Letter G, For Gears and Geckos and Geese, Oh My!

photo 2 (36)We started off our week of G-themed fun with some great choral music grace à Grandma Carmen, who sings in the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble. We grabbed some seats in the back, and Lucien was thrilled when I held him up so he could see Grandma march in with the other singers. He sat and listened contentedly to the first fifteen or so minutes of the “American Songbook” concert. He loves music so much! I can imagine him deciding to be a photo 3 (34)singer or performing artist some day. He kept his hands busy as always, organizing a set of silicone muffin liners that he filched from the kitchen, while he listened. (They have been his most recent playtime fascination.)

After a while he told me that the music was getting too loud for his ears (such were the acoustics in the performing hall), so we snuck out the back door to the nearby garden (another G!) area to play, run around, and throw stones in the water to make ripples. We played until intermission, when Grandma got a chance to come out and introduce Lucien to her friends and fellow singers. 

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photocbaWe made it to another garden this week – the Little Sprouts garden at the Discovery Center. We had fun watering with spray bottles, identifying plants, raking in the dirt, and just running around in the green space behind the Discovery Center.

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And of course G was for gecko! Living in Hawaii, it was just so easy – the little critters are everywhere! I found a whole bunch of G-themed books at the library, including one in the Hawaiiana section entitled “The Gecko Who Wanted To Be Different.” I did not expect it to be a big hit with Lucien, as it was on the longer, wordier side, and he usually only has the attention span for faster reads with more pictures, but he absolutely loves the story of Kupu the gecko. Maybe it is the story line, maybe it is the cadence of the verses, I do not know, but he has requested “Read about Kupu!” so many times that I now have large portions of this long book memorized! I am so excited that I hit upon a new favorite. We have had plenty of opportunities to observe geckos in our back yard, and have even caught a few in a glass to observe for a short period of time before releasing them “back into their natural habitat.” My son knows the word habitat. Cool. We also talked about how geckos are cold blooded. Since it has been relatively cool lately (like 68 degrees – I know, we suffer) we have had the opportunity to watch the geckos warming themselves by pushing blood through their throats. Lucien is fascinated to see their throats bulge out and expose bright red skin.

Another book I found at the library, entitled “Tales of Tutu Nene and Nele” had some real Hawaiian flair. It was all about the Hawaiian state bird, the Nene Goose, and introduced a bit of history, ecology, and Hawaiian vocabulary. When we went to the zoo this week we made sure to stop and visit the Nene geese. We saw adult geese in their sanctuary, watched the adolescent Nene goose cavort around in the keiki zoo, and even examined some Nene goose eggs that were on display.

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photo 1 (39)We made the ultimate G-themed snack this week: a Gelatin cup in a Green muffin liner comprised of Great Lakes Grass-fed Gelatin (and puréed fruits, veggies, and coconut milk) with Green Grapes arranged as letter G. It was a fun culinary, artistic, fine motor, pre-literacy, sensory activity. According to Lucien, it was also yummy: “Mama, make some more letter G’s!”

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Moving into the realms of science and simple machines, G was also for gears. We found some gears to manipulate at the Discovery Center. Lucien was quite the intense, studious scientist.

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photo 3 (38)We also worked with gears at home. This is a fun new toy from photo 2 (42)Grandma and Grandpa. Once assembled, monkeys hang from the trees and spin as we turn the gears. Lucien had fun assembling the gears in his own pattern.
He also had fun disassembling the final product.


Moving from science to mathematics …. Lucien decided to do some work with counting and one-to-one correspondence. Notice how the engines are all line up neatly next to the freezer. And numbered appropriately, one through eight. He was giving each engine a gear. When he was done with his work, there were eight gears lined up next to the eight engines. He also asked me to spell out the names of some of the engines, so up higher on the freezer (not visible in this picture) are the names Percy and Thomas.

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