The picture book Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me teaches about moon phases and encourages kids to get up and moving!Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle is a fantasy story about a papa and his little girl who loves the moon and dancing. One night, she thinks about dancing with the moon and asks her papa to get the moon for her. Naturally, he gets a ladder and climbs it to the moon. Then the moon explains that he will be smaller soon. So, Papa waits for the moon to get small, and then carries it down to his waiting daughter.

What a perfect way to introduce the concept of moon phases to a little one! As a bonus, the book suggests that we dance. A gross motor activity during reading time is a perfect combination for preschool!

My daughter, while rarely awake to see the night time moon, often comments on the shape of the morning moon when we go outside in the early hours of the day.

“It’s a banana today!” or “Today the moon looks like an orange.”

So obviously, she is familiar with the moon’s variety of shapes. When the moon is just a small sliver, she’ll ask me to get it for her, just as Monica asks her papa to get the moon for her in the book.

After we read the book this week, we made moons of the various sizes that appear in the book. For kids that did not know about the various phases of the moon, I think this would be a perfect opportunity to encourage them to watch the moon. Make a moon journal and record what the moon looks like each night (or morning, as the case may be!).

I covered our plate moons in foil, and Strawberry insisted we draw the faces on them, since Monica’s moon had a face on hers.

Using paper plates, we made moons: a full moon, a half moon, and a sliver moon. We wrapped them in foil and Strawberry insisted we draw faces, just as the moon had a face in the picture book we read together.

Once we had the moon ready, Strawberry couldn’t wait to dance with the sliver moon, just as Monica did in the book. (The foil soon fell off, so she decorated the white plate as well.)

In the book, Monica is dancing with the moon when it slips between her fingers and disappears, only to appear in the night sky once again. Strawberry, too, wanted her moon to disappear, so she tossed and threw it all around. Since it was just a paper plate, I was happy to encourage her.

Strawberry enjoyed dancing with the moon, just as Monica did in the Eric Carle book we read. The sliver moon got smaller until it disappeared, only to reappear and grow larger in the night sky.

“I’m sweaty!” she exclaimed when she was finally done dancing with the moon. Talk about a fun (and simple!) gross motor activity.

The next time we read the book, I think I may ask my little dancer some more questions. Which things are true? Which are make believe? In real life, of course, we cannot lean a ladder against the moon and climb up to it. In real life, a moon does not talk. In real life, one cannot hold the moon and dance with it.

But for our moon phases lesson in preschool today, all were possible!


This post is a part of the Homeschool Blogging Network’s series, 10 Days of Tips for Homeschooling Moms.

This week, I’m going to share 10 days of Picture Book Preschool Lessons

10 Days of Picture Book Preschool Lessons

Click over to the landing page to see the other posts I will be sharing. You can also see what tips the other homeschooling bloggers are sharing on their blogs.

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