Saturday, February 28, 2015

Activities from the Kids' Junk Drawer

At the ages of 2 and 4, my children have their own junk drawer. You know, the tub with all the small random toys that don't go with anything else. That pack of plastic fish from the aquarium. The dice that they got at the MFA. The plastic pumpkin head wind up toy from Halloween. In the past few months, I've come up with a few activities that make use of the stuff in that drawer.
Make Your Own Eye Spy Game
Using blocks and toys from the junk drawer we created and then photographed a scene like in our Eye Spy books. Alessia is good at rhyming and helped me write the riddles.
Color Sorting
This one was inspired by an episode of Curious George. George helps clean up the city streets, but finds more treasures than trash. When told a pile of junk is not in itself a collection, George turns his treasures into a color collection by arranging them by color. I laid a big piece of paper on the floor, divided it into columns, and wrote the names of the colors of the rainbow with markers. The kids and I then went through their junk drawer, sorting it by color. With older kids, you could probably sort light to dark as well.
Make Your Own Museum
A few weeks ago the kids and I made our own museum of science out of blocks. (Yes, we are that geeky here.) We then used stuff from the junk drawer (and from our Noah's Ark toy) to create museum exhibitions. This activity was really about sorting things by theme - animals, shapes, colors, etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Alphabet Game / Un Gioco del'Alfabeto

A post about language in two languages....

(Vedi sotto per l'italiano)

Yesterday we played a new alphabet game. I printed out the letters, but you could write them on small pieces of paper, and we used masking tape. I picked a letter and Alessia (with a little help from me) found things in the living room and dining room that start with that letter. She taped the letters directly to the objects, walls, and floors. We have alphabet books that we enjoy, but Alessia had a lot of fun finding real objects and running around taping the letters to them. We played the game twice, once in English and once in Italian. Some objects ended up with two letters. R for rocking chair and S for sedia a dondolo, for example. L for lamp and L for lampada. This is a game that we should be able to repeat now and then. We'll try it in other rooms like the kitchen or the kids' bedrooms.

Ieri abbiamo fatto un nuovo gioco del'alfabeto. Ho stampato le lettere, ma potete scrivere le lettere sulla carta, e abbiamo usato il nastro adesivo di carta. Ho scelto una lettera e Alessia (con un po' di aiuto della mamma) ha trovato una cosa nel salotto o nel sale da pranzo che inizia con la lettera. Ha fissato le lettere sugli oggetti, sul pavimento, e sullla parete. Abbiamo i libri del'alfabeto che ci piacciono, ma Alessia si è divertito tantissimo trovando gli oggetti e fissando le lettere. Abbiamo fatto questo gioco due volte, prima in inglese e poi in italiano. Alessia ha messo due lettere su alcune cose. R per rocking chair e S per sedia a dondolo, per esempio. L per lamp e L per lampada. Questo gioco si può fare ogni tanto, lo proviamo nella cucina o nelle camere delle bambine.