Friday, September 28, 2012

Lois Ehlert Toddler Crafty

It’s been awhile since I’ve read any Lois Ehlert books, and I can just say, WOW! They’re awesome! I love her various illustration methods. They’re unique and eye catching—we spent a good amount of time just looking at them all.

Here are some of the Lois Ehlert books our library had available.

We decided to do crafts based on two of the books. First, Eating the Alphabet. We own this book and have been reading it for, well, 3 years. It’s helped us identify—and try!—lots of fruits and veggies when we go to the grocery store.
Toddler Train Man doesn’t get much opportunity to use scissors, so we went through recent grocery ads and cut out foods that we like (or that I want him to like!). TTM does better when we’re working together, so we both cut out pictures, but I gave him the right of approval on my choices before they were added to our pile. 

After we had a good collection, we did some discussing and sorting. We put foods into groups—fruits and veggies, meat, freezer foods, and so on. We also looked at colors and which foods we’ve eaten most recently.

Finally, we glued the pictures into a collage. I thought we’d group them based on our discussions, but TTM wasn’t so interested in that idea, so he started with big pictures, then medium, then small. I guess that’s a grouping, right?
Yes, that's a boat in the middle. It was in the ad and apparently VERY interesting!

We also did a Leaf Man activity since our yard has perfect crafting supplies. First we did a nature walk around our yard and collected interesting leaves, sticks, pinecones… As we collected we talked about what we might design with them. Well that was an easy question: what else would Toddler TRAIN Man want to make?!

We dumped our haul onto the driveway and TTM decided to use sticks to make the top and bottom of the train (it’s actually Big Boy for other train lovers out there). We filled in the middle with leaves; the small sticks are LOTS of steam stacks and smoke. Wheels were an easy one, and the lone dandelion we found made a perfect light.

This was a fun craft that will never be duplicated! After we finished, we talked about some of the other things we might try to make next time—trucks and other trains, of course. The added bonus: we started fall clean up! This will also be a great activity to keep TTM engaged while I do more raking in the future.

Which Lois Ehlert books are your favorites? What fun activities have you done with them?


  1. Oh - this post makes me wish we had access to a library! I don't think we've ever read Lois Ehlert and we are obviously missing out! I love your crafts - especially the train with the dandelion light!

    1. Ehlert's illustrations are fantastic, but I'm not sure how they'd translate on an e-reader or online--maybe worth a try, though? I'm imagining the fantastic crafts your girls could create with the interesting nature in your yard!

  2. I love your activities! Leaf Man is probably my favorite of Ehlert's books, and Rrralph made all my kids laugh and laugh! My six-year-old adores Hands: Growing Up to Be An Artist.

    1. We haven't read Rrralph or Hands--looks like my next stop will be the request center at my library! We need a good, funny book!