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Everyday Education

Finding learning in everyday… finding learning through our play

Month

February 2016

Day 29…

  • Breakfast
  • Puzzles

The three basics of what puzzles do for your child

When your child is alone with a puzzle you can expect three basic skills to be built:

  • Physical skills — from holding puzzle pieces and turning them until they fit
  • Cognitive skills — as they solve the problems of a puzzle
  • Emotional skills — they learn patience and are rewarded when they complete the puzzle

These three basic skills are the building blocks for a well rounded person.

http://teach.com/education-technology/the-benefits-of-puzzles-in-early-childhood-development

  • Math Adventure to the Moon DVD

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  • Mischief sings ‘Rain Rain go Away’
  • Read: How to catch a monster. How to Grow a Dinosaur.
  • Play in  the Rain
  • Mayhem computer
  • Mischief puzzles
  • Music- Dragon soundtrack
  • 930AM Morning Tea
  • 1030am Nap
  • 12 30 noon Mayhem wakes & plays kitchen
  • 1pm Mischief wakes
  • Mischief and Mayhem play in the mud

Young children learn by engaging in hands-on activities with real objects. Put simply, children learn by getting their hands dirty. Unstructured play (that is, play initiated by the child and not led by an adult) is an important part of their education; it has been shown to promote cognitive growth and to positively influence social interactions.

http://www.littlerockfamily.com/post/100113/the-benefits-of-splashing-in-the-mud-muck

  • Bath & Dressed by 2pm
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Mama arrived home
  • Watch Happy Feet
  • Play with our toys
  • Mischief plays computer
  • Watch Gruffalo
  • Dinner
  • Bedtime

Our 4th “Day Off”… Day 28

Mayhem accompanied Daddy today to go out and check bait stations and traps.

They had a great adventure and learnt some neat stuff!

Video Below:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tF5VWhHczSg

Nature, conservation,  pest control, following steps (checking bait, filling station again etc), physical movement, looking for ‘pink’ ribbons, bonding time with Daddy,  enjoying and exploring ‘our backyard’. Vocabulary,  plant /weed recognition.

 

 

Day 27…

  • Poppa arrives with Digger

 

  • Breakfast
  • Mischief and Mayhem have a great time watching the digger outside

 

  • Exploring in the garden: Finding insects- ants, crickets, praying mantis, bumble bees buzz in the flowers, a dead Weta.. and the treasures we found that were hiding in the bush- ball, shovel, pinecone and dog toys!

Exploring nature, insects, gardening, diggers, dirt, deconstruction

 

  • Watch Dora for quiet time

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  • Morning tea

 

  • Feed Barry

looking after our pets, responsibility, empathy, compassion

Parents who are experienced, or even first-time pet owners, know there is a lot of patience, time and effort involved but that the payoff of sharing your home and life is the unconditional love a well-cared-for pet gives. It’s well worth it.

http://www.oprah.com/relationships/10-Reasons-Pets-Are-Good-for-Kids#ixzz41QUX9Vh6

 

  • Monkey Bath
  • Climb the Trellis

Balance, strength, testing limits, adventure, fun

These physical challenges help your toddler to grow in mind and body. Climbing and balancing strengthens his muscles and bones, and helps his coordination. Being on the move and navigating obstacles stretches him, making him figure things out and stimulating his brain .

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a556907/climbing-and-balancing-toddler-development#ixzz41QTETwNP

 

  • Mummy reads us ‘Piranhas don’t eat Bananas’

nutrition, vocabulary, listening, comprehension, rhyme

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  • Play in the dirt

Nature, sensory, exploration, fine motor skills

The Joy of Dirt

Studies have shown that simply having contact with dirt, whether it’s through gardening, digging holes, or making pies out of mud, can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce their anxiety and stress. Who knew, right? With antidepressant use in kids on the rise, an increasing number of experts are recognizing the role of nature in enhancing kids’ mental health.  Dirt can even improve classroom performance.  It’s easy to see the effect when you watch children play outside.

 

(Dirty) Fun: Get elbow deep in some dirt! Try these activities your children will love!

http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Dirt-is-Great.aspx

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  • Lunch
  • Mayhem helps Poppa drive the digger back on the truck, Say Bye to Poppa
  • Nap time

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  • Mischief paint play on tablet & is ‘Gentle’ with Meerkat

Fine motor skills, colour recognition, vocabulary, compassion, kindness, empathy

  • Mischief has a shower outside with Mama

Nature, vocabulary, sensory, sing (literally) in the rain

Today, there is plenty of scientific evidence

that nature is not only good,

but great for us.

http://rainorshinemamma.com/play-outside/

find some fun RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES below:

http://www.mykidsadventures.com/rainy-day-activities/

  • Dinner
  • Grandad reads us ‘Robbles Raindance’
  • Bedtime

 

Day 26…

  • Breakfast
  • Monkey kicks in the cot
  • Monkey and Mischief listen to Disney CD

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  • Monkey dances with mummy

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  • Mayhem computer- Fishing Farm game

Notice that Mayhem currently has huge interest in this game – he continues to progress at it, as he does he gets to new levels quicker- with more ease. I’m intrigued by his changing interests. Earlier he was ‘obsessed’with riding his bike-it was something he’d just learnt to do on his own accord and he was enjoying himself as he began to master it- then his focus shifted to this computer game and has kept his interest for the last week or so.  

Interest pulls us toward the new, the edgy, the exotic. As Silvia puts it, interest “diversifies experience.” But interest also focuses experience. In a world too full of information, interests usefully narrow our choices: they lead us to pay attention to this and not to that.

When we’re interested in what we’re learning, we pay closer attention; we process the information more efficiently; we employ more effective learning strategies, such as engaging in critical thinking, making connections between old and new knowledge, and attending to deep structure instead of surface features. When we’re interested in a task, we work harder and persist longer, bringing more of our self-regulatory skills into play.

http://www.readingbrightstart.org/articles-for-parents/lets-repetition-important-learning/

 

Mayhems repeated requests for playing this game may seem like boring repetitive activity- But for learning purposes, this is a great thing!

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”

(Zig Ziglar)

The next time your little one asks you to read a book yet again or wants to play the same game over and over, remind yourself that it’s a good thing! It’s good because repetition provides the practice that children need to master new skills. Repetition helps to improve speed, increases confidence, and strengthens the connections in the brain that help children learn.

http://www.readingbrightstart.org/articles-for-parents/lets-repetition-important-learning/

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  • Read to Mischief and Monkey
  • M&M&M Nap!
  • Monkey mirror time

The mirror game helps your baby learn how to focus, track images, and explore the wonderful things a face can do. Plus, it promotes social and emotional development as she interacts with you (and maybe her sibs). Eventually, she’ll learn that the friendly face she’s been looking at all along is none other than her very own. Now that’s a powerful lesson in who’s who.

http://www.whattoexpect.com/playroom/playtime-tips/why-babies-love-mirrors.aspx

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  • Tidy up time!

Cleaning up can teach children problem solving skills, mathematical concepts, lessons in family life, citizenship and responsibility, self-motivation and more.

http://intelligentnest.com/2012/07/24/cleaning-up-toys-how-and-why-to-teach-children-to-take-responsibility/

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  • Monkey has mat time while Mayhem plays Thunderbirds

 

  • Mischief and Mayhem go to Great Nanas with Mama & Grandad – they jump on the tramp, walk up to the School and have a play on their bikes, on the playground,  they see the school chickens and have a look at the Veggie garden… Fish n chips with Great Nana, Mama & Grandad, Bath, PJS, home Bed.
  • Monkey goes with mummy and daddy to visit the newest member of the family little ‘ Miss’ who is 1 week old,- he naps the majority of the visit (so much for socializing), go to Japanese for dinnew,  home, changed, fed, Bed.

Day 25…

A quiet Day.

  • Breakfast/ Dressed
  • Mayhem Kindy with Grandad
  • Mischief and Monkey go shopping with Mummy (Mayhem needs new shoes)
  • Home-Read books

Books have the power to benefit toddlers and preschoolers in a myriad of ways. As a parent, reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him with a foundation for academic excellence.

https://www.earlymoments.com/promoting-literacy-and-a-love-of-reading/why-reading-to-children-is-important/

  • Morning Tea
  • Monkey play mat
  • Nap
  • Mummy picks up Mayhem from Kindy
  • Grocery shopping & got some new DVDs & CDs

 

Both Mischief and Mayhem are very interested in Dinosaurs at present (after visiting dinosaur kingdom) they love playing with their dinosaur toys- so finding a Thomas Dino DVD was most exciting for Mayhem. 

They are finding that interest can help us think more clearly, understand more deeply, and remember more accurately. Interest has the power to transform struggling performers, and to lift high achievers to a new plane.

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/11/04/how-the-power-of-interest-drives-learning/

 

Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.

http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development/http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development/

  • Watched Thomas
  • Dinner
  • We find a water cycle poster in the study. Mayhem asks what is a water cycle?  And mummy points to the poster explaining each part of the system and why fresh clean water is so important for us. (The poster is attached to a letter from Child fund and has a picture of a child in need).

Water cycle,  science, vocabulary, human needs, sustainability,  gratitude,  nature

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  • Bath
  • Bed

In all its Gory Detail.. Day 24

Today I thought I’d try something new… Every post I track a day in the life of my kids- which is really the purpose of my Blog- so that I can track their education… But what if I posted a Day from MY perspective?

An entire 24hrs following MUM/ Educator… Well – Why not?! This day wasn’t like most- Focusing on myself isn’t what I do well and therefore I felt like my day was all over the place, But here it is- In ALL its glory- & I must say I’m relieved I didn’t choose a day like today to do this- Because it was well & truly gory!

So here it is: 24hrs in my shoes…

730am

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I wake with a boob hanging out (from feeding Monkey) & kids surrounding me.. Hubby must have turned on the TV because it’s still on.. I pull myself up and Monkey pukes on the bed- Nice.

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Throw on some clean clothes & shoes, change and dress the kids.. Make lunches while sipping coffee… I really should eat – grab a few pieces of day old sliced melon (at least its cold) & eat. Mayhem has put on Diego & I spy Mischief outside with her Grandad changing my car tyre Thank goodness for Dads!  …Pack the car & kids.

Drive down the Road & Dad teaches me how to pump the tyre- Still learning new things at 27

935am

Drop Mayhem into Kindy (he was supposed to start half an hour ago)

Feed Monkey then zoom home to use wifi from the car- transfer money- Monkey has mostly screamed the entire way here (Reflux sucks!)

zoom back out… get cash out from ATM & head toward the park

11am

Meet my friends at the park (Praying the kids will sleep in the pushchair– They do not). I sit Mischief in the pushchair and attach Monkey to myself in his carrier. We walk & talk. ‘This is good – I need to do this more often’. The girls take Mischief down the slide & try the swing with her- she’s not in the best mood & so we head to the bakery across the road.

I change Mischief back at the car, Go to the library, drop off DVDs and get a few books to take out- Mischief delights in pulling books from the shelves & yelling at the top of her little lungs- She clearly isn’t the type of child you want in the library- But I do it anyway.

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We pop into the pet store- Buy a brush & treat for Barry. Mischief plays on the ride ons. I change a crying Monkey in the car -he’s hungry but its too hot to sit here & feed him so I drive the screaming babe to kindy where there is a nice shady spot.

245pm

Feed Monkey- he watches the leaves on the tree outside my window & falls asleep- the title “Trees make the Best Mobiles” dances through my head… Pull out the pushchair- Realize Mischief has managed to spill the entire contents of her water bottle on herself & car seat- Change her, get both kids in & go collect Mayhem.

Monkey screams the entire way home & when we finally get there, the only thing to calm him down is to hold him in a superman position in front of the fan – I swear its because of his outfit. He stops crying.

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I move to the bed- he watches Mischief (who I strategically put into the cot- thinking sleep would finally find her), her Acrobatics entertain him…

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I suddenly find myself stuck in one spot- with dribble running down my arm & baby across my lap, I stare at my room- unmade bed, puked on sheets, a huge basket of dirty laundry (which only reminds me of the HUGE pile of clean laundry I am yet to sort through)- Ugh- Being a mum- You just never have enough hands!

….Finally Monkey falls to sleep & I brave moving him into his bassinet…as it happens luck is on my side!

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I finish unpacking the car & then find Mayhem who is happily playing on his current favourite computer game & totally winning at it! Proud Mummy moment.

Back in the room I hear noises & find Mischief jumping in the cot trying to tear down the mirror (she had me in fits of laughter the other morning as she yelled at her reflection to give her a “Cuddle!?”). Sure she will wake Monkey again I remove her, place her in the highchair with some food while I unload & load the dishwasher- eventually she is covered in fruit stick. I clean her up. Put her back in the cot with fingers crossed.

The jug boils and Mayhem finds me asking to watch Diego – My urge to limit his TV time is over powered by the irresistible urge to put something decent into my tummy (not having had a proper meal all day doesn’t make for a happy Mummy or a happy Monkey).

I put the DVD on & get giggling Mischief from the cot- pop them both on the couch & get myself some baked beans on toast. They sit. I eat. My cuppa is Hot. This is Bliss.

I take the “free time” to change some stupid setting on my phone & had a quick convo with my lovely Mother in Law- at the point that I hang up my two older children are literally running circle around my feet. They are having immense fun. It ends in tears.

I feed Monkey on my bed while the other two jump around behind me – I end up yelling at them “Out you go!” after I get hit on the head with the soft beach bat. It’s almost

6pm

and my husbands not home yet. Just me & the HOONS.

I need to get them in the bath & make something edible for dinner (I don’t cook & when I do no one eats it)… I manage to run a bath- then my mum walks in the door Thank goodness for Mums! I bath Monkey and she dresses him.

We have cuddle time with Barry, Brush him, give him his treat and move his cage, top up his food & water. I get pissy at my husband who then makes dinner & feeds the kids & I take myself off for a much needed shower.

Mischief then has a bath & dressed by Mama, but refuses to go to bed. Monkey starts to cry- while I feed Monkey, the other two are taken to bed by Daddy… I get puked on a few times ‘Nice’ (I don’t last 5 minutes of smelling good before I once again smell of regurgitated milk).

830pm

I eat leftover pasta & drink a hot tea for my dinner. I get spilled on a few more times by Monkey. His Daddy changes him before I swaddle him up & put him to bed.

9pm

I sit on my bare bed- at some time earlier I managed to put on a load of washing… I contemplate the desire to get up and see to that mountain of laundry or to stay put, finish my 2nd hot tea for the night and go to bed earlier than 11pm for a change (once I find some clean sheets of course)

920pm

Mischief wakes- Put her back to bed.

ZZZzzzzzzz

430am

Monkey squeals. He needs a feed.

I pick him up wondering how much milk I’m going to get covered in before I  even get out of bed today… 15minutes later Monkey is full, swaddled & back to sleep in my arms. I marvel at how lucky I am to have such good sleepers –  all 3 of my children would sleep 6- 8hr nights before they hit one month….

I sit for a few minutes and just cuddle him

“They’re not little for long”

I hear all the mothers before me say…

 

I pop him in bed, scroll through my FB- I know one of the kids is likely to come in soon-

455am

Mayhem walks in- I walk him back.

I notice Mischief missing from her bed & find her asleep on the floor.

I tuck Mayhem in & move her back into bed.

5am

Back to sleep.

630am

Monkey Squeals. He wants milk.

My husband is next to me- scrolling through FB- avoiding getting up since his alarm started blaring half an hour ago. Monkey lies between us feeding- I shut my eyes while also telling myself to “Get Up”

640am

Mayhem is whinging to his Dad who must have finally got out of bed… Monkey suddenly detaches himself from me & Mayhem positions himself where his Daddy no longer lays..

Mayhem suddenly pinches under my arm & I’m jolted awake.. I put Monkey back in his bed snoring away ‘like father like son’.

650am

I’m up.

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But by…

8am…

ALL 3 kids are dressed, I’ve had my cuppa tea, Banana Milo smoothies made & shared between the family, lunches made, breakfast for Mischief & Mayhem given, dressed myself, unloaded the drier & a vow to climb and conquer laundry mountain today has been pledged….

24hrs done…

& still going.

Day 23…

  • Mayhem & Mischief watch Diego
  • Breakfast
  • Monkey “talks” away to his giraffe

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  • Play on Waterslide
  • Dressed
  • Mayhem plays on Computer Farm game

Mischief & Monkey

  •  Read: “The lion who lost his ROAR, but learnt how to draw”
  • Bike & Scooter ride
  • Monkey: Nap
  • Mischief & Mayhem: Morning Tea
  • Mischief: Nap
  • Mayhem: Computer Farm Game
  • Playdough

Imagination, creativity, stress release, vocabulary- as we talk about what we can do with playdough “squish, roll, pat, poke, prick, stamp”. We sing the ‘Patter Cake’ song.

Playdough Power

This simple preschool staple lets children use their imaginations and strengthen the small muscles in their fingers—the same muscles they will one day use to hold a pencil and write. Using playdough with you, a friend, or siblings supports your child’s social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and enjoying being with other people. Playdough also encourages children’s language and literacy, science, and math skills—all at the same time!

http://families.naeyc.org/learning-and-development/music-math-more/playdough-power

  • Magnetic Board, Bubbles

We started off drawing, then I began writing out numbers 1 – 5 which I pointed to and said each number as I touched it -Mischief sat and copied me, repeating the words and pointing to them herself. (Number recognition & counting). Mayhem then joined us- I asked him if he could point to the numbers I said- he did so easily with 1 -5. I added the numbers 6- 10. I pointed to each number and we said them together. I then asked him to point to a few numbers, then I pointed to some and asked him what the number was. He wasn’t as competent with the numbers 6- 10.

  • Mischief finds the potty makes a great seat and sits as she explores other uses for the water pump toy- she realizes that she can extend its length and this in turn can help her to reach things she otherwise is too small to get to…(like mummy’s keys)
  • kitchen play

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In addition to allowing kids to use their imaginations, play kitchens help them increase their social skills. By using various play kitchen accessories, kids can also strengthen their math skills, learn how to identify fruits, vegetables, and other foods, and even develop organizational skills.

http://www.ebay.com/gds/10-Things-Children-Learn-from-Play-Kitchens-/10000000177634062/g.html

  • Outside play- bikes/ scooters
  • Find a butterfly that has fallen into our bubble bucket & died

Life/ death, examine butterfly- wings, colour etc. Vocabulary.

  • Bath, Dinner, Read Books, Bed

 

12493618_10208625180366909_8442565556152561389_oSweet Dreams  Xx

 

 

Day 22…

  • How to Train your Dragon
  • Breakfast
  • Mischief watched Dora- Star Mountain

Spanish, Vocabulary, problem solving, critical thinking, listening, comprehension, counting, colours

  • Mayhem: Computer Farm Game
  • Mayhem & Mischief watched Dora- Beaches

Play outside:

  • Ball
  • Bat
  • Quoits
  • Pretend play with Dogs

Ball skills not only prepare children for gym class at school and extracurricular activities, but they help to address bilateral skills, hand-eye coordination, timing, sequencing, motor planning, and attention.

http://nspt4kids.com/therapy/the-developmental-benefits-of-practicing-ball-skills-with-your-child/

Preschoolers Need to Play

Preschoolers can be unstoppable — running, spinning, leaping, and climbing at every opportunity. Their desire to move, move, move makes this a great time to encourage fitness habits that will last.

Kids need to be fit for the same reasons adults do: to improve their health and make sure that their bodies can do what they need them to do. Regular exercise helps kids grow, build strong muscles and bones, develop important motor skills, and boost self-esteem.

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/active-preschooler.html?view=ptr

Imaginative play is essentially when children are role playing and are acting out various experiences they may have had or something that is of some interest to them.  They are experimenting with decision making on how to behave and are also practising their social skills.  Children learn from experience: from what happens around them, from what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch.   To absorb those experiences and make sense of the world, they need to be engaged in imaginary play.

http://www.learning4kids.net/2011/12/30/what-is-imaginative-play-and-how-to-encourage-it/

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The kids turn the sticks from the Quoits game into ‘swords’ and begin chasing the ‘Dragons’ and ‘Monsters’ away

(aka the dogs)…

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  • Giant Bubbles
  • Monkey Nap
  • Morning Tea

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  • Mischief & Mayhem Nap
  • Monkey chats to Mummy & eye tracking her hands
  • Balance Board

Your equilibrium is your center of balance that is necessary for almost every activity that you do. Whether it is large motor skills like walking and running, or fine motor skills like threading a needle, your equilibrium affects it. At times, injuries can damage your equilibrium, making it hard for you to be coordinated. Balance boards are used in therapy to restore equilibrium as your brain works harder to keep you balanced on the board…

…The balance board requires all of the parts of your body to work together, or you’ll fall off or stumble. Using a balance board can help you to coordinate your body so that all of the parts are working together…

http://www.livestrong.com/article/34421-balance-board-benefits/

Trip up to Nanny & Poppas

  • Played with our cousins Magic & Madame

Many families are hoping to achieve “the cousin effect” — the emotional and social benefits children gain from close ties to family members their own age. That effect and those relationships can extend for a lifetime, say readers of all ages who shared stories of the importance of cousins in their lives.

http://triblive.com/lifestyles/morelifestyles/8533041-74/says-cousins-family

  • Dinner
  • PJ’s
  • Played Hot Wheel Car races with Nanny & our cousins

Home Time

  • Bed

3rd “Day Off”… Day 21

A lovely day spent with family and friends at the Beach – The kids played together, made friends on the play ground, blew bubbles, dug in the sand and explored the beach as the tide was out…

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