Yesterday, being St. Patrick’s Day, was busy for us. After we discovered that the troublesome leprechauns turned our milk and yogurt green and we finished our Lucky Charms cereal, we headed to Brookeside Gardens for their annual St. Patrick’s Day Walk. Like many local recreation departments, ours has fantastic activities for children of all ages; this one featured a fun walk where children followed a “leprechaun’s” footprints around the path, danced a jig in the greenhouse, and completed a simple little leprechaun craft. We packed a lunch and made a morning out of it, so today we were beat.
Lucky for us, during our lunch yesterday, a friendly gardener shared with us a special find–a dark green warty toad. The kids were amazed, and that sparked our backyard animal hunt today.
- Backyard Hunt: Maddy loves, loves, loves searching for bugs and creepy-crawlies under rocks, benches, in sandboxes, or wherever. I’m not sure where she gets it, but I try my best to encourage her little “hunts”. Today, since the ground was still wet and soggy from the past few days’ rains, she had a field day. All we did was lift rocks, talk about what we saw, and try to catch some worms. We hoped for something exciting, but we weren’t so lucky.
A few weeks ago, we read an article in the Kids Post (EVER WONDERED. . . how animals grow back body parts? March 9, 2009) about how some animals grow back lost body parts. It was a fascinating article for Maddy and Owen, and they’ve talked about it several times since reading it. Today was a pretty cool example of how they did some first-hand research relating to that article in their own back yard.
In an attempt to get a bunch of squirmy worms on her tiny hand, Maddy ended up cutting and breaking several earthworms into parts. She promptly reminded Owen–and me–about the article and said we shouldn’t worry about the worm, who was now in pieces. We watched how the worm parts continued to move, even after being broken, and they were in awe.
We picked up every rock in our back yard, and by the end, even Owen mustered up enough to hold a worm in his hand. He insisted on a picture to prove it.
And, although it didn’t involve letters or numbers or reading or math, this real-life science connection to a news article from a few weeks ago was some pretty important learning in my book.