{BFIAR} The Yellow Ball

This week we have spent time reading The Yellow Ball by Molly Bang.  This is a very simple book, and I wasn’t sure if the kids were going to enjoy it, or if we were going to have enough things to do – but we had a GREAT week and so much fun!  It’s amazing how rich these lessons can really be.  Just by talking about ideas I can see the kids making connections in to the world around them.  Everywhere we go, I hear, “Look Mommy, just like in The Yellow Ball!”  Or whichever book Libby happens to be referencing.  We certainly love Before Five in a Row and it has become a way of life for our family!

Our Go-Along Books


There are many examples in the book where reflection is illustrated.  Libby was able to point these out, and we talked about where the reflection comes from.

We used foam yellow balls and paint to ‘stamp’ yellow balls onto our papers.



Thunderstorms – The yellow ball became caught in a storm in the middle of the sea.  We read a short book on thunderstorms from our library.  Ian loved this book, and we read it over and over again!  He called it the ‘boom’ book.  We painted ‘thunderheads’ which are storm clouds.




We watched the Magic School Bus episode ‘Kicks Up a Storm’, and then that evening during our bath we recreated a storm.  We blew outward as the air started to ‘kick up’, and then the rain started (shower) and then came the lightening (lights on and off) and the thunder (“boom!”).  We rarely have thunderstorms here in the Valley, so much of this information was new to our children!  They had a blast.

Forces – We discussed the forces needed to move the yellow ball on its journey, and the other forces that surround us.  We did several small experiments to see the forces in action.

An object cannot move if a force is not placed against it.  We got our own yellow ball and placed it on the ground.  It will not move unless we pushed it, pulled it, or the wind pushes it.

An object in motion stays in motion.  Our ball would keep going and going if it weren’t for another object or person stopping it, or friction.  We rolled our ball into the wall to show that the wall stops the ball.  We rolled our cars across the carpet and the kitchen floor and compared how far the car rolled.  The car rolled less on the carpet because of the increased friction.

A ball floats in water due to the force of the water pushing up upon the ball.  We put our ball in water and pushed it under and then let go.  It popped back up from the force of the water pushing upward.  We also blew the ball from one end of the container to the other, simulating the force of the wind that the yellow ball needed to float on its journey.


All things are pulled down by gravity.  We dropped our ball and watched it fall straight downward, because of gravity.

Energy transfers from one object to another.  We lined toy cars up in a row, and pushed the last one.  The energy transferred to the next car, moving it, and to the next car, moving it – a chain reaction.

ImageTaste Buds – We read about our taste buds in the Flip Flap Body Book by Alistair Smith.  We made homemade lemonade and ‘yellow ball’ sugar cookies and compared the sweet and sour tastes.  I hung yellow lanterns for our special snack time on Friday when they got up from their naps.



cookies and lemonade

Math Concepts

Libby and I reviewed sphere vs. circle, and we gathered all of our yellow balls, and Ian placed them in order from smallest to largest.


Outdoor Fun!

We spent lots of time playing ball this week – kicking, tossing, and rolling!


In the book there are many directional terms: above, under, high, low.  We practiced using these terms with the ball.


Other fun things we’ve been doing this week:

We read Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.


Libby practiced her letters:


We had a fun day out on the town to see a marionette show put on by our local library.  It was the story of Aladdin and was really cute!  It was at the Hanford Auditorium.  Libby and Ian were so excited to be in such a grand building!



Then we walked down to the pizza parlor and the kids topped their own pizza for lunch!


And I caught Ian checking out the vacuum.  He’s always so curious about how things work!


I can’t believe we only have two more BFIAR titles to row before we have done them all!  We’re taking a week off to learn about dinosaurs as there is a dinosaur exhibit coming local this weekend.  We’re looking forward to it!

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