forever friends“Seasons come, seasons go. But a little brown bunny and a graceful blue bird discover that friendship, true friendship, lasts forever.”

Forever Friends by Carin Berger is a tender, simple story of friendship between a small bluebird and a brown bunny. Bird and bunny play together through spring, summer, and fall. When cold air arrives, bluebird flies south. The long winter months are lonely for bird and bunny. But their reunion in springtime is pure joy when bluebird soars into the green meadow to play with bunny.

The gentle beauty of the pictures is captivating. Berger creates paper-cut collages using old book pages, magazines, receipts, letters, graph paper and ticket stubs. Little ones will delight in finding the print within the pictures.

Playful Early Learning:

  • Make up a tune for “Hello! Come Play!” Sing, rather than read, bird’s tune
  • Finger trace the dotted lines of bird’s flights
  • Name the colors Berger uses for the seasons. (Green for spring, blue for summer, brown for fall, and dark purple for winter)
  • Notice how the trees change with the season
  • Find words and letters on the collage paper pieces
  • Name the games bird and bunny play (hide and seek, tag, chase, swing, catch, juggle)

“Learning to make friends takes years of practice … teach your children how to socialize effectively – how to make friends, how to keep friends. The greatest predictor of happiness is having friends.” —John Medina


read 1y“This was our second time and it was just as helpful as the first. The three emotional development “nuggets” are truly eye opening and empowering lessons. Re-taking Jan’s program has helped us to get back on track with our oldest and stay focused with our youngest.” —Erin and Wayne Chambers

Baby & Toddler: The Essential First Years in partnership with Winnie Palmer Maternal Education

When: Thursdays, October 30, November 6 and 13, 2014 | 7:00-8:30PM

Where: Winnie Palmer Hospital Classroom One, 83 W. Miller Street, Orlando, 32806 MAP


pumpkin-patch1For early learning at it’s best, head over to your local pumpkin patch this fall.

Pumpkin patches are appealing to children of all ages. There’s a lot more to do than pick a pumpkin. Pumpkin games, pumpkin stories, pumpkin pictures, and pumpkin snacks make a fun family outing. Look for fall festivals, too. Many pumpkin patches include a family festival.

Look at the pumpkin patch as full of opportunities to explore words and ideas with your young child. Turn a walk through pumpkin rows into a time of wondering.

pumpkin-patch4I wonder … What a beautiful way to open a conversation about anything with a child. Just say out loud what you’re wondering about in your head. Connect “I wonder” thoughts to a child’s senses, even a little one who cannot yet tell you what she’s thinking. Pause a moment and let your child’s brain take the challenge.

  • “I wonder how pumpkins feel. Let’s touch. Now rub. Can you tap?”
  • “I wonder if pumpkins smell. Let’s smell one up close.”
  • “I wonder how pumpkins grow. Let’s find the stem.”

Listen and look well with your child. Remember to ask the questions your little ones might be thinking.

  • Why are pumpkins big and small?
  • Where does a pumpkin stem come from?
  • How do pumpkins get to the pumpkin patch?

Here are some more simple ideas to turn a visit to the pumpkin patch into experiences of learning, on the spot. Encourage your child to:

  • Talk about everything you see. Find pumpkins and gourds, smooth and bumpy, orange and yellow. Look for long stems, short stems, and no stems.
  • Play “pretend”. “I’m pretending a rabbit hopped into the pumpkin patch. What should we do?” “I’m pretending …”

Your little one’s learning is worth every minute.