Fairy houses and my thoughts on Disney's Tinker Bell

I've noticed an explosion in imaginative play this past year. From gnomes over the summer (thanks to the beautiful book we checked out from the library) to today's obsession with fairies, the world of this preschooler seems filled with magic.


Claire spent days working on fairy houses on our front porch. She's used rocks, sticks and leaves and is now begging us for a handful of bricks so the fairy folk will stay warm through the winter.


A Rhinocerous in our BACKYARD!

Ok, so my title is slightly misleading, but still -- check out this awesome beetle we found outside! You know the bug is big when you can HEAR it crawling around under the leaf litter:

What a great find! If you were wondering, it's a beetle in the dynastinae family, a rhinoceros beetle. Just check out that horn, if you've found a cooler beetle, I want to see it.

If you're on the hunt for a beginner's field guide to identify the creepy-crawlies, I highly recommend you check out the Peterson's First Guide collection. I think we've checked most of them out of the library and the insect and bird ones will make an appearance under the Christmas tree this year. I find these guides are great for an intro to taxonomy without being too bulky and overwhelming for little hands (and at $6.95 I won't cry for too long if they're lost).

Claire loves to watch the bugs do their work, the insect world is certainly a fascinating place. I loved her reaction when we tipped over a log and found a nest underneath with oodles of ants running around. Check out her estimation skills below, judging by her confidence in the number, I'm sure there are exactly 88 ants. Heehee!


Pattern Playtime

When I hear the sound of plastic beads hitting the art room floor I usually means that for the next 3 days I'll be vacuuming up accidentally scattered beads from the entire house (and it sound like machine gun fire, I'm sure it's not good for my vacuum).

Sometimes though, there's a creative mathematician on the loose who must be loocking for something new to sort. What a funny little creature Claire is lately. Sort, sort, sort. She's a young taxonomist at work I suppose and I'm certainly enjoying all her explorations, ESPECIALLY when she cleans them up afterwards!