I always encourage my son to write a thank you note when someone gives him a gift. Sometimes we don’t have an opportunity to make our own thank yous, so I just use store bought cards. But when we have the time, we get out our craft supplies and go to work!
While searching for some new ideas, I came across Martha Stewart’s tips for thank you notes from kids. One of Martha’s tips that I have to share is, “Not all the gifts your child receives will be hits. Explain to him ahead of time that the gift giver’s thoughtfulness should be appreciated all the same.” Well put, Martha!
Of course, I found tons of ideas on Pinterest. One of my favorites is the watercolor thank you card, but there are many different and creative ways to say “thank you.” Since I don’t consider myself very “crafty,” this is the way that my son and I can have some bonding time, be artistic and say “thanks!” If you are interested in more ideas for making cards, check out these books for kids. Need more of a challenge? Try these craft books for adults.
Turn an egg carton into a dump truck, add some traffic signs and get trucking! We’ve tested the following activities on the bookmobile and received enthusiastic thumbs up.
To make the trucks:
We used DLTK’s pattern for the dump truck. We suggest you skip the paint and use markers instead. Markers allow your kiddos to custom detail their trucks. You can geek out adding specialty headlights and chrome wheels, but honestly, we got excited about drawing passengers and drivers. (One’s a hedgehog.) If you aren’t ready to hand your child markers, try stickers.
We also attached the truck bed with masking tape so that it can be raised and lowered. We think you will be impressed with this upgrade. Continue reading →
My kid is a hoarder collector. Wherever we go, she is always gathering rocks and stones. She forbids the recycling or throwing away of any scrap, bit or bob, so we are awash in small pieces of fabric, empty egg cartons and paper. I often agonize over the piles and messes, but I feel much better if I can see this stuff as useful. And this is reason number one that I love “Show Me a Story” by Emily K. Neuburger.
As a librarian and parent, I know the importance of early literacy skills to a child’s reading and school success. One of these is narrative skills, or the ability to describe and sequence events, tell stories and predict what will happen next. “Show Me a Story” is a beautifully presented collection of craft projects that create props or kits for storytelling games and activities. In our house we started with story stones, using Modge Podge, construction paper, paint and fabric to create characters and objects affixed to smooth rocks. (We have plenty of smooth rocks.) We made a dragon, sword, castle Continue reading →
The best way to describe Hervé Tullet’s “Press Here” is as an “old school” app. The book starts with a single yellow dot and instructions to “press here and turn the page.” Magically, the one dot turns into two. By following the instructions to shake, turn and rub gently, the dots shift, multiply and even change colors. Kids will hop on the opportunity to interact with this book. As an adult, I found myself magnetically drawn to the experience (and glancing over my shoulder to make sure no one was watching).
For more fun with “Press Here”:
Explore the French artist’s other books. They all encourage you and your child to interact with art. My favorite is “The Book With a Hole.” Appropriately named, this book has a huge hole in its center that transforms from a peek inside a pot full of whatever treats you describe to a basketball goal through which you are encouraged to throw papers. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly why I love this book. Continue reading →
Our next Missouri Building Block nominee is Lois Ehlert’s “Rrralph.” To be honest, I am a bit creeped out by the main character’s pop-top nose and zipper mouth (he is a collage of recycled materials). On the other hand, the book is a hit with its intended audience—preschoolers. Kids love pointing out all of the found objects in the illustrations. They also relish the quirky wordplay. Ralph is a talking dog, and young ones enjoy guessing how Ralph will answer questions with a dog’s limited vocabulary (e.g. “roof,” “bark” and “rough.”)
For more fun with this book:
Make your own collage animals. First go on a treasure hunt gathering scraps in your neighborhood or around the house. Then put the pieces together to make your own critters. For more inspiration, look at other books by Lois Ehlert. “Boo to You!” and “Leaf Man” are perfect inspiration for craft time during this fall season. Continue reading →