A quick book craft for you
As I’ve mentioned before, I work with preschoolers for my job. My workplace has about zero budget for materials, so I buy, acquire, and make a lot of my own stuff. One of the things I made is a felt board. I do a lot of traveling within my part of town for my job, so my felt board needed to fit in my backpack and roller bag. It also needed to be big enough to hold the pieces I want to use – and be able to spread them out some. I think this project cost me all of $1.20 or so, for the piece of felt, as the book was free and I already had the glue.
I ran across a larger hardback kids book whose pages were drawn on and ripped up. The cover was in great shape, though, making it perfect for my purpose. The felt came from somewhere like JoAnn’s Fabric and Craft Store.
I carefully sliced out all the pages with an X-acto knife. Then I cut my large piece of black felt to the dimensions of the inside of the open book covers, allowing just a touch extra to tuck into the spine. I spread ModPodge Matte (I happened to have some in my craft stash – I suspect Elmer’s Glue would work just fine here) all over the inside of the book covers, and laid the felt carefully, working from end to end. I left the book covers open and let the whole thing dry overnight. When it was all dry, I went back to trim off any felt bits hanging over the edges of the book covers, then carefully closed the book covers – listening and feeling for any glue cracking off the spine. No cracks – the felt stuck to the inside of the book spine!
I have sets of felt pieces for some of the stories I do with my kids at work. One of the sets is for Go Away, Big Green Monster, by Ed Emberley. I found a felt set on Etsy a while back, and a printable craft on KizClub. I read the story with the kids, then do the story again (more or less, as I remember it) with the felt pieces on the board, then we put the monster face together with the paper pieces and glue. We work on things like extending phrases (not just “eyes” but “two big yellow eyes”), articulation, identifying/labeling descriptors (colors, size, quality, prepositions), requesting (asking for the paper pieces and glue), responding to questions (what’s missing?, who has the X, whose turn is next, what should we make go away next?), waiting your turn/listening for your name or the pieces you have (some of them are better about it than others) and so forth.
I also found a spooky candle at the dollar store. It’s a little tough to tell here, but it’s purple glitter spiders on a frosted plastic tube, with a battery-powered tea light. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve offered to read our story (how I begin every group) by “candlelight”, but only if everyone is okay with turning off the overhead light. We have a couple of big windows, so it’s never actually dark in our room. I check once or twice during the story to see if it’s gotten “too scary” yet. We also check out the candle before story time, so everyone can see the “flame” is just pretend, and it’s safe for kids. I WISH I’D FOUND THIS CANDLE YEARS AGO! The kids are sooo into it!
Go Away, Big Green Monster paper craft – color version: http://www.kizclub.com/storypatterns/monster(C).pdf
black and white version: http://www.kizclub.com/storypatterns/monster.pdf