Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby Animals - When were you born?

Lachlan's birthday was 2 days ago now.  So this topic is just so fitting.  Not to mention the fact that we have a baby coming in 7 weeks, so all these baby topics are perfect.  I started this day of lessons, Day 4, yesterday morning at breakfast.  I decided to start with Gift of a Story because bringing the book to the table to read is always a nice way to start our day.   I didn't read the lesson plan much more then that though.  I saw it included the new story book and it was only after we were all settled at the table I realized you were supposed to put the book in a box.  We were supposed to pass the box around and have each child tell a story about the day they were born.  At the end, explain that the stories we are told are like gifts.  Then pull out the book to read. 

Since I didn't have a box for the book, I just left that part out.  But I did have the discussion with them.  I realized, I don't think I had told them their stories, or at least not recently.  I have photo books made for each of the kids that include a lot of pictures from when they were first born.  We often flip through those photo books, but I had never gone into any details. 

So I told Lachlan about how he was kind of blue when he was born because the umbilical cord was around his neck.  "What is a cord?"  So I explained that it is how he was fed when he was inside my belly and that's where his belly button came from.  I think the whole idea is still a bit hard for him to grasp.  Then we talked about the date he was born, which we really hadn't discussed that much either. 

Next, I told Peter his story.  That I got to hold him right away and that he was all slimy.  Lachlan informed me that I didn't have to hold him if he was slimy.  When I said I wanted to, he looked a bit confused.  So maybe I need to come up with other parts of their stories that they won't find so disgusting. 

I don't know Lucy's story, so I wasn't able to tell her anything.  I need to ask her Mom to tell her the story of when she was born.  I would love to hear Lucy tell it back to me. 

Here is the book itself.  It's called Baby Animals Learn and Play
Sorry about the glare, it is getting harder and harder to get up from the floor, I didn't have the energy to stand up to take the picture.
There are a lot of children's books out there that are about baby animals.  It seems to be a favorite topic.  So I wasn't sure about yet another book on the subject.  But this one is so cute and simple.  It just talks about what different baby animals can do, and then asks the child how they can do that same action, in their own way. 
I love the graphics they added to the words.  Having the word hang, actually hang on the page and the word hide, hide behind the grass.  When I asked the question above, Lachlan said his arms. 
The following day, I finally got to the rest of Day 4s lessons.  The kids were all playing nicely with trains, I thought it might be kind of tricky to pull them away.  So I devised a plan.  I gathered all the needed supplies to complete the opening song from the Circle Time and the Panda Puppet.  Then I sat down on the floor and got started. 
Here is my crazy living room.  Luxurious isn't it?  This is just after I got a few of them hooked.  But you can see my spread of stuff there, ready to get started.
The opening song was actually the Happy Birthday song.  Mother Goose Time provided us with these cute pictures of baby animals.  I laid them all face down on the carpet.  Flipped one over and started to sing Happy Birthday to the baby panda cub.  The kids all stopped what they were doing (playing trains) and ran over.  Well that was easy.  They each took turns flipping over and singing to the animal on the card.
Next we got started on the Panda Puppet.  First I got out one of the paper plates and I told them to pretend that there was some birthday cake on it.  I had 5 crayons and asked Lachlan to pretend they were candles and put one candle on his cake for every year he is old.  He counted out his 5 and placed them on the plate almost like he was working on making an octagon like we did on Day 3
Peter went next and he put his 2 on the plate and said "I'm two."  But then I asked him, how old are you going to be on your next birthday?  Which is coming up soon, February 13th.  "3!"  So I had him add one more crayon.  Lucy took her turn next.
Then we started actually making the puppets.  Peter enjoyed using his when it was all done, sort of like a mask.  He put it in front of his face and said, "I am Peter the Panda." 
We went to the table and had a little more breakfast.  They wanted granola bars, which was different, but fine with me.  I set out the two bowls of water with the measuring cup for Playing in the Weather.  They had to spin the arrows on the Weather Wheel as I counted to 5.  If one of the arrows landed on the rain, then they got to scoop some water from one bowl to the other.  When Lachlan found that out, he made a mental note of where the rain was on the Weather Wheel and he made sure when I got to 5 the arrows were pointing down.  So smart.

The next lesson, Baby Weights, was all about the difference between the weight of a baby panda when it is born and the weight of a human baby.  I found a 7 lb bag of dog food and a 3 oz box of chocolate pudding.  I had each of the kids take turns holding the two packages and talking about which one was heavier?  Then I asked which one was the size and weight of a panda when it is born?  They went back and forth a bit on their answers.  Ultimately, I explained that a baby panda is born the size of the pudding package, even though when they grow up they are bigger than me.  A baby human is born to weigh the same as the dog food bag.  Lachlan was pretty proud of the fact that he could haul that bag around and is still having fun hauling it around and pretending to be a giant.

After getting out a chocolate pudding package, Lachlan wouldn't let me get away with not making the chocolate pudding. I figured, why not?  We had already finished all the lessons and it kind of sounded good.  I had them all sit down on the kitchen floor so we could work on it together. 
5 minutes later we finished our day sitting around the table enjoying some delicious chocolate pudding.  The added bonus, I don't think anyone spilled!  What a fun day, technically 2 days, I suppose. 

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