Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tinsel town

I love it when it rains because the air is cleaner and it is definitely a couple of degrees cooler.

But the problem with that is it means that we can't go to the playground in the morning after breakfast. And that leaves about half an hour to 45 minutes of time that I have the energetic kids running round the house, literally making a mess of everything. I have only recently truly understood what it means when we metaphorically describe children as tornados who leave a trail of destruction.

At the same time, the twins are very used to doing something academic before they go to school. They will ask for 'work'. It usually involves a reading, writing activity or math activity depending on what I feel up to that day. That is probably a reason why I could never home school my kids. The timetable for the day will depend on how much I am up for. And more often than not, that's not much. When we end up not having time to do something, they will ask me why they haven't done anything. So I can't even skip it, even if I really didn't want to do it.

Anyway, this week, the twins are doing the letter 'x' in school. X is one of those letters where there are few words that begin with it. The example list that the school sent home had 'fox' and 'box' among other words. I decided, since I needed to get the kids out of the house and that theoretically meant I had a bit more time to do something 'academic' with them, we would make 'x' words. And since the twins have also been asking to play with tinsel, we would make tinsel words. Outside. Too messy to be an in-the-house activity.

It was apt that I had a box to cut out cardboard from to make the words. The word 'box' made on cardboard from a box. Double sided tape to fashion the words is less messy than glue and plastic bowls and spoons to scoop the tinsel and we had a project that kept them occupied for a good half hour.

If we needed to put an academic spin to it, they were chuffed that their word boards look so pretty and they learnt how to read 'fox' and 'box' quite well, figuring that they could blend the sounds. On the side, I think they learnt also to pour, with varying degrees of success, the tinsel back into the bowl; spread tinsel over the tape. If I really wanted to add an inter-disciplinary dimension to it, I'm pretty sure there was some physics involved in watching the tinsel fly, land and swirl on the puddles of rain water.

Whatever it is, what pleased me was they had fun; they made a mess; they killed a couple of birds with one activity and by the time they were done, they had just enough time to bathe and go down and catch the bus.

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