Activities for Children's Books

Activities based on your favorite children's books for extensions after read-alouds. By crafting characters and settings, children can reenact a story using puppets, improvised retelling props, and readers theater.

Jack and the Beanstalk Craft – Make Your Own Giant Beanstalk!

Jack and the Beanstalk Craft – A giant construction paper beanstalk hangs from the ceiling tiles making for a whole-class creation that adds a touch of magic to the room!

Jack And The Beanstalk Collaborative Class Project Image

After it’s put together, kids can have fun re-telling the story of Jack And The Beanstalk using character puppets made out of construction paper and popsicle sticks!

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Directions

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1. Start out with a piece of large green construction paper.

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2. Use a green marker to draw a spiral outward, starting in the center of the construction paper.

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3. Cut around the spiral shape and cut off the edges of the paper. Make a crevice where the kids will begin cutting into the spiral.

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4. Pour a tiny bit of glue over the paper and sprinkle it with some glitter for extra magical effect! Leave overnight to dry.

5. Cut out leaves, beans, and sprigs. Make curly sprigs by cutting thin strips of green construction paper. Wrap them around a pencil, slightly unrolling afterward.

6. Create leaves by cutting football shapes out of the green construction paper. Curl these around a pencil slightly. Beans are just slightly elongated football shapes.

7. The kids can also cut out their own leaves too but you can lay some precut leaves out on the tables for inspiration.

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8. Kids begin by cutting along the spiral until they have a long curvey beanstalk.

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9. Next, glue on some paper leaves, beans, and curly sprigs!

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10. Hole punch the end of each beanstalk and tie a small loop of yarn to the end of each one.  String a longer piece of yarn through the yarn loops on the individual beanstalks and attach the whole thing to the ceiling tiles by this string.

Now all you need are some kindergarten-made character puppets and kids can use their imaginations to re-enact the story of Jack And The Beanstalk!

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A Lion Puppet Craft – Based on the book, Dandelion by Don Freeman

This cute lion puppet craft includes a free printable lion template for you to download and print. The inspiration for this craft came from the children’s book, Dandelion by Don Freeman, a book about a lion who nobody recognizes.

Lion Puppet Craft ImageFor this craft you will be using brown and yellow construction paper to make a lion puppet that is perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

For this craft you will need:

Directions

1. Download the Lion Face Template.pdf.

2. Print the Lion Face Template.pdf on yellow construction paper. Each page has two lion faces on it so you will only need half as many copies of the  Lion Face Template.pdf.

3. Cut the paper down the middle so there is one lion face on each half and one for each student.

4. Download and print the Lion Mane Template.pdf onto light brown construction paper.

5. Cut out the mane piece and snip carefully around the edge, towards the middle,  to create the look of fur.

6. Cut out the lion face and glue the face onto the mane.

7. Finally, tape a straw onto the back side to complete your lion puppet!

Get your copy of Dandelion by Don Freeman

Dandelion by Don Freeman Book

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A Minerva Louise Construction Paper Handprint Craft

This craft was inspired by the children’s book “A Hat for Minerva Louise” by Janet Morgan, about a chicken who finds a peculiar hat.

Minerva Louise Craft

Supplies

  • construction paper – a variety of colors, cut in half (hamburger style)
  • glue sticks
  • crayons
  • scissors

Directions

On a piece of halved construction paper outline your hand without going in between your fingers. Then, cut out the outline of your hand and glue it onto the half piece of construction paper.

Cut out an orange beak and a red comb and glue it onto the thumb area. Draw on some eyes, a hat, and the snow!

*Other ideas* Add feather and sequins for a fancy twist on this craft!

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Three Little Pigs – Story Retelling Craftivity

three little pigs story retelling craft and activity pin

For this Three Little Pigs crafticity, kids create their own re-telling puppets and houses out of construction paper and popsicle sticks, then play with their creations.

See the pictures below for inspiration & follow the instructions to get started with your own home or classroom set!

Materials

  • Construction Paper
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Make Three Little Pigs Puppets.

Cut circles out of pink construction paper to make each pig’s face and body.

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Add rectangles for legs. Add Eyes, Ears, and a Curly tails made out of a thin strip of curled construction paper to each puppet. Tape a Popsicle stick to the back of each puppet.

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Draw pupils, nostrils,  and mouths with a black marker.

 

2. Make The Big Bad Wolf Puppet.

Big Bad Wolf

 

3. Make The Three Little Pigs’ houses.

Take a piece of yellow construction paper and cut out a window and a door.  Decorate  it with an orange markers so it looks like a straw house.

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Use a piece of brown construction paper to make a house made of sticks.  Add details with a brown marker.

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Create a house made of bricks.  Cut out a chimney, and draw on bricks with a red marker. Add a door knob and shutters with a black marker.

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4. Retell & Play

Kids introduce the characters to the set and play by arranging the puppets and houses in different positions.

The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf Puppets

 

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Kids re-telling the story of The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf in the classroom.

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