Monthly Archives: February 2012

Toddlers & Tea

I am currently reading Wuthering Heights, and it is a bit slow-going as it is such a change of pace for me. I normally read contemporary fare, but I am enjoying it and will hopefully hit a good stride with it soon.

Until then! Let me talk about how much I love the adorable trio of Eric Carle books called All Around Us. It includes three board books, one about the sky, one about the earth’s surface, and one about things that are underground. The bold pictures and simple words work great during preschool storytime. Each page is easily associated with a gesture too, like the sign language for “apple” when there is an apple tree, or the sign language and sound for a cat.

If you happen to lead preschool children in any capacity, there are a number of ways to engage the books:

1. Color, like on the page about rainbows
2. Sound, which can be applied to nearly all of them
3. Place, which is either Sky, Earth, Underground, or Sea.
4. American Sign Language, which can be applied to all of them
5. Gesture association, like beeping a car horn or mimicking a picture motion

The age group I work with – 16 months to 2+ years – responds very well to these, and let me tell you that it is no easy feat simultaneously engaging 10 rowdy toddlers on any given day. These books are an excellent everyday tool, allowing children to imagine the things all around them and, in effect, interact with those things. They especially like the alligator in the book…they all clap their hands tight and shout “CHOMP!” I like them a lot, too. The art is simple and beautiful.

While we are on the subject of not Wuthering Heights just yet, I need to tell you that although I am an Earl Grey devotee, this Christmas my fiance bought me a box of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice. It. Is. Amazing. It is a bold cinnamon explosion, and if you are a fan of chai then you will enjoy this aromatic offering. It has been a great wintertime tea, and I suspect that it will be just as lovely over ice as the warmer months set in.

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