Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Sunday, October 23, 2011


After Toddler Tales this week, we were all a little wiser about owls.  We started out learning that owls are birds that fly with wings and feathers.  They are also raptors so they use their sharp, curved beak and talons to catch and eat their prey.  We also learned they are nocturnal, have very good eye sight and exceptionally good hearing. 

We then introduced ourselves to my friend Oliver the Owl using this song:

Oliver the Owl
Owl in the Tree

(Sung To: Skip to my Lou)

Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Owl in the tree says, who, who, who
Who, who, are you? (point to a child and have them say their name)
Next we settled down to read “Little Owl” by Piers Harper.  This is a sweet story about a young owl that is learning to fly and has to find the courage to get home by himself.  It is also a touch and feel book.  All the animals in the illustrations are fuzzy, which the kids really enjoyed. 

We closed by practicing our counting with a fun flannel board activity using this rhyme: 

Five Little Owls

Five little owls on a moonlit night
Five little owls are quite a sight.
Five little owls Are you keeping score?
One flew away! And then there were Four.
Four little owls happy as can be,
One flew away then there were Three.
Three little owls calling Who, Who
One flew away and that left two.
Two little owls having lots of fun.
One flew away and that left One.
One little owl we are almost done
He flew away and that leaves none.
Our craft this week was a owl mask the kids could color and decorate with feathers.  My daughter invented a new species of owl.  One that is entirely PINK! 


Most adults would rather not encounter a spider, but the kids at this week’s Toddler Tales were fascinated by them.  Inside the touch box was a large rubber spider. 

To get warmed up we sang a favorite, “The itsy bitsy spider” including a variation I learned from BBC’s “Words and Pictures” on YouTube. 

            The itsy bitsy spider went up the great big tree
            Down fell the snow and made the spider freeze
            Out came the sun and melted all the snow
            And the itsy bitsy spider had another go.

We read two non-fiction books this week.  The first, “GuessWho Spins” by Sharon Gordon gave the kids some clues as to what makes spiders special.  “Spin, Spider, Spin” by Dana Meachen Rau gave taught them how spiders live. 

Using and flannel board I recited this rhyme for the kids to help them remember how many legs spiders and other animals have.

Under a web beside a gate, a spider hangs her legs are EIGHT
Above her flies a busy bee SIX black and fuzzy legs has he           
A ginger cat goes leaping past her FOUR legs carry her so fast
A bird has TWO that isn’t many
As for a worm, it hasn’t ANY

Next we each got our own spiders (a plastic spider ring) to help us sing the song “There’s a Spider on the Floor,” by Raffi. 

For our last story I again used to flannel board to tell the Eric Carle’s “The Very Busy Spider.”  It was a lot of fun. 
Our craft this week was made with the pod of a sweet gum tree and pipe cleaners.  It couldn’t be easier and it couldn’t be cuter! 


Inside the touch box for this lesson we had a feather and talon of a raptor.  After I opened the box, I passed the items around again so the kids could get a closer look.
To start things off, we met my good friend Ernie the Eagle (a puppet) and learned to soar to the song “Eagles”by Terri Hendrix.
We then sat down to read a book about raptors which include eagles, hawks, falcons, owls and vultures.  We learned that they have sharp, hooked beaks and talons that help them catch and eat their prey.

Ernie the Eagle swoops down on little mice
To better understand how raptors hunt, we played an easy game called “Mouse, Mouse, HAWK!”  The kids quickly moved around the room as I said, “mouse, mouse…HAWK!” At which point Ernie the Eagle would swoop down on any “mouse” that didn’t freeze when I said “hawk.”  We played several rounds and the kids loved it.  By the end some of the kids, including my oldest, were moving on purpose so Ernie would swoop on them! 
Lastly we read “Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See” by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle.  While it isn’t wholly about raptors, it is a favorite in our house and I wanted to share the fact that bald eagles are an endangered species. 
Our craft was a raptor paper bag puppet.