We are Whale Aquainted Now


We had a big time at Toddler Tuesday this week. The blow up life-size baby Right Whale was a fun perspective on how big these creatures are. Thanks NOAA for letting us borrow it. The fingerpaint in a bag- whale habitat was squishy fun!

Our Right Whale habitats:  The dark spots on the left are the dyed rice that we pretended were krill.

Our Right Whale habitats: The dark spots on the right of the picture are the pink-dyed rice that we pretended were krill.

One of the tennets of my class is that I introduce some sign language and some yoga. I realized this past class that yogic movement is so intertwined with the natural world. Even if the yogi’s haven’t named a pose for a certain animal; there are definite ways to interpret animals through yoga. Today we did cat and cow and turned it into whale. We moved our spine through the pose and talked about whale movement versus shark movement side to side. We breached like whales and stretched our bodies into the thread the needle preparation pose. I think getting little ones to move and feel comfortable moving is an expression of creative play.

We made our wonderful whale diorama’s as seen above using paper print outs of right whale and calf, colored with wax crayons and wrapped in package tape to waterproof; homemade finger paints dyed with food coloring; and pink dyed rice. I hope my little friends are having fun out there manipulating their ocean habitats. My habitat is hanging in front of my window. It makes a nice stained glass effect.

For those of you interested, the homemade fingerpaint recipe is simple:

Use 2 cups water to 1/2 cup corn starch, add approx. 1 tbsp of salt.
Heat the mixture while stirring, until it forms a paste.
Turn off the heat and let it cool.
Add food color to achieve the color you want!
Store it in jars, bags etc.

**Optional–add a good squirt of clear dish detergent to make it smoother and more liquid-like.

So the big news is that we’ve grown and are now moving to two times. We will start next Tuesday either at 10 am or 11 am. The classes will be 45 minutes, and timely; so, if you like to linger around you will want to sign up for the 11 am time that way I won’t rush you out of the classroom.

Thanks for coming out and supporting Oatland Island.


About Joy O' Nature

I am a naturalist on the education staff here at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. I earned a B.S. in Terrestrial Ecology with a minor in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont. I recently received my MPH in Environmental Health from the University of Arizona. I have been a classroom science and environmental educator; instructing all ages from preschool to college, for most of my educated life.

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