Latticed Learning - Marsupials and Australia

Learn while playing with Latticed Learning!  This week's theme has plenty of activities to go along with it - keep reading to find out more!

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Welcome back to Latticed Learning!  This year, we're continuing to learn while we play - repeating many of our favorites from the past while adding in all sorts of new activities as well.

This day's post is devoted to our weekly themes - some weeks have more activities than others, but each lesson will be fun for you to explore with your little one!

Read All About It

There are some great children's books out there that go along with the marsupials and Australia theme! Here are some of our favorites:

Koala Lou is a classic Mem Fox book that not only highlights many of Australia's unusual animals, but drives home the point that a mother will love her child no matter what.

Zoo-Looking really only has one marsupial in it, but it is written by popular Australian author Mem Fox and Gv just really enjoys being able to name all the different animals and say the repetitive line "and the ___ looked back."

Katy No-Pocket has the same great illustrations as the Curious George books and is the cute tale of a pocket-less kangaroo in search of a better way to carry her son.  She obviously needs someone to hook her up with a Tula or something (then people really could scream, "Tula in the Wild!"), but luckily she runs into a man with loads of pockets all over his apron who can help her out.


What Do You Do with a Kangaroo is an extremely silly book that I find hard to like (it's outright preposterous), but it gives Gv the giggles every time we read it, so how can I not include it on this list?

Koala is like a little critter biography - the book follows the true story of Karen (a koala bear), from just before her birth, throughout her childhood in the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia, to her ultimate relocation as an adult at the San Francisco Zoo.

Marsupial Sue

About Marsupials

I Am NOT a Bear

Australia ABCs

Over in Australia

This is Australia

D is for Down Under

Possum Magic

Sing Some Songs

We listened to two main things this week:

Koala Bear Diner from the album I shared about here and

Waltzing Matilda from this family favorite.

Watch Some Videos

I couldn't resist pulling out the big guns for our Australia topic, so we watched this full movie together for the first time and followed it up with this one

This is another great Disney movie that would be perfect for the week, too.

Play and Create

We did several things to correspond to our topic this week:

I pinned a washcloth onto Gv's grocery store apron so she could carry around her "baby" just like Katy No-Pocket did.

I printed out another copy of this week's phonics card, then cut out the kangaroo and taped a little construction paper pouch onto her belly.  Then I printed another copy of the card, but shrunk it down.  I cut that little guy out to put in the mama's pouch.  Gv was so tickled by this and has had to run to get it to show anyone foolish enough to stop by our house this week (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the mailman, a random solicitor...).

I printed out the little critters on pages 6 and 17 of this pack, because Gv was in the mood for cutting some stuff out (when is she not?) and I figured the least I could do was give her something cute and related to work with.  Plus, I keep hoping that if I continue to provide her with exciting things to cut, it will prevent the inevitable self-bang-trimming that all children with access to scissors must engage in.  I know, just keep telling myself that, right?

We jumped around and acted like a kangaroo.  I didn't even bother trying to take a picture of this, because we all know by now what this would look like.  See this example here:

I pulled out the paint so Gv could create a cool piece of Aboriginal-like art.  I traced her hand onto black construction paper with a white pencil, then told her to cover the lines with dots of paint (using the back of a paintbrush).  I had her add more dots to her hand with other colors, then swirls of white outside the hand, and finish with filling in all the background space with bright blue.

If I had been smarter, I would have snapped a photo of this masterpiece the second the last dot was placed, but no-o, I had to run and clean up - just for a second - and when I returned, Gv had the paintbrush turned the other (normal) way and was happily blending all her colorful dots into one big, muddled mess:

Finally, we grabbed a paper towel roll and held our own little didgeridoo concert.  I'd originally planned for us to decorate it first, but after all that intensive dot painting we'd just done, we just went with the natural version and increased the volume of all our "wawhr-wawhr"ing.

We didn't time things right, but it would have been perfect to coordinate our "trip" to Australia with this week's learning. Click on over to this Passport to Fun post to get more great ideas.

There are a few others from the Cultural Day we held here, so be sure to read that one, too!

Looking for all the great posts associated with this concept in one place?  Check out my Latticed Learning page here!

What's your favorite thing that we did this week?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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