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February Parent Guide Activities - SUPPORTING LOCAL

February Parent Guide Activities - SUPPORTING LOCAL

In light of the tragedy and devastation we've seen with numerous natural disasters in Australia these past few months, we wanted to take the opportunity to support local authors, illustrators and publishers with this month's box.

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - in the City I See, Pup and Down, and Froggy Green. 

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Do you live in a city or in the country? How are they different, and how are they the same? Do you have tall buildings and long buses where you live? How about a market where you can buy lots of food?
  • If you live near a city, see if you can play a game of scavenger hunt to find all the sights depicted in the book. Can you find a hungry pigeon? How about a busker playing music?
  • Make your own city using painted toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls! Instructions available HERE.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • 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
  • Download the Opposites Game matching activity HERE! Help your little one to match each picture with its opposite.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • To encourage interaction with the book, point to the colour on each page and first see if your little one can name it. Can they find anything else in the room (or even outside!) that is this colour?
  • At the end of the story, we find out that while everyone has different favourite colours, they ALL love rainbow ice cream! Try making your very own ice cream, using the easy recipe found HERE. Which colour will you make it? (Or maybe you'll have rainbow ice cream too!)
  • Play ice cream colour match! Template available to download HERE.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Kookaburras Love to Laugh and A Walk in the Bush. 

Language Concepts:

With simple text and lots of repetition, Kookaburras Love to Laugh is the perfect book for young readers to test out their independent reading skills. Encourage them to use context clues if they are stuck on a word and to also identify where the same word or phrase is repeated (e.g., laugh, 'some are too').

Discussion Topics:

  • Before you start reading, ask your child what they think the book might be about. Encourage them to use the title and cover pages as clues.
  • While reading - Kookaburra doesn't like to laugh. Is there anything your family or friends all like to do that you don't enjoy? How does being different make you feel?
  • After reading - Kookaburra thought he would be happy with another group of birds, but ended up coming back to live with his kookaburra friends. Why do you think he came back?

Hands-On Activities:

  • There are lots of different birds shown in the book. How many have you seen before? Try going on a walk and birdwatching! How many different birds did you see? Was there any that you heard but couldn't find?
  • Make your own kookaburra out of a pinecone and other native plants, like gum leaves! Easy step by step instructions available HERE.
  • Do you know the 'Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree" song? If not, try learning it! You can check out a video that shows the lyrics and plays the melody on this family-friendly YouTube channel HERE!

Language Concepts:

A walk in the Bush is a great introduction to picture books with more developed story lines and themes, while still being short enough to appeal to young children. One of the best parts of this book is its relate-ability, as most children in Australia would have walked in the bush or at least seen some of the animals and plants detailed in the story.

This book also has some great action sounds when Grandad and Iggy are listening to all the birds. Make sure to over-emphasise these sound effects when reading to add excitement to 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 - Grandad points out new shoots growing after a bushfire. Discuss bushfires and what can make bushfires more severe (e.g., dry vegetation, hot weather, strong winds). This could be a good time to talk about the recent bushfires and if there has been any damage in your local area.

Hands-On Activities:

  • Grandad and Iggy go on an adventure in the bush and meet many animals. Choose your favourite animal from the story and write down everything you know about that animal. You might even try making up a story about all the things that animal likes to do, and including some illustrations.
  • Try going on a bush walk just like Grandad and Iggy. Can you spot any of the animals seen in the book? Try smelling the eucalyptus leaves, and see if you can notice any scribbly caterpillar marks on the trees. Maybe you could take some pictures too!

Our Family Box included one book from our Bitty Box and one from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Kookaburras Love to Laugh and Froggy Green.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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