- Gather your materials. You will need some fun scrap booking card stock, some white paper, markers, some yellow paper, double stick tape ( not pictured) and scissors.
- Start by making a template for your bird. I did a few versions before I settled on this. I cut it out and used it to trace the others.
- Trace out a bunch of birds. Add eyes.
- For your wee ones have them color the bird before cutting it out.
- Cut out
- Cut out some beaks, I used yellow paper that I folded so it was the same on each side.
- Using double stick tape attach the beaks to the birds.
- Make a slit in the birds back.
- Hand your child some plain paper and have them draw on it.
- Fan fold it. I was surprised that this was hard for my Sunday schoolers, I so often work with such young kids that I overestimate school age kids abilities. Help your child fan fold it , it needs to be a tight fold.
- Thread it through and bend in half.
- Tweet Tweet you are all done !
“Bird Talk” by Ann Jonas was enjoyable but I didn’t get it at first. I thought that the book was what the author imagined the birds would be saying while observing humans daily lives. In actuality what the birds are saying are the “memory phrases” that bird watchers use to remember the bird calls. The author has matched these up with scenes where they fit. My son laughed at the Common Night Hawk who’s saying was “Pork and Beans” and kept repeating that after we read the book. There is a full guide in the back of the book of all the birds included.
“A Poet’s Bird Garden” by Laura Nyman Montenegro is an enjoyable book about a little bird who escaped his cage and the poets and little girl who try and try to catch him. The poets come to help bring Chirpie back and each have lovely but unsuccessful ideas to bring him out of the tree. Finally Claude the cat comes out of the tree and then Chirpie and many other birds enjoy all the poet’s efforts ( seeds, yarn for nests , etc… ).
We went on a fun play date to the local marine science center, where my son was taken with the crabs. You would think an octopus or eel would have been the star of the show but for days he was talking about this plain old, can see it at the market shell fish! So of course, we made one!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, a piece of light colored construction paper, scissors, red paint, a paint brush, glue and googly eyes.
- Start by painting your paper plate red.
- Next paint the paper red too, at this point he was using his hands, which is fine too. Let dry.
- When they are dry ( nap time is always a good drying time) cut the plate in half.
- Cut one half into quarters and cut out some claws.
- Cut 2 longer strips out of the paper and 2 small ones.
- Fan fold the longer strips.
- Add glue to the top of the 1/2 paper plate.Add the two smaller strips.
- Add glue to the ends of them and add the eyes.
- Add glue to the sides of the plate and add the folded strips.
- Glue the claws on the end and let dry.
“Beach Party” by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle , and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for a circle time where kids could get up and move!
“The Seashore Book” by Charlotte Zolotow is a touching story of a little boy excited to go to the sea for the first time from his mountain home. The mother describes it so well that you will be aching for a trip too! I must admit though that my son and I barely paid attention to the words, we were both so moved by Wendell Minor’s paintings. We couldn’t help but ooh and awe every time we turned the page. My son’s favorite page was the one with the crab, of course!
- Gather your materials. You will need a washed out clear food container, some black foam, white and red paint, a paintbrush, 2 popsicle sticks ( or a tongue depressor would be awesome), scissors, glue and a hot glue gun.
- Start by pouring a small amount of white and red paint into the container. I like doing this instead of pink to help teach color mixing in an authentic way.
- Mix. Let dry.
- We painted a scrap piece of paper with the extra paint while we waited for the cup to dry.
- Cut out 2 small circles from black foam or paper.
- Glue them on the bottom of the container. Let dry. * you can glue these on before the pink is all dry and just set the cup “nose down” on a plate.
- Heat up your hot glue gun.
- Glue the popsicle sticks on. Let cool.
- Go play !
I decided on 3 different copies of the tale of the 3 little pigs!
“The 3 Little Pigs” illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay is a classic telling of this story. I am not really a fan of the story itself , the wolf has always really disturbed me the way he pursues this pig! But that’s my adult take on it, not a kid’s! My son loved it, he even smiled at me as he pointed out the fact that the wolf was scary, he didn’t get that from me! The illustrations in this book were really fun and I loved the details she put into them.
” The Three Little Pigs” by James Marshall who you may know from the wonderful George and Martha series. This another classic version and the illustrations are adorable! I love the three pig’s houses in this book, all three make cute houses even if only one survives the big bad wolf. Like the previous book the pigs and wolf do get eaten so if you are weary of that stick to the first book!
I saw this awesome post using foam and a rolling pin on Dollar Store Crafts ages ago. I filed it away under things to do. When my son suggested we make a Leopard for “art project time”, it popped back into my head! We had so much fun , and found some great books at the library to go along with the theme!
- Gather your materials. You will need a rolling pin, some sticky back foam, 2 pieces of construction paper, a marker, some brown paint, scissors, glue, black foam or paper, tape and some aluminum foil.
- Start by drawing an outline of a leopard. I drew a few before getting it right. Set aside.
- Cut spots out of your sticky back foam. Make them irregular.
- Next cover your rolling pin in aluminum foil. Tape the edge down.
- Peel off the backing and stick the foam onto your rolling pin.
- Brush your paint onto the foam pieces.
- Grab your leopard and roll!
- Add more paint and roll again.
- While your wee one is rolling, cut a nose out of black foam or paper.
- Cut the leopard out.
- Add glue to the leopard and add the eyes and nose.
- Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper and let dry.
“Deep In The Jungle” by Dan Yaccarino is a deceivingly deep book. While reading it to my son before nap today I was taken aback by how the Lion and the circus man in the book could be symbolic of so many historical and social things. However the surface story is about a Lion , the king of the jungle who is enticed out by a man who promises him a better life of fame in the big city. Soon the lion is in the circus, whipped, caged and with no power or fame. After eating the man and running back to the jungle he finds his subjects in cages as well. Although he was not a kind ruler before he saves his subjects from their captor. Seems all very heavy, but my son loved it. It is long and I was impressed he sat interested for the whole thing, he even said “Animals sad in cages!” proud moment for me!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper grocery bag or large piece of paper, paint, a brush or roller, 2 googly eyes, some different color foam , a plate for paint, scissors and glue.
- Cut open the bag so it’s a one long piece and draw a snake. I taped it right to the table.
- Start by choosing your paint colors, I was itching for my son to pick something bright but he chose brown and orange- and I am so happy he did I think it looks great. Pour both colors into a plate.
- Start painting.
- While your child is painting ( or before you start if that works better for you) ask your child what shapes they want to put on the snake, or decide yourself if they are too young. Cut large pieces for little guys that are still mouthing things. We don’t want anyone to choke!
- Time to glue the pieces on! I put the glue on in dots all along the snake.
- Cover each glue dot with a shape. Older children should be doing a pattern !
- While they are adding the shapes, cut out a tongue from red foam.
- Add the eyes and tongue.
- Let dry and cut out!
“The Sea Serpent and Me” by Dashka Slater is a sweet dreamy book. A little girl finds a sea serpent in her bath tub and they become friends all the while knowing he belongs in the sea. She promises to take him back but they keep finding reasons to wait. When they do finally go and he returns to the sea you can’t help but get a little lump in your throat remembering all those times you have had to say goodbye even though you didn’t really want to. The illustrations by Catia Chien make the whole book feel like a dream.