Check out my video with your child.
A Christmas wonderland made from Legos tells short visual stories while the music for We Wish You a Merry Christmas plays. Words appear on the screen. Then the music takes a more lively twist while the history of the song is revealed. Lego enthusiasts will be inspired to make their own winter town.
Notice that the carollers have the actual words to the song on the booklets.
Should such a little creature be called a DRAGONfly?
It should have a dragon’s name and I will tell you why…
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Variations on tradition rhymes about royalty.
This book has more ideas than you will ever possibly use for a party. There are chapters on making dolls, wands, books, wish boxes, and even fairy wings. Marsh gives details on preparing for the party, sending out invitations, food, cake, tablecloths and napkins, and even place cards. There is a whole section on games and activities most quite physically active.
Some of the creations require a great deal of effort and some are fairly simple. Many of them are quite beautiful and worthy of becoming a permanent keepsake.
Of course you can simplify everything and change things to suit your energy level, income, and needs. I used it as inspiration for a fairy night with my five-year-old granddaughter who was sleeping over. Here are some of the decorations we did using materials we already had and a few things from the dollar store.
Any physical activities outside were out of the question since we were experiencing a heat wave and it was excruciating hot at 9 pm. Instead we played table and word games with fairy themes such as “A fairy took from my house.” We did two rounds of took and two of left.
Our fairy door in the garden was too damp so we put one on the deck.
To see our decorations, games etc. check out this short video.
Some well-known and unfamiliar rhymes about cats, most with different interpretations.
Cat masks for followup fun. Add elastic. Print on heavy paper about 7 inches wide for a child.
Finger puppet mouse. Glue edges together for front and back. Print 1.5 inches wide.
Read one of my favorite cat books, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, reviewed here.
Follow up ideas:
Make a rain stick.
Make a rainy painting by dropping blobs of shades of blue paint and tilting the paper to make the paint run in streaks.
Make a lightning picture. Use black paper. Dip a string in white paint. Drop it onto the paper. Carefully peel it off.
Draw a giant rainbow outside with sidewalk chalk. Watch the rain wash it away.
Make bowls of mud (chocolate pudding). Add sprinkles for rocks and a gummy worm.
Umbrella Exercise. Fold a colored paper plate (flimsy one) or paper circle into 8 sections. Put 1 raindrop on the first section, 2 on the next, until there are eight. Make a second umbrella. In each section write a movement: hop, clap, stamp a foot, touch your toes, kick, tip-toe, giant steps, march. Put the umbrellas on the floor. Toss two quarters, or small bean bags, or rolled up socks, one to each umbrella. Do the action such as hop 3 times.
Make a mobile of raindrops made from blue cellophane. Hang in against a window.
Read a rainy story like https://wp.me/p1OfUU-n0 Outstanding in the Rain, A Whole Story with Holes, by Frank Viva.
Go for a walk in the rain. Snap pictures. Make your own rainy day book.
My granddaughter and I made a mini travel adventure with Duplo about Egypt. Of course she wanted a mummy in it. I decided to make it into a mini video and a series was born.
I created a Lego Dyplo adventure in London, England next. The two biggest problems were having enough Duplo for the large structures and convincing my granddaughter I had to take Buckingham Palace apart in order to build the next set. She wanted it to cover the dining room table forever. I added songs to this one and used PhotoShop to improve the pictures.
Lost in London: Using legos (mostly duplo) Cassie visits several historic sites in London, England but can’t enjoy herself until she finds Polly. What has happened to her best friend? This video is a great jumping off point for kids to write an adventure about Polly, whose appearance might surprise you. Sprinkled with variations of Mother Goose.
Check it out.
I knew I’d like this author the moment I read the dedication. Simple words with a powerful, important message.
Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure is a fun family picture book. It is a gentle adventure of a family of four, mother, father, 7 year old Davy, baby Kai, and two animated toys, one an alien and one a teddy bear. It features a family of African descent which I don’t get to see very often. However, families of all backgrounds will easily relate. What child doesn’t want their family to go for an adventure on a pirate ship?
During their search for gold, the family encounters a giant fish monster which Davy handles with confidence. When a huge storm comes up and flips the boat over it transforms into a submarine. Of course they find the gold and everyone cheers. On the last page we find that this is a beautifully imaginative story created during bath time.
Rauscher’s illustration style perfectly suits the story. The pictures, which seem to be pencil and watercolor, are gentle and endearing. Every character shines with personality.
Children who love imaginative play and pirate stories will want to hear this book over and over. It is reassuring with just a touch of suspense. I look forward to more work from this new author. Watch for an upcoming interview with Danual Berkley on this blog.
Durability 5 stars Has been dropped repeatedly and still works.
Play quality 5 stars Children enjoy making the sounds happen over and over and over! They will experiment with the puzzle to figure out how the sounds are triggered and what happens when a wrong piece is used. The instrument puzzle is great for vocabulary extension.
Safety 5 stars Only for children who are past the stage of putting things in their mouths.
Age interest 5 stars Engages children from 3 to 5 years old.
Storage and portability 3 stars There is no storage box. Once the wrapping is removed, it needs to be kept in a box or bag.
Price 5 stars There is a large variety of sound puzzles to choose from depending on the child’s age and interests. The average price is $15.00, reasonable for a special toy that lasts and teaches.