Extend Your Reading with These Ideas

Pop Up Card - Paper Crown

I made this craft tutorial for the Washington Post on Mother’s Day. But it would also make a great fairy crown to go with reading The Tallest Tree House. Click the link for instructions (easy and intermediate options).

Pop Up Card - Paper Crown

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The Tallest Tree House - Blueprints


Design your own fairy tree house. Come up with a plan by creating some blueprints. (Teachers - a STEAM activity.)

8.5 x 11 PDF printout

Will your tree house have a slide, a swing or maybe a tower? Follow up by sharing your plan with a friend. Can you combine your tree houses? If you have building materials (Lego, blocks, boxes and paper rolls or natural materials) try building your tree house.

To create the tree houses in the book, I used foam core and covered the outside with metal (similar to tinfoil) and thin wood strips (similar to stir sticks).


Red Sky At Night - Activities!


Interested in the science behind the sayings in Red Sky at Night? Meteorologist, Phil Chadwick dives deeper for us, here: http://philtheforecaster.blogspot.com/

Fish Windsock

  • We used plastic tablecloths to make our windsocks, though the kids found it slippery to cut. I'd suggest using waxed kite paper if you have some.

  • We folded our sheets in half. The fold becomes the bottom of the fish. The rest of the fish was drawn with magic marker.

  • Packing tape was used to tape the top edges (but not the ends).

  • Scales, eyes and fins were attached with tape.

  • 3 Ribbons were attached to the mouth and tied together about 2 ft from the fish.

  • We had to run on a windless day with ours!

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Paper Weathervanes

  • We used black cardstock, straws, wire, tape and a base (could be anything flat) to make our weathervanes.

  • First we drew our shape with pencil.

  • We cut the shape out and attached a straw to one side, taping the top of the straw closed.

  • Next, we curved the bottom of the wire (floral wires from the dollar store) into a flat circle, leaving most of the wire long.

  • We put the straw over the straight part of the wire.

  • Then, we attached the curved part of the wire to some matte board.

  • These looked so great. The kids were really proud of them. I love this fish my son made!

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Beach Baby Activity - Sand Castle Painting

What You'll Need

  • cardstock (black is nice to show off the sand)

  • markers (we used gold and silver)

  • gluesticks or white glue

  • sand

  • beads or shells

  • We used black paper, drawing our castle outline and details with silver and gold pens.

  • We covered the castle area with glue.

  • Sand was poured over the glue and then shaken off.

  • The beads were added with white glue after.

  • If you want to keep the sand from coming off, you can spray it with fixitive.

Butterfly Park Activity - Magnetic Wand Garden

  • We used the lids of boxes that hold printer paper for the base of our gardens.

  • We then drew flowers and attached the pictures to the top of the box.

  • The magnetic wands were made from tongue depressors. We taped a magnet to the end.

  • The kids discovered polarity of sticking 2 magnets together! After making butterflies we attached a magnet to the back of each. Some worked and others pushed away from our wands.

  • Once our magnets were sorted, we had fun playing with our new toys, using the wand behind the garden to make the butterflies fly.

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If You Hold A Seed Activity - Miniature 3-D Forest

  • This is an easy way to make 3D art with kids. First fold cardstock in half.

  • Then, fold each end into the middle and tape the seam.

  • Pop it up. You can cut indentations in the ends and fold them in on the sides to make it stay upright.

  • Make trees and attach them to the top of either side of your rectangular prism with tape or a gluestick.

  • Decorate the surface with an extra panel of paper or make draw roots!

  • My daughter added deer to create an animal habitat.

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Shadow Chasers Activity - Shadow Puppets

Did you know there are hidden animals throughout the pages of Shadow Chasers? Look behind the two girls running and you will see a deer and bird. See how many you can find and follow up with this activity.

  • To make shadow puppets you can use any thick paper. We used black cardstock.

  • We drew animals and cut them out.

  • Some children made 2 piece animals that hinged in the middle with a brass fastener.

  • We pulled paper clips into L shapes and attached one side to the animal and one side to a popsicle stick.

  • We hung a sheet over a table and played with our shadow puppets.

  • Just a note to be careful with your light source. If working with kids, create a perimeter around the light or give them flashlights. Have fun!

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Just for the love of paper…


Flexograms are magical. Here is a template for one that turns inside out. I made this template for myself quite a while ago and came across it recently. I am not sure where I originally found the idea. This pattern makes 2 flexograms.

  1. Cut 1 shape template out.

  2. Fold along all lines in one direction and again in the other direction.

  3. Push the edges in to form a diamond and continue doing so down the length of the paper.

  4. Glue the tabs to the inside of the other end.

  5. Slowly push the inside back through to the front and continue turning. It is a little tricky. It works beautifully with a different colour on each turn.

Click and Save, then print to fit paper.

Click and Save, then print to fit paper.