While preparing for our first family trip involving an airplane, we got to do a little hands-on math. Our kids' pediatrician suggested we bring gummy bears along for the flight to help avoid painful ear pressure during take-offs and landings. We bought a big bag and divided them up into four groups -- two for … Continue reading Math Everywhere: Division
To reinforce the color-mixing ideas we'd talked about previously, we tried another experiment with food-coloring and water. This demonstration relies on the tendency of liquids to reach equilibrium. When we connect the jars, the water will flow until it has reached an equal level in all of the jars. If we put food coloring in … Continue reading Preschool Science: Color-Mixing, Day 2
We have been talking about boiling, melting, freezing, and states of matter with our preschooler, so we tried this simple color-mixing activity. First, we made blue, red, and yellow ice cubes. We needed five of each color for this activity, and we made them simply by putting one drop of food coloring in each section … Continue reading Preschool Science: Color Mixing Day 1
Here's a quick and fun activity to introduce pairs that add to ten -- important math facts to memorize early! We used our Unifix cubes, but Duplos, Legos, or any other connecting blocks would work as well. I made stacks of cubes for each of the numbers 1 through 9, including two stacks of 5, … Continue reading Preschool Math: Making Groups of Ten
Finally, finally, finally, summer is here! You cannot know unless you have ever taught middle school the blessed relief that Memorial Day weekend can bring. This new season brings a major shift in our day to day routine. No more school means no work for Mommy, no 5:00 wake-up call, no rush-hour commute, no daycare... … Continue reading Summer Goals
My three-year-old is forever teaching me about determination (or "stubbornness," depending on the particulars). This week, it was the kite he got in his Easter basket. Every day, he's been looking out the window and declaring that it's really windy outside. It is not. Finally I caved and let him take it out. Predictably, there … Continue reading No Wind, No Problem
I've seen this activity suggested before, but this was our first time trying it. We used 18 mm plastic beads, regular spaghetti stuck in a little blob of Play-Doh, and an enthusiastic three-year-old. On top of building those fine motor skills and encouraging pattern building, this simple activity also gave me time for a cup … Continue reading Threading: Fine Motor Skills
A bit of wisdom from Maria Montessori today: "Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed." For our older son, that's basically every task now. Last month he hit three and dove headfirst into the world of "I can do it all by myself!" He is putting on shoes, … Continue reading A Fierce Independence
Albert Einstein said, "Play is the highest form of research." This is most true when our children play with toys that allow them to create, experiment, and solve problems. Our three-year-old is enchanted with his wooden train set these days. He's developing his understanding of some basic engineering as he figures out where to place … Continue reading All Aboard!
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!