Lion-Hearted Hero

lion hearted heroWhen a sneaky burglar strikes, it’s up to you and your lion companion to save the day! We made these simple oatmeal container lions, and then caught a story time crook.

We read How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens (Henry Holt, 2012). When a lion strolls into town to purchase a hat, the townspeople are less then pleased. Fortunately, a little girl named Iris isn’t afraid of the lion, and correctly recognizes him as a well-mannered friend. Hiding the lion, however, is a little difficult. And mom is VERY upset to discover him in the house. Hiding in town once more, the lion discovers and thwarts a robbery in progress. This act wins over everyone…except Iris, who already knew how fantastic her lion friend is!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • Construction paper
  • 1 cone party hat
  • Scissors and tape/glue for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

lion

We used construction paper and a large oatmeal container to create your lion. It’s easiest to use hot glue to attach the bottom legs, mane, tail, and eyes to the container. Tape and/or glue works for everything else! You can use black construction paper for the nose, or a bit of self-adhesive foam like we did. Draw the eyes with markers, or use wiggle eyes.

I set my phone to sound an alarm close to when the kids were finishing their lions. Then I announced that the library had just sent out an alert – a burglar was on the premises! The kids and their lions headed out to the library’s lobby, where Miss Melinda was hiding, dressed in black pants, jacket, and ski mask. She also had a big pillow case with a “$” on it. As Miss Melinda made a break for it across the lobby, the kids gave chase…

chasing miss melinda Eventually, she was cornered and tagged repeatedly by oatmeal container lions. Which, admittedly, was a first for her!

miss melinda and the lionsAfter the triumphant capture of the burglar, the kids returned to the program area to make hats for their lions (which is the reward he asks for in the book). These were cone party hats, cut down to 5″. The kids decorated them with stickers and a duck quill. Very snazzy.

lion hat

The Squirrels Have It

the squirrels have it

The race for the perfect acorn is on…but will these squirrels in snazzy running shoes be able to catch the elusive offering of the Quercus borealis maxima? We made oatmeal container squirrels and designed the perfect acorn. Then, kids chased down their grown ups to “catch” said acorn. Chaotic? Yup. Did we get photos? Oh yeah!

We read Aw, Nuts! by Rob McClurkan (Harper, 2014). Acorn-loving Squirrel has been stashing nuts all season, but when the most perfect nut of them all drops from a tree, he HAS to have it. But fitting the nut into his already overcrowded home? Problem. In fact, Squirrel’s house pretty much implodes with the new addition, sending him on a cross-country chase after the runaway acorn. He finally succeeds, but wait…is that a NEW delicious acorn Squirrel sees out the window?

You’ll need:

  • 1 small oatmeal container
  • Construction paper
  • Poster board
  • 1 packing tape core
  • 1 paper bowl
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

squirrel with sneakers

The squirrel is very simple. Wrap a small oatmeal container with brown construction paper. Add arms and ears. Use markers to draw on eyes, a nose, and a mouth (or use wiggle eyes and a bit of self-adhesive foam like we did). Hot glue a dark brown poster board (or construction paper) tail to the back. The squirrel’s sneakers are white poster board, which are decorated and hot glued to the bottom of the oatmeal container. Check out these killer sneaks:

awesome squirrel sneakersNext, the acorn! This is a packing tape core. Our cores were 3.5″ tall, which is slightly taller then your average core (we get them through our recycling program). But a regular core works too. Or a small box, really. The cap of the acorn is a paper bowl that has been cut down, flattened around the tape core edges, and hot glued in place. And don’t forget the pipe cleaner stem!

enticing acornYou might have noticed the acorn looks a little…unusual. That’s because kids were instructed to make the acorn as enticing as possible. Which means going crazy with , patterned tape, and markers!

When everyone was finished, we headed outdoors to the library’s plaza to chase down some acorns. Katie was behind everyone with her camera to capture the race, I was in front snapping the blog photo, and the story time grown ups brought out their cameras to create what Katie calls “the ultimate story time paparazzi shot.”

story time paparazziWe asked the kids to line up. The grown ups, acorns in hand, got a little head start. Then on the shout of “Go!” the kids chased after their respective acorns!

acorn race 1 acorn race 2 acorn race 3