Homelearning | Botany 

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been using the time in the morning to teach the girl before she goes to school. We spent some time learning about a few famous artists, a little about the animal kingdom and ‘visited’ some countries. More recently, I have started to teach based on themes. And since it was Spring in May, I thought it would be good to get the kids to learn a little about botany.

The following is a record of what I did with the kids and the related resources.

 

The idea to start on Botany started quite innocently. I had extra stalks of celery and I was teaching the boy colours and then I thought why not show them how plants take in water through the stems? So, this was how we started.

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So I quickly gathered the resources that exist at home and took a trip to the library to borrow the books that I need to teach. By the way, I love this website – The Helpful Garden. It has lots of resources that I printed off for the children’s learning.

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Love this book from Gail Gibbons. It really is a gem. From this, I taught the parts of the plants and got the girl to make out the words.

 

From seeds (and the girl planted bok choy)…

 

… to flowers. The children learnt about the parts of the flowers and the reproduction of course. It might be a tad too abstract, I feel. But there’s certainly no harm in introducing!

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We took a trip down to the florist, bought a few stalks of flowers…

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…after introducing her to some flowers via the 3-part cards.

 

Lessons turned out to be very beautiful indeed.

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The girl learnt to paint poppy flowers, a very doable art piece for a preschooler.

 

With this book, we learnt the different parts of the plants which we consume. Dan showed his ability to match the concrete to the pictures.

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We then zoomed in into the life of a Dandelion.

 

And we dabbled in more artwork. This time round, it was finger-printing.

It was a very interesting and wide topic. So much to learn but I guess we shall take a few steps at a time. Learning can never cease.

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Feeling at home at Playeum

June hols. A period in which parents get all busy because there are simply too many places to visit and things to do. We are just entering into June and had visited the Singapore Art Museum, Gallery Children’s Biennale at the National Gallery, Faber-Castell’s Art Festival, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Dino Robot Factory at the Science Centre, Singapore Book Fair and then Playeum.

Playeum launched its fourth interactive exhibition ‘Making It Home: Dreaming Rooms, Making Spaces, Creating Places’ and it will be held from 16 May to 29 October.

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‘Making It Home’ is designed for children ages 1-12 and celebrates the home as a source of creativity, artistry and thinking. The spaces are transformed into different ‘rooms’, each with a different purpose and opportunities to explore and experiment. And these were exactly what our children did.

This is Dan who went straight to The Central Space to create connections using the pipes that we so commonly see in our homes. I just stood there and marvelled at how simple things like this could captivate a young boy.

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Then there is The Bedroom where dreams and drama co-exist. There were textiles that the children could use to transform themselves and engage in make-believe play. Faith dressed herself up as a superhero and roped me in. As if this wasn’t enough, there were two mini slides which my two kids had much fun with.

It’s funny how the kids could spend a good amount of time in this space alone. Oh, the wonders of creativity!

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The Store-y Room, a dark, slightly scary space that stores odd and sometimes discarded items.

The Future Living Room.

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This is the Laundry Room where our kids were trying to figure out how it works. There were different types of textiles and I thought this made for a good sensory lesson for Dan. There was this spinning fan that Dan could explore since the ones at home were out of bounds for him!

Here, the children can explore the world of laundry and cloth through weaving and peg-play.

The Kitchen, a space which I like and at Playeum, it’s the kids’ favourite too. They could use a variety of materials such as sand, magnets and kitchen instruments to engage and focus on sensory play.

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This is the girl’s favourite spot.

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Exploration extends to the real herbs growing just outside.

Have I convinced you enough that this year’s exhibition is mighty good? This has got to be my favourite. Perhaps, it’s because I like the homey feel? Perhaps, I could relate to the materials and segments of the rooms? Or perhaps, it’s because my kids were truly engaged, even for our toddler who normally could not stay focussed for more than a few minutes. I really love to see him so engrossed with the materials!

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The exhibition ends on 29 October. There’s ample time for you to consider making a trip down!