Updated: Sep 25
Where's Spot? (and series) has so much to offer little hands and minds! That is why it is number 2 on my 10 MUST have books for under two’s
10 MUST have books for under two’s.
1. That’s not my… series
3. Dear Zoo
4. The very hungry caterpillar
5. Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?
6. Goodnight moon
7. There was 10 in the bed
8. Old MacDonald had a farm
9. Nursery rhyme books twinkle twinkle, 5 little ducks etc.
10. There was an old woman who swallowed a fly
I have wanted to make a resource for it for some time but was stuck on how. I had made a couple of story baskets using the Spot soft toy but wanted a resource that could be used in many different ways. I discovered there are many differ sized Spots out there when I asked if family and friends had one they could donate. I ended up with 5 (one was hiding for the photo)
The answer to HOW I could make a versatile resource came when I started making story stones! If you have read my other BLOGS you will know just how much I LOVE them as they are inexpensive and easy to make. I was able to find most of the character images online and adjust the size to fit the stones. I had to find a couple that were not Eric Hill’s illustrations but the children did not seem to mind.
The children adored the flaps as they supported the 'hide and seek' part of the story and who doesn’t love the excitement of lifting a flap, even if you know who is behind, under or inside. I made cardboard flaps to attach to boxes and these worked well but I decided to try felt. These took a bit longer to make with some straight stitches but they were well worth it. The felt offered a new texture and have lasted better than the cardboard (both in e-pattern).
I used the story stones and felt resources in a story basket, as a table top activity and in a storytelling house. The house worked really well and the children engaged in play and retelling the story the most with it. I wonder why? Was it because the storytelling house was similar to the book and where Spot and his friends were hiding.
I left the storytelling house out on a table and on the third day I noticed a child with paper, cellotape, cardboard and a basket. They put all the story stones and felt resources in the basket and then used paper to make walls for the house. I took a photo before the returned with colouring pencils and scissors. They made a window and taped it on the back wall. They added some of the felt resources and stones. This was magical!
I also wrote on stones with a favourite word that features throughout the book NO. I also wrote the positional and spatial language in, under and behind. Because we had so many Spot soft toys we were able to take them around the early childhood setting and the children took photos. We will be using these to make a book soon and a catchy title might be a Where’s Spot at preschool?
I wanted to extend the ‘hide and seek’ aspect as the children were really interested in this, now using the Spot soft toys play hide and seek games with each other. I decided to use the story stones in a tray and let them ’find’ and ‘hide’ them as well as scoop the birdseed. In Māori language week I wrote the words in te reo Māori and we are still using them.
The Spot story stones were perfect for a memory game. We did this together at a group time and then I put it out for the children to use. Spot did go walk about but we found him and I had made a second set just in case. I also asked the children before or after reading the book in group times who was hiding in the cupboard or where the turtle or Clare was hiding which they loved and could recall where.
I also found some stamps at Kmart that had a dog and paw print, we used these with dough and ink. The children made maps and clues to find Spot with them. They will be a great extension for the other books in the series too.
Bringing this book to life was a delight as the children led the play and offered many of the extensions themselves. I simply followed their lead and provided the resources and space for them to do so.
What I also LOVE about Where’s Spot? is that is has been published in over 50 languages, including sign and braille. I used the book in re reo Māori to increase my te reo Māori use with the book and in the early childhood setting. I am also trying to source some in the languages of the children in the setting to honour their first language and support me to learn more of it.
When I make a resource, I have an inkling of how it will go as I have observed the children and I have noticed what they are interested in. But I am ALWAYS truly excited to see what the children do, say and learn. The way children used this resource and extended on it went way beyond my inkling. This is the beauty of teaching.
Until next time.
P.S. it is perfect for supporting positional language, fine motor skills, schema and problem solving.