Saturday, October 5, 2013


We have a little kid's Usborne history book called "Then and Now" that compares our lives now to lives of those that lived 100 years ago or so.  It's a fantastic way to show history in picture form and it seems to resonate with my boys.  The last entry was one on transportation.  It showed horses getting new horse shoes at the blacksmith and compared it to a car at the mechanic.  We've been taking that theme a bit further to expand out into all forms of transportation.  This is not a difficult unit with two little boys.  Here's what we've been doing...
We rode our bikes down the street for awhile and talked about how important bikes are in some parts of the world.  Even if you live in a city in the United States, sometimes bikes are the fastest way to get around.  We got a bit distracted by this big pile of dirt and sliding became the next form of transportation.

My oldest can never resist a chance to draw railroad tracks so I pointed out that that is another form of transportation.  I told him how much more people used to use train travel.  When I told him it used to be the fastest way to go, he was shocked.  "Even a bullet train can't go as fast as a plane!" he said.  I told him that was why so many people travel by plane now instead.  "I think everybody should still use trains," he announced.  Some of me agrees.

I found this awesome book at the library called "Things that Go" by Richard Scarry that covers all forms of transportation in a fun way.  Too bad I can't get them past the train chapter.  I'll do my best next week.

We also did a fun art project where we put different colors of paint on a cookie sheet.  The boys each picked a vehicle then rolled the wheels through the paint.  They used the wet tires to make tire tracks on paper and made some really wonderful art.  Afterward, their bathwater was green.  It wasn't clean but it was fun.

And, by chance, Home Depot had an event where kids could make and paint rescue airplanes.  They hammered and painted with serious faces.  They wanted to get it right.  They spent the rest of the afternoon flying all around the house.  I'm hoping to read some of the Things that Go book tonight to learn more about planes.


Some of the activities were planned, some were spontaneous.  I've found that if there is a theme in my head, the opportunities seem to appear.  It's so much easier that way than over-planning our time together.  By the end of the week, I think my guys had a good appreciation for things that go.  I know I appreciated spending all the time teaching them.

What fun learning activities do you have up your sleeve?  How can you tie in your children's interest into learning in a multitude of ways?

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