Letter E: Enthusiastic Exploration, Eggs, and Elephants

I am healthy this week (Hooray, finally, I can eat!!), and Lucien and I are enthusiastically diving back into new learning and playing adventures, this week centered around the letter E. Eggs and elephants were our two main themes.
The library book that I found relating to eggs is called “Eggs 1 2 3 Who Will the Babies Be?” It is a lift-the-flap book, which always goes over well with Lucien, and a  fun guessing game. It features all sort of egg-laying animals, from photo 5 (7)penguins to platypuses to butterflies. We talked about the different types and sizes of eggs. Lucien got plenty of hands-on experiences with eggs during our first trip to the zoo this week. (We went twice in one week, it was so fun!) Our favorite zoo volunteer in the keiki zoo showed him eggs from the chickens and turkeys at the zoo – and he also stopped to visit the chickens, turkeys, and other farm animals. He also got to see the – very large – eggs of the Hawaiian Nene goose.
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We compared the eggs at the zoo to the tiny gecko eggs that he checks on every time we visit Grandpa’s garden. He discovered the geckos’ hiding place several months ago, and now every time we visit he is excited to see him many eggs and how many broken eggshells are there.
Lucien is so enthusiastic about his Highlights Hive Five magazine subscription that Daddy and I ordered two years worth of back issues for him, and each month we rotate out the old issues. We recently brought out the May 2012 and May 2013 issues, and we found a fun mama and baby matching game. Mostly Lucien had fun helping me to cut out the game pieces – it was extra exciting because he got to use my scrapbooking tools. Then we matched the animal mothers with their babies, and talked about which babies hatch from eggs and which babies are born live. And which mamas carry their babies. Kangaroo and human, in a pouch and in an ergo, respectively, is what Lucien told me. He also got a lot of laughs when I purposely mismatched the mamas and babies and feigned surprise when he told me I was wrong.
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photo 1 (25)Following along with our egg theme, I got out our plastic Easter eggs and created an art invitation. Lucien had a great time dipping his egg shells into the paint, swirling them around, and then stamping them on the enormous letter E I had cut out for him. He also decided that his artwork needed some stickers, so he added a whole slew of frog stickers. He proudly showed his work to Daddy when Daddy came home that evening, and then helped me to display it on the fridge. Yay for art!
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We eat eggs pretty much every day at our house. Lucien and I love them fried, scrambled, green, poached, hard-boiled. But it is a special treat for Lucien when we get out his Montessori-inspired egg slicing tray. He loves peeling and slicing his hard-boiled eggs. On this particular day he decided that we should have a picnic outside because it was too hot in the house. Could lunch time get any better? Oh, yes! Mama got out the guacamole so that we could make “combo bites!”
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Ever since I introduced Lucien to baking soda and vinegar he has been incredibly enthusiastic about “making explosions.” This week I decided to help him “explode” some of our plastic Easter eggs in an old egg carton. I showed him how to put medicine in a syringe and squirt it onto the baking soda-filled eggs. (It was some good fine motor practice and made the fun last longer!) He worked intently with the eggs for quite some time, and then he decided we should clean the eggs – very tidy and thoughtful of him! So we had an egg-washing station in the pool.
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photo 5 (10)We also got out one of Lucien’s perennial favorite toys – his “baby chicks.” It is a colr- and shape-matching toy that he finds very …. engaging. This week he decided that the baby chicks needed names (Huey, Dewey, Louie, Chewy, Pooey, and Alfred), and that they were sick with a stomach bug. (I wonder where he got that idea?) So we have been taking very good care of them and giving them their medicine.
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And on our second trip to the zoo we got to
see the elephants! One of the elephant-themed books I found was “Going to the Zoo,” by Tom Paxton. Lucien has loved singing the song along with Raffi for quite some time, and he was very excited to see it in book form, complete with colorful, humorous pictures. He sang right along with me!
The zoo happens to be located right next to Waikiki beach, so of course we had to stop and play in the sand on both of our trips. And located conveniently next to the beach and the zoo is Starbucks! Many thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for keeping us stocked with Starbucks cards! We stopped in and Lucien enthusiastically devoured his “big hunks of orangey” (freeze-dried mandarin orange slices) and sipped his ice water. His mother might have ordered a dark roast with heavy cream. Just maybe.
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photo 1 (21)We checked out a whole slew of elephant books at the library this week. Aside from “Going to the Zoo” and “Henry and the Elephant” (because it is a Thomas the Tank Engine book, of course!) Lucien was not at all enthusiastic about the new selections. I suppose that reading about elephants in books is less exciting when you can get outside and see the real thing!
We also did a great deal of exploring at the Discovery Center this week – we visited on three separate days! It was the perfect way to keep busy and beat the hot and humid weather. Lucien worked as the postmaster, mailing and delivering envelopes. That was the only tie-in to our E theme that I could find. He had fun riding the surfboards – I think he might have better balance than his mama! He also enjoyed putting out fires, taking care of the baby dolls (obviously!), and piloting the airplane. He is ready for his flight to Grandma and Grandpa’s house! We are leaving on Sunday evening, and we are counting down the days. Every day he asks and I tell him, “Four more bedtimes until we leave ….”
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And since it was so hot, we kept the pool out all week. Yes!
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Lucien loves music and dancing around the kitchen. Here is some more gratuitous cuteness.
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