My how time flies!

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

homemade popsicles - a lesson in problem solving

It started out innocently enough. We were working on our second lesson of Right Start Mathematics (Level B) and using our craft sticks as tally sticks. I inadvertently called them "popsicle sticks" and the mania began. "I want popsicles. Mama, will you please get me a popsicle?" I told them we didn't have any. "Oh, I know! We can make popsicles!" They were pretty excited and convincingly insistent.

Then there was the problem of what to use to make them. We finally decided on bananas, apple juice, and 2 spoonfuls of leftover cranberry jelly. We don't have popsicle molds here (just why that is, with these popsiclephiles, is beyond me!) so we used our applesauce cups that we keep around for side dishes, snacks, and painting.

Then the real problem. How do we get a popsicle stick to stand up in a bowl of liquid. I thought about stuffing blueberries in the bottom and trying to prop it up, but in a moment of inspiration, I turned to my big boy instead. After all, what new 5-year-old doesn't need a lesson in problem-solving?

His first idea was to stick an ice cube in it. We tried that. The stick refused to go into it. We fished the too-hard ice cube out, and before I could even get it into a nearby plant pot, he suggested we stick an apple in the cup. Genius! I cut 2 ~1/3" thick apple slices, trimmed them so they were round, and stuck the knife through the middle to make a slit. As an added bonus, the apple floated nicely on top of the thick banana mixture, making a nice drip-stopping base. We stuck their sticks in the apples, froze the popsicles, and 4 hours later...

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Now that Katie is interested in Hooked on Phonics, I fretted for a short while about what to do with one kid while the other is doing their reading. I shouldn't have. They find their own things to do. Usually the *same* thing. Yesterday it was this printable.

The left one is Sammy's, and the right one is Katie's. Sammy kept rolling dice until he could color in all 6 rows. Katie gave up quickly and played with Benny and the Little People instead. But Mama was able to give everyone the attention they needed while they got their reading done, and that's what counts!
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Benny runs!

A mere 5 days after walking on his own, Benny started running.

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Recycling crayons

How this idea escaped me before, I don't know. But when I stumbled across it (while searching for Thomas the Tank Engine images, of all things!) I was very happy to have something to do with our bits and pieces of broken, dull, chewed crayons!

Crayola crayons melted much more evenly. The leftover restaurant crayons tended to separate into different layers, and were very stinky.

They were a big hit, and are now the first thing the kids reach for when it's time to color.
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