Friday, March 6, 2009

Pennies for Books

Stuck inside on a snowy day (with a cold), we had a little bit of fun with crafts today. This week's Weekly Unplugged theme is "bottles." I had a few ideas, but didn't really have any convenient empty bottles. It is always a struggle to think of a craft for a 15-month old. Hmm, bottles, bottles...aha! I remembered that I have a box full of glass baby bottles that we hardly ever used and don't use anymore. I pulled one out, along with a small nipple and the white screw-on top to attach it. I took scissors and cut the top off the nipple, leaving a hole just big enough to push a penny through. Then I screwed it all back together.

The result was perfect! When he takes a penny and places it at the opening, he has to give it a light push to get it through (just difficult enough to keep him interested, but not so frustrating as to make him fuss). Then if he shakes the bottle, the pennies stay in! Dimes come right out. So we stuck with pennies. As you can see in the photo above, we also decorated a sticker label with "pennies for books" and some stars. Tip: Even if you have a son like mine who would go hungry before he deliberately picked up and swallowed a piece of pasta, do not leave your child unsupervised or do this when he is hungry. Our festivities ended when I, enthralled in taking photos of him holding our creation, saw the penny approaching his mouth. This from a mom who had her own coin swallowing adventure as a child (sorry for that, mom).

Companion books:

Although I think he's a little young to really "count" yet, our bookworm has been amused by the concept lately. Here are reviews of a few counting books. These are ideal for a slightly older child.

Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 (Hardcover), by Bill Martin Jr. The style of this companion to the very popular Chicka Chicka Boom Boom follows a format to 'Boom Boom, but the "Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3" refrain isn't as catchy as "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom."


"Hot pink 12, lucky 13, picking apples red and green. 14, 15 ... Can't you see? They all want to climb the apple tree/'Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 ... Will there be a place for me?'"

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: We have a love/hate relationship with this companion to the popular Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Half the time he asks to read it, I think the bookworm thinks it is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and he'll never let me get past the 4th or 5th page. On the other hand, he brings it to me all the time, even when Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is right next to me. Anyway, at 15 months, I think he's too young for it, but I'm sure we'll revisit this one in the future.

Parent's Peeve: I think the "apple tree" should have red circles on it instead of blue.

One Watermelon Seed (Hardcover), by Celia Barker Lottridge. This counting book uses crops and lovely bright illustrations to count, first from 1 to 10, and then on by 10's to 100. The last couple of pages also include images and accompanying names of many vegetables and garden creatures.


"They picked ten watermelons, big and green, 10 / and twenty pumpkins, glowing orange. 10 20."

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: Those who follow our blog regularly will know why I picked this one up: our little reader loooooves watermelon. He's mildly interested in this book, making it through a portion of it each time. He's too young for it, really.

One Duck Stuck (Hardcover), by Phyllis Root. This fun counting book would make a great read-aloud. Colorful creatures fill the pages as they try to rescue a duck who is stuck "deep in the muck" of a marsh. The text includes just enough repetition to engage young readers, and sound effects throughout to keep them entertained.


"We can! We can! 9 Nine snakes leaving little wakes slither to the duck. Slink, slink. No luck. The duck stays stuck deep in the muck down by the messy, moosy marsh."

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: He's still a little young for this one. We'll try it again in a few months. At first I had no luck getting him to look at the book, but tonight I tried it one more time and he sat through it, happily doing his sign language for "help" every couple of pages (as the text repeats: "Help! Help! Who can help?"

One Chocolate Fish: A New Zealand Counting Book(Paperback), by S.W. Norrie. A large, thin paperback, this counting book stars New Zealand favorites, like chocolate fish, white bait fritters, and pois. We bought this book on a trip to NZ before a baby was even on the horizon.

Bookworm's interest at 12 months: He doesn't enjoy it yet. We'll try again in a year or two.

Parent's Peeve: I haven't read it in awhile, but if I recall, the book includes vegemite (which is Australian - shudder!), instead of marmite.

Another counting book we love is Sandra Boynton's Doggies; we reviewed it here.

We also did this quick collage craft, courtesy of No Time For Flashcards, last night.
I'm posting it mostly for the laugh of the small dark piece near the middle...see it? Can you tell what it is? A bus. That's our son.


Dee Light said...

I was planning to do the "unplugged progect" but we never got around to it. It's never to early to introduce the idea of counting and model counting for your little guy. This way he is going to learn counting and basic math in a logical and natural way. thanks for the book ideas. I've seen Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 but never read it. We will have to check it out.

jennwa said...

That bottle idea is great. Thaks for sharing. I also love the collage.

Tahnks for linking, have a great weekend.

sandy said...

These are all great books! I love the bottle idea! I have several bottles hanging around here that would be perfect for this. Thanks:0)