Our Favorite Books, Part 2

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To honor Dr. Seuss in his birthday month, and all of the other fabulous authors out there for young children, we are starting a new series: “Our Favorite Books.” In March, we’ll be posting three parts, each with 5 to 6 books, the first being a Dr. Seuss book. For each book, we’ll list some crafts, games, and/or other activities, plus a link to where you can get the books if you don’t have them at home or can’t find them at your local library. Don’t see your favorite book on our lists? Send an email to info@mycalendarmaker.com and we may add your favorite to our next list! If you like this craft, check out Our Favorite Books, Part 1.

Book #1: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

What You’ll Need:
*Your favorite light-colored foods such as eggs, milk, rice, potatoes, sugar cookie batter
*Green food coloring

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: What happened when he finally tried the green eggs and ham? Have you ever thought you wouldn’t like to eat or do something and then you actually did like it? If you have something on your plate that you think you don’t like, what should you do next time?
*Activity: Make some green colored foods! Check out our St. Patrick’s Day Lunch for some great ideas.

Book #2: The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss

What You’ll Need:
*Paper: black and white
*Pencil or crayons

*Read the book together and talk the different shapes things make.
*Discuss: How are shadows formed and what is a shadow? Click here for some facts on shadows.
*Activity: Tape a piece of white paper to the wall. Get some household objects or small toys and place in front of the paper. Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to create shadows of the items on the paper. Use the crayon to trace the shapes of the items.
*Game: Download images online and print. Make a silhouette of those images out of black paper. Play a matching game where your child has to match the silhouette and the picture.

Book #4: Swimmy by Leo Linny

What You’ll Need:
*Blue paper
*Red and black paint

*Read the book together and talk about the importance of working together.
*Discuss: How did you feel after when Swimmy was alone? Why were the other fish scared? How did Swimmy help them overcome their fear? What’s another example of how working together can make things easier for everyone?
*Craft: On a piece of blue paper, draw a rough, light outline of a large fish. Cut a sponge into a small fish shape.

Dip the sponge into red paint and sponge paint the small fish shape into the large fish.

Don’t forget to add one black fish – Swimmy—as the “eye”!

Book #4: Freight Train by Donald Crews

What You’ll Need:
*Various boxes, paint, tape, paper plates, cups, glue
*Construction paper, scissors, glue

*Read the book together and talk about all the colors in the book.
*Discuss: Where would you go if you were on a train?
*Craft: Make a train for your kids to play in. Thanks to Anne B. for providing us these great photos of a Thomas train she made for her son’s birthday party. Here’s what she did to make her train: “We started with a big box, smaller box ("cab") and a pizza box (face). We used spray paint to paint the body blue and the face gray. I used white and black poster board to make the eyes, mouth and smoke stack; red and yellow poster board for the stripes and number "1". I used a dixie cup for the nose - spray painted gray. A clear plastic bag for the "smoke". Lastly, we used paper plates for the wheels. Lots of tape and hot glue and voila a Thomas was born :-). The kids had a blast during Charles' birthday party getting in and being the train engineer!”

*Craft: Make a tangram train by cutting out construction paper shapes and forming them into a train.

Book #5: Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

What You’ll Need:
*Construction paper: dark blue or black and flesh-toned paper
*Yellow paint & paintbrush
*Wrapping paper

*Read the book together.
*Discuss: What does your family do in the summer when it’s really hot? As a child, the author imagined herself flying over the city, pretending she owned the buildings and the Brooklyn Bridge. What would you fly over?
*Craft: On a dark piece of paper, outline a city skyline with chalk. Paint in some yellow squares for windows. Add stars and a bridge. On the flesh-colored paper, draw yourself and cut it out. Use the wrapping paper to make a patchwork border (like in the book). Now, using the person you drew and cut out, “fly” over your picture.

Book #6: The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivisaz

What You’ll Need:
*Boxes, blocks, legos, tinker toys, etc.

*Read the book together and talk about the original story of The Three Little Pigs.
*Discuss: How is this story similar to The Three Little Pigs? How is it different? Who is the “bad guy” in the original story and this one? How do you feel about the wolves and the pig after reading this story? How is the ending different from the original story?
*Activity: Use boxes, blocks, legos, tinker toys, etc. to create a pig-proof house.
*Activity: Think of another classic fair tale, such as Goldilocks or Hansel and Gretl and tell the story from a different point of view.

This activity can be found in the Book Club section of our site.