Book of the Week: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

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“Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. “

Stellaluna is such a sweet story (and oh so appropriate for fast-approaching Halloween!)And though it’s not specifically a Halloween tale, I think a fun discussion about bats is a great way to kick off the season! Stellaluna is also a story of family and friendship so there are plenty of great lessons to draw from as you read.

Below are some of my favorite batty activities to do with your #sensiblekids! (Because Stellaluna is a fruit bat, you can even just have a fun fruit snack after reading if you want to keep it simple…)

MG_9806-1024x682Bat Splatter Paint

This project looks so fun (and EASY!) Just cut out a bat shape using cardboard or construction paper (older kids could cut their own or you could create a template for each kiddo to use) and lay it down whichever way you want on black construction paper. In a squirt bottle, mix white paint and water so that it is pretty thin. Then, squirt away! Kids can get creative and choose a focal point for the white paint, use it sparsely to look like stars, or just go wild. So fun and hands-on! If you use washable paint, you can just lay down a towel and you won’t even have to go outside.

1bat5Pumpkin Bats

These are so precious! I will definitely be making them for my mantelpiece this year. You’ll need mini pumpkins (you can find them at most grocery stores) and both black and white foam sheets (from any craft store), plus black paint (I would use matte black acrylic craft paint). First, you’ll need to paint those little pumpkins black! Cut eyes, ears and wings out of the black and white foam pieces. Take a knife and cut narrow slits into the sides and top of the pumpkins (make sure that they are barely the width of the foam pieces) and slide the ear and wing foam pieces into the slots. If the slots are narrow enough, the foam will seal up the holes and the pumpkin will still last a long time. Lastly, glue the eyes onto your pumpkin and voila!

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TP Roll Bat

So fun! All you need is black construction paper, a toilet paper roll, black string or fishing line, and red paint or stickers for the eyes. Take the toilet paper roll and fold down the edge toward the opposite side and repeat with the other side to form bat ears. cut a slit about an inch down the back on the bottom and fold each side of the slit inward to form a point on the front. Paint the toilet paper roll black. Accordion-fold black construction paper (hot-dog style) and cut the bottom so that it’s scalloped like a bat’s wings. Cut slits on either side of the TP roll and feed the paper through (scalloped edge on bottom). Pull edges of the paper apart to create wing effect. Use red paint or stickers for eyes (and vampire teeth if you wish)!

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