BATS

In this week’s recommended podcast, we have a song about a few animals that hibernate. We sing about bats. Here is some information about bats I thought you might enjoy.

BAT FACTS
 A long time ago, people used to think bats were birds. They are mammals
just like we are mammals. But bats are the only mammals that can fly.
 Bats are nocturnal creatures. This means they feed at night time and spend
most of the day time sleeping. When bats sleep they hang upside down,
often in trees or caves.
 Baby bats are called pups. Like all mammals, they drink milk from their
mothers. Baby bats look tiny and pink when they are born, as they do not
yet have any hair. However, they are born with strong legs and claws
because they have to hang on to their moms!
 As bats go hunting for food in the dark they can’t rely on their eyes to see
what is out there. Instead, they make high-pitched squeaking sounds. The
sounds bounce back to the bats when they hit something. The bat hears the
“echo” and knows something is there. This is how they find food and are
able to fly around in the dark without crashing into buildings or trees.
 There are over 900 different species of bats. The smallest bat is the
bumblebee bat and the biggest bat is the flying fox bat. The bumblebee bat
weighs about the same as a penny. When its wings are stretched out, it is
about six inches across. The flying fox bat weighs around two pounds and
can have a wingspan of three feet!
(Parents, perhaps you can show the comparative weights and wingspans of these
bats. Find something in your pantry that weighs two pounds, and a penny, and
then let your child feel the difference. Similarly, measure out the bats’ wingspans
with string or yarn. Quite a difference!)

I BUILT A SNOWMAN

Here is a rhyme that you can listen to on the mp3 audio file. I have given you some suggestions for actions you can do as you say the rhyme.

I built a little snowman. (make circle with arms)
He had a carrot nose (point to nose)
Along came a bunny (hold up two bent fingers)
And what do you suppose? (hold hands palms up and shrug)
That hungry little bunny, ( make bunny again )
Looking for his lunch, ( hop bunny around )
Ate the snowman’s nose. ( pretend bunny is eating nose )
Nibble! Nibble! Crunch! ( pretend to be eating a carrot )

Enjoy!

EASY EXPERIMENT

SNOW EXPERIMENT

Most children know that snow melts and becomes water. But most children do not know the relationship of how much snow equals how much water. For this very simple experiment you will need:

  • A tall narrow glass jar
  • Snow

Simply fill the jar all the way to the top with snow and put the lid on. Bring inside and watch over a period of time. The snow melts and you are left with a small quantity of water. You could take guesses as to how much water will be in the jar after the snow has melted. Mark lines on the jar with marker or tape to indicate your estimate.

Once your child has the idea, you can use different types of jars and use your estimating skills.

Enjoy!

A NEW ACTIVITY FOR YOU

WASHING LINE FUN!

Compared to when I was a little girl, very few people hang out their washing to get it dry. In England we would forever be pegging it out, dashing outside to bring it in, and waiting for the next dry spell of weather. In our school, we realized that hanging items of clothing on a line was a very popular activity, in part because it was such a novelty; but there are lots of learning opportunities too! All you need is a rope that can be attached to something sturdy at each end and some pegs. Make sure the line is at a good height for your child. Remember to supervise! There is potential danger with a rope.

Here are some ideas for washing line activities for you and your child to enjoy together.

· Clothes pins (pegs) require a lot of manual dexterity, so I would suggest starting with simple pieces of fabric that can easily be draped over the line, so that children can concentrate on manipulating the peg rather than keeping the fabric from sliding off. Stay away from shiny fabric for this reason.

· When your child is competent with the pegs, get out lots of mittens and gloves and start pegging. Discuss whether to hang from the wrist or fingers.

· Start with small mittens at one end of the line and peg big ones at the other end.

· Think of other criteria and group accordingly, such as by color, pattern or fabric.

· An older child may be ready to find pairs and hang them together.

· An alternative to actual mittens and gloves is to make your own out of construction paper or card. I would recommend laminating construction paper to make it be a little more substantial for young children to handle. They will last a lot longer too. If you make your own, you can control the sizes and colors and perhaps make sorting easier for your child.

 · Use words such as big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest; phrases like let’s compare; how can we tell which one is bigger; let’s measure etc. You and your child will come up with your own ideas for sorting and matching. If you like, you could share them with me on the web site!

Enjoy!