Card Games and Learning Fun

With temperatures expected to reach into the 90's today, I didn't expect to get much schooling done today especially since we're planning to hang out by the water today with some company.

We started our day out with a few card games of War, but I had my older two boys turn over two cards instead of one and add them together (we used all face cards as 10 to make it a bit easier for them), then the one with the higher sum wins.  My youngest and I played regular war to help him learn the concept of greater than/ less than.  They had so much fun and didn't want to stop.

 While the older two boys went on to reading, Evan blew off my idea to practice letters and pulled out a small jig saw puzzle.  I consoled myself with the thought that he's developing critical thinking and problem skills.   And once again  it's seems like it's usually all the things I don't plan that turn into the greatest learning opportunities.  He put that whole jigsaw puzzle together by himself with little to no help from anyone!  The pride I saw radiating off of him was priceless and I knew I had done the right thing by letting him follow his own learning path rather than trying to force him to learn letters.

 After that Evan decided he was done for the day... Alec started reading his ocean book and asking me about the ring of fire so I pulled out the globe to show him all about Hawaii and tried to explain how islands form from volcanic mountains.  The next thing I knew I was surrounded by all three boys asking me questions and trying to relate what I was telling them to other things they had heard about or seen (so I guess Evan wasn't really done!).  We ended up talking for about 10 min. all about ocean life and food webs vs. food chains.  Once again a total impromptu mini lesson!

We played w/ Mad Libs and I was shocked to realize that both older boys remembered "adjective," "verb," "noun," etc. and played by themselves giggling over the stories they created.  I put a tray together w/ a bunch of mini toys; showed it to the boys and told them to try and remember as much as they could because in a min. I was going to cover it and see how much they remember (a great memory building skill!).

Then we played another quick game; a new board game we hadn't opened yet called Disney Wheel of Fortune (works on spelling skills!).

By that time our company was arriving so we very quickly made up a few containers of sidewalk paint using 1 c. cornstarch, 1 c. water and some food coloring--- art and science mixed into one!  I know this sounds like we did so much when I said I was trying to come up w/ a few quick things we could do but all this lasted about 2 hours and we were done!  They took the bowls outside and painted my patio then swam and played for the rest of the day. 

Ian learned how to dive and practiced like crazy all afternoon to try and perfect his dives.  

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