Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Reading Post 3- Setting Sail

One of the best parts of being a Barefoot Books Ambassador is spending time reading the Barefoot Books with my kids. I always test out the books with my daughters to feel out which ones they like the best and what would make the best recommendations. 

The other night, we got into the spirit of summer by reading about ships on the ocean using the book: Ship Shapes.

About the Book: 

Ages: 1 to 4 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Siobhan Bell

Spot the shapes atop rolling waves and on sandy shores. This sea-based early learning selection features rhyme and repetition, as well as a full-page summarizing the shapes for reinforced learning.

Our Review and Activity

Ship Shapes incorporates different learning concepts for the preschool age child, including: shapes, counting, colors,and most importantly imagination. This book is certainly a delight for the eyes. The illustrations were created using hand dyed cotton fabric. You can see the stitches, thread, and embellishments added to create these seafaring scenes. Both of my girls, even my oldest who is eight, enjoy soaking in the complex scenes. The story encourages the reader to inspect the scenes and break them down by color and shape.

We choose this book to begin our pirate themed summer reading adventure because we just returned from a trip to the ocean. My daughters spent a couple days digging in the sand and watching ships sail, so this book offered the perfect opportunity to make a text to self connection.

As an extension activity, we used some items from around the house to create our own Ship Shapes. (I must give credit to Pinterest for the idea. Thanks Dollar Store Mom for posting such a great idea to your blog and Pinning it!) Here is what you need to do it yourself:
We used:
Three Corks
Two Rubber-bands
Tape for putting on the sails
Construction Paper for sails (you can also use fabric or foam)
A needle for making a hole in the cork for the thoothpick
Scissors for cutting the paper
A little glue for making sure the toothpick stays in the cork

How you assemble the boats is fairly simple. We used rubber-bands to secure the three corks together. My three-year-old was able to do this on her own. I took the rafts and poked a small hole in the center cork for the toothpick and then dabbed a drop of glue. Then the kids put the toothpicks into the hole. Then, they each used scissors to cut small triangles for the sails, and they used tape to secure them to the toothpick. Done. Little J loved this activity and spent quite a bit of time playing with the boat.

STEAMing Ahead

The book and activity incorporate all aspects of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education, which is why I enjoyed spending over an hour reading the book, creating the ships, and talking about the activity. Here is how:

Science: Does it float? Making a boat is a great way to talking about what will float and what will sink. My oldest daughter got creative and made a boat using six corks, lots of glue, lots, of paper, and about 10 rubber-bands. It was awesome, but it sank. What a perfect opportunity to discuss what made the simple boats float and the big boat sink if they were both made out of corks.

Technology: We spent quite some time looking at the different boats in the books. The children in the boat are floating on a simple raft, while some of the other boats are more technologically advanced. We talked about the technology and tools required to make a boat.

Engineering: For my older daughter, I let her design her own boat. It sank. Failure is great for experiments. What a perfect time to talk about how she designed the boat and how she could engineer it differently the next time to make it float.

Arts: The illustrations were created using hand dyed fabric. We talked about how these illustrations set them apart from other illustrations we normally see in picture books. I also let the girls use their artistic expression decorating their boats.

Math: We counted shapes, listed different types of shapes, and then talked about how these simple shapes make up the entire picture. Math really is everywhere.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Ship Shapes you can follow this link.

FTC Required Disclosure: I am a Barefoot Books Ambassador. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase books by clicking through to the affiliate links, a small portion of the purchase goes to me to support this website, at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Books, Babies, and Bows.

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