Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This week Henry has been showing a sustained interest (read as: asking about it multiple days in a row) in whales.  It started with a picture of mine that I unearthed from one of our moving boxes of a whales tail at sunset.  He was wondering what it was and I told him.  Then he started carrying around the plastic blue whale from our bath toy bin and asking a lot of questions about whales and the ocean as we drove around dropping off Mitch at school and picking him up (Mitch and school is a whole other post I will share later).  Yesterday he was asking a lot of good questions about blue whales.  I knew that blue whales were the biggest animal on earth, but that was about as much as I could tell him.  Most of his other questions I just had to say, "Hmmm.... I'm not sure, that's something we should look up."  So today we started looking them up.  I stumbled upon a fantastic interactive page on the National Geographic website that tells all about blue whales and compares their length and weight to all kinds of fun things like a space shuttle, a T-Rex, and a tank.  We also watched an animation of how whales feed.  There is a lot of fun information on the site and we didn't get to it all so hopefully we will be back another day to learn more (or if he doesn't want to, I'll go on there myself, it's a VERY cool site).

Here are some of my favorite things we learned today:

*A blue whale's heart is about the size of a Mini Cooper!  And if you are particularly agile, it's major arteries are big enough for a person to crawl through.

*A blue whale weighs about the same as 2,660 people.  About 100 people can fit in its mouth.  We had fun talking about who we would have to throw on the scale to reach 2,660 - our church, all our friends, all our family members, his class, Violet's class, Mitchell's class, and still we wouldn't be able to tip the scale our way!

When we were at the Science Museum last we needed to take a little break for Ivy to nurse and then crawl around a bit and found a lovely little book nook to rest in.  While we were resting we read one of the books they had out called "How Whales Walked Into The Sea".  A VERY interesting book that I highly recommend and one that I'm thinking we need to add to our personal collection because I really want to reread it.  Did you know that whales were land animals first?  I didn't until I read that book to Henry.  He and I were both pretty awed.  The natural world is just FULL of truly amazing stuff. 

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