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Saturday, April 30, 2016

G is for Garden (year 2, week 34)

This week, I had intended that we'd be talking about gardens, flowers, and the plant life cycle.  The kids have been asking a lot of questions about bees and wasps, so I decided to focus on pollinators this week.

I bought the Incredible Creatures Honeybee, which has been a neat addition to our school supplies.  We used the 6" figurine to learn about insects.  We felt its stinger (and didn't get stung), counted it's legs, and named it's body parts.  The texture of it is so neat that it makes me want to buy a bunch more and decorate my kitchen with them.

We also looked at the bee life cycle, using the Safari Ltd Life Cycle Figurines.  We talked about how similar bees are to other insects and how every insect goes through the same stages.

flower to hive pollen transfer
beehive counting by 10's
bees and letter B game
hexagons and beehive worksheets
- parts of a honeybee cards
- life cycle poster
bee addition

- John Deere picture cards
- plant life cycle
- plant science notebook pages
- vegetable garden Montessori printables
- sorting fruits and veg by color

- drink like a pollinator
- cheeto pollination
- bee hive cereal transfer
- books about bees
- bubble wrap painting
- honey transfer

- flower shop pretend play
- how plants grow experiment
- dirt play dough
- regrowing kitchen scraps
- dissecting flowers
- button flowers
- sorting fruits and veggies
- planting noodle seeds
- garden sensory bin

- The Bee Movie
- Maya the Bee (free on Prime right now)
- City of Bees: A Children's Guide to Bees
- plant life cycle

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Work Box System Tags

I'm continuing to work on our homeschool area in the new house.  Next year, Dragonfly will be starting kindergarten, so I'm going to try a work box system for her materials.  We already have a bunch of paper drawers from our old house, which I plan on using as work boxes.

The concept of a work box is part organization and park scheduling.  The parent fills the bins up every day with the materials the child needs to do that day.  One subject/activity goes in each bin, with the materials needed to complete the subject all contained in the drawer.  At school time, the child will start from the top and work her/his way down the row of bins.  When s/he has completed all the bins, s/he is done with school for the day.

The beauty of this schedule system is that the parent can organized the subjects for multiple students at the same time, staggering the subjects that require one-on-one attention.  I'm planning on putting Dragonfly's materials in a separate set of drawers and have the boys together.  Some of the subject we'll do at the same time (like read-aloud) and some will be unique to each skill set.  I'm sure I'll have a bit of tweaking to do once we start school next year, but the overall system should work pretty well for us.

I've made some work box tags that will fit on the plastic drawers.  I like to laminate them and tape them on with packaging tape.  The tags will peel off the tape with the laminate, which is helpful for using them year after year.  I will probably add something to the drawers (maybe a colored dot) that will help the kids to see which boxes are their own subjects.

To download the work box tags, click here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Zoo Train Play Mat (printable)

I've done two months of Travel Time Tuesdays!  This week, I'm focusing on trains.  My boys have just started getting into trains, but they love anything with wheels.  To add some diversity to our their car activities, I've made this Zoo Train play mat.  Just print and go.  Super easy.  They'll be using their mini Thomas train cars to play on the mat.  I'm sure they'll love it (I'd better print at least 2 sets).

To download, click here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Photo Safari Activity

I created this activity for our "Giraffe" theme, but it could also be used for a general "Africa" theme or even during a Wild Kratt's birthday party (we're really into WK right now).  The PDF has three levels of differentiation for all levels of explorers.  The real-life animal pictures should be printed and hung at kid level (or could be hidden, depending on the ages).  The kids need a clipboard and a pencil.  A pith helmet and camera would be fun props as well.

To download, click here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A is for America (year 2, week 33)

This blog is an Amazon Associate.

In the last few weeks, we've looked at the state we live in and the planet/continent we live on, so this week we focused on the country!  I hung up our US map this week and our theme cards, all of which gave us lots of things to talk about.  We also focused a lot on patriotic songs and flag etiquette to help prepare the kids for life outside our schoolroom.  The weather was great this week, so the kids played outside and with water most of every day.  Surprisingly, we didn't do very much that was red, white, and blue.

One of the first things we did this week was play roll and cover with our 50 stars paper (you can find a similar one here).  I made the dice myself and bought the wood stars on Amazon.  Dragonfly did very well with the counting.  I liked how the game gave her practice recognizing numbers and counting one-to-one correspondence numbers.

We used our US Monuments toob and our 3-part cards to learn about the different symbols of the United States.  On several of the objects, we were able to look up at our US map and see a cartoon picture of the symbol in the state where it is found.  Eventually, I'd love to have her/them place the symbols on the map themselves.

Friday was Passover, so we made unleavened bread.  Dragonfly loved the sensory experience of playing in flour, kneading it, and rolling it out.  She even wrapped the leftover dough around her arm like a cast.

- USA symbols 3-part cards
- US desert 3-part cards
- North American animals 3-parts cards
- N.A. river animals 3-part cards
- US inventors 3-part cards
- US history 3-part cards
- American mini theme posters
- American cowboys cattle drive game
- flag positioning puzzles
- roll and cover American flag
- US presidents 3-part cards
- how to fold an American flag
- election graphing
- US state bingo

- red, white, and blue Montessori activities
- sensory bin with spelling word tiles

- Star Spangled Banner
- American Kid
- Proud to be an American
- the Battle Hymn of the Republic
- Star Spangled Banner in sign language
- US states in geographical order
- America the Beautiful
- 50 states and capitols song
- the Pledge of Allegiance 

Follow In Our Pond's board "A is for America" on Pinterest.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Birthday, Blog!

I've now been blogging on this site for two years!  Here are a few blogging stats and then I'll tell you how the creatures are doing here at the pond.

Number of Blog Posts: 320 published (349 written)

Number of Blog Visitors a Month: 2,300

Most Popular Blog Post Last Month: Backyard Birds 3-part cards

Number of Visitors Total: 22,300

Most Popular Blog Post of All Time: Safari Toob ideas

Number of Free Printables: 125

is working at a quality inspector for an airplane manufacturing company, which he loves.  During his time at home, he loves to play with the kids, ride his motorcycle, dirt bike, skateboard, hike, build things, do computer art, paint, and play video games.

is the author of the blog, and a stay-at-home mom all the other times.  As you can probably see from the blog, I also have way too many hobbies.

is almost five years old and will be starting "formal" kindergarten at home this fall.  She calls herself a "Science Girl" and loves asking questions, making connections, and learning about animals and dinosaurs.  She also loves to climb, ride her bike, and play trucks with her brothers.  My goal for her next year is to support (and not squash) her love of learning as we move toward book-based homeschooling.

is almost four years old, and is all boy!  He love tractors, cars, planes, trucks, trains, dirt, movement, and bugs.  He also has a very tender heart and is quick to emphasize with other's feelings.  My goal for him for next year is to include him in our homeschooling more.

is two-and-a-half, and is mommy's boy.  He imitates myself or his daddy, and tries to be much more grown up than his age.  He also follows the "big kids" around and joins in their games.  He used to hate being outside, but has gotten much braver lately- that's been fun to see.  I'd like to see him spending more time with his sibling, and yet growing into his own personality.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DIY 6-Sided Magnetic 100's Chart

In an effort to give my kids the childhood I never had (wink), I've made this large wooden, magnetic 100's chart with five levels of learning.  There is a black and white version that I think of as the "neutral" position, which has the magnetic side facing down on my board.  I'm calling that side the "counting by ones" side.  Then, there is the "counting by twos" side, where the numbers are shades of grey.  There are the "counting by threes" side and the "counting by fives" side, in which the corresponding numbers are highlighted by a lighter shade of color (see the pictures above).  Lastly, there is the "rainbow" side where the numbers are colored in sets of tens (all the 20's are one color, the fifties are another, etc).  I'm hoping that this level of hands-on learning will really help my kids to master the 100-chart, the patterns in numbers, skip counting, and other number related knowledge.

I also included this "Monster Mystery" worksheet as part of the packet.  If you laminate it or use it with a page protector, it can be used over and over to test a child's knowledge of numbers.  With the 100 chart blocks in the "ones" (black and white) position, the teacher/parent can grab out ten numbers at random and replace them with the monster blocks.  Then, the child can look at the chart and figure out which numbers are missing.  The parent could "hide" the missing numbers or hand the numbers to the child to be replaced in the chart in the correct place.  I'm sure that there are other ways you and your child could figure out to play.

To download the file, click here.

It occurred to me after I made the orginal PDF that I really should start the 100-chart at the number 0 so that the "tens places" line up in a column.  I made the rainbow side with the colored zero, and included a "neutral" zero for the "counting by ones" side.  You can get the amended page here.

The wood blocks came from the Etsy shop, I Used to be a Tree.  They worked perfectly for this project, and I recommend that you buy the blocks from them if you want to do this project.

The magnetic side was made with magnetic sticker sheets.  I was able to do all 111 (0-100 number cubes and 10 monsters) with one pack of magnetic paper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to Plan a Themed Road Trip

I've been planning a pirate themed road trip for this summer's adventure.  We're going to be in the car for at least six days (three there and three back), which gives us plenty of opportunities for some themed fun along the way.

When I first started planning, I had no idea where exactly to begin.  Pinterest actually didn't give me too much information (except for this one post), since, apparantly, themed road trips are sort of rare.  I propose that with all the Pinteresting people are doing these days that themed road trips are going to be the next big Pinterest party idea.

Perhaps you're thinking that a themed road trip sounds like fun, but, like me, you have no idea how to begin.  I've written this post to explain my process (and maybe to explain why there are so many TTT posts).

#1- Pick a Theme
This may seem very obvious, but I think it's also the hardest part.  Think about your favorite things, your child's interests, a party you've always wanted to plan, or your destination.  The pirate road trip is just a fun party idea that I wanted to try.  Another plus is that "pirates" is pretty common and was easy to find coordinating ideas for it.

For this example post, I'm going to pretend we're going on a dinosaur-themed road trip.  Here's how I would plan such a "party on the road."
#2- Plan Your Food
Pop onto Pinterest and type in "dinosaur party food."  See what types of stuff fills your screen?  Cute, fun punny foods, some of which you can take on your road trip.  Things like calling Scooby Snacks "dinosaur bones."  Or cutting fruit into dinosaur shapes.  Or making "dino toenails" out of bugle chips.  Be sure to pack something for every carnivore, herbivore, and "sweet-ivore" in your car.

Before your trip, you can get your kids involved by making "fossil" cookies or hard boiled dino eggs.  You could even extend the theme to lunch or dinner time and pack
                                              dinosaur themed bento boxes, like this one or this one.

#3- Find Game and Activities
I'm dividing my activities into three categories:

- dinosaur skulls matching cards
- dinosaur bones measuring
- Jurassic world in an altoid tin
dino preschool/kindergarten learning pack
- i-spy with dinosaurs
- alphabet letter match
- felt magnets

- gross motor challenge
- dino egg hunt (with Safari toob dinos)
- dinosaur dig in a lunch box
- bubbles

- printable dino board game
- sensory bin (with Safari toob dinos)
- dino memory game
- spot it game

#4- Get Costumes
A great, easy way to get into the mood of a themed road trip is with costumes.  They can be as simple as a masks or hat or as elaborate as a full outfit.  There's a lot to DIY too, including this dino hat and this lab coat.  Since you'll be traveling by car for long hours, comfort is a BIG deal.  It's also fun to just buy themed t-shirts, maybe matching for the whole family?

#5- Gather Your Stuff
The last step in planning a themed road trip is to add in all the extra stuff that will set the mood of your trip/party.  Things like a $2 pack of dinosaur plates.  Or a tablecloth for the rest stop lunch break.  You might pick up a pack of dinosaur picks for sticking in the lunch box or a dinosaur sandwich cutter.  You might find a new music CD or a new DVD for the journey.  Think like you're planning a party, and you can't go wrong.

I hope this blog post helps you plan your own summer road trip.  Come back every Tuesday for more travel tips, ideas, and DIYs.  I'll be revealing more about our pirate themed road trip soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

E is for Earth (year 2, week 32)

This blog is an Amazon Associate.

I ordered some homeschool supplies last week, which caused me to change the order of our themes to accomidate when our items will be arriving.  This week was supposed to be "A is for America," but I switched it to "E is for Earth."  I bought a couple new books for our homeschool: "Children Just Like Me" and "P is for Passport."  I also bought us a world map  ($10!) and a US map (which we'll use next week).  We're slowly getting our homeschool area put together.

I introduced the kids to the Montessori map that I had started back in August.  The continents are glued/sewn down yet, and I'd still like to do the land and water part, but it still have us a lot to talk about.  We hadn't talked about the Montessori continent colors before, so we did that this week, and talked about which continent was biggest and smallest.  Of course, we talked about where we live in the world.

Tadpole (2.5) loved the feel of the felt continents and spent a lot of time stacking them by side, counting them, and trying to name their colors.  He also liked to spread the out on the "ocean" like he had seen me do.  It was so neat to see him expressing all the concepts that he has been observing from the rest of us.

Tuesday evening, I went grocery shopping and specifically picked out food that had been imported from other countries.  Even in my small town, I was able to find bananas from Ecuador, pineapple from Costa Rica, candy from Japan, dragon fruit from Vietnam, and coconut from Indonesia (I think).  Throughout the week, we tasted the different foods and looked at our new map to see where the foods had originated.  It also gave us a great opportunity to talk about how the foods may have gotten to our grocery store.

On Wednesday, our new maps arrived in the mail, and I immediately hung them on the wall.  I love our Wall Pops world map!  It's a giant (2ft by 3ft) sticker that went on smooth and looks great on the wall.  It also is laminated so that we can write on it and stick our food import stickers on it.

I made some homemade pointers for Dragonfly and I and we had a very enjoyable time exploring the world together.  We talked about where we live, the countries that are near to our town (we're about 15 miles from Canada), and the countries that are important/interesting to our family.  By the end of our time (maybe a half hour), Dragonfly could point to nearly 20 countries as I named them, including the tiny Asian country where her uncle, aunty, and cousins live, the island nation where our friends live, the South American country where daddy was born, the place where the polar bears live, the continent where the penguins live, and the African country where mommy and daddy lived before she was born.  Several hours later, she was able to tell them to her daddy.  I think she may be a kinetic learner, and this activity gave me many ideas for activities in the futures.

Dragonfly and I also read a great book called, "P is for Passport."  The book goes through all the letters of the alphabet and talks about different places, customs, languages, foods, etc, yet how similar people are all over the world.  For example, "m is for music," "g is for grain," and "f is for faith."  The book served as a great introduction to the world.  It  would also be neat if used as a unit study, where the family did a notebook page after researching more about each topic.

So, that was pretty much our week.

- Psalm 8 sung in Hebrew
- 7 Continents Song
- "King of the Jungle" song


- landforms dictionary
- ocean 3-part cards
- types of pollution cards
- me on the map circles
- Around the World and World Landmarks (safari toob) 3-part cards
- children around the world picture cards
- land and water forms cards
- Montessori continent cards

- continent boxes
- felt map
- earth sensory bin
- land, air, water sorting
- montessori map coloring
- polluted sensory bin
- "show me your neighborhood around the world" blog link up

Friday, April 15, 2016

All My Printables

Updated on April 15, 2016

{Safari Toob Printables}
- monkeys and apes 3-part cards
mammal skulls 3-part cards
New York City 3-part cards
- USA symbols 3-part cards
- horses 3-part cards
backyard birds 3-part cards
Galapagos animal 3-part cards
river animals 3-part cards
Australian animal 3-part cards
desert animals
desert mini matching cards
dinosaur skulls 3-part cards
North American animal 3-part cards
- land/water sorting mat
zoo animal 3-part cards
sorting insects from non-insects
- insect 3-part cards

favorite types of milk experiment
firefighter 3-part cards
mammals cards and poster
mammals mini matching cards
antarctic food chain
pollen to hive transfer game
seed matching
coral reef Finding Nemo game
metamorphosis roll and cover game
seeds coloring page

- dice for learning games
- five paragraph essay organizer
- Thanksgiving spelling game
- juggling CVC words
- curves and sticks for building letters
- resurrection opposites
- rain handwriting worksheets
- "Eak" and Eek" monster word sort
- color words spelling game
- mountain handwriting worksheets
handwriting sky/grass/dirt cards
candy and cocoa shop spelling words (with bonus math component)
- duck pond spelling game
resurrection spelling words (with math component)
- bees like B's game
safari spelling words (with bonus math component)
- bee hexagon activity
- hungry bear counting game

transportation in Antarctica
all about Idaho 3-part cards
Asian regions list
cattle drive game
American history 3-part cards
American inventions 3-part cards

{Math Printables}
- place value cards
- dice for learning games
- DIY math games (that fit in an Altoid tin)
- learning clock
- magnetic six-sided 100-chart
cookie graphing
space count and clip
pirate count and clip
bug jar roll and fill game
- turtle counting
- measuring dinosaur bones
- pond games
- roll and cover games
- candy graphing and patterns
- monster size sorting
- counting treasure
- yarn worksheets
- marshmallow counting
- camping worksheets (1)
- camping worksheets (2)
- grocery worksheets (1)
- grocery worksheets (2)
- firetruck roll and cover
- wormy apples counting
- even and odd socks
- monster 0-20 ten-frames game
- monster roll and cover
- monster worksheets (1)
- monster worksheet (2)
- monster worksheet (3)
- beehive counting by 10's
- duck number line
- making teen numbers
- grocery count and clip
- counting cookies
- counting jewels
- ice cream cone patterns
- shape matching
- ten-frame worksheets
- counting frogs

{Classroom Decorations}
- laundry pictures for theme introduction
- seed we eat pictures for theme introduction
- apple pictures for theme introduction
- America pictures for theme introduction
- insects pictures for theme introduction
- calendar pack
- paleontologist poster 
Bible books cards (calendar time)
calendar cards (frog theme)

- quilt pieces puzzles
Cars puzzles
- pirate bingo/matching cards
space bingo/matching cards
- circus bingo/matching cards
- Mickey color matching game
- color gradient matching game
- Bethlehem journey game
- quilt patterns game
- treasure map games
- yarn color matching
- animals and their homes matching
- laundry sorting game
- sock matching

{Home Decorations}
- perfect elf day
- boy Bible verse
- girl Bible verse
- boy Bible verse (2nd)
- worthy is the Lamb
- Lady and the Tramp quotes
- elf diet
- whole ocean Finding Nemo quote
- keep swimming Finding Nemo quote
- fish are friends Finding Nemo quote
- Jesus Storybook Bible quote
- spring Narnia quote
- craft room saying
- Star Wars quote
                                                        - laundry sign

- John Deere picture cards
- moving countdown
- travel journal

Thursday, April 14, 2016

USA Symbols 3-part Cards

FREE 3-Part Cards for Safari Ltd USA Symbols Toob from In Our Pond

FREE 3-Part Cards for Safari Ltd USA Symbols Toob from In Our Pond

These 3-part cards were a test for me, since I haven't seen most of these monuments.  As a homeschool family, we'll have to see what we can do about that.  These 3-part cards match the USA toob by Safari Ltd.

To download the file, click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Travel Time Tuesday- All About Altoids

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

This is going to be a post with a lot of pictures.  I love organizing with Altoids (and crystal lite containers- which is another post).  I bought a huge pack of Altoids for my family to eat, so I could use the tins for crafting.  Here's some of what I've made:

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

This dinosaur small world is probably the best of all the tins I have made.  The volcano is hollow, so the dinosaurs can fall into it.  At the end of playtime, the volcano folds up into the tin for storage.  The mini dinosaurs come from a "Good Luck Minis" pack by Safari Ltd (we love Safari!).  The felt is all pieced together randomly.  I'm hoping the kids enjoy it.  I think it might be Dragonfly's favorite.  She's really into dinosaurs right now and only has one item on her "what I want to do in the car" list- small, squishy animals.  These dinosaurs will be a surprise, but are exactly what she wants.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

I always carry around an Altoid tin of bandaids in my purse, but now I have a fancy cover for it.  The printable can be found at the Far From Normal blog.  Besides bandaids, I also like to include a pair of nail clippers and a pair of tweezers- just in case.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

I bought the 4-USB lighter charger from Amazon recently, so I'm going to use this box to keep some of our USB chargers in the car.  I figure that any containment is better than having the cords lose, but I'll have to see if this actually works for us.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

This box is at the request of Dragonfly.  She's always asking me for a "hair tie" to hold the braids she makes in the car.  I also included some of my own hair ties and a few bobby pins.  The small Altoid tin and the bobby pins are held by extra strong magnets.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

I only use my headphones in the car (when I'm not the driver), so I thought I'd start storing them in the car.  This Altoid tin will hold the ear buds and keep them from getting tangled around other things.  The cover for this tin comes from neatorama.com.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

This tin is just for me!  I like to knit in the car, and this tin holds all my knitting tools.  I still need to add some stitch markers (although, of course, I could use the mini hair ties from the other box) and a cable needle.  I'm really excited to have this available to me in the car.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

I haven't finished this one yet, but I thought I'd post it on the end of this post, so I don't forget about it.  This tin will have a felt landscape and "tiny, squishy" safari animals in it.

Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

I had made this one for last year's road trip.  The needle is tied to the yarn and the end of the yarn is taped to the tin.  The beads are cut up paper straws and pony beads.

I hope you were inspired by these idea.  Please comment with your favorite uses for Altoid tins in the comments.  Come back again next Tuesday for another Travel Time Tuesday!

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Altoid Tins for Travel from In Our Pond

Monday, April 11, 2016

Old Fashioned Kitchen Organization

With our move, I had to retire my old fashioned kitchen storage cupboard.  The pottery drawers were too fragile to be used any longer.  I taped the whole thing up with packing tape, and it's now in storage.

The cupboard belonged to Bullfrog's Canadian grandma.  It's very interesting to me to see what types of things people stored and used a hundred years ago.  Tea, coffee, oatmeal, sugar, rice, and barley were given the largest bins.  Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, allspice, and cloves were placed in the tiny drawers on the bottom.  Just a little peek into kitchen organization from days of old.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

N is for Nest (year 2, week 31)

To do this week: hang bird feeders (if the fence is up otherwise we'll just find them)

We started the week at the Mobius Children's Museum.  It offered my kids all of their favorite sensory experiences all one place!  They loved it- as you can see from the pictures;

Top Left: Skimmer and Tadpole loved the construction area.  The "dirt" is rubber shavings.

Top Right: Skimmer on a plasma car.  They had a "neighborhood" where the kids could drive around.

Bottom Left: The neighborhood had a fire station area where the kids could put on gear and turn a water valve.

Bottom Right: Tadpole spent a lot of time pushing shopping carts, lawn mowers, and cars around.

Top Left: The staff were very helpful and patient.  Skimmer is attempting to send a silk hankie through a pneumatic tube.

Top Right: The museum had something for every still level.  Tadpole is in the "baby" area.

Bottom Left: Dragonfly spent probably 20 minutes pouring, raking, and scooping sand.  She also really enjoyed running the sand through her fingers.

Bottom Right: Skimmer loved the "mud" area with it's running water.  He spent a long time getting toys dirty and then cleaning them off.  He got very wet.

Top Left: Tadpole and Dragonfly spent 30-40 minutes playing at the water table.  The water had a current, so it was fun for floating boats, but it was a very pleasant sensory experience.

Top Right: Skimmer was fascinated by the large fan that would blow silk parachutes up into the air.

Bottom Left: One area was dedicated for dentistry.  The big mouth had big dentist tools and rope floss for practicing good self care.

Bottom Right: Dragonfly was drawn into the digging area by the dinosaurs, but decided that it was too noisy for good pretend play.

One of my favorite things about the museum was all the ideas it gave me for sensory and science play around our own house.  Even then, we bought the membership so that we can go back again many more times.

My mom found us a used playground that we could take for free.  My family came on Sunday to build the playground in our yard.  It was quite the day, but the kids loved every part of it.

They were able to use the U-haul to move the playground in large pieces.  That cut the assembly time by days, probably.

The kids helped and pretended to help where they could.  The excitement was catching.

They didn't even wait until the entire thing was assembled before they started climbing on it and going down the slide.  They ended up with a climbing wall, monkey bars, steering wheel, playhouse, digging pit, picnic table, and three swings.  The swings are pretty close to each other, so we'd like to take that section apart someday and extend top beam to accommodate more swings and a greater variety.

Mommy School
As you can imagine, the kids spent most of the week on the playground.  We still haven't gotten our library card in our new town yet.

We made chocolate peanut butter nests this week.  I started with bittersweet chocolate and added just a little bit of sugar.  So they were chocolate-y but not too sweet.  Yum!

Then, we counted jelly beans for the eggs.  We talked about how the jelly beans are the size of hummingbird eggs.  We aimed for three candies in each nest, but we weren't always successful.  After all, why would anyone like to limit the best part of the nests?

We saw a chickadee in our yard this week, so we bought a bird feeder and packed it with a finch blend.  We have a lot of starlings in our yard now, though, so I don't know when we'll see the chickadees again.  We practiced our scissor skills and cut up yarn for a nest box.  We'll have to see what happens.  Both of these are on the side of the house where the kids don't play to give them the best chance of being used.

- backyard birds 3-part cards
- predator and prey matching
- birds and their nests matching
- parts of a bird labeling activity
- parts of a bird mini book
- birds and their eggs matching
- bird hatching sequence
- male and female birds matching
- 50 birds around the world
- bird puzzle and labels
- preschool pack
- kindergarten pack

- hummingbird unit
- bread grating for bird food
- candy bird nests
- drink like a hummingbird
- super simple bird food sensory bin
- egg counting into nests
- comparing birds and reptiles
- measuring bird seed
- cheerio bird feeder
- eating worms with a clothespin beak
- making/painting bird houses
- giant nest
- robin sensory bin

- baby hummingbirds
- forest sounds (CD)

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