Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Periscope and a Talking Robot

The boys have really been into doing creative craft projects lately. They'll get an idea in their head from watching a show or something and immediately hit the craft supplies. The other day, they watched an episode of Curious George where George made a periscope. I came downstairs and LilKat1 had a couple of pieces of rolled up paper cut and taped together in an 'L' shape. He wanted me to help him figure out how to turn it into a periscope. I told him that the rolled up papers were a good idea, but we needed something a little sturdier, so we used a box. We also needed some mirrors, which we didn't have, so we used cut up pieces of cardboard covered with aluminum foil. Here's what we came up with:


Now, the aluminum foil really doesn't make a great mirror, but if you look in the bottom and you wave your hand in the top, you can definitely see something blurry moving.

The next night, LilKat1 wanted to build a robot. So we got out a box and made a 'talking' robot. Here's what he looks like:


Here's how the 'talking' part works. First, you ask the robot a question. The robot comes with a set of cards that have different questions on them. You pick out the card with the question that you want to ask. For example, if you want to ask the robot 'Do you like playing?' you'd pick out this card:


Then you insert the card into the robot, and the answer comes out of the robot's mouth like this:

Yes! The robot does in fact like playing!

Here is a picture of the back of the Talking robot. He has a card holder in the back that holds all of the question cards:

And at the end, we added on a flashing star light on top of his head:

This Talking Robot project was great for a number of reasons. First of all, LilKat1 loved it. I cut out the box, and he made the face, hands, and feet. Then we worked on the question cards. Oh, he had a great time with those. We made it after dinner and he was so busy making question cards that he wasn't even interested at all in his desert. He just wanted to keep making cards. I made the first several cards for him. Here's where I got a little sneaky. I thought of some questions and answers that had words that he could read. So when he wanted to know what the card said, I made him read it to me. And when he wanted to know the answer, I made him read that to me as well. Normally, he doesn't read for us (in his Kindergarten class, he's in the top reading group. But we would never know this because he never wants to read for us. Our neighbor volunteers in class now and then and she was telling us how great a job LilKat1 is doing with his reading. We had no idea. He'll read for other people, just not us. So now I have to trick him into reading things if I want him to read for me). But he was having a great time reading his cards. Then he started writing his own cards. So now we're getting reading AND writing 'homework' done from this craft project. I got greedy and threw in some math cards, like 'Robot what is 3+5?' So we got reading, writing, and math all in one cool project. And not only did we get some learning in, but we both had a great time putting it together.

1 comment:

Tara said...

How neat!!! We'll have to remember this one for when G is that age...