Sunday, 29 January 2012

Planet of the monkeys?

K is really into the planets, and space in general, at the moment. It was the monthly theme at preschool a while back and I was amazed at the information he retained. As well as remembering all the planets in order (so, already doing better than me...), he regaled us with all kinds of space facts, with probably his favourite being that Jupiter has 16 moons.

I have an old Usborne astronomy book, aimed at children quite a bit bigger than K, and he has spent a lot of time poring over it and reading what he can. From that, and a jigsaw we picked up the other day, he's learnt about dwarf planets, comets and asteroids too. We've also been watching an episode of Wonders of the Solar System each Saturday night as a weekend treat, which H got for Christmas on DVD. It's difficult for K to understand (heck, it's difficult for me to understand at times) but he's enjoying it, and the visuals are fantastic.

The other day, pootling around on the Internet, I found loads of free space-themed worksheets at Learning Page. I printed off kindergarten and first grade level maths, English and science pages and strung them together between card covers. K was so excited and has been telling everyone about his 'space book' and asking me for more pages to add to it.

I also printed out the planet cut-outs, showing all the planets in their relative size. I thought that K could colour them one day and then cut them out and stick them onto a mural the next day, but the combination of K's enthusiasm and an unusually long nap for T meant that we got it all finished just before H got home from work. K was so keen to keep going that he didn't even want to stop for an afternoon snack, a previously unheard-of situation!

I coloured, cut and taped Jupiter and Saturn, and H cut out the stars, but K did the rest. I hadn't got a background prepared when we started, thinking I'd have at least another day to sort something out. In the end, the best I could come up with from what we had in the house was 2 thick paper shopping bags, cut open and taped together. Don't inspect it too closely; one bag is black and one is very dark blue, and the black one had a logo on it in white, which I scribbled over with black crayon. I think it'll do though; it's not really noticeable from a distance and K doesn't mind. In fact, he was jump-up-and-down-shrieking-ly pleased with it :-)

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