Sunday 27 January 2013

Book characters comes to 'life'. Meet Andrea the Ant and friend.

Meet Andrea the Ant from the Carlos the Caterpillar and Friends book series for preschoolers.

How to make ants like Andrea
You need:
2 black plastic spoons

3 black (or blue) pipe cleaners

1 purple pipe cleaner & 2 googly eyes

No 1:

Place the 2 spoons end to end ( one is overlapping the other)

No 2:
Tightly wrap around the 3 black pipe cleaners for legs ( and to hold the spoons together

No 3:
Wrap the purple pipe cleaner around the spoons just below the spoon head and bend into feelers.

No 4:
Glue on 2 googly eyes (or if you want to cheat like I did, use blu tack)  
PVA or craft glue is good to use.

Now that you have made some ants quickly and easily, make up your own ant story for saying aloud to your children.  Get them to make up their own story and record it for them to listen to and watch later.  Take photos of your ants in lots of different places and make a family album giving them all names.

How about singing the song from my previous post "The ants go marching 1 by 1".  The words are on that post for you.  You can also see the YouTube of the song with animations.

So many activities with such a little bit of craft!

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Storytelling help for parents to 'bust kids boredom'

As I am relatively new to blogging, I'm not sure of the etiquette around it.....but....can I blog about someone else's blog?? Is that plagarism??
Anyway, here goes!
I love this Blog from Maggie van Galen, found on a USA site

Such great advice.

Previously I have shown how to make a toy caterpillar to look like Carlos the Caterpillar from one of my 5 books for preschoolers to get ready to read.

Wait for it but instructions are coming soon for Andrea the Ant craft.  You can then have fun making up your own stories with your children in all their favourite places!  Until then....

Thursday 17 January 2013

Reading aloud to children. Remember Dr Seuss?

Summer in Sydney is all about the sun, surf and Sydney festival.  Events at the Sydney Opera House are such a treat for all ages.
One of the wonderful children's shows presented is "The Cat in the Hat" live version of the Dr Seuss classic book, originally by the National Theatre, Britain now being performed by an all Australian cast.

Dr Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born in 1904.  He recalled that his mother used to "soothe her children to sleep by chanting rhymes".  Ted, as he was known to his family, credits his mother for his later "ability and desire to create rhymes".  He started out as a cartoonist in his working life.  After 27 rejections of his first book 'And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street', it was finally published in 1937.

Dr Seuss, as he became known, was commissioned to write 'The Cat in the Hat' using only 225 "new-reader" vocabulary words.  'The Cat in the Hat' has become a classic children's picture book, still enjoyed by families all over the world.  This book is even more special because it was written to help improve the literacy skills of children across the USA.  It was written to be read aloud and for young readers to learn to read.

Reading aloud rhyming, rhythmic books is so important for children's literacy preparation.  It makes them pay attention to the words, patterns and improves their listening skills.  Hearing and saying rhymes and word patterns is an essential pre-reading skill.  How wonderful it is to have fantastic books to read aloud and have fun with words.  It is a delight to share with your kids and helps prepare them for school literacy learning.

Check out my series of read aloud books, specifically written, with rhyme, alliteration and rhythmic patterns to help preschoolers get ready to read.  I hope you have a joyous time reading them to your kids with expression, rhythm and emphasis on the rhymes. :)  Enjoy Carlos the Caterpillar and friends!

Check out the YouTube vision of a trailer of the live show and see the rapture on the children's faces.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Make your own stories for your children

Making up stories for your children using family members and pets is exciting and stimulating for children.  Children love to hear about themselves and their lives.  They begin to use their imaginations and learn the structure of stories.  All this helps prepare children for reading stories and reflecting on what they have read.
Here is my example using my very own sock Carlos the Caterpillar and my very own cat :)  Puss-E-Cat is a character in my published book 'Izzy the Lizard'.

Summertime Fun with Puss-E-Cat and Carlos

Puss–E-Cat  whiled away the hours, thinking “Ah Summer!  Don’t you just love a good nap in the sun?”

“Come to think of it…..It is quite dry and scratchy here.  I might just go and find a new lush, green place to soak up the sun.” 

 All of a sudden, Puss–E-Cat wondered “What is that funny feeling on my tail?”  Carlos the Caterpillar contemplated “What is this furry lump I’m crawling over?”

Carlos was surprised.  He realised that this creature was moving.  “Be careful,” he murmured.  “This furry lump is alive!”

Carlos was a clever caterpillar though and thought,  “If I’m quiet I might just be able to climb over the top and get away from this creature.”

“Oh No!  I’m being chewed!  Just stay still and play dead,”  the clever caterpillar thought.

“At last …….released……freedom!”

“Phew!  That’s a relief.   I’ll have a little drink.  I hope these lovely birds don’t mind,” Carlos pondered.

“Aaah!  That’s better.  Those birds are very quiet, though.  Where has that furry creature gone?”

“Time for a sleep,” Carlos yawned.  “I think I’ll be a copy cat and soak up the sun on my back.”


Meanwhile, Puss–E-Cat had found a lovely, lush, lazy spot in the garden, soaking up the sun.

Carlos woke up and went to find a juicy green leaf to eat.   Puss–E–Cat was lurking in the leaves!  Clever Carlos decided to leave.  He went to find leaves in other, safer, greener places.

Puss-E-Cat decided to find another nice place to doze, where it was nice and quiet and no pesky pests to bother her.  So she did.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Caterpillar craft for the holidays

Create a Carlos the Caterpillar character
You need:
1 soft green sock

(Ok, I know they come in pairs, so make a friend for Carlos)

Wadding, stuffing or padding

9 purple pipe cleaners

(These are what I used from the $2 shop)

Googly eyes

End Product

View from underneath

No 1:
Stuff sock so that is nice and fat and full.
No 2:
Sew up the end of the sock tightly.
No 3:
Sew on 2 googly eyes at one end.
No 4:
Wrap around 2 pipe cleaners in each segment spot (4 segment spots).  Twist into place and spread to look like legs.
No 5:
Wrap 1 last pipe cleaner around the segment nearest his head.  Twist to make his 'horn'.

Easy, peasy lemon squeezy :)

Take Carlos out into the garden or park and have some caterpillar adventures.  Don't forget the camera!
Put Carlos in different places and make a story or movie of his adventures.

Please post any of your lovely escapades ;)

Mine is coming soon!