Even with practically zero prep and minimal supplies, this story time will get kids sharing and giggling at different crazy creature combinations. The silliness is endless!
We recommend reading I Saw a Bullfrog by Ellen Stern (Random House, 2003). Playful from the very start, this book takes kids through the twisted linguistics and hilarious illustrations of a bullfrog (bull head and frog body), rat snake (rat head and snake body), tiger shark (tiger head and shark body), and so on. At the very end, however, the author provides the actual illustrations and interesting information about the real mammals, reptiles, plants, insects, and birds depicted in the book.
- Paper plates (the sturdier the better)
- Pencil, ruler, and scissors for construction
- Markers for decorating
The key to getting this project to work? Making sure your creatures’ body sections ultimately mix and match with the other paper plates. In order to do this, use a ruler and a pencil to divide the bottom of each paper plates into 3 sections. Then make 2 little “notches” along each dividing line. I made my notches at 2″ and 4″ like so:
That’s ALL the prep you need! Now draw your creatures on the plates (we went fantastical instead of realistic). Make sure the necks, bodies, and tails start and stop along the notches:
Cut the paper plate along the pencil lines, resulting in 3 separate pieces. Have the kids walk around the room with their pieces, mixing and matching with others. The results are very funny…
You might wonder why we used paper plates instead of index cards or pieces of paper. We found the elevation of the paper plates nice to draw on, and the workspace just tall and wide enough for many forms of creatures. Also, the raised edges of the paper plates make it easy for little hands to pick up, manipulate, and match the pieces.