We’re in that long middle stretch of summer, moms. My kids have been out of school for a while now, and we don’t start back for weeks, and I’m getting desperate for things to do to keep my kids busy. We happen to be big book lovers at our house, so I can’t believe my luck in discovering the free Alphabet Glue‘s downloadable magazine, which is all about DIy projects, crafts and other activities that help us explore our favorite stories more.
For $4 an issue (or $7 for the past two), which helps support Annie Riechmann, crafty New England mom behind the zine, you’ll find easy step-by-step instructions for interactive and easy crafts based on books your kids will love. Or, they are designed simply to get kids excited to create and share their own stories.
Some projects have clear connections to books, like Museum Map Journals based on A Day at the Museum. I also really like projects to inspire kids to tell their own stories, like acorn story starter pods (a crafty DIY version of Rory’s Storycubes), Creativity Crayons, or a storytelling cootie catcher to help kids inspire their own storytelling.
Other book-craft connections seem a little more tenuous, but still full of fun, like monster toothpaste, popsicle stick harmonicas, or paper parachutes.
As for us, looking at the sample projects on site, going to try the simple toothpick bridges craft [PDF] based on the book Bridges are to Cross by Philemon Sturges and Giles Laroche. You can read about the construction of these famous bridges then make your own bridges with toothpicks and gumdrops. (Bonus, this one can double for snack time too.) This is so simple, but it would keep my kids busy for a long time, I’m sure.
We’re also going to try the wildflower seed pods craft [PDF] inspired by the book Miss Rumphius. Do you know this story? It’s so great. My grandmother used to read to me when I was growing up, and now I love reading to my kids about how the lupine lady spread her seeds all over her village and beyond, creating beauty wherever she went. Finish the book, then make your own little flower planters from old egg cartons and so you can plant your own flowers, just like Miss Rumphius.
While there is a small fee for the download, each volume of Alphabet Glue contains around 10 activities, printables, and projects that will never get old. You can see the table of contents for each volume is shown on their website with a list of what’s in it—plus lots of reading lists.
I’m not sure if we should start on the crafts or the books first.
See all the volumes of Alphabet Glue on their website and get started bringing stories to life through crafts for kids.