"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million." -Walter Streightiff

Monday, December 31, 2012

Animals in Winter

We spent the week finding out how all of our animal friends spend the long winter days and nights.

Our winter friends, the chipmunks, work hard storing plenty of seeds and nuts for winter and then burrow under a rock pile or in an underground nest to stay warm. We had a nest for burrowing...
In the winter, a rabbit will seek out a place with protection from the snow or wind and also from predators. We sang a song about a bunny rabbit:

Here is a bunny with ears so funny
(hold up two fingers on one hand)
and here is a hole in the ground.
(Use other hand to form a “hole” with fingers and thumb)
When a noise he hears, he perks up his ears
(wiggle two fingers)
and he jumps in the hole in the ground.
(place two fingers into “hole” made with other hand)

Footprints in the snow are easier to distinguish than ones made in the dirt. We used footprint stamps dipped in paint to illustrate animals walking in the snow.
Animal friends like bears and groundhogs take a long, winter nap. They sleep soundly until spring in caves and dens. We had a bear cave in which to play.
We sang a song about a sleeping bear as
we played a game called, "Mr. Bear, are you Awake?" One of us was a bear and the rest of us tried to sneak up on the bear without waking him up. If he awoke, he chased us back home. If he caught us, we joined him in his den. We took turns being the bear in the den.
Grizzly bear, oh grizzly bear is sleeping in his(her) cave. Please be very quiet. Shhhhh. Very, very quiet. If you wake him(her) if you shake him(her) he'll(she'll) get very mad!
We read about the birds who must search hard for a winter meal of seeds, so people often lend a hand like in Stranger in the Woods.
We made pinecone bird- feeders to hang in the trees for the birds.
Polar bears have heavy fur coats and blubber to keep them warm so that they can play in the snow all winter long. We performed polar bear antics in pretend snow.
We read about polar bear antics in The Three Snow Bears and, Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?both by Jan Brett.
We also read about a polar bear who brought treats to the animals of the forest in Bear Noel by Olivier Dunrea. 
We read The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett where we learned how reindeer are trained to guide Santa’s sleigh.
Our "deer" friends get a thick, warm coat for winter and stay in their woodland homes occasionally munching on weeds, twigs and buds found on and among the trees. We used our hands and feet to make reindeer friends.
These are some WILD Christmas Reindeer!
Raccoon friends climb into their soft bed in a hollow trunk to sleep until the cold days pass. We pretended to be raccoons as we played in and moved through the tunnel- our "log".
One of our favorite books became The Night Tree Eve Bunting. In the book, a family heads to the woods on Christmas Eve for their yearly tradition of decorating a tree for the animals.
The tree we decorated for the animals in our "jungle" turned out beautiful. We heard birds and squirrels calling out a message to their animal friends that their Christmas treats had arrived!
Here are special Christmas and New Year wishes for all of the animals in the forest...

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