Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun Rabbit Trail: From Playing with Stuffed Animals to Cotton Farming and Yarn Manufacturing

I had an interesting experience with the kids this morning. It started with Early Bird bringing me the stuffed dog that we used in yesterday's science activity to play with the stuffed cat that he had. Early Bird's conversations through animals/people figurines/magnetic "super letters" always start with "How are you?" Followed by "Are you hungry?" and "What do you want to eat?" His always want to eat spaghetti. Builder Boy saw what we were doing so he brought over a stuffed lamb and started to play with us. Builder Boy wanted to know what dogs eat so I told him food for dogs that they make in factories. He had seen that episode of How It's Made (one of his favorite shows) so I knew he knew what I was talking about. He told me that sheep eat grass and said that grass grew in nature. Then he asked me what cats eat. I told him they eat cat food made in factories, but they also like to eat fish. He said "They both eat nature food!" (Making comparisons!) He then asked what the different animals drink and we talked about how all animals need water.

He knows from playing Minecraft that we shear sheep and get wool. So, stroking the soft stuffed lamb, he asked me why we shear sheep and what do we do with the wool. I told him that we make fabric from it and that led to talking about cotton cloth as well. I tried to describe a cotton plant and then decided to search for pictures online. That got Builder Boy very interested in looking at the cotton farms (he watched a video on Netflix Instant All About Old MacDonald's Farm that he loved.) I searched around and read some things off some websites. Builder Boy remembered Q-Tips have cotton on them (he watched that episode, too) so I got some and pulled the cotton off and let them feel it. That reminded me of the How It's Made episode about making cotton thread for making fabric. I searched on yahoo for an episode guide so I could find the right one and it came up with a video on yahoo that was just that part of the episode. So we watched it on the computer with both boys in my lap. That video had a recommendation for another video The Story of Cotton. As soon as he was done watching that video he raced over to the play table and started "farming" cotton, harvesting it, and taking it to the factory with his wood blocks. This is how he processes information and cements it in his mind. He's a very kinetic learner.

After a while of him playing I pointed out to him that when we were talking about the animals and what they ate that we were making comparisons, just like what we did yesterday. That surprised and excited him. A few minutes later he called me over to look at what he had done with his blocks. He had gotten some blocks that were the same shape but were painted different colors and were different sizes. He had compared them and then grouped them by similarities. I pointed out that he was being a scientist: he was making observations about the blocks, he was comparing them to each other, and he was sorting them into different groups. After that he kept comparing them and sorting them into different categories. I love that he is seeing that what we are learning about being a scientist can be applied to his play.


Builder Boy LOVES the "All About _____" videos available on Netflix Instant. Just search "All About." They are dated (you can really tell they were made in the 90's) and if you object to magic the host of most of them is a "genie" (normal looking guy who can teleport them around to see the different things.) But they're really great for learning about different vehicles. The construction video is Builder Boy's favorite. He's watched the shows over and over and still loves them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...