Monday, 27 April 2015

Home Preschool themes - Dinosaurs part 1

So I have a pre-schooler!!  When did that happen?  Boris is three now and is absorbing information from all around him, he is learning so much; how to think, how to make decisions, how to use materials, how to move, how to make, I could go on and on, it's amazing the things he picks up and remembers, (his memory is much better than mine!)

So as a three year old Boris could be taking advantage of his 15 free childcare hours.  Although we haven't actually made a decision not to send him to preschool, we kind of just haven't.  I am not sure what the point would be, we are planning on home educating the boys so there is no need to prepare them for school as such (how to stand in line, put his hand up to ask to go to the loo, follow instructions without question that sort of thing - only joking...or am I?).  He has plenty of opportunities to socialise with children of his age with friends and at toddler groups, and with children of all ages at home education groups that we have joined.

So with the fact of him being preschool age in mind I have been feeling like I should start making a bit more effort to facilitate his learning. Of course he is learning in everything we do every day, on the walk to toddler group, as we bake in the kitchen, through reading stories, playing in the garden etc, but it is nice for him to be exposed to as many new ideas as possible. We have done a few themes already over the last year or so and have enjoyed this approach so for now, because it seems to work well for us and we enjoy it, that's how we are approaching "home preschool" (as I am going to call it).

This last couple of weeks we have been loosely exploring the theme of Dinosaurs.  It began with Boris and his Dad watching the Dinosaur Zoo Live show which was on in the Hexagon Theatre in Reading, it sounded really great, highly recommended (though I am not sure it is on anymore)  according to my husband Boris wasn't sure what to make of it all, I don't think he realised the dinosaurs were puppets, and he was afraid of the very big dinosaur at the end, and it was also very noisy which unsettled him, but it sounded very exciting.

The first week was off to a slow start because we were very busy with our usual activities, but I managed to pick up a few books from the library and found this cool dinosaur sand mold set in ASDA, (there were legs, arms, ribs and a tail too.) so we had a bit of fun with that in the garden enjoying the glorious weather we have been having recently.

Playdough is always a win in our house so I rustled up a batch in dino colours and we played with it with some dinosaur cutters that I picked up at the Natural History Museum in London when we visited there a few weeks ago.

The playdough is: 2 cups plain flour,
                              2 tbsp glycerin,
                              1/2 cup salt,
                              2 tbsp cream of tartar,
                              1 1/2 cups boiling water.
I cooked the dough in a pan, then kneaded in food colouring and poster paint to achieve the required tones.  I think I cooked it a bit much, or else used a bit too much flour because the dough was quite dry, but it did give a nice wrinkly texture which I felt added a life like element to the dough.

We also stomped dinosaur footprints into the playdough with some model dinosaurs we already had.

And finally of course I had to have a go at making a little model of a dinosaur.  I call this one a imperfectlynaturalosaurus.

We also took a visit to Wellington Country Park, which is a really fun place to spend the day with lots of playgrounds and a little farm and things, but more importantly has a dinosaur trail!!  Here I am hamming it up with a T Rex. (Boris took this photo, hence the slightly dodgy angle) I actually hurt myself on one of those teeth. 

I have more dinosaur activities to share with you in the next few days so stay tuned.  Please share, pin, tweet and like and visit again soon x

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