CUTE! Time for STOP FOUR of the LOVE IS KIND Valentine Tour and it’s craft time! This VALENTINE BOOK INSPIRED CRAFT FOR SIBLINGS makes a great valentine, but is also fun any time of the year. And the precious conversation that she suggests to accompany the craft is priceless. Head on over to Glitter on a Dime for more on the craft as well as details regarding their book giveaway.
Saturday, February 2, 10:30 am. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Watchung Booksellers, Montclair.
Thursday, February 14, 6:30 pm It’s a special Valentine’s Day Pajama Story Time at the Kenilworth Public Library featuring LOVE IS KIND and a book-themed craft! Registration required – call or stop by the children’s desk.
Sunday, February 17, 2 pm. Join me for an interactive LOVE IS KIND story time. Simple Valentine craft to follow. Tottenville Evangelical Free Church, Staten Island, NY (Little Owl’s first Staten Island Appearance!)
Saturday, March 9, 10:00 am. Join me and DIVA DELORES at the Cranford Public Library for its 2nd annual Picture Book Palooza! Picture book authors and illustrators will be sharing books and crafts. This event, for children ages 4-8 and their families, will provide young readers with an opportunity to meet the creators of some truly amazing stories!
Sunday afternoon, I participated in a very special Girl Scout story time at The Book House in Millburn, where Fernando, Delores and I got to share our story, DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE! Our goal was to help the girls earn their “Respect Myself and Others” Petals.
First, after an animated reading of DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE, I asked the girls several respect-focused questions about the story. Here they are, if you’d like to do the same with your class or troop:
What did you think of Delores? Of Fernando?
Were they respectful to each other? How or how not?
Were they respectful of themselves? How or how not?
Did they learn from their mistakes and become better seal/mouse because of it? How?
Next, I had the girls think about their own lives. How can they show respect for the themselves and others? As they brainstormed examples, I wrote them down on a master list so we could all refer to them during the craft. Here are their responses:
Finally, for the craft, I had the girls make Respect Fans. The fan craft was a twist on the Feathered Fan craft below created by picture book author Rebecca Gomez. If you choose to do this activity, you’ll definitely want to follow this link to get the details on creating Rebecca’s charming feathered fan.
Our added twist was to write examples showing respect for self and others in each blade. (This is where the master list was helpful, especially since the girls were still beginning writers.) Each fan needed to include at least two examples that related to self and two that related to others.
I think all agreed that the lesson and craft were fun and successful in getting the girls thinking about respect and the many varied ways that it can be shown.
Thank you The Book House for having me, and thank you Daisies, for being such thoughtful, engaged participants. Finally, thank you Delores and Fernando for letting us learn from your experiences! Happy Reading, all!
TEACHERS AND PARENTS: This post is a treasure that should be book-marked. It contains a wonderful activity kit offered by Zonderkidz and created by my illustrator Lison Chaperon. The not-to-be-missed kit has an assortment of LOVE IS KIND-themed printables – including coloring pages, an adorable Little Owl mask craft and a post card activity!
You can download the kit here.
And for your convenience, I’m also including the downloadable baking activity with character muffin toppers seen above – perfect for birthday parties, class celebrations etc. Press here for that.
Happy reading and creating!
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.
I am adding the activity to the DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE extension activities tab above. Please check back periodically for more fun book-themed activities.
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
Last week, I picked up the much anticipated Ezra Keats’ THE SNOWY DAY stamps from my local post office and spent the LOVELIEST little while searching for the spot in the book where each stamp appears.
Afterwards, I thought what a great activity this would be for kids – one that engages young readers with the story, builds visual matching skills, and is just plain fun.
So… if you want to give it a go with your kiddos, here’s the step-by-step:
- Gather your supplies. Purchase a set of THE SNOWY DAY stamps from your nearest post office and check out a copy of Ezra Keats’ THE SNOWY DAY from your local library (or purchase a copy).
- Explore the stamps. Spend a few minutes with your child, examining the images in the stamp collection (there are eight, that then repeat.) Have your child describe what Peter, the boy in each stamp, is doing. This might also be a good time to explain what a stamp is. What is it used for? What does the “Forever USA” mean? Have they ever used one? (Maybe later on they can help you affix one of the stamps to an envelope with a note or picture enclosed, and send it to someone they love.)
- Go on a SNOWY DAY picture hunt. Now get cozy with the book and stamps close by and READ!!! As you read, see if your children can find the spots where each stamp image appears. (It’s fun! Enjoy!)
- Make your own SNOWY DAY stamps. After reading, extend the experience even further, by letting your children pick their own favorite snowy day moment and make their own pretend stamps (on small paper).
Happy SNOWY DAY all!
This week I’m sharing yet another ADORABLE new picture book out just in time for Valentine’s Day. Written by Jackie Azua Kramer and charmingly illustrated by Maral Sassouni in their double debut, THE GREEN UMBRELLA (NorthSouth Books, Inc, 2017) is story of a friendly pink elephant, his green umbrella, and the imaginative friends he meets along the way. Treat yourself to the delightful book trailer. Then help yourself to a rich serving of extension activities celebrating rain, friendship, sharing, and the power of imagination!
THE GREEN UMBRELLA: 10 Extension Activities
Make umbrella valentines. With its theme of friendship and kindness, The Green Umbrella makes a perfect Valentine’s read. Afterwards, celebrate friendship and kindness with your child by making these cute umbrella-inspired valentines using colorful paper, index cards, and those mini candy-canes that you might still have left over from Christmas!
Be an inventor. After enjoying the story, extend the fun by having your child imagine how THEY might creatively re-purpose the umbrella if they were in the story. Then using paper or clay, or whatever materials tickle your fancy, bring your idea to life! (For extra fun, have have a few cocktail umbrellas on hand to be incorporated into the creation.
Put on a play. Creatively re-enacting the story is a great way to embrace and reinforce the wonderful concepts of empathy, friendship, and imagination. So, after reading the story, have fun retelling it using stuffed animals, puppets, or yourselves! Don’t forget to use an umbrella as a prop!
Have an umbrella tea party. With your child’s help, fix a pot of tea (or lemonade) and arrange (or even bake) a plate of cookies. Then grab a picnic quilt, an umbrella and, if possible, a few friends! Select a cheery spot outdoors (or indoors if it’s raining), then read and have tea under an umbrella, just the way Elephant and his friends do in the story.
Take a rainy day stroll. Take advantage of the next rainy day to read the story and then take your very own stroll in the rain. Catch rain drops on your tongue, splash through puddles, and take turns holding the umbrella for each other! Then come inside for a book-themed rainy day snack of tea and cookies.
Shower the world with kindness (umbrella style!). Using little strips of paper brainstorm and write down 14 sweet acts of kindness. (Ex. Hold the door open for someone; Make a card for someone; etc.) Fold and tape the strips to the bases of little paper cocktail umbrellas. Place umbrellas in a bowl. Each day, select an umbrella to find your surprise mission. Then shower strangers and loved ones alike with your sweet acts of kindness.
Play umbrella hide and seek. While one person has their eyes covered, another hides the umbrella making sure everyone else sees where it is hidden. Then using clapping (to sound like soft rain or a raging storm) help the person whose eyes were covered to find the umbrella. No voices allowed. Only the pitter-patter of rain – soft if they are far from the umbrella and loud if they are close. (Warning: This game will be a big hit!)
Play musical umbrella. First put on your favorite children’s kindness/friendship themed album. (We like anything Raffi at our house.) Then, using the umbrella instead of the more traditional “hot potato”, sit in a circle and gently pass the umbrella to the music. When the music stops, everyone says one kind thing to the person holding the umbrella. Ex. You are funny. I like your striped socks. You make me feel welcome etc.)
Watch the book trailer. Then make your own!
Your turn! I know I said 10, but I have a better idea! I bet you might have some, so in the comments section below, leave an idea and let’s see how many we end up with!
Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Reading!
To learn more about Jackie, visit her website.
To learn more about Maral, visit her website.
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!