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Games With Books

Games With Books

by Kaye
Everyone knows how important it is to read with children. But how can you continue your child's learning experience and enjoyment of a story once you close the book?

In her engaging new book, Peggy Kaye shows parents and teachers how to play learning games based on classic children's books. Games with Books features 14 picture books, from Harold


Everyone knows how important it is to read with children. But how can you continue your child's learning experience and enjoyment of a story once you close the book?

In her engaging new book, Peggy Kaye shows parents and teachers how to play learning games based on classic children's books. Games with Books features 14 picture books, from Harold and the Purple Crayon to Bluesberries for Sal and 14 chapter books, from Winnie the Pooh to Charlotte's Web. For each book, Kaye provides a summary and then offers three to four games that will keep kids entertained while they are practicing valuable reading, writing and math skills. The games require few materials and can easily be played both in home and at school. They cover a wide skill and age range. In addition to her creative and fun approach to learning, Kaye offers a wonderful bonus in her new book: a selective list of great children's books that no reader -- young or old -- will want to miss.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Peggy Kaye, author of Games for Learning, suggests using The Carrot Seed to teach early measurement concepts and Charlotte's Web to introduce multisyllabic words in Games with Books: Twenty-eight of the Best Children's Books and How to Use Them to Help Your Child Learn from Preschool to Third Grade. Each activity comes with suggested grade levels, necessary materials and a listing of the skills addressed, illustrated with Kaye's line drawings. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This well-known author of learning games for children has taken 28 familiar children's books and designed games to extend the learning of preschool to third grade-age children. In the introduction, the author stresses the importance of adults reading to children. She suggests that adults, whether parents or teachers, extend the learning by playing games using a particular text. Each of the 28 books has several suggested games. For the preschool book, The Carrot Seed, the author suggests measuring with carrots, painting with carrots and planting your own carrot seeds. The Borrowers, for first, second or third graders, is a story about a family of rats who borrow from the people in the house where they make their home. Ms. Kaye has designed activities for this book that foster working on a creative, long-term project or that foster language skills. Each activity wisely lists the grades for which it is appropriate, the materials needed and very important, the skills being practiced. Activities designed to extend learning should always have developmental goals in mind, and not exist just for the fun of it. Ms. Kaye usually provides the scenario that led to her development of each game. In other words, she explicitly relates a learning need that the activity is designed to fulfill. This is an aid to parents who may have difficulty deciding on the appropriateness of an activity or who need ideas on using books to extend learning. It would also be useful for literacy activities at school. 2002, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
— Meredith Kiger
Library Journal
Kaye has made a name for herself with books like Games for Math and Games of Reading. Here's more in a handy simultaneous publication. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.08(w) x 8.36(h) x 1.08(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Carrot Seed

Written by Ruth Krauss
Illustrated by Crockett Johnson


Good Reading for Preschool and Kindergarten

Should children always listen to their parents? Most adults will say yes, but many thoughtful children will argue otherwise. The Carrot Seed tells the story of a little boy who refuses to mind his parents' sensible advice. In so doing, he sets an elegant example of childhood independence. Should grownups introduce children to such a seditious tale? Yes, absolutely.

The little boy plants a carrot seed, and he is sure his carrot will grow. His mother doubts, his father doubts, his big brother doubts, but the little boy has faith. Despite the naysayers, the boy patiently cares for his plant. "And then, one day, a carrot came up just as the little boy had known it would." How often does a young child manage to prove that he is right and that the grownups are grandly and gloriously wrong? In real life, not often. But it happens every single time you read The Carrot Seed.

Ruth Krauss, the author, creates her carrot fable with just one hundred one words. After a few readings, therefore, your child may memorize some of the pages and start reciting words with you. Such pretend reading is extremely valuable for young children. A child who pretends to read, even if his eyes never land on words, begins to think of himself as a reader. He gets lost in books — the way all avid readers do. He will love his books. A child who already loves books will work hard, when the time is right, to learn to read in the non- pretend version.

In between readings of The Carrot Seed, you might consider turning your attention to one or another of the following three activities. All three relate directly to the book. All three will set your child to thinking in valuable ways. Take a few minutes to read through the activities and pick one you believe will intrigue your child and that you, too, might find amusing. If more than one game appeals, better yet. So long as you and your child enjoy yourselves, you are doing the right thing.

How Many Carrots?

preschool and kindergarten

three bunches of carrots, masking tape

learning about measurement

What a carrot the boy grows! It is huge. It is as big as the boy himself. How does the height of a normal, everyday carrot compare to the height of a normal, everyday preschooler or kindergartner? Why not find out with your child? Before you begin, make sure you have three bunches of carrots — leafy tops removed — in your kitchen.

When you are ready to measure, have your child lie down on a wood or linoleum floor, then run a long strip of masking tape from his feet to the top of his head.

Once the masking tape is in place, your child can stand up. Spend a minute or two studying the tape. If your child has never seen his horizontal length before, he may be surprised at how far the tape stretches across the floor. Next, take the carrots and help your child line them up, tip to stem, until you have a row that matches the tape. If your child is between four and five carrots tall, snap off the top of the fifth carrot so that you get a match. Count and you will know your child's carrot height. It might be four carrots, or it might be four and a little bit more.

If your child enjoyed discovering his carrot height, he might like to find out yours. Go ahead, measure yourself. In fact, measure anyone who happens to be at home.

Why should you measure with carrots instead of in inches or centimeters? First, it is a fine way to expand the fun of The Carrot Seed. Second, it is good to have a child measure with a variety of materials — carrots, or pencils, or paper clips, or all kinds of things — before introducing him to the standard measures. Measuring with various household objects helps a child see the value in comparing different lengths. Eventually the child may notice that not all carrots are alike, and a uniform, universally accepted length, such as an inch or a centimeter, might be more useful. But that realization is for later. It is a bad idea to use carrot-measuring to teach about inches and centimeters. Trying to teach too much will ruin the fun of this game. So stick with carrots for the time being.

Why do you need a row of carrots? Why not grab a single one and push it along the masking tape? When you create a row of carrots, it is very simple to count how many stretch from top to bottom. It is harder, much harder, for a young child to appreciate what a single carrot moving along the masking tape represents. True, your child may attentively watch as you maneuver the carrot along its path, but he will not really understand what you are doing or the reason you are doing it. So it is better to give the child lots of experience in measuring rows of objects he can see and touch — a row of carrots, for instance.

Copyright (c) 2002 Peggy Kaye

Meet the Author

Peggy Kaye, a tutor and eductional consultant, is the author of Games for Math, Games for Writing and Games for Learning. She has a master's degree in early-childhood education from Columbia University's Teachers College and has taught in both public and private elementary schools. She lives in New York City.

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