One of our favourite things to do as a family is have a backyard campfire. More often than not we have friends join us, we sing songs, roast marshmallows and make some-mores. Often the kids play flashlight tag, catch fireflies, or play with glow sticks. Tonight we added something new to the mix and did a little star gazing with the guidance of my new iPhone app. Yes, there is an app for everything these days! It wasn’t a terribly clear night, but L and A excited to identify Mars and Saturn. Can hardly wait for our next campfire to learn more.
Today was an interesting day to be sure. After a busy morning we headed over to a friends house to learn a little bit about Salmon before our afternoon field trip. It’s always fun to get together with others to learn! The plan was to just learn about science, but as is often the case we almost always end up learning so much more!
When we arrived at our destination we were just in time to help put together some Black Rat Snake houses. We already knew a little bit about this species at risk, but it was neat to learn more about them from our host. Last year one of these houses had 130 eggs laid in it. That’s pretty amazing and a great way to help this very special snake that is really great at keeping the rodent population under control. These houses are going to be erected at varies locations where these snakes are known to reside. They will be filled with compost, which will help keep the eggs warm as it decays.
Next we headed inside to check out the baby salmon that were growing in the refrigerated tank. They were very small and liked the dark cold water. Very soon they will be released in an area a few hours west of us and will hopefully help repopulate a nearby lake where they haven’t been seen for about 100 years.
There were lots of other interesting things to see on our field trip too, skin studies, turtle shells, vulture wings, a beaver skeleton, and a cat in a jar! We had some questions answered for us as well about a brown bat that we have living in our garage.
It’s always such a wonderful experience to meet people who are passionate about a subject. Their passion is contagious and it is so easy to learn from them. Note to self: Find more passionate people for future field trips….they are so amazing!
My younger two have relied heavily on the older kids to help them. I remember my youngest son telling me years ago that he didn’t need to learn how to read because he was lucky and always had older siblings around that could read to him. He has been a true reluctant reader! I’ve been very concerned about the issue, particularly as my older three were all early readers. For a while I took the wait-and-see approach hoping his natural need and curiosity would kick in. Last year he did start reading, but it was a slow process. This summer we took things up a notch and I’m happy to say and his reading is coming along, although he still has a ways to go. Much to my disappointment my youngest (7) has followed his lead. For the next little while I hope to engage them both and plan to focus much of my attention on igniting that passion for reading and writing!
Today we “addressed” two issues with one activity that was fun and hands on.
Most kids love mail, so I took the opportunity to teach them how to properly address an envelope. It gave them a chance to practice their penmanship. To make it more fun we got out some stamps to make them look more authentic.
We addressed each envelope to a different “family”. Today we zeroed in on the “th” family, as my youngest is really struggling with differentiating the basic th words. They then stuffed the envelope with different “th” words like, there, their, they, the, than and then. It was a great way to give a little extra attention to a problem area and get them to practice some spelling and printing.
Tomorrow I think we’ll address the ch or wh family 😉
My newly planted garden is needing a little extra TLC while it gets established and no one seems eager to water it. I stumbled across another blog yesterday and it was just the inspiration I needed.
yellow duct tape
a black sharpie marker
scissors to cut the tape
some left over plant tags
the garden hose with sprayer
I wrote out the alphabet in both upper and lower case on the duct tape and strategically placed them throughout the garden on the plant tags and on the wall behind. The kids got on their hats we have a fun putting out the fires in our little spelling/letter-recognition game, plus my garden gets some much needed water. Win/Win. Can’t wait to play again tomorrow!
I’m not one for a lot of bling, but I am always looking for fun hands-on ways to get the kids interested in things. This morning we made “Glitter Bags” for the younger kids. The kids just write on them using their finger so they are very tactile and versatile. We tested them out for spelling and math. We made ours using large zip lock bags and glitter glue. I had a bottle that cracked, so this was a timely project. I’ve seen other examples on the Internet using glitter and hair gel too.