Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Owl Day

I've missed doing themed school days. It's a lot harder to fit in when multiplication and writing and so many other things second and fourth graders need to know overshadow the simple joys of early school days. We did a lot of these days when Ethan was younger, now I try to squeeze them in when I can, especially for Rosie, who ought to be doing fun things for kindergarten.

Sooo... Ethan is rather obsessed with owls right now. They are his favorite animal and he's really nature-obsessed anyway. He constantly is working on decorating his room to look more like nature with stuffed animals, vines, and other natural things. He recently confiscated two fans that I was getting ready to put in the attic and positioned them in his room so that he could simulate windy days.

When the National Wildlife Federation magazines came for October and Your Big Backyard was completely owl themed and Ranger Rick had an owl feature too, I knew that it was time for an owl day. So yesterday, we did our usual math and breakfast Scripture reading, then launched into our theme.

First we watched this video of Owl Moon:

Next Anna Kate read us Snow Moon, its wonderful illustrations making her giddy with delight.

Then I read Baby Owl's Rescue, and Rosie read the simple Owls Live in Trees.

They watched a Birds of Prey video, then read their NWF magazines (wow! didn't know all that cool owl stuff was there!).

Ethan read The Life Cycle of an Owl.

They watched Animal Profiles: Owls (sorry most of these videos are on the Discovery Education member website that our state pays for) and National Geographic Kids Wild Detective: Night Owls.

Then we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to a local college campus for the kids to ride their scooters (we've been trying to get out as many days as possible for some exercise) and to collect and observe different types of leaves for our botany studies. We left the scooters to take a nature trail that turned out to be at least three times longer than I'd expected. Ethan's leg hurt, and sleepy Bella was cranky and bit heavy in the Moby, but Anna Kate kept exclaiming that it was the best nature walk ever as we found wildflowers and leaves and pincones.

Not long before we made it back to where we'd started we found these gorgeous trees. Look for Rose at the base of the tree for some size perspective:

We made it back home and put Bella to bed and the children still had happy hours to spend outside with their friends riding scooters, playing basketball, and enjoying the tree house. We topped it off with Rose's favorite barbeque pork riblets and some owl cupcakes (cupcake topper template here, addtional party details and products here.)

We like to do bat watches, particularly when driving home at twilight. Night before last, we had a bat watch and saw several, but Rosie kept missing them. She was particularly distressed as Anna counted off "14, 15, 16" (I only saw two.) She never could see any, so tonight as darkness fell, I swooped her up from her chair at the table and carried her across the street to the field and we watched and waited.
We were finally rewarded by a bat swooping right over our heads! Rose was a happy girl.
This morning she said to me, "I loved Owl Day - can we do it again today?" I promised a Bat Day soon.

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