2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Little Nelly’s Big Book

Little Nelly's Big BookLittle Nelly’s Big Book,” written by Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Andy Rowland

What animal is gray, has big ears and a small tail? A mouse? An elephant? What about a rabbit? Or maybe a koala? “Little Nelly’s Big Book” follows a story of an animal with these exact characteristics, but there’s something quite different between her and her animal family. After reading this case of mistaken identity, try some of these follow-up activities: Continue reading

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Open Very Carefully

Book cover for open very carefullyOpen 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:

Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite!

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: I Dare You Not to Yawn

Book cover for I Dare You Not to YawnI 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.

For photos that will make you laugh as well as yawn, check out these photos of yawning animals. Continue reading

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Ribbit!

Ribbit!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.

Did you know kids who learn compassion and acceptance are less likely to tease or bully others? In Rodrigo Folgueira’s “Ribbit!” see how frogs react when they see a pig acting like a frog in their pond. Will the frogs ever accept this strange visitor?

After you share the story, take the book further with these fun activities:

  • Do “This Little Piggy” on your little one’s toes, but have each piggy make a different animal sound.
  • Sing “My Frog Song” by chicky-ma-ma sung to the tune of “It’s a Small World.”
    I’m a small frog in the sea
    I’m as green as green can be
    I have 4 legs as you can see
    I’m a small green frog.
  • Paint pigs with pudding! Print off a pig coloring page on card stock.Combine chocolate pudding mix and whip cream. Tell your child that their pigs are too clean and need to get muddy. The pig can then be covered with “mud” using little fingers or craft sticks.
  • Make an easy pig paper craft. DLTK Kids has a craft that teaches shapes and can be simplified for younger kids.
  • Create a paper frog puppet. Enchanted Learning has a frog puppet simpler to make than most puppets.
  • Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite!

 

Encourage Curiosity!

butterfly nonfiction booksWe often want to build on our children’s curiosity, but do you always have the right answer when they ask, “Why?” We can often discover the answers together in books shared between parent and child. Knowledge about the world, even in very young children, is key to understanding. Pairing a story and a factual book on nature or science helps expand children’s scientific knowledge. Read aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and then explore a nonfiction book on butterflies. Since related activities can help reinforce learning, you may also want to perform a fingerplay of “Little Arabella Miller.” Here’s how.

Continue reading