Construction and Science

We’ve had a great couple of days of construction!  I wrote in my last post that the obsession with our new computers was fading and the girls were ready to try new things but first of all, I want to show you how HEALTHY their work on Minecraft has been over the last two days. Not for them the zombied look of a child who’s been staring at a screen too long and is unable to communicate with the outside world.  The picture below shows a house that M began building in one of her worlds, which she copied from the Minecraft Construction book.  M did the basic work of laying down the walls and windows and then I joined in to help her with some of the details she was struggling on and then D finished the final wall and the roof!  I was very impressed with how they worked together (and with me), how they compared their building with the book’s pictures, how they continued patterns, and particularly how they problem solved when they came across a problem.  It took two days to build and is now finished!

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A lot of us unschoolers believe that technology and TV can live alongside crafts/arts/reading/the outdoors and whatever other interests you might have.  So rather than limiting screen time you can just allow it to be another aspect of your child’s world.  This does mean that you might have to allow your child to play endlessly on Minecraft and Sonic Dash (ahem) but once they’ve satiated their need/reached the level they were aiming for etc and are secure in the knowledge that the screen won’t be taken away from them and limited again then they feel comfortable enough to wander off and do other things.

As well as Minecraft construction, M has been busy making a marble run and she dug out a lollipop stick house which was never completed and we stuck the walls together.  Just the roof, door and windows to go!  She’s also been spending time with her older cousin who has endless energy for football, frisbee and obstacle courses.

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D has been busy baking some Nutella cookies, drawing a treasure map for J, writing and doing more sums.  She was also inspired to make a picture using lollipop sticks after seeing M playing with them.

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I haven’t got around to doing my Emilia Reggia inspired strewing yet.  I keep walking into our dining room, looking at the mess and walking straight back out again :).  However, I did manage to put together a science box (we already have a craft box, a paint box and a junk modelling box) after being inspired by a Facebook thread about it.  This had the added bonus that I could clear a lot of the crap science supplies out of the kitchen cupboards.  So I’m hoping the sausages will be inspired to have a rummage through and mess about with a few ingredients etc.  Here’s what I put in my box – some things are from old experiments and some are yet to try:

  • Vials
  • Magnifying glasses
  • A prism
  • Magnets
  • Spaghetti
  • Marshmallows
  • Sugar cubes
  • Home made bubble blowers
  • Glycerin
  • A thaumatrope
  • Effervescent tablets
  • Baking soda
  • Food colouring
  • White vinegar
  • Cornflour
  • Mentos
  • Starch
  • Balloons
  • Pipettes
  • Glass jars
  • A thermometer
  • A tape measure
  • A measuring jug
  • A chid-safe guillotine
  • Labels
  • Stirrers
  • And an enormous bag of electrical stuff from earlier experiments which includes: LEDs, copper wire, plastic coated wire, crimps, electrical tape, battery connectors and batteries.

I want this box to have non-harmful supplies so the sausages can dig in whenever they please.  If anyone has any further suggestions I’d love to hear them!


5 thoughts on “Construction and Science

  1. Excellent engineering skills being demonstrated by the girls. My son has a ‘world’ where he builds things he reads about for example the Giants Causeway and various ancient Greek buildings. I think Minecraft can be used in a very educationally beneficial way.
    Thanks for linking up:)


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