Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boats and crumbs on the kitchen table

*Dedicated  to a good friend and a couple of black olives.

Breakfast time at weekend has become fun and creative in comparison to the weekday rush to get out of the house since B started nursery. I love watching the boys play with their food and develop stories about all sorts. One morning there were some chocolate muffins on the table which I had forgotten to move the night before. They were a little dry and made a great material for crumbling all over the place. The muffin case became a boat and hey presto we had a whole scene for stories and songs. What a great way to start the day.

It made a mess. But eating with a three year old and a one year old always requires some cleaning afterwards. A few extra crumbs didn't add any time onto my usual sweep and wipe down. However it did add a few extra opportunities for the kids to practice telling stories, watch things change form and discover how things move through other materials. 

The boat made different lines and shapes in the 'water' and then went fishing to catch something for dinner. We counted the 'fish' it caught. Some juice spilt on the table too and we watched the transformation from dry crumbs to soggy mess. We made up a song to sing during sailing. So I think that covers English, Maths, Science, Music and Geography in one short morning. 

And then we tidied, together, without any argument or negativity. B is pretty good with a dustpan and brush now, as he uses it often. We had fun and were creative.

This is our song:

Row row row your boat, across the kitchen table.
Though the chocolate muffin crumbs,
crinchy, cranchy crunch.

It was inspired by this song:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lots of fun with an Indoor Snow Storm

The snow arrived and we were all so excited. The first flakes look so lovely as they drift to the street. We couldn’t wait to get out in it. We played in it for a while, then got cold - too cold. All we wanted was to be wrapped up warmly with a hot chocolate. A few days later, I was really pleased with an impromptu indoor snow storm which we created with kitchen paper towels. I love snow, for about five minutes. Indoor snow play is a way to explore texture, create stories and be imaginative without the cold and the wet.

Rabbits in paper snow

It started in the kitchen when B decided, for no clear reason, to rip squares of kitchen paper towel from the roll. I don’t like to stunt his ideas before they develop, so I let him do a few, and then asked him what he was going to use them for. “Don’t know” he replied as he continued ripping. Hmm, I really didn’t want them all on the floor for no reason. I had to think fast: “we could paint on them, or cut some snowflakes, or drive over them -- it’s like snow” Ah ha! There it was. So we went to the boys’ room to drive cars over snow.

B with tube

We had about 10 sheets of kitchen paper towel, so after covering some of the floor and the train track we realised we needed a lot more. I lost my worry of using up one whole roll of paper in a game and asked B to bring the roll for us to use. We had fun ripping each sheet off. We covered lots of things with snow, then had a snowball fight, then filled a box with snow and of course B got in. Little R got involved too and had lots of fun rolling around in the drifts. I would have taken more pictures of the two of them playing so well together, except R refused to let go of my camera!

Box full of snow!

The snow storm started as soon as the kids were out of the box and I threw all the snow out on top of them. “Again, again” laughed B, and this went on for a while. The storm became silly when we mixed other items in with the snow. Soft toys, balls and little star stickers rained down on us all. We ended up throwing the snow all over and around to create a wonderful indoor blizzard.


Although we couldn’t sledge, ski or ice skate, our imaginations made a beautiful snow scape and we had lots of snow fun without the cold.