Animals, books, crafts

Dog Appreciation Day is coming up… let’s read DOG stories! And make crafts, count dogs, and have fun!

Maltipoo Dog Reading Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a Dog a Donut.”

Did you know that August 26th is Dog Appreciation Day? Pretty cool! Let’s celebrate by reading dog stories, making a dog paper bag puppet, and doing a fun Dog-Themed I Spy challenge, !

DOG STORIES:

There are so many great dog stories out there to read — it’s hard to narrow it down to just five.

When I asked my son what his favorite dog book is, he immediately said Karma Wilson’s book, A Dog Named Doug. Doug the dog is a digging machine. He digs a holes to everywhere and gets into a bit of trouble along the way. The book ends happily with Doug digging a hole into his family’s bedroom for a bedtime cuddle. My son loves this book and he laughs every single time we read it. We have checked this out from our library numerous times, and we hope you will check it from yours too! It is also available on Amazon if you want to buy it.

Goodnight, Good Dog by Mary Lyn Ray is one of my son’s bedtime favorites! It is a sweet and soothing story that is perfect for bedtime cuddles. The dog isn’t ready to go to bed yet, and even though everyone and everything is sleeping, dog can’t help but think about its fun day. As dog explores the sleeping house, it begins to grow tired, but just a little bit. Eventually dog falls asleep in its moon-shaped bed and has sweet dreams until it is time to wake up and play again.

The dog in the story, Love is My Favorite Thing, by Emma Chichester Clark, reminds me so much of one of our dogs — both of them are so joyful and so full of LOVE (even if they do get into a little trouble)! I could substitute my dog’s name for the character’s name and it would basically be a true story! In this book, the dog, Plum, and her family show the unconditional love we all feel for our family, both two and four-legged.

If you are a fan of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, then you’ll also like Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Dog a Donut. Turns out if you give a dog a donut, a great story ensues! This cute story is a fun read-aloud and good introduction to sequencing. Be prepared for your little one to request a donut to go with this book! Find a copy at your library, or buy it on Amazon.

Our last dog book is Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion. We discovered this book at our library and checked it out so we could read it at bedtime. This is a really cute story about a little pug who gets jealous of the new pet pig, who seems to disrupts all of pug’s routine activities. Kids experiencing their own bouts of jealousy with new siblings or classmates, as well as kids who are anxious about changes in their routines, can relate to pug’s feelings. Ultimately the two become friends and both of them learn that even though new changes can be worrisome, it can also lead to fun experiences and new friends!

DOG PAPER BAG PUPPET:

Make your own super cute dog puppet from a paper bag and construction paper!

First, pick out which color ears, nose, and tummy you want your dog to have. Cut out 2 ears (we made long, floppy ears), an oval tummy, and a small, round nose. Cut out a long, pink tongue – make sure it is long to partially hide it under the flap of the bag.

Now that your pieces are cut out, it is time to glue them on to your paper bag. We used a glue stick for this. Make sure that the folded side of the bag is facing you before you start glueing.

Glue on your ears, nose, and tummy. Then, lift the flap and glue your tongue down onto the bag, so that it partially under the flap. When you put your hand in the bag and move the flap, it will look like your dog is opening its mouth.

Last, pick out googly eyes for your pup. Attach them to complete your dog puppet.

I SPY CHALLENGE:

How many of each dog can you find in this picture? Write the number in the box next to the picture of each dog.

Hope you enjoyed our Dog-themed fun!

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate Program. This means that if you buy something through one of the links I posted, then I get a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for your support! Happy reading 🙂

Animals, Beach, books, crafts, Summer

BEACH-THEME books and activities

Whether you live near the ocean or not, you can enjoy beach-theme books and activities with your little one at home. Check your library for beach-theme books!

Beach-theme books and activities for preschool and kindergarten
Beach-theme books and activities

We made it to the beach! And of course, we had to bring some of our favorite beach-themed books with us 🙂 Books, waves, sandcastles, and lots of splashing made for a great time!

Enjoy some of our favorite beach-theme books and activities with us!

Beach-Theme Books

Duck and Goose Go to the Beach

Duck and Goose are some of our favorite picture book characters! My son has loved them for years (and I’ve loved them even longer!). We’ve been reading Duck and Goose stories since he was a baby. Their books come in a board book format that was perfect for when my kiddo was in the grabby stage, and now that he’s older, we read the picture books. We have actually brought Duck and Goose go the Beach and the stuffed animals to the beach with us a few times now 🙂 In this book, the two friends set off on an adventure and find themselves at the beach! But do they actually the sand, sun, and waves? Read it and find out 🙂

How to Catch a Mermaid

My son LOVES Adam Wallace’s How to Catch a Mermaid! It’s a fun book about 2 kids and dog who hatch all sorts of plans to catch a mermaid because who wouldn’t want to have a mermaid friend, right!?! Spoiler, the kids get themselves trapped instead and the mermaid saves the day! This book has rhyming text and bold, bright pictures that compliment the fun story. This has been one of my son’s favorites for a over a year now and we hope you like it as much as we do!

The Sandcastle that Lola Built

The Sandcastle that Lola Built by Megan Maynor– based on the “House that Jack Built” story, this is a cute book about a little girl’s beach day. In this great example of teamwork, Lola and her new friends work together to make a sandcastle for mermaids. Fantastic pictures and rhyming text make this book a winner!

After reading this, we had to make our own sandcastle 🙂 And just like in the book, the tide washed away our castle too!

Inky's Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home
Inky’s Amazing Escape

Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery — my kiddo loves this book! It is a true story about an octopus named Inky, who escapes from an aquarium in Australia and makes its way back to the ocean. We learned a lot about octopuses from this non-fiction picture book, and we were fascinated by Inky’s journey. My son was so excited when he learned that Inky liked playing Legos just like he does! Out of all of the books written about Inky, this one is our favorite. Sy Montgomery is a gifted storyteller and we were absolutely fascinated by this amazing octopus. I check out lots of library books for my son and I to read together, but this is one book that we felt that we needed to own. We truly love this story and read it over-and-over again.

Over in the Ocean

My son got Over in the Ocean: in a Coral Reef for his birthday recently and it is AWESOME! It has fantastic pictures that were formed from clay by artist Jeanette Canyon that perfectly compliment Marianne Berkes’ sing-songy text. You and your little one will want to study these pictures over-and-over again to get all of the details incorporated onto each page. This book introduces a variety of cool sea creatures. It also lends itself well to movement activities that preschoolers will love to do. At the end, there is a seek-and-find activity to search for all of the sea creatures from the book, as well as a sneak-peek into the clay creations. We had so much fun reading this at the beach!

 "Beach Day" by Candace Ransom. This is great for preschool and kindergarten beach-theme books and activities.
Beach Day!

Candace Ransom writes great beginning-reader books. The text is simple, but not boring and the pictures capture the joy of the kids’ adventures. In Beach Day! the family heads out to enjoy the beach together. The book captures the fun, excitement, and joy of family outing at the seashore. The kids gather seashells, build a sand castle, and see some neat sea creatures. As you read this one with your little one, you just can’t help but get caught up in the fun! Be prepared to read this multiple times 🙂

The Snail and the Whale

Another one of our favorite authors is Julia Donaldson; her books are perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners! For our beach-theme stories, my son and I read A Snail and a Whale. A snail yearns to explore in this rhyming book. However, snail finds that its explorations are hindered by its size. When whale offers to help snail take a journey, it is a dream come true. Snail enjoys adventuring with the large whale. Uh-oh, whale gets stuck and it is up to the small snail to help its new friend. This story goes to show that no matter how small you are, you can still help others.

Beach-Theme Activities —

To go along with our beach stories, my son had fun doing a beach and an ocean-themed I Spy challenges and an ocean-themed Find The Differences worksheet.

Beach I Spy

Download them for your kiddo to enjoy too:

Beach-Themed I Spy— count how many of each beach item you can find!

Ocean-Themed I Spy — count how many of each ocean creature you can find!

Ocean-Themed FIND THE DIFFERENCES: can you spot 5 differences between the 2 scenes?

BEACH alphabet letter tracing worksheet: practice tracing the letters and then color the picture!

Beach alphabet letter tracing

CRAFTS —

SPOUTING WHALE: this turned out super cute and my kiddo really enjoyed making this.

Spouting whale construction paper and tissue paper craft for preschool and kindergarten beach-theme books and activities.
Spouting Whale

Supplies needed are white and blue construction paper, pencil, scissors, blue tissue paper ( 1″ x 1″ squares), glue stick, white school glue, and googly eyes.

1. I drew a whale shape on the blue paper and cut it out.

2. My son used a glue stick to glue the whale onto the white paper. Next he rubbed the glue stick all over the bottom of the paper and glued on the blue tissue paper squares to make the ocean water.

3. Together, we wadded up the blue tissue paper squares to make the water spout.

4. Using the white school glue, I added glue dots in the pattern of the whale’s water spout and then my son added the wadded the tissue.

5. To complete his craft he added the googly eyes.

TOILET PAPER ROLL OCTOPUS:

My son loves Inky’s story so much that we decided to make an octopus craft.

Inky the Octopus toilet paper roll craft for beach-theme books and activities
Inky the Octopus

Supplies needed are an empty toilet paper roll, washable paint, paintbrush, kid safety scissors, googly eyes, and a marker.

-First we painted the toilet paper roll red. (use whatever color you want). Then we let it dry.

-After it dried, my son made cuts in the bottom of the toilet paper roll to make 8 legs. He gently pulled each leg up so that they legs splayed out and his octopus could stand.

-Then he attached the googly eyes and drew a mouth, and our cute little octopus was ready to explore our house!

Hope you enjoyed our beach-theme books and activities!

To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate Program. I get a small percentage of the sale if you buy a book through one of my links. Thanks for your support! Happy reading 🙂