Category: Kiddos In Action

{Art} : Walking a Line

If you should know anything about Thing 1 it is that he loves to draw.  He will look at pictures and reproduce them with pretty amazing accuracy and detail.  He is also known to create stuff from his imagination.   I carry a clipboard with blank sheets of paper and a bag full of pencils and crayons everywhere we go, just in case he gets inspired.

Due to this great love of drawing, I thought he would jump at the idea of an art class.  However, he has been reluctant to join one.  He says that he only wants to draw what he wants, which I totally understand.

Although he says he only wants to draw what he wants, I thought I would do an art class for him that would still allow him to do what he wants, but he can start learning some technique along the way. So from now until the end of the year we are going to focus on drawing.

Today we started with just a basic line.

Walking the Line

Materials:
pencil
computer paper

Activities:
The first activity was super simple, but slowly got Thing 1 moving in the right direction.  Thing 1 was to draw an abstract work of art without picking the pencil up from the paper, except to stop the drawing.

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This basically became a scribbling activity, because he just wasn’t into the activity yet.

The second activity was to draw an object using the same principle as above.  You use only one line, only taking the pencil off the paper when the drawing is done.

When we started, I could tell he wasn’t feeling it.  However, after a little discussion of which object to draw he got to work.  He managed to create 15-20 drawings depicting the various characters of Super Mario Brothers.  Yes, he went old school.  It could be that he had been playing Super Mario Brothers 3 on our old Nintendo before we started our art project.

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Overall, once I got him going it was great to see his creativity to come to life.  I was also pretty impressed with what he created today.

Hopefully, over the next several months Thing 1 and I will be able to keep this up and I will share future projects.

{Science} : Index Card Tower

One day while searching Pinterest, I came across this STEM activity using index cards.  I was intrigued because it is building things, which my boys love, but it was also a cheap science activity that could be used in a larger group setting, like the  homeschool group we started.

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Index Card Tower

Supplies:
index cards

Directions:
The children were divided into pairs, and were given a stack of index cards.  They were told to build the highest tower they could only using the index cards.  They could manipulate the cards in any way they needed, but they could only use the cards I had given them.  We had the pairs move to different areas in our house so that they could not see what the other groups were doing. After a given amount of time the kids walked around to see, analyze and learn from the different groups.

This activity was a lot of fun with a large number of kids, because you were able to see so many different thoughts when it came to building the tower.  We would not have seen the different building ideas, had it just been the boys and I.

 

Thing 1 and his partner’s tower

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Thing 2 and my creation.  (I was Thing 2’s partner, but I really didn’t help much because I was off taking pictures.  I just came back
a couple of times to talk to him.

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Thing 3’s tower.  In order to keep him from messing up Thing 1 and his partner, I gave Thing 3 his own cards so he could create.

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Thing 3 also built this dog after the activity was over.

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Have you ever built with index cards?

{Science} : Paper Airplane Design

One of the things I have wanted to incorporate into back into our homeschool is some “just for fun” science.  We love our science curriculum, but at times I miss some of the more random, fun science stuff we used to do.  So each week I plan to have one fun science activity.

This week it was to have the boys design paper airplanes and determine which design flew the best.

Paper Airplane Design

Supplies:
Paper (we used printer paper)

Activity:
Make a bunch of different paper airplanes.  Experiment by folding that paper different ways.  Which design goes the farthest?

Easy Peasy.

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My ultimate goal with this was to get the boys, especially Thing 1 to realize that it is OK to have failures. Thing 1 is very much a  perfectionist, and I want to help him realize that failure happens.  However, you can learn so much from your failures and make something better the next time around.

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As suspected, Thing 1 was disappointed that his first attempt didn’t work.  However, after a little bit of coaching, he kept trying until he built the airplane that went the furthest.

This was a simple and safe way to challenge him, without him really realizing it. I am such a sneaky mommy.

What fun have you had with paper airplane?

 

{Art} : 3D Hand

A couple of months back the boys and I went to an art studio for a painting class.  While we were there the boys saw a hand that looked like it was 3D.  Of course, they really wanted to try to make their own.  So a couple of weeks back, they boys attempted to make their own.  However, the patience required left our attempt somewhat unsuccessful.

First we started by tracing our hands.  Next, the boys were to draw straight lines until they reached their hand.  Once inside the hand, they were to draw arched lines until they reach the other side.  Needless to say, the boys lost patience pretty quickly.

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However, this is what Thing 1 was able to accomplish before he was done with the art project.

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Thing 2’s.

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Here is mine.

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Have you ever done a 3D handprint?

{Science} : Fingerprinting

One thing I wanted to do with our school this year is to have more fun.  One area it is easier to have fun while learning is science.  A couple of weeks ago (yes, I’m that far behind), we learned about the uniqueness of fingerprints.

First, I showed the boys pictures of fingerprints on the internet.  We discussed how fingerprints are used to identify people and talked about how there are three different types of fingerprints.

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Next, using black ink, we fingerprinted everyone in the family, even Daddy Cameron.  I think everyone had a whorl except Thing 2, who only had arches, if I remember correctly.

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The boys thought it was pretty cool to see what their fingerprints looked like.  I thought it was interesting to see how the boys’ fingerprints were so different, especially since they have the same parents.

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Have you ever done any fingerprint studies?

Clay Boats : Round 3

Every so often I like to repeat experiments that the boys and I have done in the past.  For one it is a great way to see if they learned anything from that experiment.  Secondly, I like to see how there thinking has changed as they have gotten older.  Lastly, Thing 3 all of them are to the age where they can participate.

This week we were suppose to have terrible storms, so I had planned to do a repeat of the clay boat activity we did back in 2011 and 2012.  The big difference this time around is that each boy created a boat on their own.  Ok, I may have helped Thing 3 a little bit, but Thing 1 and Thing 2 were all on their own.

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Here is each ones original creation.

Thing 1

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Thing 2

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Thing 3

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Mine

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The first thing we did was test to make sure everyone’s boat would float.  While Thing 1 and my boat floated, Thing 2 and Thing 3’s immediately sunk.  So I gave Thing 2 and Thing 3 some time to redesign their boats.

Round 2: Everyone’s boat floated, so we all begin adding pennies to our boats to see whose could hold the most weight.  We may have raised the stakes a little by saying that the losers make dinner.  😉

Thing 2’s redesign

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Thing 3’s redesign

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Thing 3 was the first boat to sink, but that may have been because he added some water to his boat too.

Next was Thing 2, but I think his boat had moved too far away from him, which caused him to sink it with his hand.

Thing 1 and I were close, until Thing 1’s boat sunk and I was the winner!

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The boys continued to build and rebuild boats for at least 45 more minutes.  It was a great time.  I am sure we will be repeating this experiment a few more times in the future.

 

{LEGO Build Challenge} : Pet

This week the kiddos were challenged to build a pet.  The pet could be one they already have, one they want or an imaginary pet.  It was really fun to see the kids get creative.

LEGO Build Challenges

A Horse

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A Dragon

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A bullet shooting dog

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A Loch Ness Monster

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A bird ??? ( I can’t remember them all)

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Have you created any LEGO pets?

This is What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Everyone’s homeschool looks different at different times. Some people have “school” at home, where they have a room dedicated to school.  Everyone has their own desks and that is where they do all their work.  Others gather around the kitchen table to work. Still others do school on the couch.

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This week Daddy Cameron was home with us and the weather was amazing!  We spent almost every day outside and we did most of our school while sitting on the front porch.  It was awesome.  We soaked up some sun, listened to birds and got our learn on!

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What does your homeschool look like during the spring?

{LEGO Build Challenge} : Bird

With today being the first day of spring I thought it only appropriate that the kids build a bird today.  This was a pretty quick build because the kids were in a hurry to head outside and enjoy the beautiful day.  Before we started the build we talked about the different characteristics of birds.

LEGO Build Challenges

Rules:
1.  You can use any LEGOs you wish.
2. Your bird must have wings.
3.  Your bird must have a beak.

As an additional challenge, I told the kids to see if they could make their bird move.

Thing 1 built a bird where it’s head moved.

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Thing 2’s bird head, wings and tail feather moved.

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The other bird bobbed it’s head.

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What have you built with LEGOs lately?

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