Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Crafts: S is for Sheep



  

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After working in the Children's Zoo at our local zoo, I have grown to love sheep and goats.  I had the privilege of helping to look after them for several autumn months one year.  As we are learning about farms and farm animals, I thought creating a sheep craft would be a perfect complement to our lessons.


Materials



Steps 

1.  Gather all materials. If your children are older, they can draw or trace a large letter S as the body for the sheep. Help them cut out your shapes if they are semi-proficient or proficient with scissors.



2. Glue the letter S onto the green (for grass) or brown (for dirt) construction paper.


3. Glue on the head, ears, and eyes.


4.  Draw on your sheep's face.



5. Pull apart of the cotton balls till it stretches a bit and then glue onto the letter S for the wool.




6.  After drying, display proudly in your home.



Resources

Science Kids' Animal Facts Page about Sheep 
Sheep (Farm Animals) by Heather C. Hudak 



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Book Club: What's the Difference Between an Alligator and a Crocodile?


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In the book What’s the difference between alligator and crocodile? by Lisa Bullard with illustrations by Bandelin-Dacey, children can learn some of the key differences between the two reptiles. 

Bullard's book provides great illustrations with an easy-to-read text sharing many facts.  It is well-organized and provides examples for each reptile on each pair of pages.  There is also a section for fun facts and a glossary at the end of the book to further your knowledge.

Vocabulary 

PowerPoint with Alligator and Crocodile Vocabulary words for your children to color

Cold-blooded
Endangered
Mammals
Reptiles
Nostrils
Pretty
Scaly
Snout
Species
Territory
Freshwater
Saltwater
Alligator
Crocodile
Bellow

Activities


Share sounds with your children of baby alligators and crocodiles, as well as the noises that adults make

Share the following images of an alligator and crocodile skull with your children to review the physical differences of their snouts.  In the first two photographs, you can see the difference in shape and size.  The alligator's snout is wider and rounder while the crocodile's is narrower and more pointed. In the second two photographs, you can notice the bottom tooth sticking up on the crocodile's jaw.  This tooth is visible when their mouths are closed.


Replica Alligator Skull

Replica Crocodile Skull

Replica Alligator Skull

Replica Crocodile Skull 

Clay Play

Gather together materials to play with homemade or Play Doh.


Crafts 

These are two of the alligator themed crafts we have made at our home. 

Alligator Craft

Alligator at Magnolia Gardens in South Carolina 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Club: Alberto The Dancing Alligator


 Alberto the Dancing Alligator written by Richard Waring and illustrated by Holly Swain is the tale of Alberto and his owner, Tina. A little girl is a given a "peculiar-looking egg by her Uncle Ezra" that hatches into her pet and dancing partner, Alberto. The title is a bit misleading because the majority of the book details Alberto’s journey through the sewers and in and out of various bathrooms to find Tina.  

Vocabulary 

You can introduce or review the following words with you little one(s): 
Alligator
Tango
Record
Slipped

Activities 

In the storybook, count the bathrooms, people calling the police, and the police with your children.  There are a total of 12.


Practice counting to 1000 by hundreds with your children. 

Explore the tango with your children. Listen to different examples of the music. 

Discuss pet ownership and why alligators don’t make good pets. For older children, you can actually research the laws regarding ownership of reptiles. Many locations (from state to city) vary upon the regulations regarding reptiles (snakes, lizards, crocodilians, etc).


Paint your own alligator craft.



Below is listed some alligator themed toys. Any purchase you make thorough my link helps at no cost to you. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Crafts: Alligator


As a former zoo educator, I love being able to share my knowledge of animals with my children.  As we were studying the letter A, it was the perfect time to discuss alligators (and crocodiles).

In this craft, we created our own alligator.

Materials 


Steps 

1. Gather materials. (Don't forget glue and tape and any last minute things like sequins.)


2. Paint the toilet paper and paper towel rolls.  Paint or color the tail.



3. After the paint has dried, attach your pieces. I used a hole punch and paper fasteners to attach the rolls together.  If you have a long, thing stapler, you could attack them that way.



4. Glue or tape on the legs to the Popsicle sticks.



5. Glue the eyes and the teeth to the head.



6. Add last minute color touches with the markers to create scales. Color and attach the tale. If you have sequins, you can add those for scales, too.


7.  Attach the legs.  I taped them to the inside and the outside of the alligator.  If you have more time, you can glue them.



8. Play with your alligators.


For a more realistic look, keep the top of the alligator a greenish-black color and the bottom a cream-white color.  This coloration helps the alligators camouflage themselves from birds above them in the sky, because they blend in with the water, and from fish below by blending in with the sky.

Here you can see how the dark coloration of the top of the alligator lets them blend in with the swampy water.


Other Alligator Resources and Activities

Books

Zack's Alligator by Shirley Mozelle with pictures by James Watt
Zack's Alligator Goes to School by Shirley Mozelle with pictures by James Watt
What's the Difference Between an Alligator and a Crocodile? by Lisa Bullard with illustrations by Bandelin-Dacey
Alberto the Dancing Alligator by Richard Waring with illustrations by Holly Swain

Crafts 

A is for Alligator 


Clay Play 
Materials for clay play like toy alligators, pipe cleaners, rocks, etc. 



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fall Crafts: Scarecrow


My daughter's scarecrow 
My blog posts contain affiliate links. 


With the autumn weather, comes pumpkin picking, Halloween projects, and fall crafts. There are so many cute ideas on Pinterest and Facebook, it is sometimes easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices.  This year we made a simple paper plate scarecrow to decorate our front door.

Materials 


Steps 

1. Gather materials. (If your children are handy with scissors, have them help out.)


2. Color the paper plate.

3. Glue on the eyes, nose, and mouth.


4. Glue on the hair.


5. Glue on the hat.

6. Glue on the bow-tie.


Both my children enjoyed decorating and creating their own unique scarecrows. If you and your children make any, I would love to see them.  You can share them with me on Instagram or Facebook. Tag my page or use #momquesttoteach on Instagram. 

My son's scarecrow 

Resources 

Crafts for Preschooler's Scarecrow 

image from Crafts for Preschoolers 

Original Scarecrow inspiration 

Crafty Morning's Popsicle Stick Scarecrow

Image from Crafty Morning

No Time For Flash Card's Scarecrow 

Image from No Time for Flash Cards