Since my son was tiny I have pointed out letters, signs, colors… now that he is too big and I am too pregnant to have him in the Ergo we still play this game. Today we went for coffee ( apple cider) and found lots of letter along the way. The small pad we used fits easily in my purse and also serves as a doodle pad if he’s getting antsy while we are out.
- Gather your materials. You will need a pencil , a marker, and a pad of paper.
- Write the alphabet on your pad with your marker. You can do uppercase, lowercase or a mix!
- Go run your errands. When you have a chance find some letters. This sign was a gold mine!
- Don’t forget to check them off your list.
- A fun variation would be to take pictures of the letters, print them off and make a poster or book. Once my little guy is a little better with the camera we will be tackling this one.
Look and Find Books
Animalia by Graeme Base is iconic in teaching circles, you can loose yourself for hours in the detailed illustrations. The book is an alphabet book on steroids! Each page had a wonderful paragraph in each letter such as for the letter L ” Lazy Lions lounging in the local library.” The pages are filled to the gills with pictures of things that start with that letter as well. Parents and kids a like will fall in love!
In the Town All Year ‘Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner is amazing. This book’s premise is the comings and goings of a town in all four seasons. There is limited text, which serves only to steer readers to look for specific people in the highly detailed illustrations. Each season has multiple pages and the people remain constant throughout the seasons. So you see inside an apartment building , the town square, the park, railroad station etc… in every season. You see the changes in town, the progression and of course the distinct weather in each section. The pictures also progress within the seasons, so a fire truck with a flashing light can be seen on every page in one season with the last page showing it getting to the fire . I can’t possibly explain the amazing detail and sheer number of things to find, make up stories about and spark your child’s imagination in this book. My son adores it. After renewing it multiple times from our library I bought it as his Valentine’s gift. It goes everywhere with us, perfect for long drives , waits in the Ob’s waiting room and plain old playtime he picks it up every day and finds something new. What I really love is that because there is no text but still multiple story lines it’s helped my son to understand that literacy isn’t just about words, it about explaining what’s going on, and reading the pictures too. The absence of text has allowed me to really show him that . Now he has started grabbing books with text and telling me he’d read me the pictures, which boosts both his confidence and his enjoyment of independent reading. So please grab this book .
Clay Quest Minis: Search for Shapes! by Helen Bogosian is a big hit with my son and me! I was lucky enough to have this book sent to me by the publisher because it’s already come in handy on a ferry, and waiting to be seated at a restaurant keeping my son happy and busy searching for shapes. This book is an activity book that has a simple rhyme and request for the reader to find 2 shapes on every page. The shapes are hidden in the adorable clay “illustrations” , really they are photographs of clay sculptures that range in theme from a spider web to dinosaurs to princess crowns and more. My son loves playing ” Detective” and what I like is that the challenge is just right for his age group 2-3 year olds. Younger toddlers will still enjoy it and it’s vibrant colors but to do it independently this is the perfect age. I try to find negatives with books that are sent to me from publishers for review, but I am having a hard time this really is a good shape book!