Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer fun - take it inside in extreme heat - Books to read

Green Children's Books for Summer 

My friend Marissa is an ambassador for Barefoot Books and we love these "little literary pieces" so much that they really do dominate our extensive kid book collection.What makes a great summer book, "green" - it introduces topics of respecting nature and it activates little greenies! It also helps when the book is actually "green" as well.

Here are our Top 10 Books for preschoolers this summer:


This book, Playtime Rhymes for Little People" is chosen because not only can you make up new games and activities using the rhymes, it comes with a CD for driving to the water park! What makes this (and other Barefoot Books) more green is that Barefoot also uses soy ink and ancient forest friendly paper (certified)!


Gardening can be an important and family-rich activity. "Grandpa's Garden" reinforces the importance of vegetables in our garden without being preachy. It opens questions and is filled with great illustrations.


We were gifted these Innovative Kids books when my daughter turned 1 and they are favorites. They are made from recycled paper and use soy-based inks (even better for the environment) and show great diversity as well.


Not a book you read with your kid but a great book to have read when it is 105 for day 4 in a row OR if you're in the part of Michigan I'm originally from, you randomly have snow in June :) Full of ideas of things to do, both indoors and out. There is also a Preschooler's Busy Book


A library favorite for us, books on seasons always are great for bridging conversation and discussing how the solar system works also comes up in "Summer Solstice". Take a picture from the page an extend the book into an activity by creating what is happening in the picture with sidewalk chalk or even planting a garden of Sunflowers, using Heirloom Seeds


Dr. Seuss is one of our favorite greenies in regular American culture, for his book, "The Lorax " Included in this hard cover (just don't be surprised when your kiddos ask you to read the "entire book" (yes it can be done in one sitting)) baker's dozen. But you can also find it individually if it suits your family better.


 The Barefoot Book of Blessings is a collection of stories that not only expand a child's awareness of cultures, it has a great pictoral way of reminding even adults to be thankful.


This book is slightly more advanced for the toddler age, but toddlers tagging along with their older siblings will be able to use these ideas as part of the family. Often, I hear of families looking to incorporate volunteering into their family but often non-profits do not allow young children (for a variety of reasons). When we live green daily, we can incorporate volunteering, even if it doesn't mean we aren't in a food kitchen or cleaning a shelter for pets. Make this even greener and download it for Kindle!


I have to give a shout out to a current giveaway I have going on. I really like the idea of being able to truly personalize a kid's book. Champion Me books have 4 books out currently that allow you to personalize the character's name, look and clothing to match your little one. They are awesome e-books (you can use for your ereader or your computer) or as soft or hard cover books.

1) And the top book in my list for the preschool aged children this summer is....

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle! This adventure is a great way to introduce earth topics in a family. It is part of a series of "green" topics and this one I saw at our local book store and I found it to be intriguing. I was worried about it being a bit less green than it hoped, but it did cover the green topics. With water being an important part of summer (hydration! pools and water games!), keeping the idea of recycling and reducing waste is important.

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