Peacock P !
It’s back! Our ever popular letter of the week craft is back now that we are in the swing of things. Our philosophy about these projects is to have fun with the letter , to introduce them and play with them. We don’t focus only on this one letter all week, instead we take a whole language approach and continue to work on all letters as they pop up in our every day life and reading. This peacock craft was a blast to make, he did all the cutting and although I was skeptical that we’d get feathers he did a great job!
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper plus a little scrap of orange paper, some paint, glue , a googly eye and scissors.
- Start by drawing a p on one piece of paper.
- Draw tail feathers on another.
- Paint the tail feathers. We chose to use our Do-A-Dot paints, they were perfect for this craft, but any paint or marker would be great!
- Add another color!
- Time to cut it out. I let him go for it this time and I won’t lie to you, I was worried we’d end up with 40 tiny feathers but he did great.
- While they decorate and paint the feathers, cut out the head feather and beak.
- As well as the P, add glue to it.
- Add your feathers to the glue.
- Glue the P to the 3rd piece of paper .
- Time to add glue for the beak!
- Add it on.
- Add more for the head feather.
- Pop it on.
- Last but not least add the eye.
Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes . . . Naturally by Betsy Franco is a really cute library find. The book is non fiction about all the fun shapes and funky patterns that you can find in the animal world. From the beautiful feathers of peacocks to the amazing shapes of a beehive each page discovers a new natural wonder that we often take for granted. What I like about this book is it’s bright bold pictures. so often the non fiction books available at the library are older and their illustrations are not exciting enough for young kids. Steve Jenkins does a wonderful job accompanying the information in the text. The author also does a great job with a rhyming text that is full of just the right amount information.
Animal Antics: A to Z by Anita Lobel is an alphabet book, not a great one but there is nothing lacking either, it’s just adequate. The setting is a circus and each letter has an animal performer illustrated and acrobats making the corresponding letter above. There is no story line, just a series of these pages. It’s not bad and if your child s really into the circus I could see them loving it, but at our house it was just ok.
The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Townby Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly it’s own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed! It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters .
Pumpkin p !
You had to know this was coming! I waited to do this activity until this week because we had a special day out at the pumpkin patch with close friends today. Piggy backing learning on special events like a trip to the pumpkin patch is a wonderful way to peak interest and make multiple connections, from art to book to real life!
- Gather your materials. You will need a neutral colored piece of construction paper, a green piece of construction paper, orange paint, a paint brush,glue, scissors , green and brown markers and a pumpkin stencil ( cookie cutter) if needed.
- Start by drawing or tracing a handful of pumpkins with the brown marker.
- Write a large lowercase p on the green paper.
- Have your child paint the pumpkins, today we used a tiny fine brush, I like to mix it up for my son but you can use anything, fingers, sponges… it’s your choice! Let dry.
- Hand them the P and draw the vines, this is when going to the pumpkin patch came in handy. At the pumpkin patch today the vines were everywhere, and so my son was able to connect that to art time!
- When the pumpkins are dry cut out.
- Cut out the p.
- Add the glue . Glue stick or white glue , we have made the move to glue stick because my son is finally not eating everything. I was worried he’d bite off a huge chunk and choke before now.
- Add the pumpkins and let dry.
Jeoffry’s Halloween by Mary Bryant Bailey is written in verse that is beautiful and the rhymes are impressive but I could not bribe my son to sit and read it. It was too sophisticated for him and I think probably too sophisticated for most children young enough to enjoy a picture book. I hate admitting that because I think the words coupled with the foggy dreamlike illustrations by Elizabeth Sayles are worth a look. I hope I am wrong , but I would not suggest this book for a preschool circle time , or even to be read one on one with the under 4 crowd.
In The Haunted House by Eve Bunting is the type of story that you aren’t sure if you should or shouldn’t read to your 3 year old. Well maybe it’s just me. I am easily frightened, I can’t even watch commercials for scary movies , so I was leary about reading this book to my son. He opened it and scanned it himself and then brought it over to me so I gave it a try. He loved it. The book takes the reader through a haunted house, and each scary thing it houses. While reading it my son would stop look at me and ask ” Is that just pretend?” ” Is that just a costume?” which made me feel better about reading it since he will see some scary costumes and if the idea that they aren’t real is concrete in his mind hopefully come Halloween his resilience will be a little stronger. At the end of the book you see the little girl and her dad coming out of the haunted house, she is exhilarated, but he looks terrified! My son loved that detail, great message about it being ok to be scared!
The Pumpkin Fair by Eve Bunting is a much cheerier look at Halloween than the last two selections. In this book the reader follows a little girl to the pumpkin fair where all sorts of fun things are going on. Pumpkin bowling, pumpkin basket ball and even pumpkin seed spiting contests! There are pumpkins of all sizes to buy but the little girl has brought her own that she grew herself. When awards are given out she is sure that her little bumpy p won’t win a thing but …. will it? I really liked this book, I liked the celebration it contained and the message about not having to be the biggest or most beautiful to be worthy and recognized. This was a big hit at our house too.
Get Thee To A Pumpkin Patch!
This time of year pumpkin patches spring up all over the place, in our area they are farms, in many places church parking lots are converted and even many supermarkets have a large enough selection to work in a pinch. Explore the pumpkins, notice the differences, the different colors, textures… My son took a liking to this one small shape of pumpkin and picked as many as could fit in our wagon. We were luck enough to also see some green ones on the vines, which opened up a little lesson about a pumpkins as plants not just Halloween decorations.
Make some pumpkin pancakes!
I made these for dinner the other night and we had the left overs for breakfast today to start off our pumpkin themed day !Check out the recipe over at my other blog don’t eat the paint.