The Wartville Wizard- Poppins Book Nook

It’s time for the Poppins Book Nook project hosted by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.  I’m happy to be participating again this month.   This month the topic is wizards.  I instantly thought of one of my favorite books- The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden.

writing center

The Wartville Wizard is a story of an old man who gets fed up with all the litterbugs in his town.  He creates a spell that sends back each piece of trash to the person who “dropped” it.  The townspeople begin walking around with trash stuck to them and learn an important lesson about littering.  Everytime I read the story I think about my mom who used to pick up litter and hand it back to the person who littered saying, “I think you dropped something.”  This book is perfect for anytime of the year, but especially relevant to Earth Day this past week.

Ready to see the creative and resourceful project I came up with to follow-up with the story?

Literacy Activity- Recycled Materials Writing Station

We throw away so many things and fortunately now recycle more and more too.  I came up with a recycling idea that will help you create a writing station or supply an existing writing center.

writing center

Everything pictured is recycled!  Here’s a detailed rundown of what I used to create our writing station.

1.  Thanks to my good friend, Rachelle, I was able to get this table and chair from a school that was closing down.  Repurpose a table already in your house or check yard sales or thrift shops.

2.  The writing utensil cup is a sippy cup that was missing its top.  An old coffee mug or an empty frosting container would work well too.

3.  The cup is filled with pencils made from recycled materials.  The markers had dried out.  Instead of throwing them away, I let the tips soak in some liquid watercolors that I had in our art studio.  Presto, new markers!

4.  This crayon was created from a handful of broken crayons that would have otherwise been thrown away.  I created an aluminum foil mold, filled with broken crayons and placed in a 225 degree oven for about 1o minutes.

Every writing station needs a variety of writing papers!

5.  Brown paper grocery bags cut into a variety of sizes yields lots of sheets.  I was able to get six 7×9 pieces from one bag!

6.  Used giftwrap or gift bags also make great borders for paper.

7.  Don’t throw away birthday cards, holiday cards, etc.  Cut the front cover of the card off and you can now write on the back which is usually blank.

8.  The stacking tray was created with empty cereal boxes.  I stacked them together and adhered with lots of packing tape.

Time to write!  How about creating a poster about littering to hang?  Maybe a letter to an author of an earth friendly book?  What else could you create from your recycled writing station?

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Check out some of the other great links below for more books on wizards!  And, if you have a post on this topic, please add it!



Send a Little Love

Last Monday, Growing Book by Book showcased some fun read-alouds centered around love, caring and sharing.  Today, we are going to look at four valentine writing ideas to help cultivate your little one’s writing ability.

1.  Themed Writing Center

Introducing a themed writing center is one way to rejuvenate a tired center that may not be getting a lot of use.  For Valentine’s Day, why not add the following materials to your child’s writing center.

  • red, purple, and pink paper and envelopes in a variety of sizes
  • glitter gel pens and/or red pencils or pens
  • stickers or make your own scratch and sniff stickers
  • red, purple, pink and white pom poms, pipe cleaners and/or googly eyes
  • Valentine themed word chart (This helps your child spell words without constantly asking for help.)
  • mini mailbox

2.  Postcards

I love to get mail that isn’t a bill or a credit card application.  How about sending a postcard to a special someone?  A little creativity and a 32 cent postcard stamp will get you on your way.  The front of this postcard was made with cardstock stamped with heart cookie cutters dipped into paint.

3.  Touch Your Heart Card

You will really touch grandma’s heart with this handmade card.  For the front of the card, have your child draw or cut out a picture of a heart.  Next, have them put their fingerprint right in the middle of the heart.  On the inside of the card, have the child list things that are special about the card’s recipient.  Sign and date the card and you are ready for one special delivery.

4.  Flower Heart Face Card

I love to browse through gardening catalogs and daydream about my fantasy garden.  One of my favorite catalogs is White Flower Farm.  As I was browsing the pages of beautiful annuals and perennials, I came up with this idea to recycle the catalog once I’m done with it.

Draw or cut a heart and glue to the front on a folded piece of construction paper.   Next, cut out lips, eyes, nose, ears and hair from flower pictures.  How about tulips for lips or clematis for eyes?  Arrange the face cut-outs and glue down.  Now, your child is ready to write a sweet message on the inside.

I hope you are inspired to do some writing with your kids.