Spring is here: Baby turns 1 and we're headed out to festivals + six board books we love
Oklahoma City family fun is here at all seasons of life.
Spring is finally here and this week has felt different, better, with plenty of sunshine.
Tomorrow, we're going to get outside and enjoy all that there is to see and do. Our plans include the Oklahoma Farm-to-Table Festival at the Oklahoma History Center and Spring Thing at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Gaylord Pickens Museum where it's Helping Hands Day.
Will there be rain? Maybe. Are we fine with that? Sure. As long as it's not a washout, we'll go spend our last days of Spring Break together outside the house. I've let the kids and my teacher husband enjoy their apps and movies and generally keep their own schedule but on the weekends, that's up to me.
Last Saturday, we visited the Oklahoma City Zoo, Pops and the Round Barn at Arcadia on Route 66 and Heard on Hurd in an effort to take my first grader's Flat Stanley aka Mat Man on a tour of Oklahoma City. It's been quite a week. Flat Stanley lives but barely. We've had some close calls. His paper arm is in my purse, waiting to be taped back on before rejoining the class. If you're looking for spring festivals, find them here.
We'll visit a few more locations before assembling Stanley's collage, a souvenir record of his time with us. Another record of time together we're celebrating is our baby's first birthday, which has come around shockingly fast. I really can't believe my son, the youngest of the four, is 1.
Jacob-Peter was born a week before Easter last year and he is the happiest baby I've ever met. Beatrix Potter's classic "Peter Rabbit" is his nursery theme and I've started collecting related books and items for him. Three older brothers have made for plenty of clothes but we can never have enough books.
Here are six new titles we'll be sharing with our baby to celebrate his first birthday:
"Peter Rabbit 123: A Counting Book" by Frederick Warne: This adorable rhyming book captures mischief with sweet illustrations.
"Peter Rabbit, I Love You" by Beatrix Potter: The peekaboo mirror is what sets this book apart, besides the fact that it's a nice hardcover of the illustrations the author's work is known to be paired with throughout children's literature. Watching your baby smile into the mirror and point to the illustrated rabbits is a fun way to settle into a spring afternoon.
"Little Owl's Night" by Divya Srinivasan: Feeling reassured about nighttime is such a consistent part of childhood. I like this title's approach because night is treated like day, just a different part of living that's really not anything to be afraid of at all. If your kids already know "Little Owl's Day" or "Little Owl's Snow," this oversized board book follows their same pattern, complete with other animal friends and engaging typography along with cute illustrations.
"The Kids' Picture Show" series by Chieri and Steve DeGregorio: We have the "Animals" and "Vehicles" versions of these books, which match up to the YouTube channel my older kids know. What's different about these books is that they feature the channel's characteristic old video game style, with eight-bit arcade-style illustrations. That style of graphic on a solid background is really striking for babies to notice contrast.
"Eat Pete!" by Michal Rex: This is one of my favorite books I've seen published in the last year. The plot is so straightforward and charming that all my children love it. Even my middle schooler laughs along with the candid monster who gets awfully lonely after Pete's gone. We read this one out loud at brunch all the time.
No matter what you're celebrating this spring, find something to enjoy, even if it's just better weather. Get out and enjoy it all. Summer heat and other life stages will be up next. Plan your spring here.
Big or small, I hope your kids enjoy it all with you in memorable ways this season.