Inspiring Children to be the Best That They Can Be

For: Primary Educators, Parents, and Kids Inspiring Children To Love Learning And Be The Best They Can Be

Monday, February 25, 2013

Coyotes in Arizona

Time to Explore . . . A Visit to Arizona

    So, who would believe that coyotes could be so fascinating?
   A 'den' of babies on the golf 
       course? - and protection by 
   But. . . beware!  They are 
       carnivores  - and attack 
       small dogs.
    Prey include: rodents (which 
        is good, right?), rabbits,  
        birds, lizards, snakes - and 
        even sheep or deer.
    They are sly - and one story has it that a dog was attacked
        from behind when being walked by its owner.
    A coyote looks a little like a scrawny 'shepard' mix, so   
        people sometimes put food out for the 'poor skinny things.'        
      The coyote has many roles in Native American myths.  It can be a hero that battles supernatural beasts or. . . a trickster, outsmarting people and animals.  
       Coyote stories are meant to entertain or educate in Native American culture. 
       In contemporary literature, the coyote 
often comes across as a 'buffoon.'   

Odyssey Educational Games  

New Games for 2013!
  Kulami   ($29.95) Ages 10 and up; 2 player
     Players form a random field using 10 wooden tiles of various sizes.  Each player moves horizontally or vertically, dictated by the placement of the last marble.   Play ends when a marble can not be placed.  The player who claims the most tiles dominated by his color wins.

Sturdy Birdy - The Game of Perfect Balance  ($19.99) 
     Ages 5 & up; 2 - 4 players (Good for families!)
Choose 1 of 12 strength/balance cards and hold the pose as determined by the dice.

You've Been Sentenced ($24.99)  Ages 8 & up; 3 - 10 players   Each player takes 10 cards from the center.  More difficult choices of words earn more points. Players take turns reading sentences.  When there is agreement on whether the sentences are real, each player adds up his points. (The sillier the better.)  First to reach 200 wins. 

Book Reviews for Kid's Books

      I'm obsessed with puppy books and the clever illustrations caught my attention.

Otis and the Puppy by Loren Long      
A picture book for ages 3 - 6    
    This is the 3rd 'Otis' book by this best selling illustrator. Transport yourself to a farm where Otis, a cute little red tractor, plays games with his barnyard friends.  

In a rousing game of hide-and-seek, the new rambunctious puppy gets lost in the woods while trying to hide.  As night time comes, Otis remembers that his new friend is afraid of the dark.
       Check out: Lizards,  A National geographic reader  (level 1)  by Laura Marsh.  This is a nonfiction book with wonderful photos and neat facts. Lizards are fascinating with unique characteristics, such as: suction pads on their feet and the ability to change color.  
    (Side note) When visiting Dennie’s cousin in Lake Havasu, she pointed out two lizards climbing steep rocks across the road from their house.  She said that they have a routine and travel the same way each day.

     For Kindle users, check out: Incredible Lizards by Mark Smith (easy reader) - Animal Books for Kids With Facts & Incredible Photos (Exploring Our Incredible World Children's Books). The facts and photos are captivating as promised.  

Finally, for my two 'horse-loving' grand daughters, there is the Timber Ridge Riders series by Maggie Dana.  The fifth in the series, Chasing Dreams, features a rescue in the snow, where a trick by Kate's horse, Tapestry, proves invaluable. This series has family drama, conflicts with female rivalry, and other middle reader issues presented in fresh, new ways.

In My Backyard

    What is in my backyard these days, besides pond life and numerous bird feeders is our adorable puppy, Jasmine (see last blog).  She is a ball of energy - fortunately our daughter, Carrie - and family - took care of her while we were visiting Arizona.  
   No problems with training so far - but then 'puppy' classes don't begin until Saturday.     

   I want to close with a poem by a Earth Day Poetry Contest First Place Winner, 2012.
The Sonoran Desert      
                                              By Ellenor Van Cleve

I spy a furry, brown coyote

Surrounded by cactus in a humongous
Howling at the big, silvery

Fuzzy, funny javelinas eating
prickly pear.
Orange and black Gila monsters
quiet like the air.

My ears hear slithery rattlesnakes
shaking the rattles on their tails.

Red, juicy cactus fruit falling to
the floor.
The scent of the desert can be unique.

Dry, dusty monsoons rain warm and clear.

Fresh cactus fruit, crystal clear
water, fresh and blue.

The hot rays of the sun boiling
my skin.

Feeling of excitement and a smile
upon my face.

Signing off until next time.

Be creative,
Inspire others,
Enjoy life!
                                                     Joan Bock