Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Club Activity: Stuart Little, ch. 1-5

Welcome to the first activity for Stuart Little!

Are you enjoying this quirky story about the mouse born to a family of humans? My daughter thinks it is totally silly, but she is in love with the book.

We've really enjoyed the illustrations, and use them to review the story each day when we sit down to read. The first picture of the Little Family is especially helpful for talking about the size difference between Stuart and us. The first 5 chapters focus on creating a vivid image of what life would be like for a 2-inch tall mouse living in a human house and world.

Using the illustrations, review the different things that Stuart can do because he is so small. What things are easy for him? What things are especially challenging for him? Does Stuart complain about his size?

Snowbell, the family cat, seems harmless enough initially, but does he actually like Stuart? For the craft, we are going to make a cat and mouse to play out some of the Stuart/Snowbell interactions.

Hello Kids has a great cat mask printable. You can color the mask and use a string to make it fit your child. (Update: I had to watch two ads to be able to print from this site.) I printed a similar mask from Craft Jr with much less hassle! Use the printable mouse template at DLTK to make a mouse out of a toilet paper tube. I'm looking forward to playing cat and mouse around the house!

Enchanted Coloring Pages has a great online coloring page of Stuart Little. This is a very simple coloring program; it fills in the different spaces when you click the mouse over an area.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Favorite Finds

Here's a look at some of my recent recipe finds, preschool and tot school activities, and future projects.

I love this idea for shelves on the back of a closet door. The closet space in our house is pretty limited, so I'm always trying to get creative! (via Ana White Homemaker)

These writing tablets are so neat! They are personalized with the child's name, sit flat on the table, not folded like a book, and have 50 pages. The $28 price tag is pretty steep, but it would make a lovely gift for a child that enjoys workbooks and writing. (via Trio Design Studio)

This map of the US is a free printable! I want to start working on learning the states with both my children. We already do some state and capital work, mostly on the states near us, but I think they would both pick up the visual of where the states are located very quickly. (via Mr. Printables)

I'm making this Oven-fried parmesan chicken for dinner tonight and I can't looks so delicious! (via Recipe.com

 This recipe for protein ball bites is fantastic. I've been using protein powder in milk or yogurt for a solid snack lately, but I mixed up a batch of these balls the other day. They are tasty and healthy, but not so good that they are like candy. They sure pack a punch! (via Chockohlawtay)

Do you have any fun projects or recipes to share?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stuart Little and Summer Reading

The next Preschool Book Club selection will be Stuart Little by E.B.White. The virtual meeting will be August 30th, and take us to the end of the summer! Crazy. Hopefully in the fall I will be more on top of things and the meetings will happen regularly at then end of each month as I originally planned.

Stuart Little is just over 100 pages and is full of great illustrations by Garth Williams. We read Charlotte's Web several months ago and it is one of Emma's favorite chapter books. I'm looking forward to reading another novel by E.B. White; I really enjoyed the writing in Charlotte's Web as well.

Are you taking part in your library's summer reading program? At least at our library, it is still not too late to sign up and get started! After 10 hours of logged reading time each child received a certificate, coupons good at local restaurants (a free kids meal at Applebees!), and a free book of their choice. Emma's book was Stuart Little, which is part of the reason we decided to pick that one next.

Pick up a copy of Stuart Little at your library for some great summer reading! Or if you are looking for an inexpensive copy, Amazon sellers have copies starting at $3.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Preschool Book Club: My Father's Dragon Discussion Questions

Welcome to the discussion of My Father's Dragon! I hope you enjoyed this fantastic little book as much as Emma and I did. If you missed them, here are the activities we did while reading the book: dragon coloring sheets and Elmer's backpack.

Ask your child as many questions as work for your family. Feel free to skip any and only answer ones that engage them. If you did any activities related to the book, post those in the comments as well. And if you blogged about your book reading experience, feel free to post the link so we can check it out! You can reply to comments that others leave, but please keep things polite. :-) I'm not anticipating a problem with this!

Big Picture Questions:
1) What is the name of the boy, "my father"? What is the purpose of his adventure? Does he accomplish what he set out to do?

2) What animals does Elmer meet on Wild Island? Describe how he escapes from each animal.

Review and Discussion Questions:
1) Who does Elmer meet at the very beginning of the story?

2) Elmer wants to fly more than anything. How does the cat suggest that he could fly?

3) What does Elmer pack in his backpack before leaving? Feel free to go back and read this section in the book, or use the backpack activity to help remember all the items.

4) How does Elmer hide on the ship?

5) Elmer lands on the island of Tangerina. How does he get to Wild Island. Check out the map in the back of the book or the picture of the ocean rocks.

6) While looking for the dragon Elmer encounters many different animal which you listed above. What was your favorite animal or situation in the book?

7) Once Elmer crosses the river and starts to free the dragon, what happens to the other animals? There is a great picture of all the animals on the crocodiles' backs.

8) What do you think Elmer and the dragon will do now that they have flown away from Wild Island? Where will they go? Will they have any more adventures? There are two additional books in the series. See if you were able to guess what might happen!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Preschool Book Club Activity: My Father's Dragon, Pt. 2

Last week's activity for My Father's Dragon was coloring a dragon picture based on the description in the book. We had so much fun with this that we colored many dragon pictures!

Here is Emma's dragon based on the cat's description. She was so focused and proud that she did (nearly) everything by herself! I helped with the blue stripes and she colored everything else.

This week we are wrapping up this book and getting ready for our virtual discussion on Monday. I wanted to do an activity that was a good visual since the descriptions in the book are so vivid and full of detail. In searching for some pictures of the items in Elmer's backpack, I found a complete lapbook for this book! Here is the link, found on Home School share, for the free lapbook. While a lot of the activities are beyond what my preschooler is doing right now, I was thrilled to find this great backpack printable!

Included are all of the items that Elmer brings with him on his journey to rescue the dragon.

We had a great time getting the backpack ready (I cut it out and glued it to a piece of foam to make it more sturdy), coloring it, and then talking about each item as Emma put them in the pack.

There are three lines to cut along that make "pockets" to store all of Elmer's supplies! This was such a great idea.

We had a ton of fun with this activity and I hope you will too! Join us Monday for questions about My Father's Dragon.

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