We really loved discovering Jan Brett through the Virtual Book Club for Kids in December. While we liked many of her books that we checked out from the library, the one that Wild Thing (3 years old) kept asking me to read over and over was The Trouble with Trolls. He absolutely loves it. So, this is the book we decided to Move, Eat, Draw and Learn with this month! (For each book club post, I try to do four activities for the book we select that involve movement, creative snacks/meals, art and a learning activity unique to the book).
1. Move - In the story, Treva (the lead character) has to trick the trolls she encounters as treks up the mountain. She does this by giving them her mittens, hat, sweater and boots and then reclaims all of her items when she tricks them one last time and flies down the mountain on her skis. Wild Thing had lots of fun reenacting the book with me carrying his stuffed animal dog and then taking on and off different clothing items just like Treva.
|Wild Thing in his Treva outfit.|
He also balanced jingle bells in teaspoons as part of our fun movement play. The teaspoon-jingle bells represented the skis that Treva has (since her skis have bells on them). This would be another fun play date or winter party activity - a jingle bell teaspoon race in lieu of an egg race where you do a relay and have to balance the jingle bell in the teaspoon.
2. Eat - Instead of gingerbread cookies, we decided to make troll cookies! I used the sugar cookie recipe that Cookie Monster shares in the Sesame Street cookbook, but used whole wheat flour and raw cane sugar, and then used a Santa cookie cutter to create the troll look. It worked out really well and was an activity that got the whole family involved (in fact, I think Daddy ended up doing most of the cookie work). We had a blast!
3. Draw - Our art/craft activity for the book involved making skis from twisty ties (the kind that come on produce/bread or with garbage bags). We painted them and added jingle bells (I bought 12 for $1 at the Dollar Store for our Christmas Sensory Bin). We decided to add them to our tree as ornaments.
4. Learn - Wild Thing is very interested in letters and spelling, so I took advantage of the many Tr words in the book to create some letter cards and pictures and to do some learning about blending sounds. We focused on several words from the book: Treva, Troll, Trouble, Tree, Trick, but also added in some other familiar (and favorite) words: Train, Tray, Track, etc.
We also did a simple sequencing activity with index cards. I wrote and drew pictures for each of the items Treva uses to trick the trolls and Wild Thing puts them in order. It amazed me how well he remembered the story, even getting the sequence mostly correct even if it had been quite a few days since we read the story. (Of course, the role play/pretend play movement activity also reinforces the sequencing aspect of this wonderful book too!)