Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly! Sorting Game

This month’s featured author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Mo Willems. Our first encounter with Mo Willems’ books was over two years when we joined the Virtual Book Club.  We were immediately hooked.  We checked out a great number of books by Mo Willems and fell in love with all of the characters – Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, Cat the Cat, Edwina the Dinosaur, Trixie and Knuffle Bunny, and even the naked mole rats.  I want to share more about Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly! (A Cat the Cat book) including a sorting game to go along with the book.

In Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly! Cat the Cat is playing at the playground with her friends.  She asks each of them if they can fly.  They respond with “Watch me!” and take off in a dazzling display of flight while Cat encourages them below.  What happens when the friends meet up with Rhino the Rhino?  Can she fly, too?  I love the simplicity of this book, it’s fun characters, and it’s lesson in being an encourager and good friend.  My 2.5 year old loves “reading” Let’s Say Hi to Friends who Fly! to himself.  He has the book memorized and says the words as he flips through the pages.  He gets very excited when he can do that with a book.

As we read through the book, we talk about the characters that can fly and those that can’t.  I asked Aiden about other animals and things that could fly and he listed a few.  Then, we talked about things that don’t fly.  Another great Mo Willems book is Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book). Piggie has decided that she will fly, but Gerald says she will never fly.  The book brings up a great point of asking for help to do things.  Piggie cannot fly by herself, but can she with help?  Aiden loves this book as well.  {Aiden loves every book by Mo Willems we brought home.  He usually picks a few favorites to read over and over again from our library stack, but not this time.  They are all equally read and enjoyed.}

Our Activity

I created a sorting activity to go along with the books.  To create this activity, you will need:

  • paper (at least 3 sheets)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • markers, crayons

I folded a piece of paper in half (lengthwise) and then into thirds, so I ended up with 6 rectangles.  I cut up the rectangles, and then the fun began.  I tried my hand at drawing some of the characters from the books.  If you want to learn how to draw Pigeon, check out this page.  Depending on the age of your kids, this would be a great activity all on its own.  Get them to draw Mo Willems’ characters.  You can even upload their drawings to an online gallery at GoMo.net.  My son is too young to draw recognizable characters {anything but scribbles really}, so I did it for him.  While I drew, he did draw along side me.  I even gave him a few of my practice drawings to color.

I ended up with 13 cards of characters and things that I liked.  I wrote the label “Things that CAN fly” on one piece of paper and “Things that don’t fly” on another piece of paper.  Then, we sorted.  Aiden was excited to hold all of the drawings.  I asked him to pick one.  Then, I asked him if it could fly.  He responded appropriately.  I explained to him that we were going to sort the animals and things into two areas.  One side would be for things that can fly and the other side would be for things that don’t fly.  I showed him what I meant and gave him an example.  Now here came the tricky part for him.  When I asked him to place the card on the correct side {reminding him of which side is which}, he would do so, but then, he would pick up the card and move it to the other side.  He understood the concept of sorting in his head, but really just wanted to play with the cards.  He laid them out on the floor, mixed them up, and stacked them into piles.

Aiden also liked to say that Rhino the Rhino and Piggie could fly because they did in the stories.  I told them that yes, they could fly…when they had help.  I asked him if he could fly.  He said, “no…” in that cute little toddler way.  I said, “You can fly if you have help.  Do you want to fly?”  “Yes!”  I picked him up and flew him around the room.

We’re having so much fun with the Mo Willems books we have checked out, and we’re going to get more the next time we’re at the library.  I have yet to decide which ones to buy!

Here are all of the great blogs co-hosting the Summer Virtual Book Club.  Be sure to stop by and see what they’ve done.

Toddler Approved | Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas | Rainy Day Mum | Reading Confetti | Inspiration Laboratories
Play Dr. Mom | Mommy and Me Book Club | Kitchen Counter Chronicles | Two Big Two Little
Creative Connections for Kids | The Golden Gleam | Juggling with KidsTaming the Goblin
Crafty Moms Share | No Twiddle Twaddle | Ready Set Read 2 Me | famiglia&seoul
The Good Long Road | The Educator’s Spin On It | Imagination Soup
3 Dinosaurs | Royal Baloo | BeingAConsciousParent

Here are crafts, activities, and other ideas inspired by Mo Willems’ books linked up by others. Have fun looking through the posts!



This post was originally published on June 18, 2012.

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