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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Meerkats & Hullabalu!

Reminder Sharing Saturday is still open!! Please stop by and share your child-oriented craft or activity and check out the other wonderful ones already shared!
Source of Pictures: Hullabalu
So I awhile ago I received a wonderful e-mail offering to send me and Hazel a stuffed animal of our choice from the website Hullabalu. Hullabalu is an invitation only site for now that sells adorable, first rate stuffed animals. They will be having their hard launch later this summer, but also want to be able to do exclusives with their site. All I need to do for this adorable stuffed animal is blog about it. Since Hazel and I both LOVE stuffed animals, this seemed like a no brainer. So, I open my private invitation to view their site and it is wonderful. They had so many (26 right now) to choose from, I was glad I was not the one picking. As I flipped through the choices, I was pretty sure Hazel would pick the unicorn or dragon since she has been into them lately. Or maybe the pink hippo since she likes the pink hippo ride at the zoo, but she once again surprised me.

Source of Pictures: Hullabalu
So the next morning I showed the website to Hazel. Needless to say she loved it! Of course it starts with the fact that I allowed her to do something on the computer. We are trying to be media free with her. Then she gets to pick one of these adorable animals. You can actually name the animal when you purchase it or you can keep the adorable names they have already given them. (If you would like an invitation to Hullabalu, stay tuned. I have 25 to giveaway! Or you can go to their site and request one.) The choices change monthly, so you have to keep going back to see what they have. To my surprise, Hazel picked Meerkat Moe!


Now we have seen meerkats at our local zoo (see below), so we have seen them in real life. And I did comment on how cute he was when we were looking at them, but she decided she wanted this one. I went with it because I saw it as a great opportunity to learn more about meerkats.
Sorry for the picture quality, the meerkat was sitting in the only spot in the cage where the sun was shining and wouldn't move. Plus the cage was indoors. Ugh!!
Well, I have to say when the package came from Hullabalu, it was like Christmas or her birthday. It came in a beautiful blue box with Hullabalu written on it. Then inside Meerkat Moe was wrapped in tissue paper.


 She loved opening it and loved him right away. In fact there have been a few trips where Ducky has not come with us and Meerkat has. Yes, she named him Meerkat.
I have to say, I find him adorable and he is so soft and huggable. When she doesn't have him in her bed, I often cuddle with him in front of the television. Though she has been taking him with her to bed most nights. How could she not, he is just so sweet and soft!!


 Meerkat Moe is made by Wild Republic. Here is the tag that came on him.
He is definitely high quality and Hullabalu has hand chosen the companies and products they work with to be the highest quality. I have to say this has been a wonderful experience and I definitely will be going back to them if/when I want another animal.


Now, I know you are wondering what my experience with Hullabalu has to do with Multicultural Monday. Well as I mentioned above, I took the meerkat as a learning experience. Meerkats live in the Southern tip of Africa, so we are traveling back there. The first thing I find most interesting about meerkats is that they live in burrows with 20 to 50 family members!! They have also been seen hugging. It is strange to see a meerkat alone--in fact they tend to stay together. When gathering food they have a couple of them standing guard (on their hind legs using their tails to help balance) for predators. Oh, and their favorite food is scorpions!

I found some great sources for information on meerkats on-line. National Geographic being the first. National Geographic Kids also has a page on them including a printable card with a picture and information on the meerkat. We did print out the card and glued it onto an index card. I may put contact paper over both sides as well to keep it better. Another good source is Animal Fact Guide. I also found some coloring pages. Here is a good collection of them. Laughing Zebra has a great link of Meerkat Mania Week and it has information as well as some projects. From this link I took several of the projects and did them with Hazel as well as expanding one to make shadow puppets. I took this mural page and enlarged the two meerkats to 150%. Then cut them out of brown construction paper. I then drew on the lines and coloring that the page had. We glued them on to tongue depressors. Hazel loves them!! We also printed the other meerkat front and back. She colored it so you cannot see the picture very well. We cut it out and glued it on to a tongue depressor as well. 


 We have not cut out the pictures to make a mural with it yet, but Hazel did color them as you can see. I did the enlarging of the meerkats before she colored them.


We also found some great library books about meerkats including story books with meerkats in them. The first two are Meerkats by Katherine Walden and Meet the Meerkat by Darrin Lunde. Both of these provide factual information about the meerkat and where they live. Thus we learn about another part of the world--the desert!


Then two great story books. First Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett. This book is about a meerkat who decides it is too hot in the desert and goes to visit his distance relatives. His family is very scared for him since the meerkat rule is to stick together. However he goes off and visits his various types of mongoose relatives (meerkats are a type of mongoose). He sends a postcard each day to his family to tell them where he is and what it is like. He discovers that the best place for him is with his family in the desert.


The second story book is Millicent and Meer by Richard Byrne. This is a great story about a young girl who is playing outside when a crate falls into her yard. She looks into the crate and sees a meerkat. The meerkat does not remember who he is or what he is, so she looks on the label and reads it (by sounding out the word) and decides he must be a cat named Meer. She has always wanted a cat so she keeps him. However her father gets quite upset with Meer's meerkat habits and kicks him out of the house. Well Meer meets a cat and the cat shows him how to be a cat and then they see a poster advertising meerkats at a show and realize that is what Meer is. They take the poster to Millicent and her father calls the owner of the safari show and he comes to pick up Meer, but Millicent does get her cat in the end. It has a very happy ending.


Ok, that is it for meerkats for now. However I still have 25 invitations to Hullabalu to give away. So if you are interested in being able to shop at this amazing site for wonderful stuffed animals, please do the rafflecopter thing.



11 comments:

  1. What a cute doll, meerkats are very cute. I love all of your learning activities that you tie in with different geography, how fun!

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  2. Their stuffed animals look adorable!

    Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

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  3. Cute giveaway! Meerkats are amazing ~ our Wookie dog often acts like one, standing up on his hind legs and watching people go past our home!

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  4. How cute are those Meerkats. They are always one of the animals we must see at the zoo!

    Thanks for sharing on Science Sparks :)

    Kerry

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  5. So cute - Meerkats are always one of favorite animals to see at the zoo!

    Thanks for sharing on Science Sparks :)

    Kerry

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  6. What fun learning! Meerkats are so cute.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  7. What a cute stuffed animal! I love the books you read!

    I would love for you to link this post to Read.Explore.Learn on my blog!

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  8. These are so cute, what a great post. thanks for sharing on the kids co-op. jaime - frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

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  9. Cute and I love your meerkats on a stick! It does look like a really soft stuffed animal! Thanks for sharing at The Sunday Showcase!

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  10. I love the activities with the meerkats. I know our boys would love it. Thank you for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell! I hope you'll be back this week.
    -Mackenzie
    http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com

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  11. So cute! I'm glad I'm not the only one that cuddles my children's stuffed animals :)

    Thanks for linking up to WorldwideCultureSwap.com

    Rachael

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