Hedgehog Craft and Book Activities

As I mentioned in yesterday’s forest post, we are combining many of our Christmas activities with learning about forests and forest animals. Of course, that left me with a ton of possible ideas for things to learn about this month. Earlier this school year the kids were able to observe and touch a hedgehog as part of story time at our local zoo. It was an experience that stuck with them, so I decided that would be a great animal to learn a little more about.

To begin our discussion we found Europe on our globe. Hedgehogs are primarily found in Europe, but some species can be found in Africa. I also showed the kids some pictures of hedgehogs on our iPad, and the kids quickly recalled how cute that little hedgehog was at the zoo. Before our discussion, I read some facts about hedgehogs from Animal Corner, so that I would be able to answer their questions.

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Forest Theme Activities

One Snowy Night

I had often seen, but never read M. Christina Butler’s books about Little Hedgehog, so I was excited to include them in this study. First we read One Snowy Night. It is a sweet story about a gift Little Hedgehog receives that doesn’t quite fit, so he passes it along. It ends up being passed from friend to friend, until it unexpectedly helps Little Hedgehog when he is lost. The sequence of this story lent itself to great retelling practice. We read it a couple of times and the kids practiced telling who tried on the hat and why it didn’t workout for that animal.

As I was planning this unit I was inspired by the hedgehog craft for preschool hibernation from Rainy Day Mum, so I knew I wanted to incorporate a hedgehog craft of some sort. We started out by tracing hand prints on two shades of brown paper. To make the project go a little faster, for each child I used two stacks of paper four sheets thick. That way I could cut out many hand prints at one time. The kids fanned the hand prints out, and we stapled them together.

Forest Theme Activities

Then we practiced rolling a piece of paper into a cone. We trimmed the edges to flatten the base, and we taped the cone in place. Then we added a brown pom-pom nose and two googly eyes. I would have preferred some cute brown button eyes like the ones we all remembered from our friend at the zoo, but Lovey has added all of our craft buttons to her collages lately.

This was my original thought for the craft, but then one of the kids asked about his hat. Ooh, good idea, and I loved that they remembered the details from the story!

One Snowy Night Book Activities

We found some red felt and a red pom-pom and made a quick red hat.

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Then we attached Little Hedgehog to his cozy red hat, and the kids were happy with their creations.

One Snowy Night Book Activities

One Winter’s Day

One Winter’s Day is another book in this series, and I think it was my favorite one. In this story Little Hedgehog’s home is blown away in a storm so he sets off to stay at his friend’s house until the storm passes. Along the way, he generously gives his hat, mittens, and scarf to friends in need. At the end he is surprised by how all of his friends come together to return the favor.

This story gave us a great opportunity to talk about generosity and kindness to others. Like the first story, it was also a great plot to use for practicing retelling the sequence of events. The kids could easily tell me the problem at the beginning of the story, who Little Hedgehog shared his things with, and how the story ended.

After reading this story we tried to create playdough hedgehogs. During our nature walk we collected a lot of pine needles for various projects, so I thought maybe we could use some of them to make our hedgehogs. I left the pine needles stuck together and trimmed them to about three inches long so that they would be long enough for the kids to work with. If I did this again, I would probably cut the pine needles a bit shorter.

To begin the kids practiced making a large ball, and then we pitched the front to look more like a pointy snout.

Forest Theme Activities

The kids really enjoyed pressing the ends of the needles into the ball of play dough. They concentrated on placing them very carefully and really focused on covering the whole surface. They were so quiet and engaged.

Forest Theme Activities

When they ran out of pine needles (I think they would have gone on forever if I had more), we added googly eyes and a Whopper candy nose. And Lovey exclaimed, “Um, I think it’s a porcupine, Mom.” We took a minute to talk about this observation using this short essay written by a kid about the differences between porcupines and hedgehogs. Honestly, I think I am learning as much as the kids this year! In the end we all agreed that it could be a porcupine, and decided that next time we should trim the pine needles a bit more.

Forest Theme Activities

One Christmas Night

The last story we read about Little Hedgehog was One Christmas Night. Tinker especially loved the glittery pages in this one. She spent a lot of time sitting and feeling the pages. In this story Little Hedgehog is getting ready for Christmas but feels like something is missing until all of his friends are there. After reading this story we talked about friendship and and things we like to do with our friends.

Have you read any of these stories or created any hedgehog crafts with your kids? I would love to hear more ideas to include next time.

The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book

Want more great play dough ideas and inspiration? I can’t say enough about The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book written by Cathy James of NurtureStore. It has quickly become a handy reference guide for me regarding all things play dough. The book contains:

  • all the recipes you need for the activities in the book including non-cook and cooked play dough, gluten-free dough, salt dough, modelling dough, and real bread.
  • ideas for 52 weeks of loose parts play, in a printable poster format
  • a whole year of play dough activities, arranged seasonally. There’s an idea for every week of the year including sensory and imaginary play, storytelling, art ideas, small worlds, math activities, reading and writing ideas.

homemade play dough recipe 8

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for posting! I linked to this post and your site in my blog post here: http://readtomemommy.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/12-days-of-christmas-reads-day-9-one-snowy-night-by-m-christina-butler-tina-macnaughton/ I hope it’s okay! Thanks again, love your site!
    Lauren recently posted..12 Days of Christmas Reads, Day 9: One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler & Tina MacnaughtonMy Profile

  2. I love these hedgehogs! SO cute!! Thanks for linking these up in the Share It Saturday party!
    Colleen
    Sugar Aunts recently posted..Share It Saturday! 1-12-13My Profile

  3. Way too cute! My kids love hedghogs ; ) Hopping over from Share it Saturday!
    Lisa recently posted..Share It Saturday Link-UpMy Profile

  4. Oh my goodness, that is ADORABLE! One of my best friends is a huge hedgehog fan. I’m gonna have to show her this.

    Have you read the Jan Brett Hedgie books?

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!
    Ticia recently posted..Friday Games: Walk the DogsMy Profile

  5. That’s the book my son brought home from his school library this week. We’ll be reading it over the weekend. What an adorable craft to go with it too. Thanks for sharing. I’m visiting from the Children’s Bookshelf.
    Renee C. recently posted..Featured Guest Reviewer: Iona @ Redpeffer’s BlogMy Profile

  6. Love this! My 3.5 year old daughter would absolutely enjoy reading and doing the crafts! I chose this post to be featured over on my blog for this week’s co-op. Go ahead and check it out if you want!

    http://www.homelearningjourney.com/the-weekly-kids-co-op-1213/
    Kendall recently posted..Spread Candy Cane CheerMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for the feature, Kendall! I shared your features via Facebook, and I hope you and your daughter get a chance to do the crafts some time.

  7. What darling ideas!!! I love the craft projects you’ve created here. Thanks so much for sharing at For the Kids Fridays at Sun Scholars! I’m pinning this to a couple of my boards on Pinterest, and you are featured at this week’s party!!!

    Stop by and grab an A++ badge to brag to your friends :)
    Rachel recently posted..Creative Christmas Countdown: Day 12My Profile

  8. Very cute! Jan Brett has some hedgehog books, too. Have you read those?

  9. Your hedgehog crafts are adorable! The book looks cute too.

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I will be sharing it on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page tomorrow.
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Bird Ornaments- Read.Explore.Learn.My Profile

  10. I love the storybook One Snowy Night! I have pinned your craft onto my Winter Pinterest board to use with my kids during the month of January. Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

  11. These are brand-new-to-me titles, and they sound delightful! Are you familiar with Jan Brett’s stories? She has written about hedgehogs. I love the art activities, too.

    Thank you so much for linking up to Read Aloud Thursday!
    Amy @ Hope Is the Word recently posted..‘Tis the SeasonMy Profile

    • I am so glad I could share something new with you. I do like the books! Yes, we are fans of Jan Brett’s stories. We will be using a couple of them int the coming weeks. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  12. Those hedgehogs are adorable! Stopping by from Kids Co-Op.
    Melanie recently posted..Customized Picture BooksMy Profile

  13. Coming from the UK, those books are unfamiliar to me – but have you ever read the Beatrix Potter story of Mrs. Tiggywinkle, or the “Little Grey Rabbit” books (there are several) by Alison Uttley. The latter may now be out of print, but may be available on Kindle, and feature a Hedgehog as one of Little Grey Rabbit’s friend called Fuzzypeg! Did enjoy reading this post!

    Isobel – http://www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com

    • Thanks for the great recommendations, Isobel! I am not familiar with those books, but I will definitely see if I can find them through our library.

  14. Love this post. My 4 year old daughter has been obssesed w/ hedgehogs ever scince seeing her older cousins pet hedgehog at Thanksgiving. I am going to use some of these ideas with her. By the way, Jan Brett’s books have alot of hedgehogs in them too.
    - Hannah
    Homeschool mom to 3 ages 4,6,and 7

    • Thank you! I understand her obsession. I didn’t realize how cute they were until we touched one at the zoo. And thanks for the reminder about the Jan Brett books. I have been debating whether to do a Jan Brett mini-unit…so many ideas, so little time, right? :)

  15. how adorable are those crafts! what a fun lesson! Feel free to stop by and link your post up to Learn and Link http://mamato3blessings.blogspot.com/2012/12/learn-link-legend-of-candy-cane-unit.html
    Have a great weekend!
    Nicole (Mama to 4 Blessings) recently posted..LEARN & LINK – LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE UNIT STUDY ALONG W/ ACTIVITY & RECIPEMy Profile

  16. We love this books series too and this is such a cute craft to go with it! Visiting from TGIF!
    Kelly at Little Wonders’ Days recently posted..Celebrating St. Nicholas DayMy Profile

  17. These are adorable hedgehog activities!! I hope you don’t mind, but I just linked to it in our hibernation post under our hedgehog craft. :) http://nodoubtlearning.com/2012/11/27/winter-hideaway-wednesday-hibernation-games-and-activities/
    Andrea @ No Doubt Learning recently posted..Winter Hideaway Wednesday: Hibernation Math and Language ArtsMy Profile

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