Welcome to Read and Play Summer Series! I’m so happy you are wanting to use literacy as a springboard to play. I am sharing some of my favorite early childhood books with you along with developmental activities that will engage your little one and prime them with the skills they need to become a lifelong reader. Let’s dive in!
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Introduction to Hey, Water!
Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis is a beautiful book that illustrates different forms and sources of water. This is a great book to explore in the summer when your child is loving the pool, the beach, sprinklers, and ice cubes.
It’s written more like poetry than a story, which is perfect for exposing your little one to different types of writing.
Let’s peek inside…
Things to Note while You Read
- There are labels for each way that water shows up in the book along with simple sentences or phrases. Try to have your child guess what the picture is showing before you read it and then read the words on the page.
- During reading, get your child thinking about the different examples the author shows for water. After reading, maybe walk around and find some of these things in your own home or in nature so that your child can see how their world relates to the book.
- There are also more complicated concepts in the book such as that clouds are made of water. Definitely explain these concepts, but don’t expect your child to fully understand them. There are diagrams and info charts in the back of the book explaining the water cycle. Depending on how old your child is, don’t feel the need to review them until you think your child is ready. Just enjoy the book!
Vocabulary You Should Uncover
There is a lot of difficult vocabulary in this book so we are going to approach this a little differently than how we would in another Read and Play book.
We are only going to explicitly introduce a couple of words while reading. That’s not to say if your child asks you what a different word means that you shouldn’t explain it. But so you do not overwhelm your child, let’s just introduce and use a couple that are easier to incorporate into your own conversations first.
Every time you reread the book, you can always go back and more formally explain more vocabulary words.
- TRICKLE— describe how when water is trickling, it is moving very slowly. The example is given that water trickles out of a hose, but explain that it can also trickle out of the kitchen faucet or tears can trickle down your face.
Next time you run water for a bath or to pour a drink of water, get the water to a trickling level and talk about how it is trickling so slowly.
- GURGLE— explain how when something gurgles, it makes soft, grumbly noises. Sometimes your tummy gurgles when it is hungry. Practice making some gurgly noises and get your little one to try some too!
When somebody in the family’s tummy gurgles, make sure you point it out to your child.
- SCATTER— tell your child that the word scatter means that something is in multiple places all around you. When they play with toys, maybe the toys are scattered around the living room floor.
Have your child clean up some scattered crumbs the next time they have a cookie or cracker.
Questions to Ponder
Asking a few questions before and during reading is a great way to get your child to start thinking critically about books. Here are a couple of questions that can get you started:
1.Before reading, say, “We are going to read a book all about water. Can you tell me some of the places you know you can find water?”
2. After reading this page:
ask, “Can you point to the water on this page?” (They might have difficulty if you haven’t explained that steam or clouds are really tiny droplets of water so definitely show it to them and explain it).
3. After reading this page:
ask, “Can you point to the water on this page?” (Again, if they haven’t explored or played with ice before, this concept may be new to them. It’s okay to show them and explain it to them!).
Bathtub Letter Hunt
One of my favorite games is the bathtime letter hunt. Simply get some bathtub letters and bubble bath and play hide and seek with your letters. Learn more about how to play by watching this super quick video.
Water play is some of my favorite type of play. Let’s splash right in…
Ice Sensory Bin
Fill a large bin up with ice and some shaving cream from the dollar store. Have your child explore with tongs, measuring cups, or using their hands (for a fun mess!) to try to move ice cubes into a small bucket.
Your little one will love feeling the temperature differences and the different textures between the shaving cream and ice.
This is a favorite bin of mine from Play, Create, Explore.
When finished, have your child clap their hands together to make snow!
NOTE**>>> you may want to do this outside and right before a bath. It can get pretty messy!
Water Tables & Bathtubs
A water table is a great way to let your child freely explore with water play. There are so many engaging water tables available now that you can really just set it out and let your child do the work.
If you just have a plain bin or bucket, stick some different sized cups inside and let your child practice pouring from different cups.
You can also just let your child explore the bathtub faucet or shower head while you are filling up water for their bath. You can place cups and other toys for them to splash around with. If you’ve never turned on the shower head for your little one…give it a try!
Fruity Ice Cubes
While water is a main ingredient in many fun and delicious things, I thought it would be awesome for your child to get in on the process of making ice for their own drinks.
This gets in a little bit of Science that will help your child thinking about how water can freeze into ice.
They can make special ice by adding in a little bit of their favorite fruit to give their next glass of water a hint of fruity flavor.
A simple, yet fun way to paint is to use water toys. First, take a canvas and add painters tape in any design or pattern. If you have a cricut, make an adhesive vinyl cutout that your child loves like a dinosaur or a unicorn.
Then water down some paint in a cup. Think 1 cup water with a penny-size worth of paint. Mix very, very well. Then use one of these or these to suck in the water paint and spray it on the canvas. Wait until the paint dries and then remove the tape.
You’ll have a beautiful tie-dye watercolor painting!
I love this beautiful example from Somewhat Simple.
Loved this Read and Play? Check out others in the Summer Series!
- The Watermelon Seed
- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
- Should I Share My Ice Cream?