Every evening in my family, we ended our day with reading time. Huddled into one bed, mom, with her “narrator “voice would begin the next chapter of our book in progress. Frequently, my dad would pop in to help out with the voices. Each one of them holding a copy of the book and like a well timed machine, each would take their position inside our story to carry us towards the next chapter and into our slumber.
It was not uncommon for our stories and the characters we had grown to love soon to become entwined with our daily lives. It wasn’t long before we were eating beef stew and baking cornbread like Laura Ingalls Wilder. Picnic tables became covered wagons. Mom made the most incredible prairie dress complete with sun bonnets, fashioned after “Gunne Sack”. On a weekly basis one could see my hair braided with wire, just like Pippi Longstockings. Our blanket chest easily became a perfect place to hide pirate’s treasure. A deep closet or two turned into the Borrower’s house. A short walk into another closet under the stairs signaled a meeting with our friends from Narnia. There was no limit to time and place in our imaginations.
Flash forward a few years when I had become a mother and was raising a group of young readers of my very own. It started very early on by creating simple activities to go along with the picture books we were reading.
It wasn’t until my eldest daughter was 8 that I realized she had started reading more independently. She was so proud to read all by herself and the longer the book the better. For myself, I missed our shared reading times. When I would ask her to read out loud to me I was met with “No, I just prefer to read in my head.” With a younger sister and brother in tow, I could quickly see “story time” fading away. How could we re-establish sharing our reading time together?
It was the memories of our book adventures in my own childhood that led to the creation of Jump Into A Book, a family book club. In the beginning, it began as a mother-daughter book gathering and later included dads and brothers. The premise is this; there is no better play date than with a good book and someone to share it with. Even better, is when the pages of stories come alive. As book-jumpers, we can take ourselves on journeys to faraway places, experience adventures with unheard of circumstances, dress ourselves in new clothes, eat literary foods, play interactive games, create crafts from our stories, and end with a round circle discussion about our experiences inside the story. After our shared reading time and our books are finished we gather together to celebrate the story by coming to a book adventure. Together, we live through and with our hero and heroines only to have a different understanding of the world around us.
Book-jumping has become a time honored tradition among our family and friends. It helps us connect to one another and to the books we love to read and experience.
For the first edition of Rhythm of The Home, I couldn’t think of a better winter book to jump into than “The Story of the Snow children” by Sibylle von Olfers.
As Poppy is gazing out of the window she notices the soft gently blowing snowflakes have little faces and are actually snow children. As they dance and swirl in the garden they soon take Poppy away to the snow kingdom of the Snow Queen. There, Poppy is welcomed to the grand festival by the Queen and her princess. Amidst the sparkling snow kingdom is dancing, feasting, and exciting games. At the end of all this play, Poppy sleepily returns home to recount her tales of the snow children to her listening mother.
To set the stage for the wonderful and exciting snow festival we need to be dressed appropriately. There is nothing better than a message crown to make one feel like wintry royalty.
A Message Crown
- An assortment of 81/2 x 10 paper
- An assortment of 12 x 12 paper
- White card stock or blank index cards
- Picking shears
- Small fasteners
- Glue dots or glue
- Heart Pattern
- Large Circle pattern
- Small circle pattern
- Large triangle pattern
- Small triangle pattern
To make a message crown you will need the following:
- 1 woven heart
- 2 large circles
- 2 small circles
- 2 large triangles
- 2 small triangles
- 2 -12 inch paper strips, 2 inches wide
How to make the woven heart:
Fold a 81/2 x 11 ½ sheet of paper in half
Place the bottom of the heart pattern on the fold
Trace pattern twice onto the paper, each one placed on the fold.
Cut the two center lines on each heart piece.
Weaving Your Heart
Weaving a heart is a little different than weaving. We aren’t going under and over but in and through. The left hand side of the heart I’ve marked ABC. The right hand side of the heart I’ve marked 123. Let’s try this step by step. Look at the photos for help.
Step 1: Place C (left side piece) inside 1 (right hand piece).
Step 2: Place 2 (right hand piece) inside C (left hand piece).
Step 3: Place C (left hand piece) inside 1 (right hand piece).
Step 4: Place 1 (right hand piece) inside B (left hand piece).
Step 5: Place B(left hand piece) inside 2 (right hand piece).
Step 6: Place 1 (right hand piece) inside B ( left hand piece).
Step 7: Place C (left side piece) inside 1 (right hand piece).
Step 8: Place 2 (right hand piece) inside C (left hand piece).
Step 9: Place C (left hand piece) inside 1 (right hand piece).
- Two large circles
- Two small circles
- Two large triangles
- Two small triangles
Make the crown band
Take 2 12 x 12 inch pieces of paper. Place them wrong sides together.
Tape an inch on both the bottom left and right hand sides. This will hold your crown sides together.
Measure 2 inches from the bottom, fold, and cut along folded line. This is your crown band.
Take a folded heart and turn it over. On the reverse side, place a couple of glue dots down towards the bottom of the heart. Taking your crown band with the taped sides lying horizontally, place the heart in the center of the crown band.
Take one large circle and one small circle. Place small circle on top of the large circle and fasten with a small fastener. Make two of theses. Once together turn both pieces over and place a couple of glue dots on the circle and then place one circle to the right of the heart, and the other to the left of the heart.
Take one large triangle and one small triangle. Place a small triangle on top of the large triangle. Hold them together with a small fastener. Make two of these. Turn the triangles over and place a couple of glue dots on each triangle. Place the triangles to the left of the circles.
Adjusting your crown
Place the crown on the head holding it center on the forehead. In the back of the head, grab the crown band, gathering up the excess. Fold it over and tape it to fit.
The heart on the center of the crown is actually a little basket. It’s a perfect place for friends to leave messages for each other. To make your messages take the card stock and cut it into 8 rectangles. You can also use index cards as well. Cut those into quarters. Use your pinking shears to go around the edges. Write a heartfelt message. During the snow festival go around delivering your messages to your friends.
Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book, derives the greatest pleasure from taking the books she reads and helping them come alive with her family, book club, friends, and workshops. An advocate for literacy, Valarie spends many quality hours helping at risk readers. She spends her days with her husband, three creative children, and one adored cat. Together they live in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. To reach Valarie please visit www.jumpintoabook.com