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Filtering by Tag: bookclub

January Book Club: Feeding the Sheep

Andrea Sanchez

This post contains affiliate links.

It's been a while but I'm back with a new book club pick for January: Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert.

I picked up this gem at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in 2015 and have been waiting for the right time to share it with you and it's finally here! 

Feeding the Sheep is what you would consider a circular plot. This means that the story begins and ends in the same place (think, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie). In this case, that place is feeding the sheep. 

The story follows a mother and daughter team through the seasons as mom tends to her sheep from feeding them, to shearing, to washing the fleece, carding and spinning, dyeing, and finally knitting a sweater for the little one. The language is simple and repetitive while bringing in some great new vocabulary related to the fiber arts. I love how with only a few simple lines on each page, the text has a wonderful sing song quality to it (What are you doing, the little girl asks. Feeding the sheep, her mother says. Snowy day. Corn and hay.). 

What makes texts like Feeding the Sheep really special is its ability to capture the attention of our littlest readers. When I purchased this book for D, he was just a bit over 2 and a half and this quickly made its way to our #1 regular bedtime story. Because of the predictable text, after several readings he was able to help me "read" the story by reciting the "What are you doing?" line on each page.  

My favorite thing about Feeding the Sheep is the ton of fiber related vocabulary I was able to teach D. Each time we read a new page I'd ask, what is the mama doing? And he would reply with knitting, or spinning the yarn on her spinning wheel, etc. I also loved that we were able to relate a lot of the process of shearing and wool prep with things we had seen at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I know I keep saying love, but this book really is one of my favorites. We have read it over and over and over again. 

Repeated readings are one of those things that you love, and also drive you completely nuts. Raise your hand if you've ever read the bedtime story with your eyes closed mumbling "How do dinosaurs say goodnight..." while turning the pages at all the right parts! Yea, me too. But repeated readings are so very important for early literacy development. They encourage vocabulary growth related to the text as well as greater text-related comprehension. This is the reason you can read Kitten's First Full Moon about 50 times and your child still has something different to say about it. Books that also have that special sing song quality (I'm looking at you Goodnight Moon) are enjoyable to listen to. Children like hearing your voice reading that rhyming story. Here is a short study that gives some tips for making the most out of those repeated readings. 

Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert

I hope you have a chance to get a copy of this book. Right now it's less than $4 for the hardcover on Amazon! SO totally worth it! Grab a copy and get ready because I have a new pattern coming for you and some fun fiber related activities! If you join us this month please share on Instagram using #klbookclub. Happy reading (and rereading)!

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Sophie's Masterpiece: Book Club Week 3

Andrea Sanchez

I hope by now you've had a chance to read our June Book Club pick, Sophie's Masterpiece. If not, head over to this post to read a review and find out about this book's companion patterns!

I love art projects. Really, who doesn't? But what I like even better are easy art projects. I'm lucky because I tend to have access to a lot of craft supplies that most might not readily have in their homes (liquid starch, check!) - those are the perks of being a kindergarten teacher I suppose. Even as that is, I like being able to say, Hey! let's marble paint! After D wakes up from nap. And so we have it, marble painting. 

What You'll Need

  • marbles
  • craft paint (we like this)
  • spoon
  • cups or small bowls
  • box lid or tray
  • paper

Set-up

I started by letting D choose a couple paint colors and counting out 6 marbles (2 per color). He probably would have chosen 100 had I let him. 

After pouring the paint out into the cups/bowls, we put our marbles in. I used the spoon to stir them around a tad.

I trimmed our craft paper to fit just inside my box lid so there's not a lot of empty space.

I let D pick the color that he wanted to start with and gave him two at a time to get rolling. I kind of pointed out that in order to roll them you'll need to move the box and he picked up on it right away. 

Then paint away!

In the End

While we were working we talked about how in Sophie's book, she made masterpieces with her web but we were using paint and how the lines might look like a spider's silk threads. D has already decided we are making another tomorrow using black. 

If you don't have marbles, other washable balls will do but they need to have a little weight to help them roll through the paint. I have a whole box of marbles I collected as a kid and of course couldn't find them so ran out to the store and picked up a bag in the toy section for a couple dollars. 

I love how easy this is to get going and clean up. It also supports building hand-eye coordination, can easily be self-managed by older kiddos, and is an open ended project. These are the best. One of the things I really miss about teaching preschool is the opportunity to do open-ended art projects on almost a daily basis. The children were creating, exploring with textures and materials, and had all the time in the world to do it. 

If you are following along with our bookclub, please share photos on Instagram and tag them #klbookclub. We'd love to see what you're doing with this book!

Do you know we are having a KAL this summer? Read more about it here. 

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Use code ANDREA20 to get 20% off any capsule wardrobe. Free shipping on orders over $50.

Use code ANDREA20 to get 20% off any capsule wardrobe. Free shipping on orders over $50.

August Book Club: Back to School

Andrea Sanchez

That's right, I'm finally ready to admit it. It's August and that means back to school. Part of me is terribly excited to have D beginning preschool. Because I work full time during the school year he has had to attend childcare full-time since he was 1. The last two years he went to a babysitter and we had nothing but problems the last 6 months. He is a super active kid that a.) needs supervision because - duh - he's a toddler, and b.) needs someone who will keep him engaged and doing. So when we got the opportunity to enroll him in the local university child development center I was thrilled. My husband works on campus (read: call daddy if there's a problem. Let him take a turn.) and I had also spent time in there during my teacher training program so I know it is a quality program.

In preparation for back to school, we've started talking up preschool and how fun it is (and how excited they will be if you poop in the toilet, but that's another story) and how much you'll learn, and so on. You know. As we parents do. This month I will be sharing with you some back to school themed books that you might want to share with your own little one. 

Our first book is The Night Before Preschool  by Natasha Wing. This book is written in rhyme and takes the reader through the evening before and the first day of preschool. 

I like this book because although there is a fair amount of text, the rhyming keeps the younger listener engaged. The boy who is the main character in the story begins to feel anxious the day of preschool and has a difficult time settling in with his new friends. Then, a big problem arises at nap time when he's realized (queue ominous music) he left his favorite bear at home! It all turns out ok though when one of his new friends shares a bunny with him. 

Even though D isn't quite 3 yet, I think he was able to relate to this story. He has his own special elephant and while he can sleep without him, he really (REALLY) doesn't like to. He asked if Elefante can come to preschool with him and we talked about what kinds of experiences he might have when he starts preschool. 

Obviously one story is just a small step in preparing him but it's one he's definitely enjoying. Do you have a kiddo getting ready for preschool? How are you helping them get prepared?

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Edmund Unravels: Book Club Week 2

Andrea Sanchez

*This post contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

I mentioned lat week how much I loved the graphic illustrations in Edmund Unravels . This week's super easy activity will focus on studying shapes, colors, and developing fine motor skills. 

Shape Collage

You will need: 

My goals for D with this activity was just to explore with shapes and colors. He knows some shapes and some colors, but that is something I'd like to reinforce a bit more as he gets ready for preschool in the fall. We started by reading Edmund Unravels again. This time I took extra time to point out specific shapes or colors ("Do you see that Edmund is a circle?"). Then we moved on to our shape exploration.

Keep in mind, the key word here is explore. Young children learn best by engaging in their world. This means that while he is enjoying taking the paper off the stickers, sticking the shapes to his paper/hair/furniture/the dogs, I am not drilling him. I do reinforce the vocabulary ("You need help with the purple square? Sure! I can help.") but my goal is that he will enjoy the activity and the learning will come naturally. 

D is still very much into abstract art (no people yet) so I just let him stick his shapes wherever, willy nilly style. With my students (5-6 years) I do a similar activity where I ask them to make a picture using shapes. They trace the shapes using a pattern block template then color in their shapes to finish their illustration. If your little one is older ask them to imagine an adventure Edmund might go on and use the shapes to illustrate that. 

I added the shape stickers to D's craft table and am encouraging him to use them whenever we need to engage in a quieter activity. We will soon be working on an activity where we take photos of shapes all around us so this is the first step in him being able to recognize those. 

I love that these stickers a) are portable (totally packed some for the plane!), b) are big enough to be gripped by small fingers, and c) thoroughly excite my toddler!

I'd love to see what you and your littles come up with this week. Share your child's shape collage with us on Instagram #klbookclub.


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