m is for milk (year 2, week 2)

The letter order that we're using jumps from "a" to "m" so that kids can begin spelling right way.  Already, Dragonfly realized that she can spell "mama" and "am."

We started our "farm" week with a trip to the fair and rodeo!  The kids got to go on some of the kiddie rides and really enjoyed them.  Check out Skimmer's face as he rides this motorcycle- just like daddy!  Every time the motorcycle on the ride went into a wheelie, Skimmer stood up and rode it out.  This would have been a great time for a "Mary Poppins" moment- for the motorcycle to have magically come off the track and allowed him to ride it all over the countryside.

This would have been another good "Mary Poppins" moment.  Dragonfly talked for days about how excited she was to ride these horses.  She would have loved to have ridden this prancing pony around the fairgrounds, too.

We also got to walk through lots of animal barns.  One barn was almost completely full of "exotic" animals, which was a special treat to my kids.  They watched this camel ride for a long time, mesmerized by the largeness of the animal, the way they looked, and how they walked.

By the time we sat down in the arena for the rodeo, Skimmer was exhausted!  A couple of gentle pats from grandma put him right to sleep.  He slept hard for about a half hour, through a lot of area chaos and grandstand noise, before he woke up rested and ready to watch the events.

Day 1
After our big weekend, we woke up sick today.  We spent a lot of time watching movies and snuggling.  The kids begged me for some "Mommy School," so we did a bit.

Skimmer practiced spooning popcorn kernels into a barn "silo."  The silo was designed to dump the grains as they fell into the cup.  I thought Skimmer would enjoy the realism, but it made him frustrated instead.  I switched his activity to spooning from bowl to bowl, and he was much happier.

Tadpole did some milk pouring practice.  This was his first time trying wet pouring, and it was definitely hit and miss.  When I guided his hand and reminded him to slow down, he did well, but when he was on his own... well... there was a lot of spilled milk.

Skimmer decided he wanted to do a different "activity" so I got him a couple bowls and some pinch tongs and let him work.  He had trouble with the coordination of the tongs but enjoyed dumping and scooping them.

Day 2
And then the kids broke my computer.  So, I made this:

My parents bought us a "kids' table" off of Craigslist.  It was in good shape, but I wanted to add some interest to it.  I had read about Duck tape brand's peel-and-stick chalkboard vinyl and decided to give it a try.  It was very easy to use and the kids really like writing on it.  Since white chalk is the only writing instrument I allow the kids to use, they should get a lot of use from it.

Day 3
Bible study day for mom and socialization day for the kids.

Day 4
I don't remember what we did this day.  I do remember letting Dragonfly stay up for a little while after her brother's went to bed and letting her make hot chocolate for the first time.  It was a good "practical life" activity and good practice at following a sequence of directions.  She was pretty proud of herself.

Day 5
We did some milk experiments today.  First, we did the famous "milk, food coloring, and soap" one that is all over facebook.  We tried two different types of milk, whole and buttermilk, so see how differently they reacted to the soap.  It was fascinating but I should have done more build up to the experiment, showing them how water and food coloring normally react.

We also made butter!  First we tried it in a jar, which the kids had no patience for.  Then, I put it in a bowl and mixed it with my hand blender.  We made it pink because that's the color Dragonfly picked (and what's the point of making homemade butter if you can't make it a fun color)  The kids loved it.

Resources: milk taste test
                  label a dairy cow
                  shapes for punching
                  animals and their byproducts
                  barn sizing
                  farm word wall/spelling words

Ideas: milk a cow/goat
           turn milk into butter
           turn milk into ice cream
           farm marble maze
           chicken scratch spelling
           farm play mat
           grain silo small world play
           how yogurt and eggs are made videos from Youtube
           washing a horse

Books: "Farm"
            "Life on a Dairy Farm"
            "An Edible Alphabet"
            "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type"


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