The slow-motion video option on my phone has captured my preschooler's attention lately, so we are using it to improve our marble track engineering. When we record a run in slow-motion and review it, he can more easily see where problems occurred in our design and come up with potential solutions. He also really likes … Continue reading Test, Observe, Revise: Engineering with a Preschooler
We love the game Bananagrams, which is essentially Scrabble without a board. We come up with lots of little activities to use the letters and work on our early literacy skills. The other day, we tried something new. As we were reading a book, we picked out an important word or two from each page … Continue reading Literacy Games: Bananagrams
This week, our marble set has been working overtime. We engineered a wall of pipes and tracks to run our marbles down, and we've been using it to explore how potential and kinetic energy work. We began with a short track at the base of the wall and tested marbles to see if they had … Continue reading Boundless Energy: Awesome Preschool Science Activity
Every single day, we are making stuff in this house. And I don't just mean messes. Every day, we are using our hands and our brains to put things together. Here are our favorite projects this week. Puzzles It has been a non-stop puzzle-palooza around here. Little brother is into our chunky Melissa & Doug … Continue reading What We Are Building
I was playing backgammon (or tavloo, as the Armenians call it) with my three-year-old last night. This game is excellent practice for math skills like counting pips, number sense (reading a group of dots on a die without counting them), and complex problem-solving (considering a wide array of possible moves and determining the most favorable). … Continue reading Fair Play
Today the "extra duties as assigned" part of my contract obliged me to visit our 1st grade classroom to deal with some technology drama. I love going out there to see what the littles are up to. Today they were building their spelling words with unifix cubes. Each group was drawing from a big bin … Continue reading Unifix Letters
Looking for a new game for your middle kids? Make a dice tower. They are allowed to walk around it but not to touch it. The goal: Find the sum of all the faces that cannot be seen. This begins as a logic puzzle. If we can see these numbers, what numbers are missing? The … Continue reading Dice Challenge
Working with dice enhances number sense in young children by training them to look at a group of objects (the dots on the dice) and recognize how many are there without counting. As children grow familiar with these common arrangements, they increase their awareness of how numbers are composed -- two columns of three makes six, … Continue reading Snake Eyes!