Another Funday Sunday

Back to the woods, where we love to be.

Santos trail Ocala, FL
Poison Ivy?  I'm thinking so.  I may be wrong, but really, who wants to take that chance?

Check out this Froghopper (aka spittlebug).  They make this foamy, white substance to hide in.

On this particular day, although no longer for personal reasons (as in, my Grandmother has absolutely forbidden us from any further attempts by making me promise and swear to her that we will never do this again) we picked some lovely blackberries to make jam. 

wild raspberries
Little Guy's berry stained fingers.
blackberry jam
So yummy.
*Seriously, where we live rattlesnakes are very common, and they love to hide in blackberry bushes waiting on birds.  My grandparents had a close friend who lost her life to a rattlesnake while picking wild blackberries. That's why my grandmother required that promise from us. 

This same day, we also came across an awesome r/c track!  Little Guy and Hubby both love r/c cars, so we had to park and check out the cars. The one pictured below was our favorite.  It was the fastest and had the highest jumps.


Letter O Week

Back in October, we worked on the Letter O.  I'm not sure what happened, but for some reason, I never got around to posting about what we did that week. 

We used glue, construction paper, and oatmeal to make a multisensory letter O. 

We did some tracing pages out of Kumon: My First Book of Tracing, and did the Find the O's page from Confessions of a HomeSchooler.  

We also learned about octopuses by reading "Octopuses" by Lola M. Schafer.  Then, we made out own octopus!  I cut strips of construction paper for the tentacles and Little Guy used a bingo marker to make suckers on them.  Then he glued the tentacles to the back of the letter O that I had cut out.  Once he stuck the googly eyes on, tada!  Octopus!

I guess by now you're noticing the "o"range theme we've got going on too! We also did some writing practice pages and then started learning about owls.  We read some great owl books that I will post a link to below. 

I ran across this really cute and Little Guy appropriate Owl Foam Craft at Michael's we just had to do.   I ended up using it as a Christmas tree ornament, but during Christmas time, Little Guy kept pulling the pieces off until it was just a brown outline so now we have no more cute little owl ornament. 

Little Guy also got the hang of the "Days of the Week" song and wanted to sing it "by himself!" all week. 

We did our Letter Tile Matching page:

and made owls out of pine cones!  We squirted glue all over the pine cone, then stuffed stretched out cotton balls in all the cracks.  Once our pine cones were stuffed, we glued on googly eyes and an orange triangle for a beak.

On Friday, we watched "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Gahoole."  We had seen it in the theater, but we rented it from the redbox for family movie night, and Little Guy just couldn't make it through the whole thing.  He was really restless and bored, so we just turned it off.  I suppose it is a bit hard to follow for the little ones since all the characters are owls and they do look very similar.  I will say, that is one of the most visually beautiful movies I've ever seen.  Especially on BluRay.

This week we read:


Letter Q

What to do for Letter Q?  I was pretty stumped on this one.  There really aren't too many things that begin with the letter Q in the first place, let alone things that are preschool age appropriate. 

We started out getting familiar with the letter Q and identifying it's sound.  We traced the letter with our finger, and then did a worksheet about the q sound.

We were really in need of some kind of fun activity that would leave Little Guy with a positive memory for the letter Q.  I was having a tough time when I finally thought of something. 
Do you remember being a little kid and watching Bozo the Clown in the mornings?  There used to be this game that they played where the child had to stand behind a line and toss a ping pong ball into buckets that were different distances away for a prize.  Well, this game is kind of like that. 

Here's what you need to play:

Some quarters
A bucket/box/bowl/container
Pipe cleaners (we used 5)
A chart for tracking number of tosses.

Here's what the set up looks like:

Little Guy stood behind the red line with his little bowl of quarters and started tossing.   

Whenever he made a basket, we recorded how many tries it took on our chart.  We did the same thing for all the colors.

It was so much fun!!  Naturally we had to play about 6 times.  I was happy Little Guy recorded his stats all by himself!

We also read "Quack! Quack! Come back!"  (You know, "5 little ducks went out to play.  Over the hills and far away...")  Little Guy just loves that song, and we have it in a book.  The back of the book has little duck play pieces too!

We did our letter matching worksheet.  They were getting a bit too easy for Little Guy, so this week I made the letters lowercase on the sheet, since the letter tiles are in capitals.  This way it's a little more challenging. 

The Letter Practicing Writing page below is from Confessions of a Homeschooler. 

I really wanted to involve a quilt somehow this week.  While browsing around Hobby Lobby, I came across bandanas for $.99 and came up with the best idea!  Whenever I was a kid and was on an airplane or in a waiting room with my dad, he'd draw a grid of dots on a paper.  Then you take turns drawing a line to connect 2 dots.  Whoever ends up making a square gets to put their initials in that square.  The person with the most squares wins.  Well, what we did was the same concept, except we were making a "quilt," and instead of putting your initial in the square, I was little q and Little Guy was big Q. 

I made a grid of dots on the bandana.

Then, we each chose a color crayon to use and started drawing lines and making squares.
Here's a picture of our finished quilt:

Little Guy really liked this activity, but what he like most was turning the quilt into his "cape" so he could become Super Q!

This week we read:

Quack! Quack! Come Back!

My Q Book  by Jane Belk Moncure

Quack and Count by Keith Baker

Wellness Wednesday

A photo meant to inspire wellness of mind, body, or spirit.   


Fun and Foraging

Hubby and I have been really interested in learning about the different plants that grow around us so that we could teach Little Guy about them.  We've been researching wild edibles in our region, and couldn't wait to get out there to try and identify some.  We had no idea what luck we were going to have when we set off on a local hiking trail.

This fence lizard was pretty cool.  He let us get really close.
fence lizard
Then, Little Guy decided he needed to climb the tree like a lizard too!
We came across this cocoon on a piece of bark just hanging in a tree.  We took it down, observed it, then hung it back up.  Really neat!
After a small detour through the extreme mountain biking course (hubby was just dying to show me), we came to a meadow where we found some great creatures!
santos bike trail Ocala, FL
I think this caterpillar is a cousin of the wooly bear.  They usually have black on them, but this one was only orange. 
Little Guy loves ladybugs.
Then we came across some blackberries!!  We were so excited.  I had to check 30 times to make sure, but they are wild blackberries!
wild blackberries


Now, as far as these berries, I'm going with dewberries.  They might be another form of wild blackberries, but from what I've seen the petals on the flowers seem a bit slimmer like dewberries (even though the blackberry flower is almost identical).  Dewberries and blackberries are cousins.
As if that wasn't enough, Little Guy noticed some berries on the ground as we were walking the trail, and sure enough, they were mulberries!  Mulberries look similar to blackberries, but longer in length and grow in a large bush or tree.  Hubby shook the tree and some more rained down, so we gathered a few.  It was so fun!  Little Guy had a blast, and he was so proud because he was the one who discovered them!
Check out this wheel bug.  Very strange looking, and can cause a painful bite.  You can read more about wheel bugs HERE
wheel bug
We took pictures and some berries home with us to make sure we are identifying them correctly.  Ready?  Here comes my DISCLAIMER:  NEVER EAT ANYTHING YOU FIND IN THE WOODS UNLESS YOU ARE POSITIVE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS.  Seriously!!
Unschooling at it's finest!
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