Books that take the reader into the story are brilliant at engaging little ones and this interactive book about an artistic crocodile is one of our favourites: Crocodali by Lucy Volpin, published by Templar Publishing.
Crocodali is an artist, the most talented artist in the world, and he is quite frankly far too busy for visitors. That is unless you can make yourself useful but listen carefully, Crocodali is very particular about how he works.
We’re invited to help Crocodali set his studio up with an instruction on each page to tilt, shake or turn the book. The only trouble is, nothing we do is right each turn of the page sees another small disaster befall Crocodali.
These slapstick mishaps are of course absolutely hilarious for little ones, even more so because of the very proud and highly strung Crocodali who struggles to keep his self-important air about him as the studio gets messier and messier.
This is such a fun book to share and is sure to please little ones who are allowed to be cheeky as the actions they’re told to take in the story cause such chaos. Interactive books like this are perfect to engage reluctant readers or children who find it difficult to listen to stories for long as they become part of the story and have a hand in creating the ending.
Mark Making in a Tuff Tray with paint and toys
This story got us thinking about art and the wonderful freedom that is involved in the creative process. Probably the best way to engage little ones in art is to give them as few rules as possible and just let them explore and discover different ways to make marks and create art.
The shaking, turning and tilting actions in Crocodali inspired this activity and it’s a great way to encourage very young children to mark make or children who have difficulty with fine motor skills. We used our tuff tray but this works just as well in any plastic tray, an emptied out plastic drawer or a box.
First we taped some big pieces of paper into the bottom of the tray and chose some paint colours. We splodged the paint on to the paper and threw in some items that would roll around the tray.
We chose items of different textures and shapes to see how each one would make different marks. Then all we needed to do was pick up the tray and shake, tilt and turn it to create our art.
My two boys loved this activity and were eager to add more things in to change the way the picture looked and add more to the artwork. It wasn’t long before cars were introduced and it was great fun watching the wheels make paint tracks all over the paper.
We’re not sure what Crocodali would think about our finished masterpiece but we’re very grateful to him for the inspiration!
What are your favourite art activities to do with little ones? Have you tried anything like this before? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
Buy Crocodali from Wordery with free delivery.
Many thanks to Templar Publishing for sending a copy of this book for review.
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