Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Make it Real

{Connor in front of our planet display.}

TIP: Take something your child LOVES and LEARN about it.

Connor discovered the Fisher Price Planet Heroes when we got a promotional DVD in a freebie bag at the zoo last summer. He was immediately enamored with the Planet Heroes' cool characters and fun toys. Like most kids, Connor wanted to get all the Planet Heroes.

My tip today is to take obsessions like these and turn them into learning experiences. Connor was so excited about these fun toys that he loved learning about the planets. He quickly memorized all the planet names, along with the corresponding toys' names.

One day he was drawing and wanted to draw Earth. We drew Earth, then moved on to Jupiter, and soon we had drawn, colored, and cut out all nine planets. (We aren't ready to give up on Pluto yet!) We hung our planets on one wall in the house, making a lamp become our sun.

Over time we practiced the planet names and the order of the planets and learned a little bit about them. We added the moon and the asteroid belt. We added four moons to Jupiter. (Jupiter has 16 moons, but when I looked in a telescope once I could see 4 moons and after I told Connor that he decided just to make the 4 that I'd seen.) We labeled each planet, an opportunity for Connor to practice his writing.

Take those opportunities to turn the things your kids love into learning experiences that are fun for Mom and kids!

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