TEACHERS, PARENTS, LIBRARIANS: Extend your story time with this printable DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE coloring page created by Sterling Children’s Books. After coloring it in, make it super special by adding pink feathers and glitter. For extra, extra fun, use the coloring page as a jumpstart to write your own story about what you think might happen when Diva Delores and Fernando star in their next opera production. Have fun!
Thank you, Rebecca Gomez, for creating this fabulous feathered fan craft to go along with DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE. The activity also includes thoughtful suggestions for a “diva-themed” discussion with your child as well as ideas for using the fan to re-enact parts of the story. You can check it out here or by clicking the image above.
A children’s author, poet, and fan of all things creative and fun, Rebecca enjoys sharing helpful tips and inspiration for readers and writers, occasional book reviews, and random musings about life. Her picture books WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? (Atheneum, 2015) and HENSEL AND GRETEL NINJA CHICKS, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016). Check out her wonderful website/blog to learn more.
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This week I’m delighted to share with you Susanna Leonard Hill’s ADORABLE new board book WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman and published by Little Simon. It’s the third in her WHEN YOUR… series and just as cute as the first two. Now, to celebrate reading in general – and this book in particular – here are six book-themed extension activities perfect for 2 – 4 year olds. So, invite your darling little ones to find a good spot to read… and then extend the fun with one, two, or all of these activities (which rhyme, by the way, just because).
WATCH A LLAMA CLIP! CLIP!! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little ones might be wonder what it looks like when a real llama gets a hair cut. If so, grab your tablet and watch some llamas getting hair cuts with this short but fun youtube video from Galloping Winds Ranch in Florence, Texas:
2. TAKE A HAIRY FIELD TRIP! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little one may decide it’s time to get your own buzz or trim. Take along the book and read it while the stylist snip, snips.
3. CREATE A SNAZZY HAIRDO (without scissors)! After enjoying all the snazzy llama hair-do possibilities, you and your little ones may decide you want to give each other hair-dos. Make sure there are no scissors in sight, but do encourage gentle combing to remove the tangles. A spray water bottle will add lots of styling options and help the hair-dos to stick. Barrettes, ribbons, mousse and gel, optional. Afterwards, pretend it’s picture day – just like in the story – and say “Cheese!” for the camera.
4. DO A PICTURE READ THROUGH… After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, your child may want to re-read it to you using the pictures as clues! Reading the pictures is a great pre-reading skill because it encourages interacting with the page. So, snuggle up and enjoy being “read” to.
5. HAVE A LLAMA BOOK FEST! After reading the story, you and your little ones may decide you want to read more llama-themed books! If so, head to the library and have a llama-themed book fest! Your librarian can help you find some good books.
6. LLAMA CRAFT TIME IS THE BEST! After reading WHEN YOUR LLAMA NEEDS A HAIRCUT, you and your little ones may want to do a llama-themed craft. There are oh, so many, possibilities on Pinterest and elsewhere. Here are a couple of links to get you started. Enjoy!
Llama Drawing Project: http://www.smallhandsbigart.com/llama-drawing-project/
Make a Llama Vase: https://abeautifulmess.com/2018/01/make-your-own-llama-vase.html
Today’s craft/game would fit in nicely with a pre-k or early elementary lesson on number order and logical thinking. It can also be used as a fun extension for your favorite cookie-themed picture book. Some of my favorite cookie themed picture books include Ame Dyckman’s TEA PARTY RULES, Laura Numeroff’s IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE and Pat Hutchins’ THE DOORBELL RANG.
Felt Cookie Sheet “Number Order” Game
These cookies are counting on you to get their chips in number order!
To make the cookies, trace eight circles onto stiff tan felt, using a small drinking glass as a template. Decorate each cookie by gluing on chocolate brown felt chips. Put one chip on the first cookie, two on the second, and so on. The final, eighth cookie should have eight chips.
Next, arrange the cookies on your gray felt “cookie sheet” in three snug rows. Your third row will have one extra space. Snip the excess strip from your cookie sheet so that there is space for only nine cookies.
To play, mix up the cookies and place them on the cookie sheet. See if you can arrange them in number order without picking them up! Instead, slide them around the sheet using the empty space to help you. Have fun!
Afterwards, treat yourself to some real home-baked chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
Today, in celebration of the release of the board book LITTLE LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD (Zonderkidz, 2015) I am delighted to be interviewing author Glenys Nellist. She’s here as part of her blog tour. And since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, Glenys has also brought along a printable Valentine’s Day craft which she will share after the interview. One lucky reader will also receive a free copy of this terrific new rhyming Bible storybook for littlest readers. Well, let’s get started.
It’s been my pleasure! And now for the craft!
Here’s a fun craft for the parent or grandparent (or aunt or uncle, or teacher or friend) of a little GOODNIGHT, ARK fan.
I love Jane Chapman’s depictions of the snakes in GOODNIGHT, ARK. Her amicable yellow and green striped snakes appear on many of the spreads and are about the coziest looking snakes I’ve ever witnessed. So when, in the process of sorting through my yarn drawer, I discovered some leftover yellow and green yarn balls, imagine my excitement!
Want to make your own cute Bendy Knitted Snake? Here’s how:
green and yellow yarn (to match the snakes in GOODNIGHT, ARK)
knitting needles (I used size 6)
a yarn needle
two yellow pipe cleaners, twisted together to make one long piece (so that snake is bendable)
1. Cast on six stitches with yellow yarn. Knit a row, pearl a row, etc. until you have 12 rows. This will be the head.
2. Switch to green for two rows, then alternate four rows of yellow, with two rows of green until you reach your desired length.
3.For the tail, switch to green, reducing every other row until two stitches remain. Cast off.
4. Using the yarn needle and green yarn, add on two green snake eyes.
5. Before stitching the snake closed, gently poke the tip of your pipe cleaner strand through the pearl side of the head (and then back again). Fold the tip in firmly so that the pipe cleaner will stay in place and not be pokey. Stretch the pipe cleaner out so that it fits nicely in the snakes insides. Every so often as you stitch the underbelly closed with yellow yarn, loop a stitch around the pipe cleaner so that it stays in place. Continue until snake is completely stitched together.
6. Now you have a cute reading buddy to share with your little reader. For extra fun, make a pair! It might even be fun to let your snakes slither across the pages of GOODNIGHT, ARK as this friendly fellow is. Enjoy!
Yesterday, I received a lovely note from Mrs. Riethmuller, a pre-K teacher at the Elfinwild Presbyterian Church Preschool in Allison Park, PA describing how much she and her students have been enjoying “Goodnight, Ark.”
Here are some excerpts from Mrs. Riethmuller’s delightful note, along with pictures that show her class room all decked out “Goodnight, Ark” style!
“I must share with you that the Purple Room is featuring “Goodnight, Ark” for Reading Adventure Days this week. The children are loving your book. We have almost 300 children that will hear it! Your rhymes are clever and, of course, we are familiar with Jane Chapman’s illustrations. This familiar Bible story is FUN!”
“In addition to hearing “Goodnight, Ark”, the children have been able to make a quilt on the felt board, build an ark on the light table, make play dough animals, decorate a lantern, decorate a quilt square to be hung on the wall and enjoy and animal cracker snack! It has been like “Christmas morning” with excitement!!
And now for the pictures!
The these colorful patterned paintings were inspired by Jane Chapman’s end pages. Didn’t the children do a marvelous job!
Can you spot the copy of “Goodnight, Ark” on the table in the corner surrounded by pairs of animals? FUN!
Hanging from the ceiling are the lanterns like the one Noah had in his hand and stars from the cover of the book. The cover letters and stars are also featured the door. The back wall is an ark and the children chose to create boars, skunks, or quail (all embellished with glitter, of course!).
The last picture shows more Noah’s ark-themed elements. Look closely at the little red dots above the silhouettes of the children and you will notice they are ladybugs! (Also inspired by the end pages.)
Thank you, Mrs. Riethmuller for sending me such a fun note! I just LOVE seeing how you and your students have brought Noah and his ark to life in your classroom. Happy Reading Adventure Days to you and your class!
When I taught 2nd/3rd grade Sunday school I was always looking for fun crafts and clever strategies to help the kids memorize their monthly Bible verse. With that in mind, here’s a Bible memory craft/game I came up with that I hope you, too, will find useful should you find yourself teaching Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. It’s also makes a fun at-home activity. Happy Spring (almost)!
DO THE SHEEP SHUFFLE
Shuffling these sheep into the correct word order is a great way to memorize your favorite sheep-themed Bible verse!
9” by 12” sheet of green construction paper
9” by 12” sheet white construction paper
black marker scissors
A sheep-themed Bible verse of your choice. (Suggested verses: Psalm 23:1, Psalm 100:3, John 10:11)
For the meadow, fold green construction paper to make a 12-box grid.
Using black marker trace eleven sheep onto white construction paper. Color the heads and feet black. Cut out.
Select your sheep verse. Depending on the verse length, write one or two words on each sheep. Be sure to use all eleven sheep.
Mix the sheep and place them in the meadow.
Try to arrange the sheep in correct verse order without picking them up. Instead shuffle them up and down the meadow grid, using the empty space to help you.
I like making and writing crafts for many reasons. As a former teacher, I find they’re a valuable and fun way to teach kids how to follow step-by step directions. The written directions can also be used as models to teach kids how to write their own instructions. As a writer, I find they’re a refreshing change of pace from my regular writing mode. As a mom, I find they’re a good excuse to spend special time with my kids. They are also a great activity for playdates.
So, in celebration of Halloween, writing, creativity and playdates, here’s an easy craft you can make with your kids using plastic ring tabs.
Spooky Halloween Rings
What you Need:
- plastic ring tabs (from juice or milk cartons)
- felt scraps: orange, black, white, green
- black embroidery thread
- white tacky glue
How to Make It:
- Trace and cut out simple Halloween shapes such as a cat, pumpkin, or ghost from black, orange, or white felt. Glue these on to the round part of the plastic ring tab.
- For the pumpkin, cut eyes and toothy grin from black felt and a stem from green felt. Glue on.
- For the ghost, glue on two eyes and an oval mouth cut from black felt scraps.
- For the cat, cut and glue two green felt eyes. Snip four two-inch strands of embroidery thread , tying them together with a central knot. Snip the ends till the are perfect whisker length and glue in place.
- Once dry, slip the rings on your fingers and enjoy!