Ok, we've had these "That's Not My" books in our house for several days now and let me just tell you: if I weren't swooning so much over how much my kids love them, I would probably be ready to hide them. I have heard the phrase "That's Not My" about one bajillion times in the last 48 hours. I might actually end up dreaming of bumpy lamb hooves and dinosaur teeth.
But I not-so-secretly love it.
I've seen endless touchy feely books over the years, but the Usborne "That's Not My" Series is hands down the best quality I've ever encountered. The textures are deep, exaggerated, and creative. I bought them thinking Chuck would love them, but what I didn't expect was to have so many learning opportunities for Beckett, my preschooler! We officially have the very first books he can "read" on his own!
We've had such an incredible time exploring and learning with these book that I decided to share with you the four SNEAKY ways we're learning with Usborne's That's Not My Lamb and That's Not My Dinosaur. Your kids will love these bad boys so much, they won't even know they're hitting super important reading (and writing) skills!
Because ALL of the books in the That's Not My series follow the same pattern, there's a REALLY good chance your kiddos will memorize them! This is great for a number of reasons, but Beckett and I have been working on tracking words. This means that he follows the words with his finger as he reads. You can also use a fun tool like a magic wand for this purpose. Tracking is a super important early learning skill. It helps them learn that words move from left to right on the page, and helps them understand that each word on the page matches a word that comes out of their mouth.
2. Sight Word Practice
Again, because the books are repetitive, they provide a great opportunity to start identifying words. After reading the books several times, and then tracking the words as you read a page, try one of these questions:
- Do you see the word, "my?"
- Can you read this word? [pointing to a familiar word]
- What words do you recognize on this page?
3. Using Picture Cues
A strong reader uses context clues to determine words they don't know. As we get older and become more capable readers, we use the context of the paragraph or story to determine the meaning words we don't recognize. Young readers use illustrations to do the same thing! Teaching kids to use picture clues empowers them to be independent readers! The "That's Not My" books are a perfect opportunity to practice this skill because only a few words change on each page. Each time a word changes, there's a clear illustration to guide the reader!
4. Using Descriptive Words [Adjectives]
This was the MOST fun activity we did with this book, and it was SO SIMPLE! After reading the book several times, I went through and asked questions about the pages.
- How does his hoof feel?
- Do his ears feel rough or soft?
- Can you find something bumpy?
Then I challenged Beckett to describe things around the house with our new adjectives! We rubbed the carpet and he determined it was "wooly." We touched a fire log and determined it was "rough." We ran our fingers over the air vent and labeled it "bumpy." So simple and SUCH a great vocabulary builder! I was expecting to have to guide Beckett quite a bit on this activity but he actually was able to choose an appropriate descriptive word for every object in the house I found. Then we switched it around and HE got to find the items and challenge ME!
And that's it! A book that I initially thought would be appropriate only for babies has turned into an excellent learning tool for my preschooler as well. Usborne currently has 36 different titles in this series and is rumored to have more than a dozen new ones coming! Check out the whole collection here.
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