Showing posts with label flamingo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flamingo. Show all posts

Can You Spot the Leopard? --Review & Giveaway of a Beautiful Picture Book about African Animals


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Karen B. Winnick for this blog tour and will receive a small stipend for this post. All opinions are my own.

Do you know an animal lover? Or perhaps you have a unit coming up on Africa and its animals? I have a beautiful new book to share with you that is perfect for both!! It is Can You Spot the Leopard? An African Safari by Karen B. Winnick. This is the type of book Hazel would have loved when she was younger. 

Kid Made Mother's Day Card Ideas with Round-Up

Can you believe Mother's Day is only a week away? This year with remote learning going on the kids are not getting help from their teachers to make cards and gifts. That means it falls on the kids and the dads. Steve brought up the idea of shopping for Mother's Day cards with Hazel and whether it was safe. I reminded him that most of our stores here are closed and will be until after Mother's Day. I suggested they go to our local Walgreen's but when push came to shove Hazel did not want to go out. She has been home since this has started except for our walks when it is nice out, a trip to her school for her yearbook picture, a trip to a good friend's house who is also social distancing but we needed to exchange things with one another and trips to her grandmother's house with Steve. I went to Walgreen's and picked up a couple of cards for her grandmothers. She was afraid one of them would not like getting a homemade card. I found it hard to believe but figured it was worth getting cards for her to give them. She can make one for me. Then I got to thinking of the dads out there who haven't had to deal with this before. I got the idea of sharing some when I got an email from Crayola featuring a flamingo card. I figured we had to try it since Hazel LOVES flamingos

Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tonight I am going to share two fun coloring books. These books are a bit like adult coloring books but for kids--think tweens. They are recommended for ages 7 to 10. Hazel LOVES them. The series is Press Out + Color, and we have had the pleasure of sharing with you some of the other books in this series. The first one we will share tonight is Press Out and Color Unicorns by Kate McLelland.

Peaceable Kingdom Valentines from Mindware

Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe Valentine's Day is next week? It is coming fast. Are you ready? Hazel always wants Valentines with little gifts but the school asks for non-candy Valentines. Do you have this issue? Well I turned to Mindware this year for some fun Valentines. We picked out three different ones to review and share with you from their new ones this year. Hazel loved the Scented Eraser Valentines and thought they would be perfect for her classmates. 

Shed to Clubhouse Transformation

For as long as I can remember Hazel has loved little playhouses. She has really wanted one, but we never got around to getting one. We kept wanting to get her a special one that she would want to use for many years, but we never found the money since those tend to be so expensive. Since we added a garage to our house, Steve has not been storing as much in his shed and decided to give Hazel the shed as her clubhouse/playhouse. She was excited for this and we talked about decorating it with curtains and a rug. While out shopping Hazel chose the pink shag rug for the clubhouse. I pulled out pink sparkly curtains I had bought on clearance and planned to use for a birthday party, but never did. We hung them with a thin branch from a tree that had fallen in the yard and used nails to keep them up. 

Flamingo Friday: Birthday Party Part 2: Food & More!

Last week I shared the first part of our Flamingo Birthday Party for Hazel's fifth birthday. That post was more about the decorations and activities as well as what we did on her actual birthday. Today I am going to share the food we had and one other extra for the party I did. 
First our menu:
Chips and Salsa mixed with Sour Cream (it turns pinkish) and plain salsa
Vegetables and Dip (in particular carrots)
Edible Arrangement of Fruit

Ginger Carrot Soup
Sandwiches (make your own ordered platters from grocery store)
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vingarette

Strawberry Birthday Cake
Pink Flamingo Rice Krispie Treats

Pink Flamingo Punch
Spiced Warm Cranberry Apple Cider
Bottled Water with diy labels

The appetizers were fairly easy. For the salsa mixed with sour cream, I did two parts salsa to one part sour cream. My goal was to make it pinkish. I bought a pre-cut vegetable platter that came with ranch dip, but added more vegetables and divided it all into two plates. I also found a red pepper dip that was pink, so we served that as well. My mother brought the shrimp and prepared them (Steve and I do not eat shrimp) and my mother-in-law brought the fruit. I was going to use my flamingo cookie cutter and cut out some flamingo watermelon to add to it, but the watermelon looked awful at the store the day of the party, so we skipped it. I made signs for all the food. The most intriguing ones were the shrimp and carrot items. This also gave me a way to mark the salad with the nuts. Shrimp is what turns flamingos pink and carrots have the same beta carotene (it makes the carrots orange).

For the ginger carrot soup, I combined recipes I found at Fine Cooking and Simply Recipes. I tripled the recipe and used 3 pounds of carrots. I liked the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe since it also had celery in it. I thought the portions were better in the other one. I used vegetable broth so it would be a vegetarian option. My mother is now eating vegetarian mostly, so I wanted her to have options. It turned out fine, but was not the best ginger carrot soup I have ever had. The main meal I order a deli platter and roll platters from the grocery store that is five minutes from our house. The Rite Aid is next door and the manager always gives Hazel balloons for her party as a gift. It makes it all easy to pick up and much easier to put together. Then I adapted the recipe I found on Closet Cooking for the salad. I liked that it has avocado in it. I did not put the bacon in and since I do not like blue cheese, I used goat cheese. My mother helped me make the salad. I had made the dressing the day before using frozen raspberries.

Hazel and I had big plans to make pink rice krispie treats. We used brown krisped rice instead of the Kellogg's brand. I added some red food coloring to the melted marshmallows. Then we let it sit while we went out. Then I tried to cut the flamingos out of them with the cookie cutter. I put pink frosting (which I bought) on them and pink sugar to make them sparkle. Since Hazel was sick (she has been since Christmas night), I did this by myself. I also made the cake myself even though she talked about making it with me all year.

For the cake, I adapted the recipe I found on  Confections of a Foodie Bride. Since we used the same recipe last year, I knew how it turned out. I roughly doubled the strawberry puree used in the cake. I also added some red food coloring since Hazel wanted the cake to be pink like a flamingo. I made it into a 9" by 11" sheet cake so it could be the water the flamingo (lollipops) live on. I used store bought blue frosting and then used a sparkle frosting gel to write on it. Hazel shares her birthday with a good friend of ours and she wanted her name on the cake as well to honor her. Then I used the flamingo lollipops I got from Oriental Trading to finish our cake. 

For our beverages, I peeled the labels of a pack of 24 water bottles and printed out my own with something about Hazel's party and flamingos on it. For the pink flamingo punch, I was inspired by the recipe I found on Kathryn's Kloset. When I went to buy pink lemonade I found strawberry lemonade that was bright pink and used that. The punch was a huge hit and was finished at the party. I left the short plastic cups for the punch but also had tall thin ones for the kids to use with the flamingo straws and had the covered ones with straws (Hefty Zoo Pals) for the younger kids. For the Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider I used the recipe I found at Betty Crocker to cook it in my slow cooker. I did not look at it carefully and did not get whole allspice. I used about a teaspoon of ground though. It was delicious!! Steve or his mother made the coffee. Since I don't drink it, I don't make it well.

The final personal touches were Flamingo Trivia at the various tables and in the bathroom. (You can get a copy without the Hazel line on it.) Then I took some of our leftover wedding favors (votive candles in glass holders) and replaced the wedding stickers with flamingo birthday stickers. I wrapped them in pink tulle and tied a pink feather to them. I left them on a table in Hazel's bedroom where we were putting coats with a sign telling people to take one when they got their coats to leave.

For more ideas for flamingo parties, check out my Pinterest Board! For more on flamingos (books, crafts and info) check out all of our Flamingo Fridays!

Flamingo Birthday Party

We finally had our flamingo birthday party!! Hazel is now officially five! It was a blast even though she now has her second ear infection since Christmas and is on her second round of antibiotics. Yes, it has been a tough Christmas break. But onto our happy time! A few weeks ago, I shared our printed invitation as well as some of the terrific products we reviewed from Oriental Trading.

Flamingo Friday: Getting Ready for a Flamingo Birthday Party with Oriental Trading

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas. Once Christmas is over, we begin to really focus on Hazel's birthday. This year I am trying to have most of the work done before Christmas or at least the things I can do ahead of time. Oriental Trading was kind enough to send me some flamingo items to review, so here is my review as well as a preview of the party.

Flamingo Friday: Marco Flamingo

I have been waiting for the cold weather to share this flamingo book with you. In New England it has been winter cold lately, so I think this is the perfect time to share. The book is Marco Flamingo by Sheila Jarkins. This book is in both English and Spanish. Hazel got frustrated when I read her the Spanish, but we keep trying. Apparently there is a whole series of books about Marco Flamingo. I will try to find some of the other versions to see where Marco explores.

In this story, Marco is curious about winter. He asks the winter birds when they return what it is like. They all tell him, "You don't want to know." However he really does, so he takes off to fly north. He discovers all sorts of new things like skiing, snowshoeing, snowballs, etc. He has a great time and loves the weather. He does add winter gear in each picture: scarf, hat, sweater and mitten boots. It is a wonderful book about trying new things and not being afraid to be curious. 

To go with this book, I made Miss Mingo a scarf. I am in the middle of making doll clothes and one of my patterns included a loop scarf, so I tried it out. I also had some fabric that looks knitted that I bought ages ago for dollhouse crafts and I thought this would be perfect. I am going to use it with Hazel's Christmas/birthday gifts. She is getting an 18-inch doll from Santa this year and most of her gifts stem around that. So that is the first adventure of Marco Flamingo. I hope you will join us for Sharing Saturday!!

Flamingo Friday: Greater Flamingos

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Phoenicopterus roseus -Bhigwan, Maharashtra, India -four-8
Source: By Yogendra Joshi 
(March baby MarchUploaded by Snowmanradio)
 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Today I thought we would take a look at the largest species of flamingos, the greater flamingo. The greater flamingos can be found in Africa, Southern Europe and Southern Asia. The picture above is of four greater flamingos in India.

Source: By Jmalik at en.wikipedia 
[GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons

Greater flamingos range from 43 to 60 inches in height and weigh between 4.4 to 8.8 pounds. The greater flamingo has pinkish-white plumage with red wing coverts and black secondary flight feathers. There bills are pink with a black tip and their legs are completely pink. The remain the whitish-grey until several years into their adult life when they gain their pink coloring.

Flamants roses à l'envol
Source: By aschaf ( 
[CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The lifespan of a greater flamingo in captivity is said to be 60 years, however the oldest is around 80 years and is in Adelaide Zoo in Australia. Like most flamingos their greatest threat is man. Ancient Romans considered flamingo tongue a delicacy. And occasionally flamingos in the Rann of Kutch salt marsh in Pakistan and India get electrocuted when they sit on electric cables near their breeding grounds. (Source)

So that is a little about the greater flamingo. If you missed the other species we have shared: Chilean and Caribbean and Andean flamingos. We still need to discuss the lesser flamingos and James flamingos.  I hope you will join us for Sharing Saturday this weekend!

Flamingo Friday--Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

We missed Flamingo Friday last week, but this week we are sharing the last of the Miss Mingo series book. Today it is Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm by Jamie Harper. We have already shared Miss Mingo and the First Day of School and Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill both also written by Jamie Harper. The best thing about these stories is you learn a little something about each of the animals in them. In the first day of school book we learned that flamingos eat upside down and in the fire drill we learned that flamingos like to be in large groups so the predators stick out.

Miss Mingo Weathers the Storm is about Miss Mingo taking her class on a field trip to climb to an observatory at the top of a mountain. Of course the weather changes drastically during the climb. It goes from heat to rain to snow.  The lesson about flamingos in this book is their ability to stand on one leg to conserve heat and they face the wind or rain. I wanted to learn more about this, so with a little research I found a bit more. When sleeping the flamingos stand on one leg and face wind and this stops the wind and rain from penetrating their feathers. (Source: Sea World)

Another interesting fact is that their mating season is tied the rainy season. The less rain there is the less likely they will mate. In years where there is no rain, the colony will not mate at all. (Source: Flamingos World) A fear of global warming is that it is effecting the amount of rain and this may endanger flamingos. (Source: Flamingos World)

So that is our Flamingo Friday. Hope you will come back and share at Sharing Saturday!

Flamingo Friday: Chilean & Caribbean Flamingos

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Continuing on looking at the species of flamingos, I thought I would give you some information about the last two that live in the Americas: the Chilean and the Caribbean Flamingos. Now these are the only flamingos I have seen live since our local zoo and Sea World have these kinds.

Source: By Kevin Walsh from Bicester, England, UK.
(flamingoscene.Uploaded by PDTillman.) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Chilean Flamingo:
The Chilean Flamingos range from 31 to 51 inches in height. Their weight ranges from 4.2 to 6.6 pounds. It is closely related to the Caribbean and the Greater Flamingos. Their plumage is pinker than the Greater flamingos but lighter than the Caribbean. Their legs are also grey with pink joints and a large amount of black on their bills. Their young are grey and remain grey for two to three years. Both male and female Chilean flamingos produce the "milk" to feed their young.
Chilean and Caribbean Flamingos at Stone Zoo, Stoneham, Massachusetts
Here is a YouTube Video of some Chilean flamingos at the Atlantic Zoo.

They breed in temperate South America: from Ecuador and Peru to Chile and Argentina and east to Brazil. They also have been introduced in Germany and the Netherlands and have a small population in Utah and California in the United States.
Hazel and a flamingo at Sea World


Sources:  Sea World Animal Bytes and  Wikipedia

The Caribbean Flamingo:
A Parent feeding a Young Chick at Stone Zoo
 The Caribbean flamingo is also known as the American flamingo. It is the only species of flamingo that inhabits North America naturally. The Caribbean flamingo is one of the larger and the brightest of the flamingos. Their height ranges from 31 to 57 inches and their weight ranges from 4.2 to 6.6 pounds. Their feathers are pink with  red wing coverts. They have black flight feathers (like most flamingos). Their beaks are pink and white with a black tip and their legs are completely pink.
Source: By Martin Pettitt from Bury St Edmunds, UK
(Caribbean flamingo) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Caribbean flamingos are found in the North Coast of South America, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and a range of Caribbean islands. There is also a small population in the Galapagos Islands. They are the only species of flamingos that breed in small groups (sometimes as small as 3-4 pairs).
Sources: Wikipedia, Sea World Animal Bytes, and Flamingo Resource Centre

Here is a video from YouTube of a Caribbean flamingo chick taking its first steps.

That is what we have for this week's Flamingo Friday. Soon we will talk about the Greater and the Lesser flamingos. Enjoy!!

Flamingo Friday--A Flamingo Book for Fire Prevention Week

Next week is Fire Prevention Week. I thought it would be fun to start our planning for the week with a flamingo book. Yes, they actually have a fire safety flamingo story. We are going back to the Miss Mingo series of books. You may remember we featured Miss Mingo and the First Day of School about a month ago or so. If you don't know the series, Miss Mingo is a classroom teacher and her class is a mix of many different types of animals. In each book you learn about all the animals. In the First Day of School one you learned what was special about each animal. In this one you learn about how the animals deal with being scared or how they defend themselves.

In Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jamie Harper, the class goes through fire prevention week with a series of lessons and practicing what to do when the fire drill goes off. Their week starts with Chief Grizzly coming to visit the class and talk about what to do if you hear a fire drill--get out as quickly as possible and what to do if your clothes catch on fire--Stop! Drop! and Roll! The next day the class practices the route of the first emergency exit route. They are not very successful at following the rules of staying with their partner and being quiet. Miss Mingo warns them there will be a fire drill soon. Then on Thursday Hippo sneezes and they think it is the fire drill. Miss Mingo is having lunch in the teacher's lounge and the armadillo lunch monitor is with the class. Miss Mingo comes back to total chaos. However when the fire drill does happen the class pulls it together and does a great job and is the first class to be out and counted. It is a wonderful story to introduce a fire drill to children. 

After reading this story (and having a fire drill at school) Hazel wants us to have a fire drill at home. I am planning on doing this next week. If you look at the facts about fire at the National Fire Protection Association, you see that seven people a day die in the United States in a home fire. For this reason, we will practice and also review what is necessary to know. I also printed out some of the activities and safety checklists available at the National Fire Protection Association's site for kids. There is a lot there including games and more. There are also more ideas available at Scholastic. Some of their activities are done by grades so you can print out the appropriate ones for your children.

When I was buying a treat for Hazel, she picked out this stuffed flamingo at Joann Fabrics. She named it Miss Mingo after the books! 

What are your plans for Fire Prevention Week? Do you do fire drills with your family?

Flamingo Friday: Ping Pong Ball Flamingos & Species

We did a fun craft with ping pong balls. I found a pack of colored ping pong balls for $1 somewhere and saw the bright pink and though flamingo. Yes, I have flamingo on my brain too much lately. We finally found some time to try to make them. (I think the yellow and green balls may become other types of birds in the future.)

We started by choosing a color for the legs and I cut a pink pipe cleaner in half for the necks. We first glued on the leg pipe cleaner, but then wanted to wrap the neck pipe cleaner under it so we ended up regluing. We curled the ends of the legs to be the feet. On the other end of the neck we wrapped around a pink pom pom and attached a piece of pipe cleaner to be the beak. We wrapped it into the neck pipe cleaner and twisted it to form the beak. We used a marker to add the black (well I couldn't find the black marker, so I used brown) on the ends. Then we let the glue dry.
After the glue dried we glued on feathers to cover the leg pipe cleaner going around the ball and to form the tail and wings. It only took two feathers on each side.
After last week's post about Andean flamingos, I made mine with yellow legs like the Andean flamingo. I also thought I would share a bit about the species of the flamingo. There are six recognized species: 
The greater and lesser flamingos live in Africa, Asia and Southern Europe. The others live in South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.(Source) I will share more about each species another time, but of course we have already looked at the Andean flamingo.
The greater and lesser flamingos are named for their sizes. The Jame's flamingo is named for the person who "discovered" the species and the others are named for one of the places they live.

So that is our little flamingo craft and lesson!! Enjoy!! And come back to share and be inspired at Sharing Saturday!!

Flamingo Friday--The Andean Flamingo

Andean Flamingo - - 1372629
Copyright Trevor Rickard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Today I want to share with you a little about the Andean Flamingo. First I want to share that they are on the endangered list because their numbers are plummeting.I am going to share information I found in Birds edited by Tim Harris. It is part of the Facts at Your Fingertips and Endangered Animals series by Brown Bear Books. I will also add some information I found on-line. We will start with this YouTube video of some Andean flamingos in Bolivia.

The Andean flamingo is the rarest of the world's five species of flamingos. They belong to one of the oldest bird families which originated over 50 million years ago and are now threatened by the continuing exploitation and deterioration of their habitat. The Andean flamingo has show a decline equal to 24 percent in 15 years. Breeding success is consistently low and the adults live 50 years (therefore considered long-lived).

Andean flamingos
By Valerio Pillar (DSC_5251.JPG (DSC_5241 cropped)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

They live on the puna. The puna is a high, cold, dry plateau in the Andes Mountains. These flamingos live in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The flamingos live in lakes where the water is ten times as salty as the sea. The lakes are home to diatoms which are microscopic single-cell algae which is what these flamingos eat. Like all the other flamingos, the Andean flamingo is an upside down filter feeder. (For more on feeding see my post here.) Here is a YouTube video of some Andean flamingos feeding Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.

In the winter the Andean flamingos migrate to the lower wetlands. It is expected that this migration is due to the extreme aridity of the lakes in winter.  (Source)

The species nest in only ten or so major colonies and the breeding sites are under increasing pressure. Away from regular colonies, the flamingos are still hunted for their meat, feathers and fat (used in traditional medicine). Most of the birds killed are juveniles. Some people also remove their eggs for personal consumption or to be sold. There have also been an increase in mining near the breeding colonies and the development of the mining industry and towns to support it are major threats. There is water pollution as well as water diversion which cause fluctuating water levels. (For more on breeding and the life of a chick see my post here.
Source: Arpingstone at Wikimedia Commons
Now what makes the Andean flamingo different than the other species of flamingos? They are the only flamingos with yellow legs. Their bodies are pale pink with bright underparts and noticeable black patch on the wings.  Their bills are yellow and black and of course curved. (Source) They have three forward facing toes with no hind toes. Their voice is nasal and raspy in the calls in the colonies. The young Andean flamingos are grey in color. (Source)
Flamingo Flying
By Paulo Fassina (Flamingo Flying 2) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I should note that only the greater flamingo is not considered threatened. Even with several million birds (all four species combined) they are threatened due to hunting, long breeding cycle and there are fewer than 30 major breeding sites in the world.

I'll be sharing this in the Multicultural Kid Blog Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop. Have you entered the amazing giveaway yet?

Flamingo Friday--Paper Plate Flamingos

So this week I thought we would finally share the craft I have had in my head for quite awhile. I thought I had seen something like it on-line, but when I went to look for the link, I could not find it. We decided since we focused on baby flamingos last week to make a mommy flamingo and a baby flamingo. I cut a regular sized paper plate in half as well as a small (cake) sized one in half. I gave Hazel the small half to start gluing on feathers. We used white since baby flamingos are white or grey. I cut out necks and heads from construction paper and we taped them onto the plate (glue did not stick well on the glossy side) and we folded a pipe cleaner in half to be the legs.
Since I was busy cutting heads and taping on legs and heads, Hazel added feathers to my baby as well. We talked about how flamingos have yellow eyes, so she drew two on her baby. I tried to explain we would only see one on that side of the head.
For the mommy flamingos, we used the larger plates. We used two pipe cleaners for the legs since their legs are longer than the babies. I cut the heads out of white construction paper since their beaks are white and black and Hazel used her dot markers to make the head and necks pink (and the eyes yellow) on both heads. She glued the pink feathers to hers and I used a feather boa for mine. We originally had trouble finding just pink feathers so we thought the feather boa would work. I added a few extras of the feathers for the tail.
Now I think we will use these as decorations at her birthday party.
So how do you like our simple flamingo craft? Did I mention Hazel was home sick today when we did this and it really did not take too long and she loves them?
Happy Flamingo Friday!! (With the weather we have had here, it feels like flamingo weather and not our typical September weather.)