Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday for the Kids - A Good Book

I keep a basket in the living room filled to overflowing with my boys' favorite books just in case they calm down long enough to sit still and read a book with me.  They have a few favorites that they want to read again and again, and I am happy to oblige.  I treasure those quiet, cuddly moments with my boys, where we can travel to far-off, magical worlds together and meet all kinds of interesting creatures.  Sometimes, to entice them to settle down with a good book, we will work on a project or two to go along with the books we're reading.

One of our favorite books is Mo Willems' Leonardo the Terrible Monster.  It's a sweet story about a monster who was not very good at scaring people.  He tries so hard to be scary, but he just isn't.  So, he does some research to find the  the most scaredy-cat kid (Sam) and gives it his all.  But when faced with the choice to be scary, or a good friend, Leonardo makes the right decision.  (Everyone needs a friend, even a monster!)  Help your little ones create their own monster friends with these not-so-scary (free) monster printables.


Monster print-out from above
Colored paper
Glue stick
Cut out any shape you wish from colored paper.
Bribe 2 year-old to color with "Monster" (Muenster) cheese.
Color the pieces you want for your monster.
Cut out the pieces and glue to your monster's body.
Chat it up with your new monster friend!

Here are a few more of our favorites with some hands-on activities to go with each one.
Max's First Word by Rosemary Wells - I love Max and Ruby!  Ruby is so stinking bossy (just like me) and practices her mothering skills on her little brother, Max, by trying to broaden his vocabulary.  Max always wins in the end, though, doesn't he?  (This book is currently out of print, but you can find one second-hand from the link above.)
     * When Micah was little, we would line up his play kitchen items mentioned in the book and giggle about the adorable ways he would say the words (Say ((egg, pot, broom, apple...)), Micah!)
     * Nick Jr.'s site has TONS of free Max and Ruby coloring pages and fun printables for your littles!

Little Blue Truck byAlice Schertle - The little blue truck is so friendly, and always has time to say "beep" to his animal friends.  When a big ole dump truck zooms through the scene in a hurry and gets stuck in the mud, the little blue truck and his animal buddies teach him a lesson in friendship.
     *  If you have boys, you probably have trucks and toy animals.  Practice putting the animals in and out of the truck.
     *  Want to get a bit crafty?  Check out this adorable tutorial on how to make little blue truck finger puppets from See Vanessa Craft.

Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler- This story is about two rival ranch owners who sing to their cows to bring them home at the end of the day, "until, just after winter thaw, a wind blew down from Arkansas...."  The rhythm of the rhyming text is so sweet and catchy.  I dare you to read this book without using a Southern accent.
     * Pretend your stuffed animals get scattered from a tornado, and then herd them into the toy chest.
     *  Dress up like a cowboy and conduct your own stick horse races.  (If you don't have stick horses, check out this awesome tutorial to make a couple of your own!)

Dear Zoo byRod Campbell - This cute classic has been around for over 25 years, and is often my go-to gift for friends with toddlers.  Kids can lift the flaps to reveal what pet the zoo sent them, but don't forget to send them back.
     * Practice each of the animal sounds from the animals the animals in the story (P.S.  Watch out for the camel!  He spits!)
     * Plan a trip to the zoo where you and your kids can learn more about the animals featured in the book.  Remind your kids that no, you cannot fit an elephant in your car to take him home.
     * Plan a party to celebrate your pets.  (Doesn't your goldfish deserve a day dedicated to him?)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle -  Kids won't even realize that they're learning how to count, how to choose good food, and about the life cycle of a butterfly.  Carle's illustrations are perfect, and the story is so sweet!
     * Have a tasting party of all of the foods (assorted fruits, chocolate cake, ice cream cone, pickle, Swiss cheese, salami....) the hungry caterpillar tried during his journey.
     * I cannot wait to get this kit for the boys this summer so they can raise their own butterflies for our garden!
     *  Carisa of 1+1+1=1 is the most amazing homeschooling momma out there!  She offers tons of free printables and lesson plans for teaching your little kids, including this one on The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton - Watch this cast of animals get ready for bed with Boynton's adorable illustrations and rhyming text.  It won't take you long to memorize and recite this entire book by heart.
    * Get the pre-bedtime wiggles out by doing jumping jacks, sit ups, or running laps around the living room.
     *  Make up beds and practice tucking in your little ones' stuffed toys and dolls.
     * Turn your couch into a "boat" and pretend your sailing the high seas, then rock, and rock, and rock your little ones to sleep.

Have fun with a good book and your kiddos!

P.S.  Don't forget to send out your mugs today to your swapping partners if you joined our mug swap party!  And, if you want you can share a photo of your mug on our facebook page.


1 comment:

  1. I am just going to have to borrow some kids to do some of these things. Great job Amy!!