Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Lessons

For the past several days, Katie has been fascinated with the plight of the trapped Chilean miners. Each morning, we search for updates in the news and she has watched the YouTube video in which they give a tour of their space. Her interest began when I was offhandedly telling her the news one morning... and now she has me much more involved in the story on a daily basis than I probably would otherwise be. We have spent part of yesterday and today role playing "trapped miners" and when asked how she would pass the time stuck in the cave, she replies, "Try to climb out. Kick the rocks."

Yesterday she used some of my cross stitch floss to make a rope ladder to climb out. After hearing my report on the doctors who will be on hand to make sure the miners' eyes aren't hurt by sunlight, she makes sure we have our sunglasses when we play.

She received a flashlight from Boppa a couple of days ago, which she loves. She is proud of her flashlight, and she uses it to play "trapped miner."

Although this role play is certainly different, it has afforded us opportunities to talk about the calendar/months, geography, problem-solving, compassion, etc.

My cousin, Jed, sent along a great activity for us:

(from: What is being provided to the trapped Chilean miners. - 22 Words)

This morning, I printed it out and cut out the circle, and we spent time figuring out what we could fit through the hole. Katie's cozy blanket? A book? The flashlight? We tried various objects through the hole. Then she saw that if we changed the shape of some items, we might be able to fit them after all. I asked if we could fit our new toilet paper roll? She at first said no, and then she examined it and on her own she exclaimed, "But we could tear off pieces!"

Because the miners work in a copper/gold mine, I think tomorrow we might collect as many pennies as we can find in the house and talk about it from that point of view...

Some pictures from yesterday:

We resurrected Katie's backyard fort and tunnels. She stood in front of the "mine" with her flashlight.

In the "mine" she tried to make a flag so "that people will know we are here."

This morning I was extremely tired (both children were awake in the middle of the night last night at different times) and looking for ways to play that would be educational and fun but mellow. After talking more about the miners, playing Follow the Leader, and feeding the children, I settled Eric for a nap and Katie and I went on a leaf hunt outside. We collected several leaves for a fall collage.

Katie holds her collage after bath time tonight. She did most of the gluing all by herself.

Katie was proud to show her collage to Daddy.

Thankfully my mom came over today mid-day and I was able to catch a bit of a nap!