I Am Kitten, Hear Me Snore

i am kitten, hear me snoreGet ready for bed with a cozy nightcap and flickering lantern. You might, however, want to bring some earplugs…someone out there is snoring to beat the band, and it’s going to take some searching to find out who (hint: think furry and very, very cute)!

We read Roar of a Snore, written by Marsha Diane Arnold, and illustrated by Pierre Pratt (Dial Books, 2006). It’s night, and the household slumbers peacefully. Except Jack. He’s wide awake, being treated to a roof-lifting, floor-rumbling, full-on ROAR of a snore. Who is disturbing the peace? Jack systematically awakens the residents of the house, who join the investigation. Eventually, the entire family find themselves in the barn’s hay loft, where the culprit is revealed. Who knew a tiny little kitten could make so much noise?

You’ll need:

  • 1 strip of poster board (approximately 1.75″ x 22″)
  • 1 sheet of tissue paper (mine was 20.5″ x 30″)
  • A selection of self-adhesive foam shapes
  • 1 rectangle of yellow construction paper(approximately 2.75″ x 8″)
  • 1 piece of ribbon (approximately 4.75″ long)
  • A selection of color masking tape
  • 1 9oz plastic cocktail glass
  • 1 square of circle of white poster board or mirror board (mine was 4″ x 4″)
  • 2 mini tin foil pie plates (mine were 2.75″ in diameter)
  • 1 sparkle stem (or regular pipe cleaner)
  • 1 LED votive
  • A selection of foil star stickers (optional)
  • 1 snoring kitten (more on this below)
  • Stapler, scissors, and tape for construction

We’ll begin with the nightcap! Lay a sheet of tissue paper (in landscape orientation) on a table. Place a 1.75″ x 22″ strip of poster board at the bottom of the tissue paper.

nightcap step 1Fold the bottom edge of the tissue paper halfway up the poster board strip. Secure in place with multiple pieces of tape.

nightcap step 2Now roll the poster board strip upward, once. This is the “hatband” for your nightcap.

nightcap step 3Trim the excess panels of tissue paper off. The excess panels are the sections that are not attached to the hatband (the cuts are demonstrated below with dotted lines).

nightcap step 4Circle the hatband around your head, and secure the ends together with staples.

nightcap step 5Decide how tall you’d like your nightcap to be, then bunch the tissue paper together at the top. Secure with color masking tape (I used purple tape). Regular tape works as well!

nightcap step 6Trim the excess tissue paper off the top of the hat.

nightcap step 7Set the hat aside for just a moment…it’s time for the tassel! Fringe a 2.75″ x 8″ rectangle of yellow construction paper, then tape a 4.75″ piece of ribbon to one end. Roll the paper around the ribbon, and secure the paper roll with tape. Tape the tassel to the top of the hat (I used purple masking tape once again – regular works too). The final step is to decorate the hatband with self-adhesive foam shapes!

finished nightcapThe hat is done, now for the lantern! My lantern consists of a plastic cup, 2 mini tin foil pie pans, a circle of mirror board, a sparkle stem, and an LED votive. However, if you don’t have these supplies (or if you’d like to construct a simpler lantern) I recommend this super easy one. Otherwise, read on…

Begin by tracing the mouth of a 9oz plastic cocktail cup onto a square of poster board (or silver mirror board). Tape the circle to the top of a mini pie pan. This forms the base of your lantern.

bottom of snore lanternTo make the lantern’s handle, punch both ends of a sparkle stem through a second mini pie pan. Twist the loose ends together. Tape the pie pan handle to the bottom of the plastic cup like so:

top of snore lanternPlace an LED votive in the center of the lantern’s base, then put the plastic cup handle on top of the base. Since you want to be able to open the lantern to get to the LED votive, use tape to create a “hinge” on one side of the cup, and masking tape to make a “latch” on the other side (you can see my latch below, in purple). Finish by adding some (optional) foil star stickers to the plastic cup.

finished snore lanternWhen your nightcap and lantern are finished, it’s time to play the “Find the Snore” game, starring THIS fantastic snoring kitten!

snoring kittenI drew the kitten on a small poster board facade, then taped it to a hand-held tape recorder. I bought it back in 2003 when I needed something inexpensive to record and transcribe my dissertation interviews. A quick Google search led me to a snoring sound track, which I recorded right out of my computer’s desktop speakers.

snoring tape recorderWhen it came time to play “Find the Snore,” we darkened the gallery, and asked the kids to cover their eyes while I hid the kitten and pressed “play” on the recorder. Wearing their nightcaps and carrying their lanterns, the kids had to follow the snore to find the kitten!

searching for snoresThe first few times, I kept the kitten fairly low to the ground, or just above eye level.

kitten on the hearth

But the final time, I stuck it waaaay up high, and watched them dash around for quite a while. They heard it, but couldn’t find it! Eventually, however, they spotted the kitten, snoring away overhead.

kitten up high

If you don’t have a tape recorder, a smartphone would work too. Or get a staff member to brush up on his/her comic snoring and hide (bonus points if he/she wears cat ears).

Will The Real Sasquatch Please Stand Up?

the real sasquatchIt’s tall, furry, reclusive, and tree-hugging. Long considered to be a myth, we’re going to prove that the elusive sasquatch does, in fact, exist.

We read Larf by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press, 2012). Larf is a sasquatch. The only sasquatch in the world. He likes his quiet life in the woods with his bunny, Eric. But one day, while reading the newspaper, Larf learns that a sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance at a nearby city. Another sasquatch? Despite his love for solitude, Larf decides to brave the trip to see if there is someone like him. Navigating the city (with Eric in a baby bjorn), Larf is scared, anxious, self-conscious, and full of doubts. But he sticks it out, and discovers that the sasquatch is…a fake. Disappointed, Larf is waiting for the bus to take him home, when someone compliments him on his bunny. Lo and behold! It’s another sasquatch! Shurl (with her companion bird, Patricia) came to the city thinking she was the only sasquatch. It looks like the two loners, are not longer lonely!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • 1 sasquatch parts template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ paper
  • 2 paper towel tubes (make sure they’re the same height)
  • Some tagboard or brown poster board
  • Dark brown, light brown, and white construction paper
  • 1 piece of crepe paper streamer (mine was approximately 27″)
  • Several large plastic buttons for counterweights, if needed
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

The trickiest part of the this project is getting the sasquatch to balance on its paper towel tube legs. Other than that, it’s very simple, and the templates for all the project parts can be found on the sasquatch parts template. You’ll need lots of construction paper fringes too.

We’ll build from the bottom up! Trace two feet from the template onto tagboard, card board, or heavy-duty poster board. Hot glue the feet to the bottom of a pair of paper towel tubes, then wrap the tubes with several rows of brown construction paper fringe. Use markers to add toenails if you’d like.

sasquatch legsSet the legs aside for a moment. Wrap an oatmeal container with brown construction paper. Add a fringe of brown construction paper around the bottom of the container like a skirt. Trace the face and ears from the template onto light brown construction paper, then tape or glue them to the container. Add eyes, eyebrows, and draw a nose and mouth. Add brown construction paper fringes around the face and head.

faceLarf wears a scarf in the book, so we added a scarf (and a t-shirt) to our sasquatches. The t-shirt was a 5″ x 18″ piece of white construction paper. Kids used markers to draw a design on the t-shirt, then wrapped it around the middle of the oatmeal container. The scarf was a 27″ piece of crepe paper streamer (fringed on the ends of course). Some kids made hair bows out of crepe paper streamers as well. Very cute!

To make the arms, trace the arm template onto 2 pieces of tagboard, add some hair fringes, and hot glue the arms to the sides of the oatmeal container (you can’t see them in the below photo, but I added white short-sleeved t-shirt sleeves to the arms too). Cut some thumbs into the hands, then curl the arms around the chest and hot glue the hands together. Your sasquatch’s arms will now form a circle in front of his/her chest like so:

attached armsNow for the trickiest step. Hot gluing the legs to the bottom of the oatmeal container. Stand the legs up on a level surface and lower the body on top of them. You’ll know right away if the body needs to be adjusted left, right, forward, or backward. When you think you’ve struck the right balance, remove the body, squeeze some hot glue around the rims of the leg tubes, and gently lower the body on top of the hot glue.

If your sasquatch is still a little wobbly, use large plastic buttons as counterweights. Hot glue them to the underside of the body – front or back – as needed. Here’s a shot of the underside of my sasquatch, with a couple button counterweights attached.

counterbalance buttonsThe sasquatch is finished, but we’re not quite done with the project! You’ll notice a tree and bunny shape on the template. We made trees (with brown paper trunks) and bunnies (with white pom-pom tails) as prizes for a sasquatch finding game.

tree and bunnyOutside, we collected the sasquatches and hid them all over the library’s plaza. Then we shouted “1-2-3-Go!” and the kids dashed off to locate their furry friends.

taking offthe searchsasquatch foundThe reward for discovery was a bunny and a tree, tucked safely into the sasquatch’s arms. Awwwww!

the real sasquatchBelieve it or not, this isn’t the first sasquatch activity I’ve posted on this blog. Here’s another project for older kids that also involves a slightly different sort of search!

Searching for Sasquatch

sasquatchA sasquatch is on the loose, and it will take 2 resourceful kids to find him! Our story time teams ventured into our gallery to find a hidden sasquatch. One team member had no idea where he was hiding. The other team member knew exactly where he was hiding, but could only give directions by saying “Hot” or “Cold.” The prize was a personalized “Certificate of Merit for Sasquatch Catching,” and a sasquatch ornament to take home! This activity was part of To Be Continued, our story time for kids ages 6-8.

ornament and certificateWe read The Imaginary Veterinary Book 1: The Sasquatch Escape, written by Suzanne Selfors, and illustrated by Dan Santat (Little, Brown, 2013). Ben Silverstein, age 10, has been exiled for the summer. While his parents work through some troubles, Ben is sent to stay with his Grandpa Abe in the town of Buttonville, middle of nowhere, USA. Once bustling, Buttonville is quickly sliding into disrepair after the enormous button factory shut down. But things are not what they seem. A giant bird swooping through the night sky looks a lot like a dragon. The “bat” Grandpa’s cat dragged in? It breathes fire! Eventually, Ben and his new friend, Pearl Petal, learn that the old button factory has been converted into a top secret hospital for Imaginary Creatures. And Ben accidentally lets the sasquatch out. Can Ben and Pearl catch the sasquatch before the whole town discovers the secret?

You’ll need:

First, print the big sasquatch. You can simply cut it out, or you can reinforce it with some  tagboard or poster board. Since my sasquatch was going to get a real workout, I reinforced it with tagboard and added a triangular base.

front and back of sasquatchHere’s a shot of the base from the side. I secured it with hot glue, but tape works too!

base of sasquatchTo play the game, divide the kids into teams of 2 (rather than let them team up with their buddies, I had them put their names in a box and randomly drew to create the teams). The first team member hid his/her eyes while I hid the sasquatch in the gallery. The second team member watched me hide it, so he/she knew exactly where it was. When I said “Go!” the teams started to search for the sasquatch. The first team member proceeded through the gallery, relying on the second team member to direct him/her towards the sasquatch using the words “Hot” (i.e. getting close to it) and “Cold” (i.e. moving away from it). Teams ran twice so each kid got a chance to find the sasquatch AND be the one to give directions.

When we were finished, everyone received a “Certificate of Merit” for catching the sasquatch – which is exactly what Ben and Pearl earn in the books! The frame clipart I used didn’t extend to a full-size page, so I trimmed the certificate down to 8.5″ x 9.5″.  I also fancied up my certificates with an embossed gold foil seal.

certificateKids also received a mini sasquatch ornament. Basically, it’s a smaller version of the big guy with a piece of twine taped to the back:

taped ornamentYou could, of course, give each kid a “full-size” sasquatch. Totally up to you!

I tend not to incorporate food into many of my programs because of food allergies, but another fantastic prize would be a bar of chocolate. In the book, a chocolate bar is an essential tool in the “Sasquatch Catching Kit” (along with a tranquilizer dart, blowpipe, net, fog bomb, and a sasquatch calling whistle). Just don’t ask the sasquatch any questions. It’ll make him angry.

A final word about The Sasquatch Escape. Not only did my story time kids love this book, my son and I are currently blasting through the series. They are funny, fantastical, unusual, and terrific to read-aloud. As one boy in the program said about halfway through the book, “This is the BEST book I’ve ever heard!” Absolutely worth checking out!