Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meet Mr. Squirrel and Friends

Gluing on the super-fab tail I made.

Introducing...Mr. Squirrel
Sometimes I plan out projects ahead of time, and get my materials ready the night before or during nap time, so that everything is ready to go when the kids feel like doing something artsy at the table.  More often than not, though, I fly by the seat of my pants and throw us into an activity or craft with no prior planning.  This means that we do a lot of easy projects, like tracing hands with markers or making a magazine cut-out collage.  But the other day, Lilah said she wanted to make puppets, so I figured it was fairly easy to throw together at the last minute.  I dug in my craft supplies and found some teeny tiny paper bags, the good old Elmer's glue, and some felt scraps.  I asked Lilah what she wanted to make, and she decided on a squirrel first.  A squirrel, really?!  I had no idea how to make a squirrel, but usually I can put something together that sort of resembles what the kids ask me for, so I went for it.  (I mean, Lilah thinks my stick figures of our family are beautiful, so what do I really have to lose, right?)  I cut out some circle shapes from white felt, and smaller ones from black felt for the eyes, some ear-shaped pieces from brown felt, and a red tongue.  Then I of course had to make a squirrel tail.  Eeep.  Not so pretty.  Lilah thought he was cute though, and christened him Mr. Squirrel.  She's nothing if not creative.

We then proceeded to make a bear and a bat, Bubba and Batty, respectively.  Meanwhile, Mr.Grady was bop-bop-bopping away on his construction paper with the Bingo daubers.  He likes to do projects too, but puppet-making was a bit beyond his attention span.  Give him something to bang on the table with, though, and the boy is happy, especially if he can make a mess with it and attempt to eat it.

Once Grady saw Lilah playing with her puppets, he decided that he needed one too, so Lilah made him a dinosaur.  He makes a guest appearance in Lilah's creative story, but he didn't actually last thirty seconds once Grady got his hands on him.  I found an eye stuck to the couch and I'm pretty sure his tail ended up in  my laundry.

Since Lilah is very into making up stories lately, she said she wanted to tell me a story about her puppet friends and I would have to write it down.  So here it is, unabridged and completely in her words:

"Once upon a time there was a squirrel.  his name was Mr. Squirrel.  He had a friend Batty the Bat and a bear named Bubba.  They went on an adventure.  And one day, a dinosaur saw them.  He gobbled them up.  So they cut out his leg and climbed out.  Then he was their friend too.  We'll call him Mr.Dinosaur.  They all go to the zoo.  He didn't really gobble them up because he was just a teeny-tiny baby one.  That was their imagination.  They decided to go on a picnic and swimming too.  They ate bread or something, and some cake after their lunch.  They lived happily ever after."

I'm keeping the story to put in her scrapbook, but sadly, the puppets are no longer with us.  The Elmer's glue was just not strong enough to hold them all together, so if I did this project again, I'd probably use fabric glue or break out my glue gun if possible. (Meaning, if Grady is asleep.)  It was really fun to make them and to play with them after, though, and it kept the two of them entertained for over an hour, so it was a very successful impromptu project.

Stay tuned for further adventures of Mr.Squirrel, Bubba, and Batty!  Well, maybe not...

Batty the Bat.  He was my favorite.
"Please!" - I made the mistake of giving him a sheet of stickers, prompting him to beg me for one every .5 seconds.
Yes, that's a dinosaur.  Really.
He got tired of eating Bingo dauber, so we broke out the Cheerios.

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