Arts and Crafts Based Upon Your Child’s Favorite Chapter Books (Part II)
Sept. 29, 2018
As discussed in the article Best Read-Aloud Chapter Books for Pre-K through 3rd Grade, we know that reading longer books or series aloud to your child could help spark a lifelong interest in reading, motivating even struggling readers to keep pushing ahead in their studies. Let’s continue the conversation and expand your child’s reading fun by exploring exciting arts and crafts activities based on your child’s favorite books!
Children's Book Related Crafts and Activities
In school, teachers read books aloud to children, but they don’t just stop there. Educators know the importance of connecting to the text on multiple levels, and that includes fun and engaging learning activities that enhance their understanding of the text, but also improve a wide array of literacy skills.
At home, any parent can help kids to relate to the books your family is reading through enjoyable arts and crafts that will keep your child engaged with the text, while allowing kids to express their creativity and excitement through adorable activities.
Keep reading to discover four sensational ideas to incorporate activities inspired by your children’s favorite books or series mentioned in the previous article:
Charlotte's Web Spider Web Watercolor
Charlotte’s Web is packed with inspirational messages from Charlotte to Wilbur that reveal the true meaning of friendship, making the web itself an important symbol in the book. Discuss the meaning and effect of Charlotte’s web messages with your child as he or she creates beautiful spider web art inspired by this classic children’s novel!
- White card stock, cut into 8 x 8 squares
- Black permanent markers
- Ruler (optional)
- Watercolor paint and paintbrushes
- Plastic spiders
- Hot glue gun with glue
How to Create:
- After cutting the white card stock into 8 x 8 squares, use a pencil and the ruler to draw a straight line down and across the center of the paper. You’ll end up with something that looks like a large cross on each square.
- Next, using the ruler again, draw an “X” across the paper, connecting one corner to the other. You will notice 8 equally-sized triangles on the paper.
- Working in quadrants, begin drawing swooping lines to form the web. Be sure to connect the swooping lines in one section to match the next to create the effect of one consistent spiderweb on the paper when finished.
- Using a permanent marker, draw over the pencil lines, and erase any stray pencil marks on the paper.
- Begin painting with the watercolors! Encourage your child to use as many colors as desired, but be careful to color inside the web’s lines!
- Set out to dry. After the painting is completely dried, encourage your child to think of his or her favorite sayings from the novel and pick one to include on each web. For instance, your child might choose “Some Pig!” for one web, or “Humble” for the next. Help your child draw these sayings on the web, like how it was described in the book. Talk about each of these sayings and their meanings while creating the web.
- Finally, take a plastic spider, and using the hot glue gun, glue the spider on the web to represent Charlotte or her kids.
After completion, be sure to hang the webs in doorways to simulate the events of the book! By completing this awesomely simple craft based on the book, your child will think deeply about the messages and symbolism found in Charlotte’s Web!
Magic Treehouse Craft House
When it comes to activities based on children’s books, it doesn’t get any better than building your very own treehouse! Focus on the setting of this magical series while helping your child build their own treehouse out of easy-to-find materials. Even better yet, use the following instructions to make a starter house, and graduate to more complex houses made of popsicle sticks as your child follows the story from book to book.
- A shoebox or rectangular cardboard box
- 3 Paper towel rolls
- Construction paper
- Flexible craft wires or sticks, like pipe cleaners or Bendaroos
- Anything crafty your child wants to glue in or on the house!
How to Create:
- Take the paper towel rolls and 3 sheets of brown construction paper, and carefully wrap the paper around each roll to make legs to hold up the house.
- Optional—wrap the outside of the shoebox with construction paper of your child’s choice to cover the brand or logo of the shoebox. This is not necessary, but customizes the treehouse!
- Glue the shoebox on top of the paper towel roll stands, with the opening of the box facing you. Be sure to evenly space them by separating them much like a tripod.
- Make a treehouse ladder using pipe cleaners or Bendaroos. Optionally, wood log craft sticks may also be used. Depending on the material used, bend and glue pieces of flexible craft wires to form a ladder long enough to reach from the desk to the floor of your treehouse.
- Decorate the inside of the treehouse however your child wishes! Feel free to find different materials around the house to make chairs, tables, etc.
For older children, make it a challenge by making the house out of popsicle craft sticks. Glue pieces of real wood bark onto the toilet paper rolls to make it look like an authentic tree! With so many ways to customize, this book-based arts and crafts activity can be adapted for kids both old, and young!
Homemade Detective Kit
If your child is a fan of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, this is the activity for your mystery-loving sleuth! Encourage your little detective to find clues in each book to piece together the puzzle, and offer your child the chance to build a detective kit of his or her own, using some of the same tools that are used in the stories!
- Quart-sized Ziploc bags
- Permanent marker
- Cotton swabs
- Ink pad, and blank notecards with no lines
- Magnifying glass
- Small cosmetic brushes of varying sizes, or fingerprint brushes
- Latex or nitrile gloves
- Small notebook and pen or pencil
- Reusable/sealable container to store items
How to Create:
- Using the Ziploc bags, collect the items above, and place each except for the flashlight in separate bags, labeling each bag with its contents.
- For the cotton swabs, label these, “Specimen Swabs”. For the ink pad and blank notecards, bag these together and label it, “Finger Printing Cards and Ink”. Finally, for the cosmetic brushes, label this bag as the “Fingerprint Dusting Brushes”.
- Collect all the items in the container, and label it as a detective’s kit.
With the DIY detective kit, the fun is all about finding the supplies needed, and getting started with the detective work! After your child compiles and stores the items, start solving mysteries around the house! Collect each family member’s fingerprints, and search for prints all around the house using the fingerprinting brushes! Keep a detective’s books full of notes, clues, and leads! Use any technique that is found in the book series to solve mysteries of your own. Your child will connect to the book in a creative way, improving prediction and problem-solving skills!
Judy Moody Flipbook
In school, your child will no doubt complete writing and literacy activities based on the books they read. Why not do the same at home, but with an added crafty spin to it? This next activity will lead you and your child to create a flipbook based upon the Moody Judy series, that will have your child studying setting, characterization, silly sayings, and more! Parents, play the teacher for this next craft, and guide your child in setting up the book by providing the topics for their response.
- Construction paper, and plain white printer paper
- Crayola markers (the thin version works best)
- Stapler (parental assistance needed!)
How to Create:
- Using the construction paper, choose a color and draw a large “J”, making sure the shape takes up most of the page. Cut out the “J” and label with the book series name, plus the title of the book your child is focusing on for this activity. If your child is focusing on Stink, then cut out a large “S”! Alternatively, you can use and cut out any shape your child feels represents Judy Moody and the book series.
- Use the cutout to serve as a stencil to trace the same shape on several sheets of printer paper. Better yet, trace out one shape, and cut several sheets at the same time to cut down on time and effort!
- Staple the flipbook on the left-hand side to form a flipbook.
- On each page, label one of the following: All About Judy Moody, Setting, Problem/Solution, Judy’s Silly Sayings or Jokes, and My Favorite Part of the Story.
- Help your child work through the book, completing each section. Encourage him or her to decorate with favorite pictures from the book to represent theme, conflict, Judy, and more!
As you can see, there are so many ways to bring your child’s favorite books to life through arts, crafts, and literacy activities based on the book title or series! Inspire your kids with fun-filled projects that further their thinking of a book, and keep the excitement alive well after the reading is finished!