Welcome to the very first Family Dinner Book Club! I am thrilled to be participating in this book club where very month Growing Book by Book, Daisy at Home, and I will be bringing a storybook to life right at your dinner table. A passion and love for books is something that I believe every child should have from a young age. That’s why this month’s storybook is perfect for any age: Winnie-the-Pooh. I am a firm believer that the Winnie-the-Pooh series is for the young and the young at heart.
While some of you may elect to have your table decorated for the book series the entire time you are reading the Family Dinner Book Club selection and other families may prefer to do a last day “We just finished the book!” celebration I hope that there are bits and pieces from my table decorating ideas to bring this storybook to life for all of you. Personally, we are a have the table decorated the entire time we are reading the storybook kind of family since I have found it just makes opening that book even more exciting and fun!
Make an interactive Thoughtful Spot Box for your Centerpiece
The first thing you need to make for any table decorations to bring the storybook to life is an inspirational centerpiece. Winnie-the-Pooh often goes to sit or stop and think about what is occurring. This special place that he finds himself is called the Thoughtful Spot. Why not make your own Thoughtful Spot where every member of your family can add a thoughtful sentiment about a family member each day. Our family’s goal was to add to the box each day we read the story. When the story was completed we then went through them during desert and read all of the lovely thoughts written down as a family. It warmed our hearts just the way the Hundred Acre Woods gang does at the end of every adventure in this storybook.
To create your own Thoughtful Spot Box Centerpiece you will need:
- Small branches from your yard
- A plastic container (If you are at all like me you often find yourself faced with a container that has no matching lid. This is a great way to give that container a new life and meaning!)
To make your centerpiece you will need to glue the branches around the top of the container and allow time to dry. Either write on the container itself “Our Thoughtful Spot” or create a quick word document and print it out as I did. It is that easy! Now it is time to start making your thoughtful memories at the family table each night.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
Honey is a large part of a day in the life of Winnie-the-Pooh. I decided to make some acorn bee’s that can be placed on the table and on some of the other various projects for this dinner book club!
To create your own acorn bumble bee’s you will need:
- A black permanent marker
- Yellow spray paint
- Index cards (for the wings)
- Glitter, glitter glue, or glittery nail polish (to use on the wings)
- Wax paper
- Hot glue gun
The first and most important step to making your own acorn bumble bees is to go outside as a family and collect some acorns. Once you have enough for your needs, head indoors to rinse the acorns off. You will not want any that are heavily cracked or have holes in them as they will not fare well in the next steps. Carefully remove the acorn tops and set them aside for later. Then, lay out your acorn bodies on a piece of cardboard. Spray paint one side of the them with the yellow spray paint. Allow them to dry for roughly a half hour to an hour (depending on your weather conditions). Then, roll them over and spray paint the other side. Allow them to fully dry overnight.
The next morning grab your black permanent markers and make some bumble bee stripes and eyes. This is the part that my son Beck loved the most! He made each bumble bee unique in a different way and gave them all names. While Beck and I were drawing stripes on the bumblebees, my daughter Elizabeth began working on the bumble bee wings. I cut out small hearts from index cards. She then used one of her favorite glitter nail polishes to paint the wings lightly (on wax paper). She felt this gave the bees a magical look that they would have in the Hundred Acre Woods. We allowed them to dry for a half an hour. Then we attached the wings to the acorn bodies with hot glue.
Make sure to keep the tops of the acorns, even though they are not used in this part of the project. My daughter Elizabeth calls them “Acorn Hats” but she and I ended up scattering the extras towards the center of the table to make an extra special woody Hundred Acre Woods feel. Hats off to my daughter for sure for this clever idea!
Have some high flying decorating fun the Pooh Bear way
Do you remember the part of the story when Winnie-the-Pooh dressed up like a bumble bee, holding tight to his balloon, and setting off to get some fresh honey from the hive nearby? Naturally the way this loveable old bear’s luck tends to go, he got himself stuck in the tree. Why not bring this chapter to life in your dining room?
To create your own high flying Pooh Bear you will need:
- To print the coloring page mentioned below
- A piece of yarn
- A red or blue balloon (blue for when he gets stuck in this chapter but red is also very common with Winnie-the-Pooh)
- A large tree branch or place to safely have your hanging Pooh Bear be placed
To create the hanging balloon Winnie-the-Pooh inspired by the storybook, simply color and cut out the character minus the balloon image of the coloring page found HERE. Then blow up a blue balloon and tie a piece of yarn to the balloon. Then, gently tape the end of the piece of yarn to the back of the coloring page you are all set! While all ceilings texture can vary from home to home, the key to not popping the balloon is to rest it on something near your kitchen table. This can be a large branch that you have laying around your yard, a fan blade that it can rest between, a lamp, etc. Since we live rural it is easy peasy to find branches anytime we need them, so I opted to bring some of our Hundred Acre Woods to our kitchen table.
Make your own Eeyore Napkin House
Sweet loveable Eeyore always seems to be in need of a new house. Why not make him a house made of sticks to keep the extra napkins on your table?
To create your own Eeyore Napkin House you will need:
- A rectangular piece of cardboard
- Small sticks from your yard
My daughter Elizabeth loved this project and it was so simple and easy to do. Have your child collect a handful of small sticks from your yard. Simply bend the piece of cardboard in half to make a triangular teepee shape. Then, apply glue to the outside of the cardboard. Allow your child time to decorate Eeyore’s new home with sticks. Voila! A home fit for Eeyore, and your napkins too!
Tigger’s Tiggerific Table Questions
Did you notice in the story how inquisitive Tigger always is? While he is a bundle full of energy, it is his curiosity about the world around him that is always grabbing children’s attention. Why not create a secret question jar to place in the middle of the table next to your Thoughtful Spot Box centerpiece? In this jar simply give your child/children 10-20 strips of plain paper. Have your child write down some of their favorite parts of the storybook by writing down a setting, character involved, or for younger children (and the young at heart), their hand drawn picture from the story. Then, rollup the strips of paper with a pencil to make them curly and “hidden”. My daughter Elizabeth called these “cloud swirls” as clouds are often mentioned throughout the storybook. Throughout the course of your dinner and dessert, take turns as a family reading and listening to the tiggerific responses your child/children has come up with from the storybook.
To create your own Tigger’s Tiggerific Questions you will need:
- A glass jar
- Cake Pop Sticks (These can be found at most stores such as Kmart, Target, Walmart, and Michaels and typically run less than $3.00 for 20 of them)
- A pencil
- Acorn hats (the tops from the previous acorn projects)
- Green paint (I used washable tempera paint)
- Green construction paper (shredded)
- Strips of colored construction paper
- Hot glue
The first step to create your own Tigger’s Tiggerific Questions is to paint the Cake Pop Sticks with the green paint. To speed up this process I actually dipped mine into the bottle of paint and pushed them through a shoe box to let them dry. I then used a paint brush to touch them up. I allowed these to dry overnight. Allow the paint to completely dry. Once the paint is dry, hot glue the acorn hats to the top of the painted cake pop sticks. Then, glue one end of each swirl to the side of a painted cake pop stick and roll it up. Then, place the shredded construction paper at the bottom of the glass jar and place the Tiggerific Questions in the jar. To complete this part of the project, place the Tigger’s Tiggerific Question jar next to your centerpiece.
Our Family Adventure Board
All of the chapters within this month’s storybook are about friendship, laughter, and adventures! Why not reflect each day while reading this storybook by adding an adventure that you had today on a family adventure board that can sit at the end of your kitchen table or hang on your wall? Our Family Adventure Board is currently hanging on the wall as we decided to keep going with our board after we completed reading the storybook.
To create your own Family Adventure Board you will need:
- A cork board
- Yellow spray paint
- Black permanent marker
- Painters tape
- Acorn Bumble Bees (made earlier)
Use the painters tape to cover the cork material on the center of the board. Then, spray paint the wooden boarder yellow. After allowing your board time to dry, grab your black permanent marker and make your bumble bee stripes on the border. Attach a few Acorn Bumble Bees and voila! You now have your very own Family Adventure Board worthy of any Hundred Acre Woods adventure!
What Winnie-the-Pooh like adventure did your family have today?
Free Printable Storybook Fun
No table setting would be complete without a fun interactive place mat, straw toppers, and place cards, don’t you agree? I know Rabbit would! To download your own free printable storybook table decorations to go along with this story simply click the link below:
Did your family participate in this month’s Family Dinner Book Club? I would love to hear about your family’s experience below or hop on to Facebook to the official Family Dinner Book Club to share a picture of what your family did! Make sure to visit Growing Book by Book for the associated dinner conversation table topics this month and Daisy at Home for a great book related menu items for more fun with the Winnie-the-Pooh storybook.
My family and I are looking forward to next month’s Family Dinner Book Club, where we will help to bring your dinner table to life again!