The hundreds of parents in First Five Permian Basin’s Parents as Teachers program are learning to be their child’s first teacher. They’re excited for the challenge. Topics like counting, shapes and colors are at the top of the list of concepts to teach their kids.
“Our parents may ask how to teach a certain concept like colors or counting, and we love to incorporate books into the process,” explains Beth Meyerson, Director of First Five Permian Basin.
Recently, the program received 10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel, part of the Healthy Kids Collection created by the Mario Batali Foundation, a book that reinforces the concepts of counting and colors.
But this story allowed parents to teach their children much more than these basic concepts. In addition to the benefits of reading aloud to young child, it offered a fun way to model healthy eating and living.
The book shows a family of hungry 10 bunnies and a mother rabbit who has nothing to fill her soup pot. One by one, the bunnies go to the garden. They find vegetables and fruits of various colors and numbers to fill the pot, all accompanied by beautiful illustrations that would entice any hungry young reader. At the end of the story, the family sits down to enjoy a big, healthy pot of vegetable soup.
“Children are making neural connections when they are so young, so what they learn in the first five years of their life is going to imprint with them,” explains Beth. “Whatever message they’re hearing or seeing from their parents is going to plant inside them as a young child. So, if a child has exposure to how wonderful carrots and broccoli are, it’s going to become a part of their ongoing life.”
The Healthy Kids Collection features several books that teach basic concepts while highlighting healthy living and eating. If you work with children in need, you can access these books through the First Book Marketplace.