|One Banana, Two Banana|
"Banana for Two" is a cute, simple story for young children and their families. This entertaining board book, is perfect for babies and young toddlers. The illustrations are warm and inviting, and young children will likely recognize the familiar setting of a grocery store, and the experience of shopping with a caregiver. This book features a mother and small child (as well as a cameo by the family from "A Fish to Feed", which is a cute touch). Also of note is the fact that both "A Fish to Feed" and "Banana for Two" depict diverse families. Beyond being a cute story for little ones, this book is a great resource for parents and caregivers. As with the other books in the Small Talk series, "Banana for Two" features an educational message for parents, as well as modeling throughout the text. The goal lesson in "Bananas for Two" is in the importance of incorporating conversations at math from a young age, and in noticing the importance of math in everyday life. From my teaching days, I can certainly confirm that many children (and even adults) often question why they must learn math, or how it relates to them. Incorporating math into simple everyday conversations from an early age could certainly have a positive impact on a child's interest in math and early math skills. "Banana for Two" shows how simple it is to do just that-and provides parents with a little extra confidence in their math talk skills.
|This mom is lucky her child hasn't figured out how |
to escape from grocery carts yet...
After reading "Banana for Two" with E and C, I decided to incorporate a few grocery and counting related games into our play time. The stars aligned and I just so happened to receive an email from Melissa & Doug with a free healthy eating grocery list printable recently, and it is a great resource to save for both learning and play. You can print your own copy here .
|Coloring-loved by kids and moms alike|
|E practices coloring in each box-and used a |
colored pencil for the first time.
Since the Grocery List printable has different foods in nice, neat little squares I took this as the perfect opportunity to practice on some focused coloring with E. I pointed out to him that each food could be colored a different color, and helped him slow down and think about which color he wanted to make each food (as opposed to large scribbles across the entire sheet). It turned out to be a very good fine motor exercise for him, as well as a chance to slow down a little bit-which is a pretty big feat for an active almost three year old. Depending on your child's age and skills, you can also use this sheet for practice cutting, gluing, or even drawing. It would also be fun to make a grocery list using pictures cut from store flyers. Another fun way we played with the food list was as a matching game-I simply laid out a few different sets of food pictures and showed E how to match the items, and then count "one, two". I think after playing this way for a little while longer, we will be able to flip the food cards over and turn it into our own homemade memory game.
|Healthy Food Match|
|Everyone needs double onions|
After making our grocery list, we set up a small grocery store with our play foods, and made sure to set out foods we have multiples of so we could have some good counting opportunities. E had a great time choosing between his shopping cart or shopping basket, and picking out the different foods from his "store". Grocery store is definitely the new favorite pretend play activity in our house! E has a little bit of a "Supermarket Sweep" shopping mentality (who else thinks they should bring that show back?!), but we also make sure to take the time and look at the foods he is "shopping" for. This is where I incorporated some of the Small Talk tips from "Banana for Two". As E shopped, I pointed out if he was choosing one or two of each item. E loves to count, and two is his absolute favorite number, so he really enjoyed counting the foods he chose, looking at the foods on his list and counting there, and checking off the items on his list as we shopped.
|Pretend veggies-a fun way to encourage real veggie love!|
|Everything on the list!|
|A happy little shopper!|