Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How Your Body Works

On the first day of the year I pulled out our I want to learn about something cards, and Anna chose the card of human body. So on the library trip we stopped at non-fiction section and I picked the book called How Your Body Works. Honestly, Anna was not thrilled with the book because of its cover – she still has “skeletophobia”. She was making sure every night that this book is not in her room. However, we did read it, and it explains workings of major organs rather well for preschool crowd who is interested in what happens inside the human body. By the way, there is no “where do children come from” section in this book.

I also tried to show Anna an animated segment from ScienceWithMe website. This great link was recommended by Adventures of Bear. I was hoping that maybe learning about Stanley the Friendly Skeleton will help with “skeletophobia”, but it didn’t. Anna freaked about 2 minutes into the segment, but fortunately not before Stanley the Skeleton said something along the lines that he didn’t like to eat and that’s why he is now a skeleton. Well, this opened up another learning opportunity. Eating the Alphabet

Anna is a very picky eater and loves sweets. December was definitely not a good eating month for anyone in the house with all the extra cookies, Advent chocolate and other sweets. What’s worse – the whole day turned into a constant battle with Anna pushing for sweets after each meal and insisting that her afternoon snack should be a cookie. Well, we cracked on this on January 1st. We informed our Jan2_Pizza_SM daughter that she can have chocolate twice a day – after breakfast and after dinner regardless of your behavior and whether she ate poorly or well. The rest of the time we all want to eat healthy food. A new afternoon snack is now fruits or pretzels/crackers with cream cheese. We read some books about healthy eating before, and we reread Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. We also discussed at length which foods are needed for different parts of the body – bones, skin, hair, eyes. And, finally, we did something that falls into “new to us” category. We made pizza from scratch using a recipe from Adventures of Bear.


Anna absolutely loved the whole pizza making experience – helping with the dough, attempting to roll the dough, snacking on the veggies that I was cutting. But her favorite part was sitting in front of the oven watching pizza to rise and informing us every minute what was going on. She really behaved like a scientist – observing and predicting what will happen next. What’s best – she actually ate what she cooked for once, and generally her eating took turn for the better – with more raw vegetables and fruits and more meat. I hope the trend continues, so our little one can stop being the shortest child in her preschool class.

For more science, visit Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.


Elise said...

I really like the cards you made up for Anna. Even though I am currently planning themes, I am also going to make sure we have plenty of weeks where Savvy has a choice in what we do. When we do our activities, Savvy chooses what she would like to do (literacy, numeracy, craft based etc) and we usually do the activities when she asks to do them. I agree, child- led learning is the way to go.

That is fantastic that Anna's involvement in making the pizza gave her a new appreciation for vegies and she was happy to eat the pizza. We've had our share of treats here too during December.

I also like the idea of using the craft sticks to make shapes. We'll be using that idea this year as well. Anna's patterned bottle cap tower is also a clever idea.

I love dropping by your blog and learning about all of the interesting, fun and creative things you and Anna have been doing.

Christy said...

I love the idea of cards to choose what you want to learn about.

C is a very picky eater. He will not eat meat, and the only vegetable he will eat is peas. It's frustrating. He lives on PB&J.

We love Lois Ehlert.

Kim said...

Thanks for the links to the great books. I'm gathering a list so we can do a body unit. Crumpet loves the Usborne Flip Flap Body Book so I'm sure he'll love this subject. He is also a sugar fiend, but I find the more often we talk about health food and its benefits, the more likely he is to eat at least something healthy. He likes to show off his growing muscles when he eats veggies! Also, meant to tell you I love the math post. And that I mentioned you for the blog award - rough week here. Chasing my own tail, it seems!

MaryAnne said...

I love your approach to healthy eating. I need to make pizza with the kids sometime, instead of just buying the frozen ones as a break from cooking dinner every once in a while...

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Thanks for reminding me about the Science With Me site, I'd intended on spending some time checking it out, but had completely forgotten about it.

The subject idea cards are a great idea, too.

Debbie said...

I love the way Anna watched the pizza! I would love to find a creative way to get Selena to eat better. She is the funniest eater the things most kids like Selena won't touch.

She doesn't eat bad, it just is hard when she won't eat the fun meals that so many kids enjoy. said...

We've been reading "Me and My Amazing Body" recently. It has a good high-level explanation of the various systems - bones, muscles, organs, etc. The drawings are a little weird, but it's good overall. Tornado Boy got the recent treat of having x-rays so he thought it was really cool to see his own insides.

We're still struggling with picky eating, but it's getting much better the last two months or so. I'm hopeful!

otthonoktatás said...

Hi, we sent the postcard from Hungary on monday. :)

Best regards,

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Love this post! I'm bookmarking the whole thing because Matthew is definitely at a stage where he's intrigued by skin, bones, muscle, all those interesting things! Poor Anna and the skeletons... honestly I find them a little creepy too. :) I hope she's not my age before she outgrows it, lol. :)

The girl who painted trees said...

I'm glad Anna liked making the pizza:) Bear loves when we make pizza but she won't eat the toppings on it :-P She's not at all into veggies, but eats well otherwise - lots of fruit and whole wheat carbs. I puree spinach with fruit to make healthier smoothies and puree tons of cooked veggies into tomato sauce for pasta.

Ticia said...

I'll have to see if I can find the book you mentioned at the top, my kids would probably love it. They're so into skeletons right now (quite the opposite of Anna, poor girl).
Your post had so many fun encouraging things in it, I loved how you solved the candy problems, and the pizza process.
Great post overall!

Susana said...

I gave you a blog award!

I'll be back to read and comment:-).

Susana said...

This is a great post Natalie!

It is so funny to me Anna's reaction to skeletons compared to Joe's. He is fascinated with them! I cannot remember Hanna's reaction at this age.

We love that book by Ehlert.

There are some very picky eaters in this house too so I know how it can be.

I love your use of science with the pizza and Anna's fun with it as well.

Cara said...

We've been battling the post-Christmas need for sweets here too. My guy is an extremely picky eater as well! I've had my eye on this Lois Ehlert book for a few months...need to remember to get it from the library!

It sounds like Anna had a great time with the pizza. Finn and I just made tortillas together yesterday...that's another fun, quick and easy thing for little ones to help with in the kitchen!