Good-Bye, Batman. Hello, Alligators & Crocodiles!

Good-bye Batman.

Hello, Alligators & Crocodiles.

 

Alligators, Crocodiles, And Gavials

 

I knew our son would pass through the Chronically-Caped Super Hero Pajama & Mask Phase one day.

 

Embracing The Cape & Cowboy Boots (Critters And Crayons)

 

 

I didn’t know that his obsession would transfer to all things Crocodilian in all their predatory, scaly, swampy, toothy glory.

 

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That is CHUBIDO.

 

Our son named his new pet alligator.

You pronounce it “CHUB”  “EE”  “DOH”.

We’ve been doing a lot of Large Reptile learning around here lately, mostly because I don’t have any answers to our son’s constant questions.

Until Chubido joined our family after ordering him for a great price from The Jungle Store, our son could be found in random areas of the house doing this:

 

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Yes.  He has seen audited episodes of Swamp People. The Fast Forward Button comes in very handy.

 

He started out in that orange sled on a hunt for alligators we bought at the Dollar Tree for $1 each.  

 

But, he has since changed his dramatic play scenarios.  

 

He is an Alligator RESCUER now.

 

I often walk into the play area to find that every one of our blue sheets, even those impossible-to-fold fitted sheets, are spread across the floor to form realistic blue “lakes”.

He throws every imaginable reptilian thing on top of that blue linen pond:

Turtle-shaped legos that snap together, a bubble wand shaped like an alligator, a poorly designed stegasaurus puppet, his turtle pillow pet, and those Dollar Tree Floaty Alligators.

Then, he spends hours navigating that imaginary swamp….rescuing his alligators, and feeding them, piling them on his sled-boat, and then tossing them back into the water to start all over again.

The only time I had to draw the line on this imaginary play was when he started lining that sled up to launch downstairs after an inflatable alligator had been set up by the grandfather clock.

I mean, that boat could have really messed up that grandfather clock.  :)

 

Oh!  And we cook alligators around here, too!

 

funny alligator cake

 

I KNOW that alligator cake looks like a deranged salamander.

 

Have I ever passed this off as a Food Blog?

I mean…credibly?

If you want to see how we did it, check out this post which links to the Princess And A Frog Cookbook with the cool recipe.

A couple of years ago, our alligator cake attempt came out a lot better!  :)

Louis The Alligator Critters And Crayons

 

We visited the Laredo Community College Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center’s Alligators, of course!

They have several.  And, we’ll be heading down to Alabama this Summer to visit Alligator Alley, where 450 Alligators live on a cool farm there!  Wahoo!

It’s totally on our Summer Travel Route!

 

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Our son’s favorite crocodilian is actually the lesser known Gavial.

 

It’s a large reptile, the only one of its kind, that lives in India and has a very long snout and tiny teeth.

 

Our son believes a Gavial would be the perfect pet because their snouts are too long and skinny to attack humans.

 

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And our son begged for a GAVIAL MASK.

 

Those aren’t everywhere.  So, we made one.

 

All it took was a:

  • paper towel roll,
  • some scissors,
  • some glue,
  • a green marker
  • and some twine.

He cut the roll down the center and cut out the jagged teeth.

Then, he glued the two ends together where they would sit on our son’s nose so that the jaws stayed open.

We let our son color the mask green.

Then, my husband ran twine through holes on each side and tied them off around our son’s head.

That was it!

 

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Did our son wear that mask everywhere for two days?

 

Um…did our son wear a cape for 2 years straight?

 

Our favorite and most educational activity has been

The Crocodilian Species Geography Activity.

 

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To learn about the different types of crocodilians and where they live, we put a map up on a magnetic dry-erase board.

 

We all sat around the computer and clicked through the information found on this Crocodilian Species List.

 

Each species is linked so the kids can see information and images of each individual species!

There really are many surprising variations!

To get the activity ready, I found images of:

  • Crocodiles (showing upper and lower teeth),
  • Caimans (I used an image of a Dwarf Caiman with large eyes to help the kids distinguish better),
  • Alligators (with teeth showing pointing downward),
  • And the Gavial (with its long, skinny snout).

Each image was cut out and glued to a round magnet.

 

Using the link showing all Crocodilian Species above, we cut out 14 Crocodiles, 6 Caimans, 2 Alligators and 1 Gavial.

 

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Then, we reviewed where all of the continents were and started placing the magnets where they belonged using the Species listing as a guide.

 

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Some of the most interesting facts we all learned in this activity?

 

  • Caimans are actually a type of Alligator.
  • There is only one Gavial (also pronounced Gharial) and it lives in India.
  • Gavials only eat fish, but False Gharials are actually crocodiles who eat much more than that!
  • There are more species of Crocodile than there are Alligator or Gavial.
  • The State of Florida has Alligators AND Crocodiles!
  • The only other place you find an Alligator other than North America (not including Caimans) is China!
  • Central and South America have all the Caimans.
  • Our son’s favorite crocodilians, the Gavial and the False Gharial live in India and Indonesia, respectively.

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Once we were done putting all of the magnets on the board, we used the remaining crocodile images to practice coloring and cutting skills.

 

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One of the best aspects of being a parent is that we are personally invited into a child’s world every day on their quest to discover and learn.

It’s a world where every body of water, whether it’s a puddle following the rain or a ravine under a bridge, might be home to an alligator.

AND….As our son begins his journey toward crocodilian-knowledge domination, my husband and I have become used to fielding questions like these:

 

“Will an alligator eat you?”

Answer:  You Bet.

 

“Do Crocodiles have skulls?”

Answer:   A-Yup.

 

 “Can I be an Alligator Hunter When I Grow Up?”

Answer:  Hell To The No.

 

“Can We Have  A Gavial For A Pet Because They Won’t Eat You?”

Answer:  Eh?  If we ever move to India, we’ll think about it.

Well, Batman.

I’m sorry to see you go with all your capes and masks and batarangs.

It was fun with the utility belts, and the Batmobiles….but not the Nun-Chucks.  The nun-chucks can totally go.

(Side Note, Folks:  If you hate someone, give that person’s kid a set of Batman Nun-Chucks.  I can’t think of a sweeter revenge.)

Anyway, Batman.  I’m sorry, but it appears you have been replaced.

 

You just can’t compete with ‘Ol Chubido.

 

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SO….WHAT PHASE IS YOUR CHILD IN OR PASSING THROUGH?

 

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16 Responses to Good-Bye, Batman. Hello, Alligators & Crocodiles!

  1. That’s pretty cool, I myself am not a fan of the Alligators & Crocodiles, but I think its so cool watching children go from in love with one thing into something completely different. My son will be 4 on July 28th and he has been a Thomas the Train lover since he was about 1 year old. He is slowly starting to get more and more into the super hero’s like Super Man, Krypto the Super Dog, Batman, Joker, & Spider Man. My son goes everywhere’s with at least one train, it doesn’t matter where we are going, even if its a quick run to the grocery store one train HAS to go.

    Me and his father are gamer geeks and love a bunch of stuff and with our son getting into super hero’s and other related items it just makes us happy. Don’t get me wrong it wouldn’t be any different if he got into something else cause either way we still help him embrace his love for whatever he wants to be basically obsessed with. I can see my son being like your little one with the super hero cape. I made one that will be give on his birthday and I know/can imagine him wearing it everywhere he goes. I don’t give it long and we will be out of the train stage and into the super hero’s but you never know!

    • Oh, KreativeMum! Thomas the Train is a fun phase! My son started out obsessed with Trains and it was so cute to see a little train in his hand all the time, even in bed! One of my fave books is the book of Thomas The Train poems that describes each of the trains…have you seen that one? It is wonderful! Even though my kids aren’t really into Thomas the Train, anymore, we STILL read that book at bedtime all the time! The Super Hero phase is a fun one- I never really cared for them, I think- until my son got into them- and now they catch my eye everywhere! I kinda hope your son takes to them! haha! :)

  2. And here I thought being hounded for a pet dog was trouble – a pet Gavial? Thanks for the low down on the Enormous Crocodile and I love how you turn everything into an art project!

    • Nami- Well, I did say we could think about it if we ever move to India, and I just don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. You have a much tougher job because dogs are just everywhere. haha!

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