Posts Tagged “Nocturnal animals”

Explore the Wild With Jungle Hide & Seek Game & Jungle Theme Stories

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We’ve partnered with SmartGamesUSA for a series of games and puzzle reviews. We are very excited to be working with them to provide our readers with an honest review of Jungle Hide & Seek. Affiliate links may be contained in this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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If there’s one theme that gets kids really going… it’s the wild of the Jungle. We’ve done many variations with the jungle theme because there are tons of craft ideas and great reading selections… not to mention all the animal science and habitat discovery. Here the Jungle Hide & Seek puzzle game by SmartGamesUSA pairs nicely with a couple favorite Barefoot Books: The Animal Boogie and Walking Through The Jungle (both with catchy songs and CD’s). Go wild with this theme… or just enjoy a fun puzzle with some family quiet time. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Jungle Hide & Seek and these Barefoot Books.

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Jungle Hide & Seek is a puzzle game from SmartGamesUSA, challenging players as a single person game. Similar to well-known, Rush Hour, Jungle Hide & Seek has multiple puzzle challenges which provides lot of game play and ensures players remain on their toes. Jungle Hide & Seek is particularly meaningful because it showcases a dual-sided game board, which incidentally works as storage for the puzzle pieces. On one side you have traditional jungle animals like elephants, tigers and a baboon. On the flip side, children are introduced to nocturnal animals including the lemur, fox, and panther. Aside from being a terrific brain activity, I really like that Jungle Hide & Seek can be partnered with Halloween themes around creatures of the night. It could be used as a party game using teams. We typically leave the spooks to other families and focus on nocturnal animals for our Halloween festivities and activities. It’s all about adding in a layer of learning while having a great time.

Jungle Hide & Seek Profile Pic

As I mentioned above, Jungle Hide & Seek partners perfectly with several of our personal library books on jungle animals. If you are going to the zoo as a family or class trip, this is a perfect game to follow that experience because it speaks to the animals of the wild. Likewise, if you read a lot of stories about animals, Jungle Hide & Seek will help to bring the two activities together. This game will surely become part of our Jungle curriculum, as well as, our Animal Adventures series, both coming soon.

Walk Thru The Jungle & Animal Boogie BFB

Jungle Hide & Seek offers 80 challenges building in complexity. It is perfect for ages 7 to adult… and yes, I’ve challenged myself a couple times and have gotten as far as puzzle card #23. There are four puzzle pieces (with a green and blue side each). Using the corresponding side, players use all four puzzle pieces for each challenge and trust me, it’s a lot more challenging than I’m describing. And a little bit addicting. #JustSaying

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Tarantulas: A Family Museum Exhibit

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Tarantula myths debunked; a new appreciation for these giant, fuzzy arachnids.

We are happy to partner with Academy of Natural Sciences to provide this exhibit review as part of a sponsored arrangement. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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My daughter has had a fascination with spiders for several years… so imagine her excitement when she learned that her favorite science museum is showcasing a special exhibit on tarantulas. Yeah, it was kinda a big deal.

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The Academy of Natural Sciences opened its “Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close” exhibit this past Saturday, January 30. It will show until May 30th, 2016 with a small admission price. Get all the details here.

Taking notesWith an invitation a couple months back, we waited for what felt like “forever” for a five-year old but finally the media preview date arrived. Victoria was afforded the day off from school to attend this event, and again this was because spiders are a big deal to her and I knew she would get a lot out of this day trip. Upon check-in, she was given a tiny notebook and pen, and from there we began our journey.

In usual Academy fashion, the exhibit has a variety of show pieces to include an interactive map, photo cut-out and plenty of easy to digest narrative and picture displays. Personally, I appreciated the “Anatomy of Tarantulas” oversized book display. The Tarantulas exhibit has a colorful backyard back drop area and tarantula costumes perfect for photo ops and imaginary play.

open presentationVictoria, being in Kindergarten, isn’t exactly the best note taker… but that didn’t stop her from paying absolute close attention and attempting to capture the important facts that Invertebrates Specialist, Karen Verderame was sharing in the Opening Presentation.

Victoria asked "What do tarantulas eat for breakfast?"

Victoria asked “What do tarantulas eat for breakfast?”

 

Victoria, never without a question, took an opportunity to ask Ms. Verderame what tarantulas like for breakfast before moving about the live spider exhibits. Thank you to Philly Voice for quoting Victoria and capturing the perfect picture of my little journalist in action, as well as this quick snippet on 6 abc news.

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favorite spider

 

That little notebook came in handy, when Victoria learned about the most impressive species of tarantulas. She was quick to copy the name of her new favorite into the notebook. And if you’re curious, her favorite tarantulas are Martinique Pinktoe sporting a unique ability to change from a bright blue color as spiderlings into pink/purple legged adult tarantulas. And then that little notebook accompanied every question she had for the Academy’s staff.

This tarantulas exhibit is ideal for spider enthusiasts, like my daughter, AND those who fear the creepy-crawlers because there is so much misunderstood about these arachnids. I loved NJ.com coverage of this event to highlight some of those myths and truths.

 

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Homeroom At Home Halloween

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Happy Halloween!

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Year after year, we use Halloween as the perfect backdrop for some educational fun. The fall provides for so many opportunities to disguise learning with fun family activities. At our house, we try to find a variety of things to do each Halloween and October weekends.

IMG_20150813_164406Hayrides and pumpkin patches remain a favorite with lessons around harvest and healthful foods. This year we accidentally grew our very own small pumpkin. What an amazing family story to have and it also led to a wonderful discussion on farming, pumpkins and the importance of caring for our environment.

It is no surprise that we enjoy dress up… all year long, imaginative play with different props and costumes. So naturally Halloween offers the best time for such fancy things. We enjoy pirates, princesses and period wear. So when we see a flood of costumes around Halloween, I’ll take a moment to drop some facts about pirates and mummies, or whatever might cross our path and have a real application. (So far we’ve stayed away from the creepiest things but when age appropriate we’ll discuss things like witches and perhaps ghost walks like Edgar Allen Poe.)

For the past few years, Homeroom At Home has participated in a variety of Trunk or Treats. Our themes have been skeletons loaded with fun facts about the human body, the skeletal system and body decomposition. This year and last, we’ve focused on Nocturnal Animals with again fun facts that perhaps parents didn’t know either. We found that our theme for creatures of the night was perfect for a large range of audience. Kids love stories and facts about owls, spiders and wolves.

We highly recommend that parents take advantage of the Halloween season for such perfect learning moments. There is so much to delve into no matter how involved or how easily spooked your children may be. Things like Edgar Allen Poe, The Salem Witch Trial or Mad Science Lab are terrific for more mature children vs a tame discussion around bats, spiders and cats.

However you celebrate, enjoy the festivities! Happy Halloween.

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