Thursday, June 21, 2018

Animal Homes: Lodges and Dens

Did you know a beaver's home is called a lodge?
I think I learned that long ago, but it felt new to me today as we as we studied lodges and dens with our Mother Goose Time: Alphabet House unit.

We started our day by finding the beaver's home on the thematic poster.
Avaleigh even told me that it was built in the river!  I was surprised she just didn't say water.

Our Invitation to Create came with blue paper and a bag of wood chips!
I have a bucket of extra cups, plates and stuff, and asked my girl if she wanted to add anything to help her make her lodge.  She chose the cup below.  She worked on gluing and and placing the wood chips down to make her lodge. 

Our STEAM station for the day is pictured below.
My husband took down some dead trees in our yard 2 months ago, and cut some of the branches to be building blocks for the kids.  We usually use them outside, but I brought them indoors so she could build.  She was still mainly stuck on beavers, but we also discussed how bears live in dens.

Can you spot her little toy she hid in the lodge in the picture below?
We must have built and rebuilt its home 4-5 times.
In the end, she added a garden with some vegetables (letter s puzzle piece) <3 

I wanted Avaleigh to understand what happened when beavers build lodges on a river.  
So I drew a river and some trees on her chalkboard table.
Using the left over wood chips from our Invitation to Create, we pretended to send sticks and logs down the river and build a beaver lodge.   

Explaining that the lodge would block the river, I erased the river and drew a large oval and asked her what would happen to the trees.  She told me they would die, which was correct as they would be flooded out, but a pond or lake would be created, and new animals would live there.
She came up with all sorts of animals to add to the pond including otters! 
I would never have thought of that.  We did visit the zoo a few weeks ago...
I swear her memory is amazing... I think she took all of mine when I gave birth to her as I can absolutely remember nothing. 

We then read one of her favorite Usborne books, Peek Inside Animal Homes.
It has tons of little flaps and goes through all sorts of homes animals build or just where they live.

Below is the beaver page.  It has a flap showing the lodge and a flap showing the tree falling across the river. 

After reading, we crept outside while her brother napped in his swing.  I am still trying to get him to nap in his crib, but the hour long screaming that ensues when he has to nap in his crib drives me bonkers, especially if it's while we are doing preschool. #momlife.  You do what you gotta do.

After spending an hour outdoors, she asked for a cave to be built.  Everett was awake in his swing, so we built a cave.  We've done this all sorts of ways in the house, but the way pictured below is her fave. I clipped a large sheet to our fireplace and clamped the sheet to some stools.  She loves hiding and this is the perfect spot.  I love how I can still see what is going on under there.

We ended our study of lodges and dens by watching Wild Kratts on Amazon Prime. 
In season one, they have an episode on beavers. <-- link!
Perfect for today. 

Happy Lodge Making!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Animal Homes: Spider Webs

I love preschool!
So much wonder and excitement about all the things I take for granted.
Seeing life through the eyes of a child truly is a gift.
My almost 4 year old decided she wanted to learn about WEBS from our Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum yesterday and we had a blast!
I find that she stays engaged longer if I let her choose what she wants to learn about from a limited amount of choices I give her. 

To start things off, I asked her what she knew about spiders and she immediately found the spider web on our thematic poster.  I love keeping this up all month.  Each day you can use it to go along with finding what that day's discovery bag is all about.

She knew spiders had 8 legs and made webs to eat, and she mentioned Itsy Bitsy Spider.
MGT supplied us with the rhyme on a poster.

We blew the cut out spider down the spout each time she was washed out.
Avaleigh and I have never really discussed rhyming words, but my MGT teacher guide suggested it.
I showed her how "spout" and "out" rhyme because they have the same letters, in the same order, 
and are both at the end.
I asked her if she could find any other words at the end that had some of the same letters.
She found "rain" and "again" and colored them green.
We will definitely spend some more time with rhyming words in the future.
We then read Diary of a Spider which reminded my girl of last month's reading of Diary of a Worm.

After our literacy time, she wanted to make her Make and Play Spider and it's web.
MGT suggested paint, but since I was nursing my son at the time we used a large stamp pad to make her spider hand print, and she glued on the googly eyes MGT sent us in our discover bag.

Is that not the BEST spider face ever?!?!
I love how she added a nose, smile, chin and forehead.  (she told me what all those lines were)
After I punched holes in the plate, she used the pink thread MGT sent to make her web.
I absolutely love it!

While I made lunch, she used the left over pink thread to weave her own web between 2 dining chairs.  She also used her spider manipulatives from last year's Bugs and Insects MGT box to play with her indoor spider web. 

Our web day didn't end there!
After her Quiet Time it was time to connect with the great outdoors by doing our STEAM station.
We watched a spider spin her web on Youtube followed by a Spider Web Hunt in our yard.
We found a huge web in the front yard, found the spider, and discussed how hard it was for her to build this web.  Avaleigh told me that the web was sticky, but we didn't find any bugs in it.

Our STEAM station suggested making a web outside with masking tape and seeing what happens over time. I asked my girl if she would like to make a sticky web just like this spider.
Jumping up and down ensued.
I grabbed my packing tape and gave my girl some scissors, and between 2 garden hooks, we placed our sticky tape spider web.

I love this suggestion my MGT! 
I would have never thought of making and outdoor sticky web from tape!  We kept checking our web throughout the day, but nothing was stuck to it.  This morning as soon as Avaleigh woke up, she mentioned the sticky web outside, so we went to inspect. However there was only some "popcorn," aka crepe myrtle flowers, stuck to our web.

We will keep our sticky web up throughout the weekend in hopes that we will catch some more things on it.  I'll keep yall updated on our Facebook page.
I love it when we can connect with nature through our MGT study. It is such a great reminder that learning does not just take place indoors but anywhere and everywhere. 

That evening to close out our Spider Web day, I let my girl watch 
Magic School Bus Spins a Web.  It was alright, not my favorite, but still educational.

My girl was so engaged with our Spider Web day.  Everything about it was perfect for her.
Looking forward to many more days like this on our Homeschooling Adventure.