Once a week or so my two year old daughter and I will choose a story book and do a
creative project with it. I find this a great way to bring story books to life plus we get
to talk about all sorts of nice messages and it creates many opportunities for learning
Recently we chose the book Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward for one of
our weekly reading projects.
A quick book summary: Two girls were supposed to go to a friend’s house, instead
they go to a pond, find a magical creature called a bog baby, keep it hidden in the
shed. They feed it, walk it and love it but it gets sick. They finally muster up the
courage to tell the truth to their mom who helps them do right by the bog baby by
releasing him back to where he belongs.
Bog Baby is truly a delightful book and I just love the wonderful messages about
respect, telling the truth and caring about the needs of animals and nature. The text also has all sorts of learning opportunities for toddlers:
For example the text says:
He was the size of a frog, only round and blue.
He had boggly eyes and a spiky tail and I do remember he had ears like a mouse.
This gave us a chance to talk about how things, animals and people can have different sizes, shapes and colors. For example, we talked about how our fish has a long blue tail, our dogs have short brown tails, pigs have curly pink tails and we don’t have any tails!
My daughter then exclaimed excitedly, “Everyone should have spikey blue tail!!” So we decided to make some with construction paper!
Continuing on the size and shape theme we did another favorite activity of tracing items to compare and contrast their sizes. You can see more about that activity here!
Another great part of the books is when the girls realize they must tell the truth in order to save the Bog Baby. This is a great opportunity to talk about telling the truth and how being responsible for a pet is big deal.
In the text, the girls feed bog baby cake crumbs, but that wasn’t the right food for the bog
baby… So we talked about how our fish gets fish food, the dogs get their dog food and so on!
Lastly, to celebrate the magic of the book we created a collaborative art project. My daughter cut out some green paper as a lily pad; she made a sun with a cupcake liner, scribbled lots of growing green plants and delighted in spreading glue and glitter all over the place!
The collaborative art is a great way for us to practice taking turns, working cooperatively,
respecting each other’s ideas and sharing the supplies and cleaning up together.
What fun ways do you discover books with your child?
About Ariadne: Ariadne Brill is a certified positive discipline parenting educator. She is the author of positive parenting connection, a resource for gentle parenting and positive yet effective discipline. She has three children, loves chocolate, books and is passionate about helping parents and children create harmony at home.