Reading can take us on imaginative adventures great and small with a few simple words, and, in some cases, with a few pictures or illustrations too. Want to bring the fun even more “to life” with your kids and help encourage their love of reading?
Here are 10 favorite kid’s books, and crafts perfect for pairing with them.
by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
- Make a paper plate sleeping bear.
- Create a bear den using an empty tissue box, tea box, or a brown paper bag.
- Use a cup and popsicle stick to create an interactive hibernating bear.
by Marcus Pfister and J Alison James
- Make your own rainbow fish using your handprint.
- Print a fish drawing and then decorate with paint and celery sticks or with toilet paper tubes.
- Use clear contact paper and multicolored cellophane or tissue paper to create a beautiful “stained glass” Rainbow Fish. (Elmer too! See the next book in the list).
by David McKee
- Rinse out and cut a milk jug to form an elephant shape. Then decorate using multicolored tissue paper.
- Use paint or crayons to color Elmer using this patchwork elephant printable.
- For use with toddlers – make a sensory bottle filled with colorful square pieces to mimic Elmer’s patchwork.
by Eric Litwin
- Large buttons and a pipe cleaner make a fun “Groovy Buttons” bracelet.
- Practice coloring and word recognition with a Pete the Cat coloring sheet.
- Decorate Pete’s shirt with felt buttons.
- Make Pete using a variety of shapes cut from construction paper – a great way to practice shape recognition.
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
- Create your own coconut tree using construction paper. Depending upon your child’s age, you may want to cut out all the pieces yourself and then let them glue them on. Hang your finished tree on the fridge and it’s ready for acting out the story using alphabet magnets!
- Combine art and snack time with a fun edible coconut tree.
- Make a handprint coconut tree. After it’s dry, add the alphabet using stamps or stickers.
by Robert Lopshire
by Eric Carle
- Save your paper egg cartons and use them to create caterpillars with a little paint and a pipe cleaner.
- Practice the alphabet – decorate a letter ‘C’ to look like the Hungry Caterpillar.
- Dye noodles and string them to create a necklace.
by Don Freeman
- Watercolor a bear sketch to look like Corduroy and glue on buttons.
- Create your own Corduroy using paper plates.
- Build Corduroy using shapes.
by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
- Create a giraffe puppet using a toilet paper roll tube or a paper bag.
- Make a construction paper giraffe and add spots with finger paints.
- Use paint to make a simple handprint giraffe.
by Maurice Sendak
- Use a paper plate and white tissue paper to create a Paper Plate Max.
- Make your own name crown.
- Draw the “wild things” in white crayon on black construction paper. Then color in.
- Act out the story using puppets made from paper bags or toilet paper tubes.
- Or take the story even larger than life proportions with large paper bag masks!
Pick your favorites from the list above. Grab your craft supplies and books (or visit the local library to borrow them!). Then start crafting! Using crafts is not only a great way to help kids explore books – it’s a helpful tool for encouraging cognitive development as well.
Photo Credits: Sarah Coggins