Friday, August 19, 2011

Fun Friday

I saw the link up for "Friday Fun School" at Ben & Me recently and figured that it is right up our alley for this year's school plan. So far, I have our weeks planned so that we can accomplish all of our lessons in four days, and have the fifth day of the week available for a "fun day," "field trip day," or a "Mommy needs to catch up and/or have a break" day. I think most weeks, this will fit in on a Friday, but if something comes up on some other day, I am flexible and will rearrange things.

Some ideas the kids have had so far for our "Fun Fridays" include:

1. Experiments (preferably messy or explosive ones, they say)
2. Long nature walk or bike ride to the beach
3. Visit Nanny and Poppy
4. Play dates with friends
5. Trips to the library
6. Field trip to a park with a picnic
7. Field Trip to a museum
8. Geocaching
9. Exploring our local area using our guidebook
10. Build a tree house
11. Dress up day
12. 4-H day (this will be every other Friday starting in September)
13. Movie day with homemade pizza
14. Read books all day
15. Go to Chick-fil-a (really, Cowboy came up with that one)
16. Play educational games all day (I added the "educational" part)
17. Craft/Art day
18. Educational video game day (again, I added the "educational" bit)
19. Lego day
20. Cooking day (with lots of chocolate and cookies!!)

I thought they did a pretty good job of brainstorming ideas, and this Friday, we gave it a trial run by mixing it up a bit.

Here is what we did (they did finish a few things up over the weekend, though):

To go with our study of Egypt, Tex read the kids the book Pyramid by David McCaulay. Then he and the Amigos built a pyramid of their own using Duplo Legos. We worked on it over the weekend, too, and here is the final result:

You can see that they built three pyramids, as well as the Sphynx (though Firefly says, "Spinks." It is so cute.)

 Their explorer guys are filming their finds, and the monkey they picked up at a bazaar in Cairo is climbing the Great Pyramid (they got the idea of a buying things at a bazaar out of the Flat Stanley book we read about Egypt this week).

 You can see something of their personalities according to how they decided to play with it once it was finished. Cowboy, the Explorer, has his guy checking out what is inside the pyramid (ancient tablets...ooooh, aaaaah). You see how amazed he is by the astounding assortment of heiroglyphics he has discovered (he's standing on top of the tablets, looking down at them in awe).

Firefly, the carefree one, has her monkey hopping all over the Sphynx, looking for artifacts and treasures...and bananas...the Golden Bananas of the Lost King of Egypt.

Ladybug, the organized and artistic one, has her explorer documenting everything they find on film. She is narrating about their travels in Giza and their explorations of the tombs of ancient Egypt.

I think they had fun. Don't you?

Of course, it has been a beautiful week here, so staying inside all day was not an option. I have been cleaning the garage all week, and have been trying to find things for the kids to occupy themselves with while I am working. One thing they always LOVE to do is to find bugs. Dead ones or live ones, they don't care. Ladybug has amassed a collection of the best dead ones. Cowboy, the Bug Hunter, likes to gather the live ones and keep them for a few hours in the bug house he got for his Buggy Birthday last year.

The kids found a fuzzy caterpillar right off, sitting on a red oak leaf (I think it's a young tent worm, but I can't tell for sure and I didn't want to tell them how awful those things are when they are so excited), and they each drew it in their nature journals. Since they all love to draw, drawing still counts as fun! I read the book, The Fascinating World of Butterflies and Moths by Angels Julivert to them later.

This one is by Ladybug. I love her attention to detail. The bug is in the plastic bug house, hence the green light shining at the top. They love using that thing.

This one is Firefly's. She added the same elements (fake tree, grass, light, caterpillar), and executed them with skill for a three-year-old.

Cowboy also attended to the points on the red oak leaf, and added himself to the picture, very excited! The scale is a bit off, but I love how he even got the color of his shirt right (it was red day today, Ladybug's choice...I have all their shirts sorted by color and stored together and each child gets a day of the week to pick the color. It makes folding, sorting, and putting away the laundry a lot easier...also packing for trips is a breeze with this system. I keep all of the Rubbermaid drawers with their clothes in a special closet space in our bathroom, so they stay tidier than if they were in their room.)

I had a doctor's appointment that took several hours in the afternoon, so while I was gone, Tex let them watch The Magic School Bus Butterflies and the Bog Beast video (here's a fun activity page we might do next week when we do "B" is for Butterfly in Firefly's alphabet bug book.)

They also played Amazon Trail 3rd Edition on our older computer. It was interesting that Ladybug liked to take charge, whereas Cowboy preferred to explore. She would catch the food and decide where to go when on the water, then hand over the controls to him and he'd look for new species and catalog them when they were in the jungle. The game was a good learning experience, since it challenged their reading skills. Tex had to help them with some of the odder scientific names, but usually, between them, they could guess well enough to get along. Teamwork works!
During dinner, I finished reading them Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventures: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery (as planned earlier this week), and they are excited to pick up with the Egypt theme more formally again next week.

It was a FUN Friday!!


We also linked up to Read, Explore, Learn at JDaniel4sMom. Give it a try!

Shibley Smiles

1 comment:

Anne said...

What a fun list of Friday activities! Would be fun to take some from the list that you are most comfortable with and require the least preparation, put them on slips of paper in a jar, and on an unplanned day, pull out a slip to see what the day holds!

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