I recommend starting with cookies. Two of my younger sisters still talk about how much they enjoyed making cookies with me when they were kids. (They are 8 and 10 years younger than me.) Two years ago my older son said, “Mom, I remember baking cookies with you every Christmas. Will you continue the tradition with my son?” His son was 6 months old at the time, but he was still able to press down on the cookie cutter to make cookies. Last year he was able to help stir the batter. This year, he’ll be able to do even more. When I asked my younger son if he remembers baking cookies as a child he said, “Sure. I think that was the beginning of my enjoyment of cooking.” He now cooks for himself and loves to invite friends to his home for meals. The older son also cooks and often has dinner ready when his wife comes home after picking up the children at daycare. Continue reading
“Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite” by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
Look Out! There is a crocodile eating the letters in this book! We have to make him stop. Oh, dear, now he’s trying to escape from the book!
You and your child, as listener and reader, are part of the story. Not only are books like this fun but they improve a child’s early literacy skills. A child who is actively engaged with a story will probably have a good understanding of the story (comprehension skills), is likely to be able to tell you the story later (narrative skills) and will want to read more books (print motivation). These are important skills to have before a child is ready to learn to read.
You will find a fun printable activity to reinforce the concepts in “Open Very Carefully” at Peace, Love and Learning.
Other books with an interactive narrator include:
- “Count the Monkeys” by Mac Barnett (another 2014 Building Block nominee)
- “Do Not Open This Book” by Michaela Muntean
- “The Monster at the End of This Book” by Jon Stone
- “Can You Make a Scary Face?” By Jan Thomas
- “Press Here” by Hervé Tullet
- “Mix it Up” by Hervé Tullet
“I Dare You Not to Yawn,” written by Helene Boudreau, illustrated by Serge Bloch
I dare you to get through this book without yawning. Just thinking about it is making me…YAWN. The little boy in the story is trying so hard not to yawn because if he does, one thing will lead to another and somehow he will end up in bed. He tells you all the things to stay away from, but of course he still yawns and has to go to bed. Try reading this at bedtime and see how long it takes before you or your child yawns.
For a fun song, listen to “Yawn Song” on The Cat in the Hat Songbook music CD.
“The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity” by Jean Van’t Hul explains how to set up a space for art and encourage creativity in children 1 to 8 years old. It includes instructions for a variety of activities.
“Craft Fun” by Kim Solga has clear pictures and instructions for making items out of cardboard, yarn, paper, clay and cloth for kids ages 6 and up.
“Eco-Friendly Crafts With Kids” by Kate Lilley includes recipes for play dough and recycled crayons, as well as ways to turn things you find around the house into games and toys. This is a great book for families with children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Continue reading
Did you ever want to try a food you read about in a story? Wouldn’t it be fun to try something the Boxcar Children ate? Or something Laura ate in the Little House books? How about Green Eggs and Ham or Stone Soup? The library has books with recipes to tell you how to make these literary dishes and more.
- “The Boxcar Children Cookbook” by Diane Blain
- “Little House Cookbook” by Barbara Walker
- “Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook” by Georgeanne Brennan
- “Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters” with tales retold by Jane Yolen, recipes by Heidi E.Y. Stemple
- “Fancy Nancy Tea Parties” by Jane O’Connor
- “Encyclopedia Takes the Cake” by Donald Sobol
- American Girl cookbooks: Molly, Kirsten, Samantha, Felicity, Addy
- “Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes” by Roald Dahl
Check out one of these fun books and get cooking today!