Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Clay Center & Leonardo da Vinci-The Genius

I like to look at museums within driving distance when planning day or quick overnight trips to see if there's anything of interest.  When I saw that there would be a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit called da Vinci-The Genius, at the art/science museum The Clay Center in Charleston, WV, I knew we had to go!  We studied da Vinci last year for picture study, and Emory has studied that time period this year (though we had already chosen the Michelangelo biography from AO) so it was an excellent field trip opportunity for the kids.  The Clay Center is a member of the ASTC Passport Program, so it makes a great option for traveling families.

This was the first time we'd visited The Clay Center, so it was a new experience all around for us.  There is a planetarium and performing arts center that we did not check out, but also the Avampato Discovery Museum and the Juliet Art Museum.

Avampato Discovery Museum
This is an interactive science museum spread out over three stories.  My kids are 4, 6, 9 and 12, and I'd say there was something for everyone!  The younger kids learn through exploration, while the older kids get more out of the actual science behind it.

We went into the WaterWorks exhibit first, and my first thought was - we should have saved this for last!  We actually ended up making another stop there by special request before heading out.  You could use gears to raise balls to the top of the structure, then they would roll down a ramp and back into the other end of the water table.  You could build on the LEGO platform, or make "dam" like structures. Lots of fun ways to play with water!

The Music Studio was a lot of fun too.  You could conduct the orchestra with a Wii remote . . .

Or "play" these instruments and watch the sound waves on the screen.

The digital harp was a hit with my kids.  The "strings" would light up when you touched them.

There was a lot going on in the "Healthy Me" exhibit, which focused on the human body in motion, but I didn't get a ton of pictures.  The kids could measure their heart rate, or test their pitch speed while throwing a ball.  They got to examine the human body systems on a large touch screen table, or check out the skeletal system at work!  As you cycled, the skeleton did too . . .

There were three or four of these with different resistance on them, and you could try to pull yourself to the top.

This Climbing Sculpture was a lot of fun for the big kids.  It has a height requirement, so wihile the big kids did this, I took Eloise into My Town.

My Town was set up like a real community.  You could sit at the governor's desk, go to the bank, the mechanic, or other businesses, and of course ride a police motorcycle!

You could also climb into a firetruck and drive or climb up to the back to use the hose to put out the fire!  They even had costumes throughout the exhibit . . . but I'm not keen on sharing clothes and hats.

Eloise also spent a lot of time at the vet clinic - there were several cages full of a variety of stuffed animals to choose from (dog, cat, snake, rabbit, etc) and you could take them around the room to bathe, examine or take x-rays.  It was cute, but she was on the go the whole time and there were many children in and out, so I didn't end up getting any shareable pictures.

Measurement Rules! was really neat, and I think a temporary exhibit to look at many different forms of measurement.  There was a huge balance scale in the middle, and they could move cans of different items (feathers, lego, etc) to each side to balance it.

This one measured . . . how far or how fast you ran.  I can't remember.

This one tested the "1 Mississippi = 1 Second" rule.

Then this one turned you into cubes to measure volume.  Emory really liked it!

You could measure your height in apples, spoons, pennies or old fashioned milk bottles.  You could test the speed of a ball and rearrange the "maze" to test it again.  You could measure how many scoops (with different sized measuring spoons) it took to fill a container.

This had a lot of fun stuff, and we spent a lot of time in here, but it was one of the busier exhibits.

Juliet Arts Museum
The Leonardo da Vinci exhibit was upstairs in the art museum.  It was a large gallery with replicas and facsimiles of his works.  There were large size replicas on display . . . .

Smaller displays . . .

. . . and even several that were hands-on.

There was a room with da Vinci paintings and The Last Supper projected in a slideshow/movie style onto the wall.  Since it was ART and not hands-on science, it wasn't quite as kid-friendly (with a very active 4 year old) so we had to watch little hands and moved through a bit quicker.

Another area, Art Space, was much more hands-on.  There were tables with different types of blocks and building materials, magna doodle type toys, a "mobile" where you hang shapes to balance it, etc.  There was a wall that turned your movements into pixels.  It had a lot of neat stuff, but I didn't get many pictures here either, because we were all exploring together!

There was also a reading nook area with a variety of art books!

Overall, The Clay Center was a nice place to visit, and I would definitely return!

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Angus Lost (and some Henry the Castaway)

After rowing a book about cats, Eleanor wanted to row one with dogs.  Since I doubt we'll ever row all the books in FIAR, I've decided to do some combo-rows for the girls' Kindergarten and Preschool.

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Eloise always wants to be part of what Eleanor is doing, so this time I decided to do a pseudo-row with Angus Lost, and throw in a little Henry the Castaway too.  There is a lot of overlap with the books and lessons, as they both include dogs, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to talk about safety and getting lost.

I didn't get a ton of pictures of activities in action, but here is a glimpse at their week . . .

Eleanor colored Luna who is apparently a "friend" to Angus.

Social Studies & Science
Exploring, Curiosity, Safety Survival Skills 

Not all of this was separated into different, distinct lessons.  It just kind of flowed from conversations and play, and I think that is the perfect way to reinforce topics.

We talked about explorers and about the excitement of exploring new places, but also about being safe.  For the safety part, we made sure to review what to do if they were separated from me or daddy (or the adult they are supposed to be with at the time) and how to handle themselves in an emergency.

One day they made their own cave, because Angus hid in a cave.

Dogs-Dog Breeds; Dog Safety, Caring for Dogs as Pets
We are dog owners, so we are definitely familiar with the idea of "breeds" but they weren't extremely familiar with the Scottish Terrier until now.  We read some of Seymour Simon's Dogs, and discussed some safety rules concerning dogs, particularly when they're eating/sleeping and how to approach dogs that aren't ours.

Language Arts
These books presented the opportunity to discuss some popular sayings:
"Curiosity Killed the Cat"
"Home Sweet Home"
"There's No Place Like Home"

But mostly, I just gave Eleanor some little worksheets and pages for her to do when she wanted more "school" than I had planned.  It's quick and easy to google/print.

Eleanor did these; Eloise did a "D is for..." (duck, dog, door, etc.) and some tracing pages.

After reading a related title, Henry Explore the Jungle, Eleanor drew Henry and Laird Angus McAngus exploring the forest!

More Fun 
The girls wore cute #puglove shirts one day; Eloise wore her outfit with a Scottish Terrier another.  They also did a few other activities throughout the week . . .

Draw Write Now Book 1 - Eleanor drew the dog
Angus Lost and Angus and the Ducks on Amazon Prime
Shelby Board Game - We played a few rounds of this game, which is great for a puppy theme!  It's a pretty basic counting game, but the "lose a turn" and "steal a bone" options make it more engaging for older Preschool/Kindergarten.

You can do lots of snack ideas with these books, such as making healthy trail mix or granola bars for your adventures!  However, I went easy and unhealthy . . . Shortbread Chocolate Scottie Dogs!

Final Thoughts
Since the girls are Preschool and Kindergarten, I focused more on the "fun" than the academic in Henry, but there are a lot more topics (geography, rivers, etc.) that could be explored.  There are more  topics in Angus as well, but I wanted to focus primarily on what overlapped and would be new and/or of interest to my girls.  You can see how I rowed Henry the Castaway with the boys a few years ago, who were older (2nd/4th grade) at the time, as part of an American History explorers unit.

Scottish Terrier Coloring Page
D is for Dog
D is for . . . coloring page
Angus Lost Printables from Homeschool Creations
Animal CVC Word Game

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Papa Piccolo

Eleanor asked if we could row "the cat book" next, when she saw the cat story disk, so I obliged.

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I had read Papa Piccolo to the kids once a long time ago, but I never actually rowed Papa Piccolo with the boys, so it was a fun row to plan!  I think we only spent five days on this book, but we did spread it over two weeks . . . because you know, it's Kindergarten.

Social Studies
Geography-Italy, Foreign Language-Italian
We started the week by learning about Italy!  We found it on the map and talked about the boot shape, and we went back through the illustrations and talked about gondolas and canals.  We briefly talked about the Italian words.

She added the heart, because she loves cats!

Of course we talked a little about Italy and placed our story disk on the scrunch map.

Then we talked about Italy and Venice and canals, and she asked if she could draw one of "those boats," so we talked about and made our own Gondola!

Creating a flag was suggested in the manual, but I never suggested it to her.  She asked on "Art Day" if she could make one, so I printed a quick page for her.

On this day, we read from Cats by Seymour Simon, talked about different cats (our farm cat is a Tuxedo cat like Papa Piccolo) and she drew a cat, starting with the instructions in the Draw Write Now book, but eventually doing her own thing with it - including another heart.  The little cat stickers were a cheap amazon purchase, but she liked going through to pick out a sticker for each cat in the book.  She chose the tuxedo cat in the basket, because Papa liked to sleep in a crate.

Use of Color for Light
She'd already added yellow to her windows in her picture, but I did mention it to her when we looked through the illustrations.  "I add yellow to all my windows."  Well, then.

She actually colored the Venetian Canal when we were learning about Italy, but she saw the printout before we read the book, and recognized/remembered it from when I read it aloud ages ago.

Colors, Color Matching, Color Wheel
We talked about the colors in the book.  She's familiar with color mixing, but she liked seeing it on a color wheel and making her own.

Language Arts
Drama and Exercise - Act out the Words
We did the activity of acting out the words one day.  (We've done this in the past with her phonics program, so it's a familiar activity.)

The Fox and the Sour Grapes
We read the Fable and discussed "sour grapes" to compare to the event in the story.  (I googled and printed an image with the story on it - but there are a variety of options to choose from.)

Eleanor relaxing with Tux (our "man cat" as they affectionally call him) when he sneaked in the house one day.

The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown
Cats by Seymour Simon
If You Were Me and Lived in Italy by Carole P. Roman

©2011-2019 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.