Monday, August 1, 2011

Character Book Bags

Plush toys that represent characters from books that kids love are so much fun! Curious George, Clifford, Franklin, Madeline, Babar and Mouse (from the Mouse and the Cookie books) are all currently in my collection, to name just a few! Children love to hold them as we read books - it makes reading personal and gives them a tactile connection to the story!

Here's a fun idea that I've done in the past - maybe your kids would like to try it, too! Choose a character that is a favorite with your children and gather up some of the stories that go with that character. Begin a notebook that records the character's adventures while he is "visiting" your house - it might say "Curious George came for a visit today and we decided to make it a beach day! We packed up all of our beach toys and headed off - George made sure to buckle his seatbelt in the car ...." (Have the story dictated by your child  and make sure to read some books that go along with your character, for background.)

Then, when your visit is done, pack it all up - character, notebook and books - in some kind of bag, suitcase or backpack and pass them along to a friend. Have your character spend a night or two with a few different friends, following the same process, and eventually come back to see you again - you'll have fun reading all about his adventures!

Some friends might like to include photos of his adventures - my "Curious George" visited zoos, stores, beaches, the firehouse ... he was strapped into carseats, strollers and tucked in at night ... the opportunities are endless for traveling about! Use your imaginations!

Other friends might like to draw a picture and illustrate the "adventures" of whatever character you choose to travel around. Get some cutting and gluing practice in if you're adding something to the travel notebook and you might attempt a few letters or words of your own story, if you're able! You and your friends will be the authors of a fascinating travel book when you're all done - then, do it again!

Have fun!

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