Literacy Craft Tutorial: Poetry-Inspired Felt Craft

Poem-Inspired Felt Craft

The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Denise Cortes who publishes the site, Pearmama.com.

As a homeschooling mother, I’ve had the privilege of teaching six children how to read. Phonics, flash cards, picture books, audio tracks, reading apps–you name it, we used it. Teaching my kids to read wasn’t always an easy task. There were moments when I grew weary, and wondered when they would finally “get the code.” Some of my children learned quickly and were on their way to reading chapter books at a young age. On the other end of the spectrum, I had a two children who didn’t learn to read until they were well past the “acceptable” reading age.

Instead of worrying and putting unnecessary stress on my challenged readers, I got creative. One of the ways I encouraged confidence in their reading skills was through poetry and enrichment projects. For us, this meant simple craft projects. My daughter memorized several poems. And along the way, we created fun enrichment activities tailored to each poem, such as this felt craft pictured above. It was inspired by the following poem – one of our favorites.

“The Caterpillar” by Christina Rosetti

Brown and furry
caterpillar in a hurry
take your walk
to the shady leaf or stalk.
May no toad spy you,
may the little birds pass by you.
Spin and die,
to live again a butterfly.

Let’s get crafting!

 

What you’ll need to make this fun craft:

  • felt squares (several colors)
  • 9×12 felt square for background
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • needle and thread

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

I decided to stick with more natural colors, since the caterpillar is “brown and furry.” Reserve one of the 9 x 12 felt squares as the background for the caterpillar. Begin cutting the felt into the caterpillar shapes, reserving 20 pieces for the caterpillar body, one piece for the head, two eyes, two for the inner eyes, one round nose, two antennae, four legs, a leaf, leaf spine and stem for a total of 35 felt pieces. Of course, if you want to make your caterpillar smaller, make adjustments accordingly.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

After the shapes are cut, lay them out and decide on the overall design.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

We decided we wanted the caterpillar on a “shady leaf.”

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

Use a hot glue gun to glue the felt pieces down. Be sure to help your child when using the glue gun. As a safer alternative, use fabric glue. For a fun accent, let your child use needle and thread around their caterpillar design.

Caterpillar Poem Felt Craft

This poem-inspired craft is a great way to enrich your child’s reading experience through hands-on learning.

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denise-cortesDenise Cortes is a writer/blogger and an artist when she isn’t tending to her family and teaching art. Denise is the content creator at Pearmama.com, a blog about a Latina mom raising six kids and living a creative life. A native of Southern California, Denise has been blogging since 2006, when her husband suggested she continue her life-long practice of journal writing about life and family. Since then, she’s been sharing fun DIY craft projects, Latino culture, creating art on TOMS shoes and writing heartfelt parenting stories about her children, ages 8 to 16. Denise is also a regular contributor at BabyCenter and Latinamom.me. You can also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

Video of the Week: Guadalupe Rivera Marín

Video of the Week: Art

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. One of the Hispanic artists explored in our printables is Diego Rivera. While there are many wonderful books written about the artist, we’ve chosen to share this short video of his daughter Guadalupe Rivera Marín talking about her bilingual picture book My Papa Diego and Me / Mi papá Diego y yoIn it she shares personal memories of her father.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: ‘Frida’ Shrink Plastic Bookmark

Frida-bookmark


This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Kathy Cano-Murillo who publishes the site, CraftyChica.com.

 

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is always a source of inspiration. Here’s a way to add her spirit to your books with the help of shrink plastic and markers.

Supplies:

  • Frosted shrink plastic (found at the craft store)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Thin black permanent marker
  • Assorted colored markers
  • Embossing gun or toaster oven

Directions:

DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 1-4

  1. Print out an image of Frida, keeping in mind that it will shrink 60%. I started with a piece of shrink plastic that was about 3” x 7” long.

  2. Frosted side up, set the shrink plastic on top of the image. Use a pencil to draw the image, tracing over her face, eyes, hair, neck and nose.

  3. Now go over the pencil marks with the black liner pen, this is your chance to fix any mistakes in the tracing process. Erase any pencil lines.

DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 4-7

  1. Use the colored markers to fill in all the areas. Bring her to life with color!

  2. Cut out around the shape and punch a hole at the top.

  3. Have an adult do this part: On a silicone mat, run the heat gun over the plastic until it curls and flattens out. You can also use a toaster oven and heat according to the shrink plastic package directions.

  4. Add a ribbon through the top of the hole. You’re done!
    'Frida' Shrink Plastic Bookmark

Video of the Week: Rafael López

Video-of-Week-Music

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC. An intrinsic part of our culture, many Latino musicians have had a powerful impact on world music. Two of those – Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo and My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz (aff) - have been featured in children’s books illustrated by artist Rafael López. His distinctive illustrations perfectly depict the movement, emotion, and vibrancy of the musicians and their music. So this week’s video features some of his children’s book illustrations and the community murals he creates with children.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: DIY Musical Magazine Holder

DIY-musical-magazine-holder

This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC/MUSICA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.

Magazine holders are so useful. I never think of them for the kids’ room, but even if the kids don’t have any magazines, they always have coloring books, reading workbooks, math workbooks, or notebooks that can definitely be organized better inside a magazine rack.

This magazine rack is made out of a cereal box, some scrapbooking paper and stickers. It is very easy to make and the kids can help, too. This one has a musical theme and can be very useful for storing sheet music and/or music notebooks. There are many wonderful designs of scrapbooking paper available for each kid’s preference. Guide them through this craft and they will love making something useful for their own room!


Supplies:

  • A cereal box wide enough to fit a magazine
  • 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper
  • Decoupage glue (matte or glossy is ok)
  • A brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors and/or a craft knife
  • A ruler
  • A permanent marker
  • Musical stickers

Instructions:

Grab the empty cereal box and place a magazine on top of it.

Make marks with the permanent marker on one side of the box a little bit higher than the magazine height, and on the other side make a mark a little bit lower than the half of the magazine’s total  height.

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Musical-magazine-holder2
Draw a line joining both marks then continue on the other side with the help of a ruler.

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With scissors (or craft knife) carefully cut the box along the marked lines.

Musical-magazine-holder4

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The structure of the magazine holder is done. Now to decorate it!

Use the first scrapbooking paper and lay the box on top of it. This paper will cover only two sides of the box. With a pencil, mark the paper leaving space for flaps on every side and the top and bottom. They don’t need to be precise, just make sure you have them all, then cut along your marks with scissors.

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Once the paper is cut, apply the glue with a brush to one entire side.

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Glue the paper around the 2 sides of the box.

Musical-magazine-holder8
Mark, cut, and glue the second scrapbooking paper the same way as the first, but don’t leave flaps on two sides so that the border of the paper is exactly aligned with the border of the box.

Musical-magazine-holder9
Once the whole magazine holder is wrapped with paper apply the decoupage glue all over it and let it dry for a couple of hours.

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Cut a small rectangle of scrapbooking paper and place it on the inside of the back of the magazine holder. This part will show even when the magazines are inside it.

Musical-magazine-holder13
Now it’s time for the fun part! Let the kids use the stickers and have fun decorating the magazine holder! Use them on the thin sides of the box, which are the ones that will show most often when it’s in use.

Musical-magazine-holder14

DIY-magazine-holder-from-cereal-box

DIY-musical-magazine-holder-from-cereal-box

DIY-magazine-holder

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Dariela_Cruz

 

Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter:  @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: Favorite Words Placemat

Favorite Words Placemat

This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is FOOD/COMIDA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.

In our home we have tons of placemats because I love to make new ones for any occasion. Some of them get used daily and some of them for holidays only because they have a specific theme.

In this case, the theme is “words.” Making collages is a craft that kids of all ages enjoy because looking for what you need and creating that big, final mixed-art piece will be very personal – it will feel special. I told the kids to sort through the magazines and cut their favorite words. They could also include images, which was important for my little girl who is only 4 years old. She included more images and I helped her with the words.

After the placemat is done, they use it. They look at the words and images they cut and arranged themselves with a sense of pride. Plus they are constantly reading what they chose!

Here is how to make a Favorite Words Placemat:

Supplies:

-1 white poster board 11 x 17”
-Magazines to cut
-Construction paper and/or patterned paper
-Decoupage glue (matte or glossy is ok)
-Wide paintbrush
-Clear sealer spray
-Scissors and craft knife
-Craft glue

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut
Start by letting the kids sort through the magazines and cut as many words and images as they want.

Literacy Craft: Step 2

Meanwhile, cut some color paper or patterned paper in rectangles and glue them on the poster board, leave some white spaces as well. This is done to give the placemat some color instead of it being just all white.

Literacy Craft: Step 3

Let the kids cut out the letters of their names and glue them on a special block of color on the top of the placemat. You may need to help the little ones by doing this part for them.

Literacy Craft: Step 4

Time to glue all the cut-outs to the placemat!

Literacy Craft: Step 5

After the placemat is done, apply several layers decoupage glue with a brush. Make sure each layer dries before applying the next. Do at least 3 layers on the front and then 2 on the back.Wait until it dries for at least 4 hours so it can be used. (Option2: Instead of decoupaging the placemat, laminate it.)

Literacy Craft: Step 6

Keep in mind that this placemat can’t be submerged in water and it should be cleaned with a slightly dampened cloth.

favorite-words-placemat7

favorite-words-placemat8

While using the placemats ask the kids which is their most favorite word and why. If they are learning how to spell, ask them to spell the word aloud!

Favorite Words Placemat

favorite-words-placemat9

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Dariela_Cruz

Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter: @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.

Video of the Week: From North to South

Video-of-Week-Immigration

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is IMMIGRATION & HERITAGE. With so many families being separated by deportations, we thought it appropriate to share author René Colato-Laínez’s book trailer for From North to South (affiliate link). Illustrated by Joe Cepeda, it is a book about a situation more and more children are experiencing. René frequently writes about the situation of immigration and its impact on children. We encourage you to look into his wonderful books.

Video of the Week: Carmen Tafolla Reads What Can You Do with a Paleta?

Video-of-Week-Summer

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is SUMMER/VERANO, and one of the books recommended in this camp is Carmen Tafolla‘s What Can You Do with a Paleta? (affiliate link). We thought it would be great to share with you this video of Dr. Tafolla reading her book aloud. So grab your nene and enjoy learning all about what you can do with a paleta!

Literacy Craft Tutorial: Mis Libros No-Sew Book Bag

No-sew-book-bag


This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is SUMMER. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Kathy Cano-Murillo who publishes the site, CraftyChica.com.

Mis Libros No-Sew Book Bag
by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Life is too short to carry around just one book, right? Why not several? Here is a great way to recycle an old t-shirt into a super cute book bag! Use fabric paint to add the saying “mis libros” – “my books!”

Supplies:

  • 1 unwanted T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Paint
  • Letter Stencils
  • Sponge Pouncers

Directions:

no-sew-book-bag 2

1. Fold the shirt in half and cut off the sleeves.

2. Also cut off the neck.

3. Open the shirt and cut 3” notches all along the bottom.

4. Stretch each notch and tie in a knot all the way across to seal the bottom of the bag.

 

no-sew-book-bag 3
5. Cut the seams off the top of the shirt and tie to make the handles.

6. Set the shirt flat and place stencils flat.

7. Apply the fabric paint in a pouncing motion and let dry.

 

No-sew-book-bag 1

 

Kathy-Cano-MurilloKathy Cano-Murillo is a writer/novelist, artist/illustrator and founder of the award-winning site, CraftyChica.com. Known for her glittery “Mexi-boho” style, she is a national spokesperson for iLoveToCreate and a creative influencer for Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores. She has a product line that is carried in Michaels stores and is a former columnist for The Arizona Republic, and has authored nine books, two of them novels. She have been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, HGTV, DIY Network, Lifetime TV and more. She is a third-generation Mexican-American, a native Phoenician, mom, wifey, with five Chihuahuas.

Video of the Week: Irania Macias Patterson

Video-of-Week-Nature

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is NATURE/NATURALEZA, and one of the books recommended in this camp is Irania Macia Patterson’s Chipi Chipis, Small Shells of the Sea (affiliate link). So we were excited to find this video of Irania discussing in Spanish her book, writing for Latino children, and encouraging authors in North Carolina (and around the country).