I got the "Fun with Nature; Take-Along Guide" from the library on our last visit. One activity really caught my attention when I saw it. Making a snake out of dried beans! We use beans for art work all the time; Sam loves gluing them on things so we have tons in the house.
We started by looking at all the pictures of snakes that they have in the book and talking about all the different stripes, spots, patterns and colors. Then I started working on creating our snakes. This part took FOREVER! The author suggests using poster board, which we didn't have, and I thought regular paper would be too flimsy to really hold the beans so I had to use cardboard. This meant I needed an exacto-knife to cut out our snakes. Sam read books while I cut out three snakes. I actually drew the snakes on the card board first which turned out to be totally pointless because I couldn't keep the knife on the line anyway! (If you really like this idea just go buy some poster board!)
Once I got the snakes all cut out I got all the beans together and our glue.
We used black beans, navy beans (which are the white one!), yellow and green split peas and kidney beans. I poured glue into a plastic bowl and used paint brushes to apply the glue. The author says to do the gluing with your fingers but I just knew that was more mess than I was up for!
I gave Sam one snake and she got started.
About three minutes later...she was done!
Not sure why she didn't last longer but apparently today was not a bean-gluing kind of day! Unless however you are a 28 year old that is apparently in need of some art therapy. Check out my snake!
I really enjoyed this activity!
While I sat working on my snake Sam played with the beans; moving them from one spot to another in the muffin tin, counting them and dropping them on the table. She was content and happy just not really engaged by the activity.
She also didn't get the idea that there were colors in the snakes. When I asked her what color she was going to make her snake she said "Color mommy? Where?". We may need to work a bit more on finding color in animals as this still seems to be a bit of a challenge for her.
The Nitty Gritty!
A bit more about the "Fun With Nature; Take-Along Guide" by a whole bunch of people!
I have seen these books before but never the complete "Take-Along Guide" so I wanted to see what it was all about. As an identification book for kids this one is not so great. I don't think the pictures are clear enough or simple enough for kids to really be able to use them in comparison with a live animal for identification purposes. However, the information is simple, fun to read and well organized. The "Take-Along Guide" is big, heavy and hard-back so I am not sure that I would ever really be taking it along with me anywhere. But there are some fun activities in there; several more that I am anxious to test out.