Monday, January 19, 2015


I've been enjoying revisiting our *old* Five in a Row books with T.  Our next row, in mid October, was The Story about Ping, the classic story of a wayward duck.
Since I'm so far behind in blogging, here are just our favorite activities (and the ones I have pictures for):

Ping has a mother, a father, two sisters, three brothers, eleven aunts, seven uncles, and forty-two cousins.  How many are in Ping's family?  An activity to figure this out was to count out the total with paper duck cut-outs.  When I did this with K, I had her color the ducks according to relation to Ping, then count up the total.  As with a similar activity with Harold and the Purple Crayon, once she had found the total she ready to move on to the next activity.  T, however, wanted to stop and act out the story.  He built a shoreline and a boat out of blocks, called out "La-la-la-la-lei!" and had all the paper ducks march up the ramp to the boat.

 I think the standing up block on the shore was the Master of the Boat.

We learned about ducks, that they come in an array of colors and patterns, each variety with its own call.  One interesting fact is that the reason they are able swim in frigid water is they have no blood vessels in their legs.  A few days later we took a field trip to observe ducks at the park.  We brought clipboards, paper and pencils, and the kids sat down in the grass and sketched a pair that were standing still in the water.  They seemed to be sunning themselves, preening, and taking little naps.  We didn't get very close for fear of frightening them away- they were standing so nice and still, very helpful for beginning nature observers.

The kids were proud of their drawings and were excited to put their pictures into their nature journals.  I'm not sure how successful they would have felt if the ducks had been moving more and swimming around.  After the drawings were completed, we walked down to the water, which of course scared the ducks away.  But one can't leave a pond without throwing in a few rocks first.

Then we went to a different area of the park where we were really able to see waterfowl up close.  Lots of people come to feed these ducks and geese, so they are not afraid of humans.  I have memories of going to feed the ducks as a child and being intimidated by aggressive, insistent, and hungry geese; but these birds must be well-fed  because they were definitely much more polite.

Something funny that happened while we were at the park involved squirrels.  As we walked toward the parking lot, we saw two squirrels chasing each other up and down the large trees.  We watched as one raced in front us and up the trunk of a nearby tree.  The other squirrel, who was already higher in the branches, charged down straight at him.  They tangled, and one of them fell out of the tree with a thud.  I hadn't known squirrels fell out of trees, or that such a small body would make such a loud sound hitting the ground. We were standing there with our mouths open when he popped up, raced up the tree, and it happened again.  The two squirrels chased around in the branches above our heads before one was knocked down near us.  This time the defeated squirrel ran away to another tree and the show was over.  You never know what you're going to see on a field trip.

The final activity I'll share was having a Chinese meal after learning about China.  We ended up getting Chinese takeout instead of going to a restaurant because T wasn't feeling well.  The kids had fun trying to use chopsticks.

Here is another picture to show that M wasn't being left out:

It was a delicious meal, though T, unfortunately, was only able to eat a little.
We had a good time with this row, it was one with memorable moments!


Dana said...

Ping, our old favorite!

That first picture is precious - perfectly captures imaginative play.

Nice centerpiece. :)

Joelle said...

Love reading how the book was different when rowed a second time. It will be interesting for me to see the difference between A + T next year. T is a better auditory learner than A. That will make a huge difference. Love how he acted out the story and how everyone being nature observers - fun!