With each new year, and new group of students, I’m always so fascinated to see what types of games the students create with one another. Sometimes it’s a classic game of tag or “cops and robbers” but more often it’s a game that they created from their own imaginations. This year, many of the students were interested in collecting seeds from around the nature playground. When asked why they were collecting the seeds, they responded that they were for the animals to eat at the animal restaurant.
Since that day, the children have been working diligently to create different confections for the animals to eat. Some children helped by gathering a variety of natural materials for the kitchen such as rain water, grass, sand from smashed rocks, wood chips, acorns, pine needles, dirt, rocks, and what they had decided are lemons (but are actually walnuts). Once the materials were gathered, they students took turns adding them to the concoction they were working on at the moment. Some days it has been a cake, other days it has been a stew or a salad.
As other children have been inspired to join in the fun, new animal kitchens have popped up around the nature playground as well. A new animal restaurant was created yesterday in what we refer to as the”mud kitchen”, except that this restaurant has a twist. The animals that eat the food from the mud kitchen gain special powers like rainbow powers and storm cloud powers. Animals that wish to dine in this restaurant can use their special power to ward off bad guys that they may encounter in the woods.
We are very excited to see where this game will take us in the following days or even weeks. Tomorrow we will be working on making signs for the restaurants. We will continue to observe the children working in their animal restaurants and hopefully we can find a way to turn this wonderfully imaginative play into a full-blown unit of study. We will keep you posted as the play progresses!
The visit to the pet store yesterday went perfectly. Well, maybe not perfectly, but we all had fun, found some pets, and behaved ourselves. We had a bit of a wrinkle when 12 hours before our trip we found out Seahorse, Inc. did not have anyone staffed to open the store for our visit. Oops.
(Think quick, Marie.)
Who knew there was another pet shop right next door? What luck! So we changed our plans a bit and went to Burton’s Total Pet instead. When life gives you lemons, right?
Total Pet had exactly what we wanted to see. We inspected the fish tanks, ogled at bunnies, and drooled over a huge, all-inclusive rat cage with two female rats, (Ok, that was just me, but they were cute!) The children were drawn to the Black Lory as it traded very loud squawks with them in a constant chorus of cacophonous noise.
A consensus arose and we decided to purchase one beta fish and three fiddler crabs. If you haven’t already stopped in to see our new pets, you are welcome to do so.
We will be voting on names for our new friends later today. Wonder what silliness we can come up with?
Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have an animal expert, Dr. Steve Gross, join our class to answer some questions about what it is like to work in an animal hospital. Here are a few of the questions they asked.
Where do you work?
What do you feed the animals?
How much do you work?
What do you do for the animals?
What kind of animals do you help?
What medicines do you give?
How do you give shots?
Do animals ever jump on you?
Do the animals get covered up with a blanket?
What room do the animals go in?
Do the animals have to stay over night?
We learned that veterinarians take care of animals in many of the same ways that doctors take care of people. They even use some of the same medicines. We also learned that animals hate shots just as much as we do, or possibly more! Animals also have specific doctors for checks ups, surgery, and can specialize in different parts of the body just like people doctors do. The biggest difference between animals and humans is that people can tell you what is wrong, while animals cannot. Sometimes it takes some investigating to find out what is wrong with the animal before they can be treated.
We also learned that some veterinarians work in a doctor’s office or emergency room while other vets do house calls. Vets will visit animals at their home if there are many animals that need checked, if the animal is too big to visit the office, or if the owner is not able to drive their pet to their check-up.
The excitement surrounding animals hospitals and veterinarians is continually growing. The students have discussed how they can take care of animals and have relished the opportunity to tell their own pet shenanigan stories. We are very excited to learn more about our furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends and those that take care of them.