Every month we love participating in the Book Club for Kids. Julia Donaldson was a new author for us this month. The book that we found was a delightful little story called A Squash and a Squeeze. My daughter was fascinated by the story immediately. It has rhythm, rhyme, and some simple counting.
I appreciated the moral of the story: Contentment is a matter of perspective. A wise old man tells a grousing old lady to fill her "too small" house with animals, then take them out again. When she finally removes the animals, she's happy with her house. My kids had no idea why when we first read the story.
To try to help my kids understand what was happening to the old lady, we acted the story out. They laid in my daughter's play tent while I read. Each time an animal was added, we added a pillow to the tent. The tent was pretty full by the time the wise old man instructed that they should be removed.
We repeated this three times in a row and again the next day, so I think it is safe to say that this simple activity was hit! It was also handy example of density, which came in useful when my four-year-old started asking questions about bubbles a few days later.