Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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A Tub Can Be . . . Creative Uses for Everyday Items

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Taylor and Chelsie enjoy a sticky treat while lounging in a plastic baby bathtub.

A tub can be . . .

Actually, a child’s plastic bathtub can be:

  • a snacking spot
  • a boat
  • a water table
  • a push car
  • a chair
  • a sink for washing
  • an actual bathtub
  • a container for small animals
  • a storage unit
  • a reading nook
  • a garden box
  • an art project
  • a doll bed
  • a watering tub (for animals or kids)
  • a pond
  • a fairy garden
  • a mud pie factory
  • sand box
  • a cat box (if one is not careful)

Taylor and Chelsie (circa @1992) are enjoying some good old sticky lollipops as they sit in the baby bathtub. It was no longer a bathtub at this point, but instead became the object of many imaginative games.

How about you? What other uses have you found for a plastic baby bathtub?

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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 23: Kerri Kokias Embraces the Things That Made Her Weird as a Kid

It’s OK to be WEIRD! Whew! I was sweating that one. Now I can look back on my childhood and find those things that made me weird and use them to come up with story ideas. Use your gifts, right?

Thanks, Kerri and Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 23: Kerri Kokias Embraces the Things That Made Her Weird as a Kid


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 17: Michelle Cusolito Flies Deep

Ooh, making lists of things we are curious about and things that capture our imagination and things we love! This is the perfect way to fly deep and dig up ideas for picture books!

Thanks, Michelle! Thanks, Tara!

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 17: Michelle Cusolito Flies Deep


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This Is My Dollhouse ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is what a homemade doll house looks like.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

This Is My Dollhouse

By Giselle Potter

(Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016)

I’ve always loved doll houses, so I was instantly attracted to This Is My Dollhouse.

A young girl uses an old box, craft materials, and toys to create and decorate her own doll house. Her imagination is in full swing as she makes food, clothes, and props for the little family that lives in her dollhouse.

Her friend, Sophie, also has a doll house. It’s a fancy store-bought dollhouse with pretty furniture and a family. When the girl goes to visit Sophie and play with the dollhouse, their imagination is stilted and comes to a stand still.

After seeing Sophie’s doll house, the girl is afraid of showing her own dollhouse to her friend. But one day, when Sophie came to play, Sophie discovered the hidden house and was delighted. Many hours of creative play followed and the girl was once again pleased with her own dollhouse.

I don’t think this book is against store-bought doll houses at all, but rather This Is My Dollhouse celebrates creativity and ingenuity of those who build from scratch.

It was so much fun to see the creativity of the young girl and the way she used her imagination to create scenarios and adventures for her little family. This book will inspire little ones to create from miscellaneous materials found around the house.

This is a little sewing room I made in a wooden box. Can you find the tiny mouse?

KID KANDY:

Make A Doll House

Materials: box (any size will work), cardboard, paper scraps, fabric scraps, ribbon, markers, scissors, tape, glue, toy figures, wood scraps or blocks

1. Make a doll house. You can use ANY type of container to make a little house. I once made one from a teapot! Cut cardboard and paper to make walls and floors. Ask for help in cutting a door and windows.

2. Use craft scraps and other materials to decorate your house. Add curtains, rugs, furniture, and whatever else you want. Use markers to add color.

3. Make your little family comfortable. Cut blankets, clothes, and other household necessities from your supplies.

4. Give your family (and their pets) names. You are now ready to imagine adventures for them!

P.S. This would be a fun activity to do with a sister, brother, or friend!


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STORYSTORM 2018 Day 4 Debbi Michiko Florence Explores Culture and Family Tradition

I love this post! Family traditions and culture are so interesting – and unique to each family. What a perfect place to mine ideas for stories!

Thank you, Debbi! Thank you, Tara! (Get well soon!).

via STORYSTORM 2018 Day 4: Debbi Michiko Florence Explores Culture and Family Tradition


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Cars Rushing! Honking! Zooming! ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Cars Rushing! Honking! Zooming!

By Patricia Hubbell

Illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy

(Marshall Cavendish Children, 2006)

I love the vintage illustrations of Cars Rushing! Honking! Zooming!

This fun picture book is about all sorts of vehicles. And the drivers are not necessarily human!

Told in rhyme, Cars Rushing! Honking! Zooming! features things vehicles do as well as places they go and specific information about them (like the parts of a car).

I enjoyed the feel of this book. Any child who loves things that GO will have fun reading Cars Rushing! Honking! Zooming!

KID KANDY:

Masking Tape Highways

Materials: toy vehicles, blocks, masking tape

1. Stick masking tape on the floor or carpet (or furniture) to create winding roads on the floor.

2. Use blocks to build homes, businesses, and community features.

3. Drive those vehicles along the roads and use your imagination to pretend you are really in a car. Isn’t that fun?

4. Pull up the tape as soon as you are done playing so it doesn’t stick on the floor!

Zoom, zoom!


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This Is My Dollhouse ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is what a homemade dollhouse looks like.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

This Is My Dollhouse

By Giselle Potter

(Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016)

I’ve always loved dollhouses, so I was instantly attracted to This Is My Dollhouse.

A young girl uses an old box, craft materials, and toys to create and decorate her own dollhouse. Her imagination is in full swing as she makes food, clothes, and props for the little family that lives in her dollhouse.

Her friend, Sophie, also has a dollhouse. It is a fancy store-bought dollhouse with pretty furniture and a family. When the girl goes to visit Sophie and play with the dollhouse, their imagination is stilted and comes to a stand still.

After seeing Sophie’s dollhouse, the girl is afraid of showing her own dollhouse to her friend. But one day, when Sophie came to play, Sophie discovered the hidden house and was delighted. Many hours of creative play followed and the girl was once again pleased with her own dollhouse.

I don’t think this book is against store-bought dollhouses at all, but rather This Is My Dollhouse celebrates creativity and ingenuity of those who build from scratch.

It was so much fun to see the creativity of the young girl and the way she used her imagination to create scenarios and adventures for her little family. This book will inspire little ones to create from miscellaneous materials found around the house.

This is a little sewing room I made in a wooden box. Can you find the tiny mouse?

KID KANDY:

Make A Dollhouse

Materials: box (any size will work), cardboard, paper scraps, fabric scraps, ribbon, markers, scissors, tape, glue, toy figures, wood scraps or blocks

1. Make a dollhouse. You can use ANY type of container to make a little house. I once made one from a teapot! Cut cardboard and paper to make walls and floors. Ask for help in cutting a door and windows.

2. Use craft scraps and other materials to decorate your house. Add curtains, rugs, furniture, and whatever else you want. Use markers to add color.

3. Make your little family comfortable. Cut blankets, clothes, and other household necessities from your supplies.

4. Give your family (and their pets) names. You are now ready to imagine adventures for them!

P.S. This would be a fun activity to do with a sister, brother, or friend!


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Mother Bruce ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Funny and adorable book!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Mother Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins

(Hyperion, 2015)

I’m sure you’ve heard of Old Mother Goose. Or you’ve seen a goose trailed by a parade of her goslings. This is not a story about Mother Goose.

Or maybe it is. Except Mother Goose is a he, not a she. And his name is Bruce. Bruce is a bear.

Bruce jumps from the frying pan and into the fire of motherhood after the goose eggs he had collected hatch on the stove while he is gathering firewood.

Bruce, Mr. Grumpy himself, does everything he can to get rid of the goslings. But alas, he is stuck being Mother. Bruce.

Mother Bruce is funny and clever. I loved it!

KID KANDY:

Play Bear, Bear, Goose

Have you heard of Duck, Duck, Goose?

This is the same game, only the one who is IT should tap others on their heads and say “Bear, Bear, Bear, Bear, . . . Goose!” The goose should chase IT around the outside of the circle until he/she reaches the empty spot and sits down. Then goose becomes IT.

Bear, Bear, Goose is an outdoor (or a gym) game. So invite those friends, make a big circle, choose someone to be IT, and have fun!


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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

The cow who climbed a tree!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

Story and Illustrations by Gemma Merino

(Albert Whitman & Company, 2015)

 

Aha! Who wouldn’t love a cow who climbed a tree?

And why would this cow climb a tree anyway? Really? Just picture it.

The Cow Who Climbed a Tree is a wonderfully illustrated book about a cow who was insatiably curious. About everything.

Her sisters? They were only interested in grass.

But this cow had more exciting things on her mind. What about this? Or that? Why not this?

One could say that this cow, Tina, had a great and wondering imagination, to which her sisters always replied with scorn: Impossible, ridiculous, nonsense.

But The Cow Who Climbed a Tree did not give up.

I love this story about a cow who kept dreaming and exploring and doing in spite of the lack of belief from those around her. I think young readers will be encouraged to hold onto and follow their dreams regardless of what others think.

Go, Cow!

KID KANDY:

Climb a Tree

(If you don’t have a tree, paint one with watercolors! I fell in love with the illustrations in this picture book. Paint me a tree like Gemma did!)

Head outside and find a strong, tall tree. Make sure you have good pants and a shirt on to protect your knees and skin.

Climb that tree! Pretend you are Tina, a cow, and you are going to climb that tree. Of course you don’t have a tail or cloven hooves, but you can pretend!

Look for finger and toe holds. Rest against the trunk and sitting on top of branches. Watch out for pitch – it’s very sticky. See how high you can get before you are too far.

Was it fun?

I used to be a champion tree climber. I’ve put holes in many a pair of pants from stray branches and broken off bits. And it was never as easy getting down as it was getting up. So do be careful.