Owl Books

owl books

Anything a kid is interested in is a great topic for reading.  I have an owl-obsessed daughter.  I did a quick subject search at my local library and came up with these great books.  Some are silly and funny.  Some are filled with facts (and really above her comprehension level).  Yet, all of them were interesting to her because they were about her favorite subject.  Don’t be afraid of non-fiction books for preschoolers!

Owls by Gail Gibbons- Everything you ever wanted to know about owls told in simple language with labeled illustrations.  The best non-fiction book on owls for kids!

The Littlest Owl by Caroline Pitcher- The smallest owl is teased by his three older siblings, but he doesn’t give up until he flies.

I’m Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen- A young owl is very annoyed that other animals call him cute when he thinks he is a “huge and scary hunting machine with great big wings.”  Very funny story!

Owlet’s First Flight by Mitra Modarressi- Cute rhyming book about a little owl’s first flight around the farm.

Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal- A little owl wants to go to sleep, but his parents want him to stay up late.  They try to stall him with extra playtime, bedtime stories, and a glass of water.  Funny story with cute illustrations.

Owls by Emily Rose Townsend- Easy reader book with one sentence per page.  Great way to introduce non-fiction reading!

All About Owls by Jim Arnosky- Another good non-fiction book for kids.  Contains lots of information about owls.

Whoo Goes There? by Jennifer A. Ericsson- Owl is listening for a mouse to eat, but he hears other animals instead.  Lots of fun sound words and kids can guess the animals.

White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies- A girl and her grandpa set up a box for a barn owl to nest in.  Fiction story with lots of owl facts, too!

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell- Three owlets are scared when their mother goes out hunting.

Color Mixing Experiment

walking water experiement

My daughters often ask to do a science experiment.  So I turn to Pinterest and hunt for something with few (and free!) materials.  The water experiment from Coffee Cups and Crayons fit the bill.  Just fill two glasses with water and drop some food coloring in.  Place a third empty cup between them.  Fold two paper towels lengthwise and put one end in the food coloring and one end in the empty cup.  Watch the water saturate the paper towel and flow into the empty cup.  My kids were amazed at how quickly the water moved up the paper towel.  It is a great way to see how colors mix.  It only takes a few minutes to see the new color, but the longer you wait the deeper the hue.

Materials:

  • food coloring
  • three clear cups
  • water
  • two paper towels

Stuffed Animal Alphabet

stuffed animal alphabet

I’m always happy to find a way to use our plethora of stuffed friends.  We’ve made a stuffed animal zoo, and now we are using them to learn letters.  This game helps with phonics and letter recognition.  All you need are animals and letters.  We used a foam alphabet mat, but you could easily write letters on index cards or use letter flashcards instead.

For each stuffed animal ask:

  1. What animal is this?
  2. What letter does it start with?  (If they need some help offer other words that start with the same letter)
  3. Can you find the letter and place the animal on top of it?  (Again, depending on ability level you might need to give some clues about what the letter looks like or its place in the alphabet)

Then read an animal ABC book and see if you had the same animals!

Playdough Color Wheel

I tried my hand at homemade playdough for the first time.  I am no cook.  But since the end product is not supposed to be edible, how can I mess it up?  I used this recipe from Domestic Super Hero.  Don’t worry.  You don’t need to be super hero at all.  I made three batches: red, yellow, and blue.

color mixing with play dough

Then the fun part: mixing colors!  I divided each of my colors of playdough into two equal halves and then set one of the halves off to the side.  The remaining half should be divided in half again.  (Perfect time to talk about how fractions are equal parts of a whole.)  Now you have two equal fourths of each color.  Time to mix!  Take 1/4 of the red and smoosh it together with 1/4 of the blue.  It takes awhile, so you might have to help if your kiddo wears out on the mixing.  See if your kid can guess the color that you are making…then see if it actually turns out.  Our purple was a little on the gray side.  But you can always add a pinch more red or blue to tweak the color.

play dough color wheel from Mr. Printable

Our last step was to put our colors on a color wheel.  There are tons of free blank color wheels out there.  I used the secondary color wheel from Mr. Printables.  I liked how the color words were labeled so my daughters could match them up.  If you don’t have a reader yet, give them clues like “Red has three letters.  Can you find the word blue?  It starts with the letter B.  Orange is red and yellow mixed together so it should be in between them.”

play dough color wheel

 

And if you are still in the mood to play, here are 15 more ways you can learn with playdough!

Water Paint

water paint

 

How do I keep the kids entertained while I mow the lawn?  Water painting.  All you need is a bucket of water, paintbrushes, and a fence.  It’s free and it’s fun and it doesn’t make a mess.  Plus kids can practice all kinds of things:

  • letters
  • numbers
  • counting
  • patterns- use the fence pickets
  • math problems
  • sight words or spelling words
  • shapes
  • and my daughters’ favorite: splattering

It isn’t the same as practicing handwriting with a pencil and paper, but that’s the point.  Sometimes kids need a break from the routine.  Novelty makes learning fun.  Who wouldn’t want to practice their spelling words outside with a paintbrush in the sunshine instead of at the kitchen table?

Top Ten First Day of Kindergarten Books

first day of kindergarten books

My oldest daughter be going to kindergarten this week (sniff, sniff) and we have been reading lots kindergarten books to prepare.  Here are our favorites (in no particular order)…

Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt- This is the perfect book for a kid (or parent) who loves space.  Everything about the first day of kindergarten is related to a space mission.  The teacher is the commander, the classroom is a capsule, and classmates are crewmates.  Hilarious story with very cute illustrations!

Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis- Dexter’s big sister tells him all about kindergarten and helps him find his lost stuffed animal on the first day.

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum- In this story the mom is nervous about kindergarten and her son had to reassure her that everything will be fine.  The illustrations show mom small and blue when she is anxious and big and colorful when she feels fine.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate- This rhyming book shows the teacher and her twenty-six students (from Adam the alligator to Zach the zebra) getting ready for kindergarten.

Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson- It is a simple story about a little mouse who is excited and then a little nervous about kindergarten.  It is written in both English and Spanish.

The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus- Just as the title says, Mom comes to kindergarten… and embarrasses her daughter because she doesn’t know the rules.

Tom Goes to Kindergarten by Margaret Wild- Tom the Panda is nervous about kindergarten so his parents stay with him the first day.  Then they want to come back because it is so much fun!

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing- Cute book that is written in the style of “The Night Before Christmas.”  My daughter thought it was funny that the teacher had to ask the crying parents to leave.

The Berenstain Bears Go To School by Stan & Jan Berenstain- Sister Bear is nervous about going to kindergarten in the Bear Country School so she meets her teacher and checks out her classroom.  On the first day of school she has lots of fun building blocks, painting pictures, and looking at books.

Kindergarten Countdown by Anna Jane Hays- This rhyming book counts down the week before kindergarten with numbers and days of the week.

Colored Milk Experiment

We tried out the milk and dish soap experiment I saw floating around the interwebs.  It is pretty cool!  My kids were definitely entertained and wanted to do it again and again.

Materials:

  • milk (whole or 2%)
  • Q-tips
  • dish soap
  • food coloring
  • dinner plate or bowl

Fill the plate or bowl with enough milk to cover the bottom.  Then drop in some food coloring.

milk and dishsoap

Dip a Q-tip in the food coloring to see what happens (nothing).  Then dip the Q-tip in dish soap and touch it to the food coloring.  Wow!  No need to stir, the colors will explode and mix on their own.

milk soap experiment

colored milk experiment