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  • Melanie Patric

Blackbirds, Animal Sounds, and Cork Boats...

A large flock of red-winged blackbirds has been coming to our feeder since yesterday's snow and we were excited to count about fifteen of them this morning. The excitement of spotting and counting birds like we did during the Great Backyard Bird Count remains and when the children see an unfamiliar bird, they call everyone over to look. We also saw grackles and a brown-headed cowbird who were in need of food since the weather turned.

After our morning routine we sang and danced to several songs. Our favorites were the animal songs- "Old MacDonald" and a relatively newer song about how animals sing the alphabet song. With this enthusiasm in mind, we moved on to playing with the farm animal playset and I worked with the littles on identifying each animal and teaching them the animals' sounds.

Horses were a favorite because of their clip-clop hoof noises.

A little later we worked on making wind-powered boats out of corks. I showed the children how to stretch out the rubber bands... which proved to be a great fine motor skill builder.

The rubber bands were tricky, but eventually the big kids figured them out with a little assistance.

After connecting the corks with the rubber bands, we used toothpicks to poke holes through soft foam and we had sails. The only thing left was to poke the toothpick into the cork... but where?

We figured out where to put the toothpicks and let down the sails...

... and then it was time to sail them! At first we sailed them in a deep container, but it proved too difficult to blow on the sails, so we switched containers.

The children used straws to blow the tiny boats around and around. Making and sailing the cork boats turned out to be a fun and engaging process to learn about wind power!

Later in the afternoon, we read The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and talked about how sometimes all a sad friend needs is a hug or kind word to make them feel better.

After the book was done, we noticed two Canada geese outside eating birdseed the little birds had dropped from the feeder. They looked so ridiculous- the children said they were "too big to eat the little bird's food!" We talked about how the little birds were sharing and decided that it was alright for the geese to stay.

What an interesting end to our day. See you tomorrow!

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