Turtles

My little ones have been learning about turtles. It’s been lots of fun.

This activity started it.

Can you remember doing this as a kid? I can! Jonty put the basket on his back one day and crept around the house proclaiming he was a turtle. Trent thought it was a wondrous idea and got his own basket. The played happily together for almost an hour. I swooped in occasionally as a seagull and tried to eat them, but alas for turtles they moved very quickly and all I could do was peck through their shell’s unconventional holes.

Random turtle sightings are common around these parts. (As are dirty socks left on lounge chairs. Thanks hon.)

The turtle game continued to be a favourite for Trent, even when Jonty was at school. Seagulls were soon considered boring and he begged me to various animals, his favourite: “Be a shark, be a shark” and “Be a squidgy, be a squidgy.” I have no idea how he heard of squids, but it became his favourite animal to prey on the Washing Basketted Turtles. (Co-incidentally the skid of screeching tyres is a “squid”, and squids are unchangeably “squidgies” in Trent Talk.)

I soon got tired of being the never ending enemy of the turtle, and quite frankly my supersonic ability (and resolve) to transform into different menacing animals was beginning to weaken. I startled myself with having a brilliant idea to turn this play into a learning activity. Because Trent was fixated on ‘squidgies’ and I was a very tired old squidgy, I encouraged him to come and research with me whether squids even liked eating turtles in the first place.

We found all sorts of information like a giant squids eyes were the size of basketballs! (This interested me more than Trent.) I also concluded that squids weren’t all that fond of turtles. Which stopped Trent asking for a squidgy to eat him for one day. (I’ll take it.)

We made a squid mask. You’d never tell that is what it was, but anyway…. it didn’t really matter since Trent ran around the house roaring in it.

We did some turtle craft. It’s only simple. But I think there is a tendency to get carried away that things need to be worthy of Pinterest these days or not bother at all. It’s not true! You can check out other turtle craft ideas, which I’d like to do, but haven’t had a chance to do (it can be difficult convincing boys to sit down and do craft sometimes!) on my Pinterest Board. Just simplify them if you have to!

We watched a video on hatchlings. (Watch it here)

I printed some turtle pages for the boys to colour in here.

It took a bit longer, but I also ordered some cheap little books on The Book Depository. I loved doing this, and will do it more often as learning opportunities arise. If I was to scan bookstores for books on a certain topic, I’m sure it would not be so easy or cheap. Plus one of the books is at Jonty’s reading level, so that made it ideal. We also visited the library and borrowed books on turtles.

In Bargara where we go to holiday regularly, loggerhead turtles lay eggs and hatchlings scurry to the beach after they hatch. I really wanted to visit Mon Repos at Easter, but unfortunately turtle season ended early this year. It’s definitely on our to do list with the kids.

All of this activity has just been gradually implemented over the weeks. It’s been fantastic. I’m eager to pick up on the next thing the kids are interested in and turn it into a learning experience as well. Not only do the children discover more about their world, but they learn auxiliary skills such as fine motor during craft, they learn how to research, they boost their creative play, develop a love of books and most importantly it fosters a love of learning.

Apparantly turtles can be scary too.

Do your kids play with the washing baskets? What do they pretend they are?

Oh, and would you mind going over and voting for me please?

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