Some weeks I’m sad to see the back of. The sun has shone, our activities went off without a hitch, my anxiety was low. Other weeks are a struggle. This was one of those. It’s a shame really, because learning to the time is such a milestone moment for so many kids. I just have to remember that this is a pandemic, I hopefully won’t feel so out of control and anxious forever, and at least now I can ask another human being in the building what time the oven says, without getting blank stares and shrugs.
Today’s theme, to fit with exactly the type of week I’ve had, was “making this as easy as possible for Mummy, whilst also enjoying the good weather and learning something.” I’m giving myself 10/10 for devising an educational activity for the boys that allowed me to lie in the sun outside and do absolutely nada to help. We’ll get to that in a mo, for now: our craft. Sadly for you all, but mainly for the boys who were subjected to it, today’s craft wasn’t really crafty at all. I got to use my laminator, so I’m the really winner here. As I really needed to check that the boys had a good handle on telling the time our craft was really just another educational activity.
For the educational activity I’m trying to pass off as a craft you will need
- A printer
- A laminator if laminating fills your heart with joy
- Flower clock template (linked below)
My friend Aimée suggested that we use flowers to learn telling the time, I’m pretty sure I mentioned that yesterday. (Either that or I’m having a serious deja vu.) Anyhoo. Armed with my professional advice I headed to twinkl and found this lovely printable that shows kids how the minute hands on clocks count time. I printed two, cut out all the petals late at night in bed whilst watching law and order, and laminated them.
As this is an educational activity I’m desperately trying to pass off as a craft I don’t have a cute little picture of supplies you’ll need. I don’t think you can actually make a printer and a laminator look attractive in a photo anyway…. I do however have this little collection of the kids using the petals to fill in their clocks.
A picture tells a thousand words, and these seem pretty self explanatory. I apologize for all this briefness and glossing over the details. It really has been a week over here, and I’m exceedingly tired. The basics are this. I laid out all the petals and gave each kid a yellow circle to get started. The printable doesn’t actually come with this center yellow part. But I felt we needed it so I just hand cut a couple of wibbly circles for them. We then discussed our 5 times tables and practiced counting by 5’s together. After that I let them get down to it, whilst I went and loitered by the Keurig in the hopes it would make all my problems disappear. The boys decided to race which was a disaster and caused tears and freak outs over who had really finished first, but I suppose it was a win over all, as they both completed it without help.
After this first activity I put Arthie down for his nap, put the boys in front of Wild Kratts on PBS, and spent an hour lying flat on my back watching 90 day fiancé. It helped my mood dramatically. Some days you get the laundry folded. Other days you watch people travel all the way to Ukraine to meet women who are most definitely catfish.
Onto our actual formal educational activity of the day: sorting times into groups. I can’t link to this activity somewhere on the internet, because I just invented it out of desperation for some quiet time. Here’s how it works: I taped some paper grocery bags around the edge of the deck, and stuck a couple of clock templates on the front of each one.
Then I filled up our fabulous splash pad with water and grabbed a ton of the balls we have lying around the garage. Using a dry erase marker I wrote digital times on all the balls and threw them in the water on the splash pad. I then released the boys onto the deck in their swimmers. Their challenge was to jump into the splash pad, grab a ball, read the time and drop it in the paper bag with the matching clock. Whilst they were screaming, and splashing, and sorting, I lay on the sofa outside, staring at the sky, fantasizing about having a live in nanny, and wondering if it would be weird to hire a sitter just go I could go and stand on the corner of my block and scream into the abyss.
It wasn’t the most academic thing they’ve ever done, there was a lot more splashing and screaming than sorting, but it was relaxing, the sun shone, no one argued, and it was exactly what I needed. If I take the week on measure, emotionally it was difficult, but educationally both the boys learned a new skill. I’m sure I’ll be majorly regretting it tomorrow when I tell them “in five minutes” and really mean in 3-5 business days, and they look at the clock and can remind me. Here’s to next week friends. To a new week, a new theme, and a new attitude from me. Now I’m going to spend all weekend eating chocolate chips, and searching for my positive pants.
LINKS AND SOURCES TO RESOURCES