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Paul serves as the Community Impact Manager of United Way of Rock River Valley.

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Pancake-themed family activities to go along with school readiness book

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"If you give a pig a pancake, she'll want some syrup to go with it. You'll give her some of your favorite maple syrup, and she'll probably get all sticky, so she'll want to take a bath. She'll ask you for some bubbles. When you give her the bubbles..."

In this month's Success By 6 school readiness book, If You Give a Pig a Pancake / Si le das un panqueque a una cerdita, readers of all ages follow the story of a little girl who tries to keep up with the whims of a busy little pig. Written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, this book follows in the family-favorite series of If You Give... titles and demonstrates to young readers cause and effect.

The book is part of United Way's Success By 6 Page Turner Reading Program, which prepares children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed by focusing on family engagement and pre-literacy development. All books are selected by early childhood specialists and materials are provided for English- and Spanish-speaking families.

While you will definitely enjoy reading If You Give a Pig a Pancake aloud, our early childhood specialists compiled some fun book-themes activities to do together with your young reader.

Family Activity One: Reading the Book Together
Reading the book together with your child helps build key pre-literacy skills and develops an interest in reading-related activities. Download the Family Engagement Piece for tips on engaging your child before, during and after you read If You Give a Pig a Pancake.

Family Activity Two: Make Pancakes
As a family, make pancakes together. What do you like on your pancakes? Try tasking different kinds of syrup, offering fresh fruit, or whipped cream.

Family Activity Three: Making Sense of Syrup
Give your child a small amount of syrup on a plate and encourage her to describe the syrup to you, using all five senses. How does the syrup taste? What color is it? What does it smell like? How does it feel? Who likes syrup?

Family Activity Four: Wallpapering
In the book, pig starts to wall paper her tree house. You can use tissue paper, glue, and paint brushes to glue "wallpaper" onto 3-D cardboard shapes, such as an empty tissue box or milk carton.

Family Activity Five: A Pancake Flip, A Pancake Flop
Create pancakes out of foam or felt in the shape of a pancake. On one side of the pancake, write a capital letter, on the other side of the pancake, write the lower case letter. Give children small spatulas and let them flip over their pancakes and find the letters.

You could also write letters on paper plates and have your child serve up the correct pancakes on the corresponding plates.

Each month during the school year, over 4,000 pre-k students in City of Rockford Head Start, The Diocese of Rockford, Harlem District #122, Kreative K Blackhawk Learning Connection, Montessori, and Rockford Public Schools #205 receive their very own book to take home for their personal home library. Parents also receive activities on each book to engage their young child in learning at home and teachers incorporate curriculum developed around each book title into their classroom. Help prepare young students to succeed in school with a donation to United Way's impact in school readiness.



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