Archive for the ‘
Nature ’ Category
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
Yesterday, I shared the robin lapbook the girls made. It was absolutely fabulous timing because they learned about the robin’s life cycle (eggs, chicks, juvenile, adults…) and a few days later we discovered a bird’s nest under our deck. We’ve been able to watch this beautiful story unfold…
The Mama Bird:
4 eggs (we have a step ladder about 3 feet away… I used a zoom on my good camera). I have no idea why the eggs look so different.
A few days after (after several days of rain) the chicks had hatched:
When I let ED come for a glimpse, the little chicks must have thought we were Mama Bird coming with food:
Mama Bird came pretty close and chirps at us to get out from under the deck! We scurried away to leave her in peace. The kids have strict instructions not to go near the nest unless I give them permission. We don’t want to disturb nature too much, though I’m happy the kids have gotten to see this amazing process! We watch all day as Mama bird flies back and forth with food for the baby birdies!
One other photo of Mama Bird. I think she is an Eastern Phoebe, though I’m no bird expert! Her tail often bobs up and down:
Friday, May 10th, 2013
It has been a while since we’ve done any lapbooks. I saw this free robin lapbook over at Dynamic 2 Moms and asked the girls if they would be interested in doing one on robins. ED and DD both said, “Yes!” So, I printed everything out and the girls set to work.
If you’ve never heard of a lapbook, it is a cute way to display small folded mini-books, flaps, pop-up books, and/or folded display material. The lapbook can include photos, drawings, or anything else that helps them learn about the topic at hand. Kids can add their own information, include questions to quiz themselves on or other interactive activities. They glue their finished pieces into a file folder (see the second photo below).
What I love about lapbooks is that the kids are drawn back to them again-and-again, showing them off to family and friends… even pulling them out to admire their work and repeat the activities.
Here’s a picture of ED as she was putting in the finishing touches… she glued in some extra photos of robins.
Here is a picture of the front so you’ll see how the file folder was folded (the front and back of the folder were folded to meet in the middle). I have to say that ED was horrified when I started to cut her drawing in half, but quickly saw why I was doing that! Whew… catastrophe averted!
By the way, ED signs everything “McKenna…” Her obsession with her American Girl Doll continues as strong as ever!!
In this particular lapbook, the girls learned what robins eat, what predators eat robins, where robins live in different seasons, the parts of the bird and the life cycle of the robin. If you look closely you can see how some of the parts unfold… that’s what makes the lapbooks so appealing and interactive!
ED has brought out the lapbook a number of times (to show Daddy and to look over her work). I love that! Here she is reading the words (egg, juvenile, adult) and matching them to the pictures:
In the picture below, ED is telling me what the colors mean in the map. Lapbooks are a great way to reinforce material and make it exciting!
Here’s another lapbook on bears I did with DD when she was 3 or 4:
As you can see, it was pretty interactive. Below she is feeding the bear (the mouth is open so she could slip the berries, fish or whatever into its mouth)
In this lapbook, I taped in another page in the middle so I could add a few more activities like the color matching activity below (she obviously colored the bears in!):
One last example is this bat lapbook that LD made when he was in preschool:
He was so intrigued by bats! I can’t remember exactly where I got the parts for this lapbook. It might have been from Hands of a Child. I used them quite a bit for a couple of years. They have a free lapbook you can download on Metals.
Here’s a glimpse at the inside of a butterfly lapbooks DD did. You can see more of our lapbook projects here:
Where to Find Free Lapbooks:
I absolutely adore all the free lapbooks shared by Dynamic 2 Moms (Thank you so much Kelley and Tina!). That’s one of the first places I head if we are itching to do a lapbook. I especially love all their free history lapbooks.
Another incredible resource for free lapbooks is Homeschool Share. I bet there’s two or three hundred different lapbooks to choose from there!
You’ll find some free science lapbooks based on the Magic School Bus series over at Yee Shall Know.
Just ask your child what he or she is interested in learning about and give it a try!
One more thing before I go, these days we still use a lot of these flaps, foldables and little envelope sleeves, but we often include them in our science or history notebooks, but the lapbooks themselves seem to have a satisfaction-factor that just can’t be beat. It’s a finished product that the kids can show off and review over and over. That’s why we did so many when the kids were 3-7 or so.
Categories: Lapbooks, Must Read, Nature, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Science, Useful Resources (websites books etc) | Tags: bat lapbook, bear lapbook, free lapbooks, free robin lapbook, lapbooking with preschoolers, what is lapbooking?
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here where we are and it was time to bring out the Nature Scavenger Hunt. Last year it was so warm that we did this in the first week or so of March! This year, I sent the girls out on a nature hunt while LD was at gymnastics practice (he trains from 4:30-8:30). The girls had so much fun! I loved the fact that it wasn’t a competition. They helped each other and encouraged each other rather than racing or claiming “you can’t use that, that was my __ (flower, piece of bark, etc.).” Love those moments of sibling-companionship!
You can download last year’s Nature Scavenger Hunt here:
Finding something scented — perfect this time of year!!
Finding something white and something with a hole in it:
They even shared rain boots when DD decided she needed to wade into the creek (see ED standing on DD’s shoes?!)!
When LD heard we had done the scavenger hunt, he was pretty upset with me. My bad — I should have realized he would be keen to participate! So, it was time to make a second page. This is pretty specific to our area — spotting frogs and toads, algae, mushrooms and things like that. This second sheet is probably better in a park-like setting that has a small creek or pond, but I’ll still share it for those who might be able to use it.
Here is the second Nature Scavenger Hunt I made for the kids this year:
Enjoy and have fun in nature!! ~Liesl
Friday, March 29th, 2013
What a wild week weather-wise, wasn’t it? (And how’s that for some alliteration!) The kids go out to play pretty much every day… and the weather this past week went from this…
to this… critter hunting just a few days later!
We spent a long time looking at the creatures the kids found. The small critter in the middle had all these hairs sticking out of its side that moved around. It was about 1/2 an inch or so, but the other one was closer to 2 inches. You should have seen the big one move around. (They were obviously in an orange bucket!)
Have you heard of the book, Nature Deficit Disorder? My kids certainly don’t suffer from that ! I loved that book and highly recommend it, if you haven’t read it already… the premise is that unstructured outdoor play offers kids opportunities for exploration, imagination or peaceful contemplation. The book talks a lot about our alienation and disconnection from nature.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
While we were on our road trip we had the opportunity to visit an amazing Nature Center in Nashville, TN with my Sis and her (homeschooling) kids. It had everything from taxidermy animals to look at, nature drawers to explore, microscopes, bird watching and identification, creative play with puppets, puzzles, costumes, blocks and more. I wish we had a place like this near us!!
There was a full size tree to explore! Inside the tree was a night-time sky. The kids had to try to identify some of the major constellations Plus, there were light-up boxes that showed the animals that lived in trees.
The kids spent a LOOooong time looking through the microscope!
Back at my sister’s house my niece brought out their huge collection of bones… The kids looked through everything from cow and fox skulls to a complete turtle skeleton. Neat stuff! That certainly adds to the kids’ understanding of vertebrates, doesn’t it?!!