Now that I think about it, we must have been quite nuts to decide that we should introduce Q to the world of robots. We don’t mean to show him what robots are (he already knows that), but rather, take him behind the scenes to see how robots are made.
We originally spoke to a robotics specialist friend of ours that runs Ministry of Robotics and he said that his robots can take skilled engineers up to half a day to assemble a simple version. So we canned that plan and went with our next best plan of buying a little robot kit. We found some at Toys R Us and settled on a fly-robot and a doodling robot that draws from the spectacular 4M range of science toys.
As it turns out, the bots were too hard for Q to fix though the fella had a field day playing with the bit parts, handing stuff to us and being able to handle real tools. We let him take the lead with decorating Ro-Bug and in sharing in the soda in the can we were fervently trying to empty. The kits were fairly straight forward though I would most certainly recommend reading ALL the instructions and accounting for ALL the bit parts BEFORE embarking on building either of these robots.
Ok, I have a confession to make: I love butterflies. I love the way they look, I love the way the fly and most off all, I love they way they bloom. I’ve always thought the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is one of the most amazing things nature can offer.
We are lucky to live down the road from a lime plant growing neighbor who has a knack of finding young caterpillars in her garden, she was quite happy to hand them over to us so that my boys could watch the amazing process as well.
We’ve hatched several butterflies to date and the best part of the whole thing is when we set the butterfly free. So, since it has been a while since our last butterfly blooming project, we went scouting for a caterpillar to rear. She was kind enough to find us three.
Our first caterpillar was a real eater of a caterpillar and he worked his way through the leaves quick enough and got really fat fast. Next thing we knew (also, because we were quite distracted those days), he was in chrysalids mode. And in another blink of an eye, he emerged as a beautiful lime butterfly. Before we set the butterfly free, we took the chance to talk about the beauty of the butterfly, what they ate (nectar), how no two butterflies are the same and do some butterfly related crafts: in today’s case, we did butterfly fingerprinting ala Ed Emberley.
And as the sun was setting, I took my boys and we said farewell to the butterfly and wished him well. Q was very clear in telling the butterfly that if he needed to find food, he could go ask Mr. Bumble Bee cos they ate the same thing, but to be careful cos the bee might sting.
Now that we have finished our ABC learning crafts, I went round digging for stuff we could do ABC wise to revise. I came across this wonderful collection of Alphabet paper crafts at Digitprop.com and thought I’d share with all of you. Its lovely ain’t it? And its just a mouse click and print away!
After 26 llllooonnngggg weeks, we finally made it through all 26 letters of the alphabet! We’ve been faithfully sticking them up on our cupboard and here you see it- all 26 letters, upper and lower case alphabets!
Its our first education milestone since we started the Growing Tree Project. And while Q’s been able to sing his ABCs for a while already, I think this take-your-time method has really helped us enjoy learning, learning the alphabets and its place in our lives more. Sometimes when I feel like maybe he’s not “quite getting it”, he’d surprise me by correctly identifying the alphabet in random words we come across: street signs, words in books, names of his friends… Interestingly enough, he seem to like some letters more than others!
We’ve been working on writing some of the alphabets and we started with the letters of his name. We’ve gotten through all the different letters of Q-U-E-N-T-I-N (not so steady on the E and N just yet) but we’ll get there soon enough I think. He writes the letter Q very well ( a circle and a line) and I look forward to hitting this new learning milestone!
We finally made it to the Letter Z! I had great plans for the letter Z since Q’s favorite place in the world began with the letter Z: The Zoo! Unfortunately, between my crazy schedule (its peak work season) and the terrible weather (too hot, too cold, too wet), we did not manage to go to the Zoo to see the Zebras.
So, to make up for it, we pretended to build our own zoo! We pretty much have all the animals in our animal menagerie and our lego set has “gates” so we spent a happy afternoon building ourselves a zoo. In our zoo, of course, the crocodiles would live harmoniously with the Pandas and the goldfish next to the lions. Its a very peaceful, friendly zoo.
Methinks a trip to the zoo might still be in order next week.
I must admit, the last few letters of the alphabet are hard to get through- first, cos my schedule is beginning to take on a manic pace; second, we are getting a tad “bored” of the process, especially since the Letter Y ain’t that exciting.
But still, we persevere. And cos, next week is the last week in this series!
We welcomed our letter of the week simply by playing some yoyo. Q scored two toy yo-yos at a recent birthday party and we had some fun learning how it worked. I suck as a yoyo player (?) and he was just as dismal so I cut the string and we played Make Believe Yoyo- you know, you simply fling your arms about and the yoyo would kinda fly everywhere. We completely aced this game. Yeah, we made great “make believe yoyo-ers”
Then we found some empty Yakult bottles and made little Yakult robots. Cos, Yakult (one of our favorite drinks) begins with Y! That was a happy, messy fun activity. We simply poked holes (yeah, very tak glam) and made robot sounds. Q made a flying robot. He simply threw the robot about the garden and declared he was flying.
I drew in wings. Cos, life, my friends, lies in the details.
We spent the best part of the week in Myanmar and only got to our letter of the week right at the tail end of the week. Luckily, it was the letter U and I knew the underwater craft would go down really well with Q.
If I haven’t already mentioned, Q is a big fan of all things underwater. We have birthed a croc (via a cord egg toy) and Finding Nemo is pretty much his favorite movie.
After (U is for) unpacking from our trip, we settled down to work on our letter crafts and for to making the letter U for umbrella first. Which, was a bad idea cos Q decided he HAD to go play with his kid sized umbrella that my mother bought him a while back. I would (U is for ) usually hunt him down and insisted he completed his task but I kinda gave up and we ended up only getting to the second craft later in the evening.
We ended the evening by watching the videos of one of my favorite Disney music- Under the Sea (Little Mermaid).