Z is for…

17 Nov

Zorilla http://bit.ly/byPXoY

The SMELLIEST animal on earth!

To print this diagram, go to http://bit.ly/b5KW11

This image was taken from: http://bit.ly/cWybjJ      She has a cool zorilla snack idea!

If you are just not into eating beans (we think you are crazy but its okay) just play around with black beans and rice. Make patters and glue them on a Z a pic of a zorilla.

And check this out…Pandas are black and white and they are the ONLY bear that uses scent and zorillas are the smelliest animals on earth. I think a lesson on smelling things is definately in order!

Animals to compare and contrast with zorillas: Gorillas (just because the words rhyme and your kids will think you are silly) and skunks because they actually are related, are both black and white, and both release a strong scent.

Zorillas are nocturnal.  What does this mean?

This is a great idea to tie in your “Z” character to both zebras and zorillas.  http://bit.ly/b5FbEa

Zebras   http://bit.ly/Y7J7r

Worksheets and activities: http://bit.ly/a6HIxi

For the longest time, zebras, horses, and donkeys were interchangeable to my prince. I think Shrek took care of clarifying the “donkey” but zebra and horse took a little more effort on my part.  A great thing to do is to compare and contrast these 3 related animals, or at least the horse and zebra since those are usually more closely linked.

Aside from the colored stripes, Zebras are native to Africa, can never be domesticated, some zebras are endangered and one species is even extinct.


Y is for…

17 Nov

yak   http://bit.ly/6lx1t

Check out this Yak page for pictures and background of life in the Himalayas. http://bit.ly/903TFr

Where in the world are the Himalayas? Tibet? Pull out your maps.

Yaks are very valuable animals that give people  meat, milk, for transportation, and fuel (yes! their “poop” or dung makes energy like gasoline).  Take the opportunity to learn about other cultures when talking about yak.

Remember, empathy and violence are used by same “circuits” or wiring of the brain.  One of the ways that we avoid violence in our youth and future adults is by developing empathy or care for others and the way we do that is to understand other people and the world.

Worksheets & activities: http://bit.ly/bxS8XP

You can also do a yellow nature theme!

yellow canaries


yellow daffodoils

 yellow pepper (painting)


Look through magazines or books in your home and find yellow nature objects.  Go to the grocery store and go on a yellow fruit and vegetable hunt.  Talk about yellow being a primary color and mix with red, another primary color, to make orange. 

Yellow lemon jell-o (gelatin) mixed can be used to make a watery paint. When it dries (and any other jell-o mix, it can be “scratched” and “sniffed.”

X is for…

17 Nov

xyris   http://bit.ly/9lYkxs

Watch this video of yellow eyed grasses, http://bit.ly/9wC5q7

The letter x is a challenge to pair up but its an easy one to learn. 

Have your children make an “x” with their fingers and once they have control of their fingers, have them use it to “mark the spot.”

It would be great to talk about extinct animals, like dinosaurs. 

Talk about reasons why animals become extinct. How is being extinct different from being endangered?

Comparing and contrasting is a great exercise for parents, older children, and young toddlers.

But remember, comparing and contrasting with babies and toddlers is supposed to be fun and playful. No lectures or speeches please. 😉

Here is a dinosaur page: http://bit.ly/akkDZA

W is for…

17 Nov

walrus   http://bit.ly/gMxIx

An incredible video about a mom and baby walrus.   Use it as a lesson about nursing, affection, sisterhood, protection, and so much more!

This video below introduces very unique concepts about these animals.  It is important to talk to children about climate changes, which humans are mostly responsible for, and its effects on animals.

Children sometimes get nervous or anxious and react violently or become agitated.  This is a good video to show that even animals in nature feel that way.  Use it to explain feelings and reactions.

Worksheet and activities: http://bit.ly/bn3t1T


Believe it or not, water is always a wonderful theme! The possibilities are endless! Just think: water cycle, waves, bodies of water (rivers, lakes, oceans), temperatures of water and products (steam/ice), uses of water, water sports…there is just so much!

Here are some worksheets: http://bit.ly/dn67fS

A super simple water science “experiment”  http://bit.ly/cRPiZ7

Ocean in a bottle? http://bit.ly/aHn9Fj

Surfing waves (waves made of water…its like a w delight)

whales   http://bit.ly/13vfD0

Even bigger than the biggest dinosaur…the blue whale!

Sei whale eating. These animals are amazing.

How big and powerful are they? Just breathtaking!

Orca whales

Even though they live in water, whales like dolphins are mammals not fish.  One of the characteristics of mammals is that they breastfeed or nurse. Here is a short video of a baby whale nursing.

Worksheets and activities: http://bit.ly/a6i8PH

V is for…

17 Nov

vulture  http://bit.ly/8AxIQC

worksheets & crafts: http://bit.ly/c9ce1c

Vultures are scavengers.  What does this mean?  What other animals are scavengers? Most of vultures have bald heads, why?

 Find out the answers and talk about these birds. 


worksheets & craft: http://bit.ly/bFY2vw

U is for…

17 Nov

Urchin (Sea Urchin)    http://bit.ly/WQFRq

This is the coolest, easiest craft ever.  Don’t have clay? What about gum drops? 

I found this pic here: http://bit.ly/aK1i0d


Ulysses Butterfly  http://bit.ly/aOznbN

Learn and teach your tots about the life cycle of a butterfly, metamorphosis



Craft pic above: http://bit.ly/96aovD

Below is my prince, 2 yrs old, reciting the butterfly life cycle.

T is for…

16 Nov

Toucan  http://bit.ly/LV9JV

Toucans rock! And since the next video is a song, we kept the musicality theme with this video. That being said…music develops a baby’s  brain wires big time, specially ages 0-5, to turn this into a music lesson!  

Animated song to learn with your tots. We love the whistling, use this space and make up your own words to the whistling, maybe a freestyle RAP? 🙂

Toucan coloring page: http://bit.ly/97UmCd

Toucan mask craft: http://bit.ly/9lN317

 Tulips    http://bit.ly/dtLUlj

Just look at these fields they go on and on!  Play estimation games! How many flowers do we think are there? Are these fields as big as soccer fields or football fields? Math concepts are everywhere!

Not all flowers are the same. Teach your children about the difference flowers. Even in the winter you can explore your local grocery store’s floral department. Buy a cheap bunch and count petals, sort by colors, types, and sizes.

Holland, Europe is world known for its tulips but guess what? We found an amazing garden in Kashmir, Asia!  Yes…you already know…BUST OUT YOUR MAP! GO!  And while you are at it…what languages are spoken in these countries?

The letter T: http://bit.ly/c7BXEw

Free tulip “how many” printable found here: http://bit.ly/cI7Yq9