We took a short break from the Virtual Book Club for Kids, but we’re back for the start of the school year. I hope you’ll be joining us as we explore a new author each month! This September we’re reading books by author Bill Martin Jr. (All book links, including images, are Amazon affiliate links).
Inspired by Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?, and to go along with our All About Me lessons last week, our companion craft was an All About Me activity focused on learning about our family.
First, our review of Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
My Review: I love the simplicity of the verses in this book. The repetition sets an easy pace for nonreaders to follow and is great for early readers to practice word recognition. Plus, it’s very soothing to listen to at bedtime and easy to read when you’re about to fall asleep during the kids’ bedtime stories. Eric Carle’s collage-technique illustrations are always pleasing and are just vague enough to let little ones’ imaginations fill in the gaps and details.
The Children’s Review: This is one of our home library staples that is pulled out month after month. My 4.5 year old has loved memorizing each animal and it’s description since we started reading this book a few years ago and my son is infatuated because he adores anything that has to do with animals.
Cool Fact About Bill Martin, Jr.: He didn’t learn to read until college at age twenty.
Family-Themed All About Me Activity
- Round paper plates
- Googly Eyes
- Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils
- Brad (aka split pin or brass fastener) or pipe cleaner
- Hole Punch
- X-Acto Knife
*You can skip the Parent Prep and just draw the eyes on each plate if you prefer.
Parent Prep Step 1: Cut off the curved rims of the plates so you have flat circles. You’ll need one plate for each family member.
Parent Prep Step 2: Place the googly eyes on a plate and trim around it with an X-Acto knife.
Parent Prep Step 3: Using the first pair of circle cutouts as guides, make the same cutouts in the rest of your plates.
Parent Prep Step 4: Glue the googly eyes down on the bottom plate.
Parent Prep Step 5: Punch a hole in each plate and secure the stacked plates together using a brad or a loosely tied pipe cleaner. Leave enough slack in the pipe cleaner so each plate can swivel to the side to reveal the next plate.
Step 1: Decorate your “faces.”
My daughter chose colored pencils – only one color at that – and didn’t want to use any other accessories, but you could glue on accessories like yarn hair or construction paper clothing. Or, your child could choose different colors for each family member. She wrote everyone’s name at the bottom of the “faces.”
Step 2: Tell your story.
When my daughter finished her craft, we read through the faces in the style of Panda Bear (e.g., “Mommy, mommy, who do you see? I see a Daddy standing by me”, etc.). This was a great way to end our All About Me adventures during the first weeks of back to school.
* * *
For more Bill Martin Jr. book-inspired crafts and activities, check out these great ideas and submit your own:
Virtual Book Club for Kids is brought to you by these fabulous hosts and friends. Visit their sites for tons of thoughtful early literacy crafts, activities, recipes, play ideas, printables, and lessons.
Toddler Approved– The Educators’ Spin On It– Rainy Day Mum– 3 Dinosaurs– Learn~Play~Imagine– Crafty Moms Share– Reading Confetti– Inspiration Laboratories– Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas– Kids Yoga Stories– Enchanted Homeschooling Mom– Ready-Set-Read– Boy Mama Teacher Mama– PlayDrMom– Fantastic Fun and Learning– Growing Book by Book– Royal Baloo– The Outlaw Mom® Blog– Kitchen Counter Chronicles – Teach Preschool–Mama Smiles – Coffee Cups and Crayons