Monday, September 9, 2013

Cardboard Scarecrow Craft {Bill Martin Jr. Virtual Book Club Blog Hop}

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This month for Virtual Book Club for Kids we are spotlighting books by Bill Martin Jr.

We have several beloved books at our house by Bill Martin Jr. but this month we wanted to stretch ourselves a bit and find a new one to explore.

We purchased Barn Dance! and thought that is was a great book to read for Fall because there is a scarecrow in it!

The story takes place at night time on a farm. A little boy hears music at night and sneaks out of his house to go find where it is coming from. He discovers all of the animals having a dance in the barn. The illustrations in this book are full or personality and little details that you don't necessarily discover unless you have read it several times. There is a sing song rhythm as you read that goes along perfectly with the dancing feel of the book. The words are sometimes hard to say as you are reading lines quickly and in a sing song way, so it might be smart to practice reading it aloud ahead of time before you read it to a group.

My daughter initially was scared by the cover of the book (because of the scarecrow), but loved it once we started reading. She enjoyed looking for the "skinny kid" or checking out the different animals that were dancing. 

Since we spend a lot of time at farms and exploring scarecrows during the Fall, we thought reading Barn Dance! created a perfect opportunity to make a cardboard scarecrow craft.

My favorite part about this craft is that it is super easy to prep. 

Here's what you'll need...

  • cardboard (a cereal box piece is great!)
  • scissors
  • cardstock
  • ribbon
  • Elmers glue
  • buttons
  • raffia (or yarn) for hair
  • popsicle stick

Here's how we made ours...

Prep ahead- cut out triangles, squares, and rectangles from colored cardstock and a large square from cardboard.

Older kids can cut out their own shapes while younger ones can use pre-cut shapes.

First we glued a big square piece of cardboard onto a popsicle stick and a piece of cardstock. Scarecrows are stuck to poles in the ground (or big stakes), so we used the popsicle stick as our stake.

Next we glued on colored rectangles for his straw hat, and a piece of ribbon to jazz up the hat a bit.

After that we added button eyes, a triangle nose, and a rectangle mouth and some raffia for his straw hair.

Then we grabbed some letter stickers and just had fun building our names on our scarecrow's stakes.

If you noticed... we also snuck in a little shape learning as we did this activity. Almost every object that my daughter used to make her scarecrow was either a rectangle, square, triangle, or circle. She didn't even realize she was learning (and reviewing) the names of the shapes while we explored and built our scarecrow craft!

Have you done any scarecrow themed activities that you can share with us?
We made this fun one to go along with The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything.

Have you read Barn Dance by Bill Martin Jr. before?

What is your favorite Bill Martin Jr. book? If you have blogged about it, we'd love for you to link up your post in the 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 Bill Martin Jr. 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!

PS- If you missed any of our other Virtual Book Club Posts you can find them below:

June- Mo Willems
August- Kevin Henkes
September- Lois Ehlert
October- Amy Krouse Rosenthal
November- Tomie dePaola
December- Jan Brett
January- David McPhail
February- Dr Seuss
April- David Shannon
May- Leo Lionni
June- Gail Gibbons
August- Donald Crews

You can also find loads of Virtual Book Club ideas organized by author and topic on our Virtual Book Club for Kids Pinterest Board that we just started and will continue to be adding to!

Come sign up for our Virtual Book Club Newsletter too and check out our new Virtual Book Club for Kids blog!

Virtual Book Club for Kids participating bloggers;


  1. Can't believe it's fall already...your scarecrows are so cute!

  2. This is super cute! I love the flow of the words in this book.

  3. Love the scarecrows and the creativity of practicing names on the stakes!

  4. I really love this arts & crafts activity! Definitely going to have to try out with my girls :)

  5. Very cute! I'll be featuring this on The Crafty Crow :)


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