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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mommies, Daddies, and Babies

 Children are fascinated with Mommy and Baby animals and are always pairing them.  When I taught preschool, I would gather several pairs of animals and have the children match the Mommies (or Daddies!) to their babies.
 Without them even knowing, they are talking about animal families, life cycles, characteristics of animals, & more.  This is science.
 Sometimes, the babies don't look exactly like their parents.
 Sometimes, they do.
 You can ask open-ended questions to your child to get the conversation going. How do they look alike?  How are they different?  What sounds do you think they make?
 Something that always interests kids is sometimes the mommy takes care of the babies.  Sometimes, it's the daddy.  The mommy seahorse actually gives her eggs to the daddy seahorse.  He carries them in his pouch (like a kangaroo).  The babies hatch in his pouch then >POP< out! They are miniature versions of their parents and completely independent.
 Where do penguins live?  When you ask that question, you are opening up a conversation about habitats and where animals live and why.
 What kinds of baby animals live on the farm?
 Another thing you can do is this.  I found these animal cards at the dollar spot at Target. (I love the dollar spot!)  The photography on these cards is amazing.  Children can match the card to the animal toy.
 I love that the cards show the animal AND has the name written.  Bonus! Science + literacy in the same activity.
 Most of the animals shown at Schleich animals - ranging in price from $1.99 & up.  Exceptional quality, all hand painted.
 I am not sure if that baby camel actually goes with the camel shown but...kids won't care.
 I just gathered up random animals to match the cards.  Any like animals will work.

We've done Alligator through Zebra!

Learning through play is the best way for children to learn.  It's fun.  It's hands-on.  It's investigative.  It's lead by the child's interests - which makes it more interesting to them.

Have a Fun & Playful day!

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