One of my favorite things to do when I was a little girl was to lie on my back and look up at the sky. When I laid very still and looked up, I thought I could actually feel the world twirling. It really didn’t matter if it was day or night, I loved the sky. I loved the vastness of it. I loved the wide range of colors from light gray to black and all those lovely blues in between. Although I found the sky interesting no matter what was going on, oh how I dearly loved the puffy cumulus clouds drifting across periwinkle skies! To say I could watch them for hours was no exaggeration. As a child we often took cross country trips and it was always a treat when we were accompanied by cotton candy masses of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere. My brothers and I would find shapes in the clouds and eagerly watch for them to morph into something else.
Oh, who am I kidding? I still love to watch the clouds. Sometimes I imagine my grandma’s gamboling across the sky on one, looking down and waving. Sometimes I watch for storms. Other times I just love to see shapes. When I’m feeling particularly introspective, I imagine the sky to be a giant teacup and I read the clouds as if they were tea leaves. The sky. What a treat!
Summer is a great time to do some serious cloud watching. If you are observing the sky with wee ones, when you come inside, why not read one of these “cloudy” books. All three are personal favorites of mine that I have shared with my preschool classes and own children. Check them out on Amazon or your local library.
The Cloud Book can be found HERE.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk can be found HERE.
Little Cloud can be found HERE.
These books and the cloud craft are also scheduled in our Puddles and Ponds Homeschool Companion unit.
When you are done reading the books, make your very own book fashioned after It Looked Like Spilt Milk. We made a class book every year when I taught preschool, and it was always a well loved activity and a much enjoyed class book. Must admit I had a lot of fun today when I was making the book for this tutorial. Shhh. I am sending it to Little Guy and Little Lady and asking them to make me their very own cloud picture.
- 1 piece 18″ x 12″ piece of blue construction paper or 2 pieces 9″ x 12″
- 4 pieces white printer paper (construction paper is hard for young children to rip)
- large needle
- embroidery floss
- markers (I used a Spectrum Noir marker)
- white pen (I used a Signo uni-ball UM153)
- glue stick
Note: Depending on the age of the child parents will probably need to prep the books. With supervision many children will be able to actually sew the book together, but they will be using a poky needle so monitor closely. Also, the book can be stapled together but the pages will not turn as nicely as a sewn book.
Begin by cutting the blue construction paper so you have 2 pieces 9″ x 12″. Fold each of these in half vertically and place one inside the other.
On the inside of the book along the crease use a rule to mark every 1/2″.
Using a large needle, and holding the 2 pieces together, pierce holes through all the marks. This will make it much easier to sew.
Make a large knot at the end of your floss and using a running stitch sew the 2 pieces of paper together. When you begin to sew start on the outside so your knot will be outside. When you finish, you will have to back-stitch one hole so your needle will be on the outside of the book. Knot the thread and cut off leaving a small tail.
You are now ready to make your clouds. Cut each piece of printer paper in half vertically. I made this book horizontal because clouds are mostly horizontal. The book will be read horizontally so keep that in mind when clouds are being made.
Suggestion: The clouds are ripped. You do not use scissors. There are two ways to make the clouds. First, you can just have your child rip the paper in any manner they would like and when they are done they can decide what their cloud looks like. I know from experience that most preschoolers and ever kindergartners will rip long, straight pieces of paper, and they’ll have lots of pencils, straws, railroad tracks, etc.
Another way to approach it is to loosely draw a shape to help guide the rips. When the child is done ripping, it may not look like what was originally drawn, but that’s okay. They can decide what it looks like! Below, in the finished book, my snail was suppose to be a turtle. It looked more like a snail to me when I was done so a snail it was! When gluing the clouds to your book, put glue on the side of the cloud that has pencil marks and you’ll never see them when they are on the page.
Assembling the book:
Position the book so the sewn edge is at top and the book opens from the bottom to top. For the front cover rip a cloud. Glue to to the cover. Have the child think of a name for her book and write the name in marker. If children need help you can lightly write the words in pencil and they can trace with marker. Make sure to include the author’s name on the front page.
Rip 6 more clouds. Open the book from bottom to top. Glue a cloud to each of the pages so they are both right side up with the book open. Leave room at the bottom so you can write text. Taking dictation, have children complete the sentence. “It looked like…” Encourage them to use descriptive words.
For the back of the book, fold the last page up so the sewn edge is at the bottom. (Note: It will look like it has been added to the book upside down.) Add a cloud to this page with words inside the cloud. In the book the actual words are “It was just a cloud in the sky.” Make sure to put the date on the bottom.
I bet this will become one of your child’s favorite books that they will quickly begin to “read” all by themselves.
FYI: Wee Folk Art is an affiliate of Amazon