I came across this blog No Time for Flashcardsand the author has lots of great ideas for crafting with books. Her ideas inspired me to pick a book from Hannah's (huge) stash and see what happens. My brain hurts a bit from all the retreat planning and now that it's over (sigh and big satisfied smile) I can move on to other things. One of Hannah's current favorites is from her Grammy. It's called Franny's Friends, by Catarina Kruusval. It's a cute story of Franny and her stuffed animal friends. Hannah's favorite friend is Itty Bitty Kitty (pronounced in a high pitched voice). Little Franny and her friends go on an outing - a walk and a picnic. Poor Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Heddy Hedgehog fall into a hole and must be rescued. Hannah loves to call out, "Itty Bitty Kitty, where are you?" dramatically as the friends search. It doesn't take too much imagination to come up with a few ideas for activities.
1. Coloring pages. If you're lucky you can find some online. They don't have to be from the story. I could find pictures of the different types of animal friends. Or even better, sketch a scene from the book on a huge piece of paper using a black sharpie. Don't worry if it's not perfect - your little person won't care. Hannah enjoyed coloring a big page I drew of Franny's friends on a hill.
2. We can take a walk and have a picnic with some of Hannah's favorite stuffed animals.
3. Act out some of the story. This particular book has lots of outdoor scenes. Hannah will love running around the yard trying to find a hidden stuffed animal while yelling, "Where are you?" at the top of her lungs.
4. Other inspired crafts. Franny is wearing a beaded necklace. We could make one similar.
5. Learning. We can practice counting Franny's 7 friends. When planning our picnic, we can count out 7 cups, 7 treats, etc. We can name and learn about the different types of animals named in the story. Franny dresses her friends. We can practice buttons, snaps, and zippers. We can name colors of the animals and their clothing.
Would I do all of these wonderful activities? Probably not. But you never know. When we are in need of an activity, picking a book off the shelf can give this mama lots of inspiration for hours of fun with my little one. None of the activities I thought of would take a whole lot of prior planning, which is very convenient. I forsee lots of book-themed days or weeks this summer. I hope you see some, too!