Read with River

Literacy inspired Crafts and Artistic Activities: A selection of our hands on projects based on books and stories.

Nature Weaving with “The Weaver”

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  • A beautiful simple activity to go with a sweet story about a spider’s web. Collect your materials from the outside world. This activities requires a hula hoop and some yarn.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes
  • Duration of engagement: An hour or more.

Magic Theatre: Retell your favourite stories

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  • We walk you through building your own puppet theatre using recycled materials. Decorative lights and an ikea dishrack are recommended for optimal usage.
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Prep Time: Approximately 1 to 2 hours

“MMMM Cookies”: Plasticine Cookie Creations

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  • One of our favourite Robert Munsch books about a boy who tricks his family into eating fake cookies, this activity is a fun and easy sensory craft that can be accomplished with play doh, or plasticine.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Prep Time: 1 minute

Animal Scavenger Hunt at the Zoo

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  • Planning a trip to your local Zoo or Animal sanctuary? We recommend bringing some of our favourite animal books along with you to guide your scavenger hunt through the day!
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Prep Time: None

The Dad Lab” by Sergei Urban

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  • This Books has plenty of awesome science experiments to try at home

“Dress Like a Girl” Clothing design

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  • Encourage creativity and STEM problem solving in this activity using scraps of fabric, felt, paper, and pipe cleaners to create clothing. You can use a doll, or we acquired a small mannequin from Ikea for under $10.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Prep time: 10 minutes

“Twinkle” Build Your Own Garden Fairy House!

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  • Using your own found rocks, twigs, and other natural treasures build the Fairy house of your dreams in your garden.
  • This activity requires cement, and thus close supervision and assistance.
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Prep Time: 1 to 2 hours

“When Grandma Gives Your a Lemon Tree” Lemonade Sensory Party

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  • Summer time party, sensory activity, Montessori skill building, and dramatic play all in one. This adorable book inspires plenty of play.
  • Lemons are a necessity, herbs, child safe cutting utensils, tweezers, etc.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Prep time: Half an hour

“Julia’s House for Lost Creatures” Laundry Game

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  • Hot weather outdoor activity, fun Montessori inspired follow up to this cute story about sharing responsibility.
  • You will need a bucket, bits of fabric or socks, clothespins, and a drying rack or line.
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Prep time: 5 minutes or less

“Diggers Go” Invitation to Explore Play Dough Tray

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  • This Invitation to explore Play dough tray was created for a birthday party, and a huge success with the children (ages 2 to 6).
  • You can use a home made play dough recipe like I did, Find one here.
  • Or you can just use store bought play doh, it doesn’t matter.
  • Feel free to get creative with the extra materials.
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Prep time: 15 minutes

“Mouse Paint” Painting Exploration

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  • We love following up artistic books with a chance to paint, and painting en plein air is the best for creativity and clean up!
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time: 5 minutes

“Liam Takes a Stand” Money Sorting Exploration

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  • This activity would be best performed after a garage sale or lemonade stand in your neighbourhood.
  • We just used the big jar of loose change we had sitting around
  • You will need change, and an egg carton, you can also pack the coin stacks after for an extra layer of fine motor challenge!
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Prep time: None

“Natural Paint Brush Inquiry”

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  • Using found materials on a nature walk, try creating your own brushes.
  • Turn this artistic exploration into an opportunity to practice the scientific method with our questions to lead discovery and critical thinking.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Prep Time: half an hour (depending on how long your nature walk is)

“Wabi Sabi” Calligraphy and Ink Painting Exploration

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  • Explore the beauty and free flowing lines of Japanese Ink painting.
  • We recommend trying a calligraphy practice mat (no mess! tons of reuse) you can find one in our amazon storefront.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time: None

‘Nature Art” Stick Wrapping

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  • We took our own spin on one of the suggestions in “Nature art” and did a stick wrapping.
  • Excellent calming activity to encourage fine motor skills and mindfulness.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

“I Love My Purse” Weaving Activity

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  • Try out some weaving with recycled materials as a follow up to this beautiful book about being yourself!
  • You will need an empty plastic berry basket (with or without a lid)
  • You will need yarn, ribbon, or fabric
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Hard
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Activity Time: 40 minutes

“Balance The Birds” Measurement Exploration

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  • This adorable book series explores measurement and balance.
  • We made our own scale out of k’nex, but it would be easier if you had a scale.
  • We used blocks as weights (birds).
  • Difficulty: Easy (if you don’t have to build a scale)
  • Prep time: 10 minutes (unless you build a scale with k’nex, that was not easy.)

“Autumn Fairy Crowns”

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  • Using found natural materials and willow bark create your own woven fairy crown.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes

“Scarecrow Magic” Corn Husk Scarecrows

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  • This adorable halloween book is perfectly paired with creating miniature scarecrows.
  • you will need some corn husks, and string (I used jute garden string.)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes

“Barbara Reid Inspired Figurines”

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  • Barbara Reid is one of Canada’s most beloved artist/authors, we try out crayola air dry kid safe Plasticine to recreate some of her lovely characters.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Prep time: none

“Valentine’s Day Ribbon Sewing Cards”

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  • Add some Montessori fine motor kill practice into your Valentine’s crafts!
  • You will need, cardboard/thick paper, a hole punch, ribbon, and a pipe cleaner.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes