I just want to say I’m thrilled to be guest posting here at Make and Takes! Its such a fantastic website.
Although I rarely blog about them on my own blog, we love books in our family. My son Jake has shelves brimming with books and we love story time, especially at bedtime. One of our current favourites is Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. It is, as spoken by the author himself, “A tale of trying to solve a problem by throwing things at it”. In the book, Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree and in an attempt to get it back, throws all sorts at it – from shoes to the kitchen sink, even a whale! Its funny, silly and witty and the original illustrations are gorgeous.
I did dabble with the idea of letting Jake actually throw things into a tree, but thankfully I thought better of it! Instead I thought that we could find the things that Floyd throws in his tree in Jake’s toy boxes and create our own mini sticky tree and stick everything in it, playing out Floyd’s story in our living room.
First of all, we collected all the various ‘props’ needed. We read a page at a time and went looking for 2 or 3 things. Jake loved this little treasure hunt and he got very excited when he realized we had each object in our house too.
Though I did have to explain that we didn’t have a toy kitchen sink and we weren’t going to be able to use our actual sink! He did, however go and get his little chair and was adamant that it wasn’t too big.
We didn’t have every single item, and some we improvised, the gorilla instead of an orangutan and a farmer for a milkman, but this just added to the imaginary fun!
Once we had all our toys together we created a sticky tree with some sticky back plastic (contact paper) tacked to the wall, with some green playdough on top. We read the book again and as Floyd threw each thing into the tree, Jake took great delight in sticking his things onto our tree!
Jake soon figured out that the heavier things stuck better in the pladough than on the contact paper, and he kept remarking that “the kite’s still stuck in the tree tho”, I felt like we really engaged with the story and created our own silliness. Perhaps next time we will go outside and do it in a real tree!
Katherine has a background in special education, early years childcare, and is educated in the creative and performing arts. She blogs at Creative Playhouse about her children’s activities and interests, runs an online community of Mums in Jersey, and is a stay at home mum to Jake (2.5) and Poppy (3 months).