{Literature To Crafts} Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear

Every few weeks a package arrives in the mail for that sends my girls squealing around in delight. It’s the Parragon Book Buddies mail, with the latest book for us to read. My girls know that means story time, curled up on the sofa, followed by crafts, art or play acting. Oh, how I wish we had animal fancy dress for this book. It was so lovely and Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear is without doubt our favourite book so far.

Written by Tracey Corderoy, Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear has two major themes, useful for learning: season changes (autumn to winter) and friendship.

In this beautiful story, Big Brown Bear decides he wants to stay awake in the winter as he misses out on all the fun: rolling around in the leaves, jumping in puddles, and building snow bears. He tries to stay awake, but his friends convince him to sleep and they’ll wake him for the fun.

Try as they might, once Big Brown Bear is sleeping, they can’t wake him, so they decide to save a bit of each season for him. They save leaves, rain and, in stead of snow, empty out the contents of a cushion for him. Big Brown Bear wakes disappointed to find that he missed all the fun again, until he sees the efforts his friends have gone to for him, and has lots of fun with them.

I tried to draw a few pictures of Big Brown Bear, but he ended up looking more fish-like, so I photocopied two pages from the book (I’m not sure if that’s actually legal, but hey ho. I’m not profiting from it!) in black and white, and Ameli and Aviya coloured him in the different seasonal activities.

Then I took an A4 page and drew a line two thirds of the way down, and marked the two columns Autumn and Winter. Ameli then glued the appropriate activities under the seasons.

Big Brown Bear

Later in the day we went for a walk and the girls jumped in puddles and rolled in leaves, just like Big Brown Bear, and of course, we don’t have snow yet, and I wasn’t about to start tearing apart a pillow. Instead I blew touchable bubbles all over the room and the girls ran and jumped and grabbed them like snow flakes.

A beautiful story, fun activities, and a definite favourite in our bookshelf.

Foods, Activities and Crafts To Celebrate Roald Dahl Day

Celebrate Roald Dahl Day

Celebrate Roald Dahl Day

It’s Roald Dahl day on Friday 13 September, (being his birthday) and while I’ve left it a little late to read all of the books to Ameli – and to be honest she’s still a little young for them – she does love The Fantastic Mr Fox movie, and also Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We’re currently busy reading The BFG though, and she’s enjoying that.

Below are ideas for celebrating Roald Dahl Day. As we do them I may replace the links, but these are mostly to other people’s posts right now.

Update: Want to focus on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? See this post!

You can watch:


You could go ahead and buy the Roald Dahl Revolting Recipes Book but there are also plenty ideas available online. How about trying:

Make and Do

Follow Luschka van Onselen’s board {Themes} Roald Dahl on Pinterest.

{PlayLearning} Dr. Seuss Activities For Toddlers

Our PlayLearning theme this week was Dr. Seuss, inspired by the lovely Tiana at Two Cheeky Frogs.

The books we’ve read are:  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (I muted it and read along), The Lorax (audiobook)

The movies we watched were: The Lorax, and Youtube has been most helpful with movies too, such as: Green Eggs And Ham, The Cat in The Hat, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (awesome drawing art)

We only did two craft activities this week, The Lorax mask and a scenic Truffula Tree picture:

Our Lorax mask is pretty easy to figure out instructions for. You will need:

  • A paper plate
  • String
  • Orange crayons, pencils or chalk
  • Yellow paper
  • Scissors
Colour the paper plate orange, and cut holes for eyes. My Ameli didn’t like her nose squishing against the plate, so we also made a hole for her nose.
I then folded a yellow A4 page in half, and cut eyebrows and that fantastic moustache. Make two holes around the ‘ear’ area to thread a string through, and have fun playing the Lorax, guardian of the trees.

Again a simple craft, for the Truffula Tree we needed:

  • Blue paper for the sky
  • Green paper for the hills
  • Pompoms for the treetops
  • Embroidery thread for the tree stumps
  • Glue
  • Scissors
Cut a wavy line along the green paper, and glue it to the blue paper for your background. (You could of course draw this)
The tree trunks are good old fashioned friendship bracelets,  just not tied into a bracelet. To make them, take two colours of string, and tie at one end. Secure that end – I get Ameli to hold it tightly – and twist the other end around and around and around until it’s tightly wound. Bring the two ends together, and the whole thing will twist together. Stretch it out so that it doesn’t bunch up anywhere, and tie the open end into a knot. Glue everything onto your scene and enjoy your very own valley full of Truffula trees.
(I tried to explain to Ameli that you could show distance by gluing the shorter trees further ‘back’, but he wasn’t having that. She wanted them to be baby trees.)

 Dr Suess books lend themselves really well to food related snacks, it seems, and we took full advantage, enjoying tasty foods.

Cat in the Hat Yoghurt

Layer pureed or mashed strawberries with coconut flavoured yoghurt and top with crushed meringue. Ameli thought it was delicious.

Marshmallow Truffalo Trees

Stake marshmallows on chop sticks, skewers or lollipop sticks,

Dip in liquidised strawberries

Roll in crushed meringues

Green Eggs And Ham

Prepare pasta according to manufacturers instructions.

Stir in cream cheese or other sauce and sliced proscuitto or other ham. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Boil the eggs, and cool.

Scoop out the yolk. Add a pinch of paprika and salt, and blend well. While you can add green food colouring, use a tablespoon of pureed spinach for the green colouring.

Using a piping bag, pipe the mixture back into the egg.

Dish up the ham pasta, and top with the green egg.

Cat In The Hat Fruit

A simple activity for toddlers, great for introducing knife skills.

Slice banana and strawberries, and alternate onto skewers. Strictly speaking, it should be red, white, red, white, red, white, but whose checking 😉

Our Dr Seuss Week was fabulous. We hope you like our ideas!