Get Crafty – Summer Fun

Shells

Did you escape to the beach for a little summer vacation? We did and brought home a few souvenirs from our walks on the beach. Now that our prize shells are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, it’s time to put them to use with a fun craft idea.

Shell Animals! This is a perfect activity for a rainy day or before a trip to the zoo. You can get as creative and detailed as you want while learning about different traits of the animal that you want to create.

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We kept the supplies simple – of course, shells are the number one ingredient, although we would suggest some larger ones for young children, ours are a little smaller than we would have liked. To decorate your shells you will need, some construction paper, scissors, markers, paint or both. You can also add googly eyes and pipe cleaners for more detail. We made a peacock, a tiger, and our bear came in the perfect color straight from the ocean!

Share your favorite shell creatures with us; tag @arbordalekids on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr! We will send a matching book to our top favorites!

 

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Arbordale Costume Contest!

The fall air is crisp as the temperatures drop, as the pumpkins find their way to front doors across the country, children begin to plan a great transformation. On October 31st everyone has the opportunity to become someone or something else. Well, when you are not sure what to be for Halloween Arbordale books are here to help make your decision easier.

Here is a reading list for your last minute costume ideas:

 

Fur and Feathers

FurFeathers_187By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

When Sophia dreams that howling winds whisk the fur and feathers right off her animal friends, she shares some of her clothes with them. But her clothing doesn’t work well for the animals. Seeing their disappointment, she offers to sew each one the “right” coat. Animals line up to explain what they need and why. Polar Bear needs white fur to stay warm and hide in the snow. Fish needs scales, but with slime. Snake needs scales too, but dry ones. And how will Sophia make a prickly coat for Porcupine? The award-winning team of Halfmann and Klein (Little Skink’s Tail) reunite to bring animal coverings (and classification) to life in an imaginative way.

 

If a Dolphin were a Fish

Dolphin_187By Loran Wlodarski, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

“If a Dolphin Were a Fish” is the clever story of a dolphin who imagines that she is a fish, a turtle, a bird, an octopus, or even a shark or manatee. She (and the readers) learn just how special she really is and how special each of her other sea animal friends are too. The Creative Minds section has teaching trivia, crafts and games related to dolphins and some of her sea-creature friends.

 

If You were a Parrot

Parrot_187By Katherine Rawson, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

“If You Were a Parrot” is a whimsical book that has the child imagining what life would be like if he or she were a pet parrot. The parrot’s special feet allow it to climb curtains, bookshelves, and plants. The hooked beak lets the parrot chew all kinds of great food: seeds, nuts, chair legs, popsicles sticks and all, and even a telephone directory! Join the parrot as it goes through its daily routine of climbing, chewing, eating, bathing, and finally, snuggling down for the night after a long day of parrot fun. The “For Creative Mind” section has parrot teaching trivia, crafts and games to supplement learning.

 

Little Skink’s Tail

Skink_187By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

While Little Skink hunts yummy ants for breakfast, she is suddenly attacked by a crow! But she has a trick to escape she snaps off her tail, and it keeps on wiggling! Little Skink is happy to be alive, but she misses her bright blue tail. Little Skink’s Tail follows Little Skink as she daydreams of having the tails of other animals in the forest. Readers will enjoy pretending with her, trying on tail after tail. The first is too puffy-fluffy, and another too stinky! Then one day Little Skink gets a big surprise and she doesn’t have to dream of tails anymore. The “For Creative Minds” section has information on tail adaptations and communications and a mix-and-match tail activity.

Tweet us your costume pictures @arbordalekids by October 31 and one lucky winner will get a copy of all four of these books!