Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Fall Fun

While the above photo isn't quite the picture of jumping up and down fun, I just had to include it here in my blog because I love seeing my two boys cuddled up together. As much as a pain it can be at night sometimes for us to have the kids crawl into bed with us and get kicked and elbowed in the stomach in the middle of the night, I know I will deeply miss smelling the tops of their little heads before drifting off to sleep and watching their chests slowly move up and down.

While digging through their Halloween candy, the kids found this mini War card game. I had never played the game before, so it was a fun new experience for us all. Many times people who are deeply entrenched in school mentality cannot fathom how anything math related can spontaneously occur- they think everything must be pre-planned and thought out. Not that researching cool number and pattern games is bad, in fact I find it a lot of fun browsing through catalogs like Mindware, but even without any extra thought things like this random finding of a card game and exploring how numbers can be more or less than each other happen all the time.

I don't know if you have anything like this at your library, but  our neighboring town's library had these awesome cloth activity bags. The kits usually include a book, a laminated card showing you how to "teach" the material, and some cool toys. How's this for serendipity? It was a week before Halloween and we had been reading online about different Halloween traditions and also how other countries have similar traditions. Around this time the kids had also watched Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico, which plot takes place during the Day of the Dad festivities in Mexico.

Then Alexa picks this bag out at the library without even looking inside it, and when we get home we realize that it's all about the Day of the Dead. We read the book and played with the toys. The family in the book talked about making Pan de Muertes. I asked the kids if they wanted to make the bread with me, and they did. It was the first time I had made bread before by scratch, and to my surprise it turned out great! It was like this perfectly planned out unit study, but of course much better because I couldn't have planned it out so perfectly.

I've mentioned before how Jared is our late-night boy, sometimes not falling asleep until 11:00, yet still up by 7:00 the next day. He gets into the most wonderfully creative moods late at night. Here's one of his late night Lego creations.

Jared's the type of kid who wants everything. Right now one of his favorite activities it to take all the ads out of the Sunday paper and point out the hundreds of things he wants for Christmas. Alexa, on the other hand, is much different. We gave her $20 this vacation to buy whatever she wanted, and she would always leave stores, aquariums and other attractions empty-handed because she didn't find anything worth spending her money on. So, when she saw a commercial for the Glo-Doodle and was jumping up and down saying she wanted one, we took her right out the next day to get one. (She had so much allowance built up by then it was crazy).

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