Here's why I was sooooo tired the day after the
At approximately 10:30 PM on the previous evening, a tornado warning was issued in our area. More precisely, the emergency broadcast system interrupted our regularly scheduled programming (with that horrific beeping sound) to say that a tornado might tear the roof off of our brick townhouse.
Oh, that's not what it said? Well......that's what I heard.
|Not everyone was as lucky as us, though. This is an uprooted |
tree - just minutes from our house.
Anyway, despite desperately needing a nap after all of the evening's excitement, or lack thereof, the next day I got SUCKED into watching 3 hours of a show called Infested! on the Animal Planet when I should have been catching up on my beauty rest while baby bookworm was catching up on hers. Infested! is a reality show about people whose homes have basically been overtaken by some kind of animal (ants, rats, bedbugs, snakes, and even raccoons - I kid you not), and it's TOTALLY addictive.
What does any of this have to do with books and learning?
Well, after having 3 hours of life sucked away by this show, I realized just how darn interesting these "creatures" really are, and it inspired me to have a "bug" week with baby bookworm (at least something good came out of watching reality TV, right?).
I decided to focus on three "creatures," or bugs I guess, although only one of them was actually featured on the show (I'll save rats and snakes for when baby bookworm is a bit older). There are TONS of books that you can read that fit into this theme, but here are ones we have read in the past and a few new ones that we discovered this week.
Ah, spiders. Cute and cuddly right? At least a few books make it seem so.
baby, check out the The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Baby bookworm and I used to read this beloved nursery rhyme book all the time at the library. Of course, you can do the most logical thing with this book and pair it with the song, which helps your baby associate written words and actions. We also used to sing a few different versions of the song: The Great Big Spider, or the Jumpy Jumpy Spider (or whatever your imagination can think up). It's really great fun.
Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider is another good spider tale that would be suitable for toddlers. Your child will no doubt love the colorful illustrations and enjoy all of the farm animals. Don't forget to point out the great moral of the story too....being persistent is hard work, but it pays off in the end.
Spiders Are Not Insects is a non-fiction book that we got from the library. It's a not so cuddly depiction of a spider, but incredibly educational and full of fun spider facts that even I didn't know. The photographs give you an up close and personal view (possibly closer than you may desire) of spiders. This book is part of the "Rookie Read-About Science" series made especially for little baby bookworms, and this baby bookworm truly enjoys it.
|Our theme even played into her outfit!|
Cute all around....although I can't think of the last time I've seen one, and I'm not sure if baby bookworm has ever seen one to be honest, aside from in these great books.
The Grouchy Ladybug, also by Eric Carle, is a book geared toward older toddlers, preschoolers and beyond. Not only is it a great story about a ladybug with a tough attitude, but it contains some wonderful educational lessons on bullying, telling time, and size comparison. I think it will become one of our favorites.
preschool or older crowd is Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis. Even so, baby bookworm and I read it anyway. After a few read throughs (and being persistent like the busy spider)
she has really grown fond of this little girl in her ladybug costume who sets out to prove she's not too little after all.
non-fiction book on ladybugs that we found at our library is Ladybugs: Red, Fiery, and Bright by Mia Posada. It's a great book for toddlers that's full of brightly colored paintings and rhyming text. I promise you will learn more about ladybugs and their anatomy than you could ever want to know.
CATERPILLARS & BUTTERFLIES
Everyone loves butterflies. Caterpillars, maybe not so much.
Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of his best loved stories. It tells of a caterpillar's life cycle in a delightfully kid-friendly and educational way. Babies will love to look at the bright foods that the caterpillar bites through, toddlers will love learning to count, and preschoolers will enjoy a fun way to learn the days of the week. Baby bookworm and I actually have the version of the story that came with an audio CD which has proven to be a life saver on long car rides.
The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain is another book that tells of a caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. It has more words than The Very Hungry Caterpillar and is less overtly educational, but a sweet story nevertheless. In this book, the caterpillar envies his flying friends, but is in for a wonderful surprise after a long winter's nap.
The illustrations by Jack Tickle are super cute too.
non-fiction favorite of baby bookworm's is Guess Who Changes by Sharon Gordon. This book tells of the life cycle of a butterfly in a very scientific and textbook-like way. There are no illustrations, but rather photographs detailing the caterpillar's metamorphosis into a butterfly. There's even a glossary at the end of the book. Baby bookworm LOVES this book and runs around the house exclaiming "guess who changes" all the time. It a perfect real life buttery tale for toddlers.
AND EVEN MORE BUGGY BOOKS
|A page from Miss Spider's ABC|
In addition to all of these books, there's two bug-themed alphabet books that we enjoyed: Miss Spider's ABC book and Bugs A to Z.
Miss Spider's ABC is an ABC book (which is probably obvious by the name, but I'm pointing it out anyway) in which all kinds of buggy friends are preparing for Miss Spider's surprise birthday party. We really love the vivid illustrations and baby bookworm likes to say "shhhh"as everyone hides for the surprise birthday party at the end of the book. Sometimes we even sing Happy Birthday to Miss Spider.
Bugs A to Z is also as the title suggests! A for Ants, B for Bedbugs, C for Centipede....and so forth. Each page is also accompanied by some pretty interesting info about each bug too.
|A page from bugs A to Z|
Now for those of you who may think that all we do all day long is sit around reading and reading and reading, I want you to know that we don't! We read A LOT and reading IS very important, but so is getting out and running around the park, playing with toys, doing arts and crafts, and I'll even go as far as to say watching *some* TV (although I don't recommend this for babies). I try to do a little bit of all of these things everyday to work on various skill sets. A lot of the time I even use books as an introduction to other projects or skills sets.
And that's exactly what I did this week.
Using our bug books as an introduction, and to spike curiousity in baby bookworm on the topic, we then extended our bug lesson into our arts and crafts for the week. And by the way, arts and crafts happen to be a great way to foster the development of fine motor skills.
I thought our art projects were worth sharing in case you want to have a bug week of your own! Here they are.
|20-month old baby bookworm|
holds the marker with
Our spider project was inspired by this blog post: http://creativitymypassion.blogspot.com/2011/07/very-busy-spider-spinning-spider-web.html.
ladybug project was inspired as well by another blog: http://learningideasgradesk-8.blogspot.com/2011/08/ladybug-paper-plate-craft.html. If you check out the link you will also find even MORE ladybug books!
1. Play with stickers. What kid doesn't love stickers, right? Both fun and educational. The DK Ultimate Sticker Books are our favorite because they not only have up-close photographs (i.e., stickers) that you can peel off and reuse but they also read like a non-fiction book with a ton of fun facts. These stickers not only enhance fine motor skills, but are actually a mini "baby geometry" lesson too because the child has to stick the animal on the appropriate silhouette. We used the BUG book this week to go along with our theme.
|A page from the bug sticker book|