Worlds of Learning - October

This month was all about animals and how they contribute to our lives - except for when it wasn't. Yes, only two months in and I already made a major change, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Up first was Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Buttered Bread. Lucy loves the Flicka, Ricka and Dicki books by Maj Lindman so I knew she would probably enjoy this one as well and she did but not quite as much as the FRD ones. I think because the story was a little less involved.

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We made some butter and after impatiently waiting for our pumpkin bread to cool, ate it all up. Delicious! 

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Both this book and the next were based in Sweden so we colored the Swedish flag and decorated a dala horse. The original plan was to use homemade puffy paint but that requires a microwave and I had forgotten that we got rid of our microwave. I know that seems like it would be kind of obvious but we had kept it in the basement on a shelf for almost two years before we finally donated it for good so it isn't if I just forgot it wasn't on our kitchen counter anymore. But I thought fast and remembered that just a few weeks ago Lucy had seen a mosiac and thought it was really neat so I decided we would decorate our dala horse mosiac style. I cut thin strips of blue and white construction paper which she then cut into little squares and glued on. 

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We both made and hers probably ended up better than mine, she was very meticulous and wanted to make it just like the picture I showed her of a large one from Sweden. She even saw that it had flowers and drew those on to match. We made a deal to try to go visit one "someday, even if it can't be for a while that's okay mommy."  She loved them so much was going to the horse and flag to show and tell at the library so she could tell them all she knew about Sweden but we didn't end up staying.

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We also had a whole meal of Swedish food. The Swedish meatballs were just a happy coincidence since they were on the menu for that week anyway (it's a regular favorite, I use this recipe) but no need to tell her that. She thought it was a Swedish feast just for her!

Swedish thumbprint cookies are a great kid recipe. Just a few ingredients and she really enjoyed each of the assembling steps, rolling the balls, making the thumbprints and filling them with jam. You might notice that I had another mommy brain moment and we had to fill our thumbprints after baking instead of before but why don't you pretend not to notice that before this becomes the post where MacKenzie forgets stuff. 

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Full of swedish food, we moved on to the wool part of Pelle's New Suit and used wool roving to make felted soap bars. She really enjoyed this. I thought she might poop out leaving me to finish it but she kept scrubbing and rubbing until it was nicely felted. I have more roving left over and we might have to do this one again because she is quite insistent that it is for her use only and not to be shared with any little brother that might want to get his grubby little hands on it.

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We then went back in time to finish September's activities and go on a leaf picking hike.

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We then did not make leaf lanterns but instead make jars with leaves that we could put candles in. This may seem like the same thing but I am not to utter the phrase "leaf lantern" in this house. For some reason, Lucy freaked out when I said that was what we were doing. She thought it sounded really really scary. I don't know why, I never do. So instead I just said we were decorating jars. She thought that sounded nice. And then later I asked if she thought it would be good to put candles in them which she also thought was a good idea. Okay then.
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She asked to do more leaf activities so we found some more in our backyard and dipped them in beeswax. It wasn't until she asked if the beeswax was made from honey that I realized this activity really did tie in nicely with all the other benefits from animals we had been talking about. These turned out so lovely, soft and protected but moldable and they smell wonderful.

To make this activity small kid friendly, I melted the wax in a bowl over a pot of hot water, then moved the bowl to the counter and placed a pot holder over the edge so she could dip the leaves in and if her arm dropped it would only touch the potholder. The potholder got covered in drips but better than a burn. And I only let her do the leaves with long stems, the small ones I did. I didn't get any pictures because I thought I should keep my eyes completely on the activity.

This is probably my new favorite fall activity. They dried quickly and within 20 minutes or so were ready for arranging on the piano as part of our fall display/nature table. We don't have a mantel so I'm really enjoying the decorating side of the piano ownership although we use those books daily so it gets rearranged quite frequently.

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This was supposed to be Carnival of the Animals to fit with the animal theme with Peter and the Wolf being a summer read. That still makes the most sense thematically but when Craig and I saw that our local symphony is putting on a children's matinee of Peter of the Wolf in January, we knew we had to take Lucy and I thought it would be more fun if she knew it beforehand. We shall see if that works because while she loves listening to it (we've been using the David Bowie version that's on Spotify) and knows the story well, she absolutely refused to watch the short video I had planned for us to watch. She thought it would be too scary. I'm now hoping the tickets we have already purchased don't go to waste.

She tolerated the book. She didn't want to read it but if Jonah gave it to me, she would listen in and peek over his shoulder at it. But even after that, if I suggested it, she'd say it was too scary. So instead we made Russian Tea cakes and had an an afternoon "apple cider" (I was chastisted for calling it a tea because we didn't drink tea - silly me :-)

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But she did enjoy coloring some pages and putting together little stick puppets. Mostly because scissors and glue were involved. She's obsessed with glue and scissors these days and she's starting to get the message behind the "dot, dot, dot. A little glue does a lot" song she is so happy to sing.

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One side of the puppet has the character's picture, the other side has a picture of the instrument it represents and we glued them around Popsicle sticks.  She told me this was her favorite activity but once they dried, I tried to use them and she said no. Any guesses why? Too scary!  I'm really getting tired of the "scary" stuff. And no, I don't think she's just using that as an excuse, she'll start shaking with worry over the strangest stuff and it stops her from doing things she enjoys. Example: She loved Mary Poppins but wouldn't watch unless I promised to skip the "fire" parts where the admiral shoots off the canon.

Lucy wasn't frightened by anything in this book. Which is funny, because of all the things she could possible be scared about, you'd think losing a beloved toy might be on that list. But no, it was fear free for once. 

This is one of the few books I selected sight unseen but I had heard glowing reviews from several people and took a chance and I'm glad we did. We all enjoyed it. Even Craig, who was especially excited to discover a Dalek on the costume parade page. It's the early exposure to things that truly matter that sets a quality preschool experience apart, don't you think?

We washed her favorite stuffed animal horsey and were supposed to take him on an adventure and make animals out of bread dough but came down with colds instead. We'll get to it sometime.  

And that was October. I felt like we didn't do much at all which is why I love these recap posts because I can look back and see that we did in fact have a lot of fun and do a little bit of learning. 

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