dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Craftasaurus Rex

I may have to illustrate that title some time...

EDIT: I did. Here.

I decided to kick up the learning-gear a bit. I went out and bought a whole butt-load of craft supplies a short while ago. Shake'n'Bake was at her dad's house when I made this little beauty:

All of the 'pictures' are fastened with velcro pieces. This gives Shake'n'Bake the ability to pull them all off and then match them with their appropriate starting letters. There is also a Part II to this 'toy' (as she calls it) in which there are paper cards with the words written on them (i.e. WHALE) and then there are foam letters ('W') velcroed to them. The letters and pictures were to be interchangable.

Shake'n'Bake LOVES this toy. She has absorbed the knowledge like a sponge, and the only picture casualty was the whale...the picture ending there is not a coincidence...

The foam letters however, were...not as hearty. She's torn three or four of them in half already, so I've removed them for a short while. Perhaps in a month or two....

Another awesome craft we have been doing is decorating foam butterflies with foam shapes. This gives Shake'n'Bake the ability to be independantly creative, without me having to worry about permanent damage to anything, or a massive set-up/clean-up. This doubles as awesomeness for me because I have decided to do a Caterpillar/Butterfly theme for Shake'n'Bake's birthday this year, so unknowingly she is helping to prepare decorations.

Yeah, it's okay to be jealous.




Stupid picture set-up thing...

She gets to pick whichever foam shapes she'd like to use, and they're all stickers which is awesome for me because it means no glue

I've currently clothespinned them all around her room (which she loves) and I will move them to the main room on party day.

While she was crafting, I took an extra 2 sets of foam butteflies and turned them in to Butterfly Puzzles!

Each butterfly has its colour written on it, and then a second butterfly with the same colour on it was cut into pieces, allowing for one letter per piece. The object of the game is to place the letters in the correct order forming the colour. Shake'n'Bake likes to assemble them on top of the original butterfly, see the blue and orange ones pictured above.

Shake'n'Bake also has Alphabet Mats:

The grooves are from the bicycle...they pop right back up after a while.

One morning I awoke to find that she had pulled out some letters, and in front of her sister's crib has copied the word 'PUSH' from the sticker adhered to the crib. When I asked her what she was doing, she said: "Look Mommy: Splat," and pointed to her word.

All sorts of ideas exploded in my brain like fireworks. I settled on a sticker-rewarded spelling-game.

A quick poster that read "Shake'n'Bake Can Spell!"  taped to the door + a bunch of small word cards = instant learning game.

After they were written, I decided that it would be easier for her if there were pictures as well...so I added them. If you're here to laugh at my artwork...stay tuned, it gets better.

For every word that she assembles with the Alphabet Mat letters, she gets to place a sticker on her poster. It's a pretty big hit. I also wrote her name on a card, and since "Shake'n'Bake" has two A's and two K's and two E's I had to make supplemental cards with the extra letters.

EDIT: I forgot to put this picture in. It is Shake'n'Bake spelling the word "SHIRT".

Then, one day after we had made a book about one of her stuffed animals, I decided that it would be an EPIC idea to make a book for each letter of the alphabet.

Introducing our Letter Books!

As of right now, we've only done thirteen of the twenty-six. I started out doing them alphabetically, but now I let her decide which one she would like to do. I would like to show you the inside of one, so let's focus on: The Letter C

All of these pictures are so dark because I had to leave the flash off. I tried with the flash on, but I had to hold the books open which made it too close to the camera.

It was a giant white rectangle.

What we do it make a list of seven words that start with that letter, in this case the letter 'C', then we have the first two pages be the upper and lower cases of it: Big C and Little c. This gives Shake'n'Bake practise with writing and following directions. Then each of our seven words are written out (by me) twice, and we each get a page to draw the word on to. For example, the word on the last page of the letter C was "CLOCK". Therefore, I wrote CLOCK on the top of two pages, and Shake'n'Bake and I each got to draw a clock. When the book is assembled, my pictures give guidance as to what the word is, while her pictures allow her to interact in making the book, and take pride in the finished product.

EDIT: To find a complete list of Letter Book words, go to this post.

And, I believe that is all for today. Must run and make dinner, but I'm going to try and have this post itself automatically at a later time...we'll see.


- jG - said...

Okay so first of all, you should be a teacher or an early childhood educator. All of those games are amazing! Shake'n'Bake has such an awesome Mommy (but you already knew that)

Secondly I LOVE all the colours! And all of the time you've both spent working on these projects together is something she'll never forget.

I think Mommy deserves an A+

jedi starrunner said...

this is the best.
your kids are geniuses.

dys·func·tion said...

@- jG -: If there was a contest, you would have won it! My new program is going to be early childhood educator! Also, thanks for everything else, an A+ is awesome.

@jedi starrunner: Lol, and thanks, I think they are too (unless I'm mad at them, then they seem... the opposite of genius).

rapunzel_jo said...

I love these crafts. My son will be 2 next month and I have been looking for a way to extend his alphabet outside of his bath tub foam letters, haha. I have considered the floor tiles, but the other stuff you have done with your daughter is amazing!

dys·func·tion said...

@rapunzel_jo: I'm glad you like them! I'm more than excited to share any craft ideas, and I would love to see any follow-up photos of you and your son crafting away! We've still been crafting up a storm over here, and I'm sure that the Craftasaurus Rex will make another appearance. (After all, it's not like he's extinct!)