Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Peanut Butter Play-Dough


Try this recipe:
Peanut Butter Play-dough
1 cup peanut butter (creamy is best)
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/4 cup dry milk
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Knead together until smooth and play! Refrigerate between uses.

I love this because it is a great thing to play with, as well as totally edible and quite tasty. You can combine snack time with play time, and you can eat it up before it gets all dry and gross like store-bought play-dough. I grew up with this treat and craved it all through my pregnancies.

Today we used Peanut Butter Play-dough to talk about shapes. You can draw shapes on parchment or wax paper and then turn it over so that the kids can line up their play-dough over the shapes. It's a fun and new way to learn lots of things, too. When I was sixteen, I taught Piano lessons and drew a staff on wax paper, then put pieces of play-dough on the lines or spaces and had the kid name the note. (You can also do that with candies or pennies too.)
video

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Teeth

Today we talked about teeth. We were able to brush and floss a stuffed animal that had lots of teeth. We then saw pictures of teeth that were well taken care of, and teeth that weren't.

As a side note, after the teeth, we had a pouring activity to develop fine motor skills. To wrap up the lesson we had bells we wrapped on her legs and turned on some nursery rhyme music to dance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Community

The saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." It is true, on many levels.

One thing I've tried to do, but still need lots of work on, is being a part of the community where I live. I think it's important to find the interesting and special things about each area you live in, and help your children discover them. We are sometimes willing to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to see something 'cool,' but have we discovered those little wonders in our own backyard?

My exciting lesson today came from the Ares DM-1 test. I am fortunate enough to live just an hour's drive away from where the test was conducted, which was a test firing of the rocket that will take men again to the Moon, and eventually beyond (Mars). I took the kids out, and we got to talk about NASA and outer space, rockets, and also fun things like bright lights and loud noises. But more importantly, we were able to connect with the world around us in a very physical way.

I hope in your Focus time with your kids, you take a few hours here and there to discover something special near you. Whether it's a natural wonder, or a historic building, or a local museum, finding out about your community will always be a lesson you children will cherish.