Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The science of cleaning up

So this morning I was moving a little slow so I parked the little one in front of the TV while I had my coffee. I know, bad mom. Whatever. We keep the TV on PBS at least.

Anyway, after watching an episode of Sid the Science Kid, she gets up and goes to the computer and pulls up the website for the show. After clicking around a little she comes to me, bright-eyed with ideas. Seems she wants to make a chart. A chart of what, I ask. Of food, she says. In my big toy kitchen.

Whoa... Mama wakes up and has to do some quick thinking. Her room is a total pigsty, as is the den, and the last thing I want to have happen is her getting out more piles of small objects.

The wheels start turning... Hey, I say, I've got an idea for a chart. "How about we make a chart of all the stuff on the floor in here." Her eyes light up. I go in for the kill. "We'll make a mark for each thing we put away, and when we're done we'll know which kinds of toys were most on the floor."

She took the bait.

And so she drew out this chart. I wrote in most of the labels, but she did write in the words "cat" (for all her stuffed kitties) and "science".

Based on our chart, it seems that there was more dress-up left out on our den floor than anything. Art stuff comes in second, and science pulls third place.

If you've got little ones around the house, or not, check out the science songs over at Sid the Science Kid. (Sorry I can't provide links to the individual songs. Their website is set up with a scrolly navigation thing that makes it where I can't.) They're kicky, fun little ditties. Be sure to check out the ones about:
  • Charts. This was the inspiration for today's cleaning activity. "I'll be checkin' out charts, cause charts rule. A chart is a handy-dandy scientific tool. It gives you information you can see with your eyes. Charts help you vis-yooo-ah-liiiize... You get the picture, so do I."

  • Decomposing. "De-caaaay.... De-caaaay.... Nature happens that way. De-caaaaay.... De-caaaay..... While you were dozin' they were decomposin'"

  • Estimation. Sounds like a tween angst song of sorts, but it's actually about estimating. "Cause that's my.... best... guess.... Guess I mean more.... or... less..."
Gawd, I love PBS



Denise Felton said...

Brilliant! Oh, and your kid just made a..........technical illustration!!!! Her genes are so freakin scary!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

She's brilliant, and this whole chart idea is pretty clever. You think my 17 year old will take the bait? His dress up clothes are all over the place as well!

Janna said...

Love the chart! I'll have to show my kid the website tomorrow and see if he likes the songs. I'm thinking of some charts we could make too.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Gracie is a PBS junkie. She's been navigating that site since she was two!

and Casserole... of course you already know it, but Liv is a GENIUS! Wow, I'm really impressed!

dogwood said...

Ooooh, smart mama, and super smart kiddo! We are huge fans of around here, too. My little bit is partial to Word Girl.

joanie said...

Oh I'm so sad my kids are getting too old to be duped! Good one!!!

koala brains said...

We love Sid in our house, too. The chart idea is genius - cleaning up the playroom is quite a challenge so I'm going to have to somehow get her interested in charts and do what you did. :) BTW, enjoying looking through your blog.