Ohio: Invention Museum


Cromwell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle is about a young boy who wants to do something BIG!  He tries many different things and keeps failing.  Along the way he is teased for his failures, but he never gives up, and his Mom always believes in him.


Eventually he fulfills his ambition and builds his big invention.


This went perfectly with my discovery from the Teacher’s Guide to “B is for Buckeye” (I may not have access to the books, but I can read the teacher’s guides to get ideas), Ohio has an inventors’ museum.


What else can you do with a museum like that, but try to  invent something.  This time however I wanted my kids who tend to jump straight into the making to concentrate more on the process.




First they drew what they needed to make their invention.  I had originally planned on working with recyclables, but it was not a good day for that, so we used Legos.  Princess literally traced every Lego piece she intended to use.  Which rather amused me.


Then they wrote what it will do.  My boys created variations on flying machines.  I’m not sure what Princess’ did.



And finally they created their inventions.


Which I found out required many guns and soldiers.  Then more soldiers.


I love my boys.

I’m gonna link this over at A Mommy’s Adventures for stART.

learning laboratory at mama smiles Shibley Smiles

History: Fountain of Youth

learning laboratory at mama smiles
How many of you saw the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film with the Fountain of Youth?
I did, and found the lore included in it very interesting and amusing.  Not to mention that I loved the ending with the Spaniards coming in and destroying it declaring, “Only God can grant eternity.”  AWESOME!
Well this past week we read about Ponce de Leon, and of course I associate him with the Fountain of Youth.  That was one of the big things he did as an explorer, he looked for the Fountain of Youth in Florida.

As a matter of fact there is an archeological park in Saint Augustine, Florida that claims to be the ACTUAL Fountain of Youth.  When Jeff and I visited there, pre-kids our hotel was right next to it, but for various reasons we didn’t make it to that park (too busy exploring the fort, one of the few forts to of never been taken in battle, or any of the other sites there).

After reading about Ponce de Leon, I challenged the kids to design what the Fountain looked like out of Legos.

Up at the top is Batman’s which looks more fountainy, here on the left is Superman’s.  He said the fountain was near a battle, so it needed soldiers to protect it.  Princess’ fountain was more on the theoretical side.  I’m sure there’s a fountain in there somewhere amongst all of those bricks.

Rhode Island: Nathaniel Greene

So, one of the famous people from Rhode Island is Nathaniel Greene, Revolutionary war hero and general.  My library had NOTHING on him.  Or nothing that is age appropriate, so I made something up.

I took no pictures of us working on this because I was busy reading, and it would just be pictures of heads looking down.  But, I have a nifty printable, and a short Lego battle totally unrelated to him to share with you:
Nathaniel Greene Rhode Island(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

The Battle of Fort Ticonderoga as enacted by Legos!
The British soldiers thought they were safe in their fort, so they all went to sleep in their beds.  Or bent over like they are bowing because that amused my boys.

The American soldiers attacked and took the fort with no shots fired.

Then came a scene of general carnage and destruction so horrible no pictures could be taken.  Or if you followed the real history they looted the cannons and took them down to Boston through an amazing feat of engineering.

Oh, I forgot to say.  I’m linking this up to All Things Beautiful and their geography/history linkie.

Bible Alive: Nehemiah and someone else

It’s not coming to me as I write this title, but hopefully it will before I get done writing this post.  Otherwise I’ll just keep saying “someone else,” which I’m going to shorten to SE.


We went to our old standby for our Bible/history lessons: LEGOS!




SE went to the king and said, “The temple in Jerusalem is broken down.  I ask permission to fix it.”







Not only did the king grant him permission, but he offered to give them their supplies.





So, the Israelites set out to rebuild their temple.  They encountered many problems as they struggled to rebuild the temple and the walls.





They decided to carry weapons as they built and each person was assigned a specific part of the wall to rebuild.



And eventually the walls were rebuilt.


Yep, that’s it.  I think Ezra might be SE. 

Bible Alive Tuesday or is it History: Fall of Jerusalem

Actually this was part of our history curriculum, so I’m also going to call it history.




My kids are rather enamored with acting out their history with Legos.  They ask to do it every single lesson.  Which doesn’t always work out.


But, this time it did, and I accidentally chose a Lego board that was perfect for his lesson.  I’ll say it was on purpose.



The Babylonians came to attack Jerusalem.


But, they didn’t know that Jerusalem had an interior water supply, so it was very hard to defeat them.


Finally they were successful in defeating part of Jerusalem, but they did not completely knock down the walls.  They carried off many of the Israelites to Babylon.


They attacked a second time, and more people were carried off, but they still did not successfully defeat Jerusalem.


Finally on the third try they were able to defeat and destroy Jerusalem.  They carried off all the treasure and kept it in their storehouses.


TA DA!  And that’s the story of the defeat of Jerusalem.


Now head on over to these buttons:

abc buttonPhotobucket

Hee hee, I like my new little table I set up for putting in buttons on my posts.  It makes it so easy because I just go to Tuesday and copy over the relevant ones, and then I went to Wednesday and copy over those.  So nice.

Field Trip: Mayborne Museum

And I’m sure I’ve spelled that wrong.  So, up in Waco is a very cool children’s museum called the Mayborn, hmmm upon looking at it more I’m fairly sure there is no “E” at the end.  Fairly sure.

And for about two more weeks, it has the coolest exhibit ever.  Can you guess what it was?

That’s right!


Okay, you may not think it’s the coolest exhibit ever, but I sure do.

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I mean who wouldn’t love an exhibit that has a haunted dungeon and a chance to build your own castle and break it with a catapult?
And did I mention the super cool Lego castles?

There was jousting.  Made more challenging by people who shall remain nameless, cough Princess cough, climbing under the jousting field.


There was cool dress up clothes (and I now have about 5 things added to my sewing list because they LOVED their knight outfits).

So, extra pictures taken to get the details right, check.

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And then we had to drive the cars, and TRY not to crash into each other.  And I had to take pictures of the cool garden idea they had, and then I thought wouldn’t this make a super cute bench?  And it’d be fairly easy to make, and then I could make some cute little vegetables to go in it.  Ummm, yes it’s very dangerous when I go to kid museums because I end up with a very long list of projects to make.

And while the kids had fun observing the typwriters and the old telephone exchange board, I found this:

Hobo alphabet, and thought it was way too cool, and remembered how it was used in the Kit Kittredge movie.  And wouldn’t it be fun to learn.

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Then we got to the room about local American Indians, and the kids had to haul all of the drums into the Tipi (I learned today that’s the correct spelling).  And then very quickly they decided they needed privacy.  If the boys were older I’d have something to say about wanting privacy with a girl….. But, they’re five……….  Smile.
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And then we found the BUBBLE ROOM!

Who doesn’t want to encase themselves in a bubble?  I know both my friend and I had to try it out ourselves.

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And finally we had to make some music.  It was quite different…….  The hydraphone was mournful, and the giant piano was well mainly the noise of running kids.

At the end of it all my kids slept the whole way home, my friend’s daughter talked to us the whole way back.  I’m impressed she stayed awake the whole time.

History: Minoans


One of our history lessons this week, in addition to the Egypt and mummies lesson was about the Minoans, and the minotaur.  Well, my kids really liked this concept, and so we built ourselves a maze for our minotaur.

While yes we could have gotten the super cool Minotaurus game, which I’m sure we will someday soon.  I want to save that for a Christmas present, and I”m not quite convinced my kids are old enough yet.

So, we made our own.

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With much arguing about how to build this maze and what qualifies for something to be in the maze, and how the minotaur should look.

Finally, our first maze was built.  I say first because the kids decided we needed to build a second bigger one that took up most of the coffee table.

By the way, do you like our minotaur?  He’s in the middle (the lego guy with about 3 bricks on his head).

To follow up we watched the Disney Atlantis movie, because some theorize the disappearance of Crete is where Plato got the story of Atlantis from.

Here’s what the kids remembered about the Minoans:  The minotaur lived in a maze.  He was a bad guy.  He lived on Crete.  The king of the Minoans put him there.

For more history and geography ideas head over to Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.