This blog post was written by Honey Schnapp, PCHP Coordinator in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
We are so excited for the opportunity to introduce Ellen Mayer’s new book, Banana for Two, to our families. It made its debut as part of our curriculum this year at our Spring Family Library Event on April 3rd. We invited families and their friends to join us in the community room of a centrally located library for a morning of active and quiet activities, songs, and stories.
Several of our activities revolved around the themes of the book, including a lotto game with the grocery shopping list items from the story, and a game that has children matching one item [a banana with a banana] or two items [two yogurts matched with two yogurts].
At our group time, we started the activities with songs, including a movement chant called “Go Bananas” and “I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas.” Children had props of apples and bananas to hold up during the latter song.
We were thrilled and honored to have Ellen join us to read her book to our families. Each family was given a copy of the board book, so they could follow along during the reading and take the book home to read again and again. Ellen also talked with caregivers about the early math that’s in the story and how toddlers learn about amounts of one and two through hands-on activities. Ellen is a former Early Learning Specialist with our program, so the reunion with the staff was additionally delightful!
Children left with a copy of the book and parents were given a copy of the publisher’s math activity handout for the book, “Talk About Two” (downloadable below). Families also took home a Banana for Two lotto matching game that we had made up.
Banana for Two is a perfect addition to our curriculum – not only does it highlight the lovely relationship between this mother and child, and show conversation about everyday experiences of shopping and eating, it also introduces talk about math concepts that are a part of these everyday experiences in a way that very young children can understand. When we use it in our food unit next year, we will be modeling for families some of the natural math talk that can happen while shopping at the supermarket or sharing a snack.
Part of Ellen Mayer’s Small Talk Books® series, published by Star Bright Books, Banana for Two (2017) features a Mama and her toddler on an outing to the grocery store that’s a fun opportunity to talk, laugh, and learn a little about the math concept of quantities (of one and two). The book has vibrant art by the illustrator of the series’ board books, Ying-Hwa Hu, and is also available in a Spanish/English bilingual edition. To learn more about the early math within this story see here.