Lady Bug didn’t stick with just ocean animals for long. She started scripting forest animals from a Signing Time dvd. So while I was still in a creative mood, I whipped up a play tree out of some boxes, construction paper, and hot glue. I got the idea from this picture on Pinterest. But I decided to take the idea of turning boxes into a play tree a bit further. I cut off the box flaps, got the boxes to stick together using brads, and cut a hole in the top box with an exacto-knife to stick the “branch” box through. (I have no idea where such a perfect box came from. I don’t throw enough things out, so it’s been hanging out in the garage for a long time.) For the bark I crumpled construction paper and hot glued it on the outside. This gave it a much more realistic look and probably looked better than if I had tried to paint it. Before I added the bark I cut an X in the middle of the green fleece fabric and slid it over the top. The fabric was left over from a project a few years ago. I used this fabric because it was green and would not fray; no other sewing or work necessary. Finally I hot glued on some leaves from yet another project. (Again, this is really making it harder to throw things out when I’ve proven that eventually I will use it for something…..)
Along with the tree, which is great for playing with, practicing prepositions (directions) and labeling with our ever favorite laminated word cards, I found two sets of printables that I really liked. One is a free forest animal themed preschool pack that has whole sentence strips with “I am a [animal name]” and a picture of the animal. They also have matching cards of a real picture and the cartoon picture with self correcting same color boarders. I haven’t encountered that concept in a printable before, and I really like it. The other free printable uses the same picture with one word, then two, then three, then a whole sentence about it. The idea is to build from a word to a sentence. Both of these printables work with my idea to that teaching Lady Bug to read will help her talk more.
I have also taken to reciting “Bear Snores On” to Lady Bug. Yes, reciting. For some reason she keeps insisting on closing the book or flipping the pages before it’s time. But I started reading that book 10 years ago to Builder Boy; I’ve had it memorized for a long time now. She does seem to like that; especially the fake snoring. I have a Pinterest board filled free printables and themed ideas. Lady Bug isn’t the only kid out there who is a fan of the theme, and there are a lot of options and other ideas out there.