Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

September 25, 2012

Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

I don’t know about where you live but the leaves on our trees have started to change colors and that means my 5 year old is asking why.  This book is really neat as it takes you through the four seasons and you follow a boy and his mama as they go out on leaf hunts during each season. They talk about the leaves they find and what is happening as the buds change into leaves, what makes leaves green and eventually why do the leaves change color.

This had my daughter asking to do one of her favorite activities…going on a nature hunt.  This is our second time doing this and she loved it as much as she did the first time.  Instead of painting the egg carton this time my daughter colored each well a different color using crayons and then we headed out.  We were on the hunt to see what we could find in nature that fell into each of the colors and collect a sample to bring back home.

Nature Hunt

Our front yard yielded lots of the colors thanks to our rose bushes.  And our neighbor was doing yard work so we came across lots of leaves on our walk.

I just had to share a picture of the nature hunt dance my daughter also came up with on our walk.

Nature Hunt Dance

We finished up our hunt at the park.  For the second time we had no luck finding anything blue other than the sky. Never realized just how hard it could be to find blue in nature around here.

Once we had all our nature items of course she wanted to do an activity with them.  So the next day we decided to do a collage.

Collage

My two year old initially wanted to paint Kai-Lan but of course once he saw glue he had to glue leaves as well.

Gluing Leaves

And the final collage!

Nature Collage

We did a couple other leaf/nature activities with our collection that I will post in the future.  If you are looking for other leaf/nature books we also did a nature hunt back in January and read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves.

October 30, 2011

Eight Spinning Planets by Brian James & Russell Benfanti

My daughter picked this one out when I took her to a Scholastic Warehouse sale and it’s become one of her favorite books.  It has cut outs and raised, plastic, colorful planets and each page gives a short informational paragraph about the planet.  The only cover image I was able to find shows the planets showing up randomly on the cover but the actual copy we had ordered them based on their distance from the Sun.  I was surprised how quickly my daughter memorized each blurb about the planets and would actually start telling me about the planet before I even finished the first sentence on each page.  We would also have discussions about why people could not live on the other planets because they are either too cold, too hot, made out of gas, etc.

She’s been begging for an activity to do with the planets so I had to rack my brain to come up with something.  I was going to cut out felt planets but I wanted something she could really contribute more to.  So I cut out circles for each planet out of tissue paper (knew I was saving them from her birthday gifts for a reason) & construction paper.  I hollowed out the construction paper and glued it to the tissue paper just to make it easier to handle once she started painting.  Then she used water colors to paint each planet.  I told her she could paint them however she wanted but she wanted to follow the book.

Once they were dry I laminated them and we used them on my ghetto, homemade light box.

She then started putting the planets in the order she thought they were from the Sun.

She did amazingly well and just mixed up Jupiter and Saturn and Neptune & Uranus.

I think this book is perfect for the preschooler or kindergartener.  It was fun to read and teaches kids the basics.  It was also interesting that they included Pluto and stated that it was no longer considered a planet.  This was a nice point since she recently watched a Blues Clues episode about planets and that included Pluto.