Friday, May 9, 2008

Red: Seeing Red All Around Us

You know how you never really notice a particular car until you happen to ride in one, then you notice every one you see on the street. Kids are that way about a lot of new things. As they take in new information, it's great for them to point something out when they encounter it day to day. Say, for example, you just spent some time talking with your toddler about dinosaurs. When you see a dinosaur walking down the street, you may say, "What's that?" And your child responds, "A brontosaurus."

I know that's not the best example. After all, scientists decided years ago that there's no such thing as a brontosaurus. So the likelihood that you'd see one walking down the street is pretty low. But you get the idea.

If your kids are learning their colors, there is a great series from Capstone Press about all the colors we encounter in our day. Red, by Sarah L. Schuette, is one we tried out.

The text works well for a wide range of ages, because you can read a little or a lot. Infants will enjoy the large, bold images while you read. If you're reading with younger toddlers, you may want to just read the short, bold text on each page. "Red has petals. Red has thorns. Red has flashing lights and horns." Then ask questions about the rose and the fire truck they see on the pages.

For older children there are larger bits of information in text boxes on the page. "Fire trucks move fast to get to fires quickly. Many fire trucks are red so that people can see them racing down the street."

At the end of this book, you may want to go outside and find other things that are red. Applying what you read in a book to everyday life is a great way for children to internalize what they have learned.

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