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.
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.
- 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!
- 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?
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.
- 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?
- 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.