Recycled Robot Craft inspired by The Ricky Ricotta Books by Dav Pilkey

robot craft for kids I love books.  More than my love of books is my love of getting KIDS to love books, especially my own kid. Before I share how we made this super rad robot inspired by Dav Pilkey’s Ricky Ricotta Mighty Robot series of books, I need to tell you that this post was sponsored by Scholastic.  I am so glad that the publisher sent me these books because my son loved them. LOVED. So much that we decided to make a shiny recycled robot craft that reminded us of the shiny full color pages of these awesome books. The whole book is beautiful and I really think those silky full color pages made reading the book even more enjoyable for my son.

Gather your materials. You will need some recycled materials. I save anything that looks interesting so I had some ribbon spools, plastic lids, card board, crusher lids, etc… you will also need metallic paint, a hot glue gun, and something to protect the surfaces you are working on.

ricky ricotta mighty robot supplies

Start by spray painting some of the recycled materials. When you read the books you will see that the Robot is really shiny so my son and I decided we needed to get really shiny silver paint. You might want gloves for this too. My nails are still silver.ricky ricotta silver robot

When dry gather all your pieces and plug in the hot glue gun ( ours is a low temp one) robotricky ricottaand let your robot builder go nuts!robot craft

He has inherited my love ( need?) of symmetry. At one point he was asking me where I think he should put something and when I suggested something asymmetrical he responded with ” Um I don’t think so, that would wreck the symmetry! ” OK then.

I think the robot turned out to be pretty awesome, well worth the days and days of silver spray painted hands ( seriously use gloves!)

robotoooo

 

About The Books!

RickySeries

Ricky Ricotta Series by Dav Pilkey illustrated by Dan Santat

These early chapter books are about a little mouse Ricky who is not the most popular mouse. He gets picked on at school until he ends up saving Robot’s life and the two of them become best friends! You’d think that with a giant robot as a best buddy a little mouse might let it go to his head. Ricky is a good mouse through and through and as the series continues he and Robot continue to save Squeakyville from all sorts of evil.

When my son and I snuggled up in bed to read the first book I did most of the reading. The books themselves are below my son’s reading level ( The series is listed as DRA 20 )  but reading levels are not the only things parents need to consider. Do you always read at your maximum reading ability? I can guarantee that I do not. Reading for pleasure isn’t always challenging. We flew through the first book and he begged me to read the next. I read it then left him the other two books and told him he could stay up as long as he was reading. Less than half an hour later he came downstairs to ask me if we had the 5th book! He’d read the other two books immediately. My son is a great reader but he doesn’t LOVE reading fiction, so his desire to read more more more was huge. I was THRILLED.dav pilkey bo

When I asked him what he loved about these books he said the illustrations by Dan Santat were amazing, the cool features like comics and flip book in the middle , and how quick they were for him to read. Patience is not something most 7 year old boys have in spades so I get that. The illustrations really are awesome but I want to let you know that the whole book is full color. The book is really beautiful , seriously every page feels special. I have already been telling friends in real life about how these are great early chapter books for reluctant ( and not reluctant) readers and I am thrilled to share it here too.

Visit the Ricky Ricotta Official Site
Learn more about author Dav Pilkey
Follow Scholastic and ScholasticTeach on Twitter
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As stated above this post was sponsored by Scholastic.

 

 

37 Things To Make With Contact Paper

contact paper activities I love contact paper. I love how useful it is for toddler art projects, how I can use it to laminate items, create dry erase projects, and make fun murals with kids of all ages. I recently went back to work in the classroom and my students love contact paper too. It’s a fun sensory experience all on it’s own. Here are 37 crafts, activities, invitations to create, and things you can make with contact paper.

Sticky Walls, Windows, Tables, and Easels.

fall pom pom tree for kids

Fall Pom Pom Tree
Sticky Table Art
Create A Face Sticky Face
Ocean Shapes Mural
Snow Window

sticky window 33
Sticky Window Flower Garden
Fall Leaf Color Matching Sticky Mural
Christmas Tree Sticky Wall

button mural finishing the whole things
Button Numbers – Math Mural
Alphabet Flower Garden
Fall Leaf Letter Match
Ornament Color Match

quick activity for pompoms
Pom Pom Sticky Window
Valentine Heart Rainbow Wall

Crafts

bug crafts for toddlers

Ribbon Butterfly Craft
Letter Monsters
Shooting Star Craft
Love Bomb
Toddler Turkey Craft

Fish Craft for Kids
Sticky Fish Craft
Brown Grocery Bag Town Play Mat 

nativity suncatcher craft for christmas
Shape Nativity Craft
Contact Paper Ghosts
Heart Suncatcher
Easter Egg Suncatchers
Snow Globe Snowman

spring flower sun catcher craft for kids
Sequin Flower Suncatchers

Contact Paper Place Mat Crafts

Fall Placemat crafts for kids

 

Fall Leaf Place Mat 
Flower Petal Place Mats

tea party play and place mat craft
Tea Party Place Mats
Penguin Place Mat
Fourth of July Place Mat

Wipe Off Activities Made With Contact Paper

pumpkin dry erase

Design Your Own Jack-O-Lantern
Letter Tracing Write & Wipe Mats
Thanksgiving Doodle Mats

hot chocolate math
Hot Chocolate Math Tray
Dress Up Your Minion

Picture Books You Might Not Know With Great Role Models For Girls

books with role models for girls Ever feel like the same books are shared over and over again? This round up of books with great role models for girls isn’t abou tthe most popular books, this list is a list of books that when I suggest them to friends aren’t often titles they have heard before. For a book list about strong girls filled with more popular picture books check out this popular book list of books about strong girls we created two years ago.  What book would you add to this list?

mama played baseball

Mama Played Baseball by David A. Adler  This baseball story is told through the eyes of a little girl who watches everything change during World War Two. Her dad goes off to war and her mom tries out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and makes the cut! The story is simple and I was left wanting more but understood why the author ended it when he did. It’s a great book to explain the basics of what baseball was like on the home front during World War Two.

ballet books for kids dancing in the wings

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen is about more than ballet, it’s about overcoming being different, accepting your body and even standing up for yourself. Sassy is tall, too tall to partner with any of the boys in her ballet studio and sticks out like a sore thumb. When a chance to audition for a summer ballet program in Washington D.C. arises other dancers in her studio make her doubt her talent. So often adults are able to see how awkward and different children are really striking and unique but getting the child to see that can be impossible. This book is all about a child discovering that different isn’t bad and that those differences are all she needs to stand out in a great way.  It was a little long for my daughter who is 3 but she sat the whole time enjoying it all the same.

Supersister

Supersister by Beth Cedena wasn’t full of x-ray vision or super powers either but my son adored it. Kids are unpredictable. This story though is sweet and also has a little but of mystery to it , which upon reflection could be one reason why my son liked it so much. Supersister is a little girl who is brave and helpful demonstrated by how she lovingly ties her moms shoes for her before zooming off to school. Okay so I preach about pre-reading books, but rarely do it and reading this I was so worried the mom was going to be in  hospital bed and that’s why she needs her daughter to tie her shoes. I lean towards the dramatic so I doubt you’d even be thinking that and my son didn’t either. No nothing tragic has happened to mom , she is just very very pregnant. Supersister is practicing her role as a caregiver and older sister! My son loved that since he takes his still fairly new role of big brother very seriously. Cute book for new siblings especially!

Vote 2012 books for kids

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio is fantastic. The very best part of this book is on the first page when the main character a little girl named Grace exclaims ” Where are the girls?” in response to her teacher hanging up a poster of all the presidents. If I wasn’t in a tent in the backyard while reading this with my son I would have stood up and given Grace a standing ovation. I can’t wait to read this to my daughter in a few years. I love how shocked she is and I was really happy that my son was surprised as well.  Grace decides to run for president in the mock election for her grade at school and be the change. My love for this book doesn’t end with the wonderful example of basic feminism because next up the author tackles something oh so tricky; The Electoral College.  The author does a great job explaining what can be a very confusing system used for American presidential elections and I bet more than a few parents reading this to their kids will get something out of it too.  The story of Grace and her own campaign is sweet as well but the brilliance of this story are the complex lessons broken down so well for a young audience.

spaghetti in a hotdog bun

Spaghetti in A Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are  by Maria Dismondy is about bullying but it’s also about doing the right thing and not losing yourself especially when it’s hard. We both really liked this story about a little girl who is teased mercilessly by a classmate and how she deals with it. What we liked so much was that the bully was really mean and the bullying seemed to come from nowhere. I think that is so important because when you are getting bullied it’s hard to make sense of it, and often there is no clear reason for being a target. The dialog that this opened for us was so enlightening and this book offers parents and teachers  many chances to talk about the complex issues of bullying. The thing about this book is that it’s not even so much about bullying but about not losing confidence in yourself and who you are in the face of a bully. Lucy struggles with being teased but ultimately she helps her bully when he needs it even though he doesn’t deserve her help . She does the right thing and gains confidence in herself in the process.

princess pigsty

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke  is a fantastic story about a little princess who is different. She is so disgusted with being perfect and pretty that she chucks her crown into the pond. I love this book and cheered throughout.  When she refuses her father’s orders he punishes her by sending her to the pigsty but she loves it and feels more at home there than in her royal chambers. I also love that her sisters who are girly , prim and proper aren’t too bullyish and seem to love their traditional roles. There is room for all sorts of princesses in this family, well eventually there is. Good book!

ballet books for kids brontorina

Brontorina by James Howe is possibly one of my new favorite books on the planet. It’s not a new book but I have never read it before. My daughter loved it and while the lesson about creating inclusive environments went over her head the lesson about being true to yourself and doing something that has never been done before didn’t. The story is about a dinosaur who wants to be a ballerina and while a studio initially allows her to dance it’s clear that she is just too big. The story doesn’t end there and with some help from friends who support her dream they find a way to include everyone.

marvelous mattie

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventorby Emily Arnold McCully is a book that all little girls should read. I think I may buy 20 copies and give them to every girl that invites either one of my kids to their birthday parties.  The reason I think this book is so wonderful isn’t because it’s about some woman that is on a coin ( no disrespect Susan…) but because I had never heard of Mattie but I should have, we all should have. Many of her inventions are still in use today… like the paper bag that stays upright. She made history many of us just didn’t know it. Her story of invention, entrepreneurship and strength of character are stunning. She stands up for herself , learns from her mistakes, and follows her passion even though it’s not the easy or even the “only kinda hard” road. All the way she faces challenges and just keeps going. This is far more inspiring than any girl power book that I have read before, and it’s true.

molly, by golly

Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighterby Dianne Ochilltree is a story I had never heard before we found this book at the library but am so glad I know it now. Molly was an African American cook who provided meals for the firefighters in a town in New York. When a fire broke out and most of the firefighters were ill she put on the gear and stood side by side with the men to help fight the fire. She is the first known female fire fighter. What I love about this story is that Molly didn’t grab the gear and start fighting because she wanted to be the first, she did it because there was a need and she was capable of helping. Being the first woman to be a firefighter was brave and Molly kept volunteering with the department for years after the first fire.

Hilda Must Be Dancing

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson is a lovely story about a big hippo that loves to dance, although her neighbors aren’t as keen. See Hilda is bog and when she dances she shakes and rattles everything, it’s noisy and disruptive and is making her friends very angry. They suggest that she try new hobbies, but knitting and singing won’t do it’s simply not in her heart, Hilda needs to move and groove!  I loves that a solution is found that makes everyone happy, that Hilda doesn’t have to give up her passion, but that she isn’t so selfish as to simply say ” too bad” to her friends either.

NotAllPrincessDressInPink

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen .This book is not so much about being different and facing adversity but about being yourself even if the world has decided you should fit perfectly into the mold it’s given you.  When we think of Princesses we think pink, sparkly and dry clean only! These princesses can’t be pigeonholed, they do what’s in their heart not what’s expected of them just because they are princesses. The princesses have all different interests, all different looks and I love that there are some with glasses too. Strong girls being themselves isn’t too different but for a book about princesses it is and it’s refreshing to read.

 

Link & Learn – Kids Crafts and Learning Linky

rp_link-learn-2014-455x178111111111.jpgAhh I have finally been able to get my laptop to connect to the internet! I am flying home from a weekend in Atlanta where I got to teach people taller than me ( other bloggers) at Type A Parent Conference. Don’t worry tomorrow I will be back in circle time with my students and making kids crafts at home with my kids. It was amazing to share my passion for blogging with others and I feel renewed to keep blogging and sharing ideas here in No Time For Flash Cards.

Before we get to your links I would love to share a few that I want you to check out.

The first is our No Time For Flash Cards Facebook Page. If you have never checked it out, you must. We chat about education and crafts but we also talk about parenting issues and more.

The second are my quickly growing Pinterest boards. I pin all sorts of things but you will find a bunch of ideas for keeping your kids engaged and learning.

 

Thanks so much for adding your links!



15 Books About Cars and Trucks with Crafts To Match!

car and truck ideas for preschool We love cars and trucks and everything else that goes with them at our house. My son was obsessed with garbage trucks first, then moved to firetrucks, and my daughter loves bulldozers so much she had a bulldozer themed birthday party. Needless to say we have read a lot of truck themed books and created many fun car and truck crafts and learning activities. I have matched 15 of our favorite transportation themed books with activities and crafts that match them. I hope this post and all our other Read & Make` posts help you find simple activities to do with your kids or students.

The book link takes you to amazon and is an affiliate link while the craft link will take you to the full tutorial for the craft or activity.

 

Read and Make cars and trucks 15

 

Read I Love Trucks! by Philoemen Sturges and explore tire tracks with small transportation toys. This is great for toddlers.

Read and Make cars and trucks 18

Learn all about emergency vehicles  in  Emergency! by Gail Gibbons that race to fires and then work on fine motor development with this ripping and gluing letter f activity. Read and Make cars and trucks 13

 

The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore is the perfect match for this fun school bus craft. Read and Make cars and trucks 12

 

Read  Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha and then work on shape recognition with this simple shape garbage truck craft.

Read and Make cars and trucks 11

 

See all the different kinds of trucks on the road in I’m a Truck by Dennis Shealy then pop outside and give all your different kinds of trucks a good wash!Read and Make cars and trucks 10

 

Read about Firefighter Frank in this great book by Monica Wellington and then make him a shape firetruck. Read and Make cars and trucks 9

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis is a funny book and after reading about this stuck truck you can help your child develop fine motor skills with this cool straw truck craft.

Read and Make cars and trucks 8

 

Truck Driver Tom by Monica Wellington is another great book by one of our favorite author illustrators and after reading you can create your own town and drive Tom all over it with this upcyled doormat roadway. Read and Make cars and trucks 7

 

Read Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton  and then work on number recognition and number writing with these count and write fire trucks! Read and Make Cars & Trucks 6

 

Read Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson a great alphabet book and then work on sorting letters into upper and lowercase with this alphabet road activity. Read and Make Cars & Trucks 5

 

Curl up and read Sputter, Sputter, Sput! by Babs Bell and then make your own traffic light craft that is also a color matching activity!

 

Read and Make Cars & Trucks 4

Learn all about how roads are made in Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy then make your own roads with construction vehicles with this truck track art activity!

Read and Make cars and trucks 3

 

Count all the construction vehicles in Construction Countdown by K.C Olson then create your own construction site with this construction themed sensory activity. 

 

Read and Make Cars & Trucks 2

 

Race to read The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain and then use car makes for a literacy activity. This car alphabet is perfect for your car obsessed kiddo!

Read and Make Trucks 1

Last but far from least is this perfect pair. Read Machines at Work by Byron Barton then create this fun bulldozer craft using all sorts of shapes.