Monday, February 20, 2012

A No-Mess Birdfeeder (and Big Brother the TA)

No mess cheerio cereal bird feeder

This weekend, as I was putting together lessons, my oldest asked me if he could help teach. He had off from school today AND had three craft ideas and thought he could teach them to Jude. I said maybe another day when he didn't have his own projects (he was supposed to spend the holiday weekend working on his Science Fair experiment AND had a test on Tuesday to study for).

Today Jude reviewed the letters we worked on last week, and then we made bird feeders by threading O-shaped cereal onto pipe cleaners.  Leave a little space at either end empty.

thread O -shaped cereal on pipe cleanersthread O -shaped cereal on pipe cleaners

Once your pipe cleaner is nearly filled, take the bare ends and twist them together, making your feeder into a ring.

After we put them together, we took them outside to hang on the trees in the front yard. 

Jude could not reach the branches on the "big tree" by himself, and I couldn't hold him and take pictures simultaneously. (Neal is the arborist of the family, and Jude wanted me to send a picture of him putting the food in "Daddy's tree" to him.) I called to Luke and told him to put his shoes and coat on; he was going to play Teacher's Aide.

 Luke went out with us and I helped Jude climb on his shoulders. From there, Jude could reach the tree branches to hang two of the feeders.

After we went in, Luke went back to his work.

Yesterday, Neal saw some 4 gallon bins with locking handles/lids on sale at the local Walmart. On an impulse, he picked up two because they looked like a good size for keeping Jude's school stuff in. He later went back for a few more when we realized we had about six uses for the original two bins.

One of them got purposed into a sensory bin.  While Jude will probably use it to learn some new math skills, Damien's Occupational Therapist recommended we make one for him, to help with some of his tactile defensiveness.  It fits a 10 pound bag of rice, some repurposed measuring cups, a few Matchbox cars, and some pirate doubloons.  Tonight, while Jude was in the bath and going to bed, I got it out for Damien to have "First Crack" at playing.

He had a good time digging in the rice, especially hunting for the doubloons.

Luke came along and was checking things out.  I asked him to keep an eye on Damien and the rice, to make sure it didn't get flung across the living room or eaten.  Usually Luke plays Lifeguard when Damien is in the bath and Neal or I have to leave the room, so I thought Damien would be fine with Luke being around.  However, Damien wasn't impressed with his new helper.  Luke tried to play with him, and Damien just shoved him away from the bin. Share and play together? No, thank you. 

Luke is mostly undeterred -- he still wants to teach Jude another day.  However, he thinks maybe he should wait until he's old enough to sit and do crafts. Or at least is less likely to knock him over.

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