Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recycled Printing

First of all, my apologies for being so absent. (if any of you really even care?) Anyhow, my last geography stint was pre-scheduled for the two weeks that we were on vacation (fabulous!), and I just haven't gotten back in the groove lately. . .

We have had a rainy week, so I pulled out some paint for my non-artsy boy the other day and had some fun!

Here's what you need: Some of those recycled Styrofoam trays that hold your meat/poultry from the grocery store, (of course washed and sanitized), paint, paper to fit the tray, a writing utensil, and a brush of some sort. And find some cute, antsy, I-need-to-do-something-before-I-drive-my-momma-crazy kid around somewhere, too. ;)
Here's why you should do it: Ummmm. . . we desperately needed something to do, first of all. :) However, it does help with fine motor coordination, writing skills, artistic expression, and you could even get technical I suppose and explain the mirror image concept.

Here's how you do it:
First, draw on the Styrofoam tray. We just used a pen that didn't write (by not clicking it down). You could actually write on the Styrofoam, just make sure that you are really etching a design.
Lawton chose to write his name - but ran out of room. . .
Then cover the Styrofoam with a thin layer of paint.
Press down the paper and rub it all over, being careful not to shift the paper around.
Ta da! But wait, Mom. Why is my name backwards??? Hmmm. . .

I had to convince him to actually "draw" a picture on the next one . . . (You might as well wait to do this until you have more than one tray since you're getting all the supplies out!
Oh, and look what my sister brought for Lawton the other day? An atlas puzzle book of North America! He loves it because it has his three favorite things in one - maps, puzzles, and books! As Maria preached - Follow the Child! ha! Thanks, Aunt Kathryn!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some of my favorite geography books

Just wanted to share some books around our house . . .
Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney

Noni and Dandy gave this book to Lawton for his birthday because of his infatuation with maps. I love it because it starts with a very present and real location (the bedroom). . .

and then works up to the house, the neighborhood, the city, the state, country, world and then all the way back down to help gain an understanding of how we fit into the big, gigantic world.
Usborne Animal Sticker Atlas

I LOVE this book! We have done a lot of this together, but now he can do it all by himself.
Each animal sticker has a number on it and you find the corresponding page with the number and name of the animal. Then, you match the sticker to a black and white outline of the animal and then learn where in the world (literally) the animal lives. This is definitely for an older child who can recognize and numerate large numbers (in the hundreds) or be prepared to do most of the work yourself. Here's an example of one of the pages (click to enlarge)

My Town by R. Treays
This is a cool little book that shows a map of the town and has cut-outs where you open a fold-out page and can see where each building in the town is located on the actual map.
More about maps . . .

There's a Map on My Lap by Tish Rabe
Kids' U.S. Road Atlas by Rand McNally

I just picked these up in the dollar bin at Target a long time ago. Not really for reading, but fun to open the flaps and name the states, etc.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rubbings around the world

Did any of you happen to make the cards like I showed you from this post? (Like you aren't busy hanging out at the pool and having fun this summer! ha!) Well . . . here's why I said that I liked cutting and gluing the continents on the card. :)

Here's what you need: these cards or a cut out of the continents, paper and peeled crayon(s)
Here's why you should do it: Yet another reinforcement to imprint the shapes of continents and their names. This also helps with fine motor skills and qualifies as some art for the day (and they might not even realize they're learning. :)

Here's how you do it: Place the paper over the cards and have the corresponding crayon (if you're doing the whole color corresponding thing)
Make a rubbing of the continents . . .
. . . and even write the name if they can write! You could staple them together if you do them all to make a booklet or stick them in a folder, too.