Step-by step instruction manual how to bring books to life in your home!
Every season brings new joys and adventures. Springtime in Texas is a delicate and beautiful season. The mornings start off cool, then gradually grow warmer. The sky sparkles a true blue color while the flowers come into full bloom, especially our state flower, the bluebonnets.
Spring is a time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather after months of being inside. The book, Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown seemed like the perfect book to bring to life this season. While this book does not have any kids in the story, there are plenty of animals that are enjoying the seasonable weather.
I hope you enjoy the following tutorial and glean inspiration for your own Book Day!
Book Days starts with the backdrop. The area designated for the theatrical reading sets the tone for the whole day. Here are the two steps to create your Book Day room:
1. BACKDROP- The first thing I do, is pick the color of the back drop based on the book. For this book, I picked red to go with the color of the barn.
2. FOCAL POINT- The focal point for this Book Day was the farm scene with a big red barn. It comes in three pieces and can be saved for other events. I found it on Oriental Trading for $13. In addition, I found some cute barn themed party decorations at Hobby Lobby as seen in the picture below that added a barnyard flare to other areas of the house.
Book Day snacks are the biggest hit of the day. I tend to favor sweet snacks, but for this Book Day I decided on a savory one.
I took one bag of Smart Pop and divided it into multiple small Ziploc bags. Then I used one sheet of green tissue paper per bag and twisted it on the bottom to create a corn husk. I tied each one with string to hold their form.
One of my favorite Book Day activities is the sensory play! Every bin introduces a larger understanding and exploration of the world around them. It is ideal for infants and toddlers, but still so beneficial for Pre-K and elementary age children. One of the biggest benefits of sensory play is how it fosters social interactions between children. (Source).
Here are the products used to make the Big Red Barn sensory bin:
-1 Storage box from Walmart
-4 Bags of popcorn kernels
-1 Pack of easter basket green grass
- Toy farm animals
-1 Big Red Barn board book (optional)
-1 Rectangle tissue box
-Red wrapping paper
-1 Bottle of red and white acrylic paint
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- White paper
-Large popsicle sticks
Begin this sensory bin by making the barn. Use a knife pen to cut out a square on one side of the tissue box. Next wrap the tissue box with the red wrapping paper like a present. Take your knife pen and trace the outline of the hole you just made. Set aside. Next paint seven large popsicle sticks red and two white. Let dry. Once dry, snap the white popsicle sticks in half. Use your glue gun to glue the red sticks on the flat surface above the opening and glue the white popsicle sticks at the top to mimic the barn ridge. Cut small strips of white paper to create a barn window. Place with glue gun. Once dry, position the barn in the corner of the bin. Place the easter fluff on the opposite side. Arrange the farm animals throughout. Place the board book next to the barn to encourage the kids to glance at the pictures while exploring.
One of the beautiful things about kids crafts is that they can be simple without a thousand parts and a novel of instructions.
The themed craft of the day was an invitation to create a custom cow.
Each child received a black piece of construction paper with a white cow silhouette stapled on it. Then they used black paint to create their own unique pattern. Some of the kids used their fingers to paint, while others used Q-Tips.
It is always to interesting to see the differences between the portraits.
Fine motor activities are important because they strengthen children's hand grips that are essential for every day tasks, such as tying shoe laces. (Source)
The fine motor activity for this Book Day was called "Collecting eggs." The book mentioned the hen's cluster of eggs. Instead of an Easter egg hunt with colorful eggs, I filled a batch of white eggs with farm animals stamps and stickers. It truly looked like the kids were collecting the eggs on the farm!
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)
I added this category to the original curriculum because I didn't want literacy to be separate from the sciences. My hope is that children doing this program, will not only have a greater love of reading, but experience a wholistic bundle of developmental activities.
This STEM activity was called "Which animal weighs more?" The children used bunny and chick peeps to experiment with scales. We used a balance scale and a digital one. The kids were very intrigued by how the scales adjusted when various peeps or objects were added or taken away. The objective is not about exact measurements, but creating a space where children can explore scientific concepts in a fun hands-on way.
The Big Red Barn is such a fun springtime book that engages children of all ages! If you have multiple kids in your family or homeschool group, invite them to dress up like the animals in the book and help you bring the story to life.
I hope this post has inspired you to see the depth of wealth that is sitting on your children's book shelves! Bringing books to life at home can provide an out-of-the-box event while creating an engaging hands-on educational experience. Whether you do one activity or all five, I know the kids in your life will be invigorated to read more and approach learning with a passion. Remember, everyone has a role to play in early childhood education. Whether you are a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or grandparent you have the ability to bring wonder through the lens of a book!
I want to challenge you to create a Book Day in your home! Let us know about it (email@example.com) so you can be featured on our page "Book Days Across America."
Until next time,