Winter Feed

❄️Winter Favorite 📖Reading 📚Collection • Kids Books

Below are 📚books we have been enjoying reading during the cold❄️Winter months. We love snow and winter, and we love creating fairy-tale settings for our children to play out their imagination. (I wrote about the importance of imaginary play in child's development here.) So, we love bringing books to life through small world play by creating scenes and incorporating the characters from books to let our children role-play, explore the plot and its characters.

DSC_0230Below are 🔍 some of our favorite❄️Winter books:

  • The Mitten book ~ our absolute 🌨Winter🐰🐻🐭 favorite book! (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • The Hat book (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (buy here),
  • Winter, First Step Nonfiction (buy here),
  • Winter Wonderland, Picture the Seasons (buy here) is an amazing book written by Winter with humorous text and gorgeous photography,
  • The Secret Life of a Snowflake book (buy here) ~ read a post about it here or see👇below,
  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here) and see 👇below,
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here) and see 👇below.

DSC_0316See here The Mitten Book •❄️Winter Favorite 📖Reading 📚Collection.  

DSC_0018See here The Hat Book  ❄️ Winter 📖 Reading Collection.

DSC_0007See here 📚Learning About 🌨Snowflakes •❄️Paper ✂️Craft.  

IMG_0310Also here see ❄️Snowflake Paper ✂️Craft. 

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Do you 🎉celebrate The ❄️Winter solstice — also known as Yule, Midwinter, the Shortest 🌅Day of the Year and the Longest 🌌Night! This holiday, (which lands usually on December 21st) is a great opportunity to bring out a 🌏globe and a 🔦flashlight and discuss the sun, the seasons, the tilt of the 🌏 Earth and so much more!  

🌬Winter 🌅 Solstice Books:

  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here) has lots of fun activities you can do with your kiddo such as determining the positioning of the ☀️ on the 🌅horizon by measuring a shadow, 🖍sketching the positioning of the sun ☀️ by using a compass and more;
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here) is a wonderful collection of stories honoring the winter solstice, but for an older child - 8 yo and up.

For holiday-inspired reading, see here 🎄Christmas 🎅🏻 Inspired Holiday 📚Books.

For fun hands-on Winter activities, see here ☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🌬Frozen 🌀Hydrogels Icy Arctic ❄️Snowy Sensory Bin•☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study

Today, we are freezing clear hydrogels and creating an icy Arctic ❄️Snowy Sensory Bin. For the first time, you can buy this sensory bin through my new Etsy store ~ order here. (5% of profits will be donated to fight global warming.) Limited time ONLY get 10% off your Arctic Set~ shop here

DSC_0318First, grow hydrogels: pour water over dry gel beads and wait for about an hour.
DSC_0318 Wait until hydrogels are fully expanded. 

DSC_0331Put hydrogels in a freezer for a couple of hours: they will change from clear to white as snow!

DSC_0342     I also added glitter styrofoam balls, pom poms, pearl beads, crystals, and glitter.

DSC_0342 We added Arctic figures to learn about them through play.
DSC_0342To make the "ocean" I poured some hot water over the hydrogels, defrosting them.

The result: hours of small world sensorial play. We also learned about the Arctic animals, their diets, and prevalent characteristics.  We talked about Inuits and how their land was restored to them by the Canadian government. Finally, as the ice and hydrogels started to melt, we discussed the global warming and its negative effects on the entire ecosystem. You can PRE-ORDER this sensory bin through my Etsy store ~ buy here. (5% of profits will be donated to fight global warming.)

DSC_0314For more on hydrogels, see here 💫Magical 🌀Hydrogels • Kids ⚗️Science Experiment 💦Trick.

To observe how hydrogels grow real sped up time, see here a 🎥 video of how we "made" hydrogel beads in Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel ❤️️ Water Beads.

IMG_9745For more sensory bins, see here 🎅🏻 North vs 🇦🇶South 🌎Pole 🌬Frozen 🙌🏻Invitation to❄️ Explore.

I wrote in details about the Polar Region's animals here in a post "❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study • 🎅🏻 🇦🇶Land 🌊Water 🌬Air."

For more fun❄️winter 🙌🏻 hands-on activities, see here ☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

💫Magical 🌀Hydrogels • Kids ⚗️Science Experiment 💦Trick •🔬⚖️ 101 🎥Series 

Happy ❄️February 1st! Have you wondered what to do with an old monthly 🗓calendar? A 🤗fun kids ⚗️science experiment of course! This is a cool trick your kids will 💙love when they see the 💫magic unfold in front of their eyes! A magically appearing image and magically disappearing 🌀hydrogels ~ water-beads!   

All transparent substances have a characteristic called refractive index, which determines how much the path of light is bent/refracted when entering a material.  In optics, the refractive index or index of refraction is a dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through that medium. We see a colorless object only because its refractive index differs from the refractive index of the medium, usually the air. (Read science mystery revealed below.)


 How to prepare this experiment:

DSC_0306 Grow hydrogels: pour water over dry clear water gel beads and wait for about an hour.

DSC_0306 Lay a laminated picture on the bottom of an empty tray (we are using an aluminum baking tray).

DSC_0306 Wait until hydrogels are fully expanded. 

DSC_0306Pour hydrogels over the picture and then add water and watch the magic unfold!

DSC_0314This tray is still filled with hydrogels which are now absolutely invisible, while the picture is visible!

Science mystery💡revealed: the refractive index of water is 1.333 (meaning that light travels 1.333 times slower in water than in the vacuum). The air, on the other hand, has a refractive index of almost 1. That is why we see water in the air or air bubbles in the water. 

The refractive index of clear see-through hydrogels is 1.5, that is why in the water, they become completely invisible! 

To observe how hydrogels grow real sped up time, see here a 🎥 video of how we "made" hydrogel beads in Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel ❤️️ Water Beads. 

For more on fun Science, see here "Rainbow 🌈Colorful Skittles Fun💧 Water Science Experiment for Kids •🔬⚗️⚖️  101 🎥 Series" and see here a video-post "Lava Lamp: Oil vs 🌈 💧Water Density Immiscibility ⚗️Experiment with 💥Alka Seltzer."

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

❄️Polar 🌎Regions Unit Study • 🎅🏻 🇦🇶Land 🌊Water 🌬Air

Today, we are learning about polar regions of the Earth, also known as the Earth's ❄️frigid zones that surround Earth's geographical North and South Poles. These regions are very cold, covered by snow and polar ice caps: the northern resting on the Arctic Ocean and the southern on the continent of Antarctica.

DSC_0166Adrian is using Montessori Sandpaper Continent 🌎Globe (read a detailed post here).

The differences between 🎅🏻 the Arctic and 🇦🇶Antarctica:

Antarctica, or the south pole region, is a continent which is covered with an immense ice cap. The Arctic, on the other hand, is a polar region surrounding the North Pole and consisting of the large Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Polar habitats are too cold for trees to grow, so tundra, the only place where any vegetation grows, takes up a lot of the area. In tundra, during spring and summer time, the ground only thaws just enough for short grasses and moss to grow, but the tree's roots can not go as far down into the ground as they need to because deep down the ground is frozen. Animals who live in polar regions have adapted by having thick fur or feathers to keep warm, and hunting fish or each other rather than relying on plants and vegetation which are scarce to maintain their diet. Polar bears live solely in the Arctic, while penguins are found in the southern Antarctic regions, amongst others. So, since penguins reside only in the Southern Hemisphere, they had never crossed a path with a polar bear.

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As a first lesson, Adrian sorted animals by their habitat: 🎅🏻 🇦🇶LAND, 🌊WATER, 🌬AIR, rather than by the pole's geographical location. 

DSC_0039Parts of a Penguin Puzzle (buy here), Arctic/Antarctic animals set (here), Killer Whale (here).

 

🎅🏻 🇦🇶 LAND

DSC_0063  To represent LAND, I placed some soil in a glass jar.

We talked about Inuit people in the Arctic building igloos from snow as a shelter (also known as a snow houses or snow huts). Air pockets trapped in snow make it an excellent insulator, so the temperature inside the igloo when warmed by the body heat alone may range from −7 °C (19 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) while on the outside, it can be frigid cold as low as −45 °C (−49 °F) - that is more than 100 °F difference!

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DSC_0058Caribou, also called reindeer (buy similar here), are native to the Arctic region. In the spring, herds of Caribou make a long journey north from the Arctic forest. It is the longest migration made by any land animal. On the way, they give birth to new calves. When they finally reach the tundra, caribou eat everything in sight. When winter comes and the food is scarce, the fat stored in their bodies gives them needed energy.

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Musk Ox (buy here) have inhabited the frozen Arctic for many thousands of years, and their long shaggy hair is well adapted to the frigid climate. The outer long furry hairs , called guard hairs, keep Musk Ox warm and cozy. Underneath all that hair is a layer of shorter wool undercoat, which provides additional insulation in winter. This undercoat falls out when temperatures climb at winter's end. Musk Ox roam the tundra in search of the roots, mosses, and lichens that sustain them. In winter, they use their hooves to dig through snow to graze on these plants. During the summer, they supplement their diet with Arctic flowers and grasses, often feeding near water. Musk Oxen are herd animals, and groups of two or three dozen animals are sometimes led by a single female. Herds use cooperation to deal with predators, such as wolves. When threatened and to protect the young calfs, they "circle the wagons" and array themselves with their young in the middle and their sharp horns facing outward toward their foes. A cornered musk-ox can be a fearsome enemy, charging with its massive bulk and attempting to use its horns to deadly effect.


🌊WATER

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Seals (buy here) live in the cold ocean waters of the Arctic or off the coasts of Antarctica. Some seals make caves in the snow to live in, while others never leave the ice pack and poke breathing holes in the ice. Fur seals and sea lions (buy here) live in the Northern Pacific between Asia and North America and off the coasts of South America, Antarctica, southwestern Africa and southern Australia. 


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A polar bear (buy here) was tricky for Adrian to sort, so he placed it in between the LAND and WATER. Polar bear is the only bear considered to be a marine mammal because it depends on the ocean for majority of his food, while spending a lot of time on ice hunting, mating and denning. Its fur is thicker than any other bears’ and covers even the feet for warmth and traction on ice. A thick layer of blubber beneath the fur provides warmth and insulation. The front feet are large, flat and oar-like, making a polar bear an excellent swimmer. Polar bear is the largest land carnivore in the world (rivaled only by the Kodiak brown bears of southwestern Alaska), thus sitting at the top of the food chain in the biologically rich Arctic. Polar bear feeds primarily on seals, the remains of which provide food for many other Arctic wildlife species, but it is also known to eat walrus, beluga whale, birds’ eggs, and (rarely) vegetation. 


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Orcas (buy here) are marine mammals, and although called killer whales, they are not actually whales, but are the largest members of the dolphin family, in the order Cetacea, which includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Some killer whales feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals (known to grab them right off the ice), sea lions, seabirds, and even other adult whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. Orcas were given the name “killer whale” by ancient sailors’ observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species.  They called orcas asesina ballenas, or “whale killer.”  Their Latin name, Orcinus orca, also reflects this observation as Orcinus translates to “of the kingdom of the dead,” and orca refers to a kind of whale. "Killer whales" are one of the world's most powerful predators, which can be found in each of the world's oceans in a variety of marine environments: from the Arctic to the Antarctic to tropical seas. Orcas are also an apex predators - meaning that there is no other animal that preys on them. For more on Orcas, read here.


🌬AIR

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A snowy owl (buy here) is a large species of owl, but due to a snowy habitat, it often has snow-white plumage that echoes its Arctic origins and protects it from chilly Arctic winds. A snowy owl has a thick feather coating even on its feet, protecting them from the frigid Arctic cold. The snowy owl is a patient hunter that perches and waits to identify its prey before soaring off in pursuit. Snowy owls have keen eyesight and great hearing, which can help them find prey, such as arctic hare, that is invisible under a thick snow-cover.

Atlantic puffins, (buy here) also known as dubbed “sea parrots” and “clowns of the sea,” have large brightly-colored beaks. Crisp black and white markings on their plumage, as well as superior diving capabilities, have led people to compare the northern seabirds to penguins. However, Atlantic puffins are actually not related to penguins at all. They are in fact small seabirds (about 25 cm, or 10 in., long). 


In continuing our Polar Regions of the 🌏 Earth unit study, Adrian enjoyed putting together Parts of a Penguin Puzzle (buy here). Having aesthetically pleasing wooden design, the puzzle stands faithful to the Montessori ideals of beauty, simplicity and realism, while teaching the child parts of the animal.

DSC_0037View a video of Adrian putting this puzzle together in this post


To learn the names of the 🐋🐇🐧 animals, Adrian is using Polar❄️️ Animals matching cards. 

In the process, he is practicing recognizing written words and matching a picture to an object. This video is featured in a post "🐋🐇🐧Polar Animals Matching 🔖Cards 📽️ Activity" - see here.


IMG_9745See here 🎅🏻 North vs 🇦🇶South 🌎Pole 🌬Frozen ❄️Sensorial🙌🏻Invitation to Explore.

I hope you enjoyed our Polar❄️️ Regions Unit Study. For more on Winter activities, see here ☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study. 

You might also like to read here our "🌊 Ocean Unit Study."

Read here about matching stages for Montessori 3-Part-Matching 🔖cards.

If you have missed our Holiday Inspired unit, see here a roundup of December activities in 🎄Christmas Inspired Unit Study.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

Unexpected 🌨Snow in 🌼March

When Adrian woke up this morning, he recited a part of his Winter Poem: "Snowflakes dance throughout the night, when I open my eyes, the world is white!" (See a post here.) And indeed it was:) We usually do not get snow in March, and to see all the buds plump and red, as well as bright yellow daffodils covered by few inches of snow, was quite unexpected!  

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DSC_0185How is the weather by where you live?

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW