Archive for the ‘Math’ Category

Oldest made me a dot-to-dot today. There were 14 numbered dots. To me it looked like a sunfish. She responded cheerfully that she had been trying to make a bird.

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This can be done in 3 minutes.

I can hear it happening from the other room and I probably have the strangest smile-grimace expression on my face.

I have a love-hate relationship with theses blocks. They are amazing. We have so much fun with them. But the clean up…

We do have a system for picking them up. After so much trial and error you realize how many you can safely carry without your stack disintegrating.

They don’t always end up in chaos. Most of the time they are actually used to build trees and thrones and houses and castles and forts. Their favorite things to build, however, are scooters. They put one foot on half of a large block and build a short tower of small blocks, use another large block for the handles and then scoot around on the wood floors.

There are so many ways to play with blocks in general and with interlocking blocks on this scale they get the benefits of learning and exercising the patterning, creative, spacial and social (its always a team effort) skills in a gross-motor context rather than a fine-motor context as with the smaller lego-size blocks.

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2 legs + 2 legs + 2 arms + 2 more arms equals…

“We’re a squid-octopus!”

Today we went to the tot lot by the pier. We hung out there longer than I used to last. Much longer. After our first trip across the U.S. I came to appreciate playgrounds in a way I never thought I would.

The earth movers are still pushing one side of the beach to the other. While this work goes on we can’t play on the actual beach during the day…just near it. 

The baby isn’t much of a baby anymore. She’s growing up.

We met a few new friends. The girls met a 5yo who lent them her shovels. When she asked for them back in order to lend them to another child my girls gave them back with long faces.

I met a family with an 8mo who moved to town a few months back. A few minutes after a brief outburst from our otherwise happy and busy 2yo, the wife asked what we do for discipline and specifically whether or not we spank. Based on the way she said it and the other things we talked about, I was fairly certain that she was pro-spanking even though I have no idea if she’s spanked her 8mo. I explained that we try to avoid punitive discipline as well as reward/praise discipline techniques and use other methods that don’t decrease intrinsic motivation. We also discussed, briefly, using discussions with older children and redirection with babies. I’m not sure that I was the greatest voice for non-violent/unconditional/attachement based parenting, but at least I didn’t change the subject.

After our new friends left, my 4yo started hopping around making claw prints as she went.

“What kind of frog am I? I lived when the dinosaurs lived!”

“I don’t know.” I didn’t know.

“I’m a Paleobatrachus!” Thank you Dinosaur Train.

Soon, they began making trails that led to t-rex, alligator and paleobatrachus tracks. Its nice to know they are remembering our recent field trip across America and specifically the stop at Dinosaur Valley State Park which was one of my personal favorites.

After hanging out at the playground we headed up to the pier to say to Slick who is not a seal (as the sign says) because he has ears. 

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“…and you take one away, how many do you have?” On our way to the Getty Museum today, our 4yo was teaching our 2yo some basic subtraction. We also spent the drive predicting what kinds of things we would see at the museum. The most surprising of which was, “snakes!” This was made by our 2yo who happened to be quite correct. We saw a surprising number of snakes, mostly in sculpture.

We met my husband’s sister in the parking lot and rode the tram up to the museum together. Before we boarded the tram a friendly guide told us we would “have to visit the Family Room.” She said it as if that’s the place where we were suppose to go if we brought young kids with us. She was very adamant. I took it as a suggestion until we got upstairs and the “advice” was repeated several more times with the heavy implication that that was where we should really be spending our time at the museum if we had small kids with us.

We all loved the portrait of Jeanne Kefer by Fernand Khnopff. We left with both a refrigerator magnet and a print of this one. The point of the visit was to see the Impressionists. Our 4yo’s favorite was the Irises (yes, she’s brining home the fridge magnet).

The girls held Auntie’s hand for the majority of the visit. They never once touched anything that they were not suppose to touch. I made sure to gain permission before taking photos. A little while later, I missed the sign that said no photos in the Paris rooms. I was scolded for taking a photo there and profusely apologized.

My 2yo ran about 6 feet in front of the stroller and I was informed by the guide-gaurd that she wasn’t allowed to run around and that she would need to be held. So, she sat down in the stroller and that was that. We were again informed that there was a Family Room where we “could take the children.”

Our 2yo was very excited to find a painting with a reindeer. She was quite sure that it was a reindeer and not a bull. It had horns. Everyone knows that horns equal reindeer, right?

It was a warm day, hot really, so instead of eating out on the grass in the sun as we had first planned on doing, we decided to eat at the tables. In the shade it was quite pleasant. We’d brought provolone and salami from the Italian deli in town. Even the baby joined in the feast. She’s enjoying putting that tooth to use.

After lunch, we went to find the Family Room. As we entered the foyer, a man quickly set a large sign in front of us and said, “oh no, you cannot enter now. We are full. A class just came in. I would give them 15 minutes or so. You will have to wait outside.” So we went out to the fountain near the entrance to the Family Room and waited. Family after family was turned down so that the school class could play in the Space for Families (I’m not kidding, this is what they call it).

We waited for about 15 minutes. We waited longer than any of the other families, but the class didn’t leave after 15 minutes and the baby was getting tired of us standing still, so we decided to visit the wing with Italian paintings and artifacts. Afterwards we went back to the Family Room/Space for Families and were welcomed inside and then once again quickly stopped. We were told we would have to leave the stroller outside.

The baby was asleep and I had two bags I wouldn’t have been comfortable leaving with the stroller, so we decided we would not be able to do the Family Room this time. Next time we come to the Getty we will try to get to this earlier in the day. It was at this point that I thought of pointing out that they should probably change the name to Children’s Room, because Family Room is not very fitting.

It was a nice day overall, but I was a little disappointed in how everyone seemed to treat us because we had small children with us. I certainly saw quite a few of the school children get a lot closer to touching the actual exhibits than our girls. Maybe it was just a fluke day. I hope so, because I plan on bringing the kids back on a regular basis.

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