As some of you know, I am taking part in the Virtual Book Club for Kids this year with several other fantastic bloggers. You can see my posts from September and October for more Virtual Book Club Fun. (Things got crazy in November with Holidays and Birthdays and I wasn’t able to participate but you can see all the great ideas at Toddler Approved (scroll down to the bottom for the link up) for Tommy de Paola Book ideas).
This month our spotlight author is the fantastic Jan Brett. If you aren’t familiar with her yet, you should! Two of my favorites of hers are The Hat and The Mitten, which would be AWESOME books to use in January and February as part of winter themed activities at home, school, or therapy! In fact, two of my speechie friends, Jenna from Speech Room News and CC from If Only I Had Super Powers both made some wonderful speech and language activities to go along with The Mitten. You can find more information for Jenna’s HERE (a preschool set) and CC’s HERE (an elementary set).
So this month my family chose to use a new book (to us) for our book club post, The Wild Christmas Reindeer. In this book, Teeka (I believe she is an elf) is given the job of getting the reindeer ready for their big flight on Chrustmas Eve. Except the reindeer are a little ornery and give poor Teeka some problems. Teeka discovers that getting annoyed with them and yelling at them does not help them, but rather staying calm and helping the reindeer is the way to go (much like raising children!) Once she figures this out, she is able to help the reindeer and Santa is able to leave on Christmas Eve with well prepared reindeer.
This was the first time I had read this story and I LOVED it. Honestly, it was a good reminder for both my daughter and I how yelling is not the answer when we are upset. That we need to sat calm and think about things. It was a great book for both of us. 🙂 My daughter and I talked quite a bit about the message in the story and I think she had a decent grasp at age 4. (The book was too advanced for my son, 23 months, so he just looked at pictures and talked about what he saw…remember that if you have a book that is too advanced for a child you can always modify it and make it more appropriate. For Ev I just talked about the pictures and simplified the story. He still enjoyed the pictures a great deal!
So we read the story and I had an activity planned to do with them but then my daughter saw the picture of santa in his sleigh and said she wanted her own sleigh.
I looked around the house at all the Amazon boxes (LOVE Amazon Prime!) and decided my kids COULD have their own sleigh! Scissors and a little hot glue and BOOM.
WE HAD A SLEIGH IN OUR LIVING ROOM.
It was REALLY easy to make too…only took about 15 minutes from start to finish! We put “reins” on one of our reindeer decorations so the kids could “drive” the sleigh. they played in it for HOURS and in fact right now, they are in it again! Everett, 23 months, keeps saying “Thsay! Thsay!” (He has a little lisp 😉 )
Have you ever made something big from cardboard boxes before? I’d LOVE to hear! Have you read this Jan Brett book as well?
The fun isn’t over yet…head over to all the other participating Virtual Book Club blogs and check out their amazng activities to go along with books by Jan Brett! This is a GREAT time for this author as she has so many books that are fantastic for winter themes! Here is a list of participating blogs:
And here is the link up! Feel free to link up a Jan Brett inspired activity you have done on your OWN blog here, or just browse the linky and go get some new ideas for your home, class, or therapy room! ENJOY!