I think it's been firmly established that we're huge fans of Robert McCloskey's books. They're all so fun and well-written. There hasn't been a single one that kids didn't love to hear over and over. We recently did Make Way For Ducklings with the boys and littles.
They got to learn about things like the food chain,
Boston, MA (which included seeing pictures of Grandpa at the Boston Public Park where there's a bronze sculpture of the Mama duck and all her ducklings!). Google maps makes it so you can look at aerial pictures of Boston as they are talked about in the book. You can also go to streetview and such. It is a fun way to explore where the book took place. Of course visiting ourselves someday is on the to do list.
how various animals acted as parents,
How to put things in alphabetical order, and calendars
and even some ducking math.
They just loved hearing about Mama duck marching her ducklings down the street while the policemen stopped traffic for them. And they liked their names, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. :)
The next book we did was Owl Moon. Again, we did this one before with Olivia, but it's also one of our favorites and the boys loved it, too. During the summer, we can hear owls hooting all around the neighborhood, so this was a familiar thing.
We talked about the phases of the moon (we didn't get to do this one during a full moon so we will be taking walks and looking for our shadows once the full moon reappears later this month), what "nocturnal", "diurnal" and "crepuscular" mean and the different kinds of animals that fly at night. (Just in case you're stumped by "crepuscular" like I was, it means an animal that's most active at dawn and dusk.
We looked at what owls do during the day and night and where they and other animals live.
The boys made some cool paper owls and then we did the best part:
We'd only seen one once years ago so this was a pretty new adventure for us all.
They each looked over their pellet, which is essentially what the owl spits up after eating. They noticed it was fuzzy, which makes sense since it's pretty much hair and bones.
Then they took them apart and sorted out the tiny bones to see what they had in them.
Both Gabe and Ezra had 3 whole mouse skeletons and olivia had at least two, but her's were harder to sort out since the skulls weren't intact at all.
Then they worted the bones to see what kind they were; vertebrae, legs, skull, etc.
In the end we tried to assemble one of the skeletons as best we could. There were so many teeny tiny bones it was hard to figure out what was a foot bone vs just a broken piece. It was so cool.