How To Throw A Great Book Themed Play Date with The Pigeon Needs A Bath

How To Host A Book Themed Play DateI get asked often to host little events for brands or book releases but it’s rare that I find one that I think is a good fit for No Time For Flash Cards. This time when the offer to share Mo Willem’s new book came into my inbox I jumped at it. We love Mo Willems and getting to share his brand new book The Pigeon Needs a Bath! with our friends online and in real life was a perfect fit. I decided to turn it into a fun little after preschool play date to promote not only friendship but a love of reading too. For once I am in some pictures thanks to my friend Catie from Catie’s Photography offering to help shoot the play date for me. This post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion and contain affiliate links.

pigeon needs a bath

1. Get Their Attention

When you are trying to gather kids attention late in the day a great way to do that is to combine snack time with listening. We handed out fruit, cheese and drinks and then mini cupcakes at the table.food pigeon party 3

2. Share The Book In A Fun Way

We had a little friendly competition between two favorite Pigeon books. As soon as we got settled with the food I explained we were going to see if this brand new book was as good or even better than the other Pigeon books. I made a little voting booth and got settled in to read.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! was funny. There were some giggles for sure.pigeon reading 2

But it was not as funny as The Pigeon Needs A Bath. The kids were laughing out loud as I read.reading pigeon party

What I love about play dates like this is that reading becomes special.

3. Make Something Inspired By The Book.pigeon craft

We made bookmarks. How appropriate! These Pigeon bookmarks were a cinch to make and the kids had fun gluing them together. I loved seeing all the slight variations. I chose a bookmark because my whole goal was to make reading special. This bookmark can be used for reading or for children this young used to tag a book they want to read that night. My daughter chooses her bedtime books every night and now she can tag which one she wants to read by popping the bookmark in it and setting it on her room.

pigeon needs a bath craft craft

Here is the step by step- clearly photographed by me

Gather your materials. You will need some blue , brown, yellow and white paper. You will also need googly eyes, scissors, a hole punch, some raffia ribbon, glue stick and crayons.

Start by cutting out a blue rectangle and a smaller brown one. Glue them together.
Next cut out a small yellow beak . Then cut out a circle, long skinny rectangle and semi circle from the blue paper. Glue them together on the brown rectangle.how to make a pigeon bookmark

 

Add an eye and a white strip of paper on his neck.
Add legs and a wing with crayon or markers.
Punch a hole in the top for the raffia.how to make a pigeon bookmark for kids

Add the raffia and get that pigeon dirty by coloring all over!how to make a pigeon needs a bath bookmark

4. Send Them On Their Way With More To Read!

I was fortunate enough to have the publisher provide books for all my guests, I don’t think I could have afforded to do that. There are inexpensive ways to send each child home with a book like hitting up Goodwill, the dollar store or asking each guest to bring a book to exchange. I do think that this step is important and such a great way to focus on what a gift reading and books are.pigeon favors

This was our first book play date but I know there will be more in the future. You can learn more about all the Pigeon Series here , check out Mo Willems’s blog here, and yes The Pigeon is even on Twitter!

As mentioned above this post and party were sponsored by Disney-Hyperion

 

Simple Earth Suncatcher – Earth Day Craft

earth day craft

Taking care of the earth is a big job and it requires teamwork. In the spirit of Earth Day and working together a bunch of rad kid bloggers and I decided to share Earth Day crafts today in a blog hop. There are so many fun Earth Day projects from us , Marie over at Make & Takes, Holly at Kids Activities Blog, Christine at Childhood 101, Stacey at Kid Stuff World and Becky at Patchwork Posse. You can find the links below our super ( like seriously super) easy earth suncatcher craft tutorial.

Earth Day Kids Craft Blogs

Gather your materials. You will need a plastic lid, some glue, blue and green glitter, ribbon, a plate and hole punch. Oh and a q-tip that was my daughter’s addition on the fly.earth day sun catcher craft doe kids

Start by pouring glue on the inside of a recycled plastic lid.easy earth day suncatcher craft

Spread it with a q-tip.earth day craft for kids

Cover it with glitter. We talked about how much water there is on earth and how it breaks up the land. Depending on the age of the child you can get really detailed with this step. The nice thing is that it doesn’t have to be detailed and works for all ages.super simple earth day sun catcher

Let dry. For days.glue and glitter earth day craft for kids

You will know it is dry when it peels off the lid. Shake off any excess glitter.easy earth craft for toddlers

Trim.earth sun catcher craft

Punch a hole and thread some ribbon through.earth day craft glue glop sun catcher

Hang up and enjoy the sparkle. It can be a reminder of how the earth should be and a nudge to do out part to make it sparkle.earth day suncatcher

Now go explore these other awesome ideas and fantastic blogs.

earth day crafts

Found Things Collage on Kid Stuff World
Recycle Paper Tube Train on Make and Takes
2 T-shirt Cinch Sack on Patchwork Posse
Make a Planet Earth on Kids Activities Blog
Paper Mache Pots on Childhood 101

 

 

Flip Top Phonics Game For Kids

phonics game I have a huge stash of these lids even though we use very few wipes these days. I can not bring myself to throw them out so instead I made a phonics game for my daughter. It’s so simple but really helps reinforce the work she is doing with her initial letter sounds. It took five minutes to make and I have some tips to make it re-usable too. I had a brain wave after I finished it but luckily I can still share it with you. For more phonics ideas check out more of our letter sound activities here.

Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, stapler, tape, paper, *page protector, dry erase markers, stickers and some flip top lids. flip top phonics

Start by making your base sturdy so that when you open the lids the base ( in our case cardboard and paper ) doesn’t rip. I just stapled the paper and cardboard together but if you want to make this reusable you can pop the cardboard and paper in a page protector sleeve and then staple them all together.

Add the flip top lids.flip top phonics for kids

Add the stickers. I didn’t even bother trying to cover the brand name. Kids won’t care and I have played this with 3 different kids at different times and no one mentioned it once. I know we as adults love pretty things but if time is short do not worry, the kids don’t care and will still learn the same things.flip top phonics board for kids

Write the letter that makes the initial sound under the lid. If you are using dry erase you can easily wipe and change it to ending sound or full spelling for older kids.  I really wish I made mine like that to begin with. I will be modifying ours shortly.phonics flip top game

Play! flip top phonics

My daughter loved this and only got one wrong. She thought the rooster was a chicken. I loved that she can do it without me directing it 100%. I found her later playing school with the board and her dollies. I like that you could switch out the theme with different stickers depending on what your child is into or what your class is learning about.

 

Color By Number Easter Eggs

easter egg game for kids Math and art work well together with this simple game made for decorating Easter eggs. For kids who love art it’s a fun way to mix some math into something they like and for little math whizzes it gets them into a little art too! You could use real hard boiled and cooled eggs but we used craft ones from Walmart so our finished eggs could be brought out every Easter.

Gather your materials. You will need some craft eggs, permanent markers, some masking tape, and some dice.easter egg math game supplies

Start by adding numbers to your markers. I couldn’t find our masking tape so I used paper and taped papers with numbers on ( masking tape would be way faster) making sure that you use numbers that will be rolled.easter egg math game for kids

Time to play!

easter egg math game for easterRoll and count.easter egg math game for kids drawing

Color using the marker with the number you rolled. I let my daughter color as much as she wanted with each color but you could set a timer to keep things moving if need be.

Roll, count and color  again. easter egg math game for preschoolUsing dice doesn’t only work on counting as children get familiar with them they will start subitizing which is the ability to know an amount without counting. My daughter did it with the dice much to my surprise. She knew the individual amounts but then counted the dots to find out the sum. Older children could take it a step further simply adding the two amounts instead of counting all the dots. You could also use other operations like subtraction or multiplication for more able kids.easter egg math game for little kids

She adored this and completely covered her first egg then continued to play and play making even more.

Read & Make : Letter Of The Week

letter of the week books Letter of The Week crafts are one of our most popular series on No Time For Flash Cards and one of my most frequently asked questions via email are for good books that can go with each letter craft we have. Instead of just throwing out a bunch of books that subject start with one of the letters I have used books that are about the subject used for the craft. The letter is in context and real connections can be made. If you follow a letter of the week curriculum remember to use these crafts as one part of it and focus on the whole alphabet most of the time using alphabet books and other whole alphabet activities as well. Each pair is linked to the original letter of the week craft and the book title is an affiliate link to Amazon.com .

Read and Make ABC ARead The Lady with the Alligator Purse and make an alligator A.

Read and Make ABC BRead Buzz and make a buzzy bee letter B craft.
Read and Make ABC CRead The Very Hungry Caterpillar and make a simple caterpillar C craft .
Read and Make ABC DRead The Paper Bag Princess and make a letter D dragon craft.
Read and Make ABC ERead First the Egg and then make a sweet Egg E craft.
Read and Make ABC FGet patriotic and read Hats off for the Fourth of July then make a Flag F craft.
Read and Make ABC GRead In the Tall, Tall Grass and then make a grass G letter craft.
Read and Make ABC HRead My Heart Is Like a Zoo together and then create this letter H craft filled with hearts.
Read and Make ABC IRead Ice Cream: The Full Scoop and then create your own Ice Cream I letter craft.
Read and Make ABC JRead If You Were A Jellybean then create your own Jellybean J letter craft.
Read and Make ABC KRead all about kites in Kite Flying then make your own Kite K craft to go with it.
Read and Make ABC LLearn about leaves with Leaf Man then find your own and make this leaf L craft.
Read and Make ABC MGo with Sally to the mountains in Sally Goes to the Mountains then make a Mountain M craft at home.
Read and Make ABC NCount all sorts of things with Anno’s Counting Book and then talk and learn about numbers while making a number N.
Read and Make ABC ORead Owl Babies and then make your own little owl O letter craft.
Read and Make ABC PRead Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails and make your own peacock P!
Read and Make ABC QRead Quilt Alphabet which is a perfect book for this letter Q craft.
Read and Make ABC RYou can read about planting a rainbow in Planting a Rainbow and then make your own letter R craft.
Read and Make ABC SRead Draw Me a Star and then make your own sparkly star S letter craft.
Read and Make ABC TTrees are rad and so is Pablo’s Tree , after reading it make your own tree T craft.
Read and Make ABC UGo underground with Up Above and Down Below and then again with this Underground U letter craft.
Read and Make ABC VExplore all the flowers in Zinnia’s Flower Garden and then make your own and pop them in this Vase V craft.
Read and Make ABC WCount the seeds in One Watermelon Seed and then make your own Watermelon W letter craft being sure to count the seeds too.
Read and Make ABC XDem Bones isn’t just for Halloween it’s a great book year round and perfect for our X-ray X letter craft.
Read and Make ABC YThe classic color mixing story Little Blue and Little Yellow is a great fit for our Yellow Y letter of the week craft too.
Read and Make ABC Z On Beyond Zebra! is a natural fit for our Zebra Z craft !

 

Want more letter of the week crafts? Check out our full list here.