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Play With Me {B4FI♥AR} & Pond Life

~Boaz is 4 years, 7 months~

We had the most wonderful day trip to the mountain to begin our row of Play With Me. We found this beautiful pond filled with water lilies and walked around the pond. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable time, and we made some fun discoveries. 

During our walk, we saw lots of water lilies, a frog, a red squirrel, a neat red mushroom, a blue jay, and a chipmunk. 

Then we drove to Sibley Lake and walked on the trail around the whole lake. 

The kids dunked in the lake before walking around, so they changed clothes and took turns wrapping up in a blanket to warm up. 

This was another amazing nature walk filled with little learning moments and our own rare "Play With Me" experience. We came upon a mama duck and her ducklings. We all stood very still and were very quiet and watched as they came out of the water to play with us! 

The ducks walked on the trail, right between my husband and the kids and I, and nibbled the seeds from the little plants growing beside the trail. They seemed to notice us a few times if we moved or made a sound, but quickly returned to nibbling. One time, the mama duck charged another duck that tried to join them. Funny! 

About half way around the lake, I started to get nervous - I couldn't see the dock anymore and the lake was twice as big as I remembered (you can only see the whole lake out in a canoe) and it was getting late in the day. Then part of the way around we saw more evidence of other critters and the trail turned into a marshy part of the lake. It was pretty swampy until we got around the last bend, but then as the dock came back in view, and we saw people fishing, I felt better. It was an adventure!

That part of our row filled my love tank for the whole week, so I was especially happy to see pages of their nature notebooks get filled.

Bo's journal -

The Water Lily:

The Woods:

Malachi's journal - the water lily pond:

Eliana's journal - the water lily pond:

I asked the kids what they wanted to learn more about when we got home and they said the red squirrel and the water lilies. So, we did the lessons for both from The Handbook of Nature Study. They both were really great lessons and I fell in love with this book all over again. The reading was geared more towards Malachi and Eliana, but it was bedtime reading, so Bo was content to lay there and listen while I read and even took some interest in what we were reading.

We had plenty of reading geared towards his age, too.

We had fun reading Play With Me - I adore this book and can read it over and over. Eliana wanted to read it too. We also read the Wonders of Nature from Eloise Wilkin Stories - a very sweet story perfect for Bo's age that really does tie in wonderfully with Play With Me.

The following was Bo's favorite page. I love that it has some of the woodland creatures from Play With Me. 

Next, we did the activities on the lifecycle of a frog and toad from Nature For the Very Young.

I read Frogs by Gail Gibbons, and Bo matched his stages to the stages in the book. 

We learned the difference between a frog and toad:

We read Jump. Frog, Jump! I started off by asking Bo what we thought the book was about - he named all the animals on the cover and said the book was about them. I helped him find the author and illustrator and explained what each does. After we read the story, I asked Bo what the frog caught, how the frog got away, which animal the snake ate, and other discussion questions. Then Bo had some creative play with the story props.

We listened to Deep in the Swamp, a sing song counting rhyme, and Bo counted each of the creatures. 

We took one last trip to a local pond just down the street to look for frogs and turtles.

 Bo was good about sitting quiet and still by now. 

We saw three turtles sunning themselves on a log, but they dove into the water as fast as we approached. 

We waited quietly for them to return, but Bo got stung by a bee so we hurried back to the car to get the lavender oil. On the way, Bo was crying and then suddenly stopped crying and started laughing... there was a baby deer hiding in the bush! Can you spot it in the pic below?

What a good eye he has, and I was thankful for the distraction. I keep my lavender in our nature back pack now. 

B4FI♥AR Treat:

For our treat, we made Turtle Candy just like we did when I rowed this with Mali and Elli

The Milkweed

We had one last lesson - fun with a milkweed. 

And Bo caught a grasshopper. :) 

Bo's Narration:

Bo "reading" Play With Me

I have one more row to share from our summer learning and then a row from our first week back to school.

Play With Me is a Before Five in a Row selection. There are a lot of Fun Things to do with B4FIAR, but the most important thing is to cultivate a love for learning. ♥

Thank you for taking the time to share, link up, and 
visit to inspire and be inspired. 


  1. Love your row! So many beautiful experiences❤️! I'm always looking forward to more posts from your blog, thank you for sharing!!

  2. I love reading about the books you row! Play With Me is a beautiful book that my youngest kids love!

  3. So many lovely pictures. I think the pond lilies were one of most favorite discoveries this summer on the mountain! I love Eloise Wilkin illustrations and books. I'm going to order that collection! :)

  4. Love the nature journal pages! We've not been able to find any milkweed in our area. We just finished up our study on frogs with our row of Andy and the Circus. Enjoy your last bit of summer :)

  5. Oh what beautiful moments, I can see why they filled up your love cup! :)

  6. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! It was such a wonderful summer - I've enjoyed every bit that I'm ready for fall now. :)