Tag Archives: kids activities

Peta’s fun things to do at home

Hello again! Hope you had a good weekend. As you may know, my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark, contains a lot of nocturnal animals.

One of the most popular activities I’ve done with it are these nocturnal animal bookmarks that go on the corner of your book. I can’t claim that this type of bookmark was devised by me, but this is my version.

Don’t forget, I’d love to see anything you do – you can email a photo to petarainford@gmail.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

17: Make a nocturnal animal bookmark!

With these bookmarks, it’s all about the folding. Here’s how my lovely assistant made the badger. You will need:

  • White paper or thin card
  • Black and pink paper (or you could just colour with felt pens or crayons)
  • Googly eyes if you’ve got them – though, again, you could equally well draw the eyes with a felt tip

Here’s the fox and the bat versions; same basic folds, just a few different features!

Have fun! And be warned: these bookmarks are highly addictive; we’ve made loads of them!

I’m showing a surprising turn of speed at this workshop where we made nocturnal animal bookmarks!

Peta’s fun things to do at home

Did you have a go at making a Scribble Monster or two after Monday’s post? (It’s here if you missed it.) If you did, you may, like me, have found it strangely addictive, and ended up with a whole bunch of monsters…

What’s the collective noun for a group of monsters? A roar? A scare? What do you think?

I’m now surrounded by Scribble Monsters. Which got me thinking about creating a story about them. Why don’t you have a go? And don’t forget: I’d love to see anything you do – you can email it to petarainford@gmail.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

12: Create a story about Scribble Monsters (and you don’t have to write a word, unless you want to!)

There are lots of different ways of creating a story:

  • Tell it! Talk about the characters and the adventures they might have ( you could video or record the story, if you like)
  • Draw it! As soon as you draw in a background behind the Scribble Monsters, you start telling a story about where they live and what they are doing. Or you can create a more detailed narrative, by creating a cartoon strip
  • Write it! Writing could be anything from single words – labelling a drawing, for example – to speech bubbles in a cartoon, or the more flowing narrative of a ‘traditional’ written story

Whichever way you decide to create your story, you might like to think about the following:

  • What are the monsters called?
  • What relationship do the monsters have to each other? Are they friends? Enemies? Strangers? Members of the same family? Or something else?
  • Are they goodies or baddies?
  • Where do they live? Maybe they live on a mysterious planet, with a mysterious name. Maybe they live in the fluff under your sofa. Maybe they live next door to you…
  • What language do they speak?
  • What adventure will they go on?

These are just some broad-brush ideas for creating a story. I will look at some of them in more detail in future posts. Have fun with your story making – and do please feel free to share your creations with me.

Peta’s fun things to do at home

9: Have fun with rhyming!

I’ve always loved rhyming! I remember writing silly poems and rhyming stories and plays when I was still at school. I like it when a rhyme takes a story or poem in an unexpected direction. My book Hairy Fairy was written in that way; the content of each section of the book is dictated by a word that rhymes with fairy, ie hairy, scary and wary.

A great way to get started with rhyming is to draw up a rhyming grid and go through the alphabet finding rhymes for your chosen word. Here’s a grid I’ve drawn up, with some words that have lots of rhymes:

There’s a printable version (with more space for writing!) here.

There are lots of extra challenges you can try once you’ve completed your grid (if you want to!)

  • spot the homophones! These are the words that sound the same, but have different spellings, eg: be and bee or see and sea.

  • use two of your rhyming words to write a rhyming couplet, eg:

The icy sea

Stings my knee.

  • If you are feeling confident, why not use more of the words to write a longer poem?

It was me

Who made the plea

For the bee

To leave the tree

And join us three

In time for tea.

It doesn’t matter how daft it is, just have fun!