Category Archives: Fall

New, Fabulous Halloween Book and Activity!

Charlotte Gunnufson sent us a copy of her new book Halloween Hustle and the kids and I have been enjoying it immensely. I have actually had to get onto my kids a bit about them dragging the book all over the house (and out to the car on errand trips), before I got a chance to post a review while the book still looked nice and new!
I planned to sit down and read and play with the book today with My Little Reader since it’s aimed at kids around his age (he’s in kindergarten). But my older son (9) couldn’t resist the fun and wanted to join us too! 

I thought it would be fun to make our own little skeletons that could do the Halloween Hustle as we read the story, and fall down just like the skeleton in the book. My Little Reader decided he wanted to make a mummy like the one in the book. After some hard work, and a couple revisions, he had it the way he wanted. We each attached our creations to popsicle sticks for marionette-style puppets. 
I used simple white yarn (because that’s what I had in my craft cabinet) to attach the mummy and skeleton to the popsicle stick handles. We punched holes and used twisty ties (again, using what I had handy) to make the puppets’ joints move so they could hustle. 

Isn’t that an adorable mummy? I think so!

The story is full of fun and whimsical Halloween-type characters that are headed to a party on Halloween night (warning: there is a zombie in the story that is a little on the gross side). While observing the cover, My Little Reader wondered how the skeleton would be able to dance without falling apart since he has no skin or muscles, and he was right on the money with his wonderings. Turns out the skeleton has quite the trouble staying put together as he dances through this tale. 

The rhyming text makes it lots of fun. And we love that it has a happy ending for the skeleton. 

And it really says something when my nine year old thinks a picture book is cool enough to sit and listen to mom read it. 

The skeleton would be easy enough to use even without the string and popsicle sticks attached. You could make the jointed skeleton out of card stock and simply let your child hold him with his hands and make him dance. Be sure you use card stock – I don’t think regular paper, or even construction paper, would be heavy enough to work very well. 

I have included a pattern for the skeleton that I made (below). I do not have a pattern for the mummy My Little Reader made. But your little reader could make their own mummy, or could create a puppet based on another character in the book. You could make all the characters and do a puppet show of the story!

Check out the book trailer here!

And learn how to do the “Halloween Hustle” here!

Have fun! And I would love to see some pics of your puppets you make!

Fun Books and Activities for October

Need some quick ideas to make October a cool month of reading? Look no further! I’ve got a few for you right here!
Make your own books and story pieces of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything .

Enjoy the beautiful weather with some autumn reading adventures and Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf .

Spider fun with The Itsy Bitsy Spider  at home… or in the classroom .

Cool Stuff to do with Spooky Carrots .

Beautiful creations with Leafman .

New Child's Play Books!

I love seeing Child’s Play’s big brown box of books show up on my porch every few months. The kids and I get to test drive new titles and see what we think. Child’s Play is an independent publisher, specializing in whole child development, learning through play, life skills, and values. Their stuff is so pretty and fun. The latest additions to their collections got a thumbs up from us! Check it out.

The What’s That board book series encourages guessing, prediction, and memory skills. Four titles in the series include CHOO! CHOO! , SNAP! SNAP! , TAP! TAP! , and TOOT! TOOT!What’s that noise? Lift the flap and find out! Lift the flap books are my go-to’s with little ones. Always a hit! Familiar themes and vibrant illustrations will mean many, repeated, and fun-filled readings.

The Seasons board book series has a separate charm all its own (Titles include Spring , Summer , Fall , and Winter ). Each season has something special about it, and in these books you get to explore each one. You will follow these whimsically illustrated  children as they spend time discovering the joys of indoor and outdoor play. And the durability of these board books means you can tote them around with you in each season and read them indoors or out!

We also read a couple new Child’s Play picture books and they were adorable! Crunch! by Carolyn Rabei features the cutest little guinea pig named Crunch. He loves to eat and is shocked when a mouse named Cheddar asks to share his food. Trade for a hug? Nope. But Crunch ends up regretting his decision and sets out to find the hungry little mouse.

The last book was Ailsa Burrow’s The Jar of Happiness . In this sweet book, Meg shares her “jar of happiness” with friends when they are down and need a little lift. Then one day the jar goes missing. Can she ever be happy again? But Meg’s friends help her find new ways to be happy. We loved the super-cute cat in this story; he made us smile and giggle!

All books that are definitely worth your time and great additions to your library!