Monday, July 16, 2012

Don and Audrey Wood Summer Virtual Book Club & Blog Hop


This month our featured authors are Don and Audrey Wood. I am joining with 20+ bloggers to share crafts and activities inspired by this fabulous team! Each blogger has chosen their favorite book to share with you. 

For our book this month we chose Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood, Illustrated by Don Wood. 

Our Toddler Approved Camp Mom is bug themed this week, so we decided to focus on the insects we discovered in the book (and a few other favorites)... in addition to learning about opposites and action words.

We are hosting weekly "Camp Mom" sessions with friends. Here are a few of the activities we did this week inspired by the book.

1. Make Pipe Cleaner Antennae (see image above):

Materials Needed: headbands, pipe cleaners

Directions: Twist two pipe cleaner bottoms around the headband to secure them. Have children twist the tops of the pipe cleaners in spirals or other shapes to turn themselves into bugs!

Once all of our little bug campers were done with their headbands, we read Quick as a Cricket and talked about the different animals that we saw in the book!

Quick as a Cricket is a darling book. The illustrations are beautiful and the rhyming phrases make it even more engaging for kids. The little boy in the story shares all about the different parts of his personality by mimicking a variety of animals. Since several of the boy's traits are contradictory, the book is a great tool to use to teach about opposites and action words. After reading the book a few times I had fun chatting with my son about some of his personality characteristics- loud, quick, energetic, happy, nice, strong, etc.

2. Act out the animals

Materials Needed: Print off the Quick as a Cricket animal cards from this site, cut them out, and stick them in a brown paper bag.

Directions: Have children take turns pulling an animal out of the bag. Talk about the animal and what it did in the story. Have the kids act out what the animal did. 

We had kids running and making crazy sounds while they moved all over our kitchen and family room. All of the kids (toddlers and preschoolers) loved having a turn to choose an animal and be the leader.

3. Bug Scavenger Hunt

This activity isn't a new one. I posted it here on the blog a few years ago during Camp Mom 2010. You can download the bug scavenger hunt cards here.

Each kid got their own card and hunted for bugs. Since some of the bugs are harder to find in my backyard, I hid pictures of the bugs around the yard as well. That way, if they couldn't find the "real" bug, they could find the paper version instead.

The hunt was a hit for both the toddlers and preschoolers.

4. Playdough Bugs

We talked about the parts of an insect and sang the "Head, thorax, abdomen (6 legs, 2 antennae)" song to the tune of  "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." Then the kids got scissors, straws, googly eyes, and playdough and started creating bugs! My son's favorite part was just snipping the straws. We encouraged them to try and include all of the proper insect body parts... but mostly we just had fun creating!

5. Coffee Filter Band-aid Butterflies

Materials Needed: cardstock, coffee filters, markers, and band-aids.

I loved this idea from No Time for Flashcards... but we didn't have gauze and I knew we had a lot of coffee filters... so we experimented a bit. The creations turned out awesome! I didn't think my toddler would be that interested in this craft, but she loved using her marker to decorate her paper and butterfly wings. I think this was the most focused she's ever been on a craft.

6. Bug Snacks

We also made a few unhealthy bug snacks that I didn't manage to snap photos of because the kids ate them too quickly. My daughter's favorite were the marshmallow insects. They kind of looked like these marshmallow ants from Gigglepotz except we used the twisty pretzels and no peanut butter or M&Ms.

Materials Needed: mini chocolate chips, pretzels, large marshmallows

Do you have a favorite bug themed snack? 

I used to love ants on a log (pb, raisins, and celery), but since we have peanut butter allergies in our family, my kids haven't gotten to try them yet!

Now that we've shared our bug crafts and activities with you, we're excited to see what you came up with! Please add your links to any Don and/or Audrey Wood inspired posts to the blog hop linky below. 

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Don and/or Audrey Wood that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club to your post if you'd like.


* By linking to this blog hop you are giving the blog hop participants permission to pin images from your post onto Pinterest.

This blog hop will be open from July 16th (12am PST) to August 19th. Come join the fun anytime and link up! If you missed our Mo Willems Blog Hop last month, you can find all of the awesome posts here.

Blog Hop Participants:
Toddler Approved


  1. What a wonderful hunt! It would be fun to do with antennae!

    1. Thanks! Yes, anything is more fun when you're dressed up, right? :)

  2. Such fun activities! I especially love the bug scavenger hunt! What a clever idea!!!

    1. Thanks Danielle! Nothing too original here, but definitely favorite activities!

  3. I think my favorite ideas are the play dough bugs and the bug hunt. I like how you hid the paper versions in the yard too!

    1. Thanks Bethany!! Both are really fun and great for varied ages.

  4. Cute activities. I love this book. I actually have a VHS tape of me teaching a lesson using this book in my student teaching placement. I'm pretty sure I'm wearing a denim jumper. ugh. It was the 90s! ;)

  5. I love all of those fun bug theme activities. I am not surprised the marshmallow bugs were eaten before they could pose for a photo. I like that you hid pictures of the bugs in case they could not find the real ones--very creative and a way to make them feel good. Please stop by and add a link to this post today on Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3, a new weekly linky party featuring posts about arts, crafts and play activities. I hope to see you there.

    : 0 ) Theresa

  6. Great piece of art and creativity.These are really great fun activities. Thanks for sharing.

    Art supplies


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Please know that if it isn't kind or adding to the conversation, it won't be shared. I moderate each comment, so you won't see your comment show up immediately when you post. Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog.