Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wii Karaoke

Here is Elisabeth trying her hand at singing a Taylor Swift song on a Wii Karaoke game while Jonah does his best to annoy her - what else are big brothers for!

I do need to find a version with more kid friendly songs. Let me know if you know of any.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Smithsonian Volcano Kit

My parents were visiting a few weeks ago and they bought Jonah a Smithsonian Volcano Kit. We were staying in a campground when we put it together. It makes for a great outdoors activity. I haven't used plaster of paris before (at least not that I can remember) and I really enjoyed it. We all got our hands wet, but Elisabeth particularly enjoyed that part.



Phase 1 complete, we waited a couple of hours before painting it.  Papaw got in on the painting too.




Getting ready to erupt.


I didn't have any measuring cups in the RV so I think our vinegar to baking soda ratio was off a bit.  But, overall it was a success.

After the trip, we took the volcano home, and, in the following weeks, it inspired some of our homeschool activities: we read books about volcanos, learned about the Pacific Ring of Fire and watched a documentary on Mount St. Helens. We also did an experiment to see whether baking powder or baking soda had the best reaction with vinegar - as I recall baking soda works best. We erupted the volcano yet again. 

We still have it for another eruption in the future when we can review what we learned.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

KinderBallet Dances to the Nutcracker

Elisabeth's KinderBallet class had an informal Fall performance for family last week.  

Earlier in the week was an in-class dress rehearsal for the mom's.

Then on Saturday, both classes came together for a combined performance.  As you can imagine, the larger number of little dancers and a full room of family members had an effect.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Finding Balance on a Bike

I was introduced to a balance bike (or at least the idea of one) for the first time two years ago. During a three week stay in Brooklyn, I saw this little 3-year old kid riding around the park on a very small bike. I was amazed and couldn't take my eyes off of him. I asked his mom how he learned to ride so young and she told me how they started him off on a balance bike. After a few months he was ready for one with pedals. I had never heard of a balance bike before, and I filed it away in my head for future reference.

But teaching the kids to ride a bike hasn't been a big priority. And now Jonah is too big for a dedicated balance bike. Back in June though, we did acquire a Classic Balance Bike by Smart Gear for Elisabeth.

Again, not much time was was spent encouraging her to ride it until we got back from our vacation. Perhaps motivated by all his bike riding on the trip, Kelly worked with Elisabeth almost every evening. The key was she was enjoying herself and she started to really get the hang of going downhill.

After a couple of weeks, we thought she was ready to upgrade to a big girl bike and we found a great girly, pink one on Craigslist. Well, turned out she was not quite ready. She wasn't comfortable on the bigger bike and those pesky pedals were in the way. So, we regrouped, took the pedals off and made a balance bike for Jonah.

He was not very uninterested at first and after falling was even more hesitant even resistent. But, Daddy adjusted the seat and convinced him to give it another go.  Well, it was a turning point.  Again, the fun factor won him over. Now they both ask to go for a bike ride almost daily.

Thankfully, Jonah is not offended by the pink Barbie themed bike with frillies on the handlebars.

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