Earth Day Books

earth day books Earth Day is April 22nd but these books work year round. They focus on real ways kids can change their habits and help the environment, on how and why we should recycle and provide cautionary tales about what could happen if we don’t. Earth day books ? Yes but they are everyday books too.

All book lists include affiliate links.

Don't Pollute (anymore)

The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore) by Stan and Jan Berenstain provides an excellent overview of a whole bunch of concerns for our world. It touches on recycling, deforestation, air pollution and more. The text would be far too long for the younger crowd but Kindergarten on up would be an appropriate age range for an unedited reading.

plasticbottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

why do we recycle

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

The Whole Green World

The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston was an unexpected hit with my son.  Today reading it he learned that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, he saw the book in our pile to read and wasn’t taken with it, but I suggested maybe just reading the first page and he was hooked. The book is really about appreciating the whole world, from the view point of a little girl who grabs some seeds, plants them , waters them and savors the beauty all around her. My son loved the sing song text and the ultra detailed illustrations by Elisa Kleven. Which my son would study with every turn of the page asking me ” Mommy which bird? Which book? Which cake is your favorite?” making reference to the illustrations . It was a wonderful book to snuggle up with !

it-s-earth-day

It’s Earth Day! by Mercer Mayer . In this book in the Little Critter series, we follow along as Little Critter tries to make a climate change machine to reverse the effects of global warming. Along the way other green choices are explained like taking the school bus instead of each child being driven in their own cars, not letter water run, and the three Rs.

dinosaur woods

Dinosaur Woods by George McClements was my favorite pick from our latest library trip. I laughed all the way through this book because of it’s snide remarks and funny asides . I made a huge mistake though, I told my son how hilarious it was and oversold it to him. The humor went right over his 5 year old head. Oops! Luckily the story is great on it’s own . It’s about a bunch of forest friends who are trying to save their home from developers and get a great idea to make a dinosaur since no one would ever take a home away from a dinosaur. It’s really a book about conservation but it’s funny ( I stand by that) and sweet and a new favorite of mine.

EcoMazes

 EcoMazes by Roxie Munro is a book that was sent to me by the publisher for review. The idea of this book is to showcase different ecosystems like wetlands, the tundra, desert and more through both a maze and search and find game. This book is not designed for preschoolers although my son loves it. We do the maze together as that is far too complicated for him, but he loves to find the animals on each page and has learned a lot about them too. What is awesome for older children ( 7-10) is that along with an answer key to the maze and pictures there is a full page of information about each ecosystem in the back of the book. This doesn’t talk down to the reader and gives great information using sophisticated vocabulary.

the earth book

The EARTH Book by Todd Parr is a great Earth Day book for preschoolers and young elementary aged kids. It focuses on small everyday steps kids can take to help the environment as well as how these little everyday measures help. The way the text is written it begs for discussion whether you are reading it to a class of 25 or in bed with your only child. Add om Parr’s wonderfully whimsical, bright, bold illustrations and you have a super Earth Day book.

Seuss Activities - The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a classic book about conservation. The rhymes will enchant you but it’s really not a book for preschoolers. Some preschoolers will sit for it but it’s a long book and a great pick for school age kids. If you aren’t familiar with it has a dark beginning and then as the story progresses it’s cautionary tale takes shape. It’s hard to try to explain to young kids how protecting the environment isn’t just a nice thing to do but a responsibility we have and this book helps get that point across.

love your world

Love Your World by Dawn Sirett is a how to manual for kids who want to be good environmentally responsible citizens of the earth. The text is lack luster at times but the message , tips and overall presentation is still worthwhile . It is a little longer and doesn’t have a warm fuzzy story book feel but would be great to kick start a unit of teaching for 4-8 year olds about conservation.

barbapapa

Barbapapa’s Ark by Annette Tison is a childhood favorite of mine and has a definite vintage flair to it but the bones are strong. The story is about how the gentle Barbapapas protect sick and hunted animals providing them with refuge eventually taking them on a rocket ship to another planet until Earth can be cleaned up.

Trash and Recycling

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Gabby and Grandma go green

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington is another wonderful book from one of our favorite authors. In the book Gabby and her Grandma spend a day together  dedicated to going green. First making a great reusable bag and then using it all around town. I love that they go to the library and that is portrayed as a way to go green as well as a place to learn more about environmental efforts. Also showing ways to make a difference at the grocery store is perfect for young kids who are often tagging a long with parents on these errands. I can’t end the review without also mentioning the baby sibling who is sleeping in a sling at the end of the book , I love seeing baby wearing in books!  This is a great environment themed book that works all year round not just for Earth Day.

earthdaybigearth

Big Earth, Little Meby Thom Wiley is a cute introduction into an environmental theme for toddlers. The book is a lift the flap format and the pages are extra sturdy for fumbly toddler fingers. I love the illustrations by Kate Endle they bring the super simple text to life, and get across the point that even little kids can help the earth. I read this last night to my almost four year old who loved it still.

Flip Top Phonics Game For Kids

phonics game I have a huge stash of these lids even though we use very few wipes these days. I can not bring myself to throw them out so instead I made a phonics game for my daughter. It’s so simple but really helps reinforce the work she is doing with her initial letter sounds. It took five minutes to make and I have some tips to make it re-usable too. I had a brain wave after I finished it but luckily I can still share it with you. For more phonics ideas check out more of our letter sound activities here.

Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, stapler, tape, paper, *page protector, dry erase markers, stickers and some flip top lids. flip top phonics

Start by making your base sturdy so that when you open the lids the base ( in our case cardboard and paper ) doesn’t rip. I just stapled the paper and cardboard together but if you want to make this reusable you can pop the cardboard and paper in a page protector sleeve and then staple them all together.

Add the flip top lids.flip top phonics for kids

Add the stickers. I didn’t even bother trying to cover the brand name. Kids won’t care and I have played this with 3 different kids at different times and no one mentioned it once. I know we as adults love pretty things but if time is short do not worry, the kids don’t care and will still learn the same things.flip top phonics board for kids

Write the letter that makes the initial sound under the lid. If you are using dry erase you can easily wipe and change it to ending sound or full spelling for older kids.  I really wish I made mine like that to begin with. I will be modifying ours shortly.phonics flip top game

Play! flip top phonics

My daughter loved this and only got one wrong. She thought the rooster was a chicken. I loved that she can do it without me directing it 100%. I found her later playing school with the board and her dollies. I like that you could switch out the theme with different stickers depending on what your child is into or what your class is learning about.

 

Color By Number Easter Eggs

easter egg game for kids Math and art work well together with this simple game made for decorating Easter eggs. For kids who love art it’s a fun way to mix some math into something they like and for little math whizzes it gets them into a little art too! You could use real hard boiled and cooled eggs but we used craft ones from Walmart so our finished eggs could be brought out every Easter.

Gather your materials. You will need some craft eggs, permanent markers, some masking tape, and some dice.easter egg math game supplies

Start by adding numbers to your markers. I couldn’t find our masking tape so I used paper and taped papers with numbers on ( masking tape would be way faster) making sure that you use numbers that will be rolled.easter egg math game for kids

Time to play!

easter egg math game for easterRoll and count.easter egg math game for kids drawing

Color using the marker with the number you rolled. I let my daughter color as much as she wanted with each color but you could set a timer to keep things moving if need be.

Roll, count and color  again. easter egg math game for preschoolUsing dice doesn’t only work on counting as children get familiar with them they will start subitizing which is the ability to know an amount without counting. My daughter did it with the dice much to my surprise. She knew the individual amounts but then counted the dots to find out the sum. Older children could take it a step further simply adding the two amounts instead of counting all the dots. You could also use other operations like subtraction or multiplication for more able kids.easter egg math game for little kids

She adored this and completely covered her first egg then continued to play and play making even more.

Fun Ideas For Kids { Add Yours! }

kids activities

It’s the weekend and for us Spring Break is almost over which means I will be back to my regular schedule and I can not wait. We had a blast on break but it’s time to get back to everyday fun and learning. In the chaos of Spring Break I have missed almost all the blog post from most kid bloggers so I am eager to see what you have all been up to. Please link up any post that you think will make learning fore fun for kids and the adults that care for them.

If you are not a blogger I hope that Link & Learn is an easy not too overwhelming list of consistently wonderful activities for you to try with your kids or students. If you are looking for even more ideas check out our Pinterest boards. 



Read & Make : Letter Of The Week

letter of the week books Letter of The Week crafts are one of our most popular series on No Time For Flash Cards and one of my most frequently asked questions via email are for good books that can go with each letter craft we have. Instead of just throwing out a bunch of books that subject start with one of the letters I have used books that are about the subject used for the craft. The letter is in context and real connections can be made. If you follow a letter of the week curriculum remember to use these crafts as one part of it and focus on the whole alphabet most of the time using alphabet books and other whole alphabet activities as well. Each pair is linked to the original letter of the week craft and the book title is an affiliate link to Amazon.com .

Read and Make ABC ARead The Lady with the Alligator Purse and make an alligator A.

Read and Make ABC BRead Buzz and make a buzzy bee letter B craft.
Read and Make ABC CRead The Very Hungry Caterpillar and make a simple caterpillar C craft .
Read and Make ABC DRead The Paper Bag Princess and make a letter D dragon craft.
Read and Make ABC ERead First the Egg and then make a sweet Egg E craft.
Read and Make ABC FGet patriotic and read Hats off for the Fourth of July then make a Flag F craft.
Read and Make ABC GRead In the Tall, Tall Grass and then make a grass G letter craft.
Read and Make ABC HRead My Heart Is Like a Zoo together and then create this letter H craft filled with hearts.
Read and Make ABC IRead Ice Cream: The Full Scoop and then create your own Ice Cream I letter craft.
Read and Make ABC JRead If You Were A Jellybean then create your own Jellybean J letter craft.
Read and Make ABC KRead all about kites in Kite Flying then make your own Kite K craft to go with it.
Read and Make ABC LLearn about leaves with Leaf Man then find your own and make this leaf L craft.
Read and Make ABC MGo with Sally to the mountains in Sally Goes to the Mountains then make a Mountain M craft at home.
Read and Make ABC NCount all sorts of things with Anno’s Counting Book and then talk and learn about numbers while making a number N.
Read and Make ABC ORead Owl Babies and then make your own little owl O letter craft.
Read and Make ABC PRead Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails and make your own peacock P!
Read and Make ABC QRead Quilt Alphabet which is a perfect book for this letter Q craft.
Read and Make ABC RYou can read about planting a rainbow in Planting a Rainbow and then make your own letter R craft.
Read and Make ABC SRead Draw Me a Star and then make your own sparkly star S letter craft.
Read and Make ABC TTrees are rad and so is Pablo’s Tree , after reading it make your own tree T craft.
Read and Make ABC UGo underground with Up Above and Down Below and then again with this Underground U letter craft.
Read and Make ABC VExplore all the flowers in Zinnia’s Flower Garden and then make your own and pop them in this Vase V craft.
Read and Make ABC WCount the seeds in One Watermelon Seed and then make your own Watermelon W letter craft being sure to count the seeds too.
Read and Make ABC XDem Bones isn’t just for Halloween it’s a great book year round and perfect for our X-ray X letter craft.
Read and Make ABC YThe classic color mixing story Little Blue and Little Yellow is a great fit for our Yellow Y letter of the week craft too.
Read and Make ABC Z On Beyond Zebra! is a natural fit for our Zebra Z craft !

 

Want more letter of the week crafts? Check out our full list here.