About 2flowerslearn

I am a mom of two girls; Daisy and Rose and an elementary teacher. I am sharing our experiences of learning through play; trying out products for our family business, Quality Classrooms and just having fun on our days at home. "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950 Thank you so much for visiting. I would love to hear from you. ; )

Playing with the World Map Floor Puzzle

We refer to our laminated wall map at least a couple of times a week and have completed activities using it including Where does our food come from?

Where does our food come from?

We find having a map close to the dining table means we can refer to a country or town named in the news or general discussion. This helps Daisy in particular, locate an area in the world and often helps us increase our geographical knowledge.

We have noticed that locating the continents are still a struggle so an activity that focuses just on continents was needed.

Playing with the World Map Floor PuzzleRose loves puzzles and will sit for an hour doing puzzle after puzzle. Referring to the box for help is a new concept to her and she enjoyed matching puzzle pieces to the picture on the front of the box.

Playing with the World Map Floor PuzzleLearning to complete the outside of the puzzle first, is a reminder I often give when I can see frustration beginning. This puzzle is aimed at age 6+ but with Daisy`s help Rose was able to participate too.

Playing with the World Map Floor PuzzleStanding on the world!

When the puzzle was built we identified each continent and talked about some characteristics and countries within the continents.

World Map Floor Puzzle

The World Map Floor Puzzle has 33 pieces and covers 2 x 3 feet when assembled. It is made of sturdy card, is easy to clean and includes an illustration:

World Map

I can see this being copied and used as Daisy’s geographical knowledge develops. The puzzle is available from Quality Classrooms and another option is the Canada Map Floor Puzzle if you want to focus more locally.

What ways do you teach geographical knowledge and understanding?

Lego and Duplo

So I have great memories of playing with Lego as a child and it always involved building something for people to use. A structure alone was never enough, it had to be usable by people. My children are similar, most things they build have a use for the people whether they are Duplo people or Lego people or random ‘small world play’ people.

We only got Lego in the house on Daisy’s 6th birthday, nearly a year ago. Yes, I know this is a crime to some people, especially parents with boys but she had not shown any interest in Lego before that. Things have changed now. Rose received lots of Duplo at Christmas time and both the Duplo and Lego have prime position in our living room.

Lego and Duplo

Here Rose is making a hotel for her Duplo people.

I did start to wonder what all the fuss was with Lego and Duplo and did a little research. Here is what I found out:

Benefits of playing with Lego and Duplo

  • Creativity: the most obvious choice for me, hours and hours of open ended play with only the imagination as the limit.
  • Planning and Problem solving skills: these are developed as children realise a plan in their heads and work towards making it a reality
  • Math skills: sorting bricks, finding the correct size brick, thinking in 3D, patterning and proportions, measuring and counting are all part of Lego play.
  • Fine motor skills: building and separating bricks takes great dexterity as anyone who has played with Lego knows. (I do want to get my hands on a brick separator!)
  • Ability to follow directions: if you use the kits and instructions (we don’t tend to)

While I understand the appeal of individual kits with set instructions to build a certain project, I prefer the open endedness of these type of kits:

Lego Explore Basic Bulk

The Lego Duplo Explore Basic Bulk

Lego Brick Set

Lego Brick Set

You can then add base plates and themes kits if you want.

Lego and Duplo

A house, complete with chairs, plants and windows.

Lego and Duplo

Look, a hippo!

Lego and Duplo

This impressive construction is a movie theater Uncle Andy helped build. It was played with for weeks!

The play is never ending as are the opportunities to tie play into current learning themes!

I am a re-enthused  Lego and Duplo fan!

Read more:

 

More fun with Heart Mosiacs

We used these great hearts to make valentines for friends (click on the image for more details):

Playing with Heart Mosaics

The hearts we used for valentines, barely made a dint in the bag so we pulled them out again to create some art for the baby room and to mail to Boma.

More fun with heart mosiacsRose enjoyed drawing around her hand.

More fun with heart mosiacsAnd gluing was definitely a hit.

More fun with heart mosiacs

Resulting a lovely bright, tree collage.

More fun with heart mosiacsDaisy spent a bit more time colouring her hand and adding detail to her tree by hand.

IMG_4702w

She was equally proud of her tree and owl collage which incorporated hearts.

While they created I did too:

More fun with heart mosiacsUsing their hands as tree trunks, Rose helped find green hearts and glue them on. Now little brother, when he arrives, has his sisters art on his wall.

What do you do with your left over hearts and valentine’s decorations?