Saturday, January 24, 2009

Newport Aquarium & Random stuff from around the house the last couple of weeks -- Oh, and Shakespeare Alive!

Newport Aquarium

Maya and Seth and I met up with homeschool friends from Georgetown and from NKY at Newport Aquarium. Riley's snowboarding trip to Perfect North with friends was moved to the same day, so he was there instead of with us at the Aquarium; and, unfortunately, I have no pictures of that. He had a blast and can't wait to snowboard again.

Reacting to the Shark Cage Simulator

Playing in the Frog Bog

We got to watch one of the divers come into the tunnel and feed the fish -- dozens of them (fish, not divers) were swarming right in front of us.

Touching the sharks

The ride home after a fun day

At Home

Stair sliding with friends, morning after a sleepover

When Matt gets home from work:

Maya showing us how she made some things using Google SketchUp

Seth was missing playing in the dirt, which is frozen outside. We brought in a bag and thawed it out in a plastic tub to make an indoor dirt pile.

Riley, putting together a skateboard

Maya with her much-loved monkeys

Maya playing with Cuisenaire Rods in her own ways -- counting, measuring, making patterns, and pretending (hence the faces on some to make people and the bows drawn on the single unit cubes to make presents)

Some other things we've been doing the last few weeks:

World of Goo, a physics puzzle game for PC or Wii (all 5 of us have been enjoying this. We've just been playing with the free demo on the PC so far)

World of Goo reminded us of an unrelated but fun website to revisit, Game Goo, which Maya and Seth have been enjoying.

Riley's been using Spongebob Typing, which he's been waiting a long time to get from the library. It's apparently very popular!!!

MathBlasters computer games, also borrowed from the library & enjoyed by everyone including large groups of neighborhood kids.

Ri and Maya, Hannah Montana fans that they are, watched the Disney Kids' Inauguration Ball.

The Inauguration was on TV in the background all of Tuesday. I watched a lot of it. Ri watched Obama's swearing in and speech.

Negotiating numerous UB Funkey trades with each other and with neighborhood friends as well as playing the games & searching eBay for deals to add to the collection.

Maya and I have been playing an animal habitats/animal classification board game.

Riley's been writing a story. He really doesn't enjoy writing by hand much, so he's been telling the story, and I've been hand writing it. There are footnotes to a "how things work" kind of section with drawing and explanations of the worlds and contraptions mentioned in the story.
Seeing the otters at the Aquarium reminded Maya that they were some of her favorite animals, and she came home from that trip wanting to see more & to learn more about them. We found things on various websites. She especially liked the videos on National Geographic's site.

Riley still plays guitar almost every day, looking up tabs and video instructions for various songs and techniques.

Shakespeare Alive!
Today Maya and Riley and I went to see a Shakespeare Alive! performance at our library. It was put on by the Cincinnati Shakespeare company -- two actors and two puppets performing all the characters of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The library opened it to all ages, and I couldn't imagine they would hold the attention of the littlest ones there. It was so good, though, and really*did* hold most everyone's attention. The actors were so engaging and funny and interacted with the kids quite a bit & encouraged audience participation (as sprites in the woods). The "stage" was a taped off circular area in the middle of the audience, with paths cutting through the audience for the actors to move around and everyone to have a close up view of things. Maya and I both loved it. It was a little too "in your face" for Riley (and probably not enough puppeteering, which was his reason for wanting to see it), and he tried moving back out of the thick of things and then left about half way through.