The BOOK GIVEAWAY is now closed. The winner has been notified. Congratulations!
PROJECT: Make a moving puppy puppet with fasteners!
How do we learn to savor the present, untroubled by the past, unworried about the future? In this delightful, meditative book, author Maria Gianferrari shows it’s as simple as being like a dog: “Stretch while you rise. Wag your body. Greet the day and everyone you love.” Being A Dog is a perfect read-aloud for littles, who will love mirroring the motions of the sweet pup illustrated by Pete Oswald.
To celebrate this book publication, I wanted to create something full of movement: something that will wag, romp, nap, munch, sniff and stretch just like our canine hero. Why not a moving pup-pet with fasteners that allow for pouncing paws and a thumping tail?
Is it an Unidentified Flying Object from outer space? Or is it a very cool do-it-yourself Frisbee? This craft is geared to kids in preschool through grades 1 and 2. It’s simple, satisfying, and the best part is watching your saucer soar! All you really need is a paper plate (or two). This is a great hands-on activity for families, teachers and librarians to pair with my nonfiction picture book, FLIP! How the Frisbee Took Flight. Give it a whirl!
Once kids get a hang of folding these Origami Flyers, they won't be able to stop! The good news is flinging these flyers won't damage your walls or furniture and they pair perfectly with my upcoming nonfiction picture book, FLIP! How the Frisbee Took Flight.
The list couldn't be simpler! Origami paper. To make one origami flyer, you will need 8 pieces--4 in one color, 4 in another. I recommend a happy medium--about 15 cm x 15 cm. That's big enough for kids new to origami, but not so large as to be too floppy to fly.
Watch these 2 short videos, and follow the folds!
Check out www.margaretmuirhead.com for more information about Flip! You can pre-order your copy at Indiebound, Target, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or at your favorite neighborhood book shop.
The Book Giveaway is closed. Our winner is Josie Clark-Trippodo! Congratulations, Josie! Enjoy this beautiful book.
“Be a tree. Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun.” Maria Gianferrari’s beautiful picture book begins with a simple metaphor that extends and expands, connecting the ecology of trees to a message about interconnectedness and our human responsibility to care for, build and sustain our communities. The illustrations by Felicita Salas are delightful. On a page with text that reads: “Your skin is bark; dead on the outside, protecting what’s within,” Salas adds a detail of matching tattoos–a heart inked on a grandfather’s forearm with a twin heart carved into the trunk of a tree.
To mark the publication of BE A TREE, I wanted to create a variation of that perennial school project, the Family Tree–but one that would celebrate the circles of community that kids experience in their lives instead of ancestry. Not all children know or live with biological relatives–but all of them have important people who matter to them. So, introducing . . . the TREE RINGS PROJECT!
Block printing with organic materials (because: trees) is a perfect pair for this project, filled with texture and messiness. Who doesn’t love a puddle of glue, paint, and the surprise of lifting up a print you made to see the result? If it’s too glue-y for you, you can also create a Tree Rings Project using markers and crayons with concentric circle shapes to trace.
Tree Rings Project
Flat piece of cardboard (you can cut out a side of a cardboard box)
Tempera or acrylic paint
Brayer (printmaking roller) or paintbrush
Paper (I used 50% recycled construction paper)
Trace or draw concentric circles on cardboard. We had fun running around the house gathering cups, bowls and other round objects to trace. Your circles can be lopsided–the rings of a tree certainly are!
Cut pieces of yarn that fit your circles.
Now for the gluey, messy bit: squeeze a line of glue along your traced circles. Or, for smaller hands, pour a puddle of glue and use a popsicle stick to spread it on thick!
Lay the yarn on your circles and let dry.
Painting time! Once your block is dry, use a paintbrush or brayer to spread paint over the yarn.
Turn it upside down on paper; press evenly.
Lift carefully: you printed your tree rings!
Now for Step 8, the most important part . . . start at the middle of your tree ring and think about the place where you feel the most comfortable. It might be home or maybe school. In this central place, jot down the people there that help you grow strong. People you can count on and who can count on you. Move out to your next tree ring. This ring can represent another comfortable place–a grandparent’s house, a neighbor’s house, your after-school group. Who are your “people” there? Add them to your tree ring. Move your way out, considering other places and groups that help you or that you would like to help–the local animal rescue group or a community garden, for example. And voila! You’ve made your circles of community–your personal Tree Rings!
* Teens and grown-ups who don’t want to be left out of the fun but want more of a challenge: try creating a block print of wood grain. My attempt is pictured above and below. I free-handed the design, starting with interspersed spirals (knots of wood) and then adding lines of yarn (wood grain) around them.