Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We're 'batty' about the rainforest!

Hey, everyone!  Thanks for excusing our absence yesterday.  We had a great visit with Maggie's uncle and cousin from Montana (We missed you, DeAnna!), but worked really hard today to make up for our day off.  I'm hoping to do a little more work over the next two days, as well, so we'll have very little to do on Saturday, if anything.  (I'm ready to have a lazy Saturday with no homeschooling for once!)  We'll see how it goes.  Here are today's photos:

This week, we're honoring World Rainforest Week (some sources spell it 'rain forest' while others spell it as one word, 'rainforest'), and we noticed pitcher plants at the preserve before our Forest Friends class yesterday ... a flower we had just read lives in the rainforest!  (Mags was so excited to have Daddy along to her class!)  (For the record, I use it as one word throughout this post, unless otherwise spelled in a title.)
Another coincidence ... in our study of 'Wacky Weather' at her class, we made rain sticks (using a decorated toilet paper tube with dried corn and rice sealed in).  Here's what never occurred to me ... if you stick a tight roll of aluminum foil in the tube with your corn and rice, it makes the sound more intense!  (Thanks, Libby!)
Getting some help sealing her rain stick from Ms. Libby.  :)
For today's Bible study, entitled 'Paint a Present,' we made our own painted present for Daddy ... a picture of all the colors Maggie imagined she would see in the rainforest.  
Looks great, Mags!
For several of today's rainforest activities, we worked out of our Brighter Vision: Rain Forest workbook.  (You can find it here:  For this activity, which illustrated to her that animals need their own food, different from the food of other animals, we matched puzzle pieces together to find out which rainforest animals eat what.
This activity would be easy to recreate on your own, with printed pictures, cut into different shapes to connect the animal to its food.
Our next activity also came out of the same workbook, which helped her to better understand the rainforest habitat by separating a rainforest tree into layers, and requiring her to place individual pictures of animals into the correct layer to which they live.
All done!
We then went on to make a 'Hand Print Macaw,' as seen at  The materials we used were three different colored pieces of construction paper, scissors, glue, a pencil, and our own personal touch, googly eyes.  (We think googly eyes make every project more fun!)
First, we traced her foot and one hand onto a piece of red paper.  (She insisted her macaw was red, her favorite color.)  We then cut out the foot, and small pieces of yellow paper for the beak and feet.  With her traced hand, I stacked the colored paper so that when I cut out the tracing, I would end up with nine hand prints, three of each color, like below.
Then, we set to work making our feathers, putting glue on the palms of our hand prints, and stacking each set of three so they were staggered and each color showed through.
When you're done with your 'feathers,' you should have three stacks, like below.
Next, we glued one stack of hand prints behind the toes of our paper foot print for our macaw's tail feathers, and the other two stacks on either side of our foot to simulate the bird's wings.  Lastly, we added the beak, feet, and googly eyes.
He turned out great!  :)
After making our macaw, we set to work making something for him to feel at home sitting on ... a rainforest vine!  We got the idea from, but of course, used a few different materials to make it our own.  We used different colored pieces of scrapbooking paper (their instructions called for construction paper, but I didn't think it brilliant enough for rainforest flowers), curling ribbon, green crepe paper, glue and scissors.
I then cut our leaves and flowers for our vine.  For the leaves, I used bright green paper, and cut notches into some, to simulate palms.  For the flowers, I used red, orange, yellow and purple, for the petals and the centers, being sure to cut a duplicate for each one so that the vine could be appreciated on both sides when done.  (You can use two flowers to sandwich your 'vine' so that it looks pretty on both sides.)  
Then, came the fun part ... rolling out the crepe paper!
We did a bit of math and matching, too, with this craft, as I had her find each flower's match, then count the groups of flowers (eight pairs of flowers equals sixteen flowers).  We set to work, adhering our leaves and flowers onto our paper, sandwiching our crepe paper between the flower pairs, and adding bits of curling ribbon along the way, as the vine's tendrils.
When it was all done, we draped Maggie, our 'rainforest tree' for the moment, being sure to add our macaw to the mix! Really cute!
This is how my fridge looked after today ... rainforest mania!  :)  
A sad fact according to one of our books today, A Rain Forest ABC: An Alphabet Book by Amanda Doering, 'Every day, about 100 kinds of rain forest plants and animals become extinct.'  That number astounds me.
Then, we started our study of bats, in honor of Bat Appreciation Month.  Here, Mags is checking out one of today's books, accessorized with one of the bat rings I gifted her!  Here are a couple of interesting bat facts for you:  
1.  There are about 1,000 different kinds of bats in the world!  
2.  The largest bat is called the Samoan flying fox.  From wing to wing, it's as big as a Canada goose!
After our reading, we hung some bats of our own.  (We bought these cut-outs for $1.00 at Dollar Tree, and used a hole punch, some black string, and scissors.)
Of course, Maggie chose to hang them over her door!  :)
We love bats!
For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What do you like best about bats?'  She answered, 'When they fly.'  I love this picture she drew, because she even remembered the bat's thumbs!  :)
Starting our Halloween stories, she insisted she put on her other little surprise for today ... her new Halloween socks!
And, if you've been tuning in with us for a while, you already know how this girl loves the little capsuled sponges!  I found this little Halloween set at Joann craft store, in their dollar bins.

In addition to the above, we also:
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 -- 'Paint a Present,' about the things we make special for one another, just as God has made special things for us.  Then, we read Genesis 37:3 together.
World Rainforest Week:
1.  We read A Rainforest Habitat by Molly Aloian and Bobbie Kalman.
2.  We read A Home in the Rainforest by Christine Taylor-Butler.
3.  We read If I Ran the Rainforest by Bonnie Worth.
4.  We read Let's Find Out: Let's Find Rain Forest Animals: Up, Down, Around by Janice Behrens.
5.  We read Find It in a Rain Forest by Dee Phillips.
6.  We read "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," said the Sloth by Eric Carle.
7.  We watched the Rainforest for Children: Animals of the Rainforest DVD that we borrowed from the library.
8.  We watched 'The Rainforest' song on the School House Rock! Earth DVD that we borrowed from the library.
9.  We listened to the 'Rainforest Dance' song on the Baby Einstein: World Music CD that we borrowed from the library.
10.  We completed page 18 ('A Warm, Wet Forest') of our Rain Forest workbook, which helped her to recognize some of the characteristics of the rainforest.
11.  We completed page 6 ('Who Is Hanging?') of our Rain Forest workbook, which required her to connect the dots 1-20 to reveal a picture of a sloth.
12.  We completed page 16 ('Alike and Different') of our Rain Forest workbook, which required her to identify which of the pictures of the rainforest animals were different from the others.
13.  We completed pages 46-47 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math workbook, which required her to count the different animals in the jungle scene.
Kids' Goal Setting Week:
1.  We read 'Setting a Goal' and 'Turn Around Talk' out of our Character Counts! Parents Guide, pages 17 and 18 respectively, together. 
Bat Appreciation Month:
1.  We read Bats: Creatures of the Night by Joyce Milton.
2.  We read 'The Wonder Bat' poem out of our Zany Zoo book by William Wise.
3.  We read Beautiful Bats by Linda Glaser.
4.  We read Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats by Ann Earle.
1.  We read Four Friends in Autumn by Tomie dePaola.
2.  We read Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington.
3.  We read The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown.
4.  We read Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor.
5.  We read A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow.  
6.  We read Halloween by David F. Marx.
7.  We read The Story of Halloween by Carol Greene.
8.  We read Halloween Is … by Gail Gibbons.
9.  We read Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White.
10.  We read Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman.
11.  We watched the Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford's Big Halloween DVD that we borrowed from the library.
Letter Ff Review:
1.  We read Ff by Kelly Doudna.
2.  We read My "f" Book by Jane Belk Moncure.
3.  We looked at the Ff letter page we made last year to review words that start with F.  We looked at our picture dictionary under Ff as well.
4.  We completed a dot-to-dot uppercase letter F and lowercase letter f.

Tomorrow, we should be able to finish catching up, with a 'Sneaky Snake' craft after we read how Eve was tempted in Eden, a cute bat craft using pumpkins, the making of some pipe cleaner monkeys, and a special parrot lunch!  We'll also start our study of nutrition, in honor of Eat Better, Eat Together Month.  See you then!


  1. Awesome :) Amad did a report last year in school on "Bats". It was amazing to learn about all the different bats that exist.
    You are doing such a great job!