Friday, April 11, 2008

Play With Me

I wasn't sure if the kids would enjoy Play With Me by Marie Hall Ets since the pictures were rather simple and only a couple of them were in color. I definitely have full color type children. We spent the week talking about how God created the animals and plants as preparation for our big trip to the Zoo. The two websites that we used were and Both of these sites have great zoo info and excellent free printable worksheets. This storyline intrigued Stephen and we have been able to have more and more conversations about the details in all of our books. The story begins with a little girl that wants to play with various animals, but they keep running away from her only to reappear to her at the end of the book. We talked about habitats of the various animals, feelings and reflections that we saw in the water created by the little girl and animals. We even managed to see some of the animals on our recent Zoo trip including a squirrel. I know there was a chipmunk in the book, but the cookie-eating squirrel at the Zoo playground was close enough. We had planned to go over the pond to see our own reflections, but it got cold on us after our trip to the Zoo AND there is a chance of snow AGAIN!!

Like I said, we were able to go to the Zoo today thanks to our Zoo membership from Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas gift. Our first stop was to the Family Play Zoo and we were quite impressed. Stephen was more interested in getting an overview of the place instead of focusing on any one activity unless he was grossly interested. I am sure we will get to see more on our return trip :-) Rhea enjoyed playing dress-up while Stephen really did enjoyed the Vet area that emphasized the care of baby animals. He very carefully "helped" all of the animals get better and stacked their cages one by one when he was finished. It was really cute to watch and Rhea join in after she was done running in circles around the building. The kids also had a chance to feed some smaller animals and water the plants with spray bottles. We look forward to going back since the kids were really excited to move on.

Our next stop went by the bears and into the Children's Zoo where we brushed the goats and saw many other animals close up and personal. We put together an animal picture book yesterday and brought stickers to mark the animals we saw. This excited Stephen for the first couple of animals and then he didn't show any interest again until we were headed out to the car. I reassured him that we would come back to finish the book. We also took some time yesterday to print out a map and being to navigate through it today at the Zoo. I numbered the place we were going to go and highlighted the buildings he wanted to visit. His sense of direction still needs a bit of work :-) but at least he understands the concept and not everything relies on Mommy's phone navigator that talks to her in the car.

After a trip to see the monkey's, we finished the trip at the gift shop since Grandma had sent some cash for them to buy what ever they wanted. They of course drifted towards the annoying and potentially dangerous toys, but I think we found things that made everyone happy. Stephen found a bunch of Zoo cars and trucks while Rhea found a bucket of animals and trees to make her own forest. As you can see from the last pictures, we had a fun day and can't wait to go back.

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