“Over and Under the Pond” by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal
These books are SO good! We loved “Over and Under the Snow” and “Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt” so much that I knew I just and to check out this latest edition. I was thrilled to find that it is just as informative and wonderful as the other two in the series. It goes through a day at the pond with a little boy and his mother. What makes it really unique is it’s focus on the ecosystem that they are interacting with by showing the wildlife and processes above and below the pond.
I love how detailed the illustrations are and I love the closer look at nature that this book allows for children. It is wonderful for helping children to understand more about the world around them and is informative enough to help them learn about ponds if they don’t have one nearby to visit. However, if you have one nearby that you can get too, this book is perfect for helping your child know what to look for when they are there and helping them to realize all that is going on around them. Perfect for budding ecologists and helping your child connect to their world.
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I thought a sensory bin activity would be perfect for pairing with this book for kiddos who don’t have a pond to visit nearby or for days where the weather isn’t cooperating for a pond visit. It is so easy to throw together and affords for some fun exploration and creativity. Children will have fun enjoying the sensory experience of this bin as well as the opportunity for some imaginative play with the frogs or some practical discussion about pond ecosystems. The possibilities are endless!
- large plastic bin/tub
- small plastic frogs
- blue water beads
- plastic aquarium plants
- green foam sheets
- small plastic bugs
The preparation for this activity is super fast and simple. Simply fill up your tub with water and place the desired amount of water beads inside and wait for them to grow to their capacity. Then, cut out your green foam sheets into the general shape of lilypads and place everything in the water. That’s it! This is a bin that can easily be played with, put aside, and brought back out for fun again and again! Just make sure you follow safety guidelines with the water beads and small toys and you are good to go.
If you give this Beyond the Book activity a try I’d love to hear how it goes! Share it on Instagram using hashtag #beyondthebook (I’m on Instagram as @book.nerd.mommy) or even just comment here with your thoughts. It would make my day! Or to simply save for later pin the image below.