I took advantage of our being in Fort Collins this and made time to walk along the Poudre River because I knew the time would blossom into so many learning opportunities and it would fit beautifully with the weeks FIAR book, Play With Me, by Marie Hall Ets. Following is our walk and what we discovered in pictures:
After a bit of splashing, we enjoyed reading and eating on the bank of the river. We began our checklist of animals that were in the book that we found on our walk. Grasshoppers. Check. Mosquitos. Check.
We were so excited to find not one, but two toads. Catching them was not an easy task, but I managed to catch one in spite of my skirt and sandals. The Monster caught the other toad. She is very good at catching things. Everyone had to have a turn holding each toad before returning them to their home near a tree. The excitement of finding toads caused us to forget about looking for all the other animals, I am sorry to say.
We did, however, find some hidden paths that needed exploring…
And a little tributary whose name I couldn’t remember at the time but will become a perfect teachable moment next time we take this walk.
We made it as far as the bridge…
And had to play in the water again.
This is when we learned that sandals float and will follow the influence of the river. Fortunately, The Monster was faster than the river on this day.
We decided to head back to the car, but not before noticing the bugs skipping along the water.
So what did my kids take away from this book? They truly realize and understand the value in sitting still and being quiet in nature. My three year old understood this and put it into action on my parents farm. He sat very still and very quiet long enough for their new cria to come up and kiss him on the cheek. This was a delightful reward for all the effort he had put in to being still.
The pictures, I felt, were simple and appropriate for the story. Only the little girl and the animals, except for the Blue Jay, had color which gave me opportunity to discuss emphasis. The simple line drawings allowed for easy and rewarding copying.
The story in itself is very sweet. With every new animal that is introduced, your left hoping that she will finally be able to interact with one. It isn’t until the end when she learns to just sit still that she is rewarded with a kiss from a deer.
This book is wonderful to just read and enjoy but offers many opportunities for activities if you enjoy incorporating that kind of thing into your already busy home schooled day.