Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"H week" and other unreated projects

Many "h" words to utilize this week, but I'm feeling a little trepedatious about "I" week and what I can come up with for that one that will be coherent and pretty... maybe "I week" will be shorter.
our window art to match "h" week had houses and a lot of hearts, a horse (that was actually a flying unicorn horse), our hands traced, and a harp.  We only kept it up a few days though as our apartment complex was going to be taking new pictures and videos for their website.

View from the inside out to the sandbox.  :)
We utilized the zoo again and the girls paid for pony rides with their own money (they earn money for doing chores)

The 6 year old riding "little Jo"

And sadly the three year old would not get on the pony at all even though we paid for her ticket.  She clung to me and wouldn't let me put her on even though I was going to be walking right beside her.  So she gave her turn to her big sister.

One of the games in the back of "Hanna Hippo's Horrible Hiccups" was to read a list of words and when a word starts with an "H" then to hop forward and if it doesn't then to hop back one until you get to the Huckleberry Muffins at the top of the Hill!  Just like how she hops up the hill in the story to get to the muffins. 

The girls did the game the way the book said at first (with five spots to jump to) and then decided to make it MUCH more elaborate and created this long road that you see (the book used paper, but we thought chalk outside would be more fun).. I needed more words than the book offered for the longer game so I pulled out these flashcards from Child1st to have more "h" words than other words, but just kept rotating them around till the girls finally go to the end!  I think we went through that stack of 18 words or so at least 15 times, but they loved it!

And everyone made it to their huckleberry muffin!  If I was better at planning ahead I would have had the ingredients for us to make some huckleberry muffins.   :) 
"H week" has lasted a little longer perhaps than it needed to, but we didn't do a ton of "H" related things besides these pictures (and reading through some books like "Little House on the Prairie" along with some fun picture books from the library.)  BUT I did want to post some pictures of the many other things the girls worked on in the last few weeks.

After painting some coin banks from the dollar store my middle child decided that she wanted to earn some money to fill her bank.  We talked about ways she could earn money, but the idea of a lemonade stand struck her and so this school day completely changed directions and totally revolved around getting ready for the lemonade stand.  Here she is squeezing the lemons (I wanted her to do as much of the work as she could.)

My oldest was very interested in creating and decorating signs for their sale as they decided to do it together and split the profits.

The apartment manager here said that they could do this and so I helped them set it all out and they were outside for a couple hours as people came to get their mail and buy a cup with any spare change they had.  The girls worked well together and were diligent and earned over $16 each!

My oldest decided to keep a tally of which choice was favored the most.  The lemonade won.  ;)
So the lemonade day was fun and quite busy, and I'm really glad that I document these things because I too easily forget and feel like we didn't do anything when in fact we really do a lot.

This is my 8 year old's project desk.  The two colorful pictures on the wall were done just today for our second weekly "Low Tech Tuesday"... while I was reading to the girls they did a little yarn project where you go through a hole marked with a number and then go through another hole marked with the same number till you get to the highest number on the sheet.  They used rainbow colored yarn and then colored their designs with crayons.
 Speaking of "Low Tech Tuesday" the idea is that basically we don't turn on any screens.  So no leapster, Netflix, cartoons, shows of any kind, and I don't get on my computer at all till after they go to sleep.  I'm trying to wean everyone off of flipping the tv on so quickly.  And what I've noticed is that there isn't as much fighting and arguing.  I feel like I'm less distracted and have more room to be spontaneous with our learning without getting overwhelmed or stressed by the loudness of the tv or trying to manage how much they get to watch.  The littlest one took it the hardest at first but because I basically unplugged the tv and hid the little dvd player she could try to turn it on and see for herself that "it doesn't work on low tech Tuesday."  I read to them a lot and they had time to be bored and think of what they wanted to do.  It felt like a restful day even though I was still doing a lot.
Here is a sample of the projects we've been working on.  Sewing and knitting with some help from me, but I try to do as little of them as I can so it's mostly their own project.

This day they wanted to make mermaid tales for their American Girl dolls so we pulled out the fabric and let them have at it.  I figured out the size and cut and pinned it for them, but they did their own sewing.

The finished look of the mermaid with the typical messy carpet after crafty time.

And this is the style my 6 year old came up with.  Quite fancy I think.  ;) 
Our dinning room is the school room as well and recently I got sick of the ratty stools that could no longer by wiped clean.  The tops were so cracked and flat that anything spilled on them would just stay wet and gross and they weren't comfortable.  Suddenly, I *had* to go to JoAnn's and get some vinyl to recover them.  I'd never done that, but figured it out and I'm really enjoy the bright color now!  I also got the white/black polka-dot for the other bar stools that had some stains on the seats.

These are more for my Mom to see than anyone else.  The kids are playing Super Mario in the background.

Random moment of play.  You know your 3 year old takes many trips to the library when she starts to play "librarian" all on her own.  Here she is sliding a book on another book to check it out to her sister.

So excited to play this game!  When the Daddy came home he got into it too and "checked out" some of her books.

A random art moment from this last week. 

The littlest and I painted this one together.  I go with whatever she wants to paint and this time she said she was painting a mountain cliff.  You can kind of see the tall tree on the right?  There's a lake of sorts on the bottom left.  I think it's lovely.  :)

While the older girls do their work boxes the little one gets to do her school as well and sometimes she gets to do a "bean box" .. This particular one isn't beans, but rather tapioca pearls and random beads.  It's fun to scoop and stir and find treasures.  ;)

Just some fun with magnet shapes.

The goofball coloring some "h" pictures.  I think the hen was a princess ninja or something.  ;)

More pictures of sewing.  We've been doing a lot of that lately.

This is what happens in our house when  craft book is borrowed from the library.  ;)  Here she is learning how to pin patterns and cut them out (a little more traditional way to sew than the mermaid skirt project.)

Taking a break from sewing her black bunny to eat a popcorn snack.

And here are the bunnies!  The one on the left is Merida, the bunny princess who's amazing skills at shooting a bow and arrow are unmatched in bunny Scotland.  ;)

And a close up of the bunnies.  You can also see our fun Jamberry's that we've been enjoying together.

And this is slightly random, but my husband had bought some flowers for me for our 10th wedding anniversary July 17th and after a week or so they were starting to look a little sad, but I didn't want to get rid of them yet.  I cut them all off to float in a bowl on the table (which looked lovely) but then my middle child indicated that she might like to make something with the left over flower stems.  Anyway, we decided to make a fairy house (house fits with "h" week so why not, right?) Then we had a bunch of fun talking about how we could pretend that a fairy was living in the house and talking about what she might like (soft rose petals and sparkly string.)  For the next few days I'd change a bit on it and then later the girls would see how it had changed and talk about how the fairy had been the one to change it.  "Oh, look!  She found all the sparkly string we left her and she made a pillow with it inside the house!"  My oldest thought it would be neat for the tooth fairy to visit her so I added the silver sparkles one day (the same I used one time to put around the letter from the tooth fairy.)  And in the end we knew the flower fairy left when there were rose petals dropped like stepping stones away from the flower bowl.
Lets see if I can remember the story I made up to go along with this.....

Once there was a magical bowl of flowers that were so pretty and inviting that a lonely flower fairy came to live there.  She slept on flower petals in her stem fairy tent house and loved to swim in the water and peek up through the flowers at the people who tried to see her, but never could.  She was invisible of course and even if she hadn't been, no one would have seen her because she knew how to hide so well and only come out when no one was looking.  The children in the house knew that she liked sparkly things because every time they left sparkly bits of colorful thread she would gather them together and squirrel them away in her tiny house.  One morning the tooth fairy had come for a visit because there were silver tooth fairy sparkles all over every single flower in the magical bowl.  They must have had a grand visit as they talked about fairy life and how fun it was to hide from children.  Playing this game and being pretend themselves always made for an interesting time.  Anything that the children dreamed up they could do was sure to happen invisibly, and one day the flower fairy made a pathway right out of the bowl and down to the floor and up a stool and onto the work table of one of the girls!  Everyone knew she went that way because of the red flower petals that marked her steps, and the last petal was stuck in the wooden box of beeswax that the girl had!  No one knew for sure what she was up to.  Maybe she just liked the smell of the beeswax and wanted a little camping trip or maybe she wanted to make something with the clay herself, but whatever it was it was quite intriguing to the children of the house.  It did eventually happen though that the flowers in the bowl drooped and wilted and fell apart beyond saving and the flower fairy had to travel on to another house and another room with an inviting pool of flowers to build another home and another story with other children that loved to imagine and pretend about her likes and dislikes and adventures in her tiny invisibility.  But of course, some day, they knew she would be back to visit them the next time they put lovely inviting flowers into their magical bowl of water.

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