Saturday, April 12, 2014

FIAR-The Salamander Room

This week's row is The Salamander Room. Since we were already on bug themes, we decided to just continue on with it. We picked up a Butterfly Garden a while back, and we have been waiting for the weather to warm up enough to order our caterpillars. It finally started to warm up, so we ordered them! You can get a butterfly garden here:

The caterpillars are so TINY when they arrive, but they grow very fast. Lily couldn't wait to see how big they got before they started to spin their cocoons.
Our dog was very interested in the caterpillars, too, as we found out one evening. We left her out while we went to soccer, and came back to a cup with a hole in the side, and a caterpillar climbing down the outside of the cup. Luckily, we got it back in, and all caterpillars are accounted for. I don't really want them loose in the house. A little bit of tape, and we were good.

I had a LOT planned for this unit, but we had a death in the family, so we kind of ditched the 2nd week of activities. The beauty of homeschool-when LIFE happens, you can alter your plans for schooling, and it isn't a big deal. We may come back to this book later, we may not.

We had a lot of fun talking about different reptiles and amphibians. We took a trip to Animal Jungle-a pet store with lots of unusual pets. We specifically went to see the reptile room.

 For our sensory activity this week, I used green water beads, and some frogs/lizards from the dollar store. We love water beads! They got a little icky after a few days, though, and we switched them out for stones. Lily loved playing with her "pond" this week.

We talked a lot about butterflies. Our caterpillars went into the chrysalis phase, and Lily was very excited about that. We have 3 out of the 5 that have just turned into butterflies! (If you are doing a butterfly garden, make sure you put something under it to protect the table-the butterflies leave this reddish stuff when they come out)

We did a few art projects this week. We colored some salamanders. We made coffee filter butterflies, and bingo dauber frogs.

We found a really cute paint your own butterfly bank at the dollar store, so Lily worked on that this week. She loves to paint.

We found a butterfly memory game to print out, so we played that over and over again. :)

We found a frog that grows in water (again, at the dollar store). We put him in the water at the beginning of our unit, and left him there the entire time so we could see how much he grew.

I always try to tie in a fun food for each theme, and I found these really cute bugs on Pinterest. You make them just like pigs in a blanket, and use potato sticks for legs and antennae.
We also watched our Rachel and the Treeschoolers Insect episode again this week, and we watched the Magic Schoolbus butterfly episode.  It was a fun unit, even though it got derailed a bit. Next week, the circus comes to town, so our next row will be circus themed! :)