After reading Janssen's recommendation of Perfect Square by Michael Hall, I ordered it from my library. According to Janssen, who's in the know about these things having been a children's librarian before the birth of her daughter, this book is getting some Caldecott buzz. I've been ordering Caldecott winners and honor books to read with Anna this year. Not only is the art good, but usually the stories in Caldecott's are better than average, and I'd much rather Anna get attached to a good book, like, say, Knuffle Bunny, or Hush!, than a dumb one like Baby Donald Makes a Snow Friend (so glad we're over that one...).
But all of that is beside the point. After one reading of Perfect Square, Anna was hooked and we read it over and over again. In the book, the perfect (and happy) square one day gets cut into pieces. With those pieces it makes itself into a fountain. On successive days, it gets ripped, crumpled, and shattered and makes itself into something new each day.
So one Sunday afternoon, I got out some red construction paper. First we made it into a square.
Then, I gave Anna some scissors, crayons, hole punches, and a stapler and let her go at it. At first she needed a little guidance on what to do to the square, but eventually found her groove and had lots of fun.
When it looked like she was done, we gathered up every single piece of the square, including all the hole punches, and tried them out in various positions. When Anna came up with one she liked, I put it on a piece of white paper. A few globs of glue stick (and an outfit change) later...
...and we had a fish! He stayed on our fridge till we moved.
This was a perfect activity for her age and it was fun to combine our reading and crafting. As a kid, we did lots of activities inspired by books, from building forts and making up games, to sewing clothes and writing our own stories. I loved that and hope our children will too.