Eva Marina Homeschools

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dangly Monkeys

One of Ignacio's favorite math manipulatives is his balancing scale.  He likes to make one side very heavy, then balance it with the other side.  Sometimes he uses his foam pattern blocks, other times he throws in random toys.

We've read a few MathStart books on the subject.  I thought it would be easier for him to begin learning weights if he first got a good grasp on heavy and light.  I recently ordered a copy of The Usborne Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do

Its been on my wishlist for a while, I finally decided to buy it.  I'm glad I did!  I love Usborne books and this one did not disappoint.  There are many little projects that we will be trying.  When I saw their Dangly Monkeys project I got to work.  It was perfect timing.

One thing to note about this book is that while it includes instructions and pictures, it does not include patterns.  I drew and cut out my own monkeys.  We used markers to color them in.  We only colored one side, but I think I might have him color the backs also.  He colored two of them and asked me to help so... I colored four.  Not originally my intention, but we had plans later that afternoon.

Can't forget the details!


I made the branch using pipe cleaners. I hung the branch by tying a piece of yarn to it and taping the other end to the top of a doorway. 

I was hoping he would be able to balance the monkeys all by himself, but he needed my help.  This was really my fault for two reasons.  First, I don't think I gave the monkeys' arms and tails enough of a "hook".  Second, the book instructed you to tape the hanging branch to the end of a table.  I am seven months pregnant and decided I would rather work standing up.  Well, in order to attach the branch to the doorway the yarn had to be like three feet long.  This made the branch very sensitive to balance, as it swayed very easily.  The monkeys did balance though. 

Ignacio loved it.  I love how something that was so fun for him is also so educational.  There were bits of math and science... all topped off with some art!  We love getting crafty.  ;)

After that we were off to enjoy a fun afternoon in the park with new friends.