This week the theme of the MeMeTales Readathon is Character Development and there are 3 gorgeous free books that you can read with your child.
While we are always busy practicing physical skills, creativity and so on, it's important not to neglect emotional development. In fact, I think it is incredibly important.
Inspired by the books and the theme, we came up with this fun and thoughtful activity that you can do with your child at home.
First, you could start like we did by reading this book with your child
It is about a Butterfly who learns about trying new things and colourful wings :)
We loved the butterfly and the colour so we decided to make our own butterfly.
Here is what you'll need to make your own
A piece of thick paper (fold in half, unfold then draw the shape of half a butterfly). Paints, Painting tools (we used little round sponge brushes), Coloured Paper, String, Marker and Sticky tape.
Paint the butterfly staying in the drawn-in side
Let your child have control and get creative with the design
Opportunities like this allow you to talk about colour mixing
Finish painting the butterfly. Fold in half while still wet. Press and rub your hands over the paper.
Carefully peel open the Butterfly
Allow the Butterfly to dry. Fold in half, painted side out and cut around the outline. Open back up.
Cut out a few butterflies from your coloured paper
Read/re-read Good Habits to Have
It's such a cute book & free on MeMeTales (this week only so be quick!) by fabulous Australian Publishers, Ice Water Press.
After reading this M just had to go and gently pat and cuddle our cat
Talk with your child and ask them, "What do you think makes you a good person?"
Make a list of good characteristics and then write one on each butterfly.
Cut lengths of string/ribbon and tape one end to the back of each smaller butterfly.
(What great fine motor skill practice)
Arrange how your butterflies will hang and tape the other end of the string/ribbon to the large butterfly
Display your butterfly and use it as a positive reminder. Use it for sight word practice as well.
(Later we will be changing the "don't be mean" to "be nice" as I much prefer positive statements over negative ones. I wrote it like this for now as that's how M said it, but it will give us another opportunity to talk about it and how we can put a positive swing on it)
- Simplify this activity by letting your child focus on the fine motor and creativity of the butterfly painting. If you feel they are ready you can talk about being a good person and suggest some ways they could show this. It's up to you whether you add the additional sight words. Still read the books together regardless of age.
- Extend this activity by allowing your child to do more of the tasks like the cutting or writing. Ask them what they think it means to have Good Character. Explain what character means etc. If your child gives negative statements (ie. "Don't be mean".. talk about opposites and how we can say it positively. ie. "Be nice"...)
- Mix it Up. Try painting different butterflies a number of different ways. Corks, sponges, finger painting, brushes etc).
- Use new language and descriptive words like, "character" This will help with their language development.
- Listen to your child talk as they go through their experiences. This will help you determine where they are at with their learning, knowledge and understanding and help you to develop the activity (or future activities) to their level and interests.
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