As a child, I adored Clifford the Big Red Dog. He's been a beloved character for many generations and still has loads of fans. But there's a newer animal companion who has wiggled his way into the hearts of many and who is also destined to be a classic: Pete the Cat.
Kids love the groovy blue cat and the fact that he deals with the same daily dilemmas as they do. Pete has a positive, can-do attitude that's echoed in his rhythm and rhyme. The very first Pete the Cat book was written by Eric Litwin ten years ago; now, there are more than 50 Pete the Cat books available, by Kimberly and James Dean, that continue to entertain and delight little ones. You can find Pete the Cat picture books, song books, I Can Read! titles, collections, and even ebooks.
To help extend the learning benefits for your Pete the Cat reader, we've paired six favorite books in the series each with a simple, hands-on activity you can do together as a family.
1. Pete the Cat + Baking
Head to the kitchen after reading Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes. Whip up a batch of cupcakes with your little one. We chose to make blue frosted cupcakes with edible eyes.
Cooking and baking with kids is a hands-on way to practice literacy and math skills — here are six ways cooking boosts literacy skills.
2. Pete the Cat + a Nature Walk
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes was the first Pete the Cat illustrated book. Lace up your shoes and head out on a nature walk after enjoying the book together. As you enjoy your walk, notice and name the colors of things around you. See if you can find the colors mentioned in the book: white, red, blue, and brown. You can even bump up the learning value of your walk with a printable literacy walk hunt.
3. Pete the Cat + Button Play
Pete the Cat keeps his cool even when he loses his buttons in Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. This one tends to be a favorite Pete the Cat book with little ones.
This story begs for some button play after reading. A quick and easy activity is to head to the closet and let your child count the buttons on different shirts they find. See if he can find the shirt with the most buttons or the shirt with the biggest buttons. Your little one will have fun while he's building his math (counting, comparing, and categorizing) skills. (Safety note: Buttons can be choking hazards for kids under four, so closely supervise your kiddo!)
4. Pete the Cat + a Family Dance Party
Queue the music and hold a family dance party when you finish Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie. Not only will kids connect with the story, but they'll also be getting in a dose of exercise.
Need a music playlist? Listen to these 10 literacy-boosting kids' songs to get your dance party started.
5. Pete the Cat + a Family Sleepover
Time for bed usually means the fun must stop for the day, but not if you have a family sleepover after reading Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues. Grab the blankets, sheets, and chairs. Build a makeshift tent and camp out together in the living room.
Of course, you'll need a few more bedtime books to enjoy, so check out some of our favorite bedtime stories!
6. Pete the Cat + a Playdate
Pete the Cat meets a new friend in Pete the Cat and the New Guy. Most importantly, the characters in the book learn that we are all uniquely special.
Let your child invite a new or old friend over for a playdate. Invite them to the table with crayons and paper for a drawing session. Encourage the kids to draw a picture of themselves, and add details that make them unique. Talk about the qualities they look for in a friend. The little masterpieces might even become frameable works of art to you.
And, if your child love truly loves Pete the Cat books, she may also enjoy these cat-themed stories.
It's all good!
To connect with Jodie Rodriguez visit Growing Book by Book.