I am always up for a good book and a cute craft! And this summer I was thrilled to get to plan and host a little play date at our grade school for a few incoming kindergarteners. I had a few friends in our neighborhood who had their first babies starting kindergarten this fall, and I remember how tough it can be to let the first little birdie out of the nest!
I was so eager to familiarize myself with the place that would be entrusted with my precious one for so many hours each day! Thankfully, our school is amazeballs, and our media specialist opened the school library each Thursday this summer, and she allowed me to use the space for this fun time one week. I hope it blessed some kids AND their mamas!
But what book to choose?! What craft to tackle?! After whittling the decision down to a few contenders, I landed on Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny. I thought the length, content, and fun sound effects would work well for almost-kindergarteners!
In case you’re not familiar with this Caldecott Honor book, little Trixie and her dad walk to the laundromat, past, over, and through several places on their way, but when Trixie and Dad set off for home, Trixie realizes something: her beloved Knuffle Bunny has gone missing! The rest is a comic debacle that kids get a kick out of and parents just totally get (toddler public tantrum of epic proportion, anyone?).
So I went on the web and searched Knuffle Bunny images, and found a great free coloring sheet.
I printed out several copies of that so the kids would have something to do as they arrived.
For the craft, I decided to make a washing machine with Knuffle Bunny inside.
The supplies for this are as follow:
*medium size paper plate 7-9″ wide (1 for each child)
*snack size ziploc baggie, sides and zipper-top cut off ahead of time,
depending on the age and skill of the child–to fold out to a square (1 per child)
*8-12 x 11 sheet of paper, with washing machine knobs already drawn on,
depending on the age and skill of the child (1 per child)
*construction paper, assorted colors
*a “Knuffle Bunny” paper to cut out (1 per child)
*glue stick, scissors, crayons
Have the kids draw knobs on top of washer sheet, if not already done–a few simple circles and dials does the trick!. [I just hand-drew my knobs on one sheet, then photocopied it for all the kids.] Have kids color “knobs” if wanted.
Like with the coloring sheet, I google searched for a simple black and white Knuffle Bunny image, but didn’t find one I loved, so I isolated this one from the coloring sheet illustration (by cutting out or covering up extra pen strokes–with a paper scrap, since I was out of correction tape!).
Then I copied that one bunny onto a full size sheet, and again onto another corner of the same sheet… and again and again, until I had four to a page. Then I just made copies of that page and cut them into quarters for the kids.
Let the kids color and cut out Knuffle Bunny.
[I love the artistic creativity of these precious ones!!]
Have your kiddos cut out “clothes” from construction paper. Draw simple t-shirts and pants silhouettes for them if they need help.
Depending on skill level, simple random shapes, such as rectangles, work too. Have them glue down Knuffle Bunny and the clothes onto the washing machine sheet. [I traced a plate on each sheet to give the kids a glue border so their items stayed inside the “washer.”] They can even simply color “clothes” inside the washing machine circle.
It’s also fun to leave a few pieces of “clothes” or Knuffle Bunny unglued, so they “tumble” and float free in the washer. Very cute! We even crumpled up a bit of the construction paper so it did not lay perfectly flat. I love 3D!
Cut the center out of the paper plate–or have them do it–depending on age and skill. Glue cut ziploc square to the inside border of the paperplate.
Next, help them glue the rim of the plate to the face of the washer to form the “washer door.”
Then, admire your work, huzzah!
Well done, sweet girl!
Each child put his own personal “spin” on how the project looked. I just love that!
And each child took home a coloring sheet and a Knuffle Bunny washing machine craft. Hooray for the refrigerator art gallery!
Don’t you just love a good book and craft?! I’m always looking for fresh ideas and new inspiration–what’s your favorite children’s book? Do tell!