inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #76 of 107: Jessica Mann Gutteridge (jessica) Fri 19 Oct 12 03:51
    
So great to hear this! I would say the gardening notion is just
perfect, but you haven't seen the state of my garden. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #77 of 107: behind on BADGES! (obizuth) Fri 19 Oct 12 06:59
    
jonelle, i'm curious: what were the passions your kids discovered on their 
own?
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #78 of 107: Katie (katelich) Sat 20 Oct 12 15:47
    

I'm late getting back to this discussion too, but I want to thank sooz for
this excellent idea:

nature bracelet
 activity where kids go for a guided walk with a masking tape bracelet
 around each wrist and pick up small things in nature to tack onto the
 bracelet.

My kids will love that.

(Amy, for Tess's 4th bday we bought those $1 wooden picture frames at
Michael's and had the kids decorate them with markers and stickers. During
the party we made sure to take a picture of Tess with each guest, and then
printed out the pix during cake-eating time, so every kid went home with a
picture of themself with Tess in a frame they had decorated. Cheap, cute,
and fun!)
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #79 of 107: Katherine Spinner (spinner) Sat 20 Oct 12 22:52
    
Amy, I've done bread-baking with groups of children at various ages-
toddlers, primary school, 5th grade- and it's always been a hit. It is
time and labor intensive, and it helps to be a confident baker.

What about playdough? There's one kind that's equal parts applesauce
and cinnamon squished together inside zip-lock bags, then kneaded. You
can bake it and it lasts for years (flatter shapes bake better.) Or
no-cook oatmeal playdough, made with vanilla, lavendar oil, ? and
children can pick their favorite colors.

I've just made 2 batches of cooked playdough, no coloring, one with
vanilla and one with eucalyptus oil, for Friends preschool tomorrow. A
Friend is bringing her white cane and talking to us about being blind,
so a sensory activity seems in order.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #80 of 107: jelly fish challenged (reet) Sun 21 Oct 12 12:08
    
Making playdough or art with real food is controversal. Baking or cooking is
fabulous, tho, and full of science, math, language and literacy.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #81 of 107: Katherine Spinner (spinner) Sun 21 Oct 12 18:07
    
My word, this is a controversy I haven't run into, in decades of
working with children. What is one to use, if not flour, salt, oil and
cream of tartar? Is commercial, trademarked "Playdoh" treated to be
inedible, un-real? 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #82 of 107: jelly fish challenged (reet) Sun 21 Oct 12 22:17
    
The basic flpoour seems to be ok, but aotmeal, applesauce, hat kind of
thing. Macaroni necklaces. mosaics of beans. that sort of thing. So many
kids not getting enough food at home, using food for other than feeding them
can be an issue.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #83 of 107: Katherine Spinner (spinner) Sun 21 Oct 12 23:09
    
Hmm. I've never worked in situations where that was a concern, but
yes, I can see a child in trouble at home if she wanted to play with
the noodles and there weren't any left to cook. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #84 of 107: Bob Akka (bob) Mon 22 Oct 12 16:41
    
Wow, sooz, just caught up to reading about your book. Looks great, and I'll
be picking it up soon.

I've certainly been on board with the general idea, which resonates with
other things I've read:

 - The Price of Privilege, by Levine (a Marin therapist). She argues that
excessive management and scheduling of a child's life can lead to problems
later on; that "over-parenting" can be just as bad as the opposite
(neglect), because it keeps children from taking responsibility for their
own mental well-being.

 - Endangered Minds, by Healy. In addition to strongly opposing TV watching,
she makes the larger point that kids' minds grow best from activities where
their own creativity is the main ingredient. She recommends "Passive toy,
active child" over "Active toy, passive child".

Our little guy is adapting well to the more regimented life of Kindergarten,
after a few years at Kumara (which I noticed you mention in the intro) and
then the similar minded GeoKids in Menlo Park (which we were even more
pleased with). I'm looking forward to trying out a few new activity ideas
from the book.


Oh, and what's inside Play-Doh:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/09/st_whatsinside_playdoh/
Short version: Flour & water, with some salt and oil, and a few other things
that help preserve it, make it unappetizing, improve handling
characteristics, and scent it. At GeoKids, they made their own, and I don't
think they ever had problems.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #85 of 107: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Mon 22 Oct 12 18:08
    
I love those activities, especially ones that turn into a party favor!
I don't know why i didn't think of that -- I have done similar at
Penny's school with puffy fabric heart frames that I got at Scrap for
next to nothing. 

Anyway, we had a great birthday party at the playground. No organized
activities and lots of friends. I think we'll get organized some year,
but this wasn't the one. Food from Costco, cookies from me, and no
goody bags. (I feel bad about this part - I know goody bags have gotten
out of control, but I love giving something out. The last party we
went to, each kid got a tulip bulb and planting instructions -- that
sort of thing is just right, don't you think?) 

We make play-dough at Penny's school. Part of the "problem" is that
the school is SO good about activities and play-driven learning that
there's little left the kids haven't done! 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #86 of 107: Susan Sachs Lipman (sooz) Tue 23 Oct 12 07:27
    
Hi All - What fun to hear some of the new voices in the conversation.
I really appreciate your wisdom, Jonelle. That is so moving that your
son is instituting his own Family Dinner for others. (Our kids do
listen and absorb; it just takes a few years :) ) 

Thank you Katherine and Kate, for your lovely ideas about playdough (I
love the tactile and simple) and the picture frames for parties that
serve as an activity as well as a keepsake. A painted flower pot with a
small plant, seed or seed packet is a similar idea. Oh, I belatedly
see that Amy posted about the tulip bulb. Yes, I love favors that
provide wonder and something to really do. In addition to flowerpot and
other craft ideas, I also have a recipe in my book for lip gloss,
which is something older girls can make at a party and then take home.
And your party sounds wonderful! Really, I think kids most enjoy being
celebrated and having friends around them on their birthdays. (And
great that the school is so stimulating and rich.)

Bob, it's great to see you! I can't believe your little one is in
Kindergarten! (And I had no idea you were at Kumara School - a very
formative place for our whole family.) Thanks for the tips on other
resources, too. I've heard Madeline Levine speak, and she is a strong
influence regarding the notion that some of our well-intentioned
methods can do our kids a grave disservice, if we don't let them learn
through trying, and failing, on their own.

And, yes, I love that the cooking and kitchen-science ideas that
Katherine, Rita and others propose. Soft pretzels (in my book) are a
fun and easy alternative to bread baking. Like many of my favorite
projects, it uses many of our senses and provides kitchen fun with a
tasty result.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #87 of 107: behind on BADGES! (obizuth) Tue 23 Oct 12 07:46
    
i totally want to do the lip gloss! and bath salts! from the book.

both my girls have october birthdays, so we used to decorate orange tote 
bags as a craft and then that was the goodie bag, for trick-or-treating. 
for a while when the girls had costume parties as bday parties jonathan 
would take a picture of each kid in costume and print it out, and the kids 
made picture frames (using kits from oriental trading -- i'm not that 
crafty) and then during the party we'd print out the pictures and the kids 
could take them for the frames. the <danlevy> family still has a picture 
from 4 or 5 years ago of roly in his costume up in their house in one of 
the frames. covered in BATS!
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #88 of 107: Ruth Bernstein (ruthb) Tue 23 Oct 12 08:21
    
We have done the bath salts and the lip gloss, both with my 8yo girl.
Loved! I think this was before the book came out, but I can see why it
would be great to have all these ideas in one place. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #89 of 107: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Thu 25 Oct 12 10:12
    
oh suz, what do you think of geocaching?
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #90 of 107: Jessica Mann Gutteridge (jessica) Thu 25 Oct 12 10:35
    
My sister does letterboxing and my MIL does geocaching. I've gone out
letterboxing with Rafe and my niece and sister and we had a wonderful
time. I think it's a little more fun to try to follow the clues, rather
than to use a GPS to find your way, but either way, it's a lovely way
to get out into nature, parks, and historical sites and play treasure
hunt. You really have to look around you and pay attention to your
environment. Some of them are pretty tricky to spot, so I'm not sure if
younger children would enjoy it or get frustrated.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #91 of 107: David Albert (aslan) Fri 26 Oct 12 03:56
    
We did letterboxing with our daughter once.  It was GREAT.  Got us out
walking and hunting and trying a few different paths, and of course
finding the letterbox was a huge high point.

But then inexplicably she had no interest in doing it again.  Not sure
why.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #92 of 107: Ruth Bernstein (ruthb) Fri 26 Oct 12 06:11
    
We do geocaching but it's sometimes hard to find stuff that is
appropriate for my little kids (I think the sweet spot for it is a
couple of years older).
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #93 of 107: Amy Keyishian (superamyk) Fri 26 Oct 12 16:40
    
yeah it seems like maybe my stepkids might appreciate it more. Thank
you for mentioning letterboxing, I think I like that even more! 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #94 of 107: Jessica Mann Gutteridge (jessica) Fri 26 Oct 12 16:46
    
My sister keeps little pocket-size sketchbooks, rubber stamps, and
pens in a kit in the car for when they decide to go letterboxing. Every
time I try, the kids raid the sash, but it's a nice idea. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #95 of 107: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 26 Oct 12 17:20
    
How does letterboxing work?
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #96 of 107: Jessica Mann Gutteridge (jessica) Fri 26 Oct 12 18:33
    
Lots of information at http://letterboxing.org/

Basically, people stash a little notebook and rubber stamp at a public
location, then describe how to locate it. You find it, leave your mark
in the notebook and add the stamp to your log. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #97 of 107: David Albert (aslan) Sat 27 Oct 12 05:43
    
So, for instance, we were told to go to a particular park, find a
certain path, walk to the first garbage pail, turn off the path into
the woods, walk 50 paces towards an oak tree, then turn due east and
walk 20 paces to another large oak tree, then look for the rock behind
it and dig.

The notebook we found was a bit soaked, and we were the first to find
it in several years.  Both of those added to the excitement.  But there
was a stamp, and there was a book, and I was able to reach the owner
by email later to let them know we'd found it.
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #98 of 107: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 27 Oct 12 08:27
    
What an interesting twist on geocaching. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #99 of 107: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sat 27 Oct 12 16:45
    
I am fed up with the frenzy that has kept me from truly enjoying this
topic. Up thread someone asked about the window for language
acquisition in children. The reason I haven't been on WELL lately is
due to taking a course for ESOL certification.  Research shows that 2nd
language acquisition for proper pronunciation is optimal in
pre-puberty years. However, older students tend to be able to make
language connections with their first language to their second language
which helps facilitate their second language acquisition.  Actually,
the motivation for learning the second language and the manner in which
it is taught seems to be more relevant a determinant than age. So, no
rush. 
  
inkwell.vue.457 : Susan Sachs Lipman: Fed Up With Frenzy
permalink #100 of 107: Jessica Mann Gutteridge (jessica) Sat 27 Oct 12 16:53
    
My kids started French lesson on Saturdays, which sounds like the
worst kind of frenzy achievement insanity, but is actually quite laid
back and fun. They are working with my friend Sandrine, who works hard
to incorporate their interests into her lessons, even if that slows me
down a bit. After trying with both in the same class she discovered
they do better in shorter units without the other one present, so I
hang out in the playroom with whoever isn't having a lesson and
Sandrine's two same-age boys. Today she let Lucas set up the Battle of
Bunker Hill with soldiers from a set of Risk and worked on nationality
vocabulary. 
  

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