Play With Me ~ Pond Life {Before FI♥AR}

In Play With Me, by Marie Hall Ets, a little girl goes to a meadow to play with the animals by the pond and one by one they all hop, slither or run away from her, until she sits still and quiet - then they all come out to play.

Our B4FIAR activities this week focused on the animals from the story and pond life. We did some lap journal activities, made an edible craft, went on a nature walk to see what animals we could find to "play with" and more!

Who Am I?
In this lapbook component from HSS, I read the clues to Malachi, he picked the animal that matched, cut it out and then glued it into the matchbook. 

While he did that, Eliana put together a squirrel puzzle from the Kumon cut and paste book. 
She was having a hard time with it, so I placed 2 of the pieces and had her place the other 2. {I love her facial expressions when she is frustrated!}

I think she was tired, so I put on the Young Minds Numbers and Counting video, (which featured a frog and other animals). 

Play Dough Mats
Another day, Malachi sculpted the letter Ff (for frog) while Eliana worked on the letter Rr (for rabbit).  

Pond Field Trip

We took a trip to a local pond, hoping to see some of the animals from the book. We saw a snake and a grasshopper and caught a frog and a turtle.

Sitting quietly.
Nathan caught the frog!
Eliana loved to hold the frog . . .
and the turtle Nathan caught. . . but Malachi did not! 
Edible Craft ~ Turtle Candy
Pecans, caramel and melted chocolate. . . Turtles we can eat!
I had the kids flatten the caramel, add the feet, put another caramel on top (to keep the feet from falling off) and then I poured chocolate on top. Yum!

I loved the two-color matchup in this game which made for a little more of a challenge for her. 

Counting at the Pond:

This was a great activity for number recognition. She can easily count to ten orally, but does not know the numbers to 10 on paper. So I made this into a game for her. I called out the number first and gave her a chance to spot it by counting, then I helped her by calling out the animal on the cards and she put them in order. 

"I Like Ponds" Tot-Book:

This was a fun little book about all the animals that like ponds. . . ending with a spot for her to put her picture. 

Would You Play With Them?
I printed the animal classification cards from HSS along with the lapbook component and asked Malachi if he would want to play with each animal. He wrote yes or no under the animal and glued the animal on the paper if he would like to play with it. 

Malachi put the sequencing cards in order and pasted them.

Lap Journal/Memory Book:
Recently I started adding a color copy of the cover of the book to our lap journal ~ this gives the kids a visual memory of the book and also helps to organize the journal. It also becomes their B4 portfolio of sorts.

Narrations and Story Telling:

Each story we "row" I try to have Malachi and Eliana narrate or tell the story back to me. Malachi summarized the story and Eliana "read" the story to me.

Malachi's narration:

"A little girl found a frog. Then when she could barely touch it, it leaped away. Then she found a snake. Before she could touch it, it slithered back in its hole. Then she found a bunny in front of a tree. It was wiggling his nose on a flower. Then before she could touch it, it hopped in the woods. Then she found a turtle on its log to get some sun. Before she could touch it, it got back in the water. Then she sit on a rock and they all came back on their places. Then a baby fawn licked her on the cheek. They were playing with her! The End." ~ Malachi

Eliana telling the story:

This is a 3 minute long video. I love it because she surprised me by remembering little details from the story.

We are taking a little break from Before Five in a Row to read some Fall books and do some Fall themed activities. I love the changing seasons, so I am excited that Fall is here!

Delightful Links:


  1. I love all of your activities. After all that work, I hope you got to sit back and eat some of the turtles.

  2. They were gone in a flash, so no time to actually sit back, lol. :D

  3. What a fun week! Also very neat that they got to touch and hold some of the animals from the pond!

  4. I really enjoyed this post! Great ideas! I am going to use some myself!

    I also really like how you lay out the photos in a collage! How do you do that?

  5. Great week. We are studying ponds with a different book- I had not thought of bringing a net when we visit the pond near us (to collect water), but I will be sure and take it!! I *love* your lap journals!!

  6. Wow what great activities. I love the edible frogs and your trip to a real pond. Emily would have enjoyed that :0)

    Thank you for linking up to stART!!

  7. I am a first year home school mom of a 4 and 2.5 year olds. We also are doing BFIAR. I love your blog as it really gives me the imagination and tools to get our schooling started off right. I also am planning to take a few week break from rowing to do a fall study. Would you be able to share a few of your ideas that you are going to implement? I've been having some trouble nailing down just what I want to do and could really use some advise and inspiration. Thank you for guiding us new moms!

  8. Hi Kerry, I'll email you our "hope-to-do- list" of what we are planning for this coming week! =)

  9. Sharon, I use Picasa ~ it is a free download from Google. I edit, crop and make collages, then I upload them to Picasa Web Albums to share. It is fun, but addicting!

  10. You've done it again Michelle! All of these activities are great. Every single time I read your BFIAR or FIAR posts I so wish we were doing this in our homeschool. Maybe next year when Jack is about 3 1/2 I'll start it with him, we'll see:-).

    I absolutely love the video of Eliana "reading". She is precious! It is so much fun to see videos of your kids on your blog.

  11. We have 3 frogs at home- they are fun and easy "pets" to have. We like the tree frog the best! I really enjoyed seeing your activities. Karen
    Sippy Cup Central Mom

  12. Boy you got a lot accomplished! Can you come and teach mine--I don't have any energy left--lol! Those turtle snacks look so yummy!

  13. Wow, I love the idea of teaching every thing on a unit basis, with a book at the center - I'll definitely be looking around your blog more! Thanks for the comment on my tot school post! :)

  14. Looks like a great study! I always enjoy your lovely pictures!

  15. Precious! I love Eliana's story reading!