Each month, we donate the book that we read to a community organization that supports low-income families and children. Along with the book, we include all of the materials, ingredients, and instructions for a child (or two) to recreate (or adapt) the activities and snack of our book club meeting that month in their home with their parent or caregiver. The organization will choose a family each month to be our “book club pal” and receive our book and activities. We are very excited to be able to share the joy of parent-child reading, playing, and healthy snacking with other parents and toddlers in the area. If you wish to recreate a similar bag for yourself or to donate, here’s what’s in the bag this month:
Book: Secrets of the Apple Tree: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown and Alyssa Nasser (Flash light provided for use while reading the book.)
Theme: Apples, nature, and light
Activity: Go for a walk and collect nature items. Look at the items on the light box.
Supplies: Bag, light box*, nature items collected from walk
Directions: Go on a nature walk and use the (emptied) bag provided to collect small nature items (leaves, pine cones, etc.). Bring the items back to a dimly lit area. Open the light box and push the lights to turn them on. Close the box back up and place the nature items on top. Discuss how the items look different and what you can see when the items are backlit. Let the child explore and play. Turn off the lights after completion to avoid over heating.
Supplies to provide from home: Knife and cutting board (if needed)
Directions: Cut the apple as appropriate for your child’s eating needs and serve!
*How we made the DIY budget light box: We purchased a small clear plastic container (slightly bigger than shoe box size) with a flip top lid (approximately $3). We purchased two large push lights from a dollar store ($1 each) and AA batteries ($1 for a package at dollar store) and placed them in the box. We used tracing paper that we had on hand (but likely could be purchased for a few dollars if needed) to cut out enough to cover the top (used to disperse and mute the light). We then taped the tracing paper to the top and covered it with clear packing tape (again, we had some on hand, but could be purchased for a few dollars.) To use, the lights simply need to be pushed on and the top closed. The box can be made for less than $10.