How To Make Peter’s Narnia Shield

Whether for Halloween, a fancy dress party or, like we did, a goodie bag for a Narnia party, Peter’s shield as given by Father Christmas adds a nice touch. We made some in silver and some in gold – I only have a gold one left for photos but in the book Peter’s shield was silver.

“These are your presents,” was the answer, “and they are tools not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well.” With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the colour of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present.

Peter Pevensie Shield

Read more: How To Make Peter’s Narnia Shield

Ideas For Celebrating Winnie The Pooh Day (January 18th)

Winnie the Pooh Day in on the 18th of January. It’s actually A.A. Milne’s birthday, which is why the date was chosen.

In it’s Disney era, Winnie the Pooh has been cast as a character for baby-nurseries and babified for toddlers, but in truth, I think this has done them something of an injustice, with the stories being much more suited to early readers. They are clever, and funny and well worth dusting off for a quick evening read.Winnie the Pooh Theme

As such, we’re learning around the theme of Winnie the Pooh, which means we’re using the topic, however loosely to underpin our learning. Below are our ideas for celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day. The list will grow and link to other pages as the day gets closer, but I’m populating it as I go along.

To give you something to get stuck into in the meantime, however, here’s a FREE PRINTABLE BOOKLET for you to download and print. It has all sorts of puzzles, games and suggestions for your Winnie the Pooh celebrations.Winnie the Pooh Activity Book

Read more: Ideas For Celebrating Winnie The Pooh Day (January 18th)

10+ Fun Resources For Big Friendly Giant Fans

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that it’s a big year for Roald Dahl this year. Not only is it the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the well-loved author (13th September 1916), but there’s also the new BFG movie that’s recently opened in cinemas. While the movie ends a little differently that the book, it’s still a lovely movie, and a great update on the old movie.

We love Roald Dahl and have done a lot of activities for Roald Dahl Day over the years, and I’m sure we’ll celebrate his birthday quite happily again this year – but to coincide with the new film, we’ll probably focus on The BFG this year!

Here’s a bit of a round up from around the world wide web – and from our own experience – of activities to do around The Big Friendly Giant.Big Friendly GiantRead more: 10+ Fun Resources For Big Friendly Giant Fans

Fun Ways To Celebrate Winnie The Pooh Day

Today was National Winnie the Pooh day, and my girls and I spent the day celebrating that willy, nilly, silly old bear.

Winnie the Pooh DayWinnie the Pooh has a very special place in my heart,because my mom used to love Winnie the Pooh, and we’ve visited Pooh Corner and Pooh Sticks bridge in Ashford, Kent, a couple of times, one of them to release a lantern after my mom died.

My kids love Winnie the Pooh too. Ameli’s first cinema experience (that wasn’t mum & baby cinema, and was in fact something actually for children) was Winnie the Pooh – and then there was her 2nd birthday party too… so you see – lots of reasons to love Winnie the Pooh and commemorate Winnie the Pooh day.

1. Winnie the Pooh Playdough

Winnie the Pooh Day

I used this playdough recipe, but doubled it and left out the cocoa powder, then split it into three parts for yellow, blue/grey and pink. I gave the girls a set of Winnie the Pooh cookie cutters and off they went

2.  Make Honey Cookies

Winnie the Pooh Day

These honey cookies are so delicious! They are superbly quick to make, and the kids like squishing them down. We left these plain, but my favourite is topped with glace cherries – the kids like them with chocolate.

3. Tigger Hop Game

Winnie the Pooh Day
It’s been so rainy and grim the last few days and we’re trying to get over and away from all colds and sicknesses so we decided to keep our fun and games indoors. With apologies to the neighbours downstairs, I put X’s on the floor with a start line and a finish square. The girls got to hop up and down the hallway from X to X, just like Tigger. This game was especially loved because I spend half my life telling them to STOP STOMPING!

4. Pooh Bear Picnic

Winnie the Pooh Day

If you go down to the woods today… we won’t be there, because we were staying indoors, as I said above. But we had to have a teddy bears picnic, and it had to include a lot of honey! So we made honey comb, honey muffins and honey cookies. And they were all delicious!

5. Quizzes and Puzzles

Crossword

 

Word Search honey pot

 

 

Click on these printable worksheets to download and enjoy them!

Happy Winnie the Pooh day!

Roald Dahl’s Matilda Activities – Sailing Books

One of the lines I really loved from Roald Dahl’s Matilda movie was

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.

I didn’t realise this at first, but that’s not actually in the book. The book actually says,

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village

The very soul of me relates to this quote. I may not have read Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling as a 3 year old, but in junior school I read Famous Five, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Secret Seven, and a bunch of others you would only know if you were Afrikaans, like Trompie en die Boksom Bende. At one stage I was reading them at a rate of a book a day, in school time. Really, I thought school just got in the way of my reading time!

Matilda's Books Like Ships

Well I am on the way to instilling the same love of reading in my girls. Their dad has a big part to play in that – he has read to Ameli almost every night he’s spent with her. On her sixth birthday, they finished reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia.

Anyway,  while preparing our current Matilda theme, I couldn’t get “ like ships on the sea” out of my head.

Matilda is also full of metaphors, it’s a fabulous book for introducing the concept too, with metaphors like:

Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful

Matilda's Books Like ShipsIs the child actually a disgusting little blister? No. But what does it tell you about the appearance of the child?

It’s quite fun actually, talking through some of the metaphors in Matilda.

But, the one we were focused on today was that of ships on the sea.

For this craft you’ll need:

This craft couldn’t really be simpler. We printed some of our favourite book covers – Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and so on – and cut them into squares or sail-shape (if you know the word for that, let me know!)

For the square – pirate – sails (clearly not a sailor, am I!) thread the large, then small sails through the toothpick. For the others, glue the sail to the skewer.

Apply a healthy helping of glue to the shell or driftwood, and place the skewer, holding it for a few seconds so that it can dry in place.

Matilda's Books Like Ships

It’s quite a quick craft, in the end, and before you know it you’ll have a literary armada.

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere {Book Review & Craft}

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere is a brightly coloured story book about pumpkins on their way to a big Halloween parade. There are sad pumpkins and happy pumpkins, scary pumpkins and scared pumpkins, wet pumpkins and dry pumpkins, cat pumpkins and wolf pumpkins and pretty much every other type of pumpkin out there.

The pumpkins – and the people dressed in costume who are carrying them – make it to the parade, where they light up the area and everyone is smiley and happy.

So this isn’t really a ‘story’ – it doesn’t have much of a plot, and has no moral or theme. It’s just words on pages with really nicely done picture, but it’s perfect for beginner readers.Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere

For 3 year olds

Aviya liked finding the right pumpkins and pointing them out – so she was able to identify the emotion or action (sad pumpkin or wet pumpkin, for example). With the emotion ones she also made the faces that matched the words, so I think it’s a good, simple and easy introduction to emotions.

For 5 year olds

The book is a bit young for being read to Ameli, but it’s a perfect early reader book because some pages have as few as two words on it, so they can read a whole book  in not too long a time, which I think is really encouraging.

Pumpkins craft

Literature to crafts

Of course we can’t read a book without turning it into a craft, so we printed out pumpkins and faces and glued them on to make a pumpkin garland. You can find the printouts and instructions for the pumpkin garland here.

Pumpkin Garland

If you’re thinking of themed ideas for Halloween stories, have a look at these clever and fun Harry Potter themed lunch box snacks from Eats Amazing.

Zingzingtree’s fabulous bats make a great bunting too, and will complement the pumpkin bunting perfectly!

Easy Paper Giant Candies For Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a superb theme to do with kids, but it does make for a pretty heavy sugar week! We are having a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ‘party’ in a couple of days, and rather than just having endless amounts of sweets to set the scene, I wanted décor that didn’t cost an arm and a leg and wasn’t really consumable. I also wanted it to be something that kept the kids busy and helped them learn a little something too.

1) Giant LollipopsCharlie and the Chocolate Factory Decor

I loved these giant lollipops I spotted somewhere on Pinterest, but I didn’t have the budget to make them as they were done originally, so I used a giant bubble wand to wrap an A3 page round, then cellotaped a blown up balloon into the cylinder. Next up, wrap some clear or spotty spotty cellophane* around it to look like the sweet wrapper. You don’t have to do this, but it does make it look a whole lot more authentic!

2) Giant boiled sweets

For the giant boiled sweets you will need a paper plate, tissue paper* and cellotape. Take a sheet of tissue paper and wrap it around in a rectangle, then at the edge of the plate, squeeze the sides together and wrap cellotape around. Easy peasey giant boiled sweets.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Decor Sweets

 3) Painted Giant Rainbow Lollipops

Again using paper plates, draw a spiral from the center to the outside of the plate, and get children to paint from the inside out. I used this as a colour mixing lesson on primary and secondary colours = start with blue and then yellow, then mix the two together (overlap them in the middle) to get the  mixed colour. The same with the blue and red (to make purple) and red and yellow (to make orange) and so on. Work your way to the outside, and leave to dry. Next, glue a stick, or a lollipop stick to the plate and there you have your rainbow lollipops.

Stick them all up in the garden for your own Charlie and the Chocolate Factory party, and see happy little faces like this!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory party

Study Unit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Find more Charlie & The Chocolate Factory activities here.

Literature To Crafts: The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

It’s been absolutely ages since we’ve had a chance to read a story and do crafts from it, but the opportunity presented itself today and I grabbed it with both hands.

A few weeks ago we were going to make an ocean diorama, so we painted out a box in shades of blue and green. Our plans didn’t quite work out – my girls aren’t fond of colouring, what’s that about? – so we abandoned it, but I still had the box, in hope.

We read The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile by Margaret Wise Brown (currently £5.16 at Amazon UK/$7 Amazon US), which is a story about … well, endurance, I guess, because I couldn’t really find many other lessons in it. But endurance is a valuable skill and in this story, the fisherman search high and low for a fish with a ‘Deep Sea Smile’. They don’t find one for ages, but come across many other fish in the meantime: there’s one with a strong jaw, one with an electric tail, one with eyes on sticks, one with terrible claws and even one with a laughing eye.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

The ability to see something through, in this case finding the fish they were looking for, is valuable, and uncommon in our quick-win society, so I think it’s a great life skill to talk about.

I also love the illustrations in this story. They are done by Henry Fisher, and if I was to have a book illustrated, I’d love him to do it. They are so beautifully done. The pictures don’t really do it justice – especially the electric fish (second on the right below).

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

To bring our book to life, I cut the parts of the fish from coloured paper, and put the different parts of the fish together in piles so the girls could ‘build’ their fish from the given parts.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

I must say that I love our finished product. In all honesty I’m  not always ‘yay’ about the crafts we do, and we’ll keep them on display for a while before letting them ‘disappear’. I really do like this ocean diorama though. I have no idea where we’ll keep it, but it’s cute, bright, colourful and the fish are so friendly and fun.

It’s a great reminder of the story, which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.

The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile

*We received this book as part of the Parragon Book Buddies program. You can find Parragon Books on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can find this book on Amazon UK here or Amazon US here.

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