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Books for Hot Days
Though the sun is hot, you can stay cool. Would you wave a fan or jump in a pool? These summer days won’t last too long, so grab a book and read along.
By Maria Spriggs
Three books and activities for babies:
Llama Llama Sand and Sun: A Touch & Feel Book (by Anna Dewdney). A family trip to the beach leads to fun exploration for this little llama. Have this book handy for your next beach trip. After reading, explore the world around you. Splash in the water, feel the texture of sand, and have a different kind of tummy time with a towel under the shade of an umbrella or on the grass. If you are far from the beach, you can make your own fun with water splashing or sand sifting in a plastic bin. Add floating toys to the water or seashells to the sand for added excitement. For safety’s sake, remember to supervise carefully.
Summer Color! (by Dianne Murray). Colors are all around, even on a rainy day! Identify the many colors that summer brings as you read this book to baby. If the weather is less than perfect, don’t let rain dampen your fun. Watching the rain from a window is an opportunity for you and your child to mimic the sounds you hear. Singing a rainy day song like Rain, Rain Go Away is a fun way to chase away the gray. Dressing in your rain gear and heading out for a wet adventure can be a part of your summer fun, too.
I See Summer (by Charles Ghigna). A walk through town highlights the uniqueness of summer for the narrator of this story. And this book is the perfect way to launch your next outdoor adventure. What will you and baby see this summer? Try a fun game of I Spy and point out and touch different objects that make summer, summer. Is the sun brighter and hotter than usual? Is there a tree that is covered in bright green leaves?
Three books and activities for toddlers:
Captain Jack and the Pirates (by Peter Bently). Jack and his crew explore the wilds of the ocean on a hot summer day! After reading this story to your toddler, explore the outdoors and allow your imaginations to roam. Don’t just walk down the sidewalk or play at the beach; tiptoe with a paper towel roll in hand to look through and find your way. Or transform a cardboard box into a pirate ship ready for sailing. (Add more fun by coloring or painting the box with your little one.)
A Lullaby of Summer (by Natalie Ziarnik). Bedtime is always good for story time. This narrator reflects on her summer day, and you can do the same with your little one. Ask them what they remember about their day and what their favorite part was. Let your child tell their own story using the many new words they’ve been learning.
Summer Supper (by Rubin Pfeffer). This family has summer traditions that may inspire your family to start your own! Read about gardening, cooking together, and dancing. Then try these activities with your little one and loved ones. Simple meal ideas can be found in the Toddler Kitchen!
Don’t miss this opportunity to add a little fun to your months in the sun. Fall will be here before you know it!
About Baby Steps
This article was featured in Baby Steps, a ZERO TO THREE newsletter for parents and caregivers. Each issue offers science-based information on a topic of interest to parents and caregivers of young children—from sleep to challenging behaviors, and everything in between.