Take a Trip With Your Imagination

Just a little bit of imagination can take you anywhere! Check out Paper City by Made By Joel. Vicky Knysh has  made life size toys to play with.  There are life sized cars to drive, trees to pick apples from, a maze to run around in, and even laundry to hang up…all made out of cardboard! Joel Henriques has created whole cities with buildings, people and cars that you can print cut out and play with.

We’ve taken inspiration from Harold and his purple crayon and Joel and Vicky and come up with some things you can print out and play with too. In some cases, we’ve left blank areas on some, so that you can fill in your own ideas. Try and make some places up on your own too.  Where will your imagination take you?

Fold between the dots and then cut along the line.

Harold is searching for his window. Draw some windows onto the buildings, maybe one will be his.

Can you finish drawing the boat?

Every town needs some people. We've drawn a couple for you. Can you draw a few more? How about some cars? Cut out and fold the rectangles to stand the people up.

To read this in Italian, click here.

 

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Guess Who?

That’s right, it’s Guess Who, from us to you!

This will fit right into the stand up version of the game with the interchangeable boards. Otherwise, we bet you can improvise. How about playing sticking the sheets on 2 different sides of the fridge and covering up the eliminated faces with magnets?

Need a bigger version?  Print these out and they can be taped or glued together to make a giant version of the game.

Guess Who Ex Large 2

Happy Guessing!

You can download even more sheets from the Hasbro site.

Dad Runs Away With The Circus

To stick with our circus theme, we have Dad Runs Away With the Circus, written by Etgar Keret, illustrated by Rutu Modan, It’s a fun story about a parent that just doesn’t want to be a grown up.  The book was a finalist for the Andersen Award 2003 and just right for kids around the ages of 6-9 years old.

http://www.veryabc.cn/flash/uploads/stories/tumblebook/dad.swf

Dad Runs Away With the Circus is animated and read on the site above. Below the animation, the text is high lighted making it easier to follow along for older kids who can already read.

To read this in Italian, click here.

Pizza Dough Recipe

To read this in Italian, click here.

Ingredients:

1 pkg dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 c warm water
3 c all purpose flour (or you can use 2 c all purpose and 1 c semolina flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tbls olive oil

Put yeast, sugar and water into a large bowl.  Stir and let stand for about 5 minutes.  If it bubbles up, that’s a good sign.  That means the yeast are eating the sugar and burping up air bubbles that will make your dough nice and fluffy!

Add the flour, salt and olive oil and then use your hands to start mixing. Don’t worry about mixing everything perfectly. Put the dough onto a floured surface (like a table or a counter) and knead it for about 10 minutes. Next, shape the dough into a ball and put into a clean, lightly greased (covered with a little bit of olive oil) bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft free (no wind or breezes) place for at least an hour.

Now you can use your dough to make pizza! In Italy a pizza with just tomato and sauce is called Pizza Margherita, in honor of the first pizza served to Queen Margherita.  The pizza was made with colors of the Italian flag red (tomato), white (cheese) and green (basil).

Buon apetito! (good appetite)

Click here for a printable version of the Pizza Dough recipe.

Claymation

To read this in Italian, click here.

Claymation is a project that takes time, but is really fun. The idea to make one was spontaneous, so we didn’t think it out clearly and did the whole thing (making dough, drawing, filming and cleaning up) in under an hour.  Just think what your kids could do if you spent more time on it.

The kids drew out the background while we whipped up some playdough.  They sculpted up their dinosaurs and we started clicking away.  It was a good laugh because things kept falling or we forgot what we were moving but it all worked out in the end.  It’s not Robot Chicken or Wallace and Gromit, but the kids are so proud anyways!

The film is put together in Windows Live Movie Maker (which we didn’t even realize we had, until we Googled how to make a stop motion film-so you probably have it to) and is easy to use. If we did it, so can you (and we’re sure you could do a much better job too!)

To do this project you will need:

  • a digital camera
  • a table
  • clay (or playdough)
  • things to draw or paint the scenery (background and floor)
  • Windows Live Movie Maker
  • music

Have the kids decide what the project will be. Push the table against the wall. Draw out the background and tape it onto the wall level with the table.

Sculpt out the characters. Set them up and you are ready to go. Put the camera on the table (you may have to put it on a few books to elevate it). Each character must move a little and then you take a picture. This must be done many times, it takes a lot of pictures to make a short film. (Our film is about 14 seconds long and there are about 50 pictures).  When you are finished, open up Movie Maker and click and drag all your pictures in.  You will also need to modify the duration of each photo (ours is about ,3 seconds, but for the characters to move smoother it should probably be about ,03 seconds), put your music in, save your film and you are ready to go!

Sites for Kids

To read this in Italian, click here.

The internet is a great tool to help kids learn English (that’s why we’re on here too :o) There are so many websites with interactive games, check out:

A great site for kids who are getting ready to read or are just starting to read, is starfall. There are lots of phonics games, early reading games, you can find worksheets and even apps for your phone.

Another fun site for younger kids is Sesame Street.  There are interactive games, videos and printables. You can find them on either PBSkids (you’ll have to click on Elmo to link to the Sesame Street Site, but don’t miss out on the fun and games on the PBS site) or directly on the Sesame Street site.

If you want a little something for kids of all ages there is Sheppard Software, which has a little something for kids of all ages.  There are all kinds of educational games, quizzes and puzzles.

Last, but not least for today is Brain Pop. They also have many different educational games and activities and they even have a new ESL section.

Have fun learning!