Thursday, November 14, 2013

U is for Us...Learning about our 5 Senses

I have saved sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many pinterest pins on sensory play that I had yet to venture into. I am chicken when it comes to sticky messes, and rightly so....

I mean wow. That was supposed to be a dough. It was the biggest mess ever. 
The boys, of course, LOVED IT!!! Still, never again.

Then I pulled out my trusty My Father's World book and obeyed their ideas.

We sang "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes what you see.. Oh Be Careful Little Ears what you hear... Oh be careful little tongue what you say.... Oh be careful little hands what you do...".
I had to explain that we don't have to sing "Oh be careful little nose what you smell" as that does not get us into trouble. (Yes, he asked. - I love his questions).

We did our worksheets each day....

We read lots of library books on our senses. 
Sid the Science kid and Magic School Bus were added for fun. 

Each day we focused on a different sense. First Day was touch.
Our touch activity was to put a variety of textured items in a bag and feel them one at a time. The child then tries to identify the item before looking at it. 

They had so much fun, that they found their own items for each other to guess.

We also did, as our book suggested, and tickled each other to make them laugh. Then try to tickle yourself. It doesn't work! (my kind of science experiment)

For hearing activities, I played sound effects on the computer and Tobin guessed what they were (closing door, crumpling paper, dog barking, baby crying,etc....).

 We then made maracas and the boys enjoyed beating on different size pots to make music.

Sight Activity:
I put ten objects in front of the kids. I had them say out loud what each item was, then he closed his eyes and tried to remember the items. They could only remember two or three items. We need our eyes! 
We talked about how hard it would be to be blind, and we looked at Braille. 
We also talked about things that we cannot see, like angels!
Smell Activity:
I put different cooking/food items in little medicine cups for the boys to smell and identify (Lemon juice, orange juice, cinnamon, pepper, garlic, coffee, nutmeg).

Taste Activity:
I used the same little cups and had them taste different things with their eyes closed. (sugar, salt, lemon, orange, pickle, chocolate powder ). They made some pretty awesome facial expressions, but I didn't take any pictures of that.
Then I said (from book) "Did you know that God says His laws are sweeter than honey? (Ps 19:7-11)
(Tobin made the *you are absolutely insane* facial expression.)
"We can't really taste God's rules or laws, But God says that his laws are so good, that they are better than honey. Honey is sweet and good, but God says his law is better. When we obey God, we are greatly rewarded." 
Tobin then got a spoonful of honey:). That is his *I am in heaven* facial expression:

The words to remember for this unit are "God made us WONDERFUL!" We read Genesis about God making the first people, and also talked about how God made us wonderful before we were even born (Psalm 139).  What a special and important message for each and everyone to know. We watched the ultrasound video of when Tobin was 20 weeks unborn, and laughed that he had hiccups and was waving to the camera. BEFORE HE WAS BORN!!! Still amazes me that such a wonderful human being grew inside of me. The miracle of life is just that...a. miracle!

My wonderful boys...

We ended the unit with a sensory dough that turned out great! (we even did some measuring math)

Apple Cider Playdough SMELLS awesome!

Making the dough, and playing with it required a lot of our touch senses.
Especially when we added these awesome antique stamps from their Great-Grandpa:

Listening to the boys talk about each step of making it, laughing as they played, and reading the words out loud that they made turned this into a hearing activity too.

Oh, and we can't leave out taste:

We learned that just because something smells good, does not mean it tastes good. It had lots of salt!
Hope that wasn't sensory overload to anyone who read this far! This was a unit with endless possibilites, and it was difficult to stop. Tobin actually wanted to read and see the pictures inside our ears and eyes, and I can see that he is drawn to all things science. Jonah is all about making a mess, so he loved the activities too. So thankful that God makes messy things beautiful!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

T for Turtle

T is for Tuck the Turtle... and Tobin too! 
Here is our pet turtle, Tuck, that will probably out live all of us.

Obviously turtles are not a new thing around here. Tobin has found several in our backyard that we convince him to let go to their families. He loves turtles. He loves all animals, from little rolie-polies to elephants. That is another reason My Father's World is perfect for us.Ant hill, butterfly garden, dinos, elephants, goats, cows.....that all equals Tobin heaven! (No seriously... after hearing the "Heaven is for Real" story, he is so excited about petting the lions, bunnies, and colorful horses).

 I didn't take many pictures of this unit as we mainly read books and filled out worksheets. The boys loved looking at pictures of different turtles and other reptiles. They learned that turtles, snakes, and lizards are reptiles while frogs and salamanders are amphibians.  

Here is the culinary masterpiece I whipped together:) - 

and the only art project we accomplished:
(Tortoise and Hare finger puppets)

The best part of this unit was learning "I do not quit! I persevere!!!"
My THREE year old can tell you that a turtle is a reptile, and.... "I do not quit! I persevere!" 
We read The Tortoise and the Hare, and learned the importance of never giving up. The following exercise made this stick in their minds sooooo well. -
On your mark, get set....

The boys (and dog) ran three laps around the tree and back to me! (I timed them but of course do not remember the time)

Now run with a heavy shield and cowboy hat...
Tobin did not finish as he was annoyed by his hat. Jonah (three year old) finished laughing. I said (very loudly) "WOW! You Persevered! I am so glad you didn't quit, even when it was so hard! You did great, just like the tortoise, AND you had soooo much fun too!"
I then told them the next race was even HARDER, and that they would really have to persevere to win.
All this got Tobin's attention really well, so....
Now run wearing Daddy's heavy, big coats....

They both finished the race, and laughed the whole time. I timed them all three rounds, and told them that they ran sooo much faster when they didn't have heavy things holding them down.  

   Here is exactly what My Father's World told me to say (THIS IS GOOD STUFF PEOPLE): 
"All those things I added made it harder, didn't they? God says that sin is like that. If we let sin entangle us, life becomes much harder. If you get angry and yell at your brother, that is a sin that entangles you. But when you apologize to your brother and to God, you are free! (take off one heavy thing the child is wearing).
 "If I ask you to clean your room and you complain, that is a sin that entangles you. But when you apologize to God and Mom, and clean your room with a good attitude, the weight of the sin goes away." (take off remaining heavy objects from the child.)
"God wants you to be free of any yucky stuff that slows you down and wears you out. He talks about that in the Bible: "'So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us. (Heb 12:1b) "
"Ready? Now that you got rid of the sin that was slowing you down, and tangling you up- race again! GO!"
Tobin ran faster than his first time! 
This was a huge A - HAH! moment for Tobin. This is when he understood what "persevere" really means, and he started to grasp the sin and need for forgiveness concept too. HUGE. I am so grateful for this curriculum and unit.