Tag Archives: Lydia Monks

Summer Book Exchange: The Singing Mermaid

When I signed up for The Educators’ Spin On It Summer Book Exchange, there seemed to be plenty of time to do the activities we’d be sent. In reality though, it’s been the busiest three weeks of the school calendar full of events during the week and with weekends packed with parties and outings. We’ve barely had time to breathe, let alone sit and do some structured crafts. Eek!

We were paired with Here Come the Girls. You can see a sneak peak of what we sent them here and the results of their fab crafting here. We were sent a copy of The Singing Mermaid, a book we didn’t actually own already (!), and four packed envelopes full of craft materials with these great book inspired ideas:

1. Make a necklace or bracelet with blue and green beads, plus sea horses and shell beads to remind the mermaid of the beach and the sea.
2. Make wooden spoon puppets to act the story, with tons of glittery foam sheets, big eye stickers, glitter glue and wool for hair.
3. Make a seascape collage with even more glittery foam sheets, shiny green paper, sand, shells and other bits and pieces.
4. Decorate a box with lots of shells, sparkly gems and a key.

Summer Book Exchange, making Mermaid puppets

MG and DG were excited to get the package and we opened the first two envelopes containing the book, bead kit and puppet making materials. We read the book, grabbed some scissors and glue and the girls got to work making their mermaids.

They both wanted to make a mermaid of course, even though the idea was to make puppets for the whole story, but they made up their own stories inspired by the book instead! They had such fun with it (and there is so much glittery foam left) that I’ll definitely be picking up some wooden spoons for them to do more puppets over the summer.

Summer Book Exchange, making mermaid puppets

I helped MG and DG by cutting out mermaid tails for their puppets, everything else they designed themselves. They seemed to have the most fun playing with the ‘hair’!

We’ve read The Singing Mermaid several times, but not at times when it’s been convenient to start on the other activities. MG and DG have been concentrating on their own activities in the limited free time we’ve had in the last few weeks so although I’ve had the projects on the kitchen table readily available, they’ve not been chosen yet! There’s only another four days left at school after today though and then six weeks to fill so I’m sure we’ll do them all, and update here if I get time.

Mermaids (MG on left; DG on right)

Huge thanks to Rebecca from Here Come The Girls for her well thought out parcel of crafts, which will keep MG and DG busy over the coming weeks. If you’re not already following Here Come The Girls, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest for lots of fun activities, recipes and parenting tips.

Here Come The Girls

To see what the other participants got up to, and for lots of book-inspired activities for keeping children amused over the summer, visit The Educators’ Spin On It. I’ll link up to the post collecting all this summer’s posts when it’s live.

Summer Book Exchange with 30 + bloggers with border

Friday Pick{ture Book} #3: Aaaarrgghh, Spider!

Aaaarrgghh, Spider!: Lydia Monks
(Egmont, 2004)

Told from the viewpoint of a spider who wants to become a family pet, she gives us lots of reasons that spiders are better than other pets but the family still respond in the same way:

“Aaaarrgghh, Spider!

Poor spider, nothing she does seems to convince them until… This lovely book is great fun to read and the repetition of “Aaaarrgghh, Spider! Out you go!” can be picked up easily and joined in with from even young toddlers. There’s a lovely tactile glittery page of spider webs plus glittery webs on the cover to encourage children to touch and feel the pages along with the story.

It’s a book that showcases the good things about creepy crawlies spiders and different ways of humanely catching and disposing them if you decide you don’t want one as a pet! We tell our girls that spiders are good because they eat flies and flies spread sickness. I have a limit to the spiders I allow in the house though, and Mr Chaos disposes of the ones I don’t like outside. MG and DG aren’t keen on spiders despite trying very hard to be neutral in their presence but I am now persevering with picking up snails and worms and watching ants etc to increase their acceptance of small crawly creatures. Fortunately children seem to naturally like most bugs so that’s working.

Aaaarrgghh, Spider! is a lovely addition to any bookshelf for bug lovers or bug haters alike!

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