While the mommy animals are looking for their babies, your child can work on beginning reading skills (like observation and language) as he searches to help find them. The "I-spy" format creates a great environment for talking about the animals your child finds. Look for the featured animal on each page, or make it more challenging by looking for other suggested animals. The surprise pop-out spread at the end creates an extra big hide-and-seek scene.
Before, During and After Reading
To help your child develop an awareness of sounds, play a listening game as you look at the photos on the front cover of the book. Make up some Find me! chants and add an animal sound each time. For example:
Find me, find me! Look and see . . . I say meow, meow. Can you find me? . . . Yes, you found the kitten. What sound does the kitten make? Let’s try another one.
Find me, find me! Look and see… I say whoo, whoo. Can you find me? . . . Let me hear you make an owl sound!
Continue with other animals if he is interested.
Sweep your finger under the words as you read the title of the book. Ask your child what he thinks the book might be about, or about a time he's played hide-and-seek. If he answers with a one or two word response, repeat his words. Then, add some words, to model answering in a complete sentence.
Letter Knowledge and Print Awareness
As you read, bring your child’s attention to the print on the page by making a left-to-right sweeping motion under the words. After a few pages, encourage him to sweep his finger across the print as you read.
You might say:
Here are the words I will read. Watch as I touch them and say the words. I start here (point to the first word) and move along like this.
Invite him to turn the page and touch the words for you as you read:
Can you help Mommy this time and touch the words on this page?
After reading, ask your child if he had a favorite animal in the book. If the animal had a mommy, talk about what the animals might do together. Show a picture of a time when you and your child were doing something together. Encourage him to tell you about what he likes to do with you.
Or, try this at-home activity:
Tell Me About It - Encourage your child to draw and tell of a time you did something together. If he hesitates, start a drawing and ask him to add details.