KB had to do a shoe box project for his homework. It was a "think out of the box" homework. He wanted to make an asteroid spewing out blue fire and such exotic stuff. But there was a clause in it that said that the project had to be self explanatory. So KB decided he wanted to show an exploding volcano. He cut out some brown paper and stuck them together. He wanted to put some play dough on it and luckily we had a whole box of play dough gifted to him by my cousin's daughter who visited us a while back. He made the volcano with the lava flowing out. Then he wanted to show ash spread out in the surrounding trees. So he himself mixed white and black play dough and made it look like ash and spread it over the leaves. I helped him stick the background paper inside the shoe box. Project done.
But what KB does, KG has to do. Right away she grabbed a shoe box, cut out the top and cut out a long strip of paper and made it look like a handle, stuck it on the box and told me, "Mamma, look, I made a basket for you. Now you can keep your things in this basket, whatever you want". I thanked her for it and took it and found a few things to put in it to please her. The next morning, she wanted to make something more grand like her brother had done. So I asked her if she wanted to do a ocean diorama and told her that it would mean making something that looks like a ocean using the shoebox. She was all excited. I printed out the background paper. She cut out all the edges, the animals (I did some trimming) and I taught her how to make a star fish etc using the multi pack play dough. It was a lot of fun doing all this with her. She learned some more about ocean animals from doing the project. I didn't know myself that clown fish were the only few fishes that would hang around a sea anemone (orange flower like). The sea anemone has stinging tentacles but the clown fish has a kind of slime that protects it from the venom of the sea anemone and they share a symbiotic relationship. She could not wait to go pick up KB from school the other day and show him her project. He was most impressed with her project and that made her feel so good! Big brother gave her a check mark! Wow! All his friends crowded around to see her project. Later at home though, he of course had to steal her thunder (and mine!) when KG excitedly told him - KB, look, these are stinging tentacles of the sea anemone. He casually said, "yeah, only clown fish go near the sea anemone. They don't get killed by the sea anemone. They both share a symbiotic relationship". He likes to read up or learn such facts from his nature shows and just remembers them. Thankfully I had read up on why the clown fish are able to survive the attack of the sea anemone and could tell him about it! At least from having read up just then, mom appeared to know a a little more than him! :). Here I present happily KG's ocean diorama from a shoebox.