Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Boys Day Round Up

Shhh don't tell anyone, but I'm actually writing this early because when it's Boys Day I will be up a mountain, supping beer, eating blackened food from the BBQ and probably being eaten alive by mozzies!

May 5th is Children's Day, that said, it's very boy orientated and girls get their own day in March so boys should have their own day too, right?

Here's a round up of boys days posts for you to check out...

Monday, 4 May 2015

Fun with Collective Nouns...

Oh yes, I did a classic trick last week - and hence the lack of post! Took a load of photos on my fancy new camera then realised I hadn't got the SD card in *doh*

So we are still working on grammar/English. We revisited collective nouns, always fun! Normally I present the activity showing how to do it but this time I just gave him the cards and let him figure it out.

So the cards were in 2 sets for example...

A murder of                         crows
A litter of                             puppies
A pride of                            lions

Once he has separated them into two columns I got the timer out and timed him matching them.

Of course I didn't expect him to get them all right first time but he did quite well...

In Montessori one of the important aspects for activities is that they have a control of error - a way for the child to check their work by themselves. In this case, I drew little matching symbols on the back. He went through and checked his work, pulled out the ones he got wrong then tried again.
Third time was the charm!

Of course you can't do collective nouns without making some up yourself and as little boys go...

A sneak of ninjas was soon partnered with a A stink of farts and well, lets just say it went downhill after that!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Phones, Friends and Football

We had a national holiday this week so we started off the day at the phone shop and just happened to upgrade our phones to the iphone 6 - whoo-hoo! My old 4s has gotten really slow and took forever to do anything on, I can't believe how quick my new 6 is!

In Japanese style, we started off at one AU shop - we moved to AU from Softbank but that shop gave us a quote and hubby wasn't happy, then the shop clerk told us we should try a different AU shop and they might have a better deal.

I have to admit, I have no idea why this works but, we went over to the other shop and managed to save ¥30,000! Crazy pants!

Once we had eventually finished there we met up with some friends in the park, it was a beautiful day, perfect for lollying around on the grass watching the kids wear themselves out...

Now the kids are older and have school and after school activities, it's really hard to find a time to get together, which makes me sad but it's always good to see them have so much fun together.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Masterclass - Make Your Own 3 Part Cards

It is election time here at the moment, which means the campaign trucks are going round all the time and driving me nuts! Even more so as I was trying to record this masterclass, the last thing I wanted was the stupid campaign trucks in the background. Took me longer than anticipated but it's finished!

I am a geek so making things like the 3 part cards used in Montessori is easy for me, but I know a lot of people just find it too daunting. That's why I put together this master class. It's broken into 3 quick lessons, I show you exactly how to plan your card set, how to source the images and then I walk you through how to set up a template so you can make as many card sets as you like.

No need for fancy software, no need for a degree in graphic design, so simple even my gran could do it!

And it's free! (for now at least).. Click the link to register for the Make Your Own Montessori 3 Part Cards Masterclass

Monday, 27 April 2015

Out Exploring...

Daddy was working on Saturday and the weather forecast was for rain so we planned to just hang out at home (we usually go out on an adventure when daddy is working) but it turned out to be a beautiful day so on the spur of the moment we went out on a bike ride.

We had a conversation earlier in the day about tree huggers, Ebi-kun thought it was one of my many made up terms, I had to google it to prove that I hadn't made it up! So it was only right that he hugged a tree whilst we were out...

We discovered a new-to-us temple, there are lots of tiny old country road where we live so we just randomly went down a few, you never know what you might find! One thing I hadn't seen before were the statues wearing pearl necklaces....

These statues I think are for babies or children that have died, usually the statues wear a red hat and bib. 

Turned out to be a lovely day and it was actually nice to just to potter around and not have to go anywhere or be anywhere, just some quality downtime.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Quick Science Experiments

With Ebi-kuns new school schedule we have very little after school time these days :(
So for the little time we have I want to fill it with fun activities to use his brain, ask more questions, expand his English...

Today's experiments were will balloons, quick an easy to set up...

You need:

  • 2 chairs
  • String
  • Balloons
  • Straw
  • Masking tape 

To set up, tie one end of the string to the back of a chair. Then the string through a straw. Tie the other end of the string to the other chair, pull the string so it is tight.

Next, blow up a balloon, don't tie the end, hold onto it! And using the masking tape, stick it to the straw (shown below)

Let go and see what happens...

Once you have done it a couple of times, try experimenting. 

  • What happens if you only tape the front of the balloon? How about just the back?
  • What happens if you tape two balloons facing the same direction, how about two balloons facing the opposite direction?
  • Why does the balloon move the way it does?
  • Would a different gas produce a different result?
  • What if the gas was warmer? Cooler?

Predict the results before you do each experiment.

What other experiments can you try?

I'm looking forward to more quick experiments, I foresee a jojoebi mini series coming on...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Panda Bus...

And other random photos! After the Yabusame we had a wander around, I think this is the closest I've been to Tokyo Sky Tree, to be honest, I don't fancy being up there if we have another earthquake! Heights don't bother me but through an earthquake into the mix and that is a whole different kettle of fish!

Then there was the panda bus, seriously, how cute? Not only is she adorable with her red bow, but she winks too...

I couldn't possible visit the area without doing the "Golden poo on the head shot" Ebi-kun was obviously not impressed with my antics! The golden poo is actually supposed to beer beer froth and is the Asahi beer company building.

After standing for almost 3 hours to watch the yabusame, we were all pretty tired so we found a spot to have some cake and cuppa before taking some top secret photos for a competition and then heading back home. We dropped lucky with the weather, it has been cold and wet pretty much all month, it was nice to feel the sun for a change!

Now Ebi-kun is back at school and is getting used to his new schedule, I'm hoping we can get back into a routine and start doing more crafts/projects/experiments...watch this space...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

yabusame - traditional horseback archery

Saturday we headed off to Tokyo, Sumida ward to watch the Yabusame.
Yabusame is the traditional art of horseback archery, we have seen it before, a few years ago but in a different location.

Unfortunately this place was difficult to get a good spot to watch, all the good places were paid seats, so I recommend the November show if you are planning to see it.

The contenders are dressed in traditional garb, some from the Kamakura period and then some from the later Eno period....

I remembered this horse from last time..

To start with, I was only getting photos of the back of the womans head who was stood in front of me, so I handed my camera over to Ebi-kun since he has managed to sneak to the front...if only he was a little taller!

The ladies who were in the way left after a while, so I snagged a good spot eventually...
Just taken the shot...

And pulling the next arrow for the next target, they have to hit three targets each run...

The archers these days have to be much quicker, the old samurai horses would have been smaller and slower but these days they use European bred horses which are faster and it means that the archers lose a second between targets...

It's quite exciting but it takes them forever to get going. It was scheduled to start at 1pm but they didn't actually start the archery until nearly 2pm. A lot of of waffling and ceremonial stuff, not interesting if you can't see what is going on!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Breaking Out The Grammar boxes

The Montessori approach has a pretty neat way of teaching grammar using manipulative symbols. They get introduced in the Grammar Farm (which is still one of my favourite Montessori lessons) - I show you how to introduce the grammar farm HERE and the printables are HERE. It is a while since we have done any grammar work so we started off really just doing a review of the parts of speech.

First matching the symbol and the part of speech...

black triangle - noun
small light blue triangle - article
dark blue triangle - adjective
purple triangle - pronoun
green crescent - preposition
red circle - verb
orange circle - adverb
pink rectangle - conjunction
gold keyhole - interjection

Once he had got the hang of that, I introduced sentences and he had to match the symbols with the words in the sentence. It's amazing how quickly he picked it up again.

The next step will be for him to write the sentences and draw the symbols and I am hoping he will also make a grammar book. I'll share the printables to go with this soon (like, when I finished making them!)

Ebi-kun did ask me what the point of learning grammar is - I have no idea! Do you?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Ultimate 7 day Kitchen Bootcamp is Back!

Yes, back by popular demand - who'd have thought there was a demand for fun cleaning?

What is bootcamp?

It is 7 days or organized cleaning fun - I jest not! This is the third year I have run the kitchen bootcamp and the results are always amazing. It is actually a load of fun because we do it as a group, share our wins and fails. Brag about our ridiculous finds and our amazing end product.

You don't have to take my word for it...

If your kitchen looks like the devil himself makes dinner in there, then come and join us, you will be amazed at the difference just 7 short days can make!

yes, your email addy is safe with me and you will also get the MOC Playbook: What MacGyver Would do if he had kids!

Want to see some of last years results...

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