crafts · painting · paper crafts · play ideas

“Lula and the Sea Monster” by Alex Latimer

“Lula and the Sea Monster” by Alex Latimer is sweet nature-loving story about the friendship between Lula and Bean – a teeny tiny sea creature Lula finds on her beach. Only Bean does not stay little for very long and doubles in size each day. Lula loves her home and her beach and is heartbroken when her family is forced to leave to make room for a big highway. Lula soon learns that her bond with Bean is much bigger than she imagined. The illustrations are vibrant and bright. It is a beautiful story about friendship, family, and courage. Published by Peachtree Publishing Company.

Inspired Activity: Sea creature in a Rock pool

Since my oldest daughter has been spending her days this week at Music camp with Preludium Music, I have been enjoying some one-on-one bonding time with my youngest (a rarity these days). I wanted to create a simple activity my almost 2-year-old could do and enjoy. So, we made some TP roll sea monsters! Now that everyone is overstocked with TP these days, saving those paper rolls for crafts should be easy.

Supplies we used to make Bean:

  • Paper towel or toilet paper rolls
  • Various shades of orange paint
  • paint brushes and water for rinsing
  • Scrap orange, white, and black paper (for the eyes)
  • Hole punch
  • Glue stick
  • Hot glue gun

Supplies we used to make the rock pool:

  • Medium to small cardboard box
  • Blue tissue paper
  • Various colours of scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Various colours of pipe cleaners
  • Small beach rocks
  • Elmer’s white glue
  • Hot glue gun

My youngest and I spent the morning making three little sea monsters. I cut 6-8 legs out of each paper roll and gave her two to paint, and I painted one of them. As expected, her attention span for this activity was short, but it lasted just long enough to get about two creatures out of her. When she was painting though, she was focused like a hawk on her mission.

After the paint dried, I added the eyes to each roll by cutting circles out of the orange, white, and black paper (I used a hole punch for the pupil). I think they turned out so cute!

In the afternoon, after camp, I worked with my oldest daughter to make the rock pool. I prepped the box, we filled the bottom with glue, added the crinkled-up tissue paper. I then gave her some scrap paper and scissors to cut out some shapes for our sea plants. Once everything was glued in, I showed her how to curl a pipe cleaner around a pencil to create some neat sea plants. The final touches were added including some rocks and our little “Bean” creatures of course!

This project overall did not take long to complete, we had fun working together, and my youngest immediately started playing with her sea monsters in the rock pool. šŸ’•

In a Public Library Setting

Making a sea creature out of paper rolls is super easy and fun for kids. It is also a low-cost activity that could work well as a weekend drop-in program for kids ages 3-6. The sea monsters and rock pool would be a great project to do with kids after an ocean themed storytime session. Each child can make their own sea creature out of paper rolls, and older kids can make the rock pool too.

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