Saturday, 27 July 2013

Theme: Body

I didn't plan this to be a theme week, but Toby's new refrain has become, "I want to do something else" (how does he know it's the school holidays?)  Something else turned into my digging out my body-themed activities and roll of cheap wallpaper.  So here we go!

First thing to do is draw a body, and fortunately I had a handy template.  Lie down, Toby!

Just ignore the face.  And lack of neck.  I know it's not a great likeness, but he really is that tall.  How on earth did that happen?


He knew pretty much all the body labels already, so I can't really claim it as a learning opportunity.  Still, revision is good, right?  And everyone enjoys colouring on a huge sheet of paper.




Another sheet of wallpaper became a blank canvas for hand and foot painting.  Fortunately it's been great weather, as outside is always the best place to do this.  Even with a strategically placed tub of water for washing off in.

I've gone green!
Time for a different colour
Splat!
Who needs green fingers when you can have green toes?


And we've managed quite a few activities that are good for our bodies.  Swimming (or in Toby's case sitting on the edge of the pool - he's still a bit nervous), a version of Simon Says, and today we went cycling!  First Toby wanted to cycle, so he rode his balance bike to the playground.


Then I coaxed (OK, bribed) him into the child seat on the back of my bike, and we zoomed - er, wobbled - away.  It's only the second time I've used it, and it certainly takes a while to get used to the top-heaviness.  I realised again the paradox of cycling, where the faster you go the safer you feel, even though everything in you is screaming to slow down and be careful!  Fortunately there's a lovely flat cyclepath just near our house, so we didn't have to contend with traffic.  We pedalled to the Trent  & Mersey Canal to watch a couple of narrowboats go through the lock, then turned around and made our way to Alvaston Park, where we rewarded ourselves with an ice lolly, lunch, and the second playground visit of the morning.

Am I really safe in here?

 And in a throwback to the planets theme: Alvaston Park has models of the four innermost planets, and we walked around to see them all.  Here's Toby cosying up to Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  The cycle helmet was for protection from passing asteroids, I guess - he liked it so much he didn't want to take it off!

Mercury

Venus
Earth: You are here.
Mars
 
And a human sundial brings us neatly back to the body theme.  Toby's stood on June so it's a bit off, but when I stood on July it said just about 12:30 BST, which it was.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Theme: Planets

Hey, you didn't really think I'd keep up a weekly blog for that long, did you?  It feels like we did planets weeks ago now, and I actually started writing this back then too, but then I needed a few more photos, and then things got busy, and then... I'm finally finishing it now.  We've had a few weeks off from themes due to a couple of long weekends away.  But now all the playgroups are almost finished for the summer, I may blow the dust off my planning notebook and get motivated again. Anyway, to finish what we started:  Planets.

Unfortunately we didn't quite manage a field trip to see the planets!  But we did have a lot of fun painting them.  They seemed like they would be good candidates for rolling ball painting, so we gave it a try and it worked really well.

First you need some small balls.  I purchased a bag of marbles, which were just the right size to drop into our little pots of paint.  Obviously if your kid is given to swallowing small things or hurling them across the room, I would recommend you try ping-pong balls instead.

Pick your paint, drop in the balls, swish them around and fish them out with a spoon.  Put the piece of paper to be painted in a shallow tray, and plop in the painty marbles.


Then comes the fun bit.  Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em!  Most times we just used two or three marbles, but a couple times Toby decided more was merrier (and made a better sound in the metal baking tray) and put the whole lot in.




I thought Jupiter came out really well, with the perfect stripy effect, but they all looked good.  We had a book for reference to pick out the colours, and then we lined them all up on the wall.

In order from the sun (not at all to scale!)

Jupiter.  I thought this came out best, with a great mix of colours and just the right amount of paint.
Uranus.  You can really see the marble tracks in the paint.

Saturn.  We put the painty marbles directly on the planet for this one, which gives a more splodgy effect. (I don't know why Blogger's decided to put it this way round)

Earth.  The Blue Planet.

Derby Museum runs a free Under-Fives Friday every week during term-time, with a few craft activities to try.  This week they had a sun and moon theme, so we went along and created our very own sun-on-a-stick out of tissue paper and a polystyrene ball.


It was supposed to have glitter on, too, but Toby's concentration ran out.