I recently came across this wonderful company called Engage with the Page. Two reading specialists, and moms, Michelle Roderick, M.Ed. and Emily Swan, Ph.D. are passionate about helping children love reading so they created DiscoverLitKits. Each pre-packaged literacy kit centers around a theme with books and a bag full of research-based reading activities to help parents and teachers engage children with reading.
The kits come in this clear bag to keep all of the activities together and make them easily transportable to take in the car, to the doctor, grandma’s house or at school.
My son and I played with this Bugs DiscoverLitKit, for PreK-K, for the past two weeks. The focus book was The Butterfly by Anna Milbourne and Cathy Shimmen. There were so many activities to go along with it that we could explore the book differently each day. The activities included math, writing, poetry, word study, vocabulary, discussion cards, art, science, and fluency. They took from 5-15 minutes each to complete so it worked well for my kindergartner’s attention span to do a Lit Kit activity each day, then let him pick a few books of his choice for reading time.
I loved that the book had teaching tip stickers placed on the cover and on each page to give the parent or teacher additional ideas of engaging the child with the book. I normally try to ask more questions as we read books but their tip stickers gave me ideas I hadn’t thought of.
My son really loved the interactive, engaging parts of the Lit Kit. We played the Ladybug Math Mat several times. He would roll the die and place pom poms on his half of the ladybug then I would roll and place pom poms on my half. Then he would write the equation down on a piece of paper. He didn’t want to stop and filled the entire page with equations.
He also loved the art project and using the magnifying glass to search for words in the book. There were also colored butterfly stickers we used for several activities.
As a mom, I try to come up with several ways to explore a book, through crafts or reading techniques but it takes time to put it all together and most days we just simply read a book cover to cover while asking a few questions. This kit put everything together so you could just pull it out and start using it right away, giving you hours of engaging activities to do with your child. This would be great for busy parents or teachers to add to their library.
Engage with the Page has been developing these scientifically-based DiscoverLitKits for years and have made sure they are kid tested and mom approved too. They have just started to sell them at local boutiques in Utah and now offer some online at www.engagewiththepage.com.
Kits vary in price and they do have a subscription program available so you can try a different themed kit each month. When you add up the cost of the book, supplies, and the time it saves you from having to research and create your own supplemental activities to go with books, these kits are worth the money. Especially because you'll want to re-use it with future children or in classrooms year after year.
Update- they now have DIY lit kits where you can buy the resource kits and print some parts out if you already have the book.
*Disclosure: I was given this DiscoverLitKit to review but all experiences and opinions are my own as we explored this literacy program.