Homemade Monday: A Book and A Craft

When you read a book with your child, what usually happens? Feel free to describe the process in the comments below. Usually, though, we read the book and then we put it aside or we read it several times before setting it down to do another activity. All great activities, but why not bring the book to life?

Doing an activity before or after the book helps children remember the information they read, whether it’s vocabulary, instruction, or content. In today’s Homemade Monday, you will find four books paired with a craft or activity to extend the contents of the book.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
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  • Set up Weather Station.
    • After reading the book, go outside or look out a window with your child. Talk about what the weather is like at that moment. Ask the following types of questions: What does it look like outside? If it’s raining or snowing, ask what is that “stuff” falling from the sky? Is it raining meatballs? What colors do they notice? Is it cold? Is it hot?
    • Make weather pieces (a cloud, snowflake, raindrop, sun, wind swirls), using construction paper or craft foam and a magnet. Have your child place the correct weather piece on the fridge or a cookie pan.
    • Set up a weather calendar and keep track of the weather for a week. Look in the newspaper for the temperature each day and record that. Note the types of weather (rain, snow, clouds, clear skies, etc.). Have your child look for patterns.
    • Note here that the extention activity has nothing to do with the movie. The movie is great and very entertaining, but not as meaningful as a hands on activity.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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  • Make your own purple crayon drawing.
    • Using paper and a purple crayon, let your child design his/her own pictures. Put them together in a booklet and ask your child to describe each picture. Write a sentence about each picture.
    • Ask your child to read the book to you describing the pictures he/she made.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

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  • Make chocolate chip cookies after reading this book. My favorite is the Nestle Tollhouse recipe. But you can also make no-bake cookies. Just do a search on Google for No-Bake Cookies–keep in mind many of these recipes use peanut butter, so read the recipe carefully. Let your child help count out the right amounts and stir the cookies. It’s more about the process than the actual product.
  • Or make a paper plate cookie. Take a plain paper plate and paint it brown. Glue chocolate chips on the plate once it has dried, or cut out circles of brown paper and glue those to the plate.

And to name but just a few: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue! by Laurie Rosenwald

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  • You can choose any color book. My favorites include Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, Press Here by Herve Tullet, Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, Green by Laura Vacarro Seeger, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter, and Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Todd.
  • Make your own color book using paint chip samples from the home improvement store. Write the color word at the top of the card and then let your child place stickers on each card that match the color. Fasten them together with a ring or brass fastener.

Comment below with your favorite book activity!

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