Captain Underpants – book review

cujResearch undoubtedly establishes what we already know. Development of reading as a habit can’t be enforced through the regimen of school homework or any rigid approach to mastering the skill. It has to be internally driven, led by the undeniable truth that reading is enjoyable and we should encourage reading for pleasure amongst the younger ones. They will then push themselves to more challenging books as they absorb and enjoy the easier ones. Captain Underpants series of books is one such series. It is best suited for kids aged between 5 and 8 years old. The name itself is a giveaway as to what is the predominant thread throughout the series. Yes, yes it plays to the gallery of its young readers by weaving events around toilets. I think the book is predominantly designed to elicit interest amongst boys of that age group. However, it is not to say that there aren’t girls who would equally peel with laughter.
The language is kept simple. The interspersing of the text with comic book style narrative helps break the monotony of a novel. The jokes in the book would be crass to an older audience but for the target audience, it is perfectly timed and will fill your house with rapturous laughter.

It is also a good book for advanced young readers to be introduced into more traditional novels. The stories are sprinkled with some difficult words for young readers, which I think is good. They are not so many that the reader is out of depth, but at the same time help push the boundaries a bit with the reader’s vocabulary.
One of the most innovative and fun things in the book are the pages of confrontation between the good guys and baddies. These are moments captured not only in words but also in motion. The “flip-o-Rama”, where the reader can flip the pages to generate an illusion of animation in a book are fun to say the least. Believe me, although the flip-o-ramas are spread across just 2-3 scenes, they are hilarious. My son enjoyed them thoroughly.
Well, to sum up, it is a good starter book for boys of ages 5 – 7 and I must hastily add girls as well, possibly.
The captain Underpants books can be found on Amazon and other online book stores. Don’t forget the charity shops and old book shops. We found ours in one of those and have had hours of fun reading them.

How to make Colour (ed) Salts ?

Coloured Salts

Little Yash is going through art and craft ingredients faster than I can make them. I try to give him ingredients of different textures – I love colour salt because it is easy to make, is cheap and more importantly can be made in atleast two textures ( Fine and Rocky)

Step 1 : Get the Ingredients Ready

The only two ingredients you need are :

  1. Salt
  2. Paint ( Any spare paint you have or for more milder colours use food colouring)
Coloured Salts - Ingredients
Coloured Salts – Ingredients

Step 2 : Just add a little colour in the salt and mix it up.

Coloured Salts
Mix the colours

Wait for it to get completely mixed in to see if you have got the right shade.

Coloured Salts
Coloured Salts

If you need it lighter, add salt. If you need a darker hue, add a little more of the colour. My kid loved this mixing process.

Coloured Salts
Coloured Salts

We have previously used this to make a rainbow bottle, salt art and some Rangoli..

What Next ?

Give only the 3 primary colours to an older child and he can mix up all colours of the colour wheel

 

Fractions Origami

Fractions Origami

Little Yash is all into Fractions these days. So when I found this round-cut craft paper, I couldn’t resist a “Do your fraction invitation”

Recommended Age

Preschoolers (3-5 years) ,Primary age

Things needed

Fractions Origami
Fractions – Round-Cut Shapes

 

  • Craft Paper ( I found some ready-made round-cut ones, but you can easily cut this out ready for the activity)
  • Post-Its ( for the invitation)
  • Scissors
  • Colour Pens

Pre preparation / Invitation

Leave an Invitation to represent 1-1/2-1/4 and 1/8

Fractions - Our Invitation
Fractions – Our Invitation

What we did 

Little Yash loves fractions, he always links it up to his other favourite “Pizza”

I asked him if he can represent the fractions with the paper ( I expected him to cut it out into fraction shapes or colour it out – I had left a scissor and some colour pens out). For the younger children, cut/ colour one fraction as an example

To my surprise he just folded the paper. And it was perfect

Fractions Origami
Fractions Origami

 

Fractions Origami
Fractions Origami – Halfway There!

Skills we learn

It’s a great activity to understand the concept of fractions, very simple but effective.

Fractions Origami
Fractions Origami

What Next

We love the fraction blocks and the number snap game – This is very useful to explore the more complex fractions

 

 

The Alphabet Den

alphabet corner

We are day 26 of the fortbuilding challenge hosted by building blocks and acorns.  For the challenge, we want to show you our lovely learning corner. We set the tent up when we need some quiet learning place.

It’s quick to put up ( and take down) and needs no special equipment. If you have a flight of stairs in the house, all you need is quite simply an old sheet, some sturdy string and some clothes clips.

things needed

What we did:

We tied a piece of string criss-cross across the handrails.

criss cross across handrails
criss cross across handrails

 

Step 2 was to drape it with a sheet & hold it together with clothes pins

drape
drape

 

Step 3 : Make a door to this magical stairs

the door

 

That’s it – our learning stairs is ready.

 

alphabetden_landing

the inside
the inside

 

For the alphabets : We have a large collection of alphabet goodies which we use in our learning activity. I have included some good links of what we have in the post. I will try to post out the actual activity soon.

Our Alphabet Goodies
Our Alphabet Goodies

 

Food Colour Play

Food Colour Play

Colour Play

Food Colour Play

 

Exploring colour is always a favourite activity at ours. I wanted to expand my son’s love for colour and introduce him to colour theory.

This is the first of three activities that we did to learn about the colour wheel, primary, secondary and tertiary colours.

Recommended Age

Toddlers (1.5 years to 3 years) Preschoolers (3-5 years) ,Primary age

Things needed

things you need
things you need
  • Food Colouring ( Primary Colours Red, Blue and Yellow are mandatory colours, other colours are optional)
  • The Light Box ( Optional)
  • Transparent bottles / containers

Pre preparation / Invitation

I set out all the food colours and the bottles with a jug of water on the light box.

What we did 

Little S started by pouring water into the bottles, using a syringe to put in a few drops of food colour into each bottle.

Just getting Started
Just getting Started

As this was an exploratory activity, we made more colours by mixing the different colours on top of the light box.

Now the Blue
Now the Blue
makes green
Blue and Yellow makes Green

As we randomly mixed colours, I talked to him about the primary colours, how he was now mixing them to make different secondary colours.

Colours and Light Play
Colours and Light Play

We had a lot of fun – I had set this out as a sensory activity, a very calming quiet activity around bedtime. This activity doesn’t need much of a set up and is easy to clean afterwards. The use of light, gives the colours a translucent hue making it an absolute delight.

sensory play

Skills we learn

This quite sensory activity is great introductory activity to learn colour mixing and the wheel – talk about primary, secondary and tertiary colours. We are planning to build it up to a more formal lesson in colour theory.

Colour mixing
Colour mixing

The colour mixing activity is a free flowing activity, make it up as you go – It helps build good fine motor skills ( we pour and use the syringe)

The colours that we ended up with
The Colours : Ta-Dah !!!!

What Next

This activity is day 18 of a 31 day sensory challenge hosted by Adventures of Adam. They have some amazing activities presented there (by lovely bloggers we follow ) to try.