Sure, we’re doing a lot of book reading this summer–in between swim and dive practices, trips to museums and splash parks, and just hanging out, doing nothing summertime-style.
And even though we’ve just returned home from the library with 45 new books (maybe a record for us!), I still try to utilize environmental print whenever possible. Environmental print, or print found on signs, posters, menus–even cereal boxes!–is a natural text for emerging readers to want to read. It’s everywhere, it sends meaningful messages, and often they notice it when they’re doing something else–riding in the car, sitting in a restaurant, or eating breakfast.
Here’s the skinny on how we rocked out the environmental print at our very own kitchen table while we threw back our breakfast (and why we now want to adopt a gorilla):
- Breakfast Time Reading — Cereal Boxes and More: Thanks to Cora’s new gluten-free life (or as gluten-free as we can get it!), we have been introduced to a boatload of new foods and products over here.
One of those foods comes from a line of environmentally-conscious, earth-happy, organic and gluten-free products whose cereal boxes are full (and I mean FULL!) of fun reading material for kids–EnviroKidz Organics.
From lemurs to pandas to gorillas, my kids actually argue over the boxes and who will get to read what during breakfast. So we took it a step further today; we read the box a little more closely and checked out the internet site mentioned on the box.
Our cereal box reading led us to some non-fiction website reading–who knew?
And the really cool thing is that as a result, Maddy, Owen, and Cora did some serious non-fiction reading, some map work, and made some plans to adopt a gorilla. Either the baby gorilla, the mom and baby combo, or the silverback. They still aren’t sure.
On one crazy cereal box, we read about Kureba, the mountain gorilla, what his life was like as a young gorilla, and how he looks out for his little brother. We talked about how gorillas live in a big group and how being in a group keeps them safe–kind of like how we have a bunch of friends who all look out for each other’s kids.
We chatted about Rwanda, in Africa, and where Rwanda is compared to us here in Maryland, in North America. We discussed what it means to be ‘endangered’ and and why the gorillas need help.
We checked out the links on the box, which took us to Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund International–an incredible site rich with resources, amazing photos, and super suggestions for getting children involved in gorilla conservation. We looked at videos of gorillas, played games about gorillas, and read all we could about the gifted scientist, Diane Fossey.
Maddy and Owen were really curious about how far Africa was from the United States, so we mapped it. We looked at google maps and then played with the satellite images, checking out the earth from above and then zooming in to our very own house from above simply by typing in our address in the search box.
And of course we checked on Nanny and Pap’s house, Nana’s house, and all of our aunts and uncles, too.
The kids were amazed. We got lost in our research, and it all started with a box of cereal. I love it.
Still rockin’ week 4 of our Smart Summer Challenge, we’re only two weeks away from our HUGE giveaways which I cannot wait to share. Please check out the skinny on our Smart Summer Challenge, the 6 week fun summer learning campaign I’m running with Candace and MaryLea, where we’re challenging all parents to do what they can to throw in a little bit of fun learning every day (or as often as they can!). And seriously–summer reading counts!! So link up your ideas through the whole week and win prizes. That’s how much we love our readers and value summertime learning!
AND. . . if there’s more today:
Tell me what your kids are reading this summer for a chance to win a Summer Reading Prize Pack from the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club!
– Grand Prize: Pottery Barn Kids’ reading chair and a Marc Jacobs Nylon Tote (for mom!)
– 5 First Prizes: Personalized Pottery Barn Kids’ Beach Tote
– Children’s Book-of-the-Month is now featuring the My Summer Reading Series! Kids receive 2 great books at their door each month all summer. $6.99 a book PLUS a free $25 Restaurant.com gift card! Check out the different book series, find a book you love and tell us the book title in the conversation for an extra entry in the contest!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs June 28 – July 22, 2011. A random winner will be announced July 27, 2011. Official Rules