October 14, 2014

Sun, Moon, Stars and Beyond

Twinkle , Twinkle Little Star
How I Wonder What You are...
Look !! What I found Junior doing on a bright sunny afternoon with our old Handycam..."I'm trying to see the Sunspots with my telescope " he said nonchalantly .
We, humans, have always been fascinated by the wonders of the Universe - the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and beyond. They have been a part of our tradition, folklores for centuries.
We consciously or at times unconsciously , pass  this curiosity of ours on to our children.
We love showing the magical night sky to them.Their attentive eyes follow our fingers when we trace Orion, the Hunter constellation. Together we watch the bright Full moon from our bedroom window and tell "Moon will watch over you "as we kiss them Good Night. Sun, Moon and Stars figure in our lullabies.We tell them stories about the Sun and the Moon giving them humanly character. Among the first things that we teach our kids to draw is the Sun with a smiling face and Moon with a long chin.

Then, one day the little Pre -schooler comes home and excitedly tells  " Mama, Man has been to moon, Neil Armstrong has been there !!!
We are excited too... the time has come, we are brimming with information about the Universe and its mysteries. We have studied ,followed them on T.V and internet over the years and now would like to share them with our child - Big Bang Theory, Andromeda Galaxy, Black holes, Pluto no longer a planet and a lot more...
Hold on.......go slow.........take baby steps....
Let us begin by introducing the child to our friend Moon  and Man's First Step on Moon, first.

Age group : 4 to 5 years
This beautifully illustrated picture book is a nice way to tell children, what it would be like to go to Moon, walk on it and see our wonderful world from far, far away.  It brings astronauts, their rockets and their way of work into the child's world.
Another picture book that can be introduced at the same time  for the same age group is
A mouse, rabbit and chicken go on a moon mission on their rocket. As the name suggests the books tells a little more about the rocket  - its journey to moon and back to earth, the lunar lander, the zero gravity feeling inside the rocket etc.
Age : 4 to 5 years
Imagine all this conveyed wonderfully through pictures for our little ones.
For the children who can read fluently, the next book will further boost their interest in space travel vehicles.

Age Group : 5 to 7 years
It briefly describes rockets -its types and stages,the Apollo spacecraft and the Moon Mission, Hubble telescope, different types of satellites, space probes, astronauts life and work in space .
It is easy to read and comprehend for young readers. The detailed illustrations compliment the available informations beautifully.

In my opinion,these three books are like stepping stones leading our curious children into the world of space travel.
Let the little ones unlock the secrets of the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and beyond....

October 05, 2014

Ten apples up on top

Age - 4 to 5 years
Author - Dr. Seuss writing as Theo. Lesieg
Illustration - Roy McKie
Publisher - HarperCollins Children's Books
I had heard mixed reviews about this book from parents. Those who loved it always grinned at the mention of it.

Ten apples up on top” was the first one I picked up. Both Junior and I fell in love with it. It’s about a lion, dog and tiger that show off how many apples they can balance on their heads as they skip, climb trees, tight rope walk and skate. The story is full of action and excitement which had Junior rolling with laughter.
The sentences are short and have a rhythm which makes reading easier. It also introduces elementary counting. As he reads the child gets to know his number names one, two, and three well. For instance
 You can do three       or      “And now, see here.
But I can do more.               Eight ! Eight on top !
You have three                    Eight apples up!
But I have four. “                 Not one will drop. “
The illustrations compliment the fun part very well. Junior read and re read it every day with lot of joy.
There are three categories of books –  Green back is for the beginners , ‘Ten apples up on  top ‘ can be tried as first read.
Please visit http://www.seussville.com/ for more.

Follow up parent child activity:

-   Ask your child to draw his picture. Ask him to draw as many apples he wants on his head. After the drawing is over both of you count the apples and write “……… has ……… number of apples on his head”. Display it proudly on the fridge for all to see.
-   This activity requires some pre-work. Draw and cut out of at least 10 numbers apples. Keep a strip of long stiff paper and glue handy. Ask your child to stick as many apples cut- outs he wants on the strip. Stick this strip on your child’s head band. Now he can pretend to be the lion himself.
-   Ask your child to bring his favorite toys – cars etc. Ask him to place the apple cut-outs beside the toys starting from one end. Both of you count aloud the number of apples required to cover the whole length of the car. A nice way to introduce the concept of length measurement to the little one.
-   During playtime you and your child can have a ‘highest tower’ contest with building blocks. All along make sure both of you count loudly.