Saturday, December 27, 2014

B for Blood

Although we made it from A-Z in our Alphabet in Simple Science, I decided that I'd add some here and there.  I added this one to go with our Heart and Lungs Unit.
Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).

Since we were learning about the heart and lungs, we read a bunch of books about each.  In them, he latched onto the components of blood.  Since he showed an interested, I decided to build upon it.  We talked about how red blood cells are important for carrying oxygen all around the body.  He also knows that white blood cells fight germs and platelets help form clots when we get cut.  He loved the book A Drop of Blood.  The Magic School Bus  Works Out was a good episode for talking about the role of oxygen in the muscles and why the blood needs to circulate.  The Magic School Bus Lost Inside Ralphie also talks about how white blood cells fight germs (we were able to get the whole series for about $30, I'd recommend watching the prices on Amazon for another deal).

Modeling Blood with Blood Soup
Red Juice
Mini Marshmallos
Red Food Coloring
The setup is super easy, we just mixed all the food together and added a few drops of red food coloring to enhance the effect. 
The Conversation:
Constructing and using models is a HUGE part of science.  Scientists use models to explain ideas, so we created this edible model of blood.  While Xander was enjoying his "blood" I asked him to explain what the different parts of the soup represented and why.  "What types of cells are round and red like the cheerios?"  "What types of cells are white" etc.  I also asked him about the function of each.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grinch Skewers

A while back I saw the Grinch Kabobs from Raining Hot Coupons.  I thought they were absolutely adorable and pinned them to make for Xander's daycare party.  I loved that they were a healthy treat, since there are so many sweets this time of year.  However, I was a little worried about the bananas turning brown if I made them ahead of time.  To compromise, I used mozzarella cheese for the bottoms of the hats.  Xander took one look at them and decided the Grinches needed red coats also, so he asked me to add another strawberry.  How could I turn it down?

Here's the final product!  Not quite as cute as the original, but will hold up a little longer!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Graham Cracker Houses - Making Memories and STEM skills

Way back when, when I had a step daughter, we attempted to build a gingerbread house from a kit.  I don't have pictures anymore, but lets just say it was less than successful.  I was a little apprehensive about trying it again, and even considered buying a reusable Candy Cottage that you just decorate.  However, I make elaborate cakes, so I figured I should give it another shot.  However, for Xander's first gingerbread house, I decided to go with the easier method of using graham crackers.  I even saved a milk carton from work to use as Xander's base (although mine is entirely graham cracker, thank-you-very-much).

We ended up using the following recipe, which I modified from the internet.
3 egg whites
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

I put it in a frosting gun (similar to this one) for Xander.  Then I set out various candies.
 While I fully expected to build some fun memories, I hadn't realized what a great STEM activity it would be for him!  He took his construction very seriously and ran into more than a few snags.  He had to figure out what the problems were and how to solve them.  For instance, he figured out that he couldn't put the M and Ms on the roof because they were too heavy.  He had work out where he needed more frosting or he needed his graham cracker cut smaller.  I really enjoyed listening to his thought process.
I should have known better than to ask for a smile when he was building.  I ended up with this rushed smile...  

Xander's Creation 
Mommy's House 
We learned a few things for the next time, but we will definitely be doing this activity again next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Early Education and Letting the Child be a Child

I loaded these pictures from my camera and just had to share.  To  me, these pictures, which were completely un-staged, epitomizes early learning.  Contrary to what many nay-sayers might argue, kids can learn young and still be children.

Xander is four and loves lots of things most little four year olds love.  He LOVES super heroes, which he mostly met through books since we don't have cable.  He often wears costumes and I never know whether to address Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, Stephen Rogers, Superman, Spiderman, Buzz, or Xander.  He loves getting messy, dancing, building, playing outsides... and reading.  Being taught to read young has simply opened the door to him to new characters to love, odd facts with which to become fascinated (like the composition of blood), and to a way to entertain himself when I am working on other things.

Do you have any pictures of your little one being both a "child" and enjoying their early education? We could put a big collection here or even a Early Learning Picture of the Week.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cut & Past Body Parts - English and Spanish

As part of our Human Body themes, I decided to make a cut and paste activity for Xander.  The vocabulary aspect is much too easy for him, but I did like the idea of adding some fine motor practice.  For an added challenge, I made a version in Spanish as well.  You're welcome to download either version from here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...