We made these pretty butterfly treats with rice cakes, nut butter, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and parsley sprigs for the antennae.
We have been studying field guides and diagrams while learning some awesome new vocabulary words like 'metamorphosis', 'proboscis', and 'chrysalis'.
We read Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons and then took a butterfly journey in our yoga class:
The Monarch butterfly is the official Texas State Insect and the official 'mascot' of Austin Children's Garden as we seek to educate and support the conservation of Monarchs.
A parent kindly donated these milkweed seeds for our butterfly garden. It is important to plant milkweed for the Monarchs as it is the only food they will eat and modern urbanization and farming practices are destroying much of the milkweed - No milkweed = No Monarchs. Check out this link for local varieties to plant in our area:
The amazing artist, Marci Harnden (Mr Ben's mama!), came by to teach us a clay sculpting class and we made some sweet little caterpillars.
- Problem solving: Mazes help children to work on their executive functioning skills, such as planning and brainstorming various strategies (e.g. starting from the beginning of the maze or working backwards from the end of maze).
- Fine motor control: Mazes require your child to control his pencil through the maze without hitting the black lines. This means that he must take his time rather than rushing, in order to have greater success. Progress can be observed as your child bumps into the black lines less and less as he gains greater control of his writing utensil. Children use fine motor control in order to produce correct letter formation and legible handwriting.
- Visual motor: Mazes require your child to use his eyes to scan the worksheet in order to find possible solutions. Scanning is a great skill used for reading and writing, as it is important to scan from the left side of the paper to the right side.
- Grading of an activity: Mazes can be broken down into different steps. For instance, first have your child start by moving his finger, next a pencil, then a marker through the maze. This helps your child to solve the same maze three times consecutively, which allows the skill to sink-in better.
- Confidence: Mazes are perfect fine motor activities to help boost your child’s confidence. Have your child begin with a simple maze to provide immediate success, and then have him work towards completing mazes of increased difficulty.
Fine motor and visual motor skills can be practiced in a wide variety of ways, including mazes. Mazes are a great way to work on handwriting without just writing letters and words. There are many websites that offer free printable maze worksheets for a variety of age levels and themes. An internet search such as, “simple mazes for 4-year-olds,” will produce a variety of free mazes and printable activities that are perfect for practicing these important skills at home!
We had no idea when we got some straw bales for mulch that they would evolve into weeks of fun climbing experiences and obstacle courses.
We did an experiment with baking soda and vinegar to see if a new substance is made. We started with solid baking soda in a balloon. We put liquid vinegar in a bottle. The kids were asked to make a hypothesis about what they thought the result would be if the baking soda and vinegar mixed in the bottle with the balloon sealing it all up. When the balloon filled up we found that a new gas called carbon dioxide was made that was not there before!
The warmer weather is coming and we are starting a fundraiser for an incredible and educational water table for the kids. Please check out the gofundme campaign and pass on the link to any family or friends that may want to contribute - no amount is too small to make a difference!