media learning from an early age).

Quotes of the day: (Albert Schweitzer)

The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possess the only strength which can overcome adversity.

Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.

Example is leadership.

Bible Quote: 

For I know the plans I have for you. says the Lord. They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11