Monday, 22 June 2015

First acrylic & rock painting

We were inspired by this book to try some rock painting.
Written by Linda Kranz, it's filled with beautiful illustrations and artwork of rock fishes.

Our poster colour simply won't do, so I got us some acrylic paint.
Have you ever painted with acrylic? No?
Neither have I.
I didn't know the paint dries quickly, so basically you can paint your designs
over the base colour in one sitting.
Tiger was in awe and my cool mom status went up several notches *ahem*.
For our first trial with acrylic, it went well.
 If you compare his purple and black fishes with the ones on the cover...very close, aren't they?
 Art is subjective. Don't judge. Haha.

Since he already smeared paint on the paper,
I suggested an underwater background instead of throwing it away.

We added some details together. I drew a submarine and some plants.
He added his deep sea creatures by Safari Ltd.
These creatures are the coolest.
The Buncho poster paint was used to paint the deep dark ocean floor.

I hate to say this but I couldn't remember their names :p
Thank goodness he made some name cards for the set a few months ago.
Weird names:  Gulper eel, hachet fist, dragon fish, giant imopod...

For children five and above, acrylic paint is great. It is going to be a staple in our art pantry.
For kids like Dragon girl who likes to paint on walls and floors, I would wait a few more years.

So, what other medium should we try next? 
We've tried air dry clay but he didn't enjoy it much.

Not even when I presented it so nicely.
These kids have no idea how lucky they are to have a crazy mom :)

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Dinosaur Phase - Five Year Old

Tiger is absolutely crazy about these ancient creatures.
We have officially departed from Outer Space and entered the Jurassic world.
Pity the Space Toobs and Planet Toobs I just bought. *cries*
I wouldn't recommend the Planet Toobs. It's just too small. You might as well paint your own.

We already have most of the materials from our first Dinosaur Week.
Dinosaur Bin was our first sensory bin. Has it really been that long ago?

Now that Tiger is older, he is asking questions and fascinated by the facts and stats.
The idea that some of these creatures were as big as building and trees. Wow...
They lived on Earth millions of years ago? How much is a million?
How do you read this name?
 Some of them have tongue twisting names, like Pachycephalosaurus,
A month ago, he wasn't able to name any dinosaur besides T-rex.
Iguanodon is my favorite :)

A simple setup to start some reading.
We started with these fictional ones.

By the end of first week, he was more interested in reading non-fiction.
He really enjoyed asking questions about dinos and we looked up the answers in books such as this DK Dinosaur Encyclopedia or the internet.

To supplement his learning, I printed some worksheets and 
we did some simple cutting and pasting such as this one.

This 'fill-in-the-missing-number' worksheet is from Twinkl.
We used the Montessori 100 Board for self-checking.
Sometimes, he ignores my plans and ideas. 
He drew lots of dinosaurs over the weeks and I suggested some stamping of names.
Nope, as usual, he stamped his ABCs :)
That's okay too. My best intentions are secondary to his ideas.

For some hands on activities, we tried our hands at excavating dino fossils.
Got these from Toyrus warehouse sale at about rm 3.50 each.
This was a hydrosaur. It took several days as I refused to help.
Dino week meant big words: paleontologist, excavation, fossilized, mamenchisaurus.
But it also meant patience in this case.

 His favorite activity has to be: Bringing them to the playground.
I hid his dinos all over the play structure and the two kids went on a dino hunt!

Caught in action!

We used our Lasy blocks to create this Brachiosaurus.
I helped, of course but he did most of the work.
After years of saying "Try again." and "You can do it, just try.", it's finally imprinted in his head.
Children need encouragement and parents who believe in them.
I try to praise intelligently or sometimes, I just do a happy dance :)

He was so proud of his hard work.

So much so, he couldn't go to bed.

We watched some dinosaur documentaries on Youtube and it inspired this
recycled Koko Krunch Dino World.
His kindy uses lots of recyclable materials for crafts, so we are trying to emulate that at home.

For our field trip, we visited Dinoscovery in KL and Tiger 
was fascinated by the differences in the footprints of herbivores and the meat eaters.
At home, we did some foot printing on our kinetic sand. 
It wasn't very obvious but still, it was good, messy fun for them.

Then, there is the Chinese...
If only there is a potion I can drink to be more competent.
For now, Pleco is my best friend.
I now know that T-rex is called ba-wang-long in Chinese.

 We are still very much in the Dinosaur phase.
It may last another month, maybe two...
As long as he wants to learn, I will support him.

My girl?
She is so into role-playing.
Despite the fact that I have said many times that this is a DINOSAUR TAIL...
"Khang gooooo"
"Hop hop hop"
Haih....ok la. You win, my little kangaroo.

Have you heard of Dinovember?
Makes me want to buy those big dinos from ELC, arrrghhh.
In the mean time, I just froze some mini ones in the fridge last night,  so it ain't over yet, folks.
Stay tuned for more dino adventures!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Dinoscovery KL, Avenue K

 I casually showed Tiger a picture of his cousins at Dinoscovery in Avenue K, KL
and surprise, surprise....he wanted to go too.

In order to be acquainted with at least a few dinos before the trip,
we added bits of dinosaur activities that week,
Okay, I was more of a full blown dinosaur-madness,
extravaganza homeschool week.

Oh, one more thing. 
You know how I've always advocated for play-based learning and kinda not so into flashcards?
Well, I was reading a dino book to him and he asked casually,
"Can you find the dinosaurs flashcards for me?"
Holy macaroni!! The last time I flashed that one set of dino cards...he was two!
Never underestimate their super human brain!

 Anyway, We I planned the trip on Mother's Day because they had free tickets for mothers!!
Also, because we could conveniently park at KLCC in case hubs decides to buy 
me a bag  small present for giving birth, to honour my stretch marks, 
show appreciation and love to the mother of his children, etc.
(he didn't) 
Times are tough now, I know. I'll take a rain check on that.

There wasn't much of a crowd that day, thank goodness.
First thing we noticed was a gigantic brontosaurus (I think) with a swinging tail outside.
All the sauropods look the same to me.
The kids kept wanting to catch it :)
Tiger doing a Jordan pose which I caught using my swell Iphone6.
A shout-out to hubs for the new phone.

I only knew 3 dinosaurs...lolx.
Terrible, I know. Looking back now, I can probably name 6.

It was pretty dark and noisy inside.
But my little paleontologist is all grown up and brave now.
Dragon girl hated it! Haha...Until we got to Race A Therapod

The kids got a torchlight and a touch card to activate the display screens.
They were also given a map and little stickers to complete a search quest.

 This triceratop's head was moving, so it scared him a little.
Took some time to assure him that they weren't really alive.
"You said they all DIED!!"
"Babe, relax. It's animatronics"
"Oh, like robots...they look real."

Styracosaurus, erm ....right?

 Some spindly back dinosaur

One of the duck-billed ones, Parasaurolophus?

We raced the therapod so many times!
It was exhausting since Dragon girl wanted to be held.
It was basically motion sensor with animation la but the kids were amazed!

Tiger was scared of the Tyrannosaurus Rex!!!
They are the kings, after all :)

 There was a sand pit at the end of the show for some fossil digging.
Kids and sand...WIN!
Spent some 40 minutes here while hubs and MIL had coffee at the cafe.

 Dragon girl finally found something she enjoyed.
A little ball popping volcano :)

The 3D movie section was closed due to technical issues.
And nope, no discount was given.

As the ever kiasu mom, we went back and read all the dinosaurs names again.
Then we pretended we were being chased by them and ran around.
There was no one there to witness our craziness la.

I bought this gorgeous poster for Tiger as a souvenir.
We were exhausted after that that totally forgot to buy Garrett's!!
Hubs was like..."Mother's Day or Children's Day?"
"Same." I replied.
They are my world, afterall. 

Next up: Dinosaur week

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