two little amigos

What is picture book play?

Reading is such a fantastic tool for learning about our world. Picture books add another dimension to the reading experience for growing minds. When activities are inspired by concepts found in a book, our knowledge and memory of that experience deepens. This is called picture book play. And not just literacy based activities such as retelling, vocab studies and writing. Picture books can teach growing minds so much more!For example a science experiment based on an event in a book can help your little one understand the scientific principle working in that story. Or creating an invitation to paint in the style of the illustrations helps foster their creativity as they learn a new art style.

I have a confession…

I love picture book play and so do my little amigos, however, I can sometimes get stuck in a habit of doing a similar learning activity for every book we read. Yup, I love science connections and creating art in the style of the pictures. But I know my little ones need a more balanced and varied interaction with picture books. Maybe you’re the same, or maybe you just have no idea where to begin?

Our system for picture book play:
I love to be organised and I love a good system that helps me “automate” parts of the thinking process. So I created a simple system for picture book play. I have a jar which is decorated with my son’s artwork filled with craft sticks. on each stick is a word or phrase describing a different learning area. When it comes time for our picture book play I pull out a stick (or let him), and then let that help guide what we do.

For example, I may pull out “discussion”, so we’ll chat about the characters and events in the book in detail. Or I may pull out “letter study” and so we’ll hunt through the book for a particular letter. If I pick “Act Out-Small World” I create a mini world based off the book for my sons to explore. Their are 26 different sticks in our jar.

We want to share it with you!

We find it incredibly useful, and you may too, so we’ve decided to share it with you for FREE! In the eBook you get:

*Step by step guide on how to use and make the jar.

*Pre-made labels that will fit around a standard 400g tin/can. OR you can do what I did and use your child’s art.

*List of words/phrases to write onto craft sticks.

*Detailed explanation of each word/phases.

*An example of each stick in action using the well known story, “Old MacDonald had a Farm.”
Just one of the many labels included in the FREE eBook.

And, we have a hashtag dedicated to the picture book play jar : #picturebookplayjar (on Instagram).

We would love to see how you decorate your jars and see them in action!

Feel free to post a photo, tagging us (@two_little_amigos), and use the hashtag #picturebookplayjar .

If you’re looking for inspiration you can follow the hashtag and check out the ways people are using them.

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Stay joyful,


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