This craft came about because my son wanted to make a puppet to have a puppet show, and I wanted to do a panda bear craft because we’d never done one and I get requests quite often. I love using short cuts like cupcake liners if I have them on hand but you can just use white paper too. Puppets make great crafts because their usefulness extends past their creation and spark my favorite type of play – pretend play!
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper bag, some white cupcake liners or paper, black paper, black marker , googly eyes, glue and scissors.
- Start by having your child color the paper bag, a little, a lot it won’t make a difference to the end result. I have been trying to fit more pen/pencil/marker time for my son because we are working on his tripod grip and I am not a fan of sitting down and forcing a skill at this age. However if I can use a fraction of art time to practice it’s a bonus!
- While they color cut out a nose( which I forgot and had to do after I took this picture), 2 ears and 2 eye patches for the panda using the black paper.
- Next glue on a cupcake liner on the main part of the bag for the panda’s belly.
- Glue the 2nd liner on the folded bottom ( now the top) for the face.
- Time for more glue – for the eyes.
- Add the eyes. You can see crafts are so useful for things like fine motor skills not just killing time with your kids!
- Add the ears and nose too!
- Let dry and play.
Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson is a great book. I grabbed it only because of the title but found a gem. My son and I both loved it and had a blast reading it. The story is about a restaurant and the people , or rather animals that come into the restaurant in ever enlarging groups. The text is rhyming and well written. My son loved counting each group that came in figuring out after a few that each group was one animal larger. It was a great opportunity to practice one to one correspondence as he counted one each page. There was also a great message about there always being room for one more when all the chairs were taken and a mouse came knocking wondering if he could eat too!
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?by Eric Carle is a sequel to the much loved Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? . What I appreciate about this book isn’t just the vibrant illustrations or the repetitive text that encourages children to recite it along with the reader, it’s that the book is a great intro to endangered animals. The book introduces readers to animals like the giant panda , bald eagle and giant sea turtle that are all endangered. When my son was little he liked the repetition, colors and rhythm the test provides, now that he is older reading this book sparks talks about taking care of the earth and all her inhabitants.
I am so blessed , after giving birth I have had so many wonderful friends offer help and guest posts for No Time For Flash Cards. This one is from a dear friend Amanda from ohAmanda and Impress Your Kids , she is sure to impress you with this cute and tasty edible activity!
Is this the yummiest, cutest and most fun thing you have ever seen?! I saw this idea in a magazine and knew I had to try it. Well, after the panda-monium and panda-venture in the kitchen, I knew I had to share it with you! It’s an easy fun snack (or a full meal when coupled with some stir-fry) that introduces kids to new tastes and flavors, helps them with handling a knife and opens up conversations about pandas, other countries and cooking!
All you need is 1.5 cups of uncooked sticky/sushi rice, some celery stalks and a can of pitted black olives.
Cook the sticky rice according to directions. (We actually made ours with long-grain white rice by adding 3tb of rice vinegar, 1tb of sugar, 1.5tsp of salt after it was cooked)
While you’re waiting for it to cook, set aside a few whole olives for your panda’s ears. Then, give kids a butter knife and let them work on slicing the olives around its’ equator. My 4 year old could get about 3 cuts total on the olive.
My almost 2 year old? Well, he tried!
Then take a 1/4c or 1/2c measuring cup and firmly pack rice into it. Turn them over on a plate or waxed paper and carefully remove to leave a mound of rice!
Use your whole olives as the panda’s ears. Then take your slices and use as eyes, an tiny down nose and an upturned smile! Cut a few pieces of celery to resemble bamboo and you’ve got your own panda playmates!
My kids loved eating their pandas for dinner (along with soy sauce, broccoli and chicken). While they ate I read them two panda books that I just happened to have in our stash:
Panda Cakeby Rosalie Seidler
This is the cutest story about a Mama Panda who is making a special panda cake “that only pandas can make”! She sends her two sons to the market to buy the ingredients. The oldest panda decides to steal the ingredients from his animal friends (cherries from the birds, eggs from the duck, etc.) and then runs off to the fair to spend Mama’s money. While he’s gone, the animals visit Mama and demand their food back. But it’s too late—the panda cake has been baked. So, they all sit down to tea and cake! The animals are happy but when the young panda returns home, he’s sad to see his cake eaten up! This book has sweet illustrations and a fun cadence. It looks like it is out of print but I found it at the thrift store a few weeks ago and couldn’t pass it up!
Panda in the Park by Anna Milbourne
This was my daughter’s very first book. It’s an Usborne Look-Through book and tells the story of a panda playing hide-and-seek with his animal friends. It’s perfect for toddlers because of the bright colors, the bold questions and the fun holes and layers on the pages. It’s still one of my favorite books to read!
Amanda is a former Children’s Pastor turned stay-at-home mom. She blogs her crafty parenting endeavors at Impress Your Kids and her daily life at ohAmanda. She is also a 2010 Disney Mom, a bibliophile and long time lover of purple!