Spatial Awareness

Camilla and the Big Change

"It's too much CHANGE!" Camilla stamped her foot. "But Camilla," Parsley said, "You like change. The change of the seasons, you said it this morning." "This is different. It's totally NEW. Totally unexpected, And totally permanent." Spring has sprung in the forest. When beavers move in, trees come down as they start building a dam. The path of the river will be forever altered and Camilla does NOT want a pond in the middle of her forest! It’s too much change. But when her map-making skills are needed for the pond construction, Camilla comes to understand that change can be good as she works with the entire forest community to draw new maps and look at her home in a whole new way. Camilla the cartographer and her loyal sidekick, Parsley, are back to solve a fresh new problem in Camilla and the Big Change by Julie Dillemuth, PhD, the companion book to the critically acclaimed Camilla, Cartographer. Read an excerpt from Camilla and the Big Change. Hear Dr. Dillemuth’s other books read aloud:  Mapping My Day, Lucy in the City, and Camilla, Cartographer. 

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Camilla and the Big Change 2022-07-12T10:48:17-04:00

Change Can Be Good

Camilla the cartographer and her loyal sidekick, Parsley, are back to solve a fresh new problem in Camilla and the Big Change by Julie Dillemuth, PhD, a companion book to the critically acclaimed Camilla, Cartographer. When beavers make a dam that changes the path of the river, Camilla has to help make new maps and learn that change can be a good thing. Read an adapted excerpt from Dr. Dillemuth’s note to parents and caregivers with more information about coping with change and spatial awareness. Coping with change When coping with change, we often feel a range of feelings. Naming and acknowledging feelings is helpful during this process of adapting to change, as is knowing that these big feelings won’t last forever. Kids need to know that feelings change over time, and that it’s ok to have mixed feelings–to feel sad for something going away, but excited for a new thing about to happen. The whole range of feelings is valid. Try this: Camilla goes through a range of emotions in the book. With your child, go through the book and identify Camilla’s feelings from page to page, why she might feel that way, and how those feelings change as things happen. Take it further: Use this story to talk about a change in your child’s life. A change can be as minor as having a substitute teacher (which can be major to a child), or as big as a move or loss. Gently encourage your child to tell their story–what happened? What were their feelings? What did they do? What did they want to do? Your child may want to draw pictures or write out a story. Spatial thinking Spatial thinking encompasses a range of skills for how we think about and understand the world around us and use concepts of space for problem solving. Some spatial thinking skills we practice every day and others are critical for working in STEAM fields:  science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. By encouraging your child to think spatially from a young age, you are helping the development of these skills and laying foundations that will be built upon as your child grows and learns. Try this: With your child, talk about the maps Camilla and the beavers drew. Talk about how they worked together to create the pond safely, so that no animals living in the forest would be harmed. How did they know which animals would need to be moved to avoid being flooded? Take it further:  Your child can explore spatial relationships at home. Pick a room in your house and talk about rearranging the furniture. What if we moved the bed across the room? What if we turned the couch 90 degrees? Try moving things around for fun and encourage your child to make discoveries–what doesn’t fit? What things go together? Where is empty space important? Try to use lots of spatial language like next to, in front of, between, to the left, behind, etc. If your child

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Change Can Be Good 2022-03-17T00:16:58-04:00

Camilla, Cartographer

Her whiskers shivered. Her snout quivered. "This," she said, "is uncharted territory." Camilla loves maps. Old maps, new maps, mini maps, skinny maps. Her favorite map is of her forest, and she wonders what it was like before it had been explored and mapped. One morning, after a big snow, her friend, Parsley, needed help finding the creek. All the paths and landmarks were covered in snow. Camilla and Parsley set out to find the creek, make a new path, and create a new map of the forest. Hear author, Dr. Julie Dillemuth, read Camilla, Cartographer aloud. Read a post about helping your child develop spatial awareness by exploring the outdoors here.

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Camilla, Cartographer 2022-03-17T00:09:04-04:00