Friday, July 29, 2011

Printable Russian Nesting Dolls

For a print, cut and colour activity these are really quite cool. K put them together (with Grandma's help) during a recent sleepover the kids had.

An easy way to get some math into an activity and the kids won't even realise. Just have them measure the strips needed for each little doll (a printable template is available also)

They nest in together quite nicely.

Printable Russian Nesting Dolls can be printed from Activity Village.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saving Our Wildlife

I had the opportunity to help save an Echnida a few days ago.

As I headed home from a spot of grocery shopping I noticed a lady on the side of the road with two quite large dogs.

Instantly I could see that she was distressed, she was waving her arms around madly, whilst still trying to hold onto both of her dogs.

For a moment I thought something was wrong with her until I realised she was strying to get the traffic to stop on her side of the road.

I glanced down and saw a small waddling ball of ultra dark brown spines moving across the road.

An Echidna!

How could I not stop and help.

He obviously came from the bush that you can see on the far side of the road. There's quite a large area of busland there, which is just a km or two from our home.

Thankfully I had on my ultra thick soled shoes, I certainly wasn't touching the little guy and managed to prod him along and get him off the road. 

For a moment the woman that had stopped before me and I looked at each other, with that, "Now What?" look in our eyes.

He was burrowing his little might out to try and get into the ground and boy do they have a grip when they want to.

I was kinda on my own here, if the lady with the dogs let them go even for one second they were having that little echidna for lunch. Although I seriously think it would have been the dogs that would of came off second best.

The only thing I had in my car was a picnic mat, it's not a rug, it is a large woven piece of recycled plastic, a great picnic mat, but not trusted to pick up a very spiny echidna that's for sure.

I tried to prod him and move him onto the mat but he wasn't budging.

In the end we chose to phone the vet, that was about 2 km away and they came to the rescue. He didn't go with out a fight though and it took them a good while to pry him away from his little spot on the ground.

One quick smile for the camera (not a great photo I only had my phone). The vet assured us that they would call a local wildlife carer to have him checked out and looked after ready for release.

I thought I'd include a nicer image just to show what the little guy did look like, except he was considerably darker.

My last encounter with an echidna was on our honeymoon, in Maleny. My husband and I watched mesmerised as one waddled across the road in front of us. Thankfully Maleny is all bush so that one found his own way to safety quite quickly.

The only disappointment, the one day I didn't have the kids with me. They were very upset about it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Workshops Rail Museum - Build It

Yesterday we took a trip to the Ipswich Rail Museum, it's roughly 45 minutes from home, but is a great place to visit, especially if you have train loving kids in your house.

The children participated in a Crane Construction Workshop for a part of the visit.

They learnt about cranes, their function and the various types of cranes, via a series of slides and a presentation.

Then they proceeded to construct their own crane and work/play with its' various functions. Discussing what they were taught during the presentation.

Whilst the Bulid It Exhibition is on there are several activity stations placed around the museum all revolving around construction of some kind or another.

I don't think we got the opportunity to see even half of the hands on activities they had available.

Never the less, everyone had a fabulous time. During the week you are virturally the only ones there so definitely a great place to go for a day out.

Over the back of the museum they have a children's play area, with roads, a train track, bikes and trikes, large builidng blocks and trucks and trains to play in.

However, I warn you, it may be bery difficult to get your children to leave, I'm just sayin!

This post is linked to the Field Trip Blog Hop

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Shout Out - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

I recently stumbled on to Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's Blog. I'm not sure how I found it, I think maybe from Educating April.

She shares lots of fun things on her blog, ideas, reviews and plenty of printables too.

Just today she shared this really neat way to help kids with their spacing when learning to write.

Are your kids into the Berenstain Bears? Then make sure you have a look at her Year of Learning Lessons with the Berenstain Bears.

See I told you there was plenty to check out! Jump or should I say click on over there and have a look around. Don't forget to say hello :o)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Way Back When: Ancient Mesopotamia - The Sumerians

During our study of Ancient Mesopotamia we built Lego Ziggurats.

We are using Pandia Press History Odyssey Ancients to guide us along on our journey. At this stage we are still with the free preview before we jump in and make a purchase. It certainly does make putting together a history unit easy, with lists of activities, supplemental books and mapping.

History Odyssey utilises The Story of the World as its' spine.

We also browse through the Kingfisher History Encylopedia for some facts and great pictorials.

We've mapped The Fertile Crescent, Sumer, The Mediterrean Sea. The Tigris, Euphrates and the Nile Rivers and spent time looking at modern maps of this area as it is today.

Evan Moors History Pockets are suggested as a go along for History Odyssey. These do offer hands on activities but are a lot of colouring, cutting and pasting. We are leaning towards labelling these as busy work here in our homeschool, but will give them a go for at least the next couple of units before making our final judgement on them.

The children quite enjoyed this activity, which showed that the Mesopotamians were the first people to use sailboats. Here they have cut a slot in the Tigris River and attached a popsicle stick on the back of their sail boat, so they can 'sail' it down the river.

We notebooked the definition for Cuneiform.

And read this Tale from Ancient Sumer - The City of Rainbows. This is a lengthy picture book, filled with names of times past and often the story was lost just trying to keep up with the names.

Another hands on activity, creating replica mosaics as used in story, The City of Rainbows. These Sumerians were supposed to be puppets but we chose to include them in the mosiacs. Both children really enjoyed this and spent a great deal of time getting their pices 'just so'.
If you are studying Ancient Egypt and the surrounding areas this is a great book with lots of ideas for various hands on crafty activities.

For Ancient Sumer, we chose the activity to build a model Ziggurat. In this picture the layer of paper mache is drying in the fresh air.

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    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Bambino Academy: Using The Telephone

     ~ C is 35 months ~

    It wasn't that long ago that we needed to pretend role play in order for young children to learn how to use the telephone. 

    Playing with phones and talking on phones is something that C has loved doing since he was able to hold a phone. Now I highly doubt that the fact that he sees his dad on the phone alot would of had anything to do with, but I'm just saying you know!

    In recent months he has been picking up the receiver and talking to it and wanting me to pretend with his old (broken) mobile phone that he loves dearly. Being the obliging mamma that I am, I decided to take this play up a notch, grabbed my mobile and called him.

    C Upon answering the phone: "Yes mum, watch doin?"
    Mum:"What do we say again when we answer the phone, remember it won't always be mummy here talking to you"
    C: " Hello, C speaking"
    And we proceeded to have a running commentary about the bird outside our window, amongst other discussions.

    Well consequently we have done nothing all morning except chat on the phone to each other. He's rung dad, dad's rung him...wanted more. He rang Nan, no one home...wanted more, he rang his Aunty had a little chat.

    Finally I was able to coax him outside to play some.

    I can see us doing lots of more this over the coming weeks, mmmmmm best not teach him anyone's phone numbers just yet, oh to think of the phone bill!

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