Each month (well almost each month), we participate in the Virtual Book Club for Kids, and I like to share 4 activities for the book we select from the author for the month -- a movement/physical activity, a food related activity, an art activity and a learning activity. Here is what we did with Too Many Toys by David Shannon, a fabulous book that highlights the wonderful simplicity and joy of a simple cardboard box and the ways that we can let our worlds get overrun by stuff from time to time.
1. Move - Have a toy relay, which could be a helpful and fun way to get toys picked up, or to sort toys into two boxes: a donate and keep box. (We love toy relays. I just can never manage to get a picture while one is happening!)
2. Eat - I see lots of cool Lego/Mega-Block Brownies online and had planned to make some, but ended up doing something easier and healthier instead...we made blocks for breakfast! Okay, so they are just pieces of bread with your O cereal of choice, but Wild Thing thought they were cool blocks for breakfast and did a little bit of building before he gobbled them all up. (He, 3, took the photos himself along with a photo of Mommy and Daddy too).
In the end Wild Thing mainly stamped himself - further reiterating the point of the book, actually.
4. Learn - The book helps children understand the value of appreciating what you have and of not being greedy and wanting more than you really need, as well as the value of giving to others and the fun that can be found through the imagination! My boys certainly agree that a cardboard box is one of the greatest toys ever -- as do many kids...obviously! (Many of the activities in the photos below have been featured in our Ten for Tuesday: Things That Go Series - specifically Community Helpers, In Space, Trains, and Cars posts from the series and from Make Something Outta Nothing - Library at Home). We also have a fun firetruck made from a cardboard box too. For more fabulous cardboard ideas, make you are following Cardboard Creations, acollaborative Pinboard started by Housing A Forest or simply give your child(ren) a box and see what they create.
I love all of the wonderful learning extensions this book offers, whether it be creative, imaginative cardboard box play or learning the value of giving. There are so many great messages in this one simple book. So, fess up - do you have too many toys? Consider starting regular toy purges, if you do not do them already. Toy purges and book donations are cyclical at our house. Inspired by Family Magazine shared about how this is part of their Christmas tradition and we made it part of ours this past year too. (Actually, the whole family got involved, so Mommy and Daddy also parted with some of our things). If you are ready for Spring (or Fall) decluttering, get this book from the library and read it with the kids to help them get into the spirit of giving, then see where their imaginations take you.
Shared at: Mom's Library, Tuesday Tots, It's Playtime, Artsy Play Wednesday