In addition to our monthly book club meeting, this past month, our Baby Toddler Book Club was asked to collaborate with our local Kidical Mass to create a “Books and Bike” ride. Kidical Mass provides free monthly family-friendly bike rides throughout our community. The Books and Bikes ride combined the traditional ride with stops at three Little Free Libraries and ended with a bike-themed story time hosted by our book club!
For those not familiar with Little Free Libraries, these are small waterproof structures set up outside and filled with books to serve as free book exchanges. Participants in the Books and Bikes ride were encouraged to bring a book to trade or donate as we stopped at the Little Free Libraries along the route of our ride. I enjoyed watching the enthusiasm of the kids on our ride as they placed a book in the library and then got to choose a different book. Some were so excited about their “new” book that they plopped down in the grass or got right back in their bike trailers and started reading immediately. Little Free Libraries are such a fabulous way to nurture a love of books and this bike ride, in particular, combined literacy with physical activity, which is a double win (especially for particularly active children).
The ride ended with a Baby Toddler Book Club-style story time and activity. Keeping with a “bike” theme, we read Duck on a Bike by David Shannon. This is an absolutely adorable book about a duck who decides to ride a bike through the barnyard. As he rides along, his fellow farm animals express sentiments ranging from skeptical to envious but in the end, they all decide to ride bikes when a group of kids leave their bikes unattended outside of the farm house.The illustrations are lovely and funny and the youngest toddler through the oldest readers in our group enjoyed the story and were engaged the entire time.
After we finished reading, the kids got down to work making bike license plates decorated with barn-yard animal stickers so that they could have animals “ride” their bikes. The bike plate idea was derived from this site: http://crafts.kaboose.com/bicycle-license-plate.html?CMP=NLC-NL_KabooseCrafts_07_29_bicycle-license-plate, but ours were an even simplier version. We just punched holes in pre-cut cardstock rectangles from a craft store and gave the kids markers and the farm yard stickers to decorate. When completed they each got pipe cleaners to attach the bike plates to their bikes (or mom and dad’s bike). Children of all ages on the ride participated in the craft and were quite proud of their plates when complete.
The bike ride was a great success! We had excellent particpation, beautiful weather, and enthusiastic kids. We were so happy to collaborate with our local Kidical Mass on such a fun event!
Our next Book Club meeting is coming up soon, so stay tuned for the post with all the details!