Activities inspired by books are a brilliant way to make the reading experience interactive, creative and playful. Children also develop a range of skills when they make things but that’s for the adults to think about – young people can focus on the fun bits.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Where some people see rubbish, Rosie Revere sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats. Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.
Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose, who shows her that a first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate.
Rosie comes up with all sorts of inventions, some of which try to fix a problem – like the hat which keeps snakes away for her zookeeper Uncle Fred and the heli-o-cheese-copter to help her great-great-aunt Rose fly.
Ask the child you’re working with to think of
(i) something they really want to do and/or
(ii) a problem they’d really like to fix.
Next, hand them a sheet of paper and plenty of art and craft material and ask them to illustrate ideas for imaginative inventions which would help make it happen.
Rosie used everyday materials she found around her to create all her inventions.
Ask the child you’re working with to wander around the house on a quest to collect objects which are going to be thrown away or things which are broken and no longer useful or any other things which can be recycled.
Now ask them to experiment and create something using the gathered materials. You can combine this with the previous activity where these recycled inventions can be ideas for fixing problems. Alternatively, you can ask them to come up with uses for the invention once it is actually ready.
Sometimes Rosie’s inventions work, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes you’re not quite sure. But she’s always curious and creative and ready to look at the world with a fresh perspective.
In this joyful talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions — designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more — rarely (if ever) succeed, and that’s the point. “The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don’t always know what the best answer is,” Giertz says. “It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn’t the answer, but at least you’re asking the question.”
Cheese plays a significant role in some of Rosie’s inventions – both the python-repelling hat and the heli-o-cheese copter involve cans of cheese spray.
Get the child you’re working with to make an easy cheese-based snack to pair with the book.
What you need:
Slices of cheese
Monaco biscuits/Ritz crackers
Tomato, onion, capsicum, boiled corn (or any vegetables you have in your kitchen)
Tomato sauce/coriander or mint chutney/mayonnaise/any sauce you have in your kitchen
What to do:
Cut the cheese slices into smaller squares and place them on separate biscuits. Add a drop of sauce on top of the cheese. Chop the vegetables and add them as the top layer of the biscuits.
You can find more combinations for this fuss-free snack at Artsy Crafty Mom.
Use stiff pieces of paper/thin card paper to make paper planes with your child. Then go outdoors and find the best spot to have a flying contest.
If you’re in the mood for something more ambitious, you can check out Buggy and Buddy which features eighteen craft ideas for kids to make a wide range of projects which fly.