This month’s theme is Let’s Go Outside – as we head out of winter, we’re taking advantage of the beautiful weather with books that celebrate all things outdoors!

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had THREE sturdy board books – Pairs! In the Garden, Lift and Look: Flowers and Plants, and Bugs Galore.

Pairs in the garden

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • This book is full of interaction and games! First, try to find the pair on each page. Then, use the book to help with counting- e.g.,”How many bees can you see?” Each spread is full of detail to go back to again and again.
  • Which garden animal is your favourite? Why?
  • Help your little one to create their own garden memory game by downloading this template: Garden Memory Game. Print out and colour pairs of matching butterflies (make sure you do two that look the same!) Then, turn face down and try to find each pair! This game can be made more or less difficult by changing the number of pairs laid out.

lift-and-look-flowers-and-plants

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • The great thing about Lift and Look – Flowers and Plants is that each page presents a new activity or question for your child. Together, you can count the ants, name the flowers and talk about what animals can be seen on each page.
  • Go on an garden adventure of your own! Can you see bees and birds? What about plants, vegetables and flowers?
  • Use the instructions HERE to create your own pretend play vegetable garden!

Bugs Galore

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Bugs Galore is full of rhyming verse, lots of colours, and new buggy friends! On each page, ask your child the different bugs they can see and what they are doing.
  • Little ones love imitating! Choose a bug in Bugs Galore and pretend to imitate the things they do. Try crawling or swimming, creeping or flying. Talk about the differences bugs that crawl and bugs that fly.
  • Make your own butterfly painting! Check out the easy instructions HERE.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month’s box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: The Extraordinary Gardener and The Hole.

the extraordinary gardener

Language Concepts:

The Extraordinary Gardener contains minimal text but instead relies on the amazingly detailed illustrations to tell the story. Although there isn’t a lot of text, readers will get introduced to some great gardening vocabulary (e.g., prune, dig, sow). This provides opportunities for beyond the book exploring of other garden terminology – try talking about different gardening tools, plants and flowers, even the lifecycle of a seed.

Prior to reading each page, encourage your child to describe what is happening and why, prompting with questions like ‘what do you think Joe is doing here?’

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading the story – what do you think it might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues.
  • After reading – why do you think Joe decided to give plants to each of his neighbours?
  • What differences can you see between the first picture of the neighbourhood and the last? Look at the differences in the activities they are doing (e.g., watching tv) – do they look happier at the end?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Using the book as inspiration, create your own extraordinary garden! What flowers, plants and people are there? Will your garden have animals, birds or bugs?
  • Teach your little one about seeds and how trees grow. Cut a plastic bottle in half and fill with soil. Plant a seed (sunflower seeds are quick and reliable to grow!) and encourage your child to water each day until you see the seed sprout – almost like a mini tree! Using a clear bottle works best so you can see the root system as it grows. When it is big enough, you can move to a pot or into the garden.

the hole

Language Concepts:

With a nice balance of narrative and dialogue, The Hole provides lots of opportunities to test out character voices! What kind of voice do you think each of the animals that visit the hole would have? This book also has some great action words (e.g., scurried, swaying, chattered, scampered) to explore and act out.

The Hole is also full of rhyming! Explain the concept of rhyming and see if they can think of other words that rhyme. E.g., Cat and hat rhyme – can you think of another word that sounds like cat and hat?

Discussion Topics:

  • Before you start reading, ask your child what they think the book might be about. Encourage them to use the title and cover pages as clues. E.g., What animals do you see? What do you think they’ll find down the hole?
  • After reading – were you surprised by the ending?
  • What would you have done if you found the hole? Would you be curious and look inside? Or would you just keep walking?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Design your own version of the cover from The Hole using the template here: The Hole – cover page.
  • At the end of The Hole, the characters share their baskets and have a picnic – why not go on your own picnic! Look at the types of food each character has brought and talk about which food to pack for your own picnic. Make a list together, pack a basket and choose the perfect spot together.

Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month’s books were Bugs Galore and The Extraordinary Gardener.

That’s it for October! Orders are now open for our November boxes – we’ll be annoucing the theme on Instagram very soon!

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo

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