Monday, July 25, 2011

Garrett's broken finger

Okay so it has been a long week!!! A week ago Sunday Garrett accidentally closed his index finger in the car door. Of course he screamed and it swelled up and turned black and blue. I didn't think much of it, but Monday it wasn't looking too good, so we went off to the Dr's. They ordered xrays for Tuesday morning. That was something new for us!! Garrett was a champ through all of this. He held really still, but while we waited he asked all sorts of questions about the camera and what would his x-ray look like. Fortunately, we had a great nurse who let Garrett and Robert look at the actual x-rays up on the light box. They could see how all the bones worked together.
Well, it turned out that on Thursday we got a call that his finger was indeed broken and we needed to go to a specialist. (I was like REALLY?!?!?) But we were scheduled for today with the specialist. So yet another set of x-rays, which this camera, Garrett noticed, was different than the first camera and he was right. This was a digital x-ray camera. So as we waited (a while) he looked around the room and asked questions about the different bones that he could see in the room on the models and we talked about where those bones were in our bodies. On the counter there was a knee, with a torn ligament/tendon(?). He could see how there are 2 bones in our lower legs, but only 1 in the upper leg and how the ligament/ tendon(?) held the knee and leg bones kind of together.
So he has been asking about our skeleton and how the bones all work together.

So if nothing else out of this small injury, we had time to learn a little bit about our bodies. Hopefully, next time we can just learn about it without the injury and maybe have some fun with it instead of pain. But it has really opened up some interesting discussions!

Have a safe summer!!!

smart summer button '11

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Birding for 4-H Project

Well we are in the last stretch for this year's 4-H Project Books as they are due soon!!! So we have some activities that need to be finished up. Today we needed to listen for birds again. We did this a couple of weeks ago in our backyard and found that if we saw the bird we could identify it, but to figure out what it is by sound is much more difficult.

So today we went to the ponds near our house , where there are usually loads of geese. But today we saw maybe 8. We hear a great number of birds, but still can't identify them well by sound. But we did see a hawk and a great blue heron. All very cool. The boys were very excited about seeing these birds.  And the fun part was being able to come home and once again going to the computer to and learning more about them. So go try listening for birds and find out what you can identify. Then open your eyes and see if you can do any better!

smart summer button '11

Yogurt Parfaits

This morning it seemed way too hot to have a cooked breakfast and cereal didn't seem to fit either. But we have fresh raspberries and I had opened apple pie filling last night. So it was a Yogurt Parfait morning, where the kids had to make their own breakfasts!  plastic cups, vanilla yogurt, raspberries, apple pie filling, and Cherrios and we went to work. The boys could make up their own recipe, layer in those ingredients in any order, they could mix them together or keep them seperate.

Garrett isn't too into raspberries so his was just the apple pie filling, yogurt and cereal. While Robert took the apple pie filling, added raspberries and heated the 2 together  before layering them into the cup with yogurt and cereal. No matter which way they were layered we had a really fun, simple and creative breakfast - and that doesn't happen around here very often (creativity doesn't kick in until I am completely awake!)

This was a great way to start the boys into experimenting with ingredients!

smart summer button '11

Friday, July 8, 2011

Garrett and Washington DC

You never know what kids have picked up when you do things like vacations, educational trips or just a science experiment. Well today Garrett (5) proved that he really wasn't too young to learn something while we were in Washington DC earlier this summer.Now keep in mind that I should have known this because when he was 2 1/2 we went to Mt Rushmore and to this day when he sees a picture of Mt Rushmore, he will announce that he knows what it is and that he has been there.

Well today was one of those days!! We were yard saleing (yeah!) and a friend had on a patriotic shirt. As we were standing there Garrett went up and point to one of the pictures on her shirt and says, "That's in Washington DC, I was there!" Now here's the interesting part - he was pointing to a picture of the Capitol Building, which we only saw briefly and we didn't go up close to or tour. (I figured that we could save that for another trip when they were both older and understood government a bit better). But at 5, Garrett knows where an important building in our nation's capitol is and in fact that it is important.

He also this week picked up one of his brother's books and pointed out to my Abraham Lincoln, and said "That's Abe Lincoln, he was our president!"  Boy I really need to set up what we are learning around our house as Garrett is picking it up quick!

But be careful what you put in front of your kids to see and hear as they are listening even when you might think they are too young .

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Becoming a United States Citizen

Robert has been working on our Family History for his 4-H project. This has already taken us to new places, but in one of the censuses he found that his great grandmother was not born in the United States. So we then talked about what an alien was and what they had to do to become a naturalized citizen. Well, Monday morning the TV station was interviewing some people who were becomeing citizens on the 4th of July. And they were giving  afew questions from the naturalization test. So out of curiousity, I went to find the test. It is 100 questions long, but includes, American government, American History & Geography. So I printed out a copy of the questions and answers and we had trivia time at breakfast just to see if we could become citizens, if we hadn't been born here. Gary & I did alright. But there is a lot of learning still going on in our house for the boys to make it;)

But here is the link  You have to scroll down a little for the test to begin, but give your crew a trivia test and see what they know!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fourth of July Fun

As much as I like fireworks, I do not like having the ground fireworks or sparklers around small children. As a way to keep things still fun, but safe, I purchase LOTS of glow sticks that are the bracelet size. I then hand out glow sticks in the evenings. My boys have decided that glow sticks in a circle make a great nighttime Frisbee. They will put bracelets on and then play hide and seek in the dark. They have also played that they hide the glow stick for someone else to find (kind of I spy). Regardless, they are still having fun and are being safe. And we take in enough public firework shows to keep everyone happy.
Have a great, safe 4th of July.

Maps and kids on vacation

If you are planning on going on vacation, take a little time and plan ahead by purchasing not only yourself, but your children an atlas. There are kids level atlas' out there, but as long as it is small enough for them to handle in the car it doesn't have to be a kids' atlas. But before we leave, I take my roll of contact paper and cover all the states that we will be traveling through. Then while we are on the trip, I have Robert take a marker and follow where we have been on his map. Now if I want it to be able to be erased, I have him use a dry erase marker. I also will have him look at the map and show him where we are starting and where we are going. his job is to give me a route using the road numbers on the map. I check out his trip on my map. Recently we were looking for an alternative route to avoid traffic. Robert's routes turned out to be a VERY nice, traffic free drive. I will also have them look at the map and ask questions like what is the next closest town North of where we are. This helps them understand their compass points.

For simple day trips, I will copy a local map and mark it with stickers of things we will see along the way. This way Garrett can visually see that we are getting closer to where we are going. For example, when we are heading towards eastern PA, I put a sticker where the exit is that we would get off the interstate, a sticker at Penn State,  a sticker at the bottom of 7 mountains (reservoir), Lady Liberty in the Susquehanna and Harrisburg- I will announce when we are passing or stopping at each sticker so that he can follow that we are getting closer to where we are going.

Just a little something to think about before leaving on vacation that helps keep the kids interested in where they are going. And it just takes a little bit of prep time! Have a great time on the road!