Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love Books Summer Exchange - Too Many Balloons

As many of you know, I absolutely love to read to my children...we read from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed each night. Ever since before they were even born, reading has been something we always did together. That is why I was so excited to participate in this summer's Love Books Summer Exchange.

This program encouraged bloggers from around the world to exchange ONE children's book and a short educational activity related to the story. The girls and I received a book called Too Many Balloons written by Catherine Matthias, from Meeghan of Sight and Sound Reading. If you have a moment, take a few minutes to check out her awesome blog and discover new ways to teach your child to read. 

As a children's book enthusiast, I was surprised I had never heard of this book or the author. I pride myself on being an avid library patron, getting as many as 30 new books every week for my children to explore and learn from. In Too Many Balloons, it tells the story of a young girl who shares her colorful balloon collection with the residents at the zoo. Not only does this book teach counting, numbers, shapes, and colors...it also teaches a little bit about animals, sharing, and even Science (how many balloons would it take to float?). 

One of my favorite parts of this book is actually the vocabulary word list, located at the end of the story. There are more than 30 words that I could use to challenge my 5 year old, who is currently learning how to read on her own. And if you ask my girls, their favorite part were the pictures (illustrations drawn by Gene Sharp). Each page displayed a colorful picture that brought the story to life, and a smile to my girls faces. 

For the activity, we were sent a packet of worksheets and had to put on round circle stickers (the ones used at a garage sale) to display how many balloons each animal had (see example above). Then at the very end, we created a HUGE balloon bundle and counted how many balloons the little girl from the story had in all. You will just have to read the book yourself to discover how many!

We were also sent a wipe-off chart, which we used to practice writing vocabulary words and colors. Its never too early to start practicing those sight words for Kindergarten! 

We still haven't tested our Science experiment for how many balloons it would take to fly/float...but we may have an opportunity this upcoming weekend at a certain someone's 4th birthday. 

For those of you interested in learning more about the Love Books Summer Exchange Program, be sure to visit this website. You can see all of this year's participants, and find a ton of wonderful children's books + activities you won't want to miss out on. 

Happy Summer!!!

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