This month’s theme is Food, Fabulous Food – each book has been selected to explore the concepts of cooking or eating – prompting conversations about different types of food, and the importance of making healthy choices.
Starting with the Bitty Box, we had two sturdy board books – Pancakes!, and Food Hide and Sneak.
Language Concepts & Book Interaction:
- Pancakes! is a unique concept that encourages children to link motor skills and storytelling. Try interacting with the book in different ways – first, allow your child to explore on their own – encouraging them to interact with each page in their own way. Then, read through the book together, showing your child how to move the pull-tabs, wheels and removable pieces.
- Make your own pancakes together using the recipe in the book! Encourage your little one to think about the steps involved and what comes next. What ingredients will you need? How big should you make the pancakes? Talk about how the stovetop works and how heat cooks the pancakes.
- Play pancake match – game available to download and print out here:
Language Concepts & Book Interaction:
- Go through each page to help readers find the odd one out. Talk about how the images are all the same and what makes the odd one different.
- Make a potato stamping artwork inspired by Food Hide and Sneak! Check out our simple instructions here.
Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month’s box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Koalas Eat Gum Leaves and Harold’s Hungry Eyes.
With simple text and lots of repetition, Koalas Eat Gum Leaves is the perfect book for young readers to test out their independent reading skills. Encourage them to use context clues if they are stuck on a word and to also identify where the same word or phrase is repeated (e.g., gum leaves, ice-cream).
Note – There are a couple sections where a series of symbols are used as the koala expresses excitement or frustration (i.e., #%*@!) – if your child is confused by this, it may be useful to explain that sometimes this is used in a book instead of a swear word (or that it’s koala language.. up to you, haha).
- 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.
- Why do you think the koala got sick? What do you think would happen if all koalas ate human foods?
- Can you think of a time where you have eaten too much of something and felt sick? Why is it important that treats (like ice-cream) are ‘sometimes’ foods?
- Have you ever made your own ice cream? It’s actually easier than you’d think! Instructions and recipe available below.
- Make your own koala out of paper plates! Instructions here.
- When koala first tries ice-cream, he is VERY excited. Pretend to be koala and try running, jumping, dancing and doing cartwheels!
- Play ice-cream colour match! Download and print the template below.
One of the things we love most about Harold’s Hungry Eyes is the way it uses both illustrations and text to tell the story – without the pictures, the reader would miss the best parts of the story!
For younger readers, read a line and ask them to say it back to you – following the words on the page with their finger. This will help reinforce the behaviour of reading from top to bottom, left to right, which is particularly helpful in this story when the words sprawl across the pages to match the illustrations. There’s also some great vocabulary in Harold’s Hungry Eyes — with words like ‘insatiably’ and ‘peered’.
- 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. Can they spot the food hidden in the front and back cover illustrations?
- After reading – Harold was a bit worried when he realised he was lost. Have you ever been lost? What should you do if you become lost?
- Harold is hungry all the time! What are your favourite foods to eat when you’re hungry?
- Cut pictures of food out of magazines or newspapers and glue onto paper. Try turning these photos of food into something new just like in the book!
- What kind of foods do you think Harold dreams about when he is sleeping? Draw a picture of Harold’s dream.
- Can you help Harold find his way back home in our maze? Download and print out to see if you can find the right path home:
Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month’s books were Food Hide and Sneak and Koalas Eat Gum Leaves.
That’s it for January! Orders are now open for our February boxes – we’ll be announcing the theme on Instagram very soon!