Do you have a little brother or sister? Do you look up to an older sibling?
We just released a perfect read for any family awaiting a new sibling, Yay for Big Brothers! by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Shennen Bersani.
On each page of Yay for Big Brothers! We meet a different animal family and get a glimpse of how siblings help the youngest members. Crows help to feed new babies, beavers give young siblings a ride after a tiring swim practice, and dolphins share their favorite toys during playtime. These are just a few examples of how siblings welcome little brothers and sisters. After we learn how big brothers help, the author asks us to consider the similarities to human relationships.
Janet was inspired by watching her own family as it expanded. We sat down with Janet and Shennen to learn more about their creative process. Watch to learn more!
Create your own animal family puppets with these templates from Shennen! Maybe you can even play with your big brother!
While we are all social distancing and getting back to nature, we have noticed an increase of winged friends in the backyard. The bluebirds are beginning to build their nest – they come back to the same spot every spring. The mallards and Canadian Geese are congregating by the pond. And even a few butterflies have landed on the flowers.
It is amazing to see things spring to life as warmer, longer days return.
So, why does this happen?
Not all animals are built for colder climates. And unlike people, who can put our favorite foods on trucks to our local grocery stores, animals must rely on nature to grow their favorite foods. When the weather turns cold, they must go to where the food is still thriving, and now that the sun has returned, they go back to their favorite summer feeding ground.
Even scientists are amazed by the instincts and ability to travel great distances. A butterfly and a whale both cover thousands of miles to get to their favorite feeding grounds.
If you are also noticing an abundance of songbirds in your backyard, here is an easy craft to give the weary travelers a bit of food.
Cookie Cutter Birdfeeder
You will need: Supplies: Mixing bowl, cookie cutters, baking sheet, nonstick cooking spray, straw, and twine 1 ½ cups birdseed ½ cup flour ¼ cup water 2 Tbsp Corn syrup
We put wax paper down just to control the mess. Then, mix birdseed, flour, water, and corn syrup until everything is incorporated.
Spray the cookie sheet and the inside of the cookie cutters with the nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in the mixture pressing it into the shape of the cookie cutter. Then take your straw and poke a hole in the center for the twine to be tied to later
Gently lift the cookie cutter from the tray and start again with another shape!
Bake for 1 ½ hours at your oven’s lowest setting (170°).
Once cooled, tie the twine and place on the tree for birds to enjoy.
If you want to learn more about migration or how animals adapt to seasons, read:
Read these titles and many more FREE until May 15th. Sign in using this site licences codeUGEI16 with the password May15 and start reading: bit.ly/2Uoja4I
This week is a busy one for scientists. Today is National STEM/STEAM Day, and Saturday is World Science Day. As you can imagine we are big fans of these two days, so here is a compilation of some of our best activities celebrating science in our “For Creative Minds” sections.
Click on the Cover to learn more about the book, or the “For Creative Minds” section to start the activities!
Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant
Cao Chong was a very creative thinker. You can stretch your imagination testing buoyancy with a Sink or Float activity and learn how scales work.
Living Things and Nonliving Things
A living thing moves, but so do airplanes, and they are not living. How do you decide what is living and what is not? The checklist from Kevin Kurtz’s book is a great way to perfect your classification skills although some may not be as cut and dry as you might think!
Newton and Me
If you push a ball how far will it go? If you push harder, how much further does it travel? Experiment with push, pull, force and motion with Newton!
Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea
Animals of the sea use slime to move, protect themselves, and clean themselves. Learn about crazy animals many have never seen. Then, make your own slime.
Pieces of Another World
Watching meteors is an amazing family activity and the Geminids peak in December. You can get ready and even bake comet cookies for the event with the recipe and tips in Pieces of Another World!
The latest book in Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series is all about the ears. Some ears are easy to spot, while others are concealed. Why? Mary Holland has the answers as she guides readers through the world of Animal Ears.
Mary’s lens captured ears of all sizes for this book. From the katydid that has tiny ears on its legs to the cottontail rabbit with large rotating ears to a huge black bear with small round ears, each ear’s unique traits are revealed through nonfiction text.
To celebrate the release of Animal Ears, make your own favorite animal ears with these easy headband designs!
How do humans stay cool in the summer? A Cool Summer Tail tells us about all of the different ways that animals and humans alike are able to stay cool in the hot summer sun.
One way that we’re able to cool off after a fun day outside is by drinking a cold glass of water and taking a break indoors. Print off this word search based off of vocabulary from A Cool Summer Tail to keep as a fun indoor activity!