crafts · holidays

“Where are you Bear?: A Canadian Alphabet Adventure” by Frieda Wishinsky

Today is Canada Day, and in celebration of our nations birthday the girls and I made some fun Canadian maple leaf noise makers. There are so many fantastic Canadian themed books to choose from, not to mention some great Canadian authors and illustrators as well, but today our inspiration comes from this book called “Where are you Bear? A Canadian Alphabet Adventure” written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by fellow Canadian Sean L. Moore. Published by Owl Kids Books.

Our character Sophie takes the reader on a Canadian alphabet adventure as she travels across Canada to visit her grandmother, all the while her little stuffed bear is not far behind her, eager to reunite. I wanted to share this book because there are few Canadian alphabet books (if any that I know of) that focus on traveling through the country and showcasing Canadiana features along the way.

Inspired Activity: Maple leaf Noise Makers

Supplies needed for this project:

  • Red acrylic paint (markers or crayons will also work)
  • Dowels or sticks
  • Red and white ribbon and/or yarn (any ribbon or fabric pieces will do)
  • Bells (with a loop for stringing) or any other noise making item, perhaps
  • Cutout maple leaves – we used cardboard and a stencil, but any maple leaf cutout can work. For older kids, have them draw and cutout their own maple leaves!

Step one was painting the maple leaves. This was the easy part for both kids. They each got to paint two leaves and once they were dry, I hot glued the dowels in between the painted red leaves.

Step two was a little trickier for both girls – decorating. This meant tying knots, which meant my toddler could not do it, but it was good practice for my oldest. I helped them both put most of their noise makers together by tying on the bells and helping with the ribbons and string. They both got to choose how much they wanted and how they wanted it to look. My oldest (4 yrs.) had less trouble tying knots but she struggled with the curly ribbon and got frustrated. I always stay close by to step in and help as much as needed. Hence, the string option, much easier for little hands to tie!

I find in general when crafting with kids, especially when it is a challenging task, it can be very helpful (for them and for your sanity) to offer them options. This gives them some control over their task even if they have trouble doing it. For example, I knew my youngest could not tie a knot, but I would ask her ‘what ribbon do you want?’ or ‘what color goes first?’ and she always made a choice. Once the ribbons were all in place, I reinforced them on the dowel with more hot glue.

For our American friends, this project can easily be altered as a 4th of July noise maker. The red maple leaf could instead be a white star, and the ribbons can be a mixture of red, white, and blue.

Let the celebrations begin, eh!

Happy Canada Day!

In a Public Library setting:

This craft project would make a great weekend drop-in program for kids ages 4+ just before Canada day.

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