Parent Guide

January Parent Guide Activities - ANIMAL FRIENDS

January Parent Guide Activities - ANIMAL FRIENDS

This month's theme is Animal Friends - these books will help bring our your little one's wild side! We're off on an adventure to meet lots of new animal friends!

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - Animal Families: Forest, Jungle: A Slide and Play Book, and Animal Parade.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • One of the best parts of Animal Families: Forest are the lift-the-flaps! Some are very well hidden and tricky to spot. Encourage your reader to scan each page, searching for the flaps themselves!
  • Before lifting each flap and revealing the name of the baby animal, see if your child can guess what they might be called. Were they surprised by any of the baby names? What other baby animals do they know? What is a baby dog called? A baby cat?
  • Make a fox family using paper plates! Instructions available here:

https://bookieboo.com.au/blogs/parent-guide/beyondthebook-activity-paper-plate-fox-family

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • 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.
  • Make your own slithery snake paper chain! Instructions available here:

https://bookieboo.com.au/blogs/parent-guide/beyondthebook-activity-paper-chain-snake

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • The reversible puzzle pieces in Animal Parade help introduce comparison, with statements such as "I am bigger than...:, and "I am smaller than...". Try mixing up all the puzzle pieces and helping your child put them back in the correct order, from smallest to biggest. Then, try again but from biggest to smallest!
  • Discuss what other animals might be larger or smaller than the one shown on each puzzle piece, or try comparing the size of household objects e.g., "The microwave is bigger than the toaster, the fridge is bigger than the microwave".

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Almost an Animal Alphabet, and Animals at Night.

Language Concepts:

With its beautifully intricate graphic illustrations, this book will spark the interest of children and adults alike (we fell in love the second we laid eyes on it!). Almost an Animal Alphabet is a great transition book as readers grow from page exploration and letter exploration to reading simple words.

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.
  • Do you have a favourite animal in the book? What do you like about it?
  • One type of animal in this book is extinct, and one is imaginary - do you know which animals these are?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Choose your favourite letter. Can you think of other animals that start with that letter? Try drawing a picture of the animals you think of.
  • Play memory by matching upper and lowercase alphabet letters. Game available to download HERE

Language Concepts:

Animals at Night 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 facts and 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? Encourage readers to use the title and cover illustrations as clues. 
  • While reading - which is your favourite page so far? Have you learnt any new facts?
  • 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:

  • Encourage little ones to think about the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and see if they can find any other non-fiction reading materials in the house.
  • Choose one of the unfamiliar animals in this book to research more. What do they eat? Where do they sleep?
  • Animals at Night comes with a glow-in-the-dark poster! Hold under a lamp to 'charge' the poster, then turn off the lights and see the ocean creatures come to life!

Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Almost an Animal Alphabet and Animal Families: Forest.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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November Parent Guide Activities - SENSATIONAL SHAPES

November Parent Guide Activities - SENSATIONAL SHAPES

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: 

https://bookieboo.com.au/blogs/beyondthebook-activities/beyondthebook-activity-toilet-roll-circle-painting

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.

Language Concepts:

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!

Discussion Topics:

  • 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

Hands-On Activities:

  • 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.

Language Concepts:

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.

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. 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?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Make your own Square and Circle characters by doing sponge stamping! Simple step-by-step instructions available here:

https://bookieboo.com.au/blogs/beyondthebook-activities/beyondthebook-activity-shape-sponge-stamping

  • 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.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo 

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October Parent Guide Activities - THE OCEAN

October Parent Guide Activities - THE OCEAN

This month's theme is The Ocean! The weather is heating up and these books will help your little ones get ready for summertime fun... dive in! 

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had three sturdy board books - Colour Me: Who's in the Ocean, Little World: Under the Sea, and Alphaprints: Sea Life.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Develop fine motor skills by using a paint brush to 'paint' the book's pages with water. Watch as each of the colours magically appear!
  • Create a silly octopus friend using a toilet roll and some imagination! Step by step instructions available here.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • This book is full of interaction! First, read the words on each page and then look for the arrows to reveal hidden pull out tabs! Each spread is full of detail to go back to again and again. 
  • Which underwater animal is your favourite? Why?
  • Explore which creatures are under the sea with a fun sensory activity! Using blue-coloured rice or sand, bury some sea treasures and encourage your little one to explore and find all the hidden items.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Can you find all the household items in each picture? What are the crab's claws made from? What about the jellyfish's head, or the seahorse's nose?
  • Little ones love imitating! Try walking like a crab or snapping like a lobster and see if they can try it too!
  • Go on a nature walk to collect items for a collage. See if you can use items like leaves, flowers, grass and seeds to create your own underwater animal or scene.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month's box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Don't Worry, Little Crab, and 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea.

Language Concepts:

With so much dialogue, Don't Worry, Little Crab is the perfect book to test out some character voices! Ask your child what kind of voice they think Little Crab would have, and how it might sound different to Very Big Crab's voice. 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 Little Crab or Very Big Crab is talking.

This book also has some great action sounds e.g., tic-a-tac, splish splash, squelch, and WOOSH! Make sure to over-emphasise these sound effects when reading to add movement and excitement to the story.

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 Little Crab will go into the ocean? What do you think he is afraid of?
  • After reading - have you ever been scared to do something like Little Crab? What did you do to feel brave?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Create your own little crab artwork using your hand prints! Easy step by step instructions available here.
  • Draw a picture of what you feel like when you're brave. What colours do you think of when you think about feeling brave? Does being brave make you feel strong or powerful?

Language Concepts:

1001 Things to Spot in the Sea 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!

Encourage little ones to think about the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and see if they can find any other non-fiction reading materials in the house.

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? Have you learnt any new facts?
  • 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:

  • Use the recipe here to make "moon sand" - just like the sand you might find on the ocean floor!. This flour-based "sand" is super soft and easy to clean - perfect for indoor play and sensory bins!
  • 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 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month's books were Don't Worry, Little Crab and Alphaprints: Sea Life.

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo

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