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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Toddler Fun, Week 13: Letter K, Number 3, Red and Kangaroos

Ah, kangaroos from Down Under.  The trademark pouch, crazy strong legs, and the very cool fact that they're from Australia.  On top of it all, they're one of the few animals who start with the letter "K".  So, here's our Kangaroo week.

Week 13
Letter: K
Number: 3
Color: Red
Animal: Kangaroo


Activities

1. Visiting the Jacksonville Zoo
If you've visited my blog before, you'll know we have memberships to the zoo.  It has been the best investment!  Cost-wise, after the first two visits we've been been going for free.  So, considering we visit at least once a month, it's been well worth it.  In addition, we've gotten discounted tickets for multiple other zoos and aquariums because of our membership.  (Like seeing these wallabies in Tampa.)  If there's a zoo near you that is part of the AZA, I don't think there's a better use for your money!


First of all, I think zoo maps are a terrific and FREE learning tool.  Aidan had fun finding whichever animal we were looking at, and then I'd help him figure out which way to go to the next.  Map reading is an important life-skill, you can't ever start too early.

I was a little disappointed, the zoo's website says they have kangaroos (the Australia loop is a little hidden, and we hadn't spent much time there), but when we got there, and asked where they were, they said their last kangaroo passed away a couple years ago of old age.

They did, however have wallabies, and as the zoo keeper said, they're basically little kangaroos.  So, we fudged a little, and told Aidan they were kangaroos, I don't think it'll hurt him in the long-run, haha!  It was a terrific day!



2. Bay & Bee
Another thing we like to do, is go to Bay & Bee.  It's a locally owned indoor play space, where we have a membership.  They have TONS of fun toys, one of the things they had out this week were these beautifully illustrated flashcards.  Of course, we were thrilled (as you can see) to find K is for kangaroo!






3. Counting Kangaroos
Aidan is really into everything being "mommy", "daddy" and "Aidan".  So, I figured kangaroos found a picture of a kangaroo family for us to count, and practice numbers. 









4. Coloring pages!
I found some cute kangaroo coloring pages here and here.  We "traced" kangaroo, and I tried to get Aidan to color the kangaroo red (like a red kangaroo), but my sweet, determined boy wanted it to be blue.  And the females are blue sometimes... so it works. :)


5. Australian Animal Movement Dice
I found this great Animal Movement Dice from Mothernatured.  It features 6 Australian animals.  I printed it out, put clear packing tape on it, to make it more durable, and then taped it together.  Then, he tossed it, and had to act how that animal would.  Hopping like a kangaroo, chomping like a crocodile, and climbing like a koala.


6. "Don't Lose The Baby" Letter Recognition
 I made Aidan a pouch out of a Tide pod container.  I painted it brown, drilled 4 holes in it, and put a "baby" in it.  I then wrote out some letters on the pavement.  Whenever I said the letter, he had to find it, and hop to it, without "losing the baby".  It was tons of fun!
It was great fun!  It combined the grow motor skills of jumping, while paying attention to the monkey in the pouch, and recognizing letters!








7. Arky, Arky Song
Remember that kids' song, "The Lord told Noah, there's gonna be a floody floody...?"  There's this 90's (?) video floating around the internet, which I was hoping would inspire Aidan to dance and sing, but he just watched in awe. :)



Snacks

1. Kangaroo Mango Snack
For this tasty treat, I used mango, candy eyes, fruit leather, and chocolate chips.  All yumminess!










Crafts

1. K is for Kangaroo
I cut out a K, then a tail, head, pocket and baby kangaroo.  He assembled it all, and voila!












Books and Media

We Read:

I love this alphabet book!  It's silly and goofy, and rhymes, and all the things a kids' alphabet book should do.






2. Yes We Can by Sam McBratney
This is a sweet book about 3 friends who learn that no one likes to be made fun of.  I think it's a great lesson for kids to learn, especially as they start navigating friendships.





3. It's Lovely When You Smile by Sam McBratney
Although Aidan is usually a sweet and happy go lucky little boy, of course he does get grumpy, and this is a great book to help kids deal with those feelings.







We Watched:

1. Wild Kratts, Season 1 Episode 19: Kickin' It With The Roos - Of course, as you know, we're Wild Kratts fans around here, and I was thrilled that there was a kangaroo episode.

2. Blinky Bill - This 90's Australian cartoon was one of the only English cartoons we could get growing up, and I was so glad I remembered it!  The main character is a koala, but one of his friends/sidekicks is a kangaroo, so it works. :)  He and his Down Under forest friends have adventures, and help each other out.

3. The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That, Season 1 Episode 15: Jump - This episode is about animals that jump, one which is kangaroos, of course.


So, that wraps up our kangaroo week!  Next week of course we'll talk about turkeys!!!  Happy Thanksgiving, all!
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