We have tadpoles! :) I have been going out searching, but hadn't been able to find any yet in the spots I'd been checking. But, thanks to a great friend who found AND delivered, we have tadpoles to observe and care for again this summer! We have six tadpoles, and they range in stages of development, from one with just a tail and no limbs yet to a frog with just a tiny nub of a tail left, and all phases in between.
These are a different variety than we had last year, too so that should be fun! We identified last year's tadpoles as American Toads. Since toads keep growing throughout their lives, those tadpoles and new toads were SO TINY! The tadpoles we have this year seem HUGE in comparison!
We learned last year that we can feed the tadpoles frozen lettuce bits. Freezing the lettuce first helps to break it down and make it easier for the tadpoles to eat. Beyond feeding them, there really isn't much else we need to do for them...we just get to observe the magic of science! :)
We started working on our Water Wall today! If you remember, we did a water wall last summer too and had a lot of fun with it. With as much rain as we have had around our area lately, rarely has learning about water flow been a more relevant activity! Since the kids were familiar with the concept from last time and since we have a couple of older kids with us now, this time I just set out the materials and let the kids work on building it.
I think it will be a work in progress for most of the summer so feel free to send along any fun plastic bottles as you empty them!
A little later than we'd hoped, and our rows may not be perfectly straight, but we got our daycare vegetable garden planted today! We had a fantastic time getting it planted and are excited to see our seeds start to grow!
This year we put it spinach, lettuce, green beans, two rows of (our favorite!) snap peas, carrots, and sunflowers. We also have mini pumpkins planted in our wire tunnel and are looking forward to having a beautiful green living tunnel to play in this summer!
I love gardening with the kids so much because it is such a fun lesson that covers so many areas of learning. Each year that they participate in the growing process, they are learning science, math concepts (counting out the seeds and rows, and spacing), health and nutrition (as we harvest what we've planted), and so much more!
This morning we got out and enjoyed the sunshine with a fun sensory activity. I love when the weather is so cooperative! :) And I really love when we can do these messy activities outside so I don't have to clean it up! ;)
I set out a tub, a bag of flour, and a bottle of dishsoap and let the kids take care of the rest! They mixed it together to form a super soft dough. They loved the softness of the flour and ended up using the whole bag, along with the whole bottle of soap (of course!). They had so much fun being in complete control of their project and learned through their experimenting about how the ratio of ingredients changes the texture.
SO much great learning going on in just this photo! :) A couple of the kids asked this morning if they could make a giant spider web with yarn (something we have done here before). Well, they got to work and as I watched and listened, I was once again amazed at all the learning that was going on in their PLAY!
Large motor control and agility practice as they figured out how to maneuver over, under, and through the web... fine motor work too, as they carefully wrapped up little toy bugs in the web for the spider to eat. And the greatest little science lesson as they discussed why they were wrapping up those bugs: Child 1: "We are wrapping them up so the spider can eat them. Actually, they just drink their blood." Child 2: "Gross!" Child 1: "Yeah, but it's healthy for them. And if we drink blood it just goes into our tummy." Me: "Do people drink blood?" Child 2: "No! But we have blood inside us!"
This is the way learning is supposed to be...THEY chose the subject, and THEY chose how to go about their learning, which makes what they learn relevant and meaningful!
With another cloudy and rainy day came another request for "Clouds In a Jar" today. :) Definitely one of my group's favorites!
Shhhhh...don't tell, but we worked hard today on some resist-paintings for our Moms! Using an idea from The Educators' Spin On It, we started off with the book "Mouse Paint," and then worked on painting softly, like little mouse feet, on our papers so we could reveal a fun surprise at the end! The story, "Mouse Paint" is about three little mice who discover some color mixing fun, so we too started out with only the three primary colors and had fun mixing!
We had lots of fun bubble wrap painting this morning! I set out the bubble wrap and paints, and some paper and the kids painted and made prints over and over again! You know they like it when you hear, "I'm going to do this all day long!" :)
Here's a fun rainy day activity we did yesterday: "Clouds In A Jar." A clear jar filled about 3/4 full of water, and topped with shaving cream. Then the kids dripped colored water into their "clouds" until they got full enough to let down some colorful "rain!" A fun science lesson, too. About half of the kids dripped "rain" until their little sky was nearly black, and then asked to do it again, so we dumped them out and started over! :)
Along with our usual Tissue Paper Easter Eggs, we also tried a new way to decorate this year: the shaving cream or Cool Whip method. We used shaving cream to line the bottom of a pan, then dripped food coloring into the shaving cream, swirled it around a bit, and rolled the eggs through it.
We let the eggs sit for a few minutes to let the dye set, and then wiped off the shaving cream. It was a fun sensory activity, and the eggs turned out beautifully marbled!