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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

African Safari

We set out on a safari across the vast grasslands of Africa. Our encounters with wildlife were amazing. 

When we arrived, one of the first things we did was work at the Wildlife Animal Rescue Hospital. Injured and sick animals are taken there to be examined and treated. We took turns checking in the "patients" and treating them. The hospital's specialty is animals from the wild, but we never turn a sick or injured animal away.

After reading, "Stand Back, Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!",
we tried on some elephant trunks of our own, and tried using them for picking up peanuts and eating them.

We read about an elephant named Elmer.  

He didn't like being different. He wanted to be like all of the other elephants in the Savannah. He discovered that being different wasn't so bad after all. In fact, it was nice to be special. We talked about what makes us special and then using bleeding tissue paper and water, we decorated elephant shapes...each one special. 

Elephants are known to have poor eyesight, but they've got super memories. We played a memory game to test our memory skills. We had several cards with pictures of animals from Africa. We studied them for a few minutes and then closed are eyes to have one taken away. Which one is missing? We proved to have pretty good memories- a memory like an elephant!

We sang to the tune of "Five Little Ducks";
One elephant went out to play,
Upon a spider web one day.
He (She) had such enormous fun,
He (She) called for another elephant to come.
As we sang, we crawled through a giant spider web in our play yard, and took turns inviting the other "elephants" to join us. 

We read Hiccopotomus
...a fun book about a silly hippo with the hiccups, and we learned that hippos spend a lot of time under the water. They can't breathe under water, but they hold their breath for up to 5 minutes. We practiced holding our breath. We didn't quite make it to 5 minutes. 

We played Hippo River Jump. We made a river with jump ropes and took turns jumping over the river filled with hippos. Hippos are pretty aggressive creatures, so we had to be careful not to land in the river. The river became wider as we mastered jumping. 

Elephants, rhinos and hippos love to play in the mud. We learned that the reason they do this is for protection from the hot African sun- the mud is like sunscreen for these huge creatures. It's also very cooling to their tough skin.
Dipping marbles and golf  balls in brown paint (mud), we rolled them around on elephant, hippo and rhino shapes, as we sang to the tune of "Itsy Bitsy Spider":
The great big elephant (or hippo or rhino) went out one day to play.
Down came the rain and then he (she) couldn't stay.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

Then the great big elephant (or hippo or rhino) played in the mud all day!

We met quite a few African animals in the book, Giraffes Can't Dance
All of the other African animals are great dancers at the Jungle Dance. Poor giraffe. He can't dance. Or at least he doesn't think he can and all the other animals make fun of him. What he finds out from a very wise cricket, is that he can dance if he dances to his own music. Each of us, by ourselves or in a group, chose an African animal and our own music to create a unique dance. We had a great time performing and a great time watching. 


We went on a "Lion Hunt" after reading, We're Going on a Lion Hunt. 

We wore our safari hats just like the kids in the book.

We're so brave!
It took us through tall, tall grass, (swish, swish, swish)

 mud, (squish, squish, squish)

rivers and lakes, (splash, splash)

sticks, (poke, poke)
trees (reach up high)

and last of all, a cave where we encountered a lion.
We had to go back the way we came... When we got home, we were exhausted!

How did the zebra get its stripes? One theory was presented in the book, Greedy Zebra.
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We made zebra bracelets using the black and white stripes zebra has (instead of a beautiful black coat) because he was so greedy.

After reading Give Up, Gecko,
 we headed out on our safari decked out with safari hats and binoculars. We looked for elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, zebras, gorillas and lions. 

We had such a great time on our safari through Africa. We will certainly go back again someday.

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