By the end of February in the Midwest, a tropical vacation sounds apropos. Our book club this month took us to a presumably tropical location where a coconut tree grows: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, John Archambault, and illustrated by Lois Elhart. This contemporary children’s classic book is about alphabet letters that successively climb a coconut tree and fall down when they fill the tree. The book is brightly illustrated, reads rhythmically, and was a MEGA-hit with the little ones! There seemed to be unanimity amongst the mommies that the kids asked for this book over and over again throughout the month! There is a shortened version of the book: Chicka Chicka ABC for kids who aren’t yet ready to sit through the full-length version. Some of us had the shortened version and some had the full version.
We read the full version when we met because we were able to obtain an oversized copy from the public library. We also played a song version of the book. It was a bit hard for the kiddos to focus on the song with all the distractions that a book club meeting brings, but personally, my son adores the song and insists that we ONLY SING the book now! During our book reading time, we passed around a real coconut so the kids could see what one actually looked like.
After we finished reading the book, we (literally) dug into some letter hunting. We put out a box of cornmeal “sand” hidden with plastic letter magnets and let the kids play. We showed them how to stick the letters on a paper coconut tree that was attached to the back of a cookie sheet (thanks to my early-childhood educator mom for that idea). After a (short) while, we also just put out some sand toys and let them play however they chose.
Toddler archeology is exhausting, so after sufficiently dispersing cornmeal in every direction, it was time for a snack! Keeping with our theme, we made “chicka chicka” trees out of a banana (cut lengthwise and then sliced horizontally) for the trunk and kiwi slices for the leaves. We then sprinkled Alpha-Bits cereal onto the trees. The snack came from a combination of ideas that I found on Pinterest. A simple search for “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack” will derive plenty of sources of inspiration.
Check out the slideshow of our meeting below to see pictures of our activities!
Hopefully our enjoyable “warm weather getaway” this month will get our creative juices flowing! Next month, we’ll be reading a book about creatively using artistic accidents: Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg.