Archive for the ‘Early Childhood’ Category

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Re-enactment!)

Monday, February 27th, 2017

the-very-hungry-caterpillar

My kids and the small red-headed girl next door re-enacted the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You can make a simple caterpillar sock puppet by hot gluing some google eyes onto a sock. Then have your kids draw, color, and cut out the many foods that the caterpillar eats throughout the book.

One of my sons filmed and edited the video. The small red-headed girl next door read the story, and my daughter played the part of the caterpillar puppet that chewed through lots of food because it was so hungry. At last the caterpillar became a cocoon, and then he emerged as a butterfly!

Take a look at our cute re-enactment of this classic children’s story:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit Study

If you are making this into a unit study, you can also do the following hands-on activities:

  • Make a tissue paper butterfly craft (with free printable)
  • Create stained glass window bowls
  • Tie dye coffee filter butterflies
  • Read other books about butterflies
  • Chase butterflies with a butterfly net and identify them
  • Watch a butterfly drink nectar from a flower

You can find instructions on how to make each of these crafts here:

spring-picture-books

The Gingerbread Man: Hands-on Activities

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

the-gingerbread-man-hands-on-activities

One of my daughter’s favorite books is The Gingerbread Man, so we decided to do some hands-on activities to bring this book to life! We decorated gingerbread men, put on a goofy stick puppet show, made a little pillow and a flip book, and ate some pancakes in the shape of the gingerbread man.

the-gingerbread-man-activities

Decorate gingerbread cookies:

First we decorated gingerbread cookies. This activity is great for all ages. You can bake the cookies yourself, or you can buy a set of gingerbread cookies already made at the store. You will need white icing, which you can dye several colors with egg dye. You will also want to decorate with chocolate chips and any other small candies. You can often find kits around Christmastime that include the cookies, the icing, and the embellishments all in one box. (You can decorate a gingerbread house, too, where the little old woman and the little old man can live!)

the-gingerbread-man-puppet-show

Put on a goofy stick puppet show:

Using the cookie that you decorated as the main character, re-enact The Gingerbread Man story. My daughter used table place mats for the backgrounds for her show. She also drew the little old woman, the little old man, and the gentle brown cow on some stiff white card stock paper. She taped popsicle sticks to the backs of her stick puppets.

She grabbed a small bear from her room and a gray wolf puppet to play the part of the red fox. We were going to make a river out of a blue blanket but forgot. You can see for yourself how much fun we had re-enacting this fun story:

Make a small pillow of the gingerbread man:

You will need brown felt, brown thread, and some buttons. This is a simple sewing activity that small children can enjoy. You will find instructions on how to make this fun project here:

gingerbread-man-pillow

Make a gingerbread man flip book:

Staple some pages together, and use gold or brown construction paper to make your flip book. You can have your child re-tell the story either in words or in drawings on the pages. For more information on how to make this booklet, go here:

gingerbread-man-flip-book

Make shaped pancakes:

Why not finish your Gingerbread Man unit study with a fun pancake meal? You can use a cookie cutter in the shape of a gingerbread man to cut out the shape from large pancakes. Use chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, and use chocolate syrup for the mouth and background. For more instructions on this activity, go here:

gingerbread-man-pancake

I hope you enjoyed all our hands-on ideas for bringing this book to life!

decorating-gingerbread-men

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (film & parody!)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie

My daughter and I filmed If Your Give a Mouse a Cookie. It was my daughter’s idea; she wanted to film each scene in the same rooms as the book. To get ready, we collected the book and a mouse finger puppet.These are the activities we did to have fun with this classic children’s book:

Bake some chocolate chip cookies.

While reading the story, treat yourself to some milk and cookies.

cookies

Draw and color the mouse family.

While the chocolate chip cookies are baking, you can draw the picture that the mouse draws in the book, because you will need it for the scene where the mouse tapes the drawing to the refrigerator.

drawing-if-you-give-your-mouse-a-cookie

Film your version of the book.

If your kids want to film their own version of the book, you can film a “response” to our 2-minute YouTube video:

Here are some scenes we photographed. The first is the mouse drinking the milk with a bendy straw.

mouse-drinks-milk

Here is a photo of the mouse and the “box” with a blanket and pillow. My daughter reads him a bedtime story.

mouse-a-cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Parody for Older Kids

If you have older kids (junior high and high school), you can do a parody of a classic work of literature, using the basic story structure of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. For example, here is a parody we wrote using Romeo and Juliet:

If You Give Romeo Juliet

If you give Romeo Juliet,
hes’ going to freak out when he realizes she’s a Capulet.
When he freaks out,
he will be too hormonal to care, so he’ll ask her to marry him.
When he asks her to marry him,
she will go to a friar who will give her a fake poison to drink.
When Juliet drinks the friar’s fake poison,
Romeo will think she is dead, so he will stab himself.
Shortly after Romeo stabs himself,
Juliet will wake up from her fake death.
When she wakes up and realizes that Romeo is dead,
she will fall on her sword.
When both families hear of their deaths,
they will decide to reconcile.
So… when a future Romeo loves a Juliet,
he will not have to freak out when she’s a Capulet!

If you would like a great deal on Early Childhood workshops, take a look at this Early Childhood Mega Pack.

If your kids are older, you will love the Romeo and Juliet Unit Study!

 

Decorate a Clover Leaf

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

decorate-a-clover-leaf st-patricks-day-crafts-12St Patricks Day crafts are fun for young children. One craft that even toddlers can enjoy is to decorate a clover leaf. Dump green craft supplies on top of your table and have your kids design their own green St Patricks Day clovers!

This is how we decorated our spectacular green clover leaf: Grab some green card stock paper and draw a large clover leaf. Cut out the leaf. Get some sparkly green paper (found at craft supply stores), and glue the card stock paper to the glitter paper. Now cut around the clover leaf, leaving about a centimeter of glitter paper showing.

st-patricks-day-crafts-13Have your child glue fake green jewels all around the outer edge of the clover. We just used regular white school glue, which dries clear. Now glue any design you want on the rest of the clover, using green art supplies such as feathers, buttons, sequins, scraps of cloth, and other similar items

We drew large tear drop shapes with glue, and then my daughter shook green glitter on top of the wet glue. (The green glitter looks like pixie dust.) Just pick up the paper, and all the loose glitter falls off, revealing a beautifully decorated clover leaf!

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