Just Some Interesting Animal Facts!

After a trip to the spring Scholastic book fair at our local elementary school, we came home (as usual) with some goodies. 51vgO-vMKwL._SY323_BO1,204,203,200_








We were in the mood for some nature lessons about the wild and  Sink Your Claws Into PREDATORS  fit the bill.  I wanted to make sure what we learned would really sink in 🙂 So, I followed up our reading with a short quiz.  My kid really gets a kick out of these little tests I put together for review and we both appreciate the three featured claws that are included in the book!

Below is a list of some of the facts shared in this title that maybe your kids will enjoy too!

Just Some Interesting Animal Facts!

  1. Great Horned Owls don’t have any teeth.
  2. Honey Badgers have been named “The World’s Most Fearless Creature” by The Guinness Book of World Records.
  3. American Black Bears can go without food, water, or exercise for 100 days in a row.
  4. The Bengal Tiger is an endangered species with only 2,500 left in the wild.
  5. The claws of a Grey Wolf are not used for slashing prey but for grip and speed during a chase as they sink into the ground like soccer cleats.
  6. Wolverines have a thick, greasy coat that repels water and frost and even their paws are like crampons (metal spikes mountain climbers attach their boots for traction.)
  7. The venom of a Red-Clawed Scorpion doesn’t hurt more than a bee sting.
  8. A Peregrine Falcon hunts other birds and bats while in midair and has been clocked going as fast as 200 miles per hour.
  9. Unlike most felines, Jaguars don’t mind water and will often take a dip while hunting.
  10. Female pride members (Lionesses) stick together for life.
  11. Tasmanian Devils let out a big sneeze as their pre-fight ritual to intimidate the competition.
  12. An African Clawed Frog has no tongue.
  13. “Ghost Cats of the Himalayas” is a nickname for Snow Leopards.
  14. Once a Grizzly bear grows up, they prefer to go it alone, staying solo rather than joining up with other bears.
  15. Legend says that just a whiff of a Fossa (a strange-looking creature found in Madagascar) is a smell that kills chickens.
  16. Bald eagles mate for life and will continue working with the same partner over many years, constructing some of the largest nests in the world together.
  17. Even if the prey of a Komodo Dragon gets away, it will eventually collapse due to the bacteria from this lizard’s poisonous saliva.
  18. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world and can go from sitting to sprinting at 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds and can cover 20 feet in a single running step.
  19. The American Alligators have powerful jaws lined with about 80 teeth that once worn down fall out regularly but they’re constantly replaced (they’ll go through at least 3,000 in their lifetime.)
  20. Polar Bears are the biggest Apex predators on land.
Bonus fact question:  What’s a PLUMICORN?  Click here to find out and see great photography of the related creature!

Bookmarks for Valentine’s Day!


Once you’ve fallen into the endless pit of arts and crafts, you save random things. Why? Because it might prove useful later on, of course.

So is the case with the tops of standard size tissue boxes. I noticed that the strip you tear off (which I do ever so gently in case I will need it) looks like your standard bookmark. (Early on I realized that card stock and lamination paper can get costly, so to economize, most cardboard materials in our recycle bin ultimately become the sturdy backing required for various projects.)

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the time was right to finally create something out of those tissue box strips for our kindergarten friends.


Inspired by templates found on Pinterest, I decided to cut red construction paper to fit the book marks (masking the side that has the tissue brand design) affixed with double-sided tape (which I prefer instead of glue as it tends to dampen the paper.)

This is also the side I taped on regular white copy paper with my own printed message. I traced the heart shapes used at the very top with a puzzle piece we already have on hand, while on the blank side is where my child will add all the “To” and “From” information in his own handwriting for each recipient.

Sidebar. I’m not a fan of children exchanging cards that say “Be my Valentine,” which is why I chose to personalize the bookmarks to focus on our love of reading!

Hope you like this craft suggestion which can be used repeatedly (if you love gifting books as I do for any occasion that rolls around.)

Never make a promise you can’t keep?

So every week the kids at school get to choose library books to bring home with them.   Yesterday, we finally had a moment to devote our storytime routine to these new selections.

tadpoleThey are always different and great but one particular book stood out to me, simply because it opened from top to bottom and not left to right.

It tells about a love between a tadpole and a caterpillar, in which a promise is made for them to never change.  But alas, the tadpole will change and begins doing so, daily.  He sprouts legs, arms and then ultimately loses its tail.

The caterpillar is repeatedly disappointed, as well as, brokenhearted.  She chooses to abandon the one who has deceived her by failing to keep his promise to never change.  During this farewell she disappears into her cocoon.

Once she has reemerged (now a beautiful butterfly of course) she realizes that she wants to give her tadpole another chance because she misses him so and was perhaps hasty in her decision to have ever let him go.

When she flies over to the nearest frog to ask if they’ve seen her tadpole, she’s swallowed up whole!  This frog (formerly her beloved tadpole) was completely unaware of her own lovely metamorphosis.  Both of these creatures had become unrecognizable to each other and now only the frog remains, left to sit and wonder just longing for her return.

frogHis love is gone forever and he will never know why.

Although I expected each of them to change accordingly (despite their foolish promises) I was not expecting the frog to devour the butterfly, at all.  But I suppose that’s just your typical day in the life of an insect eater, I guess.

My child on the other hand was more than amused, not yet able to grasp the fact that in addition to the nature lesson being told, there was a profound message in there about life, love and loss.

Every now and again we find ourselves touched by the poignancy inside of a children’s book, such as The Tadpole’s promise.

It’s a pretty special book, in my book.



Adults read aloud to children (usually before bedtime as parents) in the hopes of expanding their vocabulary and helping them learn how to read all on their own one day.  Yes, literacy is important.

WERESAILINGNILE_USHB_ENDNOTES-1But, more often than not, when we are nestled under the covers, our main objective has been to simply cuddle.

It’s quality time together and we’re bonding.  Sometimes we spin into random conversations totally unrelated to the story.  Next thing I know, I’ve put the book down and we’re just talking about life.  The questions keep coming and we’re getting to know one another better (while rolling around and being silly.)  With lots of laughter, too.

But, while I still had the pages in front of me, I managed to read some interesting facts for myself from the Barefoot Books title We’re Sailing Down the Nile.  In typical fashion, it was super informative and educational, even for those of us who already know how to read.  Their books are usually packed with a variety of options for lesson planning (geography, culture, ancient history, etc.)  Not to mention their bold and colorful inspiration for arts & crafts.

Everything they needed in the next world was buried with them, including furniture, clothing, food, jewelery and pottery.”

Oh pharaohs.  Guess it was never said back then that you can’t take it with you.

Let them just Bee

There’s even a handy recipe in the back for “Grandma’s Apple and Honey Muffins.”

The warmer weather is approaching and with that, all the insects are too.

On Easter Sunday while enjoying the sunshine, my child bolted at the sight of a bee and rightfully so.  Most people don’t want to get stung.  However, I also wanted to remind him of their importance in nature.  So, I reassured him that while it’s wise to stay out of their way, we must also let them bee.

My plan for that afternoon was something to coincide with our egg hunting with a read aloud of Millie’s Chicken’s.  But, with a handy array of children’s books available, it was easy to change course as The Beeman also happens to be among them.  Obviously, it was time to reach for it again and revisit the topic of bees.  17990662_769299856571515_7109530623579947060_o

His Aunt was in town and offered to sit and read with him while I finished up in the kitchen.  My son had lots of questions and she learned some new things too.  I had the same experience when I first read it.  I was not that familiar with the honey making process because I didn’t retain much of the facts from my elementary school days.   There’s even a handy recipe at the end for “Grandma’s Apple and Honey Muffins.”

Barefoot Books carries a ton of options that tie in wonderfully with almost any theme.   So, if you’re a homeschooling parent, caregiver, teacher or simply seeking invaluable gifts for children and/or early learning fun, their vast catalog has something for you.

Stay inspired about story time and follow us into the pages of a Barefoot Book!

Kids keep me busy with things like this but so does the kitchen and food happens here.

This post contains affiliate links and every purchase provides diverse books many more families can enjoy!