This month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids is featuring A Color of His Own, Little Blue and Little Yellow, and Swimmy by Leo Lionni. We’re learning about schooling and doing some fishy math practice with Swimmy. Be sure to check out all of the activities inspired by Leo Lionni at the end of this post. Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Inspiration Laboratories.
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy by Leo Lionni is an interesting little book. The art work is typical of Leo Lionni’s watercolor almost dreamlike style. He also uses rubber stamps and pencil to complete the illustrations. We love all of the sea animals Swimmy meets in the story. Appreciate the art as you read the story and be inspired to paint some of your own.
At the end of the story, Swimmy teaches his new friends how “to swim like one giant fish.” Use this as an opportunity to talk about schooling. Ask your child: “Why do fish school? Why do they group together?”
A large group of fish might scare away or confuse predators. (This is what happened in Swimmy.) The predator might not recognize the individual fish and just see one large fish.
Fish are less likely to get eaten when they school. If they swim alone, they are more likely to be targeted. In a large group, they have a 1 in however many chance of being eaten.
Schooling also helps fish find food. They are able to work together as a team and look for food in many directions. They can also look out for predators this way.
There are a few more benefits to schooling but this is a good start.
Fishy Math Practice with Swimmy
- Goldfish crackers, glass gems, paper fish, or something similar to use as fish counters
- 2 dice
- Fishy Math Practice printables – with numbers, without numbers, dice game. Download the printables for your own personal or classroom use.
I created a few printables for our use but initially I just told my son what to do with his goldfish. Create schools of fish of different sizes. Put 15 fish in your school. Make a school with 4 groups of 4. How many total fish do you have?
The first fishy math printable has numbers in a circle. Have your child count out the fish and cover the number as she counts.
Use red fish and another color (or pretzel fish) to recreate the scene from Swimmy.
You could also call out a number and have your child cover it with a fish.
The second fishy math printable has empty circles. Simply count out the fish to create your school.
Place your fish in lines to make counting easier.
The fishy math dice game printable works on grouping. Roll a pair of dice to determine how many groups and how many fish are in each group.
My son liked the third activity the most. He enjoyed choosing different colors for each of his schools and organizing them into groups. Such a fun way to practice math!
You’ll also love our measuring practice activity to go along with Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni.
More Ideas from the Virtual Book Club for Kids
See more activities inspired by Swimmy
Try one of these ideas after reading, Little Blue and Little Yellow.
Little Blue and Little Yellow Sensory Writing from Growing Book by Book
Little Blue and Little Yellow Twisty Cups for Color Mixing and Story Telling from Lalymom
No Mess Colour Theory Exploration from Rainy Day Mum
Rainbow Sensory Bags – Mess Free from The Pleasantest Thing
This activity pairs well with A Color of His Own.
Chameleon Color Change Activity from Still Playing School
What is your favorite book by Leo Lionni?
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