This week we were finally ready to introduce our Charlie’s Playhouse timeline playmat and Creature Cards. While we will be concentrating on one Period at a time, the kids were very interested in this new toy with all the bizarre creatures and had to explore it more fully before we could narrow our focus. We spent quite a bit of time just looking at the timeline, reading the various description and trying to pronounce the creature names. Our living room isn’t long enough to open the entire timeline so we mainly concentrated on the earlier time periods, which definitely have some of the more bizarre creatures.
Once some of the novelty wore off, we folded the timeline so just the Vendian Period was showing. We pulled out the appropriate creature cards – Tribrachidium, Dickinsonia, Spriggina and Kimberella. We read the descriptions of each critter, discussed how big they were (mostly small but Dickinsonia could be 3 feet long!!) and how odd looking they were. We then matched up our cards to the timeline (pretty easy at this point) and read the timeline information for each creature.
The timeline describes Kimberella as looking like “a pasta shell on top of lasagna” so I decided to go with that. I soaked lasagna noodles in water long enough for them to soften (this took about an hour in warm tap water). Once they were malleable, I cut them in half lengthwise and wrapped each one along the outside of a piece of cardboard cut in the shape of a pasta shell. Once they dried and re-hardened, I glued a pasta noodle on top.
Once the glue dried, the kids painted their “Kimberella”. Since we have no idea what color most prehistoric creatures actually were, they were able to be as creative as they wanted.
We also read about the Vendian Period in our Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History and our DK Prehistoric Life.
Next, we will be moving on to the Cambrian Period and having lots of fun learning about Trilobites and Hallucigenia.