Jessica, from Zakka Life, is guest posting here to inspire us to read and craft with our children while making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. You can always count on Jessica’s blog for original ideas and her clever crafts always leave me saying, “Why didn’t I think of that.” She has provided me with a long list of things to try like this and this and this.  I am always happy to see when she has a new post! Zakka Life is a crafter’s dream.  Visit her site for loads of fresh and useful ideas.

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Jessica writes…..

When asked to do a guest post on a favorite Children’s book I knew just what to choose, “Brown bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle.

This book is dear to me because it is one of the first books that helped my son speak. When my son was two and a half years old his vocabulary consisted of the word, ball. He didn’t even say Mama. Because of his speech delay we had a therapist that would work with him at our house. She recommend “Brown Bear” because it taught some of the basic words a toddler should know. She also pointed out that it was a good way to teach the concepts of the words “you” and “me”. Every time we read the book together we would point to ourselves when we said “me”. My son loved the repetitiveness of the book and quickly caught on to repeating the words. Now at age five, he stills enjoys the book but insists on reading it to me!

Besides being a fun read for toddlers “Brown Bear” is beautifully illustrated. So, of course I had to do a craft that related to Eric Carle’s clever collages. Simple directions below.

white paper – any kind will do
glue sticks
old magazines

1. Have the child pick out an animal they want to create.
2. Rip the magazine pages into small pieces. You can do this or the child can, it just depends on the skill set.
3. Have the child glue the images on the paper to create the animal (refer to pictures). Done.

I had my son (age 5) do this project and it kept him busy for a solid hour. At first he wanted me to rip the pages but after he saw how to do it, he took full control of the project.

*For older children you may want them to paint pieces of paper in solid colors. Then in true Eric Carle style, have them cut out the shapes to form the animals.

Did you know that ducks are delightful creatures – good for both people and the environment. Ducks add protein to a project partner’s diet from eating eggs, money in their pockets from selling eggs and ducks, and better crops in the fields, as ducks remove weeds and bugs and add fertilizer. In Xiang Qian, China, ducks are as much as tripling some families’ incomes. People begin with a starter flock of ducklings, and then they manage hundreds of ducks that enable them to send their children to school and offer them secure futures. You can help send ducks to a family in need by participating in Heifer Project’s Read to Feed Program. Donations will be accepted through September 15th at Team Skip to my Lou.  Please make a “General Team Donation.”  Do not join the team to make a donation.  This ensures that all of your money goes to our total and the $10.00 web administration fees are NOT deducted.  I will receive information that tells me you donated. Thanks!

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  1. quite beneficial stuff, on the whole I imagine this is worthy of a book mark, thanks

  2. When my daughter was in first grade, her class did a book inspired by “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles Shaw. It only involved construction paper and white paint. It was great fun, and each kid’s picture was bound into a book, with the teacher adding words. I still look at it from time to time… It might make a good add-on craft after looking at the book…

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