Thursday, September 22, 2011

'I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one hundred percent!' -- Dr. Seuss

Welcome to our celebration of Elephant Appreciation Day!  For fun, here are some interesting elephant facts you may not have known:
1)  The two kinds of species of elephants are African elephants and Asian elephants.  African elephants have a single bump on the heads while Asian elephants have two.  African elephants are larger than Asian, as are their ears, but something interesting to note is that African elephants' ears look like the continent of Africa, and Asian elephants' ears look like the country of India, where many of them live!
2)  Elephants can walk on their tiptoes!  They are able to rest their weight on the tip of each toe and on thick pads behind the toes.  This is how they are able to walk through the forest or across the savanna.
3)  Herds are led by the oldest female, typically, the grandmother.  She's boss.  (Mom, how do you like them apples?)

Here are today's photos:

For our first craft of the day, we made 'Elephant Stompers,' using two empty 15-ounce cans (Now I need to figure out what to do with 30 ounces of diced tomatoes!), a Sharpie marker, toenail polish in the color of your choice, a hammer and something sharp to use for poking holes in your can (I used a large, heavy-duty nail), and nylon stretch cord.  (I bought two packages of cord, each 2.5 yards, but only needed one, so I'll be returning the other.)
 Using your hammer and sharp object, punch two holes into the bottom of each can (by bottom, I mean the end of the can that is still intact), each hole on the opposite side from the other.
 Then, using your Sharpie, draw toenails on the end of the can without the holes (which should be the same end that you opened). 
Then for the fun part, make your elephant's toes snazzy with your nail color!
Once dry, cut your nylon cord to an appropriate length for each stomper.  (I halved my 2.5 yards of cord, making each piece 1.25 yards.)  Feed one side of your cord into one of the holes in your can and tie a large enough knot so that it won't  go back through the hole once the cord is pulled.  Repeat with the other hole using the other end of your cord, then do the same with your second can.
 For added safety, I then decided to just tie both ends on the inside of my can together, to ensure that once she pulled on it, it wouldn't snap out and hurt her.  Now, they're ready to try out!
 Mags, stomping on her elephant feet!  (Please play safely!)
Our 3D elephant model ...
 And our origami elephant ...
 While I was getting our next activity ready, Maggie yelled, 'Mommy, look at my trunk!'  (Clever girl!)
 We then made an elephant from an E.  I cut out a large E from construction paper and then made a trunk and ears to match.
 With marker, we drew feet on the bottom of our E, then glued on our trunk and ears.
 Last, we drew in eyes.  E is for Elephant!
For Maggie's journal entry today, I asked her to complete the sentence, 'I wish an elephant would ____.'  She said, 'I wish an elephant would get a bath.'  Here is a picture of the elephant she drew (in faint green).  (You can make out his trunk going down.)
Painting with water ...
 And making some dog treats for our visit to see some special furry friends tomorrow!  We used a different recipe today than we usually do.  This one used 1/2 cup cornmeal, 6 tablespoons oil (we used vegetable), 2/3 cup water or meat broth (I didn't have broth, and thought water might lack flavor, so we dissolved a beef bouillon cube in 2/3 boiling water), and 2 cups whole wheat flour.  (My typical recipe for dog treats uses garlic powder and grated cheese, but I thought I'd give this one a whirl.)
 Once all the ingredients were mixed, we kneaded the dough ...
 ... then rolled it out onto a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick.
 Then, we cut the dough with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.
 Ready for a 350-degree oven!
Bake for about 30 minutes or until light brown.  We'll be wrapping ours once they're cooled and taking them with us tomorrow to see some special friends!
Then, we decided to work on our pom-pom apple tree.  We used a paper plate, green Play-doh, a stick, a styrofoam ball, tacky glue, and green and red pom-poms.
 We speared the styrofoam ball onto our stick, and then stuck it through the dough onto our plate like a tree trunk in grass.
 Once we smoothed out our grass and our tree was erect, we started to add green pom-poms ('leaves') to our ball with tacky glue.
 Uh-oh!  (I love this face!)  This was one Mom messed up!  We don't have enough pom-poms to cover our ball!  Looks like we'll be making a trip to the craft store tonight to get more 'leaves' for our tree!  We can't add our apples until the green is done!  Oops!  To be continued ...
 Mags, working on an apple tree counting project.  (Each tree's trunk has a number on it, and she's rolling up small squares of red tissue paper to make the correct number of 'apples' for each tree!)
 All done!  Great job, Mags!
 Next, we did another counting project that she has been begging me for days to do.  (Hmm ... I wonder why!)  Welcome to 'Jelly Bean Math!'
 Counting out jelly beans by color and putting the same number of stickers onto her bar graph ...
All done!  Now, you may eat your work!  :)

Today, we:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of our God and Me book, for today's date -- 'Feeling Happy,' about showing our joy for God.  Then, we read Psalm 68:3 together.
2.  We reread page 13 of our The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories, about the seventh day of Creation.
3.  We reread page 22 of The Story of the Creation by Jane Ray.
4.  We took a minute to take a break, in honor of the seventh day of Creation when God rested.  We made a bed of blankets and pillows on the floor and snuggled together in front of some more of our Disney Nature: Earth DVD.
Elephant Appreciation Day:
1.  We read The Right Number of Elephants by Jeff Sheppard.
2.  We read Grandma Elephant's in Charge by Martin Jenkins.
3.  We read The Biggest Nose by Kathy Caple.
4.  We read The Saggy Baggy Elephant by K. & B. Jackson.
5.  We read Elmer's Special Day by David McKee.
6.  We read Elephants of Africa by Gail Gibbons.
7.  We read Elephants: Elephant Magic for Kids by Anthony D. Fredericks.
8.  We read Walt Disney's Dumbo (Copyright 1996).
9.  We read the 'Ed Can Help' story by Sallianne Norelli in our Fisher-Price: Ready Readers book.
10.  We read 'The Baseball Elephants' poem out of our Zany Zoo book by William Wise.
11.  We made the 'Elephant Stompers' as seen in our Good Things for Kids: Get Crafty! magazine, Winter 2008, pages 6-7.
12.  We made the 'E-e Elephant' craft as seen in our Alphabet and Counting workbook, page 14.
13.  We made an origami elephant.
14.  We looked at the photos of the African elephants as seen in our World Wildlife fund calendar and read the facts for the same.
15.  We colored the two coloring sheets with pictures of African elephants, as well as some pages out of our Dumbo coloring book.
16.  We listened to the 'Elephants Tramping' track (#32) on our Animal Sounds CD.
17.  We put together our little 3D elephant model we picked up at Michael's.
18.  For her journal entry today, I asked her to complete the following sentence: 'I wish an elephant would _____.'  Her response was, 'I wish an elephant would get a bath.'
19.  We watched a bit of our Dumbo DVD while we worked on art projects.
Turn Off TV Week:
1.  We watched the 'Must See TV' episode of our Sid the Science Kid: Feeling Good Inside and Out DVD.
National Dog Week:
1.  We read "The Trouble with Dogs…" Said Dad by Bob Graham.
2.  We read Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert.
3.  We read Doggone Dogs! by Karen Beaumont.
4.  We read Walt Disney Productions: Pongo and Perdy: Two Happy Dalmatians (Copyright 1980).
5.  We read Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians (Copyright 1995).
6.  We read the 'Sherman Came for a Visit' story by Susan Kochan in our Fisher-Price: Ready Readers book.
7.  We read the poem, 'Dog's Day,' on page 146 of Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic.
8.  We made the 'Dog Biscuits' recipe out of our The Everything Toddler Activities Book, page 192, for a few dogs we will be visiting tomorrow.
9.  We completed the 'Pet Shop' activity in our Toddler's Busy Play Book, page 131.
10.  We completed a few pages out of our Spot's Paint With Water book.
11.  We completed the 'I Can!' activity out of our Animal Baby magazine, April 2009, pages 11-12.
Apples:
1.  We read The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson.
2.  We made the apple pom-pom trees as seen at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/crafts-by-material/pipe-cleaner-crafts/a-pom-as-lovely-as-a-tree-1022583/.  (We did ours a bit differently, though, by using a styrofoam ball for gluing our pom-poms on rather than just branches, because I thought it'd be easier for her.)
Children's Good Manners Month:
1.  We completed the 'A Visit to Grandpa's' worksheet out of our Character Counts! Respect workbook, page 19, which required her to listen to a story about respect and answer the questions on the same.
Letter Cc Review:
1.  We completed page 4 of our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Alphabet Learning Workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase C and lowercase c, to write a c in a word to complete that word, and to find all the c’s in the picture among many other letters.
2.  We completed pages 78 and 79 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which required her to identify the items that start with the hard c sound.
Math Concepts (Counting):
1.  We read City 123 by Zoran Milich.
2.  We read Teddy Bears 1 to 10 by Susanna Gretz.
3.  We made the 'Pretty Paper Orchard' craft out of our Math Play! book, page 28.
4.  We did a math project using jelly beans and a number chart to determine how many jelly beans we had of each color.

Tomorrow wraps up week three for us, but we won't be winding down too much because tomorrow marks the first day of Fall and we've got so many projects lined up in honor of it!  We'll also be doing a bit more in our study of National Dog Week, and making an apple necklace, so stay tuned!

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