Gail Gibbons Books and Activities Perfect for Summer

I have always loved using books by Gail Gibbons to help teach science. They are full of wonderful facts and nonfiction text features, and they are great for older preschoolers and kids in early elementary grades.

This month Gail Gibbons is the featured author of the  The Virtual Book Club for Kids, and I can’t wait to see what everyone shares! There are so many great books by this author that I had a very hard time choosing just one to write about. As we get ready I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the books and activities that would go along great with summer learning. Whether you are looking for resources for summer themes to study with kids or just hoping for a little summer reading inspiration, I hope this list is helpful.

For each book I’ve including activity ideas that you might try, but the list is in no way exhaustive. There are many other great ways to extend the learning introduced in these books. I’d love for you to share any additional activity ideas in the comments.

Learning Activities to Go with Gail Gibbons Books

Gail Gibbons Books and Activity Ideas for Summer

Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Activity Ideas for  Sea Turtles:

Activity Ideas for  Gulls…Gulls…Gulls…

  • If you you live near an area where you can observe gulls, take some time to go sit and watch. Older kids can bring a nature journal along to draw or write about what they see. See if you can find out which kinds of gulls are most common in your area.
  • Visit the National Audobon Just for Kids section to see videos, play games, and learn more about all kinds of birds.
  • Gather grasses, mosses, and dried weeds and make a gull nest on the ground.

Activity Ideas for  Ladybugs:

Activity Ideas for  The Honey Makers

  • Go on a bee hunt. See if you can find bees around plants in your neighborhood.
  • Taste honey.
  •  Try this honeycomb art from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
  • Make a bumble bee treat like this one from Meaningful Mama.
  • Create a bee sensory bin with these ideas from The Good Long Road.
  • Use the free Bees printable pack from 2 Teaching Mommies.


Activity Ideas for  The Vegetables We Eat

  • Grow some vegetables at home.
  • Visit the farmers’ market to see which foods are grown locally in your area. Let toddlers and preschoolers spend time touching and exploring the different vegetables. Let your kids choose a new vegetable to buy. Then cook it together.
  • Set up a pretend play vegetable stand at home. We did this for our recent letter V theme, and the kids loved it!
  • Use vegetables for hands-on math activities.
  • Create a collaborative vegetable art collage.


Activity Ideas for  Coral Reefs

Activity Ideas for  Whales

Activity Ideas for  Sharks

  • Try one of the many activities in this Shark Unit Study from Living Montessori Now.
  • Observe sharks…at an aquarium or on YouTube videos (just be sure to screen videos before showing to kids).
  • Play sharks and minnows in the pool or on land.

Activity Ideas for  Ice Cream: The Full Scoop

  • Make your own ice cream in a bag or homemade ice cream.
  • Make some ice cream sensory dough with this play recipe from Play Create Explore.
  • Make some of this chilly ice cream goo from Fun at Home with Kids.
  • Go on a field trip to an ice cream shop. See if you can take a tour of the facility and learn more about how the ice cream is stored and prepared.
  • Set up a pretend play ice cream shop at home.
  • Let the kids plan and set up an ice cream bar for a special family dessert night.
  • Turn your tub into an ice cream parlor for kids like the one shared on Bath Activities for Kids.

Activity Ideas for  Surrounded by Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island

  • Visit a marina to look at boats. See if you can find fishing boats.
  • If you know someone with a boat, see if they could give you a little tour of it.
  • Go fishing. If you can’t really go fishing, then fish for letters or pretend fish in the tub or pool.
  • Make a fishing island sensory bin or small world.
  • Turn your tub into a boat with this fun boating bath from Bath Activities for Kids.

Activity Ideas for  Hurricanes!

  • If you live in a hurricane prone area, work together as a family to update your hurricane readiness supplies. 
  • Read through the hurricane names assigned to this year.
  • Track the storms closest to your area. Have each member of the family predict how far we’ll get through the list of names for the current year before hurricane season ends.
  • Little ones will have fun moving like a hurricane. You can discuss speed and rotation while getting a little energy out.

Activity Ideas for  Tornadoes!

I hope this list gives you a little inspiration. I look forward to seeing what you have to share for Gail Gibbons month.

Join in this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids

If you’re interested in joining this month’s book club, here’s what you need to do…

  1. Pick your favorite book by Gail Gibbons (or a new one you want to check out) and read it with your child or class.
  2. Create an activity, project, craft, cooking project, etc. related to the book and do it.
  3. Come back and share it with us as part of the Gail Gibbons blog hop on Monday, June 17th! The linky will be live for 3 weeks, so if you aren’t ready to post on the 17th… just join in when you can!

And even if you don’t join in, I hope you’ll spend a little time reading some books by Gail Gibbons this month.

Looking Back at Previous Authors 
Looking Ahead to Future Virtual Book Club Authors
  • July 15th- Jez Alborough
  • August 19th-Donald Crews

Virtual Book Club for Kids

Stop by and check out some of the other blogs that participate in The Virtual Book Club for Kids.

Toddler ApprovedRainy Day MumAdventures in Reading with Kids3 DinosaursRoyal BalooThe Educators’ Spin On ItInspiration LaboratoriesPleasantest Thing Edventures with Kids Two Big Two Little Playing With Words 365Kitchen Counter ChroniclesOutlaw MomMommy and Me Book ClubCrafty Moms ShareNo Twiddle TwaddleThe Good Long Road Ready. Set. Read 2 MeReading Confetti Mama SmilesJuggling with KidsMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasCreekside LearningCreative Family FunThe Usual MayhemTeach PreschoolPlayDrMomCraftoArtHere Come the GirlsBeing a Conscious ParentSmiling like SunshineCrayon FrecklesTrain Up a ChildSmile Play LearnEnchanted Homeschooling MomCoffee Cups and CrayonsHaving Fun at Chelle’s HouseLove, Play, LearnJuggling With KidsMotherhood on a DimeGrowing Book By BookThis Reading Mama
If you are looking for more book-related activities to try now, check out the Virtual Book Club for Kids Pinterest Board.

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  1. Thank you SO much for including my study unit!!! 😀

  2. clara lauber says:

    This is a wonderful unit on Gail Gibbons. Thank You!

  3. Shaunna thanks for sharing this great resources on the Sunday Showcase. I’m featuring it this week.

  4. So many great ideas. We LOVE Gail Gibbons! One of our go to children’s authors =)

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Hope to see you again tomorrow =)

    • Shaunna says:

      Thank you! We love Gail Gibbons, too. So many great resources and opportunities to connect learning across different subjects.

  5. We are featuring your post on a HUGE list of Rainy Day Summer Play activities! We will be sharing with all of our followers on our social media sites (including group boards and communities!!) Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at

  6. I love Gail Gibbons, she’s one of my go-to authors for nonfiction.

  7. Can I just say, “WOW!” This is an amazing collection of resources and ideas! Thank you so much for sharing it at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!

    • Shaunna says:

      Thank you, Carla! There are so many awesome ABC activities out there. It was a lot of fun to put this resource together.

  8. This is a great list. We have actually been using Gail’s Ladybug book this week to study ladybugs. You’re right, it’s cute and full of information while also having a nice story. It’s probably our favorite book out of the stack we got at the library.

  9. Love this post! Gail Gibbons is such an amazing author and her books are a wonderful way to introduce kids to non-fiction; we use them all the time too!

  10. What a great resource! I love Gail Gibbons.

  11. I had the best time looking over your book selection and the ideas to go with them.

    • Shaunna says:

      Thanks! I had the best time putting them together! I think I’ll have to revisit Gail Gibbons again in the fall…so many awesome book choices.

  12. This is an amazing list. Thank you for sharing… Pinning it 🙂

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