Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ants in Your Pants!

Today was full, as most Tuesdays are after our weekends off, but fun.  We started the letters 'X' and 'Y,' did some more study on Spring, and started our Bugs/Insects curriculum.  (Apparently, though, according to Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell, I've been wrong all these years ... an insect is not necessarily a bug. In her words, 'A bug is an insect with a mouth like a beak and a head that forms a triangle ... But a ladybug's mouth doesn't look like a beak.  Its head isn't shaped like a triangle.  A ladybug isn't a bug at all!  It is a beetle.'  Who knew beetles weren't considered bugs?  Again, even homeschooling preschoolers, we parents learn something new every day!  Another fun fact I learned today:  One quarter of all creatures on Earth are beetles!)  Some photos:

Riding the triceratops at the Forest Friends program in Auburn, where we learned about dinosaurs (Thank you, Ms. Daisy, for such a fun addition!) ...
 Listening to Ms. Jennifer talk about fossils ...
 An ancient fish fossil ...
 The rib of a whale!
 A replica of a hip bone!
  And a jawbone!
Feeding one of the resident turtles ...
And, in the dinosaur dig, next to our new buddy, Leah!  :)
 'I found a bone!'
 Taking inventory of the finds (Aunt Mary Lee would be so proud!) ...
 Back at home, painting some Magic Paint Posters of bugs ...
 Making ants out of our fingerprints!  This is a GREAT way to not only teach the characteristics of a bug (three body parts -- head, thorax, and abdomen -- and six legs), but it's also a great way to reinforce counting skills!
 Maggie's ant and Mommy's ant!
 And, of course, how could we study ants without 'Ants on a Log' for snack?!  :)
 The next project we did was found in the March 2011 issue of Family Fun magazine ... the '1/100th-Acre Farm' project where we grow our own miniature plot of land that we can 'mow' with scissors and let some tiny critters enjoy!  (I decided this would be great not only for Spring, but also for our study of Bugs if we add her plastic bugs to our plot.) 
 First, you take a plastic tray or glass baking dish and cover the bottom with a thin layer of drainage stones, followed by a two-inch layer of soil. 
 In a separate bowl, moisten about two more cups of soil with water, then mix in about 1/2 cup of grass seed. 
 Transfer the moistened soil to the tray, spreading it evenly over the dry soil.  Top that with another 1/2-inch layer of dry soil and water generously.
 Cover your tray loosely with plastic wrap to keep it moist.  Sprouts should appear in 5-6 days.  If your soil feels dry, mist it with a spray bottle of water.  Here, Maggie is sitting with yet another project for the window!  We can't wait until our grass grows so we can add our plastic bugs to their new 'home.'  (In the bottom of this picture, you can see that our porcupine's 'quills' have, indeed, grown more!)
 The materials for our 'Friendship Blossom.'  This craft originally appeared in Family Fun magazine (February 2010) as a Valentine's Day craft, but I thought it would work just as well for Spring!
 After cutting three heart petals, two leaves, and two flower 'centers,' we poked holes in each, then threaded our lollipop through each layer.  For the final step, tape underneath the bottom layer so that all pieces stay put on your lollipop's stick.
 Spring is yummy!  :)

Today, we:
1. We attended the first class of this Spring's Forest Friends program in Auburn, today's theme being Dinosaurs, which even included a dinosaur dig!
Letters 'X' and 'Y':
1. We looked at and discussed big letter 'X' and little letter 'x' and words that start with 'X': x-ray, xylophone, etc.
2. We looked at and discussed big letter 'Y' and little letter 'y' and words that start with 'Y': yo-yo, yarn, yogurt, yoga, yak, yellow, you, yard, yeast, yield, yolk, yodel, yawn, etc.
3. We read Xx by Kelly Doudna.
4. We read Yy by Kelly Doudna.
5. We read Sometimes Yy by Mary Elizabeth Salzmann.
1. We read Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum.
2. We read Paperwhite by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.
3. We made the 'Friendship Blossoms' as seen in the February 2010 issue of Family Fun magazine.
4. We did the '1/100th-Acre Farm' project as seen in the March 2011 issue of Family Fun magazine.  (Later, when we have grass, we'll be using our plastic bugs to make a bug village.)
1. We read Beautiful Bugs by Daisy Connell.
2. We read Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell.
3. We read It's A Good Thing There Are Insects by Allan Fowler.
4. We read I Like Bugs by Margaret Wise Brown.
5. We read I Love Bugs! By Philemon Sturges.
6. We watched the Sesame Street: Firefly Fun and Buggy Buddies DVD that we borrowed from the library.
7. We painted her two ants and grasshopper Magic Paint Posters.
8. We made ants on a log for snack!
9. We made the 'Ant Prints' as seen in our Eco Art! book, page 59.
10.  We sang the 'Ants Go Marching' song.

Tomorrow, we'll be making a mosaic picture out of seeds!  Check back with us!


  1. Great post! Just curious- how many days per week do you do preschool at home? We're at about 2-3 here, but it's usually only a couple hours of theme-focus activities at a time.

  2. Hi, Kate! We homeschool four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, as my husband's day off is Monday, so we enjoy that with him. Each day usually takes about four hours, sometimes less. I tried to work less initially, but she was begging for more projects (she's a craft hound like myself), so I obliged. This schedule has worked quite well for us! Thanks for leaving a comment! :)