Halifax Learning and SpellRead are on board for our latest Ask-The-Expert feature and answering your questions about children and literacy.
This month’s book club is weather related which was a lot of fun for us! Our favourite weather forecaster, Frankie MacDonald, and local author Sarah Sawler worked on this book together. After reading it we were inspired to do a weather experiment by creating a cloud right in our own home. Read on for how to do this simple and fun experiment with your kids AND your chance to win a copy of the book!
This month’s book club book is called Mi’kmaw Waisisk/Mi’kmaw Animals by Alan Syliboy (published by Nimbus Publishing) and it is a board book for babies and toddlers. It has beautifully drawn images that will delight readers of all ages, along with the English and Mi’kmaw word for each animal, as well as the proper pronunciation of the Mi’kmaw word.
This book inspired our book club activity this month to teach babies, toddlers, and preschoolers about animal habitats, and learn a bit of a second language while they’re at it!
This month’s Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club’s pick is the much anticipated “100 Things You Don’t Know about Atlantic Canada for Kids” by Sarah Sawler, published by Nimbus Publishing. Sarah first wrote an article for The Coast called “100 Things You Don’t Know About Halifax” that was wildly popular and it started expanding into more articles, then a book, and now a book for kids!
** BOOK GIVEAWAY!! **
This month’s Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club pick tackles a challenging topic with kids, talking about mental health. Sheree Fitch’s EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street (illustrations by Emma FitzGerald) manages to do so in a way kids can get; and we show you how to create a special Feelings Basket and space, and a Calm Down Jar for your home.
I was inspired by the fun, lyrical text by Jill Barber and gorgeous illustrations by Sydney Smith in Music is For Everyone to create an activity this month that also combined art and music for our Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club. This activity encourages the children to explore the musical genres in the book further and they end up with a unique piece of art! Bonus, it’s a mess-free activity so kids of all ages (and, yes, you parents will probably want a turn too!) can enjoy it.
Cooking with children from a young age can help them learn basic counting and reading skills, grasp the concept of following directions, develop their fine motor skills, and, the thing most parents are focused on around food at that age, encourage an adventurous palate.
Buuuutt… I KNOW, it’s also a lot of work to cook with a preschooler. Trust me, I get it. I know the idea of allowing them “help” can seem like it will take too much time. I’ve discovered, however, that if you plan ahead a bit and go into it with the right attitude, it can be a wonderful experience for both of you.
Grief is a complex process for adults to go through, and even more so for children . . . and being an adult trying to teach children about how to handle their grief? Well, most of us don’t even know where to begin. For me, this is when I turn to books and local author Angela Campagnoni’s picture book, I Want to See my Papa, deals with this very issue is a sensitive and gentle manner.
**ENTER TO WIN A FREE BOOK!!**
The book My Two Grandmothers, published by Nimbus Publishing, tells the tale of two grandmas who are unique from each other in almost every way. One grandmother is Acadian, the other is Scottish; their traditions are different, their grandparenting style is different, even the words they use to describe things are different. One thing about them is exactly the same, however, and that is the love for their grandchildren.
Reading this book will naturally lead to conversations about your child’s grandmother – noticing similarities with one of the grandmothers in the book, or noticing a big difference between them. Use these discussions to set up the book extension activity (and free printable you can download!) that we’ve created for My Two Grandmothers.
Family Literacy Day is January 27 and we are getting ready to party like only bookworms can! There aren’t a lot of “official” celebrations in the city but we have come up with seven very Haligonian ways to encourage family literacy.