This month's theme is Sensational Shapes - these books will help little ones explore the concept of shapes and get a better understanding of how shapes can be all around us.
Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books - Zoom: An Epic Journey Through Circles, and Zoe and Zack - Shapes.
Language Concepts & Book Interaction:
- To help develop reading comprehension, ask lots of questions throughout the book - there are lots of prompts provided throughout the book, and you can also expand with other questions e.g., Where else do you see circles? Can you think of any circle-shaped food or toys?
- Go on a circle hunt! Look around the house, or try going on a nature walk to see how many circles you can spot.
- Make a circle artwork using a toilet paper roll! Instructions available here:
Language Concepts & Book Interaction:
- To encourage interaction with the book, work together to guess which shape Zoe and Zack are drawing before the answer is revealed.
- Can you guess which shapes we're making? Download and print our starter shapes template here and see if your little one can finish the shape. Alternatively, draw part of a shape and help your child complete the missing lines.
- Using paddle pop sticks, see how many different shapes you can create! Are there any shapes you cannot make using straight lines?
Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Tickle Monster, and Square.
Tickle Monster introduces readers to the concepts of shapes, colours, prediction, and perception all in one! Encourage little ones to think about how each part of Tickle Monster could turn into something else - looking at the shape and colour to see if they resemble another object before before turning the page and finding out!
- Before reading - what do you think this book might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues.
- After reading - were you surprised when each of the monster's body parts turned into something else? Were you able to guess what picture was being created?
- At first, Tickle Monster might have looked a bit scary, but when he was tickled each part of his body turned into something that wasn't scary at all! Have you ever been afraid of something that turned out to be something not scary? i.e., shadow or tree tapping on the window
- Make your own picture out of the Tickle Monster! Print out our template here and use it to trace and cut out the Tickle Monster's shapes on paper or felt. Encourage your little one to put the Tickle Monster together like a puzzle and then take apart to make different pictures.
- Can you draw an animal using just shapes? Look carefully at the animal you want to draw and think about all its different body parts - are they big or small? Do they look more like squares, circles or triangles?
- The Tickle Monster is a great book to prompt discussion about fears and perspective. Add it to a worry basket and read when your child is feeling anxious.
With a nice balance of narrative and dialogue, Square provides the opportunity to test out the character voices of both Square and his friend Circle - with different emotions too! What kind of voice do you think each shape has? Do you think the characters sound different when they are are excited versus when they are sad?
Square is a great introduction to books with non-human creatures, while still presenting relative messages of friendship, determination, and appreciation that children and parents alike can relate to.
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. E.g., What kind of shape is on the cover? Can you tell how the shape might be feeling?
- Can you think of other places you see squares that aren't in the book?
- Perfection, or being perfect, means different things to different people. What does 'perfect' mean to you? Do you think someone can ever be perfect?
- Make your own Square and Circle characters by doing sponge stamping! Simple step-by-step instructions available here:
- In the story, Square is making a sculpture for Circle. Try making your own sculpture for a friend using play doh or clay.
Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Tickle Monster and Zoom: An Epic Journey Through Circles.