Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hello From Us (And a Request for Book Suggestions)

We just got back from vacation yesterday (in Arizona), and I admit to feeling some lack of motivation to jump back into blogging.  I have many books here that I haven't posted about, but I have been going through one of those "why do I blog?" phases that seem to infect everyone at one time or another.  Luckily, hubbie/Daddy was very busy while we were away, and may be able to offer a fun post sometime soon.  In the meantime, here are a few random ramblings from our world -- most complete with a request for book suggestions for our library visit this week. 

    Hugg-a-Planet Hugg-A-Planet
  • The Infant Bibliophile LOVES geography suddenly.  I have a hugg-a-planet that I bought for him when he was quite young.  Now it has become "Mommy's globe," because I rest my head on it when I help him to fall asleep.  We started a game where I ask him to find places on the globe.  It all started with China.  He often asks me to read the bottom of his cars or little plastic animals, and they tend to say "made in China."  One day I showed him where China was on the globe.  The next day when I read "made in China," he ran and got the globe, flipped it around, and pointed at China.  I asked him how he knew that was China, and he explained that it was "near the big purple place" (the Russian Federation).  Since then - about two weeks ago? - he can consistently find: China, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Florida, New York, Rhode Island, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, Colorado, Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil, India, and I don't know how many other places, in addition to telling me which relatives live where!  I'm almost hesitant to change the way he is learning, because it is working so well for him.  (We do the states on the globe, but also on our Melissa and Doug state puzzle).  Still, I think when we visit the library this week I would like to grab a few geography-related books and see if any interest him.  I know a few of you have been focusing on geography lately.  Any suggestions?  He is only 2 years, 2 months old, so we'd definitely need books on the simpler side.
  • The other thing we have been having a lot of fun with lately is numbers.  The little guy loves to read out "hundreds" when I arrange his foam numbers for him (582, 343, 125, etc.).  I was wondering if there were any fun children's books about three- and four-digit numbers.  I don't plan to start doing long division with him, but I think he would get a kick out of seeing the larger numbers on the page.  
  • Along the same lines, I have been playing around with the concept of subtracting.  He is really just beginning to understand what subtracting means (if I have five objects, and I cover two, he'll tell me how many are left), but I thought a book or two to help introduce the idea might be fun.  It just occurred to me as I am typing this that addition might be an easier concept to grasp than subtraction.
  • If you find yourself in the Phoenix, Arizona area sometime in the future, I highly suggest visiting the Heard Museum, which focuses on American Indian art and culture.  Their learning center is amazing, with about 20 interactive jigsaw puzzles.  I was most impressed by all of the crafts laid out with instructions and supplies alongside examples of Native American art (braiding, beading, paper canoe, baskets, paper birds, etc.).  Just when we thought we had seen all of the children's activities, we discovered another large room with a huge canoe and an activity wall for hanging cut out felt animals, as well as more crafts.  Take two people to the museum so that one of you can play with the young ones while the other explores the rest of the museum.
  • When I came back, I had the most adorable pair of earrings from waiting for me.  Expect a product review soon, and get ready to accidentally leave the post up in a place that your Valentines Day gift-shopping spouse might happen upon it. 
  • Blogger will not allow me to delete this last bullet point, so there must be something I am forgetting.  Any ideas?  Maybe I'll just share that lately the Infant Bibliophile likes to shout out to me, "more learning!" or "more tell you!" when he wants me to teach him about things that he sees.  It's hard to say "no" to that request.  Even if he is still waking me up between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. every day.
Thanks to my rediscovery of television while away on vacation (we don't own a TV at home), my Google Reader got a bit out of control.  I have it down to 300 posts, but I likely won't have time to comment on all of the cute crafts and great learning posts that went up last week.  I am looking forward to some fun Valentine's Day crafts in the next few weeks.

So do you have any suggestions for books about 1) geography, 2) big numbers, 3) addition or subtraction, or just great "hey you should read this!" ideas?   We'd love to hear them!

Note: if you click on any of the links in those post and purchase something, we may earn a small commission based on our affiliate relationship with


Jessica Monte said...

Lol, "your resdiscovery of television." I guilt myself so much about how many hours a week I devote to the t.v. . . . I do find that watching it is relaxing though.

I too go through phases where I wonder, "Why am I sharing so much of myself with the world on a blog?" And then I remember, oh yeah, because I feel so good getting to write and then connect with others, who like, me love to write and take photos and share their lives too. That's just my take on it.

Anyway, I don't have any book suggestions, but I'll look forward to your pots about some new ones. I have a 3 year old who loves Clifford . . . any ideas for new titles in that category of lit?

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Jessica -- Yes, those sound like just about the same reasons as me. It keeps me from going crazy as a stay-at-home mom, for sure, but I do sometimes wonder if I could be contributing to our family's income by doing some sort of freelance work instead, given the amount of time I spend writing blog posts and reading and commenting on other blogs. But hobbies are usually more fun than work! We have only read Clifford the Firehouse Dog and Clifford Visits the Hospital. They were cute, but I don't think my son was old enough for them at the time. You can read our other reviews about books starring dogs here: We are really due for a trip to the library this week. It seems like we keep reading the old favorites.

Ivy said...

The Scrambled Up States of America is a fun book. There is also a game based on the book for when he's older.

I would personally suggest you start with addition because it is an easier concept for little ones to grasp. But if you feel like your little guy is more into subtraction follow your instincts.

I don't know of any books that specifically deal with three and four digit numbers. But Chicka Chicka 123 goes up to 100 and he might like that since he liked Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Oh, I remember reading about that Scrambled States book! That's a great idea - thanks! Going to request it now. And I also forgot about Chicka Chicka 123. We have read it, but it was awhile ago, so I'd love to try it again.

Raising a Happy Child said...

It sounds like you had a lot of fun on vacation. I didn't really find "The Book" that would work on geography - my approach is more about learning it based on the interest in a certain topic. For example, Anna was interested in polar bears, so we did Arctic and Antarctic. Now we are doing pandas and mountains, and it's kind of a natural path to China topic and to celebration of Chinese New Year that is coming up. I haven't decided yet what we will do next - I just think that geography is an excellent unschooling track for little minds.

Christy said...

I have to agree with Natalie about geography books. Right now we are learning about Texas and we are reading books about cowboys, armadillos, bluebonnets, etc. I do like the Good Night Our Word series a lot. I think they have them for every state and they are great for toddlers. Here is one of them if you don't know what I am talking about:

I will have to think about the numbers book. If I think of one, I'll let you know.

I get that way about blogging too. I think everyone does. Oh, my husband MOST CERTAINLY does (about my blog)- ahem.

I have a love/hate relationship with television.

I'm glad to see you back.

The girl who painted trees said...

Wow your little one is smart! No suggestion for books for either. I haven't approached larger numbers because I thought it wasn't concret enough for my 29 month old, but maybe I'm wrong. And I thought mine was bright knowing all her continents, 3 states and Costa Rica, but wow am I ever impressed by your son!

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Christy I LOVE your take on learning about the states. I totally want to copy your method one day when I think he is ready for it. :) I suppose we could start it now with places he has already been. But I almost don't want to "waste" the idea until he can take full advantage of it. Lol at your husband's opinion about blogging.

@The girl who painted trees Thanks; we think he is pretty clever too (as is "Bear")! I'm not sure if he understands the concept of the 100's. He knows it is a "big number," but I think he just likes the game of reading them. He can count pretty high, but I've never heard him stick with it long enough to get to 100.

Infant Bibliophile said...

@Raising a Happy Child I think that's the best - when you can follow their lead and just do what interests them. I keep forgetting about Chinese new year because of its proximity to Valentine's Day this year. My son is 1/4 Chinese and I would like to celebrate the holiday in a fun way this year.

Britt said...

My kids have an atlas and LOVE it! It's definitely not a book we read all the way through, but they love to flip through it looking at the maps. They especially love finding all the places Daddy has lived. (We could do places Mommy has lived, but it's a very short, fairly boring list. Daddy's list goes on and on and on...)
One of the main reasons I got it for them? My US Atlas was one of my absolute favorite books growing up!

Lisa said...

We have quite a few puzzle maps and the Pirate can recognize a lot of states. He's particulary good at identifying the South.

I love your extra bullet point.

Ticia said...

More than a Million, I forget if it's by or illustrated by Stephen Kellog. That might be a good one for large numbers.

Playing by the book said...

Over at Open Wide Look Inside there are loads of great geography related books:
Not all aimed at the age group appropriate for your son, but I'm sure you'll find some stuff that sounds great for you and your family.