"It's a monkey china maan, in a monkey china town!" These lines, as well as the rest of his interpretation of the song, can be heard in our home at any hour. Shmittle has been hit hard by the Kung Fu Panda craze. He recites lines and dresses up as the characters and incorporates them routinely into his daily life. [Now mind you, I have yet to put on my conscious hat and examine the film, in truth I haven't really watched the whole movie, so I am not endorsing it by any means.] Being the magic maker that I am, I decided to seize this moment and use his enthusiasm to "master" some math concepts.
One day he was interested in feeding the characters dumplings. I asked to to count up the number of characters and then we laid out that number of bowls. We then discussed how animals of different sizes eat different portions of food. I wrote down the names on slits of paper and he placed the names in order of size of animal. Then he began to fill the bowls. I asked him which animal would eat the most. Of course, this was a no brainer for him. He filled Po's bowl to the brim. Then I asked who would eat the least and Mantis received his share. We had a long discussion about who ate how much after that, but in the end we had the animals bowls filled according to size and appetite. Shmittle pointed at they ate different things and Cobra could eat one big thing and be full but monkey might eat a lot of little things. Because he was of course right and this was a grey area, I let him sort them as he saw fit.
Another day found us back with the bowls. I want to help him recognize numbers by patterns. Like how if you see a 5 rolled on the die you know its 5 without counting because you know that pattern means 5. We took out some play doh to make dumplings for the Furious 5. We rolled several long rods. I took out one bowl and asked if we had enough, when he said no I asked if we could use our dough to make the number one. I added a bowls and repeated. With each bowl I let him make the number to the best of his ability and assisted when he asked me. Fortunately there are only 5 main characters because he was out of patients by 5, and wanted to actually fill the bowls with dumplings :)
My favorite activity came about on the spur of the moment, as most of my best ideas do;) Shmitty was shadowing Teddy one night and "making" soup out of the scraps Teddy didn't use for dinner. I watched him and asked if he would like to make soup for the family the next night. My happy little chef jumped at the chance.
Next morning, after getting the big boys going with school work, Shmitty and I had a meeting to discuss his soup. I asked what he wanted to put in it and what it was called.
Ingredients: Rice, chicken, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, water, salt, pepper, and broth. (No I didn't forget to type noodles lol)
I passed him the ingredients and he mixed and poured as he saw fit. I asked him how many or how much of each vegetable and chopped as directed.
The soup was absolutely delicious. So good in fact that we had it for lunch and dinner.