Friday, May 14, 2010

The Good [Kids'] Stuff: Week 2 Mama School

I'm posting another week of our Mama School curriculum!

This Week: Peter Pan

We had to do this one. Peter's default activity is pretending to be Peter Pan (or one of the Lost Boys, or John, or Tiger Lily, or a really nice Captain Hook....but 99% of the time, he is Peter Pan). He really loved delving deeper into the topics surrounding this book.

Read different versions of Peter Pan. I made another little toy set, using our playmobile guys, but there are so many different characters that it was a bit scattered.

We also checked out the original book on cd, which I took back to the library after about 15 minutes of listening. Call me overprotective, but I can't allow my three-year-old to listen to how each pirate prefers to kill other people. I do wish it wasn't so violent, because other parts of the story are so charming. I also cringed every time the narrator said "redskin." We are in a different age, I suppose. In retrospect, I would spend a day talking about Native Americans, and help try to bring some racial sensitivity about this group. Hopefully, I can do something like that soon.

Tuesday: Investigate Neverland's Sea Life
Read books about crocodiles and mermaids

Sang the alligator song "you can't catch me"--not sure of the actual title there
Talked about rough (crocodile skin) and smooth (fish scales), along with other rough and soft things
Planned a treasure hunt (treasure is in the water, right?); We did the treasure hunt twice and made one for Shane, which he did when he got home.

At the end, we played with this "treasure in a bottle"

I think this would be a perfect game for someone slightly older. Peter was pretty fixated on just opening the bottle up and getting the toys out, rather than enjoying the reveal/conceal aspect of the game.

Wednesday: Shadows
In the story, Wendy sews on Peter's shadow. I made this shadow lacing card for Peter, which was particularly difficult, since I had packed our single hole punch and was left trying to work the three-hole punch. Also, the cord I had for lacing was too thick, and turned out to be pretty frustrating for Peter. If I were to do it again, I would use yarn, I think. Peter did appreciate the effort, and has been playing with the shadow all week.

We also made hand shadows in the bathroom. Who knows where our flashlights are--New Haven? My parents' basement? Shane's parents' garage? In a box that we've packed? So, we improvised by shining a lamp on the bathroom wall and voila! He was SO INTO IT. We probably did hand shadows for 2 hours that day. And then again when Shane came home. Loved it.

Thursday: You can fly (but actually not)!
We talked about flying animals (insects, bats, and birds) and read books about how they do it.
We then read some books about why we can't fly and did some snazzy gravity experiments. My favorite book for these experiments is I Fall Down. It's was the only one that was geared toward really small kids, unlike the others, which Peter kept trying to slam shut while I was reading them. I get the hint, Pete.

First we dropped different things to see who wins (as predicted, it was a tie every time). We did a key vs. a penny, an orange vs. and orange, and the most popular, an orange vs. a grape. Our fruit was nice and juicy at lunchtime.

Racing a car down a ramp (flat packing box) and adding books to increase the grade and, consequently, the speed of the car. This was the favorite experiment, and by the end, Peter had stacked up all the books that are not yet packed.

Friday: Ships Ahoy!
[Sadly, we didn't get to the activities planned for this day. But, happily, my mom watched Peter while I had the morning to myself. But, sadly, I was just cleaning and working on a powerpoint presentation, and not at the spa or anything.]
Here's what we had planned for today:
Playing 'Sink or Float': dropping various objects in a sink full of water and noting the sinkers and floaters.
Making little rafts out of sticks and string or making paper boats ala Curious George.
We'll save these for later, I guess!

I mentioned this before, but I have been completely surprised by the good this little Mama School is doing for our relationship and Peter's behavior generally. The last two months were dreadful, but I have been shocked at the turn Pete has taken the last two weeks. I really look forward to our mornings together and Peter just begs for his Mama School! Yay!

1 comment:

Jill said...

What fun ideas, thank you! I especially like the hand shadows. I can see Kate really getting into that. And I'm glad to hear it's been working out for you and Pete. Hey, maybe this will turn you into a Homeschooler :) I've been thinking about that a lot for some reason lately... we'll have to chat more. Good luck with all your trip preparations! Have a great time!