Do you love children’s books as much as I do? I don’t know if it’s the fun and engaging language or the beautiful and striking illustrations, but I am all about picture books! I can’t get enough of them.
When a particular kids’ book really strikes my fancy, I try to come up with a craft or activity to go with them. Some are incredibly obvious and some take a little more thinking-outside-the box with creative planning. Either way, they compliment the story nicely and provide an immersive experience for my children.
Today I’m going to share with you our three latest bookish crafts we’ve created for some truly amazing new releases.
Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre
Planting Stories (written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar) is a beautiful piece of history for children age 4-6. The recount of Puerto Rican Pura Belpre immigrating to America and spreading her native folktales and stories for generations to come is inspiring and heartwarming. My daughter loved this book so much that immediately asked me to read it again once we had finished. My son has told me he wants to be a storyteller when he grows up. To put it simply, the story really speaks to my children. The illustrations are whimsical and imaginative and really stirred the creativity inside us! We decided to create a book garden inspired by the title: Planting Stories.
We grabbed an old thick book and some winter flowers. First, we started by drawing a rectangle on the first page and cutting a section out through the first few chapters. (It doesn’t have to be even or perfect, we’re going to be filling it with dirt!)
Next, my kids dug in the yard to scoop some damp soil into our fresh book cavity.
Now, it’s time to plant! Each of my kids took turns placing their winter flowers where they’d like them spaced and packed the roots in with more dirt.
They’ve quite literally: Planted Stories. Or planted flowers within a story. Either way, it got us outside and talking about the book while we worked with our hands!
Harold Snipperpot’s Best Disaster Ever
Written by Beatrice Alemagna, this is a tale of a lonely boy who has never had a real birthday party. His parents are grumpy and he longs for friendship and excitement. He definitely gets what he asked for when they throw him a party for his 7th birthday…but the guests are not who you’d expect. It’s one WILD ride with a wonderful warm ending.
In order to play into the wild theme, we considered the upcoming Valentine’s holiday. Instead of giving cards with candy, we opted for something a little more creative and useful. We were inspired by the tutorial from KidLitCrafts and decided to make our own seed paper. The kids had never made their own paper before (and it’s been about 15 years since I have), so it was a perfect craft to introduce them to! We scooped the Wild Valentine’s Card free printables from KidLitCrafts and got started!
First, the kids shredded construction paper of their choice and added them into a bowl with water. We mixed it well and let the paper soak for 3 hours.
Next, we added our watery paper to our blender and mashed it into a pulp!
(looks appetizing, I know)
Dump your paper pulp out on a paper towel lined tray or cookie sheet and pat and roll flat. (We used a silicone spatula).
We used a kitchen towel to soak up the excess water on the top of the pulp pancake, then sprinkled out seeds throughout! Let your paper creation sit out on the counter for 1-2 days to completely dry.
Once our paper was dry, we made a heart template and cut out hearts to tape to our Valentine’s Day Cards for friends! This was such a sweet craft and a wonderful pairing with this wild book!
This beautifully illustrated book by Lindsay Moore lends itself so well to imaginary play! As soon as we were done reading it, we brought out our arctic animals from Safari Ltd. and gathered some art supplies. We decided to recreate the watercolor depictions of the Aurora Borealis found throughout the story. We loved following along with the journey of a polar bear and learned how important sea ice is to Arctic animals!
Let me know if you plant a book garden or try your hand at making seed paper! Leave a comment telling me your favorite bookish craft!