It’s Book Week!

This week is Book Week.  Those with school age children may have sent their child to school dressed as their favourite book character.  Libraries often hold special events and it is a great time to dust off books that haven’t been read for a while or think about how you can explore your favourite book.  At home we love to make a favourite book our focus topic for a couple of weeks.  Below are a couple of our favourites…

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo recently ‘took over’ our household.  We saw the live production which inspired many weeks of activities.  Even Me Now recites the book almost word for word!  We read the book daily and explored it in many ways.  One of our favourite was our sensory area.

It began looking like this…


And quickly became this…


You can see the areas for each animal…the log pile house, tree for owl, path and lake (piece of wood).  We love our natural wooden blocks…they get much more use than the coloured set we have and the boys often include them in their play.  I think being neutral they inspire more imagination.  These are from Eco Toys


Next we made finger puppets (there are plenty of printables online, Google The Gruffalo) and retold the story.  This was a hit with Me Too and Me Now who spent a LONG time on many occasions acting out and retelling the story.



At lunch one day Me Too decided to create the story with vegetable sticks, dip, peanut butter (for glue!) and cruskits.  You can see his tree and log pile house…


During this time I worked for a day as a Japanese relief teacher at our local primary school (no I do not speak Japanese!).  I had all age groups on one day, Prep-Grade 6.  Each level did the same activity and they all LOVED it, surprisingly it was the Senior students that really ‘got into’ the activity.  We read The Gruffalo and the student’s task was to design their own Gruffalo and label is using Japanese words (colours, shapes, body parts).  For the older students I added the incentive of one point for every body part labelled in Japanese…the boys couldn’t get back to their seats fast enough! (I think the best ever parenting tip from my husband was to make everything a competition for boys…they thrive on the adrenaline!)  This is a great activity for exploring creative writing and adjectives.  Here is one we created at home using Gruffalo magnets…


As a morning activity I set up a drawing area with a page of the book open for copying…

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Sparklebox has some great Gruffalo themed activities including these play dough mats which we used with our kinetic sand.

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We also made a Gruffalo mask, Gruffalo Crumble for dinner, created a daily menu for the Gruffalo and acted out the story.  The Gruffalo also appeared in lots of the boys play.

The Enchanted Wood

Out next favourite is The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  These were favourites of mine when I was a child!  Last year we read these together, this year Mr Me is ready to read them on his own.  His Nanna won a fantastic audio CD package of the entire series which (almost) completely took over Mr Me’s world.  I would describe it as his first real ‘addiction’…he would spend every awake minute (and well into the evening when he should have been asleep) listening to the story.  I had a personal debate about how to approach this…it was brilliant that he was so excited about listening to the stories…they are fantastic, creative writing that really promotes imagination…yet I was not so keen on the social impact of being isolated from his family for long periods (and frequently).  A parenting dilemma! (Although I was very thankful his first addiction was something I approved of!)  We negotiated one listening ‘session’ per day (for one CD duration) at a time agreed by both of us.

For book week I presented a blank ‘canvas’ on which to create The Enchanted Wood and Magic Faraway Tree.

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You can see it began as two sheets high and a request was quickly made to add another ‘level’ for the lands in the cloud.  It was ‘all hands in’ to create The Faraway Tree (or two!) and surrounding forest.  We have a tub of offcuts and random coloured paper which is perfect for this purpose.  The boys used glue we had made recently and pastels for detail.  This continues to be a work in progress.  Every couple of days I add different materials and see what ideas they come up with.

Mr Me has begun writing a chapter about a new land he invented…there are many opportunities for creative writing based on this series.

For book week at school he dressed up as The Saucepan Man…


I think it was most definitely the noisiest costume in the school!  I used a grey shirt so he could take it off during the day.

We have many other stories which we love to get creative with.  A have a box of activities related to The Hungry Caterpillar which I will save for another time.  What is your favourite story?

5 Responses to “It’s Book Week!”

  1. Catherine Basquill

    Great read once again. Such inspiring ideas! My daughters favourite books at the moment consist of anything from Sally Rippins ‘Billie B Brown’ series!

  2. Colleen

    Love kids activities based on many activities are possible relating to just one book or idea and the children really understand the stories and sometimes create new stories and ideas of their own…such great fun using their imaginations.


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