This month’s theme is ‘Journey into Space’ – these books will help your little ones explore the wonders of the universe, and will take them on a magical journey to the stars and back!

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had THREE sturdy board books – Where’s Mr. Astronaut?, Make and Play: Space, and then either Look, There’s a Rocket OR Peep Inside Space (we had limited numbers of each so subscribers were randomly allocated one or the other!)

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Encourage your little ones to grasp the felt flaps and find each character in the book. Ask questions to prompt higher level thinking, like ‘where is the engineer driving to?’ or ‘how did the dog get into space?’
  • Make your own rocket ship out of an empty toilet roll! See instructions here.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • This book is full of activities to enjoy and explore! Press out and slot together the pieces to create lots of fun space characters. Then, check out the rest of the activities in the back of the book!
  • Create your own galaxy sensory jar using only a few simple ingredients! Check out the instructions here.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Look, There’s a Rocket a is a great book to encourage visual and tactile exploration to young readers with its die-cut holes! Ask your little one what they think it would be like to go into space – would they be nervous flying in a spaceship? What would they like to see in space – stars, the Earth?
  • Make your own shooting star wand just like a shooting star you might see in space! Check out the instructions here
  • Download and print out our space colouring sheet below.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • Peep Inside Space is a great book to introduce young readers to non-fiction! Ask your little one what they think it would be like to go into space – would they be nervous flying in a spaceship? What would they like to see in space – stars, the Earth?
  • Make your own shooting star wand just like a shooting star you might see in space! Check out the instructions here.
  • Download and print out our space colouring sheet below.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month’s box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: The Space Train, and Once Upon a Star.

Language Concepts:

The Space Train is a great introduction to picture books with more developed story lines, while still being short enough to appeal to a young children. 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. For more comfortable readers, encourage them to use context clues to figure out some of the tricky words, like ‘battered’ or ‘baffled’, as well as the engineering vocabulary like “riveting”, “welding”, and “thrusters”.

Discussion Topics:

  • Before reading the book – what do you think it might be about? Use the cover illustrations and title as clues.
  • After reading – would you like to travel on the Space Train? Derek has a list of places he would like to see and people he would like to meet – where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the universe?
  • Derek gets very upset when the Space Train doesn’t work, but Granny encouraged him saying “Everything can be fixed”. Can you think of a time when you tried to do something but everything was going wrong? What happened and how did you feel?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Make your own “squish painted” sun using only paint, paper and a plastic bag. Create an amazing artwork with no mess! Instructions available here.
  • At the end of the story, Jakob, Granny and Derek have already visited 39 new planets. Imagine a new planet they might visit on their Space Train journey – what would the planet look like? Who would live there? What kind of weather would the planet have? Give your planet and the creatures that live there a name, and draw a picture of what your planet might look like.

Language Concepts:

Once Upon a Star is a unique picture book that combines both non-fiction and poetic rhyming verse. For new readers, explain the concept of rhyming and see if they can think of other words that rhyme. E.g., blew and grew rhyme – can you think another word that sounds like these words (maybe new, shoe, even poo!)? For more comfortable readers, also talk about action words (also known as verbs) and see how many they can spot in Once Upon a Star e.g., swam, crawled, flew. Can they think of other action words and even try acting them out?

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. If they think the book is going to be about space, question what they already know about space, stars and planets. e.g.., How many stars are in the sky? How long do you think it would take to get to the Sun? Then explain that while this book tells a story, it is non-fiction, meaning it contains information to help us learn and understand.
  • After reading – what did you learn about the Sun? 
  • We’re made of stardust too – what does this mean?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Once Upon a Star is a great starting point for kids interested in space or the Solar System. Try researching other planets or the idea of The Big Bang more together – it may be helpful to focus on the timeline for what happened when to explain how old the Sun really is!
  • Make your own rocket ship out of an empty toilet roll! See instructions here.
  • Learn more about star constellations and create your own constellations using mini marshmallows and tooth picks! Simply print out the constellations template below and use marshmallows as the stars, tooth picks as the connectors!

Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month’s books were Where’s Mr. Astronaut and The Space Train.

That’s it for July! Orders are now open for our August boxes – the theme will be announced on Instagram very soon – so stay tuned!

xx Karly
Owner, Bookieboo

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