We just picked up a copy of I Love My Daddy Because… written by Laurel Porter-Gaylord and illustrated by Ashley Wolff.
The name Ashley Wolff graces our bookshelves as one of my favorite illustrator. Her books in the “Baby Bear” Series (Baby Bear Sees Blue and Baby Bear Counts One) were early discoveries of mine and have remained on the “favorites” list for some time now. I adore her use of bold colors which make the pictures come alive. The illustrations are more subdued and, let’s say more conventional or tame in I Love My Daddy Because…, however, the story is one of endearment and it couples nicely with the loving Father-Child animal pairs.
I Love My Daddy Because… tells a story of why babies love their daddies and provides examples from the animal kingdom. Each page depicts a different animal couple.
I picked this book specifically to fill the “Daddy genre” which for some reason or another is generally lacking. There is a great collection of mommy and child books but good father-child books are more rare. My husband was particularly delighted about this story and enjoys finding time to read it aloud, over and over again.
My daughter is entering official preschool years (now almost 3.5 years old!). I was inspired to make this fine motor early learning activity – a memory card game! This game has multiple applications of which promote learning about familial relations, different animal species and their respective habitats as well as fine motor skills, early literacy and phonics.
We began by folding a standard piece of paper into 16 sections (fold in half, half again, again and again). On one vertical half of the paper I wrote the names of the daddy animals (Penguin, Puffin, Bald Eagle etc) and one the other I wrote the corresponding baby names (Chick, Cub, Kit etc). Finally I drew a quick sketch similar to their depiction in the book.
My daughter studied the paper briefly and then went to work cutting out each rectangular cell.
Once they were all cut, we scrambled them up and sorted them out again, matching daddies with their babies. I brought out string and tape to give additional fine motor stimulation. Directions are to put daddy names on one side, babies on the other and cut the string, tape it to connect the appropriate pairs.
Other ways to use these fine motor memory cards:
– Practice word recognition and match to the words in the book, located on the top of each page
– Line in 2 columns (daddy vs baby) and match them with string
– Match by picture
– Match by color clues or sound out the word
– Flip them upside down, lay out in rows and play the traditional memory game
– Keeping a card hidden, give clues about habitat or animal behavior to child and have them guess which card you are holding
Skills this activity teaches:
– Animal names and environment
– Early reading, spelling, letter and sound recognition
– Hand-eye coordination with cutting
– Coloring, copying animal anatomy
– Pattern recognition
More fine motor ideas: