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Parent Guide

January Parent Guide Activities - LOVE

January Parent Guide Activities - LOVE

This month's 'Love' theme celebrates the importance of love and kindness in the world today, and provides the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your little ones and remind them just how much they are loved.

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books - Love Can Come in Many Ways, and Happy Heart.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Encourage your little ones to grasp the felt flaps and explore the book independently before reading together. It's a great opportunity to develop problem-solving and fine motor skills.
  • Make a heart hand print card (just in time for Valentine's Day!) using the template HERE. Simply have your child print their hands inside the heart outline. A beautiful keepsake to capture your child's handprints forever.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Make heart print artwork with a toilet paper roll stamp! Check out the simple step by step instructions HERE. You can even use this technique to create your own wrapping paper!
  • Go on a scavenger hunt to find heart-shaped things in nature! Can you find a heart-shaped leaf? A rock? A cloud?
  • Tell your child about how you felt the first time you saw them. How did you know they were so special?

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: If I Had a Little Dream and The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be.

Language Concepts:

If I Had a Little Dream does a great job balancing rhyming and narrative, so that although the story uses rhyming phrases, it doesn't take focus away from the messages in the story. If I Had a Little Dream explores the concept of love in more abstract ways, showing how love can extend from loving ourselves and others, to loving the world around us.

I love the phrase "If I had a little house, I would name it Love. Love would make me happy, and protect me like a glove", as it is a great analogy for how love can make us feel safe and protected.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • After reading - which page was your favourite? Why?
  • The child in the book has a dream about lots of different things that she loves. What kind of things do you dream about?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Make a dream poem inspired by the book, using the printable HERE, or by writing out "If I had a little dream, I would name it _______" on a sheet of paper. You might want to create a beautiful frame around your poem.
  • Create a love garland by cutting out hearts from paper and stringing them together. On each heart, write something you love. Hang up your garlnd and fill the room with love!

Language Concepts:

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be will introduce your child to rhyming lines and lots of new vocabulary! For new readers, read a line and ask them to repeat it. Explain what rhyming is and see if they can think of other words that rhymes (e.g., what rhymes with cat?).

For more comfortable readers, ask them to choose a word they don’t recognise and try to figure out what it means using context clues and the pictures.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues.
  • While reading - some of the children are designing their hot air balloons by themselves, and some are working with others. How do you like to come up with ideas? Do you like to think quietly, or talk about them with other people?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Is there anything that makes you unique or different from your family? Do you have a special talent? Make a list of all the reasons you are special and unique and share it with your family.
  • How would you design your hot air balloon? What colours and materials would you use? Create your own hot air balloon out of a paper plate using the instructions HERE.

Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were If I Had a Little Dream and Happy Heart.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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November Parent Guide Activities - COLOURS & COUNTING

November Parent Guide Activities - COLOURS & COUNTING

This month's theme is Colours & Counting - these books will explore the wonderful world of numbers and also have fun with a whole rainbow of colours! 

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - Rainbow Colours, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Let's Count Wildflowers.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Allow your little one to explore the book independently before showing them how to lift each page to reveal the next colour in the rainbow
  • To encourage interaction with the book, point to each colour and see if your little one can name it. Can they find anything else in the room (or even outside!) that is this colour?

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • At the end of the book, Mary and all her new animal friends share a picnic lunch together! Look at what foods the friends are eating and talk about which options are healthy, and which are "sometimes" foods. Work with your child to plan out a list of foods you can take on a picnic, and ask them to help choose the perfect spot! Will your picnic be outside under a tree? Or maybe inside on the floor!?

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Go on a nature walk and see what else you can count! How many trees can you count? How many clouds? How many people? Can you find any of the flowers shown in the book?
  • During your nature walk, collect some different kind of flowers and try pressing them to use in an artwork later! If you don't have a flower press, you can use a heavy book (like a dictionary!). So the flower doesn't stain the pages, you can place the flowers between two sheets of baking paper first before putting them in the middle of the book.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: A World Full of Colour and Two Dogs on a Trike.

Language Concepts:

A World Full of Colour will introduce your child to rhyming lines and lots of new vocabulary! For new readers, read a line and ask them to repeat it. Explain what rhyming is and see if they can think of other word pairs that rhymes (e.g., what rhymes with cat?). For more comfortable readers, ask them to choose a word they don’t recognise and try to figure out what it means using context clues and the pictures.

A good tip for developing an understanding of rhyming in your child when reaading aloud is to pause before saying the rhyming word - giving them a chance to answer e.g., "Purple are violets, dainty and small / purple is lavender, slender and (pause)... tall!"

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • After reading - which colour page was your favourite?
  • Can you think of some other colours in nature that aren't in the book? Where might you see the colour grey - are there any animals you can think of?
  • If you were a colour, which colour do you think you would be? Why? What do you like about that colour, and how do you think it represents you?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Go on a colour hunt! Choose a colour in the book and try to find as many things as you can that are that colour. You could have a contest to see who can find more things of their colour in a set amount of time.
  • Learn about the colour wheel - which colours are complimentary, and which are constrasting? Which colours do you like together? Download and print out the colour wheel HERE!

Language Concepts:

One of the things we love most about Two Dogs on a Trike is the way it uses both illustrations and text to tell the story - without the pictures, the reader would miss some important parts of the story, like the glimpses of the sneaky cat, and the scared expressions on the dogs' faces!

One language concept touched on in A Forest is 'circular narrative' - the story essentially starts and finishes in the same way, counting dogs up to ten and then back down again when something happens in the middle!

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading - where do you think the dogs might be going? Can you tell how the dogs might be feeling after seeing the cat by the expression on their faces?
  • After reading - why do you think the dogs were all scared of the cat? What do you think the cat wanted?

Hands-On Activities:

  • This book is all about numbers and counting! What are the most unusual or interesting places you can find numbers? Take a walk around your neighbourhood or house to see what you can find.
  • Make your own handprint dog artwork using the simple step by step instructions HERE! You might want to use one of the dogs in the book as inspiration for your artwork, or come up with a completely new type of dog! What other animals can you make using hand prints?

Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were A World Full of Colour and Let's Count Wildflowers.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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October Parent Guide Activities - FOOD FUN!

October Parent Guide Activities - FOOD FUN!

This month's theme is Food Fun - each book has been selected to explore the concepts of cooking or eating - prompting conversations about different types of food, and the importance of making healthy choices.

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books - Monster Food and Play With Your Plate.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Feed the monster! Follow the instructions on our blog to create a monster out of an empty cereal box. Then, cut pictures of food and non-food (like chairs and shoes!) out of magazines or newspapers and sort into piles of things people eat vs. monsters eat. Then feed the monster!

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Play with your Plate! is a unique concept that encourages children to link motor skills and storytelling. Try interacting with the book in different ways - first, allow your child to explore on their own - encouraging them to interact with of the mini books in their own way, seeing if they can make meaning. Then, explore the book together, showing your child how the mini books can interact with each other.
  • Create a meal on the book plate that you can recreate in a real meal. Work with your child to talk about different foods they like, and decide on a meal together. Then, go shopping for the foods and have your child help you create the meal. Can you compare it to the book? Does the meal look the same?

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: No Way, Yirrikipayi! and Quill Soup.

Language Concepts:

With simple text and lots of repetition, No Way Yirrikipayi is a great book for young readers to test out their independent reading skills, while also introducing new vocabulary with the Tiwi words that parent and child can learn together. New words are a great opportunity to show that we're all still learning!

See if your child knows the animal word in English before learning it in Tiwi. It may help to explain that there are lots of different ways to say words around the world, and that for example, another way of saying 'crocodile' is 'yirrikipayi'.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading - do you think the crocodile is going to find something to eat?
  • After reading - were you surprised by the ending?
  • Which of the animals in the book was your favourite?

Hands-On Activities:

  • The pictures in No Way, Yirrikipayi were drawn by children from Melville Island. Can you choose an animal in the story and draw it in your own way?
  • Different animals eat different types of foods. Crocodiles and snakes are both carnivores, meaning they only eat meat. Take the time to learn about carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores in the animal kingdom.
  • Make a crocodile swamp sensory bin by creating your own ooey gooey ooblek! Recipe and instructions available HERE.

Language Concepts:

One of the things we love most about Quill Soup is the way it uses both illustrations and text to tell the story - without the pictures, the reader would miss some important parts of the story, like the other animals hiding their food so they don't need to share.

With so much dialogue, Quill Soup is also the perfect book to test out some character voices! Ask your child what kind of voice they think Noko, the monkeys, the rabbits, or the warthog might have. How might they sound? For older readers, point out the quotation marks in the story and explain that this means a character is talking. Practice the different character voices each time a different animal is speaking.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading – do you think the animals are telling the truth when they told Noko they didn't have food?
  • After reading - talk about how the animals behaved to Noko when they first met him, and why they changed their minds.
  • How does it feel when you arrive in a new place? For example, when you go to a new daycare, school, or home. Do you feel nervous? Do you think Noko was nervous when he arrived at the animal village?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Create your own soup to share with friends. Try drawing a picture of a big soup pot, and cutting out pictures of food from a magazine to glue onto the pot. What kind of foods would you like to include? Are there any foods in the story you would not put in your soup?
  • Write a letter to Noko the porcupine, welcoming him to the animal village. What nice things would you say to make him feel welcome and not so nervous?

Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were No Way, Yirrikipayi! and Monster Food.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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September Parent Guide Activities - BEDTIME STORIES

September Parent Guide Activities - BEDTIME STORIES

This month's theme is BEDTIME STORIES! Whether it's getting ready for bed, sleeping, or learning about animals that are awake while we are sleeping, these stories will help your little ones dream big!

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - Goodnight, Mr. Panda, Wow! It's Night-Time, and Bedtime Baby. 

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Create your own bedtime routine to make sure you don't forget anything like Panda and his friends! Template available to download and print HERE.
  • Print out the Goodnight, Mr. Panda colouring sheet HERE (generously provided from Scholastic). Can you design some funky pyjamas for Mr. Panda? You might want to draw them, or try collecting things to make a collage.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Watch the sunset before bedtime and talk about what kind of animals sleep during the night, and which animals are awake. Notice what you can hear and see in the dark. Can you hear any bats or insects?
  • Owl watches all the different animals emerging from their homes into the night. Talk about the different types of homes animals live in, especially those animals you might see in your area. Where does a kangaroo live? How about a snake, or a lizard?
  • Learn how to make lots of little owls out of cupcake liners! Simple step-by-step instructions available HERE.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Allow your little one to explore the book independently before demonstrating how to interact with the lift-the-flap and rotating wheel.
  • One of the babies was snuggling with a teddy. Do you have a special toy that you take to bed?

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Sleep Tight, Platypup and The Star in the Forest.

Language Concepts:

Sleep Tight, Platypup uses lots of dialogue between Platypup and Mummy to tell the story, which can be a bit tricky for newly independent readers. To help, try reading it through the first time together, explaining that quotation marks (") represent speaking, and each set of them usually belong to one person.

This book also introduces the concept of personification, (with the moon dancing, the leaves whispering, the gumnuts knocking, and the grass crinkling.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading – do you think there is something scary outside the burrow, or is Platypup hearing things that aren't really scary? Like the wind?
  • Everyone gets scared sometimes - are you ever afraid of the dark like Platypup? What kind of things can you do when you're scared to feel better? Talk with your child about all the ways to be brave and share different things you like to do when you're feeling scared. Adults get scared too sometimes, and that's ok!
  • Have you ever gone on a night-time adventure with your parents like Platypup did? Where did you go, and what did you do?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Watch the sunset before bedtime and talk about what kind of animals sleep during the night, and which animals are awake. Notice what you can hear and see in the dark. Can you hear any bats or insects?
  • At the end of the book, Platypup goes back to sleep. What do you think he might be dreaming of? Draw a picture showing all the things Platypup might be dreaming of.

Language Concepts:

 

The Star in the Forest introduces readers to lots of great describing words (adjectives) and dialogue between the main characters, Pip and Maisie. After something falls from the sky into the forest, children will enjoy guessing what the girls might find on their adventure.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading - what do you think the girls might find in the forest?
  • After reading - what would you do if you found a fallen star? Would you take it home?
  • The two sisters, Maisie and Pip, are very different from each other. At the beginning of the story, Maisie dreamed of going on an adventure, while Pip was happy to watch the stars at home. Are you more like Maisie or Pip?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Learn all about fallen stars i.e., meteorites! What can you learn about them? How often do stars fall down to Earth?
  • Go on a special night-time adventure walk with your child. Bring torches like Pip and Maisie, or even a headlamp and if the world looks any different at night. How many night-time animals can you spot? Are there any animals you haven't seen before?
  • The artwork in The Star in the Forest uses a lot of beautiful watercolours. Using the step by step guide HERE, to make your own set of watercolour paints using food colouring! You can then use your paints to create a watercolour artwork inspired by the beautiful artwork in the book.

Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Sleep TIght, Platypup and Goodnight, Mr. Panda.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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Parent Guide Activities - PETS

Parent Guide Activities - PETS

This month's books are all about those special little friends in our lives... pets! Dogs, cats and more. These books celebrate all types of pets, and the relationships we share with them.

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had tree sturdy board books - The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon, Pets: A Slide and Play Book, and Big Dog, Little Dog: Lift the Flap Opposites.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

Amazon.com: The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon (Papillon (1 ...

  • Make your own fluffy kitty like Papillon out of cotton wool balls! Instructions available HERE.
  • Papillon doesn't like wearing the clothes Miss Tilly puts him in. Do you like dressing up? What is your favourite dress up outfit?

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

Pets: A Slide and Play Book by Surya Pinto

  • Allow your little one to explore the book independently before showing them how to use each slider. It's a great opportunity to develop problem-solving skills.
  • Little ones love imitating! Make the sound of each pet and encourage your child to copy! Can they guess which pet you're being? Can they pounce like a cat, wag their tail like a dog, or hop like a rabbit?

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

Big Dog, Little Dog: Lift-the-Flap Opposites by Elo

  • Allow your little one to explore the book independently before showing them how to find and carefully lift each flap to reveal the opposite dog.
  • Play your own game of opposites around the house! Explore ‘on’ and ‘off’ with the light switch, ‘open’ and ‘close’ with the cupboard, and ‘lock’ and ‘unlock’ with the front door. How many pairs of opposites can you find?
  • Which dog pair is your favourite?
  • Make your own accordion short - long dog just like in the book. Template available HERE.

    Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Flip Flap: Pets, and Barkley.

    Flip Flap Pets, Axel Scheffler's Flip Flap Series by Axel ...

    Language Concepts: 

    Flip Flap Pets Makes will introduce your child to rhyming lines and lots of new descriptive vocabulary! For new readers, read a line and ask them to repeat it. Explain what rhyming is and see if they can think of other words that rhymes (e.g., what rhymes with cat?). For more comfortable readers, ask them to choose a word they don’t recognise and try to figure out what it means using context clues and what they know about the traits of that pet.

    Discussion Topics:

    • Before reading - what kind of book do you think this is? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
    • While reading – read the description of the animal aloud and see if your child can guess which animal it is describing before revealing the picture.
    • After reading – what kind of pets have you had? If you could have any pet (including any of the silly combinations), which pet would we have?

    Hands-On Activities:

    • What's the silliest animal you can create? Take turns flipping the top and bottoms of the animals and reading all about the traits of your new creatures.
    • Make your own flip flap pictures using magazine photos or print pictures off the internet. You can try with pictures of animals or people - cut them in half and try mixing and matching different heads and tails.

    Barkley by Rebecca Crane | 9781760651404 | Booktopia

    Language Concepts:

    Barkley is a great introduction to picture books with more developed story lines, while still being short enough to appeal to a young children. For younger readers, read a line and ask them to say it back to you - following the words on the page with their finger. This will help reinforce the behaviour of reading from top to bottom, left to right. Barkley also introduces describing words - or adjectives - written in bold throughout the story. 

    Discussion Topics:

    • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
    • While reading - When Barkley compares himself to other dogs, how does he end up feeling?
    • After reading - think about a time that you might have compared yourself to someone else like Barkley did (i.e. have you ever wished that you looked the same or had the same talents as someone else?) - How did it make you feel?

    Hands-On Activities:

    • Thinking about the describing words Barkley uses in the book, draw a picture of your perfect dog. Would she be fluffy or scruffy? Big or middle size? Spotty or fancy? Use different craft materials and things collected from outside to decorate your dog and give it lots of personality.
    • Give your dog a name and write down words to describe it - think about words to describe your dog's outward appearance and also words to describe it's personality. Can you think of words to describe your own personality?

    Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Flip Flap: Pets and Big Dog, Little Dog: Lift the Flap Opposites.

    xx Karly
    Owner, Bookieboo 

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    Parent Guide Activities - THE MOON & THE STARS

    Parent Guide Activities - THE MOON & THE STARS

    This month's theme is 'The Moon & the Stars" - these books will help your little ones explore the wonders of the universe, and will take them on a magical journey to the stars and back!

    Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books - Animals in the Sky and 8 Little Planets.

    Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

    • Encourage your little ones to open the flap pages to reveal the animal shown in the stars. Ask questions to prompt higher level thinking, like 'where is the engineer driving to?' or 'how did the dog get into space?'
    • Learn more about star constellations and create your own constellation viewer from a toilet roll and black paper! Check out the easy instructions HERE.

    Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

    • 8 Little Planets is a great book to encourage visual and tactile exploration to young readers with its die-cut holes! Ask your little one what they think it would be like to go into space - would they be nervous flying in a spaceship? What planet would they like to visit?
    • Each of the planets has something that makes them special. What kind of things make you special?

      Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Look Up at the Stars and Odd Science: Spectacular Space. 

      Language Concepts:

      Look Up at the Stars is a lyrical story that will introduce your child to rhyming lines and dialogue ! Read the first line, then read the second but pause for a moment before you reach the rhyming word. This will encourage your child to anticipate the rhyme and predict the rhyming word.  

      See if your child can think of other word pairs that rhyme. Start with easy pairs (e.g., what rhymes with cat?), and then try more challenging or unfamiliar ones (e.g., what rhymes log?)

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading the story – what do you think the story it might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
      • While reading – do you think Mum will be able to catch a star for the little bear? What would you do with a star if you could catch one?
      • After reading – Mum and the little bear couldn't reach a star, but found their own special safe star at home. Do you have a special place that makes you feel safe?

      Hands-On Activities:

      • Learn more about star constellations and create your own constellation viewer from a toilet roll and black paper! Check out the easy instructions HERE.
      • Draw a picture of what you feel like when you’re safe. What colours do you think of when you think about feeling this way?

      Language Concepts:

      Odd Science: Spectacular Space is a quirky book that introduces readers to the wonderful world of non-fiction. Explain the difference between fiction and non-fiction, i.e., that fiction books are like stories, and sometimes have imaginary characters while non-fiction books are full of useful information about the world around us. It may help to explain that there are lots of things we read that are non-fiction e.g,. newspapers, instruction manuals (like the one on the plane), and even street signs! 

      To build language and comprehension, use the illustrations on each page as opportunities for discussion and to prompt further exploration about space!

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
      • While reading - did you know you cannot cry in space because there is no gravity? Talk about what gravity is and how it stops us from flying off into air.
      • After reading - which facts in the book did you find most surprising?

      Hands-On Activities:

      • One of the facts in the book is that Saturn could float in water (if you could find a bathtub big enough!) Try seeing what other things sink or float. Gather up various things from around the house (e.g., spoon, peg, apple, rock etc) and predict whether you think it will sink or float, and why.
      • Make an astronaut helmet out of a paper plate! Check out our easy instructions HERE.

      Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Look Up at the Stars and 8 Little Planets.

      xx Karly
      Owner, Bookieboo 

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      Parent Guide Activities - TRAVEL & TRANSPORT

      Parent Guide Activities - TRAVEL & TRANSPORT

      This month's theme is TRAVEL & TRANSPORT - where we can celebrate culture, language, adventure, and all the things that go!

      Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - Pop-Up Things that Go, How Do You Say Good Night? and How to Catch a Star.

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Make paper airplanes and have a contest to see whose can go further. Check out easy instructions HERE to make the perfect airplane!
      • Play 'Red Light, Green Light' with your child. Explain that red means stop and green means go. When you say 'Green light!' they need to move around and be as silly as they can be, and when you say 'Red light!' they need to freeze!
      • Little ones love imitating and pretending! As you read Pop-Up Things That Go, look at the different features of each vehicle - can you stretch your arms wide like airplane wings, vrrrroooom like a race car, or chug chug chug like a train?

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Each page also shows how to say good night in a different language. How many other ways can you think to say good night? If you have any family or friends that speak a different language, how do they say good night?
      • Some cultures believe that dream catchers help keep bad dreams away! Make your own dream catcher out of a paper plate and some yarn using the instructions HERE. It's also a great threading activity to develop fine motor skills in toddlers!

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • To help develop reading comprehension in toddlers, ask lots of questions throughout the book- e.g., How do you think the boy will get to space? If you could catch your very own star and be its friend, what would you do together?
      • Make your own rocket ship out of an empty toilet roll! See easy step-by-step instructions HERE.

      Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Metropolis and All of the Factors Why I Love Tractors. 

      Language Concepts:

      Metropolis introduces readers to the wonderful world of non-fiction. Explain the difference between fiction and non-fiction, i.e., that fiction books are like stories, and sometimes have imaginary characters while non-fiction books are full of useful information about the world around us. It may help to explain that there are lots of things we read that are non-fiction e.g,. newspapers, instruction manuals (like the one on the plane), and even street signs!

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues. Do you recognise any of the buildings on the front? Have you seen them before?
      • After reading - which of the places in the book would you like to visit one day? Or have you already been to any of them?
      • Encourage little ones to think about the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and see if they can find any other fiction and non-fiction reading materials in the house. You may want to make two piles - one for each category!

      Hands-On Activities:

      • Choose a city in the book and have a themed dinner night! You may like to learn more about the culture, cook a traditional meal, and even dress up in a customary outfit from the area.
      • Look at some of the different cities on a map and figure out how long it would take you to get from your home to that city. How long would it take by plane? By boat? How about if you were walking?!

      Language Concepts:

      All of the Factors Why I Love Tractors will introduce your child to rhyming lines and lots of new vocabulary! For new readers, read a line to your child and ask them to repeat it. Explain what rhyming is and see if they can think of other words that rhymes (e.g., what rhymes with cat?). For more comfortable readers, ask them to choose a word they don't recognise and try to figure out what it means using context clues and the pictures.

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues.
      • While reading - why do you think Frankie likes tractors so much?
      • After reading - Frankie loves reading books about tractors - is there a book you like to read all the time?

      Hands-On Activities:

      • Help your little one create their own tractor artwork using their foot prints! Instructions available HERE.
      • Create a tractor small world using items collected from the garden. Try making a mud pit or dirt pile and use a toy tractor or car to drive through.
      • T is for tractor! Can you find other things around the house that start with the letter T?

      Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Metropolis and Pop-Up Things That Go.

      xx Karly
      Owner, Bookieboo 

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      Parent Guide Activities - NATURE & THE ENVIRONMENT

      Parent Guide Activities - NATURE & THE ENVIRONMENT

      This month's theme is NATURE & THE ENVIRONMENT - these are the perfect books for what we need right now in these crazy times - some quiet time spent in nature.

      Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books - A Forest's Season, and We Are a Garden.

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Make your own four-season tree using cotton wool balls, paint, and some imagination! Simple instructions available HERE.
      • Go on your very own picnic under a tree! Make a list of the types of foods your child would like to take on a picnic, as well as other things you will need to pack - like a blanket or book. Ask your child to help choose the perfect spot under a tree.

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Which part of the garden is your favourite?
      • Go on an garden adventure of your own! Can you see bees and birds? What about plants, vegetables and flowers?
      • Create your own artwork using things you find in the garden. Go on a walk around your yard and collect leaves, twigs and grass. Use glue or tape to make a picture collage.

      Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Green and Trees. 

      Language Concepts:

      Green tells its story primarily through its illustrations, with simple accompanying text. While the vocabulary itself won't present a challenge for independent readers, the true value in this book it the way it prompts discussion and reflection, even in young children.

      This book is also full of rhyming! Explain the concept of rhyming and see if your child can think of other words that rhyme e.g., cat and hat rhyme - can you think of another word that sounds like cat and hat? It needs to have the 'at' sound at the end.

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues.
      • While reading - which is your favourite page so far? You might try peeking through the die cut on each page to guess what will be on the next page!

      Hands-On Activities:

      • This book is all about green things. Go on a 'green hunt' - what other green things can you find? Look around the house and in the garden. Can you find any green things that aren't in the book? Take turns choosing colours to hunt for - can you find all the red things in the kitchen, or all the blue things in your bedroom?
      • Learn about colour mixing! What colours do you need to mix to make green? For older children, you can explain that there are primary and secondary colours. Red, blue and yellow are primary colours and you can create almost any other colour by mixing them in different ways. Secondary colours are the colours made from primary colours - i.e., green, orange and purple. What happens when you add a small amount of black or white to a colour?

      Language Concepts:

      Trees is a beautiful picture book that reads like poetry, and provides a lovely introduction to the concept of 'personification' - the idea of giving human traits and qualities to something non-human, like a tree.

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading the story - what do you think it might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues. What do you already know about trees?
      • After reading - the story talked about trees being asleep in the winter and waking up in the spring. Do you think trees really sleep? You can explain why trees become dormant in winter, and that some animals also sleep (hibernate) in the winter too!
      • What are some of of your favourite activities to do outside? 

      Hands-On Activities:

      • Teach your little one about seeds and how trees grow. Cut a plastic bottle in half and fill with soil. Plant a seed (sunflower seeds are quick and reliable to grow!) and encourage your child to water each day until you see the seed sprout - almost like a mini tree! Using a clear bottle (like a large soft drink bottle) works best so you can see the root system as it grows. When it is big enough, you can move to a pot or into the garden.
      • Visit a park or a nature reserve and look at the different types of trees. How many types can you see? How are they different? (i.e., size, shape, height, colour, type of leaves). Try collecting a leaf from each tree to see how they are similar and how they are different.
      • Make a leaf rubbing artwork with crayons using leaves collected on a nature walk. Instructions available HERE

      Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Green and We Are a Garden.

      xx Karly
      Owner, Bookieboo 

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      Parent Guide Activities - INCREDIBLE INSECTS

      Parent Guide Activities - INCREDIBLE INSECTS

      This month's theme is INCREDIBLE INSECTS - where we celebrate everything creepy and crawly with some amazing books!

      Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - A is for Ant, Peep Inside Bug Homes, and Thank You, Bees

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Make your own ant out of an empty egg carton and some pipe cleaners. Step by step instructions HERE!
      • There are lots of different ants with different jobs to do. Which ant is your favourite?
      • A is for ant, apple, and air. What noise does A make? Can you find anything else in the house that starts with the A sound?

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • Go on a bug spotting adventure of your own! Can you see bees and butterflies? What about ants, ladybugs, and caterpillars? Where did you find the most bugs? 
      • Little ones love imitating! Choose a bug in Peep Inside Bug Homes and pretend to imitate the things they do. Try crawling or swimming, creeping or flying. Talk about the differences bugs that crawl and bugs that fly - can some bugs do both?
      • On the last page of the book, they show a bug hotel - try making your own easy bug hotel using an old coffee mug and some sticks. Simple instructions available HERE.

      Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

      • This book is all about gratitude for the environment and the world around us. What are you grateful for? Introduce the concept of gratitude with young children by talking about the things that make you feel happy.
      • Put gratitude into practice by choosing some of the things in the book to say thank you to together. You might say thank you to the sun, trees, dirt, and bees on your next nature walk.

      Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Twig and Look and Find Bugs. 

      Language Concepts:

      Twig is a great introduction to picture books with more developed story lines, while still being short enough to appeal to young children. For younger readers, read a line and ask them to say it back to you - following the words on the page with their finger. This will help reinforce the behaviour of reading from top to bottom, left to right, which is particularly helpful in this story when the words sprawl across the pages to match the illustrations.

      As you read each page, encourage your child to describe what is happening and why, prompting with questions like 'why do you think the other bugs haven't noticed Heidi?'

      Discussion Topics:

      • Before reading the story - what do you think it might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues.
      • After reading - how do you think Heidi was feeling when no one noticed her? Have you ever felt lonely or left out?
      • Heidi's new friends helped make her a special scarf so she could stand out. At the end of the book, it said she wore it all the time - do you have a favourite outfit you like to wear?

      Hands-On Activities:

      • Using the book as inspiration, create your own stick person! Try going on a nature walk to find the perfect stick or twig, and follow the easy step-by-step instructions HERE to create a person just like Heidi!
      • Can you find the bugs at the back of the book?
      • Download and print out a Twig colouring in sheet, available to download HERE.

        Language Concepts:

        Look and Find Bugs is all about using those spotting skills to find little bugs hidden on each page. To build language and comprehension, use the prompts on each page as opportunities for discussion.

        When finding the silly bugs (e.g., can you find who has been shopping, can you spot the bug with a frying pan) talk about whether this is something a bug would do in real life, or if this is pretend. What is the difference between real and pretend? Also discuss the different types of bugs on each page - where do they live, what do they eat, and have you seen them before?

        Discussion Topics:

        • Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
        • While reading - which is your favourite page so far? Were you able to complete all the challenges, or were there some bugs you couldn't find?
        • After reading - where do you think would be a good time to read this book? Maybe in the car or on a trip to pass the time?

        Hands-On Activities:

        • We love the spider page of this book! Make your own spider web using just paper and scissors. Great for building fine motor skills! Instructions available HERE.
        • Choose one of the pages in the book as inspiration for a story. Think about the setting of the story, the characters, and what kind of adventures they might have. You might want to write down your story or draw a picture and tell your story aloud.

        Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Twig and A is for Ant.

        xx Karly
        Owner, Bookieboo 

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