The Yellow Ball {B4FI♥AR}

~Bo is 3 years, 7 months~

It's so fun to start a new adventure of rowing with Before Five in a Row with Bo. I've done a couple rows with him this year to get my feet wet, but it is exciting knowing I will be jumping in with both feet!

I mentioned in my last update about Bo that he is really just wanting to read books with me, so B4FIAR is perfect, but he is also eager to do fun activities. So, my focus, as you will see, will be lots of reading with some hands on activities. I have lots of go-along books to share. I so enjoyed the memories and connections we made reading together.

Day 1 - Introduction to the Book, Art, and Science

I planned this row just like I planned for Storm in the Night. I had a little more time to gather items and it is so much easier when I do. I wanted to get a few books planned this way before I even started, and I was able to get 3 planned before Bo was begging me to row The Yellow Ball! Of course, he was excited by the goodies in the bin (that I kept out of reach). :)
yellow ball

We read The Yellow Ball, found the yellow ball on each page and I surprised Bo with a yellow ball (an idea from the manual).

Aw, he hugged his ball just like the boy in the story. Bo loves his ball. He has been including the ball in play, taking it in the car with us wherever we go, and sometimes remembers to take it to bed with him. ♥ 
Bo loves his yellow ball

We did the lesson from the manual on the title page with chalk pastels. I let Bo draw it just how he saw it and I love how it came out.

He started with white pastel (maybe for the white highlight on the ball or the horizon?).

yellow ball picture

One of the surprise treats in the bin was a yellow gum ball for our memory making treat later. I don't buy these, so it really was a treat.

yellow gum ball

I didn't have anything else planned for today, but Bo asked me over and over to "do more [school]." (He says "stool" because he can't say the /k/ sound.)

So, I pulled out Mali and Elli's lapbook from when we rowed it years ago and let Bo do some of the activities.

Science: Bounce Test

I saw this awesome idea at Memorizing the Moments from her Alphabet in Simple Science series and knew I would do this for The Yellow Ball!

For our Bounce Test, we made a prediction of which ball would bounce the highest and then measured how high each ball bounced using a piece of tape. Very informal, but a good introduction to making predictions, testing, and measuring.   (I used a lesson from Supercharged Science to talk about potential and kinetic energy with Mali and Elli. What happens to the energy from the ball when bounced? Some of it is released in the bounce as heat and sound!).

yellow ball science

Day 2: Playing Ball Activities 

Today, I planned to do the Playing Ball activities from pp. 116-117 in manual. Bo had speech this morning, so I brought our book and ball to speech and his therapist read the book to him and played balls with him! They jumped on a trampoline with a giant ball and he had so much fun. I heard her while reading the book and she made a comment about the ball finding a new home at the end of the book. I always assumed it was the same boy that lost his ball and came back to the beach to look for it, but it makes sense if it found a new home, too. Wondering now!

I was too tired to do anything else this morning. In fact, after speech and a trip to the store I went home and took a nap! Later in the afternoon, I filled some water balloons and we played a water balloon toss game.

yellow ball fun

Bo also started swim lessons and had Itty Bitty Soccer today. (Good thing I took a nap!)

Day 3 Setting - The Beach, Memory Making Treat

Bo made a beach sand cake with a yellow gum ball. I made the pudding mixture and gave it to him with crushed cookies for the sand and let him assemble the cake in a new sand pail. And then we read books about the beach.

yellow ball treat

This one was so cute and challenging. Roxanne decided to go to the beach and everything she wanted to take with her could be counted on one hand: the turtle, the umbrella, the thick book of stories, the ball, and of course, her baby.

But when the car won't start, she has to find a new way to get to the beach and each time she finds a new way, something can't go with them and Bo had to guess what was missing! By the end of the book, he was getting better at guessing. Cute story, fun to read.

I am reading lots of nursery rhymes with Bo - I'll share why soon! This week we read nursery rhymes about the beach.

Day 4: Beach Ball Fun and Reading About Storms

I blew up a beach ball for Bo to play with and we floated it down the little canal at one of our favorite parks in town.

The ball in the story goes through a storm, so I read Waiting Out the Storm. A lovely story with more rhyme.

Itty Bitty Soccer

Bo's first official soccer league. He was so cute and so excited. He's been wanting to play for a very long time. All the older kids play soccer, and every time I take Mali or Elli to a game, he asks where his team is. Luke gave him an oversized jersey or two that he wore daily for too long, and he'd always point to a team with the same color and insist THAT was HIS team because they had the same blue or white jersey on.

Well, he had his moment of glory. ♥ 

Well, Bo is hooked. He caught on to my passion for rowing and making it memorable and fun. One day he asked if he could get another "bouncy ball (from the bouncy ball machine) for yay-woe ball."  (I reminded him of the one we bought the day before.) :)

So, I plan to row at least 2 books a month, so I may only do one B4 row a month depending on the energy I have and the needs of the other children. I do have some other "school" lined up for Bo to keep him happy, and will hopefully share that this month, too.

More Yellow Ball Fun on the B4 Link-up: 

  • Our Homeschool Fun (A very fun and special week with lots of memory making Yellow Ball fun - a must read! If her blog is private, email me a request and I will forward it!

  • The Mommy School (Love how she had her boys demonstrate perspective with their yellow ball!)

  • Angelicscaliwags (Love their fossil impressions for their book led play dough fun, edible sand art, and colored sand. And of course her cuties dolled up in lab coat and goggles to make homemade bouncy balls!)

  • Small Hands Inspired (Love their thunderstorm art, cool lesson on force, and those Yellow Ball cookies and lemonade?! Yum!)

  • Mud Puddle Soup (Love seeing her girls learn side by side and her reminder of those special moments that cannot be captured on camera!)

Remember: You can read any book for five days in a row, and do many wonderful activities to go-along, but you cannot “row” a book without the Five in a Row manual. Furthermore, my posts are certainly not meant to replace the manual. What I share is how we use the manual. Please read Rowing with Five in a Row to learn more! 


  1. You make me wish I had a preschooler at home to do these fun activities with! I'll just have to find fun stuff to do with the older kids :)

  2. Such a cutie patootie!!! He is growing up so quickly. I'm going to enjoy finishing up B4FIAR with daughter H. I will have fun ramping it up a bit, but I know it will be fun, especially when I see all the different ways others use it.

    We have a similar ruler that will be put up on our family measurement wall. It is just waiting for the wall to be painted.

  3. Ah your boy, he's growing up. He's looking longer and leaner and like his sister!!! Inspirational as always. xx

  4. Always a "delight" reading through your posts! ; ) Thank you for including us at the end; I know we enjoyed reading through this book although it was so so simple. I look forward to seeing some more rows-- we are planning to incorporate some B4FIAR literature in our preschool year, too. And I'm interested in reading more about incorporating more Nursery Rhymes into Bo's learning time!

  5. I think she is at the golden age for B4! Malachi got so much more out of B4 at age 5, but I still think it is special with 2, 3, and 4 year olds. :)

    Cool that you have a ruler like that! Luke's mom and sister made them to sell in their little crafty store when they had it. :)

  6. Ah, he takes after me more, then. ;) Thanks, Fay!

  7. Thank you, Kristina! So happy to include you! Thanks for linking up! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do, and I will share very soon! :)