Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Desert Diarama

Our wonderful Auntie Soni gave the kids a globe and National Geographic Kids Beginners World Atlas for Christmas and it is easily one of Zayd AND Zahra's favorite books. Let me just take a pause here and say that we now own three National Geographic Kids or National Geographic Little Kids books and they are amazing. I recommend the dinosaur and animal one for any little library!

I will say that we are obsessed with Africa and all animals found on a Safari. But since we own likely no less than 200 different little plastic figures, I felt it was time to spend a little learning on, really, any other habitat.

That coupled with wanting to have some structured learning through play with our kinetic sand brought me to a lesson on the desert.

Luckily, we could partner up the Atlas, with the animal book (divvied up by habitat), and get a real conversation going. I will say that I had to pretend we were doing the African desert (we learned about the Sahara!) but we ended up using an awesome desert life bingo card that was really more like North American desert. Whatever. Maybe there are mule deers in the Sahara, right??? (No, the answer is no. But much was learned and we can sort out our full understanding of geography in elementary school...around 50 years before most Americans have mastered the topic.) Zahra could easily play along with this part by matching or animals to those on the bingo card.

Our play was fun, but then the Z's decided we should add some of their cacti to the scene. Genius! We got to work with toddler tweezers to hold the stalks, scissors, and lessons in exactly how much support a plant needs to stand and some concept that the taller the stalk, the more base support a we'd need! Even better, these are the Z's personal plants. While I garden, they care for their cacti. And if you are wondering, they chose cacti just because they like their look, they had no idea that they are great toddler plants for their South Texas heartiness. I like that they can decide to just chop up their plants because they really are theirs.

I highly recommend you try this with littles and see where it takes you! We had a great time and the kids really got to direct the play.

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