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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Virtual Book Club for Kids: A Week of Leaves and Celebrating Fall

Greetings fellow Book Dragons!

We wrapped up another fun filled week of the Virtual Book Club for Kids with Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert!  This week was all about leaves and welcoming a new season, although that's not so much the case here in Texas!  

Leaf Man is a fantastic story to introduce as the beginning of fall arrives.  Made up of various leaves, Leaf Man has got to go where the wind blows, and as he drifts, he begins to take on the shape of other creatures.  The illustrations are made from actual leaves, while die cut backgrounds create beautiful landscapes that celebrate the natural world around us and the rich, imaginative life that children create!  The top edges of these double page spreads aren't cut straight, but rather simulate swooping horizon lines that enhance the feeling of rolling through the scenery right along with Leaf Man.  This story certainly made my little explorer take a second look at all the different leaves on our walks to the playground!




Leaves are cool, but I found a frog!

We began the week with this great math activity using a muffin tin from JDaniel4's Mom.  Simply print out the numbered leaves and place inside a muffin tin.  Then grab something that your child can use to count and fill each compartment with.  She recommended using mini pompoms, but I had glass gems on hand and they worked perfectly!  Maddox really enjoyed playing with this and it is another great activity to have on hand when you just need some time to keep them occupied while you get some cleaning or cooking done.  


Another activity we tried included this fun printable from ChickadeeLit for letter recognition with Leaf Man!  Many of you may recognize Lois Ehlert as the illustrator of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, so this is a great activity to connect the two books! Using foam letter stickers or any other letter stickers you have on hand, explore the letters in your child's name and then let them decorate Leaf Man using those letters.  I can definitely see this one again in our future for use with word recognition.


To go along with our storytelling activities, I cut out leaves using felt and spelled out both boys' names.  We used these to continue letter recognition as well as for use with story rhymes, finger plays, and action songs found on Sunflower Storytime.


Another activity found on Sunflower Storytime included this guessing game using trees and a little blue bird!


Both boys got their hands dirty painting leaf silhouettes inspired from Artsy Momma.  Ours didn't turn out quite as pretty as her pictures, but the process was a lot of fun and that's all the matters in the end!  Maddox started out using his fingers, but the lure of paint was too much for him and he quickly turned to using both hands!  Jackson tried to eat the paint a few times, but then finally decided to just smear it everywhere!


Maddox is doing really well with letter recognition, so this week provided a great opportunity to continue reinforcing beginning sounds.  Growing Book by Book had a tree printable with various pictures on it so that kids could match the sounds to the letter.


She recommended using foam leaf stickers, but I couldn't find any in my area, so ever the improviser, I actually had a piece of scrapbook paper with a whole bunch of different leaves on it.  I cut out enough to cover the pictures and let Maddox glue them on as he answered.  He is really obsessed with glue sticks right now, so that made it especially fun!

The following activities are all honorable mentions that I thought were fantastic; however, we just didn't get a chance to do them during the week.  I want to hold on to them for future reference though and perhaps you do too!


Here are some additional books that we loved reading this week to continue the leaf theme.

Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root 


Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson




Again, this was another fantastic learning week with lots of fun!  What activities did you do?  Please share in the comments because I love getting new ideas!  Next up - pumpkins!



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