Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 305

Giant Pandas

 

Hello Everyone

 

 

Emily asked me the other day, why l had never written a blog post about pandas.

 

She particularly likes pandas, and likes to collect little toy pandas whenever she can.

 

She said that they are just so cute that she was sure all of you readers out there would love to hear about them.  So on Emily’s advice, this week, l am going to tell you something about pandas.

 

She means giant pandas of course because the black and white animals we are all familiar with are actually not the only kind of pandas that exist.  You may remember seeing a red panda in the picture gallery of the blog post l wrote about the Himalayas.

 

The giant pandas are about 1.5 m tall and big and bulky whereas the red pandas are only about 50cm tall.  The red pandas look a lot like a raccoon.

 

Both these pandas are from Asia, and both, unfortunately, are endangered species.

 

Pandas look like they have the most enormous, endearing eyes from a distance. 

 

But when you get up close you can see that they have normal-sized eyes very much like bears.  They are sometimes even called bamboo bears. The large black patches around their eyes are black fur.

 

They seem to have expressionless faces and they have very little ears and tails which don’t move much – so their main way of communicating with each other is to use scent marking or their voices.  The scent tells other pandas to either stay away because they are entering another panda’s territory or to seek a panda out because they are looking for a mate. 

 

The scent gives information about whether the panda who left it, is a girl or boy and how old they are as well.

 

Pandas can make many different sounds with their voices.  They can grunt and bark and bleat and whimper.  These sounds tell you what kind of mood they are in.

 

Giant pandas come from China and are considered to be a precious national treasure – and yet there are only probably only around 2,000 left in the world!

 

They are generally solitary creatures – that means they spend most of their lives living alone.  They do not produce many babies like a lot of other animals do and their endangered status has been a worry for a very long time. 

 

The babies are very tiny when they are born.  They cannot move around until they are three months old and then stay with their mothers for up to three years.  That is longer than most animals.

 

Nobody really knows why these animals are black and white in the way that they are.  When they sit in a bamboo forest, they can hardly be seen in the patches of light and shadow, so it could be some sort of camouflage.

 

They don’t really have any natural enemies.  But maybe they still like to be left in peace. 

 

They used to live in the mountain ranges of central China and in the lowlands. 

 

But with the clearing of forests and the spread of farming they are now only living in the often fog-covered mountains in this region.

 

The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests for several million years.  Their thick coat keeps them warm in these often chilly habitats and their jaws and teeth are very strong for chomping bamboo cane.  They spend many hours a day eating because they do not get much nourishment from eating bamboo.  They need to eat a lot of it to satisfy their needs.  The rest of the time they usually spend snoozing.

 

They live longer in zoos than they do in the wild.  One panda living in a zoo in China was as old as 35.  Scientists take the opportunity to study the pandas kept in zoos so that they can understand more about them and maybe help them to breed more.

 

When a baby panda is born, it is quite an event and the zookeepers hope that the mother panda will be a good mother because the babies need a lot of looking after for quite a while.

 

Everyone knows that pandas like eating bamboo but actually they like eating other things as well like meat and can actually be as dangerous to humans as any other large bear.

 

But humans may be a bigger threat to pandas – for the biggest threat to extinction is loss of habitat.  The more farming encroaches into the pandas’ environment, the more these bears can become cut off from each other and then, of course, they cannot breed.

 

lf you want to help conservation work, there are lots of schemes you can support.

 

ln the meantime Auntie Alice made Emily another panda for her collection!

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bill:  What is black and white and red all over?

 

Bob:  l don’t know.  What is black and white and red all over?

 

Bill:  A giant panda that has been out in the sun for too long!

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

 

 

Chi Chi the giant panda was one of London Zoo’s most famous residents

She was later put on display in the Natural History Museum

 

 

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  desk   THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

 coffee

 

This week, l had an urgent e-mail from Father Christmas.

He told me to tell all you little children out there not to worry; that in spite of the current situation he will be making his deliveries next week as usual.

 

Yay!

 

But a lot of his elves have been really ill this year and despite their very best efforts, toy production in his factory has been down because of it.

 

 

The good news is that all the elves have now made a full recovery and will be able to join in with all the festivities that will be going on in Father Christmas’ log cabin when he returns from his long, round-the-world trip.

 

So in the last few days, Father Christmas has been making a few last minute checks on his sleigh to make sure it is sky-worthy and ready for take off, and he has been feeding up his reindeer to make sure they are strong, fit and healthy and ready and raring to go too.  

Once his pre-flight checks have been completed, he will be loading up sacks of presents ready for the big day.  Of course, lots of elves will be helping him with the loading.  They are all very excited.

 

 

Don’t forget to go to bed early so that you will be asleep when Father Christmas arrives.

And l will be back on Christmas Day too! So see you next Friday!

 

 

 

Meanwhile, back in Rocky Bay this week, there was a big Christmas party for the old folks in the Rocky Bay Village Hall.

There was lots of food and tipples, music and dancing at a distance.

They finished off the evening with a bingo game with lots of prizes.

Everyone was glad to have a sit down after all that dancing!

Bingo is very popular, and part of the fun is all the names the bingo callers have for the numbers they pull out of a large tumbler.  This tumbler mixes the numbered balls up together. 

I was asked to be the caller, so I had to learn some of the nicknames for the numbers. 

There were so many to learn that the children said they would help me. 

We all learnt some each and then the children could join in the fun!

Do you know what these are?

 

  1. One little duck
  2. Cup of tea
  3. Knock at the door
  4. Garden gate
  5. Young and keen
  6. Key of the door
  7. Rise and shine
  8. Jump and Jive
  9. Man at the door
  10. Tickety-boo  
  11. Two fat ladies
  12. Top of the shop

 

We all had a great time!

 

If you are going to a party over the holidays, I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

Draw a column of boxes four across and ten down.

Write words from these clues to find a popular zoo animal…

 

  1. To hold your mouth open
  2. What are your fingers when your pen leaks all over them
  3. To be against something
  4. A large river in Egypt
  5. What rolls down your cheek when you are crying
  6. A green fruit from a tree that has a distinctive shape
  7. All the number one cards in a deck of playing cards
  8. The opposite to far
  9. A wooded valley or a man of the church
  10. The highest point of a structure

 

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A LlTTLE GLANT PANDA

PANDA BODY (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Change to black dk yarn and knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

Change back to white dk yarn and knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle

 

PANDA LEGS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and black dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle

 

PANDA ARMS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and black dk yarn cast on 8 stitches

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off – instead run a length of yarn through the stitches so that you can take them off your needle

 

PANDA EARS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and black dk yarn cast on 5 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together

Knit 2 together, knit 1

Knit 2 together

Cast off

 

PANDA TAIL (KNIT ONE)

Crochet 3 chains into a length of black dk yarn

 

PANDA EYES (KNIT TWO)

Crochet 5 chains into a length of black dk yarn

Join the ends of each chain up to make a circle

 

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew up the centre back seam of the body right sides together and turn body right way out
  2. Sew up the bottom seam wrong sides together
  3. Sew up the leg inside seams with right sides together
  4. Turn the legs the right way out and pull in the ends of the feet and slip the yarn up the back seam to the back of the ankle and secure into the back seam
  5. Bind yarn tightly around the bottom of the legs to make ankles
  6. Lightly stuff the legs and sew the tops onto the bottom of the body by laying the legs onto the stomach and sewing from behind (place the leg seams facing each other)
  7. Sew up the under arm seams with right sides together
  8. Turn the arms the right way out
  9. Bind yarn tightly around the arms to make wrists in the same way that the ankles were made
  10. Lightly stuff the arms and sew the tops onto the sides of the body by laying the arms onto the chest and sewing from behind
  11. Stuff the body and pull in the top of the head to close it up then take the yarn down the back seam and secure into the back seam at shoulder level which will be between the white head and black ‘waistcoat’
  12. Bind some yarn tightly around the body twice above the arms to make a neck
  13. Sew the eyes onto the front of the face and add a ‘v’ with black yarn to make a mouth
  14. Sew the tail into place
  15. Sew the ears in place at the top of the head
  16. lf you are making your panda into a decoration for a bag or key ring, sew the chain to the top of the head

 

 

TIP

When you sew up the seams, take the yarn to the outside of the knitting ready to make the ankles, wrists and neck.

 

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Answers to the News Desk Quiz

 

  1. One little duck – 2
  2. Cup of tea – 3
  3. Knock at the door – 4
  4. Garden gate – 8
  5. Young and keen – 15
  6. Key of the door – 21
  7. Rise and shine – 29
  8. Jump and Jive – 35
  9. Man at the door – 54
  10. Tickety-boo  – 62
  11. Two fat ladies – 88
  12. Top of the shop – 90

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. Gape
  2. lnky
  3. Anti
  4. Nile
  5. Tear
  6. Pear
  7. Aces
  8. Near
  9. Dean
  10. Apex

 

= GlANT PANDA

 

 

 

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