Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bird Cameras

After I posted about the bird activities this past Monday, I started thinking about the bird videos that I used to check in on now and then. I started searching and I found a few great videos. My favorite website was Birdcam by Xcel Energy. Xcel Energy is a power company that installed these cameras around their plants. They have several different cameras and birds featured, including Bald Eagles, Falcons, Kestrels, Ospreys and Owls. The eagles and owls have already begun nesting for the season and you can see their daily behavior on the videos. The falcons, osprey's and kestrels will not begin nesting until a bit later.

Take a few minutes to relax, sit down with your child and introduce them to birding. It is not going to be a regular daily event to see these birds up close and personal, like you can in these videos.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Meanderings - Birds

When it is time for Spring to arrive, my mind turns to birds. The birds start arriving from their "winter homes" and the immediately start settling in and building nests. To celebrate this, I thought we would focus on some bird activities this week.

First we have the blog, Whatever, with an adorable bird in a nest craft. I love the use of a paper plate for the entire background. I also like the fact that they used multiple items to make the nests, just like a bird would.

Here is a link to Colorado State Parks, where they teach you how to make a bird bath with a wreath and a plant saucer.

Want to make a bird feeder? Here is a great one made with Popsicle sticks. This idea comes from Tonya Staab.

Tuesday Teachings - Play With Your Food

I know what you are thinking. We want kids to eat healthy, not to play with their food. Here my thoughts though, get the kids involved in preparing a meal and let them use math skills to help.

I was recently signed up to make a meal for a group of 3 - 5 year olds.Since it was so close to Spring, that is the subject I chose. I could have just made a casserole and hoped the kids ate it, but I like for food to be fun and tasty. I decided to let my son help me with the meal. First, we counted up how many of our friends we were expecting for the meal, then we went to the grocery.

We decided to serve, bananas, apples, cheese, ham, turkey and a dessert. I told my son that we were serving 10 kids and he had to help me get enough food for all of the children.

When we got home, we cut the ham and turkey slices with bunny cookie cutters. We allowed enough of each meat for every child to have three slices. My son helped me to count out the 30 ham bunnies and the 30 turkey bunnies. Next we moved on to the cheese. We were serving our cheese in the form of circles to represent coconuts and we needed at least three slices per child. Again, he helped me count out 30 slices.

Next, we moved on to the dessert. We decided to make birds in a nest. We counted out three square pretzels per dessert and laid them out in piles on a piece of waxed paper. Next, we melted chocolate and drizzled that over the pretzel "nests" and followed it up with rainbow sprinkles. Once the chocolate had hardened, we came back and melted some more chocolate and dipped bird shaped peeps into the melted chocolate and sat one on top of each pretzel nest. We allowed that to set and then we put each bird in a nest inside of a a cupcake liner to serve.

When it was time to serve up the meal, we cut up one banana per child and laid them out on the plate. We then added three apple slices at the top of each banana slice. These were our palm trees. We then added three cheese coconuts to the top of each palm tree. Next came the bunnies, we laid three ham and three turkey bunnies on each plate. The kids all loved this treat, but the favorite was by far the birds in a nest dessert.

Math is not my son's favorite subject, but he had lots of fun counting out all of our treats for our friends and he was eager to make sure we had enough for everyone.

Get your kids in the kitchen and open up a new perspective on math!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Today is Dr. Seuss' birthday and he would have been 108 years old! I find it amazing that his books were written so long ago and still, they are as popular as ever. They may even be more popular now! Not to mention, the number of great authors that he has inspired over the years!

In celebration of his birthday, several people that have taken the Kids Matter Pledge volunteered to read children's books on video for us. There are some Dr. Seuss books and books by many other authors. Check out our Facebook page for all of the links.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Family Fun Calendar & Big News

First, we have a big announcement. We have a new website at We are so excited about the new website. We were able to customize it to touch on the ten issues that are most important to us. We will continue to blog on this address, but be sure to visit the website too.

Next, here is the March Family Fun Calendar. Enjoy!