We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Story Stones

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Story Stones

A set of stones with painted images are shown. They are to accompany a retelling of We're Going on A Bear Hunt.

We made these We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story stones to mark this classic book’s 30th birthday.
This is a book that brings up all of the warm and fuzzies for so many readers.
And what is a childhood without reenacting the legendary Bear Hunt with some swishy-swashying in long, wavy grass and squelch-squerching in thick, oozy mud?  (This read of the story by the author Michael Rosen is so fun.)

Story stones are a fabulous way to help young readers retell the story. They are a concrete material that helps deepen comprehension of the book.

What you will need to make your Bear Hunt Story Stones:

Some smooth stones (I bought mine from Cleverpatch. You could try your local garden centre or go on a rock collecting walk.)
My free Bear Hunt Story Stones printable*
PVA glue or Mod Podge
Scissors

* To grab your free printable, simply subscribe to my newsletter and an email will land in your inbox straightaway containing the download link. (You’ll also receive a free copy of my READ + CREATE eBook. Over 30+ pages of tips, ideas and templates.)

A bird's eye view of a craft table is shown. Childrens' hands are squeezing glue.

The process is pretty simple.
Sign up to my newsletter in my header or sidebar.
Once you receive the email with the printable, download it and print it out.
Cut out each oval from the printable.
Choose a stone for each scene.
You will need to trim the oval down to fit each unique stone.
Use PVA glue or Mod Podge to glue the paper onto the stone- “just a dot, not a lot.”
Then put a thin coat of PVA glue / Mod Podge over the paper. This helps to give your story stones a nice gloss, but most importantly, it seals the paper and helps your story stones last a bit longer.

When we made these story stones in my READ + CREATE classes, the conversations that arose were the CUTEST.
One mini maker wondered why they went on a bear hunt if they didn’t really want to find a bear.
We all wondered how the bear was feeling as he trudged back to his cave.

If you do use this printable to make your own We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story stones, I’d love to see them! Tag me on IG or FB with @ohcreativeday.

Text overlay reads We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Story Stones Grab your free printable

Homemade Card for Kids to Create

Homemade Card for Kids to Create

This homemade card for kids celebrates somebody supreme. It makes use of one of my favourite art techniques- collage! And who doesn't love pizza?

Is there anything better than pizza?
Rhetorical question.
This homemade card for kids celebrates somebody supreme. It makes use of collage- my fave! And pizza makes everything excellent.

What you will need:

Free pizza printable
Thin card
Coloured paper
Collage materials
Glue

This homemade card for kids celebrates somebody supreme. It makes use of one of my favourite art techniques- collage! And who doesn't love pizza?

How to:

Print off your free card template onto thin card.

Gather collage materials. We used coloured craft paper, tissue paper, washi tape, wool scraps, bits of sponge- go wild.

Cut out a red circle to act as your “pizza base.”

Set the glue out and let your Mini Masterchef craft up their most delicious pizza.

Here’s what the set up looked like at our place….

This homemade card for kids celebrates somebody supreme. It makes use of one of my favourite art techniques- collage! And who doesn't love pizza?

If you wanted to get all teachery, you could use this activity as a counting / data lesson. Once your child has completed their pizza, you could ask things like, “how many pieces of “ham” are on your pizza? How many pieces of “mushroom” are on your pizza? etc”

Or it’s a perfect way to explore symmetry. Have your Mini Masterchef make both halves of the pizza identical.

Once your pizza has finished in the oven (READ: the glue has dried), glue the pizza to the front of the card.

It’s ready to be given to the supreme person in your life!

Need more homemade cards for kids inspo?

Try this popsicle one. Or this “You’re a Dude!” one.

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This homemade card for kids celebrates somebody supreme. It makes use of one of my favourite art techniques- collage! And who doesn't love pizza?

Printable Father’s Day Card

Printable Father’s Day Card

How cool is your dad?
Cooler than 1000 icy poles?
This printable Father’s Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique.
Do you call them icy poles? Or popsicles? Or ice lollies? (This is almost an easy way to determine where in the world somebody grew up!)
There are 3 alternatives of this card. So you can print out the version that suits whatever you call those delicious, frozen things that make hot Summer days even sweeter.

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

What you will need:

Free printable
1000 icy poles version
1000 popsicles version
1000 ice lollies version

Thin card
Paints
Paper
An old store loyalty card
Glue
Black Marker

How to:

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

Download and print your card onto thin card.

The Mala paints from Ikea are excellent for this project.
Any paint that you can easily squeeze out small dots will work.

Squeeze three small dots of paint onto acrylic paper. Dots need to be as close together as possible.
I usually do this step for my 3 and 5-year-old. I cover a whole sheet of paper with 3-dot colour combinations as the next step is fast and furious.
And mainly because my kids are maniacs with squeezy paint. If I let them do this step independently, it generally ends with them just creating squeezy paint masterpieces.

Older children with more self-control could easily complete this step independently.

And you can always experiment with more colours. 3 colours just seems to be our sweet spot here.

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

This is the fun part. Place an old plastic card to the left of the paint dots. Press down and scrape across to the right and watch the paint spread.
Experimenting is key here!

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

You’ll be left with lots of rainbow smears.
Once they have dried, cut them into the shapes of icy poles.

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

Glue the painted paper onto the front of the card and add little sticks in black marker.

And there you have it- a Father’s Day card for the cool dude in your life!
You can of course create your own icy poles with pencils or crayons- however you wish.
This painting method is fun and highly addictive though. We highly recommend!

Need more printable Father’s Day card ideas? Try our “You’re a Dude!” card!

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How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

 

How cool is your dad? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable Father's Day card lets dad know just how cool you think he is, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts #fathersdaycard #handmadecard

How cool is your buddy? Cooler than 1000 icy poles? This printable greeting card lets friends know just how cool you think they are, whilst utilising a super fun and simple painting technique. Also available in "popsicles" and "iced lollies" alternatives. A fun and sweet card for kids to make. #kidsart #kidscrafts  #handmadecard

 

FREE PRINTABLE: Book-Based Play

FREE PRINTABLE: Book-Based Play

FREE PRINTABLE POSTER Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support!

Somebody recently asked me about my beliefs and values.
It was a rather hard-hitting question for my sleep-deprived soul, and one that should probably only be answered after at least two morning coffees.
Somewhere in amongst all the umm-ing and aah-ing, I replied “I believe that reading is as important as breathing.”
Especially for children.

Reading aloud to and with children brings a crazy array of benefits.
Letter and sound awareness. Increased vocabulary. Helping little minds make sense of the world. Imagination development.
The list goes on. And on. And on.
If you want to take things to the next level, encouraging book-based play will do just that.

Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

What in the holy bananas is book-based play?
It’s when you create play and learning opportunities that take things beyond the book.
These experiences deepen understandings of story and character and help little people make meaning of the texts they have read.

During May, I took part in the #bookishplay initiative over on Instagram, the mastermind of Teri from Petit Book Corner.
A group of book-loving Instagrammers shared oodles of excellent book-based play ideas.
For one of my posts, I shared my process for encouraging bookish play.
Emma from @play_at_home_mummy commented that I should turn my tips into a flowchart.
ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE, PEOPLE!
AKA I take things very literally.

So here you go.
A poster summarising how I encourage book-based play at my place.
Print it out. Hang it somewhere. Hand it to friends.
Be like “that” preacher at Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, and preach!
It’s as important as breathing, people.

FREE PRINTABLE POSTER Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY TO PRINT OUT HERE

Let me walk you through it with a bit more detail.

1. Read a book

This seems like an obvious place to start. So don’t miss this step. It’s probably the most vital step in the whole process.
Let your child have ownership over the process and ask them to choose a book to share together. And you don’t have to be a thespian. I know that some people feel a bit silly reading aloud. You don’t have to worry about putting on a voice for each character. Just read the book!

For example: We read Spirit by Cherri Ryan and Christina Booth.

FREE PRINTABLE POSTER Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

2. Look for recurring symbols or themes

As I read, I tune in for the main themes or symbols. If you don’t feel confident doing this on the spot with your child, I encourage you to choose a few books and have a go sans child. It goes against my advice in Step 1 of letting your child choose the book- but better to build your confidence in this process first!

For example: Spirit is a tale of a girl who makes a toy boat and experiments with sailing it in different places. It explores the themes of resilience and rising above frustrations.

3. How can you playfully extend the book’s themes or symbols?

Could you set up a Small World? Make some puppets out of paper bags to retell the story? Anything goes at this step!

For example: With Spirit, it was pretty easy- “Hey, guys- who wants to try and make their own boat?”

4. Create and Play

This step will obviously vary based upon what activity you choose to do.
During this step, I also try and tune in for the Teachable Moments.
Model vocabulary used in the books.
Use open-ended questions to ask your young reader about their thoughts on characters and plot.

For example: We gathered our recyclables and began a Design and Make process.
What materials will sink? Which will float? What shape will your sail be? How will we keep the mast upright? Hypothesising. Predicting. Experimenting.
OH EM GEE DO YOU SEE ALL THE LEARNING AND RICH VOCAB HAPPENING HERE?? Teacher-Nerd-Happy-Dance

Boat-making led to some frustrations- “it won’t stand up.” “It’s not what I want.”
HELLO TEACHABLE MOMENTS! We related our frustrations back to the frustrations of the main character.

FREE PRINTABLE POSTER Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

5. Gather and Keep Exploring

I then try and gather a few books on the same topic/ themes and leave them out so we can keep discussing and exploring. And so the cycle begins again.

NB- I obviously don’t do this for every.single.book we read. Once you start though, you begin to see the possibilities everywhere!

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FREE PRINTABLE POSTER Book-based play helps young readers deepen their understandings of story and characters. It allows them to make meaning of what they have read. Grab your free printable that outlines how I encourage book-based play at my place. #picturebooks #bookbasedplay #playbasedlearning #readingwithkids

Collage Bunny Easter Mask

Collage Bunny Easter Mask

A child made bunny mask with feathers

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support.

I had no intention of sharing this bunny mask craft.
None. Whatsoever.

We hosted our littlest’s first birthday party on the weekend and celebrated with a Miffy theme.
It’s our last first birthday. All them feels.
Our kiddy parties always have a craft station for the little party-goers. I like to think of the craft station as a “Buying-Time-for-Parents-to-Eat-Cheese-and-Crackers-and-Have-a-Conversation” situation.
But of course it’s mainly for the little ones to get creative and indulge their craftiness.

The craft station is always popular but I was pleasantly surprised at how popular this simple crafty invitation was.
So I thought I’d share it with you, as well as the free printable template, in time for Easter.
And so that you too, can indulge in some cheese and crackers whilst the kids are entertained.
(We all deserve cheese and cracker time.)

What You Will Need:

Bunny Easter masks template DOWNLOAD BELOW
Cardboard
Craft knife or sharp scissors
Wooden dowel
Duct tape and washi tape
Collage materials – coloured paper, tissue paper, crepe paper
Glue (We used a good old glue stick)
Markers, paint pens, paint sticks, chalk pastels – whatever you have on hand!

A collection of child made bunny masks with collage

Tips and Tricks

Print and cut out the Bunny Easter mask template. Trace the bunny onto pieces of cardboard. I used all the old cardboard boxes from online shopping that have been piling up.

A child made bunny mask with collage

Due to the thickness of the cardboard I used, I used a craft knife to cut the masks out. I realised towards the end of the process that my craft knife was very, very blunt. Face palm. So my edges were pretty rough. Let’s call it rustic charm, yeah?
If you go the craft knife route, please use a cutting mat! Safety first, people!
If you use thinner cardboard, sharp scissors should do the job.

I then just taped the dowel to the back of the cardboard with decorative duct tape.

A child made bunny mask with collage

We actually made more masks a few days after the party, because I was interested to see if this project was still as popular.
It was a resounding yes.
I pulled the collage box out of the craft cupboard. I store all paper scraps in a fishing tackle box.
You can find some tips and tricks for collage with kids here.

I also offered paint sticks, Posca pens and chalk pastels.
Feel free to make use of whatever you have at hand.

In all honesty, it wasn’t a very organised set up.
There were materials flying everywhere. But I kinda love those kinds of sessions.
However, sometimes it is a good idea to limit the materials on offer as young artists can get overwhelmed by choice.

For me this experience highlighted how valuable it is to create alongside your littles.
Miss 4 has an intense love affair with colouring-in at the moment. She made about 4 masks in 10 minutes flat, using the markers and chalk pastels.

She then noticed my mask and proclaimed “That’s a masterpiece! I want to make one like that!”
So I sat with her and explained the process I undertook.
If I had attempted to guide her process like this from the start, she would not have had a bar of it. She is definitely a child who likes to go her own way.

Happy mask-making! And happy cheese-eating!

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Text Overlay reads Collage Bunny Easter Mask with Free Printable with 2 images of childrens made bunny masks

Chinese New Year Finger Puppet Craft

Chinese New Year Finger Puppet Craft

A picture of two bright finger puppets dressed for Chinese New Year.Tradition dictates that Lunar New Year should begin with freshly-cut hair and new clothes.
Fresh start and all.
You should also clean your house on the last day of the year to clear out the bad luck.
And whatever you do, DO NOT clean your house on the first day of the New Year lest you sweep away all the good new luck settling.
(Best excuse ever to not do housework.)
This Chinese New Year craft was inspired by these two traditions.

Download your free finger puppets hereImage of template with two characters dressed for Chinese New Year.

Print out the template and lay out different materials for colouring in.
We used black pens to add details and a combination of watercolour pencils and crayons.
Once coloured in, cut the puppets out and stick to a craft stick.

We also raided our recyclables stash and decorated some boxes with red and yellow items found in the craft cupboard.
These collaged creations formed the “rooms” in a house. My kids pretended that their puppets were moving through the rooms and tidying them in preparation for New Year.

If you’re after some more Chinese New Year craft ideas, check out our Dancing Lion and Fortune Cookies.

You can find some of our favourite Chinese New Year picture books here.

Text Overlay Chinese New Year Finger Puppets with Free Printable 2 images of free printable