Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish

This art activity was inspired by The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. To learn more about the book and to see all our Peter Rabbit activities, click here

While the radish in Peter’s story almost gets him into a bit of mischief, this crumpling, stuffing, and painting activity will result in nothing more than fun and giggles. After all, what could be more fun than giant food?

Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish
Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish


Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish

Supplies

  • Brown paper grocery bag
  • Newspaper
  • String or yarn
  • Paint – red, white, green
  • Paintbrush


How to Do It

  1. Give those little hands a work out and crumple newspaper into balls and stuff inside the paper bag until it is approximately half full.
  2. Plump out the bottom corners of the bag then tie it closed with the string.
  3. Experiment with color mixing by mixing red and white paint until your young reader has found the perfect radish red then paint the bottom half of the bag with it.
  4. Clip a clothespin to the top and hang with string so the paint can dry completely.
  5. Paint the top part of the bag green to achieve a nice leafy top to the radish.


Why We Like It

Working on a large scale anything is fun. It inspires imagination and creativity and this activity give fine motor skills a lot to do.



What To Do With an Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish


Take inspiration from Peter and have fun outside tossing the radish. Take turns seeing who can throw it the farthest, play catch with it, or try throwing it to a target. Will there be a Cup for the winner?

Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish


Watercolor and Salt Painting

The activity was inspired by Sky Color. To learn more about the book and to see all our Sky Color activities, click here

This is a fun painting project with a bit of a magical twist. Be careful not to blink when the salt is added to the painting – it will quickly change, right before your eyes.

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What You Will Need

  • Glue
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Watercolors
  • Container for Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Salt


How To Do It

  1. Invite your young reader to use a bottle of glue to create squiggles, drips, circles, and squirts of glue all over a piece of watercolor paper. Set on a flat surface until completely dry.
  2. Using the watercolors, encourage your young reader to cover the sheet of watercolor paper in a variety of colors, mixing the colors as the paper fills and discovering what colors will appear. 
  3. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle salt over the paper and watch what happens.
  4. Once dry, shake off salt.


Why We Like It

The salt absorbs the paint pigment and before your very eyes you watch the artwork transform. Each step of the project has its own fun, messy element that encourages experimentation, exploration, and imagination.


A Recipe for Fun: Color Mixing at the Sink

The activity was inspired by Sky Color. To learn more about the book and to see all our Sky Color activities, click here

Containers of water, food coloring, spoons, eye droppers and maybe even a turkey baster make for hours of color mixing exploration. The swirling of food color as it drops into the water and the ability to make colors that will never exist in a box of crayons brings out the combination artist and mad scientist lurking in most children.

Could they be mixing a potion to tame dragons, a magic plant food to grow jellybean tress, or maybe a new paint color that magically glows when painted on paper? Imaginations will soar with just a few supplies and this will be an often-requested activity. Keep an eye on items in your recycling bin – you never know what could be the next best tool in the color-mixing laboratory.

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Color Mixing at the Sink

Supplies

  • containers
  • water
  • eye dropper, turkey baster, etc.
  • liquid food coloring
  • dish soap, optional
  1. Fill containers and add a few drops of food coloring. Let imaginations take it from there!

 


French Flag Painting

This art activity was inspired by Anatole. To learn more about the book and to see all of our Anatole activities, click here

 
In celebration of the blue and red of Anatole's illustrations and the setting in "a mouse suburb of Paris," have your young readers make their own French flag.
 
The French national flag is the ‘The Tricolor’ and is made of three vertical bands. Blue is always on the hoist side, white in the middle, and finally red. 
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French Flag Painting

What You Will Need

  • White construction paper
  • Red and blue paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Newspaper to cover work surface
  1. Cover the work surface with newspaper.
  2. Fold the construction paper into thirds.
  3. Using the folds as guidelines, paint one end section blue and the other red. Depending on the preference of your young artist, this could be a fun finger paint project rather than using a paintbrush.

 

Why We Like It

  • This is a fun and festive activity to help reinforce the setting of the book.  

 

Related Project: Make Your Own Irish Flag


My Garden Mural

This art project was inspired by My Garden by Kevin Henkes. To learn more about the book and to see all our My Garden activities, click here.
 
What wonders would your young reader’s imagination grow in he or she tended to a garden of garden of his or her own? Encourage a lively discussion exploring all the possibilities, then turn those musings into a garden mural. Raid the art shelves for an abundance of supplies to make the mural a true mixed media masterpiece.
 
Let your child’s imagination go to work transferring all the wonders from your discussion into a visual masterpiece. Our example shows a puppy bush, pizza flowers, cupcake shrubs, cookie flowers, and toys growing right out of the ground. Nothing is impossible when the imagination is in charge!
 
My Garden Mural
Sock flowers require little care, and lions keep pests away.
My Garden Mural
Harvesting Cookie Hollyhocks and Cupcake Daffodils often will engourage new growth...Yum!
My Garden Mural
Perhaps a pizza flower and a muffin bush?
My Garden Mural
What garden would be complete without a pup shrub and a pizza-flowering bush?


My Garden Mural

What You Will Need

  • Large roll of paper or several sheets of construction paper taped together. In our example there are 4 sheets of 16 x 12 taped together on the back.
  • Magazine and catalogue pictures: have young readers peruse magazines and catalogues for things that they would like to grow in their garden. You could also include stickers, or actual items such as popcorn for a popcorn bush!
  • Various mural making supplies – paint, markers, crayons, glue, cotton balls, glitter, tissue paper, etc.

How To Do It

  1. Paint green stems and bushes and let dry. 
  2. Glue cut-out items atop stems or on bushes. 
  3. After glue has dried, use paint, markers, crayons, etc. to add any desired details. Maybe cotton ball clouds? A yellow and orange marker sun?
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Why We Like It

  • Encourages creativity and imagination
  • Allows exploration of artistic processes such as painting, drawing and collage
  • Improves fine motor skills
  •  Encourages development of communication skills and critical thinking skills

Related Posts: Magnificent Hats Collage Mural, inspired by Jan Brett's The Hat.


Crayon Resist

This craft was inspired by A Home for Bird. To learn more about the book and see all our A Home for Bird activities, click here

Drawing inspiration from Philip Stead’s crayon illustrations, provide a few basic art supplies and watch your young reader enjoy the fun and magic of creating a crayon resist painting.

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What You Will Need

  • Paper - cardstock or watercolor paper works best
  • Crayons
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Container of water

How To Do It

  1. Using crayons, your young reader should create a drawing on the paper, pressing hard to make thick lines. 
  2. Paint over the drawing with watercolors. 

Why We Like It

  • It It’s fun to explore how the paint reacts to the wax of the crayon drawing.

Found Object Bird

This craft was inspired by A Home for Bird. To learn more about the book and see all our A Home for Bird activities, click here


Using Vernon’s fondness for foraging for found objects (can you say that 3 times really fast?)  and his special friendship with Bird as inspiration, see what treasures your young reader can find in the recycling bin and on the art shelf to create a one of a kind sculpture of Bird.

Found Object Bird Craft  Found Object Bird Craft


What You Will Need

The possibilities are endless on what supplies could be used to create Bird. Your young reader’s imagination is sure to kick in to high gear so stand back and enjoy watching the creation of a masterpiece. As you can see in the photos our Bird is made from clothespins, the cardboard tube from bathroom tissue, a cup from an egg carton, craft sticks, buttons, and a scrap of felt.


How We Did Ours

  1. Our Bird was made by painting the clothespins with red and yellow stripes and then painting the cardboard tube, egg carton cup and craft sticks blue. 
  2. Once the pieces were dry, the egg carton cup was glued on top of the tube for a head and the craft sticks were glued on the back of the tube for feathers. 
  3. The buttons were glued on the egg carton cup for eyes and the felt scrap was added as a beak.
  4. The clothespins were clipped on the bottom of the tube as legs and pieces of fun foam were glued on as the feet.

However, let your young reader take the lead in how they want to make their Bird. Their own creativity may lead you in directions you never thought of! 



Why We Like It

  • Using found objects to create art is such a fun exercise for the imagination and encourages creativity.

Milk Carton Bird Feeder

This activity was inspired by And Then It's Spring . To learn more about the book and see all our And Then It's Spring activities, click here

If you and your young reader are still waiting for those first days of spring, here's the perfect activity to fill those final dreary, brown days.

Young readers will delight in seeing feathered friends flock to the feeder they decorated themselves. Keep in mind that, like our other bird feeder activities, it might take a while for birds to actually try out a new bird feeder, so be patient!Milk Carton Bird Feeder

 

Milk Carton Birdhouse

Supplies

  • 1/2 gallon milk carton, rinsed out and allowed to dry
  • Permanent marker
  • Adult scissors
  • 2 wooden paint stirrers
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • String or yarn
  • Birdseed

Adult Preparation

  1. Using permanent marker, draw a rectangle on each side of milk carton. 
  2. Using sharp scissors, cut out each rectangle. 
  3. On two opposing sides, cut slits the width of the paint stirrer, beneath the rectangle about 1 inch from the bottom.
  4. On other two sides, cut slits the width of the paint stirrer about 1/2 inch from the bottom.
  5. Insert paint stirrers through slits and out opposite side. 
  6. Use scissors to make hole in top seam for hanging.
  7. Tie a loop of string for hanging 

Step for Young Reader

  1. Paint! Allow to dry for several hours or overnight. 
  2. Once dry, fill with birdseed and hang out for the birds. 

 


Otto's File Folder Backpack

This recipe was inspired by Otto the Book Bear . To learn more about the book and to see all our Otto the Book Bear activities, click here. 

Before heading out on his biggest adventure ever, Otto packs his bag with special things and sets off to find a new home. Encourage your young reader to turn a few basic supplies into an Otto backpack (maybe a tote as well if there are a lot of special things to pack) and then set off an equally exciting adventure, just maybe not looking for a new home. 

File Folder Backpack
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File Folder Backpack

Supplies

  • File Folder
  • Ribbon
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Decorating Media: crayons, markers, colored pencils, stickers, etc. 
  1.  Cut two lengths of ribbon for the straps. 
  2. Open file folder. Staple ribbon to the top and bottom of the back of the file folder.
  3. Close folder and staple sides. 
  4. Decorate!

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Exploring Ink, Colored Pencil, and Watercolor Art with Kids

This art project was inspired by One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo. To learn more about the book and to see all our One Cool Friend activities, click here

Illustrator David Small used ink, watercolor and colored pencils to create the elegant artwork in One Cool Friend. After reading this witty story of a boy and his penguin, set out those same supplies and see what your young reader creates. Whether inspiration is drawn from the book and drawings of penguins and tortoises appear or a more abstract approach is taken, the fun in this project is in exploring the three different mediums and how they interact with each other.

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Supplies

  • watercolor paper
  • black permanent marker
  • colored pencils
  • watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  1. This is a very open-ending project! Allow readers to create whatever inspires them on this particular day! Here are some of our creations: 

One Cool Friend Art

 

Have you tried this with your young readers? Do they have one thing in particular that they like to draw, or do they prefer more of an abstract subject?