Dear Parents and Guardians:
With the beginning of summer and warmer weather, it’s a great time to get outside with your child. Before heading outdoors, turn to page 34 of Ranger Rick Jr. to practice the exercise you’ll do outside.
Ask your child to point to the different objects in the illustrations—butterfly, creek, rocks, cactus, trees, bird, and mountains. What colors can your child find in the pictures? Discuss whether the people look like they are having fun.
Then go outside for a hike. Whether you live in the city, suburbia, or the country, there are always interesting things to share with a child. You may not have a creek or desert nearby, but you and your child can find many things to talk about.
Ask your child to name colors that he sees. How many shades of green can he find? What are the colors of flowers or automobiles? Bricks can be red, brown, or even yellow.
Look for shapes and numbers on your walk. Car tires are circles and windows are often rectangles. Some tree leaves are a similar shape to triangles. Stop signs are eight-sided octagons. House addresses, license plates, and speed signs are all good places to find numbers.
If you have two or more children, make a game of finding things. Asking children to identify colors, shapes and numbers can simulate their interests. It can also help them make connections between the information they find in books and magazines and the world around them.
You can also use Ranger Rick Jr. to inspire your child’s artistic interests. Turn to page 32 and show her the piping plover illustrations. Encourage her to draw animals found on other pages of the magazine, such as the echidna on page 5 or the pig on page 24. If your child is interested, submit the drawing online or mail it to Ricky’s Mail, 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190.
Enjoy exploring Ranger Rick Jr. with your child—both inside and outdoors.
Mike Wilson, Founder
Prekindergarten Reading Encouragement Project
PREP – Helping childhood literacy one family at a time.