Books 📚 Feed

🌸Spring and🌱Nature Inspired 📚Books

April 23rd is William Shakespeare's birthday (1564) and World Book Day, so below I have put together our favorite 🌸Spring and🌱nature-inspired books with links to hands-on activities. DSC_0074

A closer 🔍look at our 🌸Spring 🌱Nature 📚Books (top left to right):

  • My First Discoveries Series with its transparent pages add a new twist to a traditional reading. TreesFlowers, and Woods and Forest books are a great addition to your spring or botany book collection:
    • Trees book (buy here) gracefully explains how nature's cycle works.
    • Flowers book (buy here) will show a child how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, how buds blossom and flower into fruit, and how sunflowers turn to face the sun.
    • Woods and Forests book (buy here) teaches a young reader about nature, seasons, woods and forests.
  • Everything Spring (Picture the Seasons) National Geographic Children's (buy here) is an amazing beautifully photographed picture book where young children can see, hear, and feel the warmth of springtime by reading and learning all about chicks, bunnies, and the other baby animals that come out to play in springtime.
  • Spring book is a part of Four Seasons Book set (buy here), where each of the books describes the characteristics of one season. Spectacular images of children, plants, and animals in all seasons combine with simple text to demonstrate how seasonal changes affect all life on Earth.
  • Cherry Blossoms Say Spring National Geographic Children's Books series (buy here) looks at the life cycle of a cherry tree, the history behind the gift of the Japanese cherry trees to our nation's capital, and the association of cherry trees and spring. Vibrant scenes from the Cherry Blossom Festival and the flood of visitors to the Tidal Basin are balanced with shots of the natural beauty of these trees. 

DSC_0109"The sun opens the buds and tiny leaves uncurl." ~  Trees book.

DSC_0109"In spring, chestnut trees blossom. The flowers grow into chestnuts."

Through beautiful overlay pages of My First Discoveries series books, a child can see a little seed grow into a mighty tree. The Trees book takes a young reader through a journey of a tree, which flowers every year, bearing seeds that will in Autumn fall to the ground just to grow slowly into more trees.   

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Flowers book has the most beautiful transparent overlay pages which reveal how buds blossom and flower into fruit; how sunflowers turn to face the sun; how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers, and how Dandelion: grows from a flower ~ to a bud ~  to a seed.

DSC_0002For more flower books, read here a post about our favorite 🌸Botany 📚Books.

DSC_0066Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons ~ read here about our material and books.

 See here our entire 🌸Spring 🌱 Themed Unit roundup.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🌐Earth Day Inspired 📚Books

🌐Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22. Although we pay tribute to this National Holiday by educating our children on the importance of conservation and caring for our environment, there is still so much that can be done in terms of reducing pollution, making sure we all live in harmony with every living creature and conserving our valuable resources. Below are some of the 🌐 Earth Day favorite 📚 books we enjoy reading. I hope you can utilize these books not just for this Holiday, but for the entire year, teaching children how to appreciate, respect and cherish our planet Earth.

The three books that have touched our hearts deeply are by Schim Schimmel, who is an internationally renowned professional artist/author with a great love of art as well as the environment. His artwork and books have been lovingly embraced world-wide for their beauty and environmental message.

In The Family of Earth Book (buy here), through surrealistic acrylic paintings of leopards, penguins, hippos, and gorillas, each in their appropriate landscape (or floating in space with the moon and stars and planet Earth hovering nearby), Schimmel expresses his beliefs about planetary interdependence of all of Earth's creatures. "The earth may look different to each of us, but we share only one earth." Lions live in a world of grassy plains. To dolphins, the world is water. Lush green trees make up gorillas' world. And yet, all these animals share the same world. 

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Flowing rivers, quiet ponds, and muddy banks are the only world hippo knows. We all live in our own worlds.

Schimmel describes his paintings as environmental visionary surrealism and hopes to change the way readers see the world. The text attempts to describe the perspectives experienced by a variety of animals. For example, snow leopards don't see the same environment as dolphins."Leopards do not swim with dolphins. They have never seen a penguin." Gorillas call the forest home, while lions live on grassy plains. The point of the narrative is that although all of the creatures live in different habitats, they all inhabit the same planet. 

DSC_0012"We share the canyons and the oceans. We share the same sky."

 

However, perhaps Schimmel's most famous book is Dear Children Of The Earth (buy here) which is a remarkable letter from Mother Earth asking for help from children everywhere. She (Mother Earth) writes to express her love for each and every child and asks for their love and appreciation in return.

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In her own words, and with all of her heart, Mother Earth swaddles children with love and entrusts them with her protection. She explains that we are all one big family~ her children: that we have to take care of our "brothers and sisters" who are not necessarily our kin but are indeed all living creatures. Mother Earth also asks to help keep our "home" clean.
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The message in Dear Children Of The Earth book is so simple and yet so moving! Through Schimmel's "eco-surreal" artwork, the book suggests the interdependence of all of Earth's creatures, asking for unity, humanity, peace, and respect - what a great message to celebrate the Earth Day!


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Lastly, Children Of The Earth...Remember book (by here) is a tender lesson on sharing and protecting the Earth, enhanced with Schimmel's stunning artwork.

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And all of these animals are children of this world. For this world is their Mother. And we call this world Mother Earth. The animals are not alone on Mother Earth. These are people living there, too. Billions of people. More people than all the twinkling stars in the night sky. And all of these people are the children of Mother Earth, too. So, the animals and the people and Mother Earth are all one big family.  

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We also enjoyed reading Help The Environment Series (on the right), which includes five books: Caring for Nature, Cleaning Up Litter, Reusing & Recycling, Saving Energy, and Saving Water.

Reusing and Recycling book (buy here) shows children simple, hands-on ways to reuse and recycle while explaining why it’s a good idea. Simple text and engaging photos of children and their families taking small conservation actions in their homes, classrooms, and communities make big conservation ideas accessible to beginning readers. “When we reuse boxes, we do not waste boxes. We help the environment.” 

Caring for Nature book (buy here) introduces very young children to the concept of caring for the environment in an attractive and accessible way. Based on children's real-life experiences, the books focus on things children can do to help the environment and keep the world around us clean. In this book, children learn what nature is, what lives in nature, and ways they can care for nature.

In Saving Water book (buy here), children will discover concrete ways to save water — and learn why it is important. “A hose uses lots of water. We save water when we use a watering can instead of a hose.

In Cleaning Up Litter book (buy here), children will discover simple ways to clean up the world — “Sometimes there are no trash cans. When we take litter with us, we clean up the world.


In Saving Energy book (buy here), children will learn ways to save energy. “We use energy to make cars work. When we walk or take the bus, we save energy.

Finally, Earth Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) book in the middle (buy here) is very simple, straightforward book with controlled vocabulary, and a text of fewer than 400 words. The book also includes pronunciation guides to less familiar words.

Read here a post about another inspiring book that we love  I Cherish Planet Earth Book📘 with a Matching Game.

Also, see here the 🌐Earth Day 2017 Activities Roundup.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

🎂Dr. Seuss ♻️Recycled Craft Skip Counting by 🔟s

Happy 🎂Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, MA, was an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist, best known for authoring more than 60 children's books under the pen name Doctor Seuss. Did you know that Dr. Seuss is the ninth-best-selling fiction author of all time (estimated 500 million copies sold)? (Read more here.)

Dr. Seuss could plant more meaning into a few short verses than most writers can manage to embed in an entire novel!

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!”

So, today, we are thinking left and right and, inspired by The Cat in the Hat book, we are skip counting with this🍡DIY ♻️recycled Math 🎩Hat. 

DSC_0032How to make this skip counting DIY 🎩

  • paint six recycled popsicle sticks with this red tempera paint, which dries in 90 seconds and paints perfectly vivid over the wood,
  • *TIP: apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the ends of unfinished popsicle sticks to prime the part where you will be writing numbers (otherwise, the numbers will "bleed" ~ color will spread),
  • write with a black Sharpie numbers one till one hundred, skip counting by fives (on the left, I wrote skip counting by 10s and on the right by 5s). Modification: with smaller children, just write numbers one through ten.
  • finally, top the🎩Hat with a hundred square!

DSC_0037I then offered Adrian to match number tiles from Montessori Hundred Board to the numbers on popsicle sticks. (For a detailed lesson on Hundred Board, read here Montessori 💯Hundred Board at 3 Yo). 
DSC_0037“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” And indeed, at first, Adrian thought this was too complicated, but step by step, he assembled the 🎩hat and was able to skip count by 5s till one hundred!


DIY Thing 1 & Thing 2 🙌🏻Handprint♻️Craft with a 🔢Math Twist

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~ Dr. Suess.

We also made handprints Thing 1 (Julia) and Thing 2 (Adrian) craft while incorporating math and skip counting by 10s. 

DSC_0020What you will need:

DSC_0020Roll strips of blue paper over the pencil to give hair a "curl."
DSC_0020Each hair strand represents 10, offering to practice skip counting by ten till one hundred.

DSC_0020I glued a red pom-pom to the top of the roll to support the handprint. 

DSC_0005Meet Thing 1 and Thing 2!

DSC_0005Julia's handprint was bigger, so I glued a popsicle stick to the back.
DSC_0005Julia also got a pink bow made out of a pom-pom and pink construction paper.
DSC_0005This craft will remain a keepsake to remember how big their hands were at 8 and 4 yo.
DSC_0005Lastly, offer your child to skip count using golden beads ten-bars.

How do you celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday?

DSC_0001See here books & puzzles we are loving on March 2nd 🎉Dr. Seuss's 🎂Birthday 📚.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

Sticker 🚀Painting •Kids 🔢Math Puzzle Craft

Today, Adrian is making a completely new craft: creating pictures, one sticker at a time, while using a Paint by Sticker Kids book (buy here). 

DSC_0021The illustrated templates are printed on perforated card stock, and there are ten pages of stickers to fill in and create the artwork. The fun, vibrant images are rendered in “low-poly,” a computer graphics style using geometric polygon shapes to create a 3-D effect. Each template is divided into hundreds of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular sticker. 

DSC_0021 We are using this lion (not included with the book).

These graphics style images also act as template-puzzles: the child reads the number (a great lesson on teens and tens!), then finds the matching number place on the picture while rotating the geometrical piece to have it fit exactly. Add the next, and the next, and the next and voila!

DSC_0011 It’s a rocket ship blasting through space! Adrian decided to cut it out, practicing his scissor skills.

DSC_0023Adrian loved watching his sticker-creations come to life!

DSC_0021Once fully assembled, he cut each picture and asked me to laminate them.

DSC_0025Adrian then secured the ice-pop stick to the back with a scotch tape, creating a puppet!

DSC_0025   It is a friendly toucan flying through the sky.

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While the assembly is very meticulous (some pieces are very tiny), this activity is awesome for advancing fine motor control. Also, this process is tedious since there are generally around a hundred stickers to be matched. Despite all, Adrian really enjoyed it, and he kept going until he completed the entire image. Watching his painting, made out of hundreds of geometrical shapes come to life was a reward worth working for!

Have you ever painted your masterpiece with stickers?

See here for other educational materials, books, and toys we have been enjoying.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW

❄️Winter Favorite 📖Reading 📚Collection • Kids Books

Below are 📚books we have been enjoying reading during the cold❄️Winter months. We love snow and winter, and we love creating fairy-tale settings for our children to play out their imagination. (I wrote about the importance of imaginary play in child's development here.) So, we love bringing books to life through small world play by creating scenes and incorporating the characters from books to let our children role-play, explore the plot and its characters.

DSC_0230Below are 🔍 some of our favorite❄️Winter books:

  • The Mitten book ~ our absolute 🌨Winter🐰🐻🐭 favorite book! (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • The Hat book (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post 👇below or here,
  • Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, Cat in the Hat's Learning Library (buy here),
  • Winter, First Step Nonfiction (buy here),
  • Winter Wonderland, Picture the Seasons (buy here) is an amazing book written by Winter with humorous text and gorgeous photography,
  • The Secret Life of a Snowflake book (buy here) ~ read a post about it here or see👇below,
  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here) and see 👇below,
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here) and see 👇below.

DSC_0316See here The Mitten Book •❄️Winter Favorite 📖Reading 📚Collection.  

DSC_0018See here The Hat Book  ❄️ Winter 📖 Reading Collection.

DSC_0007See here 📚Learning About 🌨Snowflakes •❄️Paper ✂️Craft.  

IMG_0310Also here see ❄️Snowflake Paper ✂️Craft. 

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Do you 🎉celebrate The ❄️Winter solstice — also known as Yule, Midwinter, the Shortest 🌅Day of the Year and the Longest 🌌Night! This holiday, (which lands usually on December 21st) is a great opportunity to bring out a 🌏globe and a 🔦flashlight and discuss the sun, the seasons, the tilt of the 🌏 Earth and so much more!  

🌬Winter 🌅 Solstice Books:

  • The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here) has lots of fun activities you can do with your kiddo such as determining the positioning of the ☀️ on the 🌅horizon by measuring a shadow, 🖍sketching the positioning of the sun ☀️ by using a compass and more;
  • The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here) is a wonderful collection of stories honoring the winter solstice, but for an older child - 8 yo and up.

For holiday-inspired reading, see here 🎄Christmas 🎅🏻 Inspired Holiday 📚Books.

For fun hands-on Winter activities, see here ☃️ Winter Inspired Unit Study.

I would love to hear what you think ... And, please, spread the 💖 love & SHARE our journey! CLICK one of those buttons 👇🏻below! 📍SAVE, 💌SUBSCRIBE & 📲FOLLOW