Teachers and parents…amazing ways to get you petites telling stories

Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling by Emily K. Neuburger (2012) is one of those books that you will check out from the library and when you have a few bucks in fines, you will realize you probably should have just bought it in the first place.

What I think is pretty fun is that I’ve actually pinned a few of her amazing activities.  Let’s talk about this book is broken into four sections: story starters, story evolution, story activities and story play.  Initially I was drawn to this book as a resource for my daughter who loves to tell stories and recently has been working very diligently on her Field Journal. (look for future posts on the Petites Field Journal).

I thought it would be really fun to make story rocks.  Have you seen these?  They are awesome.  Basically, they are just what they sound like.  Rocks that have different elements of a story on them and then you use these rocks to create different stories.  You can get the images onto the rocks in a few different ways, you can use acrylic paint to paint them on, or you can use Mod Podge with fabric, stickers or paper, etc.  Another way you could do this with older petites is with sharpie pens.

Then when you have chosen your stones and the story you want to tell you would use the stones much as you would use a doll in a doll house, or any other dramatic play item.  Another wonderful suggestion in the book is for ELL students, preschoolers the stones could be used to teach vocabulary as well.  Essentially, these stones are just really fun tactile ways to get petites talking about stories and using their imaginations.

Some of the other projects that are in this book that have now become items on our project to do list are the following:

Story Disks these are adorable and maybe a little more feasible for the classroom.  I was thinking this would be a great writers workshop/art lesson where partners could come up with a plan and make these story disks and then share them with their classmates during writers workshop.

Another piece to this that I love, is that Emily gives you an idea of how best to use these items.  It’s really fun to make them but sometimes putting them to their intended use can be challenging; but she takes the guess work right out of it and gives you ideas for how to use each project.

There are so many fantastic projects that would be hours of fun and entertainment for petites with minimal set up and cost.  I love that.  Not to mention, finding the perfect rocks for the story rocks is entertainment in itself.  This is a really great book with 40 craft projects and activities that build story telling habits in kids.

I intend to use this book for some up coming projects, as well as this summer to make sure that my petite doesn’t forget any of her learnings from this school year.  I strongly encourage you to check out this book.  If you like what you’ve seen here in this post you will love the book.  In the meantime while you’re waiting to get your hands on Emily’s book you can check out her website where there are tons of fun activities.

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Tinkerlab a hands on guide for little inventors



Feeling crafty? Book Nook Decor

A few weeks ago my best girlies and I got together to make some really fun crafts for our petites.  I absolutely adore when you see something on Pinterest, think it looks really cute and are able to execute it.  Yay!  This is a really easy activity with minimal materials needed and a nap time to complete.

Finished version

bare letters BookThe materials you will need:

  • modge podge
  • foam paintbrush
  • letters
  • book (that you are okay with taking apart)/children’s art work
  • exacto knife
  • tin foil to lay the letters on as they dry
  • nap time

The hardest part of this project was finding the four letters.  A few of the stores did not have a the complete word.  I personally like these cardboard letters.  One of my pals opted for a thinner wood version of the letters – it’s a personal preference.

So once you have all of your stuff together you just need to get ready to get messy.  Decide if you want to use the entire book page like I did above, or if you want to cut out specific images and piece it together.

Tip: If you’re using thicker paper you might want to spritz it down with a light mist of water so it is more pliable.

Using the foam brush paint the top of the letter and smooth on the book images.  If you are going to wrap the pages around the letters you will need to cut them with an exacto knife and fold them over while they are still wet and pliable.  Odds are you will not get the entire page to cover the surface and sides of the letters so you will need to piece together other strips from the book to cover it all, I chose to use the white margins as the sides.

Once you get everything sorted out how you like it, then give it a once over of the modge podge and you just let it dry.
Super easy, right?  You can make it even easier if you like, just put the book page on the top of the letter and leave the side as is or paint the sides.  The folding over does get a little tricky and messy.

Here are some of the other creations from my lovely ladies:

Bake 1

Aren’t these amazing?  My friend makes the most gorgeous cakes and is just an overall amazing baker, so these are quite fitting for her and her passion for baking.


My other pal is a brilliant mama who just ran a giveaway with me at Grace Mabel Baby  where she produces incredible baby friendly lotions and soaps perfect for the most sensitive petites.  She made this amazing G out of her petites finger paintings!  Could this be any cuter?

Whichever way you choose it you can make this really cute project all your own.  As you can see these letters are really the perfect addition to just about any space.

Happy crafting!

Tinkerlab: a hands-on guide for little inventors


I have been waiting for a really long time to get my hands on Tinkerlab, when I heard about this book I immediately put it onto my library hold list, and it was like Christmas morning learning that my hold was ready to be picked up!  Yes!  However, as soon as I opened this book I realized one thing immediately.  I should have just bought it, because it is AWESOME!  Have I mentioned recently I love quotes, well I do, I knew that this book would be awesome when this was how the introduction began.


Rachelle Doorley’s Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors is filled with helpful tips, inspiring quotes and really great parenting advice.  I found the message within the pages to be refreshing.  Rachelle Doorley explains her rationale behind how she sets up her tinker-space and immediately it made me think of the Montessori school that my husband worked in when we first met.  There was discovery, easy to accesses, but incredibly thoughtful well planned spaces and activities.  I loved the chapter all about the Ten Tinkerlab Habits of Mind, it just makes sense, is so important and thoughtful.

There is a mindfulness that is so present in this book.  Recently I saw a pinterest pin that was this beautifully displayed art tray from IKEA.  Immediately I thought of all the reasons why it wouldn’t work out and justifications to go along with it.  However, I decided to pull out all of the art supplies the petites use regularly and put them on a tray on the table and see what happens.  What happened you might ask?  Creativity.  Cooperation.  Inspiration.  As it turned out the pin that I was looking at was from this book!  Setting up your own tinkerlab might seem a little overwhelming at first, but once again, Doorley has made it so simple here is a list of her resources.

This book is not just an arts and crafts book.  It is a book that has rationales, developmental milestones and supporting ideas to get petites creating, it has encouragement and inspiration on every page.  As if Rachelle Doorley isn’t brilliant on her own, she has contributors that are professors, culinary experts, art directors, educators, directors of nursery schools and parents.  Seriously brilliant people have come together to make a handbook to inspire young minds.

Can’t get your hands on this book for a few days?  Don’t worry you can hop on over to Tinkerlabs facebook page and Pinterest to tide you over until your book comes.  If you like this post and want to know more about the books we read at The Petite Stag follow me!  Or check out The Petite Stag Facebook Page.





Love is in the Air Craft

love 3

With Valentines day just around the corner, I wanted to share a really fun and easy craft.  It takes minimal supplies and can be lots of fun.

What you need:

construction paper

blue painters tape

water color paints/finger paints/any sort of paint you have laying around


Tape out whatever word or shape you want onto the construction paper and paint away.  Let it completely dry before gently pulling off the painters tape.  Seriously that’s it, how cute is this?  The petite was so pleased with her final work, she proudly hung it up on our gallery wall.

If you end up making some awesome art, share it on The Petite Stag Facebook page, I would love to see it.



A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

Last night was eventful at our house.  The petite lost her tooth!  She could not have been more excited, it has been wiggly for weeks and the new tooth started to poke through, so it was time for this one to come out.  It’s so incredibly exciting for her, although when it first got wiggly it did cause a little anxiety.

Petite 1

With her loosing her tooth it makes you think about when you lost yours and if you had traditions or if you want to start new ones with your petites.  Thinking about my childhood there was a book that my mom got me when I lost my first tooth and I remember reading it with her when each subsequent tooth would fall out.  I wanted to round-up some of the books that we’ve read or ones that I am going to check out (she has another very loose tooth) for future teeth.

The book that is quickly becoming a tradition is:

Little Rabbits Loose ToothLittle Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate and Diane DeGroat which was first published in 1975, so if you were at the age of loosing teeth during this time, you may remember having had this delightful book read to you as a child.  I love that a book that my mom read to me is a book that I can read with my girls.  What a fun tradition.

Bear's Loose Tooth

Bear’s Loose Tooth by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is a lovely story.  I’ve written before about the Bear books and I think they are wonderful.  They are always about friendship and how friends are there for you to help you get through your worries – I love that Bears friends reassure him when his tooth is wiggly and it makes him worried.

Petite with tooth

We believe in the tooth fairy in this house.  I like the idea of having the tooth fairy pick up her spoils from outside of the bedroom – that way when she sneaks in at night she won’t risk stepping on a duplo or other devilishly sharp toy and getting found out.  I checked pinterest and found tons of really cute tutorials for tooth fairy pillows – here is the one that the petite picked out – it was surprisingly easy to make – here is the tutorial that I used from mmmcrafts.

Also, help a tooth fairy assistant out if you will, what’s the going rate for a tooth these days with inflation and cost of living we weren’t sure.