Go, Dog, Go!

This month, Baby Toddler Book club read a book that has been on my “to use for book club” list since my OLDEST child was two (three years ago). My kids have both loved the book, Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman, so I knew I had to find a way to work it onto our list!

We read the “Bright and Early Board Books” version of Go, Dog, Go!, which is an abridged and alternate version of the original full length Go, Dog, Go! book. I know some people don’t like this adaptation to the original, but we actually prefer it.  We like it both because of the little ones’ attention spans and also because this version has a really nice rhythm to it.

This book is all about dogs racing to get to a dog party (which is revealed on the last page). The dogs use all types of transportation (cars, bikes, boats, feet) and they all have to abide by the traffic light in the middle of the book. The dog party and the traffic light were the two key features that we picked up on for our book club activities and snack.

All of the kiddos arrived at our book club meeting with a stuffed dog (or other stuffed animal friend). After we read the book with our stuffed animals, we made a “dog party”. What always struck me about the last page of  Go, Dog, Go! is that the dogs look like they are bouncing (or perhaps flinging) themselves up in the air in pure joy. What better way to replicate that activity then to toss our dogs in the air using a parachute?! (A large sheet would work just as well for this activity if you don’t have a parachute.) So that’s what we did! Some of the larger stuffed animals were a bit hard to get to bounce in the air, but we eventually got them going (small-ish stuffed animals probably work best for this activity).

After we played a little while longer with the parachute (with and without the stuffed animals), we played a Stop and Go running game. In the book, the dogs have to stop when the light is read and can go when the light turns green. Our version of the Stop and Go game simply entails letting the kids run until they hear the word “STOP”. They must stop moving until they hear the word “GO” again and so on and so forth. We repeated the stop and go cycle about 4 or 5 times. You can go as long as you and the kids have interest. My kids love playing this game in our basement in the winter when they need to express some energy and it’s GREAT practice at inhibitory control–something that is very difficult for toddlers and is so important for their safety. (Stop means STOP moving.)

After all that activity, it was time for snack! We ate Go, Dog, Go! stop light snacks! I adapted THIS stop light snack to match the stop light in the book and to meet the dietary needs of our group. I used a half of a graham cracker, spread it with sunflower butter (to avoid nut and dairy allergies), and used a round slice of strawberry for the red light on top and a round slice of green grape for the green light on the bottom. This snack was a big hit with the kiddos and the sunflower butter actually went really well with the graham crackers and fruit (not just as an alternate to peanut butter)!

Take a look at the fun we had this month with Go, Dog, Go!

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