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So with 4th of July approaching, as part of our Exploring World Celebrations, we have been busy crafting and learning about the American celebration. Today we made decorations for the house in the famous red, white and blue colours, we discussed what the 4th of July is all about and we even made some traditional American food, Corn Dogs and Cornbread!
For the decorations we made rosette wheels, a wreath and a banner with stars. I have included step by step photos below, in case you want to make your own.
To make each rosette wheel, we cut three A4 sheets of card into strips (one red, one white and one blue). We then curled them in half and used a stapler to create loops. Once all the strips had been made into loops we used the stapler to secure them into wheels. If you don’t have a stapler, glue will work just as well, you will just need to make sure the glue has fully dried between each step!
To make the wreath we used six toilet roll holders and three sheets of A4 coloured card. We cut each sheet in half longways and then glued them around the holders (cutting off the excess card and putting it to the side). Leaving them to the side to dry we cut the left over card into strips of three and used the scissors to slightly curl them. Next we glued them onto the toilet roll holders, leaving over half of the strip overhanging, and left them to fully dry. Finally we used some florest wire to loop through the tubes and create our wreath.
To make the banner we used three more sheets of coloured A4 card and cut them into triangles (and strips). We then used gold sticky back paper to cut out stars and stick to each piece. Finally we hung our decorations up.
I have wanted to try Corn Dogs for so long, so this was the perfect excuse and with the leftover batter we made a small bit of Cornbread to try. We’re not sure on the Corn Dogs, so even more of an excuse to go to America at some point to try some more authentic ones, but the Cornbread was really good!
So this week was my birthday week, plus my laptop charger broke, so for those reasons we have been a little quiet online. My new lead finally arrived today though so I thought I would let you all know how our week went. Our activites ran over days so I’m going to upload it all into one post.
Each day followed the same structures as last week, with similar books, always with one relating to feelings and behaviour and another that I read to them, along with their own to read themselves. We have also contiuned daily journaling, even at the weekends, this will provide a lovely record for the boys to look back on in years to come.
This week our topic was Ancient Egypt (absoluelty love this era, and one that we havn’t done before).
Today we watched some really fun videos for children teaching facts about Ancient Egypt; Ancient Egypt for Kids, History Video Lesson!, Ancient Egyptian Adventure – History for Kids and Ancient Egypt: The Pharaoh Civilisation.
We also made some Pharaoh masks using watered down PVA glue, newspaper, tissue paper and a bowl. First we wrapped two bowls in newspaper on one side, using cellotape to hold down (this is to stop the tissue paper from sticking directly to the bowl. Once secured we started dipping shreds of tissue paper in the glue/water mixture and covered the bowl. Once we had a few layers of tissue paper built up, we spread some glue over the top to flateen on the paper down. We then left these to dry over night.
We got making after this and begun making our cheesecake for my birthday the next day.
Now the masks were dry we removed them from the bowl and trimmed around the overlapping newspaper, finally we painted them in one colour to hide the tissue paper. We used emulsion we had lying around as it offers thicker coverage than poster paints, but a couple of coats of poster paints will do just fine. We again left these to dry over night.
Then we finished making our cheesecake. Noah said he wanted to make me a unicorn one for my birthday, so we used pureed fruit for the horn and added edible glitter.
Hey, we tried!
Today the boys practiced colouring Pharaoh masks in with some colour by numbers, they also cut and stuck their own pyramids.
Finally the boys painted their designs onto their masks, I cut out the eyes and the boys put them on to play.
We read more about Pyramids, Pharaohs and mummies. Going over things we’d learnt throughout the week. Afterwards we used a kit the boys got at Christmas to make slime.
Today I downloaded and printed out some awsome packs on Ancient Egypt from 123homeschool4me. The pack contained 71 sheets, but I didn’t need all of them for the boys, so I went through and selected the ones I wanted to print and made up their own booklets from them. I thought these packs would give them something quick to do each day over their Easter break, however they finished them all in one day as they loved the activities so much!
The boys will be coming into work with me over the next couple of weeks, then I’m not sure how often (or if I will be at all) in work. So we will plan our homeschooling around that once I know more. I hope everyone is giving themselves atleast a couple of weeks chill time from all of this now. Have a fabolous break (well as fabulous as can be under the circumstances)!
We have had a very chilled weekend, we are still adapting to the isolation. I am not back at work for over another week, the boys will be coming with me, but until then we are cooped up in the house or our back garden. We are very active and outdoors, we love an adventure so we are struggling with the confinement. Especially so as the boys don’t understand what is going on or why. I am trying to keep them busy and enteratained as much as possible but it can be difficult. Something I had been wanted to do with the boys for ages is make forest potions, without a forest within walking distance I decided to see what we could find in our back garden!
We then added our mixture to some old glass sequin jars we had in the craft cupboard.
We also decorated some pine cones (we have loads of these around the house, as every Autumn walk we went on last year Noah collected them). I tied some twine around them so they were ready to hang, and the boys painted the bottoms with poster paint and glitter. They are now hanging in the boys bedroom window.
Finally, as we couldn’t get to a woodland for a walk, we thought about different creatures that live there. We then created pictures of these animals using finger painting.
We have not only been being crafty, we have also made smoothies, turned the front room into a cinema and scoffed lots of snacks whilst watching Disney and Marvel films!
Today we spent alot of time learning in the boys room (which is finally nearly finihsed), it is heavily Waldorf inspired and creates a lovely, relaxing envoriment to learn in. We used wooden blocks to count, build and learn about different shapes as well as width and length. I gave the boys an equal amount of the same size and shape blocks for them to count, I then challenged them to see who could make the tallest tower and then the widest. We discussed the shape of each block and looked at the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.
We enjoyed a short music lesson with our instruments and sung our favourite nursery rhymes.
We also played one of our matching games, and practiced sounding out the letters and words writting on them.
We ended our school week with a fire in the garden and roasted marshmallows!
Today, along with our normal routine, we explored our fossil collection and learnt a little bit more about them. They boys love playing with them and cleaning them with their brushes. They have a magnifying glass to look up close, plus it’s a really good sensory activity, espeically now we have a lovely sand paper mat down in the tray – the type used in bird cages.
Today we stuck to the same routine as previous days and will continue to stick to this throughout our home schooling experience. We are completeing written work to stick to the national cirriculum, however I am a great lover of Waldorf and I try to incorperate this learning style as much as possible. Our daily schedule is as follows: Super Movers, Phonics and Writing, Break and Snack, Yoga, Art/History, Lunch, Maths, Reading, Zen Den, Story Telling and finally Daily Journal. We play educational games throughout the day (we really love Orchard Toys games).
For Art/History we continued learning about our prehistoric ancistors and cave paintings, particulalry looking at mythological creatures. We found the following videos excellent and the boys really enjoyed watching them: Prehistory: Educational Video for Children and 25 Mythical Creatures and Their Origins. The boys then designed their own Mythical Creatures on tea stained paper to add to their ‘Cave’.
We took a more realxed apporach to numbers today and enjoyed colouring in some colour by number sheets and completed some dot-to-dots that I downloaded and printed.
We decided to get involved with the trending rainbows in the window (in response to COVID-19), as seen on groups such as #windowontheworld. However, with Easter approaching we decided to add a little twist and use our rainbow colours to create rabbits and eggs for our display.
To start, we got some cardboard we had ready for recycling and cut out our bunny shapes. We cut the whole in their tummies very carefully so we could use that piece for the eggs. I drew out the templates in pencil before cutting, you can design yours how you like.
Once the pieces were all cut out we painted them, once they were dry we done a second coat.
Whilst the paint dried we moved on to making the rabbits tummies. We cut a piece of A4 coloured card in half, then carefully folding it in half (without creasing it) we cut lines across, leaving a 2 cm gap along the edge. Then taking more coloured card, we cut them into strips or equal width. We then carefully weaved the strips through the card, alternating each side to create a pattern.
Once we had created our weaves, we stuck them to the back of the bunnies with cello-tape. Once secured we trimmed the edges so none of the card overlapped.
Next, we finished painting our eggs by adding patterns. Finally we drew eyes, a nose and mouth on each of our bunnies.
Last of all we stuck our finished creations in our window, in the hope we will bring a smile to some passers by. We are thinking of adding a bear now to get involved with the bear hunt.
We would love to see your window displays if you are taking part!