Sunday, April 23, 2017

Snails & Trees

It's Earth Day weekend and the weather is beautiful.  A perfect time to think about nature and spend time enjoying some fresh air.  Yesterday, I took a trip to the library with all three kids.  Alice requested books about "how seeds grow, and plants and trees."  Clara requested, "books about snails so we can learn more about how they grow and what they eat."  We succeeded in our quest, and enjoyed the following titles yesterday evening at bedtime:

Books about seeds and trees:

- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
- What Kind of Seeds are These?  by Heidi Bee Roemer
- The Little Plant Doctor: A Story About George Washington Carver by Jean Marzollo
- Who Will Plant a Tree? by Jerry Pallotta
- Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber

Books about snails:

- Are You a Snail? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
- The Biggest House in the World by Leo Leonini
- Snail: Fun Snail Facts and Photos by Alma Ray

Then today, the kids put their new knowledge to use and spent the afternoon observing snails and seeds, and generally enjoying being outside and celebrating the creatures and plants around us!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick

A couple years ago, I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick on my own.  I remember it being a charming story of a young boy living on his own in a train station.  The boy winds all the clocks in the station, and becomes obsessed with finding/stealing mechanical parts in order to restore an automaton.  The book contains wonderful black and white illustrations that not only go along with the written story, but also tell parts of the story.  Last month, my girls' pre-school teacher started reading this book to the class.  We decided to pick it up again at home to follow along, so both my older son and I could engage in conversations with the girls about the book - and we could all enjoy the magic together!

The book has been a jumping off point for so many fun projects at school, many of which have spilled over to home.  These have included:  black and white drawings, playing with wind-up toys, and tinkering with clocks.

Clara tinkering with a clock
She wants to become an horologist!
Old movies also play a role in the book, and one day the father of one of my girls' classmates came to show the kids an old projector and they watched a film on the wall.  Magic also plays a role in the film with the main boy, Hugo, learning sleight-of-hand tricks in order to obtain the parts he needs for his automaton.  I'm excited for the kids to learn a few tricks of their own!

Getting ready to watch an old film
Watching a film on a sheet on the wall