Thursday, September 20, 2012

Toddler Book Crafts

Toddler Train Man and I have been going to library story time since he was about 3 months old. Sure, it could be argued that since he slept through some of those early sessions it wasn’t so much about him, but fast forward a few years and he now loves going to the library.

Our story time typically has a theme with books, songs, and a craft to take home, but we don’t get to meet every week, so I’ve found some activities online and created some of my own to supplement our reading craftiness. I think adding a craft to a book makes it more memorable and more fun. It also gives us a great opportunity to practice skills like cutting, coloring, gluing, planning, and so much more. But don’t let on that we’re learning, ok?

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons 
author Eric Litwin 
illustrator James Dean 
If you haven’t read any of the Pete the Cat books, you must! The books are also songs and those can easily be found online, but beware: the songs will stick in your head. For days. We changed the materials a little on this craft, using twisties instead of pipe cleaners with the buttons. We taped them on, and then they were easy to POP off as we retold the story. I think the same base could be used to get crafty with the other Pete books.
see the craft link here

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 
authors Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault 
illustrator Lois Ehlert
I helped a lot with constructing the tree. Maybe I mostly made it, but Toddler Train Man twisted the branches the way he wanted them. We had purple “coconuts” (pom pom balls) that were good fun and once little man started taking letters up the coconut tree, there was no stopping him! He repeated words from the book and had fun attaching the letters in different ways. The C was especially exciting because it could hang over the branches. Awesome!
see the craft link here
This was an early picture--clearly more letters need to fill that tree!

Dinosaur Train author/illustrator John Steven Gurney
We used marshmallows (or marshMELONs for the little guy) and toothpicks to create a train. We only made an “engine,” (it was really just a cube with a cow catcher/triangle off the front) then used dinosaur stickers and a boy sticker to act out the book. We also had a little talk about “construction not consumption.” Apparently building makes a boy hungry, so what to do? Eat marshmelons, of course. The conversation was strikingly similar to a conversation I had with 5th graders as we made sugar cube castles in connection to Castle in the Attic. Perhaps I need to think of non-food crafts???
I think the dinosaur is roaring.

Some books just beg to have a craft accompaniment, right? What kinds of book crafties have you done?


  1. These crafts are adorable and I haven't read any of the Pete the Cat books. Will have to try to get a hold of one or at least listen to the song.

  2. The publisher (Harper Collins) has the official version on their site, and it's good, but there are some fun live versions on You Tube as well. But I'm telling you, you'll be singing it for days! In fact, after listening to Pete's "I Love My White Shoes" my little guy would sing, "I love my frozen blueberries..." and "I love my tra-ains..." A very adaptable tune!

  3. We LOVE Pete the Cat - especially my three-year-old! Very cute craft :)