For our road trip up to Sandbanks Provincial Park (fun!), we borrowed a couple of audiobooks from our local library and not only were they the perfect thing for a long drive, today we used our favourite from the lot to inspire a very hands-on craft that included a good bit of dramatic play.
I am sure that many of you have read the Frog & Toad series; these short stories are sure to grab your heart with their old fashioned narratives and whimsical illustrations. Who doesn’t love cranky old Toad and his happy-go-lucky best friend Frog? Unlike the heavy handed Thomas the Tank narratives (that always throw in some classism and racism for good measure), these little tales truly feel like snippets of childhood with a little anthropomorphism on the side.
Since Aodhan was still begging for more after returning home from our mini sojourn, I thought we would add in a little dramatic play, as that is so much of how A functions these days. I love this developmental stage. The way he talks to himself, chats with his toys, makes the most mundane thing come alive. It is a great opportunity to see the personalities and creativity of our children.
We used the story “The Lost Button” as the inspiration for this craft and play. We took on the roles of the different characters, acting out the button hunt, and finally made the button coat created for Frog by an apologetic Toad.
Aodhan and I have been sewing together for about 10 months or so. He started with working on an embroidery hoop and linen when he was still in the early months of being 2. I know, I know – a needle! But, I took his lead and supported this curiosity. I mean, some months I sew every. single. day. why wouldn’t he be curious. It has been a while since we have sat down to do any stichery, but I was amazed at how capable his hands and eyes were while sewing these buttons to the felt and cutting the thread.
I cut out a little brown ‘coat’ from some felt and Aodhan searched through some old buttons for a few that he thought Toad and Frog would like. While he listened to the story, I hid the buttons around our place to facilitate the hunt that Toad makes for his lost button (which isn’t really lost and is why he makes Frog a button coat to atone for dragging him around the forest looking for a button that was never lost in the first place).
After finding all of the buttons, Aodhan sat down with his sewing tools, in the role of Toad of course, and stitched a few buttons to the felt coat. So fun!
Aodhan loved it so much that he made his dad re-hide all of the buttons and start the hunt all over again. I highly recommend these short stories, and spending time sewing with your kids. One of my most treasured bits of his art is that first embroidery hoop that he worked so hard and so long on. It hangs in my office right next to my own stitched work.