Vegas summer is hot... To beat the heat we have done a lot of staying inside, a few splash park visits, some swimming in the Peters' pool, story time at Pottery Barn Kids, story time at the Library and participating in their summer reading program (We read 143 books! That beats last summers total of 100!), and going to Red Rock Canyon every Thursday for their kids nature program.
The program at Red Rock Canyon has been a huge part of our life here in Vegas and we have absolutely loved it! It's honestly a homeschooler's dream!
We actually stumbled upon the program on accident! One Thursday Brian didn't have any morning appointments so we decided to drive up to Red Rock Canyon for the first time. We stumbled upon the group on their first day and just kept going!
I'll never tire of this majestic scenery! Photos will never do it justice! Our God is amazing!
Week 1's theme was Native Plants.
Each week they would read a story, go observe the nature around us, and then do a fun craft.
Claire... Oh Claire :) While we were observing the native plants Claire was veering off the path toward a cactus. I told her that she needed to stay on the path or she could fall on the cactus and it could really hurt her.... This little conversation turned Claire into such a morbid kid whenever we are there! Case in point: Claire DOESN'T DRAW... However she did here and used a lot of red and then proceeded to tell everyone that it was blood all over the plants.
Week 2's theme was Native Birds.
We read a book about the roadrunner and how he can stand up to rattlesnakes!
Kenley named her bird Winner because he is really fast.
Claire named her bird Poison "because it poisons"... Seriously what is with this kid?! Haha!
After we learned about birds like the roadrunner and the cactus wren. We went out on a little hike to explore the red rocks a bit closer!
It's bright here :)
Week 3's theme was Tracks and Scat.
They read us a book called "Who Pooped in The Park" which is written about Red Rock Canyon! We had to get it! It is great book and is such a fun memory for us to have of our time in Red Rock!
We went out to search for some tracks and scat and then came back and classified edible scat! Yes, this is kind of gross but it was actually super fun and a great learning opportunity for the kids! Each kid was given a paper plate that they divided into 4 sections for Coyote, Bobcat, Jack Rabbit, and Rodent.
Kenley is holding up the Coyote scat made of shredded wheat, chocolate, marshmallow creme, and Boston Baked Beans candy. The Bobcat scat was represented by Tootsie Rolls, Jack Rabbit scat was represented by Cocoa Puffs, and the Rodent scat was represented by chocolate sprinkles.
It was actually pretty tasty. We brought an extra one home for Brian to try but he couldn't do it. :)
These girls are definitely not going to forget what coyote scat looks like!
Week 4's theme was the Coyote!
We got to feel some pelts of a coyote, a bobcat, and a badger. We discussed their similarities and their differences.
Then we got to explore their skulls and talk about how the differences in their skulls relate to what they eat and where they live.
Week 5's theme was the Owl.
We read a book called "Baby Owl's Rescue" and then dissected owl pellets.
After we had observed and classified all the different bones we found in the owl pellets, they made these super cute paper plate owls!
Week 6's theme was Insects and landed on Kenley's 6th birthday!
We started out by reading "Are You a Honeybee?" then we went out to see if we could find any honeybees. We didn't see any honey bees but we did see a lot of other insects, as well as a jack rabbit, road runner, and 2 collared lizards!
We made an insect craft with patterned paper inspired by Eric Carle!
Since it was Kenley's birthday, Grammy was with us!
Week 7's theme was the Desert Tortoise.
We read a fun desert take on the Tortoise and the Hare and then examined some tortoises that passed away in Red Rock Canyon and been preserved.
Every time we go to we try to see the tortoises but we are usually there during the heat of the day when the tortoises are in their burrows. Mojave Max must have known that it was Tortoise day because he came out to say hi to us!
After saying hi to Mojave Max, they painted little tortoise planters. The planters now live on our kitchen table with some little succulents growing in them!
Ranger Janice and Ranger Stacy are awesome! They were so knowledgeable about this desert that we knew nothing about when we moved here and so patient with the kids! No matter how many random morbid questions Claire asked :).
We will always cherish this summer at Red Rock Canyon in the Mojave Desert!