Preparing to Read Last Child in the Woods

In January 2009, Tsh of Simple Mom kicked off the Sound Mind, Sound Mom Book Club.  I wanted to take a minute to point out that the upcoming selection is one that I think pertains to every parent and caregiver in the Simple Kids community. 

Beginning June 4th and continuing through July 16th, the book club will be discussing Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.  If you haven’t already, you may want to make arrangements now to be able to read and participate in the discussion of this book.  Check and see if your local library has it available to check-out or if it can possibly be obtained through inter-library loan.  If you plan to purchase it, you can find it at most any book retailer or order it through Simple Mom’s Amazon shop.

This selection has been on my “to read” list for quite some time, and I am very much looking forward to both the content and discussion of this book.  I hope you’ll join us!

(Comments on this post are closed.  Have a beautiful Monday!)

SK Showcase and Reading Links

It’s Showcase Day again here at Simple Kids!  Today’s submission is from Jennifer of Gill Gazette.  Inspired by this post on button trees, Jennifer and her kids made their own:

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Aren’t those so cute?  Though the post that Jennifer was inspired by was for button Christmas trees, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t make a spring or summer button tree.  This would be a wonderful addition to your seasonal table.  Thank you, Jennifer!

If you haven’t already, you simply must check out the children’s book recommendations from Tuesday’s post on Unsung Favorites of Children’s Literature.  The comments evolved into a treasure trove of favorites from the Simple Kids community.  Thanks so much to all who have contributed!  Next week, one of those commenters will be chosen to receive a new book – one of my family’s favorites.

As we conclude Children’s Book Week, I thought I would share some of the links I’ve come across this week to educate and inspire our collective emphasis on literacy.

I’d love to hear if you participated in a special Book Week activity or celebration, and if you have any links related to books, reading, and literacy, please feel free to share them here today!

Creating Enthusiasm for Books Beyond Reading

reading3Many parents know that reading to a child for just fifteen minutes a day builds strong pre-literacy skills.  Study after study provides resounding evidence that reading aloud to even the youngest children (including and especially pre-verbal babies) lays the groundwork for a strong sense of language mastery.

In the article “Setting the stage for a lifetime in love with language,” Professor Janette Pelletier of the University of Toronto states

“Oral language sets the stage for literacy when children are encouraged to pay attention to the sounds of language – rhythm, rhyme, syllables, sounds within words, letter-sounds and, of course, vocabulary.”

We also know that young children learn best through concrete approaches to learning as they have not yet developed the cognition skills needed to fully grasp abstract concepts.  (Read more on Piaget’s theory on cognitive development here.)

How can parents make the reading experience more concrete? 

Here are a few fun and simple ideas:

* Grab an old sock or a paper lunch bag and create a puppet character based on a child’s favorite  book
* Encourage a preschooler or older child to paint or draw a scene from a book
* Use objects around the house to create a touchable, lovable version of a book character.  This might end up being a baby’s preferred snuggle buddy or a preschooler’s first sewing project.  (Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in sweet book buddy creations like Tillie the Turtle from the sharyn’screations shop at etsy.)
* Find aspects of book’s setting that can be touched, smelled, tasted, seen, or listened to.  Little ones can dig their hands into a bucket of sand to understand what a beach would feel like or a whiff of vanilla extract might help them experience how a bakery might smell.
* Explore the tastes of a book by recreating the food featured in a favorite story.  The  Children’s Literature theme week for Muffin Tin Monday (hosted by Her Cup Overfloweth) showcases some brilliant examples of this idea.   The Very Hungry Caterpillar version created by The Masked Mommy provides sumptuous inspiration for creating an edible version of a child’s favorite book.

What are some other ways to make the reading experience more concrete and tangible for our little ones?

Photo by apdk