Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love the duck, Love the books!!

Every since my girls were babies, they've loved Usborne books! I first discovered these books at a home show that a family member held years ago. Even though my girls are getting older, they still enjoy some of the books that I read to them as toddlers. They love looking for the little duck that is hidden in the pages of the books that are illustrated by Stephen Cartwright. Usborne creates great baby and toddler books, but they also have books that are appropriate for all age groups, especially their awesome collection of non-fiction books.

Some of my girl's favorite books from Usborne include the following:

Ted and Friends





Farmyard Tales Christmas





There's a Mouse about the House









To Shop or Browse for Usborne books, Click Below!
WELCOME TO USBORNE BOOKS!


If you own any Usborne books, please Comment and share your favorites!!

Happy Reading!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Creative Pancakes!


Brownie Pancakes? This was a first for my daughters this morning! I usually use fruit in my pancakes, so they were thrilled to try pancakes with one of their favorite sweets in them. When we walked in the door for church this morning, their little faces lit up when they saw what they were going to eat for breakfast club (they feed the kids at the earlier service- cool, huh?). Anyways, the point of my post today is to see if anyone out there has any other interesting pancake recipes that they would like to share! I usually just cook blueberry, so please send some creative ideas my way!! Comment with your favorite pancake and I'll have a pancake day with the girls and let you know what we think!! Who knows, maybe a new recipe will come your way that you'd like to try, also!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dancing to Bluegrass!!














Today, we had fun at an Apple Jam! My girls love to listen to live music, so they were digging the bluegrass band, even though they prefer the likes of Hannah Montana. My girls were dancing around for a while, when I decided to join in on the fun. I was the only Mommy out there, but it was so worth their little smiles and girly giggles. It is so nice to be at a place where I am comfortable with me. At first, I thought- Oh there are only kids out there, but then I thought- why not? It looks like fun, so I went for it! I danced around with a bunch of 3 to 6 years olds! Here's my challenge for you today- you don't have to dance around in public with your kiddos, but if you don't do so already, let loose and dance around the house with them. Musical chairs are fun, too. We played this a few nights ago and couldn't stop laughing. They loved it when I'd practically fall off of their kiddie chair. Happy Saturday! Now Go boogy!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bingo Daubers- Not just for Bingo anymore!


If you haven't gotten your hands on some bingo daubers for your kids, you'll have to pick some up at a $ or craft store. My girls love creating with these and you can actually find pages on the Internet for your kids to dab. I found some for my daughter's froggy birthday and the kids loved it. I set up a table with different color daubers and had the froggy sheets from the Internet on a little table. When the kids came in, many of them went right to the activity. This was great, because some kids trickled in little by little and this gave them something fun to do while they were waiting for the party to start. Yes, of course I will share the link with you!! I love to share!! Can you tell???

Bingo Dauber Art


Check this site out for lots of bingo dauber sheets that you can print out for free! They have seasonal and holiday sheets, too. I also just give my kids blank paper and let them create whatever they want with them to encourage creative thinking!

Take Care!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Jello Time!


Jello is fun to eat, but how will it feel between your toes?? Don't you think our kids will absolutely love us if we let them put their feet in a bin of Jello? I know you may be thinking- WHY? Why in the world would I put my child's feet in jello? Aren't you curious what it would feel like? I think my girls would definately want to find out!
Actually, I heard about an awesome teacher (never met him, but you'll read why I think he's awesome) who would let his students walk around in a baby pool of jello. Next, they would describe how it felt and use the describing words for their writing. How much fun is that? Could you imagine your English teacher taking you outside to walk in jello? Never happened to me during my school days. Although, I did slide into a pool of jello for charity when I was an adult. Very strange to slide your body into this cool, sticky stuff, but it was for a good cause!

This post is dedicated to my MOPs friend Jen who recently let her little boy paint with his toes, which reminded me of the jello activity!! Thanks, Jen!! Let me know if he likes the jello idea!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For Your Curious Baby, Maybe??

I'm out of this stage (and I do miss the baby years, believe it or not!), but I wish I had one of these jogging strollers when my girls were little. When you sign up for Parentricity, you can be entered to win one of these cool contraptions!

Parentricity is a site that uses social networking to bring together mothers, fathers, teachers, pediatricians (and other professionals that work with children) and businesses. It is the first social network targeted toward both parents.

Just click below to enter!!


Have a great Sunday and I hope one of my readers wins!!!

Jen

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sink or Float?


Yesterday afternoon, my sunshine girl popped her head into the kitchen and pleaded with me, "Mom, can we please do a science experiment?" Hmmm. I'm right in the middle of something, I'm thinking, but what can I do quick that won't take up too much time??? Ool, I know a sink and float experiment!!
"Sure. What do you think about a Sink or Float experiment?"
Her eyes lit up, so I knew that I had won! I told her and her little sis to run around the house and collect a bunch of small objects.

Here is what they found:
a straw
a coin
a small ball of playdo
a small cucumber
a tomato
a sticky note
a plastic toy
a piece of fuzz
a Popsicle stick
a pin
a craft googly eye


All mom had to do was fill up a large bin with water! I also set out two different colored plates so that they could put the floaters on one side and the sinkers on the other to compare. They had fun predicting which ones they thought would float or sink. They guessed one at a time. Eventually, Dad peeked in the kitchen to see what was going on and decided that he wanted to experiment, too! He had fun guessing with the girls and they enjoyed having us both involved. After we were finished with all of the objects, we discussed why we felt the results turned out the way they did. So simple, but a memory created (thanks to sunshine's curiosity)!

I'm not going to tell you which things floated or sunk!! You'll have to try the experiment to find out! Have fun!


For more family fun with Sinking and Floating- Check out Brain Pop Jr.

Jen

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Excuse this House

Oh, how I wish I had an organized, clean house! There are days that I will feel down because it doesn't look how I think it should! I also worry about teaching my kids how to organize and keep a home. Beating myself up though isn't going to change the condition of my home, but a new attitude will. Working little by little and feeling good about each accomplishment will help! There are days though that I won't get much done, because the little ones need me more! If you need a good excuse for playing with the kids today and taking a break from housekeeping, here's a poem for you. This plaque was on my mother's wall when I was a child and now it has been passed down to me!

Excuse this House

Some houses try to hide the fact
that children shelter there;
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere
For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the door;
I should apologize I guess
For toys strewn on the floor
But I sat down with the children
And we played & laughed & read;
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I'm forced to choose
The one job or the other;I want to be a housewife-
But first I'll be a mother.


There ya go! Go play with your kids without guilt today! There is always tomorrow to vacuum and put away the laundry!! (Just don't put it off too long, like me!- The Queen of procrastination, Ha, Ha!)

Enjoy your day!
Jen

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An APPLE Afternoon!









Courtesy of flickr.com

With fall right around the corner, I can't help but think of pumpkins, fall leaves, and APPLES!! I love going to the pumpkin farm to pick out my pumpkins in October, but why not visit the farm early to pick some apples with your child. When Sunshine was in preschool, we took a tour of a apple farm and learned all about apples, apple picking, and making apple cider. I actually learned a new thing or two about this delicious and healthy snack. Here are some ideas for planning an Apple Afternoon!!

Visit a local farm that produces apples. Pick out a variety of apples with your child. Look into a tour and enjoy the day!

Observe the different types of apples. If you can't make it to the farm, take your child to a grocery store to pick out apples. My children enjoy picking out their own fruits and veges and weighing them on the scale. Fun way to tie in a little bit of math!! Also, combine with a little critical thinking- How are the apples alike? How are they different? Which apple is your favorite and why?? The key is to ask open ended questions to get kids to think!

Cut open an apple at home. Observe what the inside looks like. Let your child pick out the seeds and discuss how this fruit grows. Share fun facts about apples with your kids! Click here for cool facts!


Apple painting: take a small piece of the apple that you explored to make apple prints. Dip the apple in paint and press on construction paper!

Apple math:
Cut apple in half and then in fourths to teach fractions- Whole, 1/2 and 1/4.
Apple addition and subtraction- make up little story problems and let your child create story problems. Example: One day a little bear had 5 apples,but one rolled down the hill. How many apples does little bear have now??

Make Carmel apples-Yum!! Let your child roll the Carmel apple in sprinkles or chocolate chips!! Remember the inside of the treat is healthy!!

Easy apple snack: Slice an apple. Have yogurt, Carmel, or peanut butter for dipping!

Sip warm apple cider while you read a few books from your local library about apple picking. Don't forget about Johnny Appleseed!!

More resources:
Kids Cooking Video: No Bake Apple Pie

Parent Activity Guide

Awesome Apple Activities!(math,reading,songs,poems and more!)

Apple Themed Activities at A Kid's Heart

I'll have to plan an apple afternoon soon! Let me know if you'll be having one and/or any other apple ideas.

Have a great day!

Jen

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Body Peircings???

"Can I get my lip peirced, Mommy?"

"Sure, when you are 18," I calmly responded.

"Really?"

"Sure, if you still want your lip pierced when you are 18; Go for it!"




"So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I found my six year old in this condition? Not only did she have earrings on her lip and ears, but she had them on her nose! Luckily, they are just fake earrings and I'm hoping that she gets it out of her system before she is 18!! That's my crazy, wild child- gotta love her!!

Must Have Makeover!

With the busyness of raising our children and taking care of our homes, all of us need to get a makeover every once in while to feel at our best! I came across two of the best hair and makeup artists that I've come across in a long time and highly recommend them. They are excited and passionate about their craft. I will be sure to post photos of their work below and please comment if you are interested in their very affordable services.


Interesting Eye-shadow Technique



Creative Hair-do




Hey, Thanks for making me BEAUTEOUS, Girls!


[Hair and Makeup: Abby and Emmy- ages 6 and 4]

Okay, I can't believe I am posting those photos! Oh well, we just have to laugh at ourselves sometimes, right? Now to the point of this post- using your imagination! Boy did the girls have fun giving Mom a makeover this week! My husband and I enjoy pretending to be different characters with our girls. When I get a turn to be the hairstylist, I am known as Miss LuLu with ze' accent! Too much fun. Other suggestions for make-believe:

Store: Grab some fruit or veges from the kitchen and set up your own stand. Play with real money to help children learn their coins. Put paper price tags on or near the items.

Post Office: Take turns being the mail carrier. Let your child write little notes and send them to each other.

Castle: Sometimes we pretend we are Queens and Princesses and address each other this way for a period of time.
"Queen Mama- can I please have a drink of royal juice?"
"Why of course, Princess Emmy."
This is a great way to play make believe with them if you are busy with housework, etc. but they are still trying to get some attention from Mom.

Monster: Of course every child loves Mom or Dad to chase them through the house and pretend that they are the monster. Dad is good for this, especially right before Mom is scheduled to put them to bed. Thanks, Dad!! (Ha, Ha.)

When children see Mom or Dad getting into character, it gives them the freedom to use their own imagination. What will you play today? Share you ideas!!

Have a great day!!
Jen

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Meet Mr. Grasshead!

Had to share him! Especially to those of you who enjoyed my garden post, how could I not share Mr. Grasshead with you!! Okay, I have to admit. I did not do this with my children. It was their creative Aunt Kimmy! I'm not sure where she found this idea, but the girls loved it. I think she put soil in a sock with grass seeds in the top. Kim- please comment if I am wrong on the directions! Emmy cut out felt pieces for a face and Aunt Kimmy helped sew the pieces on to the sock. (A bit complicated for me!) Look at the grass hair- hysterical, isn't it?? I want to crack up when I look at him, but I might get in trouble with my daughters. We will probably give him a haircut soon! Well, Guess what? I actually have a few other ideas for growing grass that I've done with my students or have read online, etc.

Mr. Potato Heads

1. Cut the bottom off of a potato in order for it to be able to stand up.
2. Scoop out a small pit in the top of the head of the potato.
3. Decorate a face on the potato with permanent marker.
4. Cut out small hands from construction paper and tape on toothpicks for arms.
5. Put a cotton ball in the pit.
6. Add grass seed.
7. Water and put by sunlight.
8. Observe grass hair growing out of potato heads!!!

Egg Heads

Similar to above- found great instructions on the link below.
http://www.creativekidsathome.com/activities/activity_36.html#Egg%20Heads
My suggestion would be to be really careful with the egg yolk. I'd clean it out myself and then put the soil into it. I'd let me child decorate it and put the seeds in, but to each his own.

CHA CHA Chia Head

For those who want to stay away from food, try this simple activity! Click below!
http://www.savvysource.com/activities/activity_bt272_gardening_598_diy-chia-head

Okay, one more photo of Mr. Grasshead before I go- just to make you chuckle a bit- I hope!! Here's a close up!
Many Smiles,
Jen

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In our Garden

What will you find in our garden?


Little hands that love to grow


Plenty of cucumbers


Little bunnies


Strange creatures(tomato horn worm? Yep!)
Tomatoes


Way too many jalapeno peppers (any recipes??)


Little watermelons that don't taste very good







Excitement, Joy, Learning!

This was our very first garden and what an exciting summer we've had finding new discoveries and watching our plants grow! It was so rewarding for us to grow our own food. Daily, our girls would ask to pick and eat veges from their very own garden!! Actually, it was pretty low maintenance- we didn't really do anything fancy- a little bit of soil with fertilizer, a little bit of weeding, added a couple of marigolds, H20, God's sun and a little love from the little ones!!

Ideas for gardening and to inspire learning:


-read books about gardening

-discuss how different things grow on trees, under the ground and play a guessing game to see if your child knows where different fruits and veges grow.

-look up info on critters you find in your garden. (need to find our more about that strange worm we found- has eggs on her back, too!)

-check out Kid's websites on gardening. See below!

http://www.parenting-our-kids.com./gardening_for_kids.html

www.kidsgardening.com

Happy Gardening and I hope that you enjoyed our most recent photos and discoveries! We're looking forward to trying to grow something new next Spring. What did you grow or discover in your garden this year?

Jen

Monday, September 8, 2008

Duck, Duck, Goose Revised!

Who doesn't love a good game of Duck, Duck, GOOSE? To mix things up a little bit yesterday, I decided that I wanted to play it differently. We played Apple, Orange, BANANA instead. If I tapped your head and said the word banana then you would run around the circle. The girls liked spicing things up a bit to make it more interesting! Being that I changed the game, they wanted to do the same. Here was my 4 year old's idea(which was more creative than her mother's!): Croc, Flip Flop, SHOE! You have to run on the word Shoe. Now, Abby had to get in on the action. She wanted her own game, too. She decided that she was going to say a variety of words(anything that came to mind) and if you heard BANANA HEAD, then it was time for you to run. Of course she thought it was funny to come up with as many potty words she can think of- Oh, the mind of a 6 year old! I've done this in the past for Birthday Parties as well. For a Strawberry Shortcake birthday, you can play- Strawberry, Strawberry, SHORTCAKE!

What a simple way to inspire a little creativity; don't ya' think? What other games can you make more interesting by changing it around a bit?? Be sure to post your ideas below!!

Have a fun and creative Monday!

Jen

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nature: Our Outdoor Classroom!


Yesterday, Peanut came home excited to tell us all about the "sticky" walk she took at Preschool. Sticky walk? We never heard of such a thing. She proceeded to tell us what a sticky walk is-
"put tape on your wrist, then go outside and pick up stuff like yellow leaves and red leaves...."
She then told us that she found bark, flowers, and a prickly thing.
"What a neat idea," I thought.
This is where I got my inspiration for today's post- using nature as our outdoor classroom! My girls love taking nature walks and it gives us the opportunity to observe, explore, and learn about God's amazing creation! Next time you take a walk with the kids, try one of the activities below.

Sticky Walk
After taking your "sticky" walk, share what you've found. Look in books or online to learn about new discoveries.

Bug Walk
Have fun looking for little critters! Be sure to take along a magnifying glass so that your child can get an up close look at the bugs found. (Actually, I saw the cartoon characters doing this on the new PBS show- Sid the Science Kid. They were exploring pill bugs and they were using a magnifying glass to count the number of legs on the bug. Next, they drew a picture of the bugs in a bug journal.) If taking a walk in the woods, be sure to take along a piece of white poster board. Scatter dirt and leaves from the top of the ground onto the paper. You will be surprised at the plethora of life living there!

A few "buggy" book suggestions:
Little Miss Spider by David Kirk
Five Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!
by Bob Barner
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

Fall leaf creations

This was one of my favorite fall creative thinking activities when I was teaching. Take a walk with the kiddos and collect a variety of fall leaves. Brainstorm with your child different pictures that they can create with the leaf. Do they see a dog, a person, a volcano? Encourage them to use their imagination. Choose a leaf to glue on white construction paper. Next, have your child use markers(love washable for our younger artists!) to draw a creation by adding details to their leaf. (also known as elaboration- creative thinking skill)

Fall leaf rubbings
Save a couple leaves from your leaf walk above to make leaf rubbings. Put the leaf under a piece of white paper. Using crayons, have your child rub over the leaf. Use more that one leaf and different colored crayons to make a beautiful poster!

Other Nature Activities
adapted from Preschool/Kindergarten Instant Lessons For Little Learners- The Mailbox 1997

1. Nature collage:
glue items from nature on poster board. Hey, why not use the items found on the "sticky" walk!!

2. Pebbles and Rocks: collect different sizes of pebbles and rocks. Have child drop the pebbles and rocks into a plastic bin of water. What are the differences in the splashes made by each rock? How long did the ripples last? Count and Compare. My girls love collecting rocks. Let your child pick out a few of their favorites for a rock collection.

3. Sand/Dirt Writing: Using a stick, let your child practice their writing in sand or just plain old dirt in the backyard.

4.Texture walk: Feel and compare the different textures found in nature. What feels soft? What feels rough? Extensions: Put the different objects in categories. (Rough, Soft, by Color, or Size.) Play which object doesn't belong.

5. Animal Homes: Next time you take a walk in the woods or around the neighborhood, search for animal homes. Where do ants live? Where do birds live? Spiders? etc.

Other resources for outdoor learning:

My First Nature Book- A life size guide to discovering the world around you by Angela Wilkes

http://www.naturenet.com/coolkidwebSites.htm

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sparkly Pants???

Oh, what to do with a pair of pink, sparkle pants? Recently, Sunshine overheard me talking about a craft that I was planning for my mother's group. all you magazine had a fun fabric craft pictured on the front of their August cover: decorative storage boxes. For our first craft, I was looking for something that was useful and easy to make. Once she saw what we were making, she just had to make a fabric covered pencil holder for her new teacher. After searching at Grammy's house for fabric, she actually found a pair of pink sparkly pants to cut up to be used for her craft. I didn't realize when I was planning that this would be good craft for kids, also. Here are some ideas!!

Empty shoe box: organize photos or for a memory box filled with notations, make a card center- store cards for birthdays and other holidays
Small box: create a recipe box or fancy gift box
Tin can: pencil or scissor holder
Large box: magazine storage or toy storage

Choose fabrics that match the decor of the room where you will be storing the box.
Kids can choose whatever they fancy- maybe pink sparkly fabric if they are anything like my girls, the sparklier- the better!!

Here are the directions from all you magazine:

1.Measure the top and lip of the box lid, and add 1" to the length and width; cut a piece of fabric that size. Using a paintbrush, apply Mod Podge to the top of the lid;center it one he reverse side of the fabric. Cut a square from each corner of the fabric, then fold it up the side and over the lip, adding extra Mod Podge at the edges.

2.Cut a second strip of fabric to cover the box, with a little left over to tuck under the bottom and over the top edge. Apply Mod Podge to the sides of the box and lay it on the reverse side of the fabric. Wrap the fabric around the box, tucking the ends underneath and over the edge. Use more Mod Podge as needed. Adhere labels to the finished boxes.

all you: Issue 8, August 29,2008

Be creative with your kids! You can create something for Mom, while the kids are creating!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Confessions of a Creative Clutter Queen

Oh no! My eldest daughter is slowly, but surely turning into her mother! The good habits-GREAT, but now I see the bad habits forming. In this case, the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree! Anyone who knew me as a child has no doubt in their mind that this child came from my womb.


My daughters CRAFT CORNER: what happened over there???? How can she even find a marker or the glue??

I confess! I am a Closet Clutterer. Only my closest,dearest friends know this about me. Part of the problem is my creative, impulsive, possible ADD nature! It's hard to be organized when you have so many new and exciting ideas popping into your brain. I guess it can be a blessing or a curse. Here is a test for you to see if you are a Creative Clutter Queen! You might be if............


1. You are excited to find your blue
terry-cloth shorts- from the 1980's!!

2. You have loads of clean clothes scattered in piles
throughout the house, but your dresser and closets are empty.

3. You have lots and lots of creative masterpieces
done by your little Picasso!

4. You can't park your car in your garage,
not because you don't know HOW to park
it, but you can't fit it in with all of the STUFF!

5. Your child's bassinet is still at the bottom of your bed and she is over 4 years old! (Now that's bad- I'm being sentimental while some poor baby can be using it! Shame on me!)

6. Books, Books, and More Books!!
Found in every room in the house, even the bathroom.

7. Toys add decorative flair to every room,
not just your child's room anymore.
Toys in the l.r., d.r. and scattered everywhere else!!
(Time to donate and/or sell, sell, sell!)

8. Your husband is frustrated because you keep recycled materials that you will have a use for later!

9. Oh no, was that bill due yesterday?
Who put that under those papers on my desk??

and lastly- you might be a Closet Clutter Queen if....

10. Your rental video is late because it somehow
got mixed in with the toys, books,or the laundry pile that
hasn't been put away!!


On a serious note-Is there possible hope for me or my children to dig out of the chaos? I think so. It is just going to take some time. If you struggle with clutter, procrastination, and/or organization, you will have to visit Flylady! Her suggestions are awesome and she has lots of encouraging words and tools to share!! I'm going to try to be disciplined and start again with her babystep plan! Blogging doesn't help though- I'm enjoying this creative outlet a little too much. I was doing really well and then started to slip back into old habits. I hope that my confessions today will help other moms who struggle with the same things to laugh at themselves and realize that there is hope amongst the clutter!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Photo Fun

SURPRISED!


YES!!

I'M COLD!!

PHOTO BOOK
Last night, I came across this idea when I was reading Nick Jr. Magazine (Feb/March 2008) to my girls. Alice Wilder, Ed.D., cofounder of THINK IT INK IT PUBLISHING, gives tips on making a funny face book in the Nick Parent's Connect section of the magazine. I couldn't resist. It looked like so much fun. Here are just a few of her suggestions for capturing your "kid's favorite expressions in print."

1. Warm up before the big photo shoot with a funny face off!

2. Using a digital camera, take photos of your child being silly. Call out different expressions while shooting- surprised, angry, stinky,freezing, etc.

3. Publish the book together. Print out the best shots and paste on paper. Have your child create a decorative cover and then bind with ribbon or metal rings.


Take a peek at a few more photos that we've selected below!


ANGRY! grrr!


SO, SO SILLY!


SUGAR AND SPICE...

After finishing our photos for our book, we decided to have a little fun. We tried to take our own group photo by stretching out Mom's arm. We couldn't stop laughing as we reviewed the digital photos. We had a difficult time getting everyone in the photo and my kids just thought it was hysterical.

FAMILY BLOOPERS!!

The girls and part of Mommy

Oops! Where are the kids?

Help! They're squishing me!



AND ONE LAST SILLY MOMENT CAUGHT ON FILM- DRUMROLL PLEASE..............................


Now that is some bad photography! Wow!


This is so cool: Check it out!!
THINK IT INK IT PUBLISHING: creative writing program that lets kids publish original stories

Monday, September 1, 2008

Higher Level Thinking

When our children are small, we start with the very basics- simple words, colors, 123s and ABCs, but as they grow and their thinking develops, there are things that you can do with your little ones to encourage higher level thinking. When I was a teacher, I would often use Bloom's Taxonomy of Thinking to guide me when planning activities for my students. I wanted to be sure that the tasks required would stretch not only their knowledge base, but their thinking. Bloom's model arranges different level of thinking in sequential order, starting with knowledge and moving up to synthesis. I listed them below from highest to lowest.

Synthesis:
most difficult level of thinking that requires original/creative thinking

Evaluation: judging information

Analysis:
studying something separately and thinking about how it relates to whole

Application: apply knowledge from one situation to another- your child builds a tower with legos and says it looks like a building he/she has learned about.

Comprehension:understanding of concepts- Retells story in own words.

Knowledge: recalling or knowing something- Example: Your child tells you that a frog is an amphibian.

Okay, so you may be thinking: My child is only four and can barely tie a shoe, how am I going to have them analyze or evaluate things?? Don't worry, I am going to list some suggestion on how incorporate these levels of thinking into your daily activities. I'll start with knowledge and then work my way up to synthesis activities, so here goes!


Knowledge:
Memorize simple songs and rhymes with your child. This will help them with beginning reading and communication skills. My children would memorize simple books and it would build confidence in their abilities. "Look, Mama-I'm reading!" Even though this is at the bottom of the taxonomy it is very important. Children need knowledge to learn and to apply the higher levels of thinking.

Comprehension: While reading a story to your child, ask them questions. Have them retell you the story in their own words. Kids get excited about new movies that come out in the theatres. Have them share their favorite part and discuss the plot with them. Question your child about what they have learned in school so that they can explain new concepts.

Application: Cooking with your kids would involve application. They would need to apply basic math skills to follow a recipe. Using maps and charts also involves the use of this level of thinking. My girls are very curious about maps and globes. Use maps to apply other information learned. Where do they live in relationship to the rest of the country, the world? Where do interesting animals live? Show them the different continents and discuss the countries that reside there. Have your child use clay to create model of something newly learned.

Analysis: Have your child compare and contrast different things. How is a frog and turtle alike? How are they different? Compare and contrast different characters in a story? How are they like your child? How are the characters different? etc. Analogies are also great. Often, I would do analogies with my students. One day, I was reviewing a packet of analogies when my daughters asked me if they could try them. I was surprised that they were able to think about the relationships between words so young. For example, I would say Sun is to yellow, as Grass is to..... They would answer Green. Okay, it seems simple, but it requires thinking to figure out the relationship. Another example would be- Fur is to bear as _________ is to bird- answer: feathers
Analogies for Beginners

Evaluation: Have your child give their opinion about something. Which game do they like better? Why? Which book is their favorite and why? If they could change the end of the story, how would they make it different?

Synthesis: My girls love to create something new out of junk. This level of thinking really requires your child to use their imagination to create something new. Writing a story or song with your child would require using this level of thinking. My six year old loves to write songs and then uses her acoustic guitar to sing them. Who know maybe we have a future star on our hands? Ha, Ha!


Adapted information on Bloom's Taxonomy from
TEACHING GIFTED KIDS IN THE REGULAR CLASSROOM
by Susan Winebrenner

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