Red Clover Book Club, now with DIY Octopi!

As much as my kids loved my *telling* them the story of Goldilocks the other night, they still said they prefer it when I *read* to them.  “Why?” I asked, a little crestfallen.  I could *hear* their Duh, Mom looks in the darkness, even from the top bunk. 

“Because books have *pictures*, Mom!”

The Red Clover Book Award is the picture book award for the State of Vermont, and one of our local libraries runs a homeschool program, where, once a month, they read one or two of the nominees, then do a fun craft, have a snack, and generally schmooze.  These are the nominees for this year, and the voting is coming up later in the Spring.  This week we read An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers and (drumroll, please, for one of my childhood heroes) The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau.  (Amazon)

The kids handled the sit-and-listen pretty darned well, considering that they haven’t been to many things like this before, and I was (evilly) pleased none of my kids was the one being told to shush and hold her questions for later.  They were even allowed to bring the library-provided snack into the story time with them.  (Pretzels and limeaid, no less.  I loves me this library!)

Leave me alone, Daddyman. I found a new Dora book!

Then they did a *stellar* transition activity: hunting all over the children’s department for gold coins that they could trade in for Dum-dums at a rate of 5-to-1.  This was fun until after Beara had traded hers in and was sucking away, and Big D realized that she couldn’t find anymore (I think there were more attendees than anticipated), and thus couldn’t get a lollipop.  Generous anonymous homeschool kid to the rescue: he gave Big D and Buddy his extras, so they could get a lollipop to share.  Then the Uber-Librarian, Katie, gave them each one anyway.  Crisis averted!  😉 

Books?  Check.  Friends?  Check. 

Sugar?  Oh boy, check.   

Then it was time for the craft project.   One that I think is super-duper cute even though Daddyman and I had to do a bunch of sewing to make it come together.   I know you don’t believe me, but look at these pictures.  I DARE you to tell me these octopi aren’t darned cute! 

L-R Buddy’s, Beara’s, and Big D’s Octopi

I don’t know about winter where you are, but up here in Vermont, those super-thin acrylic gloves that everyone seems to give my kids in their Christmas stockings just *do not* cut it, but they ARE super cheap, so – hey – why NOT make octopi out of them?

Daddyman sews, too! (Thank goodness, or this would have taken forever.)

To make these lovelies, first tuck the thumbs inside the rest of the glove (so you get 2 x 4 fingers, for 8 total tentacles), then stuff the fingers and palm of the hand with fiberfill.  Then the tricky parent-part comes in: turn one cuff in, then tuck the other cuff into the opening of the first glove, and sew the two gloves together along this join.  (You can sew right through the whole thing, which would be easier on a machine, or you can do as I did and sew around the join in a big ring.)  You can sew up the thumb holes or not, as desired.  (I did.)  Then fold the whole thing in half, so the fingers are all pointing the same way, and sew from the cuffs down to where the fingers start dividing. 

Big D working the Elmer's.

THEN give it to your kids to decorate!  Glue, sequins, felt eyes and markers were our tools today, and my kids went to town, as you can see!  One could theoretically put the sequins on the *inside* of the tentacles, to represent the suckers, but my kids wanted to – duh – be able to SEE their handiwork, so on the outside they went!  (You could also buy gloves with the grippy pads in them to represent tentacles, but that kind of takes the fun out of it, no?)

I can’t wait to see what we read and make next month!  🙂

Just to prove that we really did take all three kids today. Not that I wouldn't love to claim those other two cephalopods for myself, mind you!

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