I signed Thing One up for the summer reading program at our local library, so we've been going to story times and checking out lots of books so he can get in all his reading. A few weeks ago he checked out The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse, by Eric Carle. He loved it and when we returned it we picked up several more Eric Carle books. We also have a few from Kohls. With all the E.C. books around I thought it would be fun to do an Eric Carle themed day (I told you, I love a theme!). I set out a stack of books for him to look at whenever he wanted, but I kept out a few to do something special.
I rounded up a few bags and made three sets of book bags. When I was in elementary school we got to check out book bags once a week. It was a bag with a story and a matching stuffed animal that you could read to. I loved book bags and because of that I am often a huge sucker for those Kohls Cares for Kids sets, which all have a matching stuffed animal. Even though we did buy some E.C. books at Kohls this year I didn't buy any of the stuffed animals, so I just found stuffed animals that we had.
Throughout the day I would let him choose a bag and he excitedly opened it with wonder, and read each one to the coordinating animal. It's amazing how a little thing like hiding a book in a bag can create so much excitement and anticipation.
I also wanted to do an activity or two to go with the books. I really love Eric Carle's art. As I was looking through some of his books I noticed that the inside covers of several books really just look like finger paint; totally something a kid could do.
So we set out to make some Carle-esque art with finger paint.
I think they turned out pretty awesome. Thing One used Q-tips to paint on the blue one, and the back of the paint brush to make the squiggles on the orange. He was pretty excited that he could paint just like Eric Carle.
While we are on the subject I thought I'd show you a few pictures from The Very Hungry Caterpillar baby shower we did for my sister in law a while back. All the food was from the book, and labeled right from the story. I showed you the ice cream cone/cakes already.
My other sister -in-law made a cute diaper cake with food cut-outs from the story
We of course put up books everywhere. We also made a caterpillar with pictures of the Mommy-to-be every month of her pregnancy.
My favorite part was probably these little favors. They were tiny pots of basil with mini pom-pom caterpillars. "The caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf, and after that he felt much better."
That's our homage to Eric Carle. Since Thing One like this so much I think we will probably do other book themes through the summer (we do have lots of stuffed animal book companions), but I will probably stretch them out over a week instead of all in a day (the Eric Carle idea was kind of a last minute idea one night). It's fun to come up with activities that go with the stories. I hope you are getting in lots of summer reading!
Thanks for coming by.