I love to sew; I do it for fun and for relaxation. And I like to make things for my two grandchildren, so I was excited to discover “Sew and Play” by Farah Wolfe. It contains instructions for sewing 11 games for children.
First I made fabric pancakes decorated with brown felt syrup and yellow felt butter for the “Pancake Game.” I added a store-bought play skillet, plates and a pancake turner.
Rex knocks down all the wonderful creations each of his friends builds out of blocks in “Rex Wrecks It!” by Ben Clanton. It makes everyone sad, including Rex. So his friends decide to work together, including Rex, and build something “awesomerific.” Hooray! Now everyone can knock it down together!
I read this story to my young grandsons. One told me we shouldn’t call people names. (Sprinkles calls Rex a blockhead.) We agreed that it was not a nice thing to do. Later when we were playing outside in the sand making castles, my other grandson grinned at me and quoted the last line of the story, “[Let’s] wreck it all together!” So we did. I love it when kids make connections between a story and their own lives. Continue reading →
In “This Book Just Ate My Dog” by Richard Byrne, a girl named Bella takes a walk with her dog. During their walk, her dog disappears into the gutter of the book (the center seam where the pages come together). Friends and various vehicles come to the rescue only to be eaten by the book. Bella goes in after them but then sends out a note to the reader asking for some help. Continue reading →
Have you ever taken a song and added your own words? Jane Cabrera does this with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” As her characters row down the stream, they spot a variety of animals, each making a noise. Have your child make the noise, too. Animal noises are a fun way to practice sounds. This is an early literacy skill—something that lays a foundation for reading readiness.
Children love to move. You and your child could sit on the floor, bottoms of your feet touching the bottoms of his feet. Hold hands and gently pull back and forth as you “row” and sing the song.
Your child could act out the story by pretending that a box or a laundry basket is a boat. Does she have some stuffed animals she could set beside the “boat” and tell her own story? This activity helps with narrative skills and reading comprehension.
The Missouri Building Block Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the
picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite! The first book we will feature is “Naked” by Michael Ian Black.
The main character in “Naked,” a little boy bursting with enthusiasm, loves the time between bath time and bedtime. Our hero comes out of the bath full of energy, imagining what it would be like to go naked all the time (the illustrator is very discreet with her pictures). He then adds a cape, which is even better! He takes several breaks to eat his bedtime snack of cookies and then realizes he is cold. On go the dragon pajamas and he is finally “exhausted” and ready for bed.
Reading “Naked” could lead to all kinds of great discussions and activities.