What did we do?
It’s a gorgeous sunny day so I decided to find an outdoorsy book to have some fun with. Lizzy Stewart’s lovely There’s a Tiger in the Garden was the perfect choice. If you’re not familiar, Nora is bored and Grandma reveals there may be a tiger living in the garden. Sceptical Nora goes for a walk in the ‘boring garden’ and (spoiler alert) eventually finds the tiger.
• A cuddly tiger
• There’s a Tiger in the Garden
…and headed for the great outdoors. It was really hot and V was tired so for once she was happy to sit with a book in the shade.
We played with the tiger and compared him to the cover before reading with lots of theatrical tiger waving and hiding under and around the sun bed.
As soon as we’d finished, we played hide and seek with the tiger, with V covering her eyes and counting to ten (and definitely peeking!) while I ‘hid’ the tiger in various parts of the garden. She adored this and, had she been less willing to sit at the start, that would have been how I first started the activity to tire her a bit before sitting to read.
How did it go?
Absolutely brilliantly. V adored the book and loved having a prop to engage with as we read. Once we’d finished hide and seek, she went and sat straight down with the book again and explored it on her own for a bit. She’s currently pushing the tiger toy round in a buggy! There was no mess, we had a lovely 15 minutes of focused play outside and a long-neglected toy was brought to life through the joy of reading.
How can you use this?
• Consider what toys you have that will compliment books you’d like to read
• Match up simple games to the storyline – there’s no hide and seek in the book, but the idea of looking for the tiger was close enough to give us a spring board activity
• Choose books for settings – garden books in the garden, beach books at the beach – not always, obviously, just when opportunity allows