For our last week of summer Seeds we explored more about Bugs!

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We went on a Bug Hunt to the Nature Trail, Garden, and Bee Hive to find as many insects as possible!

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We made our own play dough bugs too!

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Did you know we would not have all the yummy fruits and vegetables that we eat if it weren’t for honey bees? They pollinate all the crops and plants that humans eat for food! They also make honey to provide food for the hive in the winter, and food for humans all the time! We got to try some Quaker Lake honey too!

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We also played lots of bug-themed games and watched part of an awesome Disney Nature video called Wings of Life!

 

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We kicked off our session on insects this week! We had a bug snack that was awfully yummy!

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We took our bug guides to the garden to help us identify insects and the characteristics that make them insects. We looked for bugs with a head, abdomen, and thorax; antennae; and wings.

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We found a monarch butterfly amongst the flowers! IMG_5922

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This was our favorite game!

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Our theme was quite fitting for the rainy weather the Piedmont Triad has been experiencing in the past week or so. We learned a lot about the water cycle and the important role precipitation plays in it. Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, and Accumulation keep our planet healthy!

We read A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley and counted our blessings for many things, including the availability of fresh, safe, drinking water. We also read Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros and learned that the water that falls in our back yard will eventually make it to the ocean.

We made homemade rain gauges together and placed them in our garden to check next time so we can measure how much it rained in a week. We had an experiment that demonstrated what happens when clouds get full of condensation and finally start to precipitate. We were also able to see the water cycle in action by allowing sunlight to warm up water in a plastic bag taped to the window (example of this experiment seen here). Finally, we learned about water pollution through a demonstration. Once water has dangerous chemicals and trash in it, it is really hard to clean so that we can use it. Only 1% of Earth’s water supply is fresh and free flowing water, so we have to be good stewards of a precious resource God gave us.

We also got to go on a Hayride for fun!

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On our second Tuesday of Water, Water Everywhere we learned about things that live in the water and  properties of water. We did several demonstrations to learn about when things sink and float.

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photo[6]We also made a water xylophone.

We read some awesome books about water wildlife and water properties!

This week for Seeds we prepared our provisions for a trip on the Oregon Trail! During crafts we made hats which would protect us from the sun on our long journey from Independence, Missouri (the Lodge) to Oregon (the Rec Hall).

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We also made homemade butter! Before there were grocery stores, pioneers used butter churns to convert cream into butter. We simulated this process by shaking heavy whipping cream and salt in a small jar. The mechanical motion disrupts the milk fat and the fat binds together as buttermilk which eventually becomes solid butter.

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We began our journey with our trusty covered wagon and headed west. We harvested food from the garden to add to our provisions. We procured transportation at the lake. We found some birds along the way! When we finally made it to Oregon we had to set up camp and make shelter to protect us from the elements. It was a long journey but we sure had a lot of fun!

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For snack we made homemade ice cream! We felt like real pioneers making real food for ourselves! All you do is add 2 tbsp sugar, 1 cup half and half milk, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract in a quart size ziploc bag. You put the smaller bag into a gallon size ziploc bag of ice and rock salt and shake for about five minutes! It was so yummy!

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We enjoyed our adventure as pioneers today! July 9 and 16 we will be learning about Water, Water, Everywhere!

(Journals of the Oregon Trail journey with pictures of your child along the way can either be picked up at the next Seeds session or mailed if they are not scheduled to attend)

For our first session of summer Seeds we learned about Little Pioneers. What is a pioneer, you ask? A person who is among the first to settle a new country or area! We talked about the pioneers in America and how their way of life is different from ours today. They did not have electricity, supermarkets, or even cars. We also talked about how pioneers took care of livestock, gardens, and crops in order to feed themselves and have a livelihood. We started our morning by getting to feed baby cows a bottle of milk! We also got to see a chicken and the yolk of an egg—it sure looks a lot different than the scrambled eggs we had for breakfast!

For snack we had haystacks! Click here for the recipe!

We read Cowboy Roy together. Some pioneers were cowboys out west.

photoDonald, a member of the 2013 summer staff, showed us how to build a fire! Pioneers used fires for light, warmth, and cooking.

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During craft time we made paper patchwork quilts. Quilts are beautiful blankets that pioneers often sewed. photo[3]During free play Seth and Cohen read a book about farms by themselves! They were so proud of their accomplishment, and we are too!

photo[2]AJ made a pretty neat machine with gears!

Today we learned about polliwogs. . . you may not know what they are, so let me tell you! Polliwog is another word for tadpole, which is a baby frog! Tadpoles change over time into froglets with legs and a tail and eventually to a frog with just legs. A frog is an amphibian, this means it can live on land and in the water. Tadpoles can only live in the water. It is also important to know that toads and frogs are not the same. We tried to jump as far as some frogs jump but we couldn’t, they can jump 6 feet or more! We watched videos of some polliwogs in the rainforest turning into frogs, read stories about frogs, and even made a frog puppet! It was raining outside so unfortunately we couldn’t go look for polliwogs in the lake, but we sure did learn a lot and have fun too!

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Group story time! We read:

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We watched videos of a frog life cycle!

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Ava trying to jump as far as a frog!

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AJ making his frog puppet!

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Ethan gluing on his froggy’s eyes!

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Our awesome frog puppets!

This week we learned all about butterflies! We learned the word, metamorphosis, this is the change that happens from a caterpillar to a butterfly! We learned that butterflies are insects because they have 6 legs and 3 body parts. We looked for butterflies in the garden after talking about their life cycle. Did you know butterflies don’t make cocoons, they make a chrysalis?! We’re thankful that God can change us to a wonderful creation when we ask Jesus to live in our heart, just like caterpillars change into beautiful butterflies! We really enjoyed making our different butterfly crafts and spending time outside playing together!

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The books we read this week!

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Our relay race as butterflies and caterpillars!

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The life cycle of a butterfly: egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly!

We tried to catch butterflies in the garden, they were a little too fast for us!

We colored the pictures for this cool craft and will pick up the final product next week!

Our butterfly magnets!

Even our snack was butterfly themed! Butterflies eat nectar but we like grapes and goldfish!

Every Seeds star wants to lead the banana song because it is so fun!

Today at Seeds we learned about constellations. This may seem like a big word to some kids but we’ve learned what it means! It’s a group of stars that seem to make a picture of a character from Greek mythology or an animal. If you look up at the sky you can see constellations like the big and little dippers, Cassiopeia, Canis Major, Gemini, Pegasus, and Hercules. Did you know our sun is a star? We also learned about planets, meteors, and comets; they are friends to the constellations just like we are friends to each other! We’re all pretty sad that Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. Anyways, we drew constellations, watched a video about constellations, and read several awesome books about constellations. We sure learned a lot today!

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The sunflowers in the garden make a cool tunnel for us.

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Seth with his private eye (magnifying glass). We went to the garden today to check on our sunflower plants and to examine plants with our private eyes.

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We’re all friends at Seeds!

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The constellations we learned about in the star room!

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We had a dark room that we used to look at glow in the dark stars in the shape of constellations!

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The video we watched about constellations!

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Our connect the dots constellations we made in crafts!

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Salem with her constellation she created!

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 The books we read to learn about our stars and constellations!

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Our favorite book that we read in the dark to see the glow in the dark constellations!

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Did you know a cloud is just water vapor that has condensed? Rain, hail, sleet, and snow all come from clouds! We learned about different kinds of clouds today! We saw some real live cirrus clouds in the sky! Sometimes clouds look like submarines, elephants, or even spilt milk. We played with “cloud dough” (flour and baby oil as a sand subsitiute) and we absolutely loved it! It was so soft, just like a cloud looks! We learned about the water cycle: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation! We went and checked on our sunflowers that we planted in June, and they’re growing! We are thankful that God gives us clouds that bring rain so our plants can grow!

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These are the books we read today!

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We took a trip to the garden to check on our sunflowers!

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A big ol’ watermelon!!

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Although there weren’t a lot of clouds in the sky, we were able to look at pictures of clouds and identify them with our cloud finder!

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Craft time!

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Cloud dough!

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We made books sharing what characters, shapes, or animals clouds look like sometimes.