Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Mad Scientists...Learning by Doing

Perhaps it's because I am a kinesthetic learner. Perhaps it's because I know infants and toddlers learn best by exploring the world around them - experiencing all the sights and sounds and textures they encounter.  Perhaps it's mother's intuition.  Whatever the reason, "learn by doing" is a definite theme in our home.  Layering these Signing Smart Opportunities with the other 3 Keys to Signing Smart Success, have led to a bright, inquisitive toddler and a little brother ready to follow in his footsteps!

Here are some pictures from a recent visit to a hands-on science museum.  Most of the science concepts were a bit over the head of a toddler and and infant, but that doesn't mean they didn't get a chance to learn!  

Pretend play in the KidsPlace.

Digging - a chance to talk about texture, color, "bury" and "uncover" in addition to dinosaur bones.

 This exhibit had a table that created music using different beats, pitch, and volume depending on how and where blocks were placed.  For smaller hands, we also talked about shapes and colors while they experimented with what the blocks would do.

The concept here was to build a car that would make it to the bottom of a race track the fastest.  We focused more on just getting a car to GO - 4 wheels that were the same size, a front and a back, etc.  Plus, another great place to talk about colors and matching.

What is your favorite way of adapting activities that are a bit too complex for your little one?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Learning Through Experience

You thought I dropped off the face of the earth, didn't you?

We've been so busy learning through experience, I haven't had a chance to post in a couple of weeks.  I hope the pictures (yes, finally!) will help make up for my absence, though!

A few weeks ago, we took a family vacation to Nana and Grandpa's house. We had a chance to do lots of hands on learning while we were there.  (There were lots of Signing Smart strategies used too, but none of those got caught on camera...go figure!)


We could talk about horses and read stories about them all day long, but what better way to learn what a horse is than to meet one?  My big boy rode Cinder for close to an hour.  Little Guy got to meet and pet Cinder, no ride for him this time. (Maybe after he learns to sit up on his own.)


We had a beautiful week, so we got to experience lots of water activities.


The science museum had a dino exhibit.  They were a bit intimidating! We talked a lot about how these dinosaurs had feet that couldn't move from behind their fence, and that their squeals and growls were just their way of talking to each other.

More next time!

What were your favorite hands-on learning experiences this summer?