Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Day: Airplanes

A little while ago, I stumbled upon this book called "The Absolute Best Play Days" by Pamela Waterman. In it, it has 52 different themes for activites you can do with kids. Each theme includes craft suggestions, indoor and outdoor activites, snacks, books, movies, music, and games; that all revolve around the specific theme. It gives you ideas for how to adapt theme activies to kids ages 2-7. And lots of the materials it calls for are things you have already in your home. Needless to say, I was super excited about this book and have been waiting and waiting to try it out.

Today was the day. Scientist's friend and my friend Suzy (his mom) were coming over to play today, and I thought it was time to pull out the book. Suzy and I have been trying to do some very minimal teaching of letters to the kids (Scientist already knows A-J but we decided to start back at the beginning) and we'd switch off every other week and come up with activities based on letters. So, for example, today was my day, the letter was A, so I pulled out this book and decided to do airplanes. We had so much fun!

First we colored an airplane puzzle. I made this puzzle myself. I went online and typed "free airplane coloring page" into a Google search. When I found one I liked, I copied and pasted it into a word document. Then using WordArt I made the word Airplane with the A's in red, and the big and little A at the bottom. Then printed. I drew in puzzle lines. Then let Scientist color it before I cut it out. I think he might still be a little too young for paper puzzles though, because, he did like coloring the puzzle, but as soon as we cut it out, instead of wanting to put it together, he just wanted to rip the paper. But that's ok, we'll try again some other day.

The next thing we did was decorate paper airplanes with Halloween stickers. I had pre-made the airplanes (well, ok, Aaron pre-made the airplanes, and was utterly apalled that I did not have the knowledge of how to build one. What a horrible childhood I must have had!) because I didn't think two year olds would be too interested in the folding part. Also, on the top of the airplanes I taped a piece of a straw. Once the airplanes were decorated, we threaded a piece of crochet thread (but yarn, or any other kind of string would probably work just as well) through the straw piece and taped it up so that it went across the room, with one side as high as Scientist could reach standing on a stool and the other side pretty low to the ground.

Scientist would stand on the stool, and I would hand him his plane. Then he'd throw it, just like you do a normal paper airplane. But instead of going all crazy, and not flying very well (that's what my airplanes always do at least) this one zips across the room along the string. Scientist thought it was great, and played with it for a really long time. I think if I ever do it again though, I'll find something to tie the string to, instead of taping it. The tape held for a little while, but of course Scientist had to pull the string and it kept coming untaped. Also, I think it would be more fun to find a bigger area to do it in. I used the short side of my living room, and taped the string from the hall door to the front door, and that worked, but I think it would work better with more space and a steeper slant to the string.

I say steeper angle, because sometimes our plane got stuck in the middle and Scientist would have to push it more, which he didn't mind at all, but ya. Anyways it was still a really fun activity, and I think the kids enjoyed it. (My camera ran out of batteries during the actual activity. So these pictures are all a reinactment Scientist did for me after his friend had already gone home.)

And of course let's not forget the most important part: the snack! It was really easy to make. I took a cheese stick and shoved a pretzel through the middle of it to make wings. Then for the tail, I just broke another pretzel in half and poked it into the back. Wa-la! And Scientist thought it was so cool.

So that was our airplane themed morning. You can see now why I am so excited about my cool book. There were more things in there too, that we could have done if we wanted to. (I actually did try to find an airplane book at the library, but as per usual the Provo library was pretty picked over, so it didn't happen.) That's one of the great things about the activities in the book, you can do them in any order and adjust them to fit your schedule really easily. We will most difinitely being doing theme day again soon!

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