For this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids we are all selecting a storybook by Nick Sharratt. We knew instantly when we went to our local library in search of a Nick Sharratt storybook that we had found “the one” within minutes, Seaside Poems by Nick Sharratt. Even though summer is now officially over for our family, the memories, and sometimes the weather, living within driving distance of many beaches, and our children’s constant yearning to learn about new ocean life or new facts about the ocean inhabitants that they have already learned about.
Using your magic wand mix, that love of learning about the ocean and visiting the beach with poetry and you have created the perfect mix for a learning adventure for our family! Poetry can be such a powerful and beautiful way for children to express themselves as well as learn new poetry skills. Because writing in general is a struggle for our son Beck, it seems to come easily for our daughter Elizabeth, but only in the circumstances of a make believe story that she has created. She struggles to find a way to properly express her emotions at times and through learning poetry it has become a way for her to learn about sharing her emotions, both positive and negative, in a very artistic way.
The pictures in the Seaside Poems storybook, by Nick Sharratt, along with the engaging poems immediately drew both Beck and Elizabeth into the book. After reading the book we naturally discussed ocean animals since there were several featured in this storybook. Then, as if by magic, those Wild Kratt Brothers over at PBS Kids must have known that the children we hankering to learn more about an ocean animal and just so happened to be featuring an episode about Blow Fish.
After watching the episode about blow fish and further researching this unique ocean creature (HERE is a wonderful article about Blow Fish that I came across) the children and I set out to make a craft and poem that same afternoon. To make this Clay Blow Fish you will need the following supplies:
- 2 empty applesauce cups
- Crayola Air Dry Clay
- Colored modeling clay (for the fins and spikes)
- Googly eyes
- Hot Glue Gun
- Black permanent marker
- Wax paper
First you will need to cover the 2 empty applesauce cups with the air dry clay.
Then you will have your child select a color of clay that they would like for the fins as well as the spikes.
We then went over to our hot glue station and glued the two applesauce cups together at the middle seam and covered it with clay.
Then it was on to gluing the googly eyes and side fins. After that we choose to use a little bit of hot glue to help solidify the clay spikes onto the main clay body. Then the children used a black permanent marker to make the spots around the body of the blow fish to show that perhaps not all of the spikes had popped up yet (in Elizabeth’s words “The fish might be afraid or nervous but they aren’t quite sure yet Mom.”) They wanted to make an ocean background to pretend that there blow fish were living in so they made a coral reef background from what they saw in the book using a white poster board, blue Tempera paint, constructions paper, and beads. Here are their finished clay blow fish projects “swimming” in the ocean:
To round of this activity both of the children wrote their own poems about their respective blow fish and life in the coral reef. It was an afternoon of writing and craft fun in our household!!
Make sure to also check out the super cool items that are sold for the Wild Kratt’s show over at the PBS Kids Store:
I hope you enjoy this activity for Seaside Poems by Nick Sharratt! Here are some more fun books by Nick Sharratt for you to use on your homeschooling journey:
Make sure to see what everyone else is doing in the Virtual Book Club for kids (and to follow along with the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Page:
Also be sure to link up your Nick Sharratt themed posts below!