Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Toddler Book plus Activities: Olivia

Sweet Turtle Soup - Toddler Book plus Activities: Olivia
The Olivia books by Ian Falconer are nice and simple reads but pack a lot of cute. We've only read a few of them...the Fairy Princesses one is another fave, but they are rather memorable. Plus, I think they lend themselves well to all sorts of activities.

It has been a piggy kind of a week around here.

Here are five activities that we did to go along with "Olivia":

DIY Pig EarsDIY Pig Ears
DIY Pig Ears
DIY Pig Ears
When in doubt, wear pig ears? These have been a big hit with Aria. She has worn them daily since I made them, which was Sunday if you follow me on instagram.
They are a super simple craft. Pick up 1-2 pieces of pink felt - I squeezed four ears on a single piece, and headbands. You'll also need hot glue, scissors, and a pig ear stencil. 
I'm sure you could find a pig ear template online, but I just did one freehand on a piece of paper so I had something to trace onto the felt. You'll want it to be two pig ear shapes connected at the bottom so you can wrap them around your headband. Trace out however many ears you are in need of on the felt and cut out the shapes. Get your hot glue gun ready, wrap your pig ears around the headband, and glue in place. Let dry. Wear!

P is for Pig foot print artwork
I need more foot print and hand print art in my life. They always make me happy. Our P is for Pig foot print artwork is hanging on the refrigerator. 
Big P little p, what begins with p...

homemade kinetic sand
Since Olivia makes sandcastles on sunny days, I thought I'd make Aria some kinetic sand. I actually made 50 lbs of the stuff, which was simple yet an arm workout. Best of all it kept Aria occupied for just under an hour the next morning. Solo play. I didn't even know what to do with myself. It was amazing. I've been waiting for another less rainy morning to bring it out again. It was also probably a good thing I made 50 lbs because she spilled half of what I put in her water table onto the porch - I just washed it away with the hose. I would not bring this in the house, but she did enjoy herself immensely.
How to make your own:
Mix 50 lbs of play sand ($2.50 at Home Depot) with 6 cups of corn starch. Mix, mix, mix and mix some more.
Then gently stir together 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap (like Dawn) with 3 cups of water. Add that into your corn starch sand and mix again. Mix, mix, mix.
If it is too wet let it dry out in the open air a bit, and if it is too dry add a bit more water. 
Store in an air tight container. can also cut the recipe in half or more, but apparently play sand comes in 50 lbs bags. Also, I would not play with this with a toddler that is still putting everything in his or her mouth. I came across an article about a dog that got into the kinetic sand and had to have emergency surgery because it would not pass out of his body. So keep it stored safely away and out of reach.

Sweet Turtle Soup - recipe - spaghetti and meatballs
Since I can't pass up the chance to bake or cook something that goes along with a book, we made spaghetti and meatballs like Olivia has after a good bath. Naturally Aria doesn't eat pasta because she is anti-pasta, but it is one of my favorite meals - recipe found here!

splatter painting
This activity is the first that came to mind when I was brainstorming ideas to go along with Olivia. She goes to the art museum and doesn't understand the Jackson Pollock painting, then recreates it at home on the wall. We opted for outside on a big piece of paper instead. I used a couple condiment type squirt bottles and filled them with a little water and a little paint. Then Aria went to town squirting the paper. It was surprisingly not messy. She only missed the paper a few times.

There you have it, 5 activities to go along with "Olivia" by Ian Falconer.

What are your favorite toddler books that lend themselves well to activities? 

*amazon affiliate links  

For 5 activities that go along with "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" by Laura Numeroff click here!

For 5 activities that go along with "Bear Wants More" by Karma Wilson click here!

And, don't forget to join us tomorrow for the second link up of our Summer Reading Challenge - 12 weeks, 12 books. Ready, set, read!


  1. That splatter paint idea looks so fun!!! I will have to try that out on a day where we don't have plans so a bath can promptly happen right after LOL. Mason is MESSY with crafts (as I learned from trying to make fireworks last weekend)!

  2. You have the best ideas for the books you read!
    I had no idea kinetic sand was that easy (and inexpensive) to make on your own! I'm going to have to remember to whip up a batch when our current kinetic sand runs out (because apparently keeping it in its designated try is impossible for a 3-year old).

  3. You always have the greatest book and craft ideas! I keep saying I want to try these myself and I really need to. You and Aria must have so much fun doing these types of things together!

  4. OLIVIA!!! The Fairy Princesses is hands down my favorite, you cant go wrong when a children's book starts out with "Olivia was depressed." Ha! Have you seen the Olivia cartoon on Nickelodeon? Its cute too. We actually watch it on Amazon Prime. That pig ears headband is too darling.

  5. You always do such fun things with books. Have you read Andrea from Momfessional? She did a whole thing with dragon eats tacos? I think it was last week. She's done other books too. You guys are too creative. Adding Olivia books of books to get for Mini Fox.

  6. Oh that Olivia! She can be quite frisky that one. Such fun ideas! And that kinetic sand? Why not just regular sand? I feel like I am out of the loop here and I'm the only one who doesn't know.

  7. Thanks for the ideas, I am going to steal a few! Aria is lucky to have such a creative momma!

  8. I love that you work in activities to tie into the books you read! Aria is going to be set by the time she goes to kindergarten :) I've never read the Olivia books, but based on this, I'm adding it to our library list.

  9. This is so stinking cute! I love those piggy ears!

  10. You are such a fun mama! Love all of these crafts! I'm a wee bit obsessed with little piglets so naturally, I'm loving those pig ears. ;) I don't fully understand what exactly kinetic sand is..chemistry wasn't my strong suit. Ha!

  11. Love these activities! You come up with the best ideas! Can I just tell you what we're currently reading and you tell me what fun stuff to do along with it? The pig footprint is my fave, so cute! But you really can't beat solo play. One whole hour? That's like Christmas came early.

  12. So that's what the errand stops were for :), I love the piggy ears. I may just have to use that with Emily in Pre-K this year.

  13. We love Olivia books in our house! All of your crafts and activities are seriously so cute. Way to go, and thanks for sharing!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! I love them oh so much. I respond via email so please be sure to have your email linked. If not check back for responses via the thread.