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Category: 2 – Early Life

First off, the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History rocks. Starting from the Big Bang, all the way through modern times, it is fill of pictures and links to interactive websites. If you don’t have it yet, I highly recommend it!

Prehistoric Earth

Prehistoric Earth

For prehistory, I’m always looking for ways to make it all come alive for a young one. You can see all our book go-alongs and craft/activities. But there is something about seeing it in moving, full-color that makes things truly come alive. The Walking With Monsters/Dinosaurs/Beasts/Cavemen DVD series is absolutely unbeatable in doing so. We’ve only seen the entirety of Walking With Monsters to cover the Paleozoic era, this is before the dinosaurs. It has great coverage on the most fascinating creatures that swam or roamed the earth, and also gives evolutionary lessons on how life has evolved.

You can buy it all together in the Prehistoric Earth DVD set. If that’s a bit too much, try the The Complete Walking With Collection for $32. Or, rent them all at Netflix. (Contact me if you want a month free membership.) That’s what we did, until we fell in love. They have high repeat-playability value and mom doesn’t mind watching them over and over, so they’re well worth the investment.

Also a fun find was The Great Prehistoric Search, a colorful search and find book. This series also offers The Great Dinosaur Search, as well as Planet, Animal, Bug, Undersea, World, Castle, etc… search. A great way to throw in a little fun. 🙂

The Cambrian seas page “Crowded Seas”…

Prehistoric Seas Search

Prehistoric Seas Search

and the Carboniferous “Forests and Swamps”…

Forests and Swamps search

Forests and Swamps search

Here’s our Great Dinosaur Search book which we’ll be tackling soon.

The Great Dinosaur Search

The Great Dinosaur Search

If you’re studying prehistory and early life, or just love cute little creature cookies, then you *must* make these cute Trilobite Cookies!

Trilobite Cookies!

Trilobite Cookies!

After googling trilobite masks yesterday, I found these cookies and HAD to make them. I even rushed down to Boulder at night to get a cookie press! They were born at 11pm last night.

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Since our Trilobites have raspberry jam insides, they’re a healthy breakfast item, right?

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Neither Satori or I like chocolate too much, so we just eat their butts!

Head here for the recipe for Trilobite Cookies! Thank you George Hart (creator of these Trilobite cookies) for both this yummy recipe and for helping me figure out how to use a cookie press! 😉

Trilobite Cookie ingredients

Trilobite Cookie ingredients

I had nothing better to do today while waiting for David to get home from his one-day Mexico meeting, so Satori and I did a bunch of experiments and trilobite crafts.

First up, this super cool Paper Trilobite! Print out this page to Build your own Paper Trilobite. It didn’t take long to make, just print, cut and glue/tape. It was an all-mom activity though, until I gave it to Tori to play with.

Isn’t he amazing?

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It then scuttered right up to Satori’s head!

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Next up, Trilobite Masks. I simply googled and found directions on making Trilobite Masks.

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A very rare rainy weekend for us in Colorado. We had the pleasure of my parents visiting yesterday and today David got to stay home and we all relaxed. I spent much time catching up on Facebook, something I’ve never really got into, this blog is time-consuming enough! Really enjoyed catching up with my sister, high school friends, and other friends I’ve lost touch with over the years. I snuck down to Boulder for a few hours to catch a movie, but then we hung out together.

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After grilling out our tofu dogs, we had a family coloring night – and since Satori and I are studying the pre-dinosaur period, we used this coloring book tonight. I simply find it fascinating how many niche coloring books there are out there! You saw our Galapagos book, now here’s “Before the Dinosaurs”, which is appropriate as we learn about the Ordovician through Permian periods the next few weeks. 🙂

Before the Dinosaurs - coloring book

Before the Dinosaurs - coloring book

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With these awesome Prismacolor pencils, it was so easy to get detailed. Satori amazed me how careful and intricate she was carefully drawing.

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Even David got into it, and he originally wanted to use clunky crayons!

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At the end of the night, we had about a dozen new coloring pages to add to our Prehistory Binder. Satori loves it.

And to check up on our caterpillars, wow, they are getting HUGE! I think they’ll be ready to start their cocoons later this week.

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Today we watched another Galapagos DVD (IMAX version), but it wasn’t as good as the one I mentioned a few days ago. Nonetheless, we are very familiar with the animals on Galapagos Islands by now and Satori has been fascinated with them. She’s spending all her time playing with her Galapagos Island Toob and coloring the pages of her Galapagos Islands coloring book. This is the first time we got an official coloring book and it has been an absolute hit!

Galapagos Islands Coloring book

Galapagos Islands Coloring book

Out of the coloring book, there were many animals that we hadn’t learned about in the DVDs, so at first, I just copied/printed out just a few animals.

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Satori soon wanted more, and asked where’s the Hawk, where’s the Crab, etc… so I ended up printing many pages of the book. (I copied and printed the pages so she could color them again another day.)

She set her Galapagos Toob animals down so she knew how to color them. With our 72-set of Prismacolor pencils, there was nothing stopping her drawing them just the way she wanted!

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Each page describes a bit about the animal you’re coloring.

Galapagos Penguins

Galapagos Penguins

We have been compiling a binder to store all our prehistory coloring pages and such, so all Satori’s pages went into her binder and she is so proud of her new “Prehistory book”.

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Satori and her Galapagos Islands

Satori and her Galapagos Islands

To kick off our Evolution week, we learned about Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands. I had been slowly introducing evolution, Darwin and a bit of these islands to Satori but today was the day we made it come alive. We started by watching Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World (NetFlix or Amazon). Then we read a few picture books on Darwin and the Galapagos. Finally, we pulled up the Galapagos islands on Google Earth to see them off the coast of Ecuador. The cool ocean floor feature helped us gain an idea of how they were formed (volcanic islands being made over millions of years).

Armed with this knowledge, it was time to play! I pulled out our Galapagos Toob of animals and made a few “islands” in the water. Here’s the island’s namesake tortoise, along with a frigate bird with a colorful red bulbous throat.

Galapagos Turtle and a Frigate bird

Galapagos Turtle and a Frigate bird

The marine iguana who dives in the water to eat their food, their black skin blending in with the black volcanic rock of the island they live on. Behind him is a Galapagos Crab (Sally Lightfoot crab) with its stunning red colors.

Marine Iguana - with their black skin

Marine Iguana - with their black skin

The boobie birds can be found on most islands in the archipelago, diving into the waters to catch their prey.

Blue and Red Footed Boobie birds

Blue and Red Footed Boobie birds

Galapagos Penguins are the only penguin to live on the equator and thrive in the cool water of one of the currents that come to the islands.

Galapagos Penguin

Galapagos Penguin

Charles Darwin himself graced us with his presence! We got him from the Evolving Darwin Play Set. Although he is really deceased at this time, here he is later in his life with his beard. The only time he was actually on the Galapagos was in his young 20’s.

Charles Darwin on the Galapagos

Charles Darwin on the Galapagos

A few more fun Galapagos interactive activities and resources:

Animals, Adaptation and the Galapagos Islands – Discover with Darwin (Level 1)