Early Learning Books & Activities

Three Promises as Solid as Rock

Sydney Hanson’s charming illustrations are the perfect pairing for the sweet message Christie Thomas has conveyed through her story “Quinn’s Promise Rock.” In the story, little Quinn begins to worry, and her father calms her fears by reminding her of the promises of the Lord’s direction, protection, and presence in her life. He does so by highlighting similarities between God and three different formations of rock. I highly recommend reading it. I genuinely hope the analogies bring as much comfort to your little ones as they do for Quinn!

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes,
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ve read the book, now what?

A Wise Man Builds His House upon the Rock

“The foolish man built his house upon the sand. The foolish man built his house upon the sand. The foolish man build his house upon the sand and the rains can came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods up. The rains came down and the floods came up and the house on the sand went SPLAT!

The wise man built his house upon the rock. The wise man built his house upon the rock. The wise man build his house upon the rock and the rains can came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods up. The rains came down and the floods came up and the house on the rock stood firm.”

Singing with your little ones is fun, but it is even more fun with hand motions. If you are not sure of the tune or how the hand motions go, check it out on YouTube and learn this simple, but meaningful song alongside your kiddo.

Owl Vision

I try to avoid technology during these purposeful moments with your children, but go ahead and pull out your phone and google Owl night vision, and depending on their age, choose a video that would be most appropriate to show them how unique an owl’s night vision is. There is a short video that shows some trees through a night vision monocular to simulate what it would be like to see like an owl, or there is a longer video that explains (and briefly shows) how the owl makes an excellent night hunter because of his exceptional night vision abilities.

A “Promise Rock” of your own”

After finding the right rocks, the girls used glow in the dark paint to decorate their reminders that God is always with them. We used glow in the dark paint so that, like the owls, we could see our little reminders even in the dark! Because Matthew was at school, I made him one and added one of the verses Christie Thomas adds in her letter to parents at the end of the book. Joshua 1:9 is written on Matthew’s rock to remind him that he does not need to fear because the Lord will always be with him!

I hope these ideas have inspired you to Read Together and Do Together!

1st-3rd Grade Readers, Early Learning Books & Activities, Preschool-Kindergarten

What is Easter all about?

There are so many reasons to read Michelle Medlock Adams’ “What is Easter” this week! First, you will likely be looking for a great Easter book. I highly recommend this one! Here is why: it admits to the fun of all the egg hunt, bunny and candy elements without putting them down, but it definitely admits that those are NOT the reason we celebrate Easter in the first place! This book is not shy in gently discussing Christ’s death and celebrating His resurrection! A second reason could be the lovely flow and rhyme; after all, it is National Poetry Month!

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes, though seasonal
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

Now’s the Time to Hunt for the Rhyme!

In honor of National Poetry Month, I decided this book was the perfect time to integrate an activity I learned from the “I Can Teach My Child to Read” Pinterest Board. The only thing I added was the hunting element before the reading element of the word families. Do you see how it works? For my preschooler who is just learning the basics of sounds and reading, we stuck with three letter words. I put the second two letters, maybe “AT” on the larger side of the egg and all around the smaller side, I wrote the letters of the word family that would make the rhyming words; “C,” “B,” “S”…and so on. She loved the activity, and even my three-year-old, who is too young to read, was old enough to match the colors, and enjoyed taking them apart and putting them back together. ( NOTE: I did buy the cheapest eggs I could find, and I would not recommend that for this game. It was rather annoying as they would not twist well and even would not lock into place as securely as the stronger plastic would have.)

A Constant Reminder of the Cross

There is nothing sweeter to me than hearing the young voices in my house talking aloud to themselves or each other about “the cross of Jesus” and that is exactly what I have enjoyed everyday since we read “What is Easter” and the put up these window clings I purchased at the Dollar General. Sure, after about two minutes it looks like chaos, but they are having fun, and they are thinking about what Jesus did for them on the cross, and that is all I care about!

A week focused on Jesus

Tuesday: Jesus spent the day reminding us of the wisdom to be found in the scriptures. (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19-20, John 2) So we made verse scrolls that also remind us of the value of scripture. “Thy word is a lamp unto our Feet and a light unto our path.” Psalm 119:105 We used glow sticks as the scroll turners to really play up the LIGHT of God’s word, but this is just as great of a craft with dowels, plastic straws, or sticks from the backyard!

Would you have been a Mary? Martha? or Judas?

Wednesday: Today we read the story of Jesus’ visit to Bethany when he stays with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. We enjoyed the story retold in the “Children’s Illustrated Bible” as it is retold by Selina Hastings. I talked briefly to the girls about the Martha served Jesus by taking care of everyone’s needs, and how Martha served Jesus by washing His (probably STINKY) feet with her hair and expensive perfume! Then we spent the bulk of our time talking about how Judas was angry and betrayed Jesus for the same price that someone would have sold a slave in those days. We made the amount of silver pieces one by one, and even at 3 and 4, they decided that no amount of “treasure” would have been enough to sell Jesus over to “the bad guys” who were trying to hurt Jesus.

Thursday: So the bread for our Last Supper celebration is rising now, but I wanted to give you the details ASAP so that you would have time to join in on the fun if you wanted to break bread and share in some grape juice with your littles this afternoon. We used a recipe that I found on Pinterest from Mel’s Kitchen. Not only are the ingredients simple and easy to find, her instructions are easy to follow. Best of all she offers wonderful suggestions for all who may not have fancy baking tools such as baking stones and such. https://www.melskitchencafe.com/rustic-crusty-bread-a-simple-how-to/

Once you have your bread made, re-read “What is Easter” and go ahead and I suggest reading the story of the Last Supper with the family. Page 264 in the beautifully illustrated Bible I mentioned yesterday or of course you can find it in the Bible itself; Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, or John 13.

Good Friday: Today we focused on our hearts and the salvation message. Do you remember using the colors black, red, white, yellow, and green to sing the salvation message in Sunday school growing up? Well, we invited some friends over this morning to use heart beads in those colors, and of course, a wooden cross, to make bracelets or necklaces to remind of what Jesus did for us on the cross. I hope you are finding a way to celebrate the shed blood, the symbolic torn curtain, the direct access you have to the Heavenly Father today because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for you.

Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy some of these activities or others as you celebrate the risen Lord! If you have any questions about any part of this salvation message, please feel free to email me directly. I will be happy to get you more information.

email: Rebecca@booksbroughttolife.com

Read together & Do together!

Early Learning Books & Activities

Let’s Find a Way to Play Together

Michelle Lee wrote a charming story about a pig, named Pip, and a bear, named Nico, who want to play together, but have two entirely different ideas of how to play. The fun in the book is watching Pip’s continued creative efforts and growing frustration at the disconnect, while Nico stays steadfast in his desire to play his way. Will they solve the problem, and find a way to play together before the time for fun has passed?

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes (sweet and simple for young children)
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Potentially
    • I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5!

Playtime Re-imagined!

If you have been following along with this blog, you know my goal is to give you ideas for some activities for children’s books, so that you might be inspired to further engage with your young readers, and keep them growing and learning after the story has ended.

I think reading “Play with Me” offers a perfect opportunity to teach the children about compromise! Today, we put a bunch of games and activities in a jar, and I let each girl pick one. Then I let THEM figure out how best the two activities could be played together. We ended up with “Face paint-Park play.” The girls decided that meant they wanted to paint their faces like a cat and dog, and then go to play at the park for the afternoon. That is precisely what we did!

For extra fun…

If it is a more inside kind of day, or the idea of compromising and blending two activities is a little out of reach for your kiddos, don’t feel overwhelmed! Maybe this is the perfect day to make your own band! We have plenty of toy instruments, but just for some crafty fun, we thought we would show you our colorful rice maracas. All you need is an empty water bottle (small ones work best), a drop of food coloring, and some rice!

Now you’re all set to Read Together & Do Together!

Early Learning Books & Activities

Do You Want to Go to Space?

I am thrilled to begin this blog with such a fun book! “I Want to be an Astronaut” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book for littles that explores more thrill-seeking careers such as a race car driver or a submarine commander. I purchased this book through Usborne books for Christmas, and my 3 and 4-year-old girls have not tired of it. The authors, Ruby Brown and Alisa Coburn have done such an inspiring thing by quickly focusing on 9 different careers before reminding them that they don’t have to decide on one yet, and for now they can dream up big adventures.

The following system is what I look for when I am deciding if a book is one I want to purchase or even check out from the library. I know we will have different points of view on some of this stuff, but here are my thoughts. I hope you find them helpful.

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

The great thing about this book is that there are 9 different careers to inspire countless different ideas for ways in which to engage your child and really allow them to experience the book in a hands-on way. Today I will give you two examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Try using a small piece of cardboard and an empty toilet paper roll a few basic cuts, and some clue and you have the perfect Space Shuttle for an action figure’s first trip to the moon! Don’t forget to have your kiddo add as much paint/marker/foil/sticker decoration as time allows!

If you’re feeling the pull to get out of the house, take this chance to look up your local science museum or planetarium. This picture was taken during our visit to Science City. If you have something like Science City in your town, I would highly recommend a visit!

I hope you are inspired to Bring a Book to Life – READ TOGETHER & DO TOGETHER!