Today we have a special guest on the blog!
Kate the genius mind behind the blog Homebound but Hopeful has joined us to talk about a few of my favorite things, babies, books and berries!
I know you will all enjoy her fun and educational post just as much as I did!
Although our minds have started to turn to fall and the start of another school year, my kids and I aren’t quite ready to give up on summer fun yet! My boys are complete fruit fanatics, so it made total sense for us to squeeze in a little berry picking fun while it’s still warm. And of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance to throw a little reading, learning, and crafting into our berry picking. Read on to see our choices for the perfect berry themed story time!
WHAT TO READ
Blueberries For Sal By Robert McCloskey
Blueberries for Sal is the classic choice for a berry story time. The fun tale of a mix up between two mamas and their respective little ones is always a silly story for my boys. The illustrations are old fashioned and simple, but never lose their appeal.
Jamberry By Bruce Degen
Another perennial favorite for many, Jamberry is a fanciful and imaginative story. The lyrical rhyming narrative appeals to young listeners. The bright, lively illustrations truly draw children into a playful berry hunt.
Stella And The Berry Thief By Jane B Mason, Illustrated By Loek Koopmans
Stella and the Berry Thief is a bit of a newer picture book, filled with soft, dreamy sorts of images. Kids will enjoy Stella’s experience finding a way to peacefully coexist with Bernie, a pesky berry stealing bear.
A Taste Of Blackberries By Doris Buchanan Smith
Although not a picture book, this was one I couldn’t help adding to the list. I have vivid memories of reading it in third grade and being deeply impacted by the novel. A few soft illustrations are spread throughout the tale of a young boy surviving the death of his best friend. While not a terribly difficult book to read, it might be best as a read-aloud or read-along because of the sensitive topics.
BRINGING BOOKS TO LIFE
Go Berry Picking!
Do I really need to say it?! If you can work it out, the most obvious extension is to go berry picking with your kiddos! We hit a local patch in search of raspberries recently. My boys loved their first outing picking berries. (And bonus, even really picky eaters are more likely to taste foods that they’ve helped grow or pick!)
Berry Color Sorting
If you can’t get out for some real berry picking, it’s easy to pretend! We grabbed some pom poms in shades of pink, red, blue, and purple and filled a big bucket with them. I encouraged my toddler to sort the ‘berries’ by color into smaller bowls. Using different kitchen tools turns ‘berry’ sorting into a fine motor work out as well. Tweezers, tongs, spoons, and more are all perfect for perfecting fine motor skills while brushing up on color discrimination.
#thebigone is getting ready to start second grade in a few weeks, so I love finding simple ways to help him brush up on the knowledge he’ll need. I created a fun hidden picture 100 chart to help him review number recognition 1-100. Kids color each square by number, according to the directions at the top. When the chart is complete, a strawberry is revealed! It’s also a great learning activity for kids who really prefer art, as the math is disguised a bit. Be sure to scroll down to grab your free printable berry page below.
Crayola sent us a gift of some super cool new scented markers to try out- of course we had to pull them out for this activity! Be sure to check them out while you’re doing your back to school shopping this year!
Crayola Silly Scents: Chisel Markers / Fine Markers / Colored Pencils / Twist Crayons
Craft Some Paper Berries
Younger kids will need more assistance with this project than older children, but it’s still a fun, creative activity for all ages.
- Construction paper. (Green, white, and berry shades- pink, blue, red, purple all work well!)
- Glue stick.
- Circle paper punches.
- Cut a square (roughly) out of green construction paper.
- Fold the green square in half. Use the pencil to sketch out ‘spaces’ to cut out on the berry basket, leaving about an inch in tact along the unfolded edges.
- Cut out the spaces on the berry basket. Unfold the square.
- Use the circle punches to create berries in varying shades and sizes.
- My kids LOVE using paper punches and look forward to any excuse to punch holes. It’s great for fine motor and hand strength, so I love letting them try them out.
- Glue the berries down on the white paper.
- Glue the berry basket on top of the berries.
Thanks for reading guys and don’t forget to check out more of Kates work at Homebound but Hopeful!