Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hands-on Studies: Playdough Labyrinth

By the kids' request, we have been studying ancient Greek mythology. We used a variety of picture books, but the bulk of our study comes from D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

I can't say enough about this anthology. It is beautifully illustrated, simply and appropriately presented for children, thorough and complete. 

I have found that my children sit and listen better when their busy little hands are busy. I often hand out art supplies and have them recreate or illustrate some aspect of the story. Reading during mealtimes is a popular choice, as well. 

They have painted Heracles' feats, drawn the hydra with markers, watercolored Aphrodite rising from the sea, and now, built a labyrinth-complete with Minotaur and Theseus waging battle and Ariadne waiting by the door- of homemade playdough .

Each kid made his own version. I love seeing the variations in their individual interpretations.

Gemini's is a bit more abstract.

Giving them something to do that relates directly to the lesson engages different parts of their brain, creates new information pathways, holds their interest, makes the lesson more enjoyable for everyone, preserves mom's sanity, provides inspiration and an outlet for their creativity, and knocks out 2 subjects at once. Everybody wins!

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