Kids Nook Loves: Poetry

This week we rediscovered Julia Donaldson’s The Rhyming Rabbit, a sweet and funny story about a rabbit who loves to create poetry! Of course with a great example like that, how could we not explore some great poetry activities?

  1. Poetry Writing Prompts for Kids

2. Word Association AND Splatter Art

3. I Am As… Template and Examples

4. Poetry Books to Get Your Juices Flowing!

Have fun rhyming, friends!

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Kids Nook Loves: The Moon

Just like our friend Mouse, we love the moon at Kids Nook. Not only is it beautiful to look at during the night time, it plays an important role in how the Earth works! It helps with our environment, and it even helps keep the Earth at the perfect tilt.

If you’re like us, and you want to share this with your kids, then check out our links below!

  1. Erupting Moon Rocks

2. Moon Crater Experiment 

3. Moon Craft Mobile

4. Phases of the Moon

5. Moon Painting

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Kids Nook Loves: Storytelling

This week we’re sharing some thoughts on one of our favorite activities at Kids Nook: Storytelling!

In today’s world when kids know how to operate an iPad before they can even walk, storytelling is an important tool in helping develop a child’s imagination and play. Imagining a magical world of stories and fighting with witches, giants and pirates is something attractive and fun for all children. Through oral storytelling, parents can not only engage a child’s mind through listening and imagination, but they can create a special memory that their children will always treasure.

Like with most activities, children respond well to rituals and structure. Taking care to create an atmosphere for storytelling will go a long way in making this time with your children a special one. For example, use an old carpet or a blanket to “fly” to story land. Make horse noises or clap when the character in the story is walking or running. At Kids Nook we use sticks to create rhythms for silly songs we make up, but clapping can also do the trick.

If you don’t have a lot of faith in your storytelling abilities, then get your kids involved! They probably have a lot of ideas about what an elephant or a snake sounds like, and you can ask them for their help in telling the story. For example, whenever you mention a Big Bad Wolf, ask them to make some kind of noise or motion that goes with it. That keeps them involved while you’re talking.

Another tool is to break up the story into different parts. Most traditional stories can be divided into three parts (check out Jim Henson’s The Storyteller for examples), and you can use these natural cliffhangers to your advantage. In Cinderella, when you reach the part where the evil stepsisters go off to the ball and leave Cinderella alone… stop. Ask your kids if they want to hear the rest of the story, or if they just want to leave it at that. Most children will want to continue.

Some parents might be concerned with how scary some of these old stories can be. They’re worried that their children will be scared by the things they hear. This is a valid concern of course, and you can choose stories at your discretion. However one way of handling this is to give your child an “invisibility cloak.” Give them a special blanket that they can wrap around themselves, and tell them it will keep them safe from any bad guys they might meet in the story. This way the children can listen to the story safely, as an observer.

Storytelling is a fun activity for both parents and children. It gives children the attention they crave from their parents, and it creates special memories for them. In today’s culture, when it’s easier to hand your child a tablet, taking some time to explore magical worlds and having daring adventures together will have a huge impact on your children and your relationship to them.

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Kids Nook Loves: Axel Scheffler

If you’re into children’s books, then the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Julia Donaldson, author of hit books like The Gruffalo and Stick Man. But what is a children’s book without a great illustrator to bring the words to life? Today we’re going to shine the spotlight on the Gruffalo’s very own illustrator: Axel Scheffler.

Axel Scheffler was born in Germany, but he’s best known for his work with famous writer Julia Donaldson. Regardless of what his projects are, his style is distinctive and silly enough to really stand out on a book shelf.

While we all know and love Scheffler from the Guffalo, he’s done a number of other cool projects. He illustrated a small book called How to Keep a Pet SquirrelHe was also commissioned to redo the illustrations for TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

He’s also known for drawing funny little illustrations on envelopes that he sends to his friends. Tom Bonnick of Nosy Crow publishing created a blog post filled with all of his favorite pieces of art that Scheffler has sent him over the years. It inspires me to not only write letters, but to get a little creative with how I decorate my own envelopes!

What is your favorite book illustrated by Axel Scheffler? I’m a big fan of Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book. Let us know in the comments below!

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Kids Nook Loves: Christian Robinson- “The Art of Fun”

christian robinson1This week we’re starting a new section on the blog called “Kids Nook Loves.” This is where our favorite illustrators, artists, and our recommended links for games will go.

 

 

 

 

christian robinson4This week I wanted to share a popular artist Christian Robinson. He’s illustrated books such as Gaston (one of my personal favorites) and Last Stop on Market Street. He also did the illustrations for a historical picture book about Josephine Baker, which is full of fun costumes and whimsical scenes.

In fact, all of his illustrations are fun for kids to look at. His style seems pretty simplistic, but there are details in his illustrations that make going through the stories special. Just look at those cookies on the right! Colorful and delicious!

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His website is over at The Art of FunIf you like what you see there, you should definitely check out his books! And if you’re at Kids Nook, ask for Gastonthe story of a little white puppy who feels a little out of place in his family.