Friday, June 21, 2013

June Day 14 - P is for Polar Bear & Q is for Qual

This was the first full day we were able to complete successfully this week.  There were only 3 kids here today, so that helps.  I have been trying to squeeze in some of the lessons that we missed on other days here and there.  On Wednesday we were supposed to put together these little bilingual books about the zoo.  Since we didn't get to them, we did them Thursday morning at breakfast instead.  The kids helped me staple them together, then we flipped through the pictures and I said all the animal names in English then Spanish, while also having them try to pronounce each word. The last page is blank for them to draw a picture of their favorite animal.  Peter was really concentrating.

A little distracted by trying to stick the pencil in his ear.
Lachlan's snake.
Lucy said hers was a snake too.
Next we got ourselves dressed and ready for the day.  When we were all ready, we started our Circle Time routine.  Weather, calendar, followed the last few directions on the Circle Time song, jump, run in place, turn around and then sit down!  We started talking first about things that start with the /p/ sound.  I was surprise no one got this right away, since Peter starts with a P and we say that all the time.  But Peter was pretty thrilled when he discovered he started with a /p/ sound.  Next the /q/ sound.  Honestly, Lachlan has a hard time identifying the sounds.  So it is mostly me coming up with the words, but I know that it is good practice and we will get there. 

Then I handed them the pictures that are for the zookeeper ring.  One of a Polar Bear and one of a Quail.  We talked about the animals and their features and where they live.  I also added a new element to circle time.  I have been saving for quite a while for an iPad.   Just last week I was finally able to buy it.  My boys learn really well from TV shows and games.  I know that it is not good for children to have too much screen time each day, and do my best to limit it.  But I also think it can be a great tool, when used right.  So I got on YouTube and looked up videos of Polar Bears and Quails.  First we saw a Polar Bear swim through the crystal clear water and climb in and out from the ice.  Next we saw a Quail with her chicks hiding underneath her, as she hopped up they all came running out.  The kids were so intrigued and really ready to learn more. 

I was able to put the iPad away with out any fuss from the kids as we moved on to the animal cutouts.  MGT had us use these cut outs to talk about size.  Like how big is a Polar Bear compared to you?  Is it bigger or smaller.
For instance, this is how big a Polar Bear is.
This is how big a Quail is.
Next MGT instructed us to have one child find the Polar Bear and Quail.  Then ask, which one is bigger?  This was Peter's response. 

 Next we lined them up from biggest to smallest.

 We also learned to pounce like a Polar Bear
Lachlan has always been fascinated by eggs.  So I knew this next part he would be so excited about.  Peter was asleep so it was just Lucy and Lachlan.  We sat down on the ground to add water to the flour/salt mix that came in the Day Bag, yep it came in the Day Bag.  We ended up adding too much water so I had to add more flour and salt to make it the right consistency.

Then they got to work rolling their eggs.

Lachlan really makes a variety of facial expressions while he works.

Peter woke up towards the end of the project and was able to make a few.  He very carefully held his egg in his hands.

So this moment is just a moment of ordinary life.  I didn't tie it to a lesson or anything!  We just had fun in the rain.  Oregon is known for it's rain, it does rain a lot, so I am told.  I was born and raised here so it's all I know.  But it has being really strange the last couple of days, it has been warm and rainy.  Like pouring rain.  I ran out to cover the sand boxes and was getting soaking wet.  I thought "hmm, this is kind of fun."  Even though the boys were in T-shirts and shorts I dared them to go outside.  They looked at me like, no way.  I said "come on, I dare you to run out to the bird feeder and back."  Now they were starting to get a little interested.  Finally, Lachlan went for it and Peter followed suit.  I had a hard time stopping them, but it didn't take long before it stopped raining.  It was so fun!

Here, Lachlan is working away at making his nest for the Quail eggs we made.  He cut strips straight down all the way around the outside.  Then since it was wet outside and we couldn't really go out there to collect things from nature for nest filling, we got out another big paper bag and cut it into little pieces.  

I had decided to just leave the eggs out to dry instead of putting them in the oven but it was getting to be later in the afternoon and they weren't that hard.  So while we worked on our nests I put them in the toaster oven. 

After the eggs cooled off a bit, still slightly warm, Lachlan picked out his eggs and put them in his nest. 

After he had his eggs picked out we had to make them look more like Quail eggs and paint brown spots on them.  I chose just to use water color and set up a station at the counter.

This set of watercolors has been around a while.
So proud of his baby eggs.

Little hands, hard at work.
This one makes me realize I need to cut their fingernails.

In awe.
Ta da!
The last lesson of the day was created to practice the terms, in, on, under etc.  Again we were supposed to hide things from nature that the Quail would search for to eat.  But I didn't want to bring wet things in.  So we pretended and used bits of paper bag as leaves and bugs that I hid around the living room.  Lachlan looked and looked and began to get frustrated.  The idea was to have them find it and then tell you where they found it.  However, as he got frustrated I started giving him clues to follow.  I wouldn't necessarily tell him right where it was, but I would say it is by something green.  When he found it, I still had him tell me where he found it.

 He found one, UNDER the bell and another IN Diego's house.

Since Lachlan was about 2 he would become attached to something each day, something that was special to him.  Sometimes for 1 day sometimes 3 or more.  Many times it was a new toy or a newly discovered toy.   Whatever that toy or item may be that day, it must go to bed with him.  I will tell you, it has gotten interesting at times.  Especially the jar of worms.  Fortunately, he now has a night stand we have been able to convince him to put things on instead of his bed.  On this night, it was of course, his nest of Quail eggs.


  1. Best post ever, so adorable. I love the egg and nest making idea! Just start doing letter sounds all.the.time. Exaggerate when you speak (not all the time of course). It only took a few weeks of this for Tuesday to really pick up on beginning sounds, and now we're working on end sounds and some middles.
    Also I hate clipping kids nails. HATE IT!

    1. Yes, clipping nails is probably my least favorite thing to do. So last night as we were going to bed Lachlan said /s/s/s/, snake starts with an /s/ sound. Just out of no where. I was so proud of him. Like you said, I just need to keep doing it in everyday life as we are going about our business. We are going to the /b/b/b/oat today. So maybe we can identify the /b/ sound.