Polar Bear What Did You Hear? Memory Game

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Animal Sounds Memory!  To play this game, print and cut out 4 copies of the first sheet with all the animals and one of the sheet with zookeeper.

Players: 2 or more

Object of the Game:  to memorize the noises and mimes of the animals in the right order.

1. Shuffle the deck and then place it face down in the center of the table. Decide who goes first.

2. The first player draws a card and places it face up next to the deck.  She says what the animal is and imitates the sound and gestures for that animal.

3.  The second player draws a card, places it face up on top of the first player’s card.  He makes the sound and mimes the animal on the first card and then of the card he has just turned over.  And so on and so forth until a player gets an animal or it’s sound.

4.  Once a card is turned over and covered by the next player’s card, it should not be turned over and covered again.

5.  When a player makes a mistake, instead of reshuffling the deck and beginning all over – the player takes a penalty card from the face up pile. Whoever has the most penalty cards (once all the cards have been turned over) begins the next round.

Variation – at the beginning of the game, set a time limit on how long the game will last. The winner is the person with the least penalty cards.

Other uses for the cards – you can also use these cards to play memory the classic way, Go Fish!  or Guess Who?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Did You Hear? Workshop

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Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Did You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr and Eric Carle is a wonderful book about animals and the sounds that they make.  It’s rhythmic, it has lots of repetition, fun animals to imitate – it’s an all around great story! Check out FindSounds and Sound Bible to hear real sounds that the animal make.

Since this book was all about animals and the sounds they make, we made an kazoo in the shape of an elephant – and you can use it to trumpet like an elephant.  Here’s how to do it:

  • You will need:
  • colored construction paper
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • an old paint brush
  • scissors
  • a tp roll
  • parchment paper or tracing paper
  • the bottom of a can or a lid, slightly larger than the diameter of the tp roll
  • googly eyes

1.  Use the lid to trace a circle on the parchment paper (or tracing paper).  Cut it out, cover one end of the tp roll and glue it on.

2.  Tear up a sheet of construction paper and use the paint brush to glue the paper to the side of the tp roll (paper mache style), making sure to cover the edges of the parchment paper only on the sides and not the part covering the end.

3. Draw 2 ears on construction paper, cut them out and glue them onto the side of the elephant’s head (you may have to fold a small flap in order to get them to stick more easily).

4.  Glue on 2 googly eyes.

5.  Now for the trunk: cut out 2 strips of paper about 1 cm wide, along the length (the long side) of a piece of construction paper.  Place the two ends together so that the strips for an L and place a dot of glue to hold the strips in place. Alternate folding each strip at a 90° angle to the other strip.  When you come to the end of each strip, glue down the ends (cut off any excess paper) and your twos strips of paper should now look like an accordion.  Glue this onto the elephant.  And tah-dah you are finished.

6.  After the elephant dries.  Put the open end of the elephant kazoo to your mouth and make a humming noise (but with your mouth opened).  This should make the paper at the end of the tube vibrate.  Now try and do the same thing making an elephant trumpeting noise.  It’s not easy at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s lots of fun!

Chutes and Ladders, With A Twist!

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We’ve taken Chutes and Ladders and added the option to kick it up a notch! You can play the classic way, which is especially great for younger kids that are learning to count:


  • 2 dice
  • 1 marker for each player

The Object: be the first to reach the end of the board.

To Play: To decide who goes first, each player throws the dice.  The player with the highest number goes first and the player to her left goes second, etc.  All players put the markers on start.  Each player rolls and moves her marker that number of spaces.  If a player lands on a ladder she may go up and put her marker on that space.  If a player lands on a slide (a chute), then she must slide down and put her maker on that space.  The game ends when one person reaches 100.

Variation:Print off the cards above (or write some up with questions that related to what they already have learned).  When a player lands on the a ladder, she may only go up if she can answer a question correctly (have the teacher or adult read to get kids used to listening).  When a player lands on a chute, she can stop from sliding down by answering a question correctly.


Instead of playing with dice, here is our Chutes and Ladders with a Twist:


  • Chutes and Ladders board
  • the category cards (above)
  • timer

and one of each of the following for every player

  • game makers
  • paper
  • pencil

The Object: move forward by having the most original answers, the first person to get to the end wins.

To Play: All markers are set on start.  A category card is drawn by the teacher (in small groups kids can take turns).  Each team has 1 minute to think of as many items as they can related to that category. Once the timer has stopped, everyone must stop writing. Now someone reads off the words on their list, if one or more of the other players has that same word, everyone crosses that word off their list.  Eventually all the other players can read off the words that aren’t already crossed off from their list until all words that teams have in common are crossed out.  The words that are NOT crossed off are counted and the player may move ahead that many number of spaces. For example:

animals that live in the sea is drawn

Player A writes:

  • fish
  • shark
  • whale
  • octopus

Player B writes

  • fish
  • whale
  • dolphin
  • crab
  • lobster

Both teams would cross off fish and whale.  Team A would get 2 to move ahead 2 spaces because she had 2 original answers (shark and octopus).  Team B would move ahead 3 spaces (for having dolphin, crab, lobster).  Players must go up or down ladders and slides as they land on the spaces with those symbols.  The team to reach the end wins.

This is a good game to play with older kids who know a little more vocabulary.  It’s also fun to play in teams so kids have to work together to come up with the most words.  If kids are too young to write, but know a lot of vocabulary, they can sketch out the answer, but they must know the word in English in order for it to count.

Another variation – players get points for every word (in other words don’t cross off repeated words). The game moves a faster this way and also rewards kids that are not as confident in English.

Father’s Day Workshop, A Totally Quiller Keychain

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Father’s Day is the 19th of March in Italy, so the kids made a special present for their dads – a totally killer quilled key chain.

What’s quilling you ask? It’s taking strips of paper and curling them into spirals, you bend those spirals into different shapes and put them together to form an animal, a flower or whatever you want.  Check out Inna’s Creations for some basics on quilling and other great ideas.

Here’s how to quill a fish key chain:


  • colored paper (A4)
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • wooden skewer
  • elmer’s glue
  • Modge Podge or watered down elmer’s glue
  • old paintbrush
  •  needle (a big one)
  • embroidery thread
  • key chain ring

You probably have most of the things in the house, so this is a great impromptu activity – like on a rainy day, when you’re stuck inside and you don’t know what to do!

1. Use your ruler and pencil to measure out 4, 1 cm strips along the length of the paper. Carefully cut them out.

2. Take two strips and glue them together at the ends, so you have one long strip.

3: Fold one strip in half and cut it along the fold.

4.  There should be 4 strips total, 1 long, 1 medium and 2 short.  Take a short strip of paper and twirl it around the skewer and then take it off.  You should have a spiral. Do the same to each of the other strips.

5. Put a dot of glue on the end of each spiral and glue it closed.

6 Now comes the tricky part – you will need to make pinch and bend the pieces to make different shapes which will form the parts of the fish.

7.  Take the large spiral and pinch the ends to form an ‘eye’ shape -this will be used for the fish’s body.

8. Use your index finger and your thumb of your left hand and the index finger of your right hand to squish the two small spirals into triangles. These will be the fins.

9. Use the thumb and index fingers of both hands to squash the last spiral (the medium sized one) into a  crescent moon shape.This will be the tail.

10. Pass the needle with embroidery thread through one side of the eye shaped piece, make a loop and tie a knot.

11. Glue each of the pieces together to form a fish. Let these dry.

12. When you are finished, use the paint brush to pass Modge Podge all over the fish – on the top and the bottom and the sides.  This will make the fish harder.  When it dries, hook the fish onto a key chain ring and you are finished!

When it dries, wrap it up and give it to your dad on Monday.  Make sure you wish your dad a Happy Father’s Day from all of us at ARTiculation360.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Game

To read this in Italian, click here.

This is a card game inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to help kids count and learn fruits.  To play, print out one copy each of all the cards and cut them out.

The object of the game is to have the most fruits and leaves before the puzzle is completed.

1.  Shuffle the cards and put them into the center of the table

2.  On his or her turn, each player draws a card.  If the card has fruit or leaves, he places it face up on the table (so the other players can see and learn) and says how many fruits (or leaves) there are. The turn passes to the next person.  If the card has a piece of the puzzle on it, that card is placed in the center of table to begin (or continue) constructing the puzzle.

3.  Play continues until the puzzle is completed.  When the last piece of the puzzle is in place, the game ends.  Players count how many fruits and leaves they have.  The player with the most fruits and leaves wins.  (Count the actual number of objects, not the number of cards).  Have fun!

Animation (Flip Book) Workshop

To read this in Italian, click here.

Saturday’s workshop was probably the one of the most challenging, but fun workshops yet, we made flip books -which are basically a series of drawings that seem to move, as the pages are rapidly turned. This is a great activity to do for transit verbs (a fiish swimming, a plane flying etc) or to teach stages (a seed growing into a flower or a tree) – Keep in mind that the best ideas are the simplest ideas – especially if it is your first time animating.

What you will need:

  • a pencil
  • colored pencils
  • post-its
  • a stapler
  • tape (masking or scotch tape)

For younger kids, it is easier to grasp the concept if they have an example.

1.  Print off one of the sheets above.

2. Put a post-it on top of each frame (keeping the sticky part on the left hand side) and use a pencil to lightly trace each drawing.

 *If it’s hard to see the lines, you can always put the sheet against the window and then trace.

3. Color each of the frames (make sure that you color every frame in the same way -for example: if you color the flower yellow with a green stem, it should be yellow with a green stem in all the frames),

4.  Write the title of your flip book on a post it.

5.  Take 2 blank post its and set them on the table (this will add pages to the book and make it easier to flip).  Stack the your drawings on top of these 2 blank post-its, in sequence working from frame 8 to frame 1 (so frame 8 should be on the bottom and frame 1 on the top). Take 2 more blank post-its and put them on the top. Stack you title page on the very top.  Stack as neatly as you can, the neater it is, the easier it will be to flip.

6.  Bend the left side of your book back about 5 cm.  This will make the pages stiffer and easier to flip.

7.  Staple the ‘binding’ and secure the staples by covering them with a strip of tape.

8.  Now flip!

Older kids may be able to grasp the concept of how to draw a flip book on their own. Here’s how to do it:

1.  Think of something that can move from left to right or up and down (without having to draw many complicated movements.  For example a fish swimming, a plane flying through the sky, a car driving on the road, a hot air balloon rising in the sky, etc.  A person walking is quite or a horse running is quite complicated and won’t work well for the method we are using.

2.  Draw your idea on a post it, keeping the sticky side to the left. We have drawn a spider that will lower itself down it’s web.   If you are going to have something go from up to down, like we are, make sure the drawing stays on the right hand side so you can see it as it flips.

3. Take another post-it (post -it #2) and put it on top of the first post it (post-it #1) so that the right edges are lined up, but the top edge of #2 is slightly above #1.  Remember to put the sticky side on the left.  Trace.  See how our spider looks slightly lower.

4.  Do this again and again, until you have at least 8 drawings. You can have more than (, because the more drawings you have and the slighter the movement when you retrace, the better your flip book will work. Less than 8 drawings makes it hard to flip the book and the animation won’t be a smooth.

5.  Color all your drawings.

6.  Neatly stack (in order) all your drawings, starting with the last one on the bottom.  (If you have only 8 drawings add 2 blank post-its to the front and 2 to the back, this will make it a bit easier to flip and see the animation).

7.  Make a title page and put it on the top of your stack.

8.  Fold back the left hand side of your stack about 5 mm.

9. Staple and then tape over the staples

10. You are ready to flip!

Which Bug is Buggin You?

To read this post in Italian, click here.

Here are some games you can play to learn bug names.  Print off 2 sets of these cards and you can play Memory or  Go Fish! With just one set of cards you can also play a type of Guess Who.

To play you will need:

  • 1 set of cards that have been laminated
  • small reusable stickers or dry erase pens
  • 2 or more players

The object of the game is to guess which bug has been chosen by asking yes or no questions.

1 person choose be the bug chooser and the other person or people will be the guessers.  The person who chooses the bug will place a sticker or a small x on the back of one of the cards (make sure the other player(s) don’t see which one. Younger kids might need to go into another room to do this).  That person places all the cards face up on the table.  The other players take turns asking yes or no questions to figure out which bug has been chosen. Such as does it fly?  If the answer is yes, all the cards with bugs that don’t fly are turned face down.  If the answer is no the cards with bugs that do fly are turned upside down. Players can only guess the bug on their turn. To avoid people constantly shouting out names, without trying to ask questions first, we do a penalty of -if a player guesses incorrectly they skip a turn. The first person to guess the correct bug wins.  That person becomes the next person to choose the bug.

I Like Bugs Workshop

To read this in Italian, click here.

We were totally buggin’  out at our last Story and a Craft workshop. Even if you don’t like bugs, you will definitely like  I Like Bugs by Margaret Wise Brown.  It’s a cute rhythmic story all about…you guessed it, bugs!  The kids enjoyed the story, since it is funny, and gross (who wants to drink a bug?) and cool (who doesn’t like fireflies?) all at the same time. After we read the story, the kids made some bugs of their own.


  • walnut shells
  • marbles
  • permanent pens (we used sharpies and decorative markers)-
  • glue
  • paper
  • glitter and other things to decorate (optional)
  • googly eyes (optional)

It’s a very simple project, you’ve probably already figured out what you need to do.  Use the pens and glitter or whatever you have, to decorate the walnut shell like a bug.  You can make them funny, weird, mean looking – anything that you can think of. Don’t forget youcan use bits of paper to make wings, antennae or even teeny tiny legs.

When you are finished, put a marble underneath and you are ready to race! Let the bug races begin….ready, set….GO!

Tom Wesselman

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via moma.org

To learn about things in the kitchen, we took inspiration from Tom Wesselman, an American artist who helped lead the pop art movement. First, we played games to get the kids familiar with the vocabulary – we do anything from flashcard games, to bingo and spelling games and  we also like to throw in a few drawing warm up exercises before getting started.

Once the kids had a bit of vocabulary under their belt,  we looked at a few of Wesselman’s pieces and discuss what elements they recognized.   Then, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

via all-art.org

The kids had certain guidelines they had to follow, just to make sure we they used as much as the vocabulary as possible, but then after that, anything goes:

They drew, they cut and they glued:

They really got into making the smallest details of the kitchen, like the glass in the windows, the clock above the stove and some even made a chicken in the oven!

We’re so proud of the kids – they not only made some beautiful pieces of art, but they are also able to talk about them in English!