Thursday, October 11, 2018

Preschool STEAM Station: Pounding Colors

Last week we began our Orchard Harvest unit from Mother Goose Time, and it had an awesome 
STEAM Station involving flowers.  STEAM stations are learning stations that revolve around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, or Math.  In this case, the STEAM station is focused mainly on Science, but I would also say Art. 

So last week, my 10 month old son decided he was not going to nap and after I took all the screaming I could handle, I decided the 3 of us were going to take a field trip and get some homeschooling done in the great outdoors (and hopefully wear him down for another nap).
We have a beautiful demonstration garden where we live.  Master gardeners take care of the space and it is for anyone to come out and enjoy. It was the perfect place to obtain a variety of flowers for our Steam Station. Unfortunately, I only shot the picture below which obviously doesn't show you the beauty of our garden...ugh.  I wish I had taken more pictures.  I wish I had more hands.
But I was enjoying just the moment with my kids and being completely present with them.

In the garden, we found a wide variety of flowers in all sorts of colors and we even came across a crab apple tree!  I love the texture of the crab apple... so interesting.   We tried to get one of each flower we found and placed in our basket to bring home for our experiment.  When we got home, and brother went down for another nap, Avaleigh and I headed to the garage to do our flower crushing.

 We placed the flowers on white paper towels, placed a layer of paper towels on top, and I taped the corners down to help.  We found one of Avaleigh's play hammers from a Melissa & Doug kit.  Then she got busy hammering away at the flowers.  It was so exciting to see the colors bleed onto the
 paper towels.  She really had to hammer hard and continuously to get a rich color.

We used white paper towels, but this would look great on some muslim or white fabric.  I just didn't have any on hand.  We did 2 different sets of the poundings.  The purple flowers and leaves were the richest in color, and it was so neat to see how much pigment was in such a small delicate flower.  Avaleigh's favorite flower was the one that looks like a spider in the 2nd picture below.

Can you even imagine that this is how they dyed yarns and fabrics a few centuries ago?
Can you imagine all the flowers and leaves it would take to make a purple robe?
Soooo many things we take for granted today that were such luxuries not that long ago.

My girl loved this experiment (along with myself) and I would have never thought to do something like this.  I am so grateful for our MGT curriculum.
I just wish I had done it on some fabric so I could frame it.  I might still frame it- the jury is still out on that.  I am so grateful that my boy napped for a little while so I could enjoy some mommy and me science with my girl.

What's one of your favorite flower experiments?

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Character Education: Kindness

There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful to the Lord for the heart He has given my little girl. Ever since she was crawling, she was always mindful about who's pacifier was who's and returned it to that baby in the nursery.
It just boggles my mind sometimes.

We started our Pre-K 4 homeschool year with our Mother Goose Time unit on Friends and Feelings.  One of the new additions for this year are character education books called Forest Friends.
Our first book is called A Kind Friend and we were introduced to a fox and rabbit who are friends. 

After reading the story, it was time for retelling with puppets.  I attached the scenery cutouts to the window to give more of a forest feeling and she played with her rabbit and fox while retelling the story.  We added one of our log blocks to retell when fox got hurt.

She really did a great job, but my favorite part took place a few days after we read this story.

We had a discussion on things she does that are kind and helpful.
I asked her how she helped me at home.
"I help take care of Everett (little brother).  I give him his pacifier when he is screaming."
She does.  And she sings to him.
Ever since he was a little baby, whenever he started hollering, she would sing Hush Little Baby, and she still sings that to him.  When we brought him home from the hospital after 17 days in the NICU, the first thing she did was read him a book.
Heart melts every day.
I know her kindness is completely of God.

Anyway, back to our activity.
I had her draw her being kind to her brother based on our teacher guide lesson, and then I recorded what she told me her picture was about.

Yall, this picture is HILARIOUS!  
Avaleigh drew a picture of herself, complete with "little boobs" and a "itty bitty belly button" giving Everett his pacifier. The pink head is momma and the liitle stick figure is Everett. Her drawings are my favorite. 

Those fingers!
And I look like I am about to eat my baby.
Goodness. LOL.
 I am so glad I get to have these moments.  
I am so thankful to see her heart and stay home with them.

I wouldn't trade it for anything.