Thursday, May 28, 2009

Frog Hunt

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Today we went on a frog hunt at the Hudson Gardens, a botanical garden in Littleton.  It was a great activity!!

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We went with out home school group and I’m pretty sure the whole group had a great time.  The weather was perfect! 

Hudson Gardens provides self-guided activities to each group that comes based on the topic chosen.  Last fall we went there and did an activity about leaves.  I really think their program is great, the activities are fun and you choose the age group it should be geared towards.  Today we read a DK book about the lifecycle of a frog.  After that we went to the pond and looked for tadpoles.  We saw a bunch of them, all HUGE, I’ve never seen tadpoles so big.  I think most of them were at least 4 inches long.  After finding tadpoles we did a game activity where the kids were given cards of the frog lifecycle and they all took turns putting them in the correct order.  There was a really cool board included that had models of each stage attached to it and the kids used that to check if they had the cards in the right order.  Then we moved again to another spot and did a quick activity on the foods that frogs eat. 

Then we handed out the binoculars which were provided and we walked around a pond looking for full grown frogs.  Amazingly we didn’t see any although there were a billion tadpoles.  I’m not sure where they all were!

At this point the kids were all hungry so we got our lunches and headed to the picnic area.  On our way there we finally saw a frog and he was absolutely giant.  The frog in the picture at the top of this post is about 2/3 the size of the huge one, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture!

After lunch the kids played and played.  There was tree climbing as well as various other games under the trees.  It was great!

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At the end of our tour we watched the trains.  They have a wonderful train set up and the kids were in awe.

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All in all it was a wonderful day!  We will definitely be going back to Hudson Gardens for another field trip.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reading- The American Girls books

I got Gracie the Kaya series for Christmas. I like it but for some reason it's been slow going, Gracie's not hugely into it and it's kind of been sitting for awhile.

I know they are good books though and Gracie loves history so I was hoping to start with another series. I put it out there to the family that a set of those books would be a great gift for Gracie's birthday. Auntie April and Uncle Troy came through and sent Gracie a wonderful used set of the Samantha books.

And with that Gracie is hooked! She is LOVING this series. In fact we read the whole first book in one sitting yesterday. I started reading to both the kiddos and Ian fell asleep leaving Gracie to just keep going. In a little more than an hour we had finished the first book. She was begging me to start the second book today but we didn't get around to it. I will make a point of it tomorrow though.

What better way to learn, an interesting story full of historical fact! I really liked the end of the book where there was a little section talking about life in 1904 and explaining some of the things we had read about. Very cool. I'm thinking Gracie will learn a lot about American history with these books of historical fiction.

Of course now she wants a doll. They are $100. She has some money she received for her birthday but it's not enough. I told her that we can figure out some ways for her to earn some money and the next time we go to Chicago we will go to the American Girl store. I'm sure she'll be in heaven!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Painting

The kids are always in the mood to create, trouble is I'm not always in the mood to clean it all up! It sure will be nice when they are old enough to clean up and wipe everything off well. I think we will have a lot of painting going on for awhile, Gracie got some very nice paints, brushes and paper for her birthday. I still have to pick up an easel and paint cups so we can do things properly, for now sitting at the table is working just as well!! I found an easel I really want to get, actually it's a wall easel, basically just a piece of vinyl that hangs on the wall and holds the paper and paint cups. I would like to get one for each of the kids, I think they would be very practical here in our house with very little space!