S is for…

16 Nov

Spider    http://bit.ly/118mxg

Spider crafts found on Paper Crafts for Children:

http://bit.ly/ccxTLV  and http://bit.ly/cktPJY

Worksheet: http://bit.ly/d4sAH5

Spiders have 8 legs so its a great critter to build on while you are working on the number 8. 

One of the things we do at my house is sing the Itsybitsy Spider but we slow it all the way down and then start progressing until we are singing it super fast! By the end, we are barely getting the hand movements or words RIGHT half the time! But, its a lot of fun!

BELOW: The prince and I spend some time watching spiders, learning new vocabulary, and tying it all together with our plastic “play” spiders courtesy of the Halloween clearance isle on November 1st!

Sharks    http://bit.ly/d1UTxj

This is not your traditional “shark” video or image. This is a whale shark, the world’s largest fish! It is completely harmless to humans.

On the other hand…the great white shark!

Note: As you can image, any video of the great white shark is intense and includes hunting of another animal, images of teeth, etc. Use your judgement.  They are amazingly intense animals though and we chose a short video.  

Here is a worksheet we like A LOT!    http://bit.ly/bLQ9yr

It introduces the “sh” together instead of just the “s” character. Remember, this is a unique sound and different from an s alone.   

Snail   http://bit.ly/198dVX

My 2yr old is just nuts about snails!

More amazing images from here:  http://bit.ly/cSzw85

NOTE:  Even though we didn’t pick SNAKES for our “s” entries, when you think about an easy letter-to animal combination to learn, you’ve got to talk about “s” and “snake”.  The letter s is easy to manipulate too with a bendable hair rod, your finger “air writing”, or with sand.  Its a great letter to start writing, practing, and sssssssssounding OUT!

R is for…

16 Nov

Rhinoceros  (rhino)   http://bit.ly/CzYJp

Most adorable video ever!   http://bit.ly/cJoUPV  Baby rhino defends mom!

This is an animated “rhino” song. Learn it with the tots!

Here is simple craft you can make recycling an paper towel tube:  http://bit.ly/czjNM7

Rhinos live in Africa and Asia so bring out your maps! Their horns aren’t really horns, they are made of keratin like your hair and nails.  There are two types of rhinos, some with one horn, others with two. Find other pictures and learn the difference between the two. What do these large animals eat?

Rattlesnake    http://bit.ly/EshO5

Note: rattlesnake eats a squirrel towards end of video. My 2 yr old likes it. Use your judgement.

Rattlesnake and other snake crafts. Just scroll down and explore:   http://bit.ly/cTDBTc

Seasame Street vintage clip of rattlesnake & body parts

Q is for…

16 Nov


Beautiful images of quail http://bit.ly/9bEdj6

Quails eat seeds and worms.  People from different parts of the world eat quail eggs differently.  How about you map the eggs in all the countries that they are eaten?  http://bit.ly/aGNk1V

Here is a link to quail worksheets and activities: http://bit.ly/a2x16I

Find the pic for this craft here: http://bit.ly/98xmIj

Now, “Q” has fewer options when it comes to words in nature BUT, you can be creative and do “queen bee” and animals that are “quick.”

Quick or fast animals:

1. Cheetah (land)

2. Spine-tailed swift (air)

3. Shortfin Mako shark (water)

Don’t forget your quick tot! A little quick running break? Why not!

P is for…

16 Nov

Platypus   http://bit.ly/r6Id0

He’s a mammal, with a duck-like beak and webbed feet, that lays eggs? Now tell me what kiddo won’t think this is a cool animal?

Panda Bear  http://bit.ly/HhLyL

Panda bears are usual favorites and easy to find in any inexpensive stuffed version.  You can use them to teach black and white as colors and come up with a black and white theme (introduce zebras in this theme don’t be focused on ONE letter…not ever!). Bring out the white and dark chocolate! Why not?

What other things around your house are black and white? Newspaper? Keep going!


Pandas are the only bears that use SCENT so this is a great animal to tie into a scent activity! Smell things around the house. Cinnamon, candles, pickles! There are many things you have around the house to take a sniff at! Go on a panda-smelling house adventure…

Bears are a great theme. Try finding pictures and/or videos (we have some here) of bears (brown, black, polar, koala, panda) and match them  up with what they eat or where they live. Time to bust out your maps! Yeah!

Panda worksheet: http://bit.ly/9fzW39

Pistol shrimp (note: the words pistol and firing are used. Use your judgement.)

Next time your kids are being loud or hear a loud noise how about saying “you guys (or that) are as loud as pistol shrimps?” Try that for a change of pace!

O is for

16 Nov

Ostrich  http://bit.ly/11mCRz

We found out about this craft through www.sillyeaglebooks 

Download and print the template to this craft here http://bit.ly/cEbNYV

Other worksheet and crafts: http://bit.ly/cHX7Vi

Do all birds fly? Nope! The ostrich is a flightless bird, which does not fly. Talk about about flightless birds, how they are different, and what other types of birds are also flightless.  Here is an info link:  http://bit.ly/bffhPD

Octopus   http://bit.ly/fvO3I

Call us crazy but we don’t think aquatic animals (yes…we are using fancy words…sea animals) get enough attention!  What’s up with that? Cool thing about octopus is that you get to talk about the ocean, the root word “oct-” (means 8! Remember Octagon? Oct-a-mom?), tentacles, and all sorts of cool stuff you wouldn’t normally think of…which really is the whole point of this site!

Want to try a GREAT activity? One adult or tall child with 4 little children will do the trick! Tall person in middle and the children around in circles, each child’s hand will be tentacle, try to walk around and have the kiddos wiggle their arms around…what do you have? A GIANT MOVING OCTOPUS in your living room. (psss 4 x 2 = 8 oh, yeah you just taught them some math and they didn’t even know it!)

Get a worksheet: http://bit.ly/buetJO   or a craft http://bit.ly/gyc9XS

Owls   http://bit.ly/OD5g6

Find this and other owl crafts here: http://bit.ly/cDu5cu

Try to make a sound like an owl (called a hoot).  Talk about how owls can rotate their heads almost in a full circle (trust me…you can sneak in some math into this one!), how they are nocturnal (there is that word again), and eat mostly rodents (mice, rats, etc.)

N is for…

16 Nov

Newt  http://bit.ly/5m0Ch

Newts look like wet lizards.  They are amphibians (not reptiles like lizards). Find out the difference in the two and talk about it. If you have toy lizards you can make a dirt bowl and a water bowl and put them side by side and make the wet lizard be a newt.

They come in all colors. Check these out  http://bit.ly/bsMBdE

Narwhal   http://bit.ly/lRl8l

Forget unicorns! Check out these narwhals!

Print and color:  http://bit.ly/baLzTt

These creatures are just TOO amazing!

Their horns are up to 9 feet long! What does 9 feet look like? Use an adult size shoe (or 9) to measure and “estimate” what 9 feet are. Then use a measuring tape or ruler and measure the exact length. See how close you got. 

Talk about how heavy you think these horns might be. Introduce two containers with water, one heavier than the other to make sure kids understand the idea of “heavy.”  Lenght, weight, and estimation are all important math concepts!

M is for…

16 Nov

Mountains  http://bit.ly/bRssml

We like these videos because it shows mountains are actual homes and stomping grounds for animals.  This video features a mother puma and bear and their cubs.  Mother starts with m.  The second video! It introduces another great “M” word…monkeys! Don’t tie the “m” and these “m” words all at once while you are watching video but when you are doing your activities go through the “m” sound and use the words “monkey,” “mom,” “mountains!”

We found that craft here:  http://bit.ly/9mAKzq

How about printing out some little monkey or using some monkey sticker and pasting them right on the mountain M after they watch video? Perfect!

Don’t forget to pull out your map! Where is Ethiopia? (Hint: Africa)

And you can’t have a talk about mountains without talking about triangles right?

Monkeys   http://bit.ly/YqRBz

For worksheets and ideas go here:  http://bit.ly/d30zLD

How many different types of monkeys can you name? How are they different?  How are they the same? Compare and contrast!

Meerkats   http://bit.ly/cIMmW4

It’s always fun to explore the less common animals, specially babies! And if you didn’t see this video…would you ever really know about the TEAM work and family values that this animal possesses? Probably not!